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.
My most popular YouTube video is all about the Best Way To Save Fresh Basil. I went on TCL to show my popular method, and to make a really quick and easy Creamy Ricotta Pasta with Basil. Watch the video and share with your basil-loving friends.
You can easily enjoy the flavors of your favorite sushi without learning how to make rolls. Onigiri and Inari are the perfect answer to a sushi craving, with no special tools or much investment of your time. I made this with the Shiso leaves I grew in my garden, but you can enjoy this without, it too. Inari and Onigiri are entry-level Japanese rice shapes that anyone can make.
When I go to my favorite Thai restaurant, there are some classic salads, like Green Papaya Salad, or variations on Larb. But when I’m making a Thai-style meal at home, sometimes I want a salad with the sour-salty-sweet-hot flavors of Thai food but made from the seasonal produce from my garden and the Farmer’s Market. That’s when I make a salad like this, one, with roasted tofu strips, and easy lime and chili dressing, and the colorful veggies I have on hand.
I love a meal that I can just throw together and simmer for a bit, and thanks to flavorful ingredients, it tastes like you have labored for hours. In this Creamy Cauliflower Curry with Beans, Coconut milk and canned beans are the time-savers. In stead of soaking and cooking beans, I devoted a little time to chopping cauliflower and carrots. I even had time to mince fresh turmeric and ginger, for an authentic flavor that really brought it to another level.
Red Beans and Rice and Collard Greens are the iconic combo of New Orleans. Louisiana’s cooks have made an inexpensive, home-style meal into a famous dish, right up there with Cuban Black Beans and Rice, Refried Beans and Yellow Rice, and other great bean and rice dishes of the World. Beans have always been an inexpensive way to get nutrition on the table, and with creative seasoning, legumes transform into comfort food of the highest order. Now, you can make a plant-based version in minutes.
I was on TCL to show off two of my favorite sweetcorn dishes, Elotes Rice Salad, and a Corn and Black Bean Salsa. I demonstrated the easiest way to cut the corn kernels from the cob, and how to saute corn until it’s caramelized and toasty.
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?
The convergence of ripe watermelon, tomatoes and mint makes this salad inevitable, as if it existed in nature long before anyone put it together. Watermelon Salad with Spearmint is sure to be on repeat at your dinner table until Fall!
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.
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.
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.
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!