Currently Browsing: Weeknight Cooking

Spring Egg Drop Soup with Fresh Jonah Crab

Spring Egg Drop Soup

Classic Egg Drop Soup gets a healthy overhaul with Spring Veggies and a topping of Fresh Crab. Spring Produce is popping up everywhere – so I’m using glorious green vegetables and enhancing the classic Egg Drop Soup – I think for the better! The crab is optional, yet adds a lingering sweetness and a pop of color… fresh […]

Stacked Parmesan Crisps with assorted seasonings

Parmesan Crisps – Master Recipe with Flavoring Suggestions

These are so easy, crunchy & delicious! The crisps are made with grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese and your choice of seasonings (I have many suggestions!) Easy Parmesan Crisps can be made into these clever Caesar Salad Tacos. Crush these crisps on top of salads, side dishes like risotto – anywhere you crave a rich Umami flavor-boost. It’s […]

Quick Caesar Salad Dressing with Caesar Tacos and Garlic Breadcrumbs

Quick Caesar Dressing You Will Love!

This method takes away the raw egg yet adds all the zesty flavors! Add all ingredients to a bowl, whisk in extra virgin olive oil until nicely emulsified. Ingredients you will use: Fresh garlic, grainy mustard & dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, grated parmesan cheese, natural mayonnaise, anchovies, freshly cracked pepper and extra […]

Tomato & Fennel Soup with Parmesan Crisps in a mid-century bowl

Herbed Tomato and Fennel Soup with Parmesan Crisps

In the Mediterranean Tradition – the flavors here are a combination of mellow and bold. Aromatic Basil and Fennel both have hints of anise (licorice) and team beautifully with sweet San Marzano Tomatoes. Soup making is about using the best quality ingredients and understanding the method of how to prepare it to perfection. I like the […]

Red Coconut Curry with Sesame Tofu and Roasted Vegetables in vintage bowl with vintage aqua linens

Red Coconut Curry with Sesame Tofu & Roasted Vegetables

A delicious & healthy Thai inspired meal. Totally satisfying and hearty with out being heavy. Vegan – Vegetarian – Gluten Free!  I’m in love! ~ with this Red Coconut Curry Sauce. Coconut Milk creates a creamy essence and Red Curry Paste lends deep flavor, color and heat. Tip: this little can of red curry paste is a cook’s […]

Romaine, shaved cucumbers, shaved radishes and microgreens with a Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette on a modern white plate

Simple Romaine Salad with Shaved Cucumbers and Radishes with a Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette

Lots of crunch with a Zesty Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette Shaving vegetables brings a nice look and texture to a salad. Shave with a sharp, wide vegetable peeler… so easy and fun. I like to have watermelon and purple daikon radishes in my fridge, they are great keepers and add a blast of gorgeous color and […]

Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette with cut lemons and whisk

Preserved Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette and How to Use It

Tangy, Mellow and Zesty! A Fabulous Full-Of-Flavor Vinaigrette with many uses beyond salads. Preserved Lemons are special.  The lemon flavor intensifies and the salt and fermentation creates a punchy umami characteristic that lends incredible depth to dishes. In recipes – you can use the rind (which is prized), the flesh and even the preserved lemon juice. […]

Purple Peruvian Potato salad with preserved lemon vinaigrette on vintage plates

Peruvian Potato Salad with Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette

These steamed potatoes are naturally bright purple and team brilliantly with Olives, Scallions and Parsley with this Zesty Vinaigrette I’m loving these Peruvian Purple Potatoes! Beyond an exceptional dose of antioxidants – they are sweet and the deep-purple color can brighten anyone’s day! I steam them whole, peel when cool and cube them. Mixing them with […]

A bowl of Tempeh Chili in a bowl over roasted sweet potato wedges with toppings

Very Veggie Tempeh Chili with Homemade Chili Powder

Vegan Chili with Homemade Chili Powder Packs Flavor and Mild Heat. I love eating in a crock ~ but today serving the chili over Roasted Sweet Potatoes with plenty of toppings!  Tempeh is a wonderful; meat substitute with great texture and absorbs all the flavor of the chiles. Made from Soybeans and Brown Rice – […]

Spicy roasted wild mushrooms basted with chili oil. Served over pasta and a pine nut pesto cream sauce - VEGAN!

Roasted Wild Mushrooms with Chili Oil & Vegan Pesto Cream Sauce

Wonderful Meaty Roasted Mushrooms Team with a Vegan Pine Nut-Pesto Creamy Sauce Layered over Pasta A well- rounded Vegan dish ~ choose your favorite pasta! I’m using a Greek tubular pasta; you can use a whole wheat variety – or a chickpea, rice or lentil one for gluten free. Recipe Overview: Have Chili Oil ready. […]

A great little flavored oil condiment to have in the refrigerator! Takes minutes to make and adds a blast of heat and complexity to many dishes.

Quick-n-Easy Chili Oil

A great little flavored oil condiment to have in the refrigerator! Takes minutes to make and adds a blast of heat and complexity to many dishes. Uses for Chili Oil: Add part chili oil to the oil in your stir-fries. Use in a marinade As a dipping sauce – adding a splash of soy sauce […]

Swiss fondue done right with the addition of garlic and chives. Serve with my amazing Mini Dinner Rolls with Flaky Salt!

Karen’s Cheesy Swiss Fondue with Garlic & Chives

While fondue might be the ultimate party food- I’m in the mood for it’s silky, stingy texture and assertive flavor, and have decided to have a fondue night at home. Indulgent, okay just a little, but it only sounds fancy – it’s incredible simple to make! I really got into the idea and decided to […]

Karen's Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

[one-half-first][/one-half-first][one-half][/one-half] Look no further for the perfect recipe – for eating & gift giving! These are gluten free! Or ~ use regular flour too. Simple, not fussy and EASY Bakery quality cookies you’ll love See recipe: how to make a crosshatch design on top of the cookies with the tines of a fork

Veggie Mexican-Style Hard Shell Tacos

Roast Turkey & Veggie Mexican-Style Hard Shell Tacos

Cubes of your Thanksgiving turkey are totally transformed into a fabulous filling for tacos. Assertive seasonings are needed to create just the right smokey and a little spicy infused flavor. I love Mulato Dried Chiles (dried poblano) typically used in Mexican mole sauces with a delicate smoky flavor. The tacos are mildly spicy – adjust […]

easily the best sweet potato oven fries with garlic!

Incredible Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic

These are a weekly staple in my house. Serve them too for Thanksgiving – everyone loves these! Seasoned, Roasted and Tossed in Garlic, Butter and Parsley.

Delicious Sheet Pan Chicken & Vegetables with Apple Cider Glaze

Delicious Sheet Pan Chicken & Vegetables with Apple Cider Glaze

Sometimes I’m craving One Pan Cooking!
Chicken, Delicata Squash Rings and Shallots roast in the oven and produces a delicious simple dinner.

Karen's Pasta Puttanesca with Fresh Tomatoes

Karen’s Pasta Puttanesca with Fresh Tomatoes

A vibrant sauce takes makes only minutes to prepare – this is one of my favorite dishes ~ Buon appetito! The sauce is cooked in a big skillet – pasta is folded in, then served Puttanesca Sauce is big on flavor! Use fresh tomatoes if you can; the rest are pantry ingredients. Chock full of fresh […]

Thai Basil Pesto – and what to do with it!

Thai Basil Pesto – and what to do with it!

The flavor has a pronounced licorice essence and a little spicy kick. So many uses – see my list. Find this wonderful variety at farmers’ markets. Makes a delicious and unique pesto! Thai Basil Pesto adorns Pasta Squares, Roasted Zucchini and Toasted Pignoli Nuts Karen’s Thai Basil Pesto includes Thai Basil Leaves, Garlic, Pignoli Nuts, Nutritional Yeast, […]

Weeknight Lightened-Up Shrimp Scampi

Weeknight Lightened-Up Shrimp Scampi

All the buttery, garlicky and lemony flavor with a sprinkling of fresh herbs in a lighter sauce you can make in minutes! What’s different about this recipe? The sauce has been “lightened-up” ~ which means ALL OF THE FLAVOR with less calories and fat; less butter. How did I accomplish this? The quick answer is […]

Chicken and Veggie Tacos with Mulato Chile Sauce

Chicken and Veggie Tacos with Mulato Chile Sauce

Delicious with Authentic Flavors!Warm and Zesty Grilled Chicken & Vegetables are bathed in a Flavorful Chile Sauce. Filling ingredients: Marinated chicken tenderloins, portobello mushrooms, red onions, fresh corn and cotija cheese. Experiment with ingredients you have on hand or love! The flavor profile of Mulato chiles is a bit sweet with hints of smoky chocolate, […]

Karen's Weeknight Lemon Chicken

Karen’s Weeknight Lemon Chicken

In the style of French “Francaise” ~ this is an updated version, a recipe every cook should master! Easy to make gluten free and for Passover using matzo cake meal. The chicken is very tender, coated with a zesty lemon butter sauce.

Mediterranean Chickpea Stew with Pantry Ingredients

Mediterranean Chickpea Stew with Pantry Ingredients

An Aromatic Stew made with pantry ingredients: chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, diced tomatoes in juice, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste, Add fresh ingredients you have – potatoes carrots, onions, spinach and cupboard Mediterranean spices.

This is how you make the BEST Turkey Meatballs!

RECIPE: This is how you make the BEST Turkey Meatballs!

Want to make the best tasting meatballs? I’ve got you covered. Just-ground turkey with loads of veggies  – and a technique that adds ton of flavor, and yields a tender meatball! The Technique: brown meatballs in a skillet, then cover with sauce and bake. 

Salmon in Parchment with Multi-Citrus Salsa

Salmon in Parchment with Multi-Citrus Salsa

It’s Citrus Season! Slow cooked Salmon with a Tart & Zesty Multi-Citrus Salsa is an easy meal cooked in a Parchment Package. Produces tender salmon with a sauce baked in. A seriously easy recipe ~ I’ve laid out all the steps how to create a parchment package with seasoned salmon, citrus slices and fresh mint sprigs. […]

Amazing Veggie Chili Without Beans

Amazing Veggie Chili Without Beans

A Healthy and Hearty Chili Chock Full of Veggies with Chick Peas, Lentils, Butternut Squash and Cremini Mushrooms in a Tomato Based sauce with Homemade Chili Seasoning – dig in and be creative with your toppings!

Ground Turkey “Meat Sauce” with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ground Turkey “Meat Sauce” with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Doesn’t get more delicious than this! Laced with Onions, Shallots, Garlic and my Fresh Tomato Sauce – it’s my go to sauce for a comforting weeknight meal.

Dirty Rice Cajun Style

Dirty Rice Cajun Style

A healthier version of Southern Dirty Rice ~ lightened-up! Brown rice teams with Caramelized Onions, Garlic, Pattypan Squash, Bacon (I’ve used turkey) and Karen’s Best Cajun Seasonings.

Thai Coconut Ginger Chicken in an Instant Pot

Thai Coconut Ginger Chicken in an Instant Pot

Stewed Chicken is so tender and delicious in an Instant Pot! This is a favorite recipe of mine I thought I would share. What’s for dinner?? Make this fabulous Thai flavored recipe and eat it for days (reheats wonderfully!) The chicken stays succulent in this rich sauce… but not heavy or too caloric. I always […]

Weeknight Filet of Sole with Mustard Sauce

Weeknight Filet of Sole with Mustard Sauce

A quick & tasty meal finished in minutes ~ stir together a Mustard, Herb, Garlic & Mayo Sauce, coat the fish and simply broil… genius!! A little taste of France ~ and updated: Filets de flet à la moutarde for today’s taste.Use the freshest Filet of Sole! I got mine from a shop on the […]

Quick and Healthy Chicken Soup with Ginger and Vegetables

Quick and Healthy Chicken Soup with Ginger and Vegetables

A bevy of vegetables enrich this soup; ginger adds a boost of flavor with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Pure soul-comfort food. Gluten Free with rice noodles. This quick and healthy soup has definite Asian-notes with Rice Noodles (gluten free), Napa Cabbage, Snow Peas and a good dose of Ginger.

Incredible Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

Incredible Instant Pot Split Pea Soup – With Too Many Vegetables

The comfort soup of the season! Your Instant Pot will cook this soup beautifully… healthy & hearty. Want to make on the stovetop? ~ See instructions below. 

Greek Lemon Turkey Soup (an after Thanksgiving special recipe)

Greek Lemon Turkey Soup (an after Thanksgiving special recipe)

A Hearty, Healthy & Zesty Soup using 2 cups of diced freshly roasted turkey from your Thanksgiving feast. Make again using leftover chicken!  Instead of classic orzo rice, I have use a medium grain white rice… Calrose rice. It has great natural thickening properties, which is what I love. This soup has tons of vegetables […]

Karen’s Mac n Cheese with Butternut Squash and Apples

Karen’s Mac n Cheese with Butternut Squash and Apples

What’s better than homemade macaroni and cheese? Here’s a recipe that is creamy, rich and has a crunchy topping that is irresistible! (Awesome Gluten-Free option too.) Adding cubes of Butternut Squash and Apples makes for an interesting, updated Fall Macaroni and Cheese. Adds interest and depth of flavor. Italian Chiocciole shaped pasta or Italian Gluten-Free Penne […]

Glazed Hoisin Salmon with Pine Nuts

Glazed Hoisin Salmon with Pine Nuts

A quick and easy meal with amazing flavor! Make my homemade Hoisin Sauce… a game changer for any cook! Shaved Carrot Slaw is colorful, crunchy and delicious. A wonderful weeknight meal, and special enough for company.

Gluten-Free Cacio e Pepe (pasta with pepper and grated cheese)

Cacio e Pepe is a quick and tasty Roman Pasta Dish with a creamy, stirred peppery sauce ~ which is getting a little makeover. I’ve added roasted zucchini and chopped garlic to the traditional recipe ~ delicious! This gluten-free spaghetti is the best I’ve tried… use traditional pasta too. I’ve changed up the classic recipe (yes, […]

Hummus and Grilled Veggie Tacos with Corn Salsa

Hummus and Grilled Veggie Tacos with Corn Salsa

My favorite hard shell Tacos filled with Za’atar seasoned Hummus and brimming with colorful Vegetables just off the grill. Corn Salsa adds a layer of natural sweetness, heat and crunch. A wonderful meal for a weeknight or special enough for company – these Vegan and Gluten-Free Tacos are healthy, delicious and have great visual appeal! […]

A Mexican style rich stew with chicken, lots of vegetables, spices, tomatoes, chiles, sesame seeds, cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate.

Incredible Mole Chicken & Vegetables on the Stovetop

A Mexican style rich stew with chicken, lots of vegetables, spices, tomatoes, chiles, sesame seeds, cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate. Slow and even stovetop heat produces succulent ingredients. A one-pot meal… it’s all in there ~ chicken, vegetables, garbanzo beans and a complex just-spicy-enough mole sauce.

A Mexican style rich stew with chicken, lots of vegetables, spices, tomatoes, chiles, sesame seeds, cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate.

Incredible Instant Pot Mole Chicken & Vegetables

A Mexican style rich stew with chicken, lots of vegetables, spices, tomatoes, chiles, sesame seeds, cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate. An Instant Pot (easy pressure cooker) produces succulent ingredients. A one-pot meal… it’s all in there ~ chicken, vegetables, garbanzo beans and a complex just-spicy-enough mole sauce.

Portobello Pizzas with Slow Baked Cherry Tomatoes and topped with Basil Leaves and Crispy Baked Kale Ribbons

Portobello Mushroom Pizzas with Crispy Kale Ribbons

Magnificent Meatless Monday Recipe! Roast the mushroom caps (on a rack – they don’t get soggy!) add Marinara Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Slow Baked Cherry Tomatoes and top with Basil Leaves and Crispy Baked Kale Ribbons Mushrooms have a heavenly “meaty” texture and savory, irresistible “Umami” flavor. The perfect lunch, side dish, snack, dinner or appetizer […]

An Instant Pot transforms this Tandoori Chicken into a fall-off-the-bone delicious delight!

Fabulous Tandoori Chicken in an Instant Pot

New Year’s Cooking Resolution: Try Something New. An Instant Pot transforms this Tandoori Chicken into a fall-off-the-bone delicious delight! Recipe given for oven method too.

A hearty bowl of Chili with extra vegetables, plenty of chipotles and homemade Chili Powder for the ultimate flavor.

Turkey Chili with Homemade Chili Powder

A hearty bowl of Chili with extra vegetables, plenty of chipotles and homemade Chili Powder for the ultimate flavor. Gluten-Free. This is a big batch of Chili! Low in fat and chock full of all the good things in life: beans, fresh spices and loaded with vegetables.

A wonderful, hearty and healthy Vegetable Soup with Mediterranean ingredients.

Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

Here is how I make a wonderful, hearty and healthy Vegetable Soup with Mediterranean ingredients. This is a guide… use the ingredients you have or prefer to your taste. Easily made gluten-free.

Zesty Caribbean Flavors in the meatballs and this creamy, addictive sauce! Gluten- Free and Dairy Free.

Spiced Caribbean Chicken Meatballs in Coconut Milk Gravy

Zesty Caribbean Flavors in the meatballs and this creamy, addictive sauce! Gluten- Free and Dairy Free. A wonderful main course or the ultimate appetizer.

This Garlic Toast takes garlic bread to a new level! Sourdough Bread gains flavor from the outdoor grill - kissed twice with garlic... Garlic Confit Oil and Softened Garlic Confit Cloves

Garlic Cheesy Toast with Garlic Confit

This Garlic Toast takes garlic bread to a new level! Sourdough Bread gains flavor from the outdoor grill – kissed twice with garlic… Garlic Confit Oil and Softened Garlic Confit Cloves A little soft on the inside, crispy around the edges…not quite a “toast” ~ just the most DELICIOUS garlic bread/toast you ever had! And, […]

White Chicken Chili makes a delicious meal full of mildly-spicy Chili Flavor, Red Lentils, Butternut Squash and Chicken.

Chicken-Lentil Chili with Butternut Squash

White Chicken Chili makes a delicious meal full of mildly-spicy Chili Flavor, Red Lentils, Butternut Squash and Chicken. This light & tasty chili gets and extra flavor-pop with my Raw Tomatillo Salsa

A wonderful hearty soup; creamy and chunky and full of flavor!

Vegan Creamy Corn Chowder

A wonderful hearty soup; creamy and chunky and full of flavor! Take advantage of late summer corn – it’s been a wonderful season.

A Quick Healthy Summer Meal Served Hot Off the Grill. Make the Zesty Gingery-Miso Dressing ahead for a speedy recipe.

Grilled Shrimp & Pineapple with Gingery-Miso Dressing

A Quick Healthy Summer Meal Served Hot Off the Grill. Make the Zesty Gingery-Miso Dressing ahead for a speedy recipe. Pineapple is wonderful grilled and adds natural sweetness to the dish.  

Grilled Eggplant Rolled with an Herbal Ricotta and Creamy Burrata Cheese Filling and Baked with a Zesty Marinara.

Grilled Eggplant Rollatini with Garlicky Parmesan Breadcrumb Topping

A Summer Pleasure: Grilled Eggplant Rolled with a Herbal Ricotta and Creamy Burrata Cheese Filling and Baked with a Zesty Marinara. Add some crunch and interest with a Garlicky-Parmesan Breadcrumb Topping. Lightened-Up Vegetarian Comfort Food! A lighter touch~ Eggplant is grilled, not fried. A crisp topping adds just the right touch. I’ve used Gluten- Free Breadcrumbs.

The Ultimate Grilled Burger Wrapped in Lettuces with Onion and Heirloom Tomatoes ~ Homemade Ranch Dressing.

Lettuce Wrapped Chicken Burger with Zesty Ranch

The Ultimate Grilled Burger Wrapped in Lettuces with Onion and Heirloom Tomatoes ~ Homemade Ranch Dressing. Pulse chicken in a food processor, then add vegetables and seasonings for these amazing burgers

Cedar Planked Salmon with an easy-to prepare Planked Salmon with Pistachio-Tarragon & Lavender Gremolata Pistachio Planked Salmon with Pistachio-Tarragon & Lavender Gremolata smothered on top

Cedar Planked Salmon with Pistachio-Tarragon & Lavender Gremolata

Cedar Planked King Salmon is an Easy Summer-Time Dish with a lush, smokey essence ~ the Flavorful Gremolata takes only minutes to prepare

Easy to prepare Gremolata ~ adds a blast of flavor with citrusy notes. Perfect for fish, vegetables, chicken and grains

Pistachio-Tarragon & Lavender Gremolata

Easy to prepare ~ adds a blast of flavor with citrusy notes. Perfect for fish, vegetables, chicken and grains. 

Fresh Cherry Salsa over layered Nachos in a vintage pan

Layered Cheese Nachos with Fresh Cherry Salsa

These nachos is very satisfying and craveable. Fresh Cherry Salsa adds tart-sweet and spicy notes – addicting!!

A twist on the Spanish “Tortita” ~ these vegetable griddle cakes are delicious.. you can’t eat just one!

Corn and Zucchini Tortitas

A twist on the Spanish “Tortita” ~ these vegetable griddle cakes are delicious.. you can’t eat just one! With good-for you ingredients, chock full of zucchini, corn, scallions, jalapeño, feta, grated parmesan and a generous mound of fresh dill. Eat alone, with your favorite salsa, or, as my mother would do- sour cream.

Asian-Style Satay Sauce made with Sunflower Seed Butter for a nutty-sweet flavor, yet NUT FREE.

Sunflower Satay Sauce ~ for Noodles and Grilled Chicken Skewers (Peanut-Free)

Asian-Style Satay Sauce made with Sunflower Seed Butter for a nutty-sweet flavor, yet NUT FREE. Easy blended sauce for Noodles and Grilled Chicken Skewers. Top with Sunflower Seeds and Sunflower Sprouts!

My version of they healthy Middle Eastern Salad spiked with a melange of Vegetables is tossed in a Zesty Lemony- Scallion Dressing.

Karen’s Quinoa Tabbouleh – Vegetable Salad (Naturally Gluten-Free)

My version of they healthy Middle Eastern Salad spiked with a melange of Vegetables is tossed in a Zesty Lemony- Scallion Dressing. One of the healthiest salads you can eat. Refreshing and Addictive!

A delicious and versatile sauce topped with a yogurt marinated grilled chicken kebob. Spice up your palate! The sauce is Vegan.

Marinated Chicken Kebabs – Indian Style

Marinate the chicken overnight for the best flavor.. don’t forget to soak your bamboo skewers!

Yes, even the cherished recipe for guacamole can be modified, respectfully, for a deeper flavor and other favorable nuances.

New Guacamole with Roasted Zucchini and Lime Zest

A luscious and velvety Guacamole! Lower in fat but high in flavor – add some roasted zucchini for the perfect blend! Yes, even the cherished recipe for guacamole can be modified, respectfully, for a deeper flavor and other favorable nuances.

A delicious and versatile sauce topped with a yogurt marinated grilled chicken kebob. Spice up your palate! The sauce is Vegan.

Coconut-Cashew Curry Sauce with Indian Flavors ~ Spiced Chicken Kebab

A delicious and versatile sauce topped with a yogurt marinated grilled chicken kebob. Spice up your palate! The sauce is Vegan.

Delicious chicken and vegetables with sliced clementines in a crimped envelope of parchment ~ all the natural juices sealed in.

Chicken En Papillote ~ Asian Style

 Delicious chicken and vegetables with sliced clementines in a crimped envelope of parchment ~ all the natural juices sealed in. 

One of my all-time favorite recipes: Sizzling Flounder. Simple Asian flavors surround this healthy, light and delicious dish – a must try for my readers.

Sizzling Flounder with Soy, Lemon and Sesame

To commemorate Chinese New Year, I am sharing one of my all-time favorite recipes: Sizzling Flounder. Simple Asian flavors surround this healthy, light and delicious dish – a must try for my readers.

Close Cookmode
A Zest For Life
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter - delicious recipes and tips with a healthy twist.
Karen's obsession with food and style