The Real Food Journal

Robin Asbell is your experienced guide to cooking and eating healthfully, sustainably, and deliciously. Her cookbooks, articles and blog are valuable resources for anyone interested in the good life with good food.

An Italian Feast of Broccolini with Pesto

An Italian Feast of Broccolini with Pesto

Basil is the soundtrack of summer, the fragrant, slightly spicy herb that grows fast and makes everything taste better-including this Broccolini in Pesto. From pastas to panini, fresh basil is a sure hit. I know it must be, as my most watched video and post is about the Best Way To Freeze Basil, with over 5k views! I love to use my abundant basil to make a simple pesto and toss it with roasted vegetables, for a veggie-rich side. Why save pesto for pasta-when you can use it to make a gorgeous pile of broccolini even more savory and sexy?

Mexican Kale and Black Bean Salad with Avocado

Mexican Kale and Black Bean Salad with Avocado

Necessity is the mother of invention, they say, and this salad came about because I needed a side for Mexican meals. When I’m making menus for clients, It gets repetitive to give them the same guac and green salad on the side of their tacos. So, I took the massaged kale salad and gave it a Mexican flavor makeover. Thanks to the black beans and avocado, this is also hefty enough to have as a main course.

Baby Zucchini with Rosemary and Balsamic

Baby Zucchini with Rosemary and Balsamic

It’s summertime, and the zucchini plants are in full production mode. I lucked out and found these tiny, baby zucchini at the farmer’s market, and felt they deserved to be honored in a special dish. Cooking with zucchini presents its own challenges, and this method is the best for mastering the zucchini harvest. This is a perfect way to use your summer squashes, of any size, and a fast side dish that everyone will love.

African Peanut Sauce with Purple Sweet Potato Fries

African Peanut Sauce with Purple Sweet Potato Fries

When I say “Peanut Sauce,” do you think, Thai? Or something sweet, like Peanut Butter Caramel? Well, there are peanuts ground into sauces in many cuisines of the world. Like this African Style Peanut Sauce. A little spicy, with juicy tomatoes and sweetly sauteed onions and garlic, this one makes a pan of crispy purple sweet potato fries into a meal. Adults and kids alike love peanut butter, and will love this sauce, which can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for snacks or meals.

Mediterranean Potato Salad on TCL

Mediterranean Potato Salad on TCL

On today’s “Monday Night Meals” segment I made a big salad of potatoes, chickpeas, olives, zucchini and more, all bathed in a lively balsamic vinaigrette. As we assembled the salad, I put to rest your concerns that potatoes are “too high-carb” to enjoy.
Go ahead and dig into potato salad, it’s a delightful and wholesome food!

An Asparagus Tart with Creamy Cashew Topping

An Asparagus Tart with Creamy Cashew Topping

Every Spring, you’ll see asparagus tarts on magazine covers and in the food section of your paper. It’s a classic because asparagus is one of the first vegetables to harvest in the Spring, and because it looks so good in a photo. The curb appeal of a golden, crispy crust filled with gracefully tapering spears is truly off the hook. Most of those tarts will feature a hefty amount of dairy, whether in the form of cheese or creme fraiche. That’s why I wanted to make a purely plant-based asparagus tart for all of you.

It’s Rhubarb Bar Time!

It’s Rhubarb Bar Time!

These crunchy, luscious bars are packed with oats and nuts and rhubarb, making them a very respectable snack or light meal. I like to wrap a few in waxed paper to take along when I’m working or on the go.