Hearts of Palm and Avocado Salad

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This salad is so easy that it hardly qualifies as a recipe, but the combination of creamy hearts of palm and acidic dressing is a perfect pairing. To be honest, I could eat hearts of palm straight out of the can, but avocados make everything taste even better.

Ingredients:
  • 1 15-ounce can hearts of palm, rinsed, drained, and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 slightly firm avocados, peeled and diced
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a serving bowl. Add the hearts of palm, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro and gently mix until the vegetables are coated. Serve immediately.

Simple Soy-Sesame Asparagus

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It’s asparagus season and this recipe is my go-to when I don’t feel like cooking a complicated side dish. With only five ingredients, this asparagus comes together in less than ten minutes and tastes greater than the sum of its parts.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut crosswise on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 drops chile oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus to pot and cook until tender-crisp and bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain, then plunge into a large bowl of ice water; set aside to cool for about 2 minutes. Drain again, then pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
  2. Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, and chile oil in a medium bowl. Add asparagus and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with sesame seeds.

Avocado, Mango, and Orange Salad

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This is the perfect tropical-esque salad to bridge that time of spring when the weather is intermittently cool and warm. Got some winter citrus leftover in the fridge? Toss them in with creamy avocados and mangoes and you’ve got a bright, tart and slightly sweet salad that comes together in a matter of minutes.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into 1-inch segments
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened shredded dried coconut
  1. Whisk together parsley, oil, lime and orange juices, jalapeno, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add mangoes, avocado, and orange and toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
  2. To serve, transfer salad to a serving bowl and sprinkle with coconut.

Thai-Style Chicken and Rice

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This recipe is by no means authentic, and I’ve turned it into a sort of easy red curry-meets-larb situation but the results are delicious and healthy. All you need is 20 minutes and a skillet and you’re set.

Ingredients:
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup salted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • Lettuce leaves and lime wedges, for serving
  1. Place red onion and ginger in a medium bowl of ice water and let soak while you prepare the chicken and rice.
  2. Using your hands, toss rice and half of curry paste in a medium bowl to roughly coat. Set aside.
  3. Stir lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add chicken and spread into a thin, even layer; season with salt. Cook, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath, about 5 minutes. Add remaining curry paste and cook, stirring and breaking up into bite-size pieces, until chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with dressing.
  5. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the same skillet. Add reserved rice mixture and cook, undisturbed, until slightly golden underneath, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to bowl with dressing and chicken.
  6. Drain red onion and ginger; add to bowl with chicken and rice, along with chile, peanuts, cilantro, and mint. Mix to combine.
  7. Transfer rice mixture to a platter. Serve with lettuce for wrapping and lime wedges for squeezing over.

Butter Chicken

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Butter chicken is ubiquitous on every Indian restaurant menu, but there’s no reason you can’t make it at home. This warming dish is easily made a day ahead and can reheated to be served with rice. I like to serve it with tahdig, sabzi khordan, and torshi on the side for an Indian-Iranian mashup. Trust me, it works.

Ingredients:
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or ghee
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the garam masala, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, paprika, cinnamon, and oregano. Add the chicken and turn to coat all the pieces. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, stirring.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, then add the chicken and any leftover spices and sprinkle with the salt. Cook for 5 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through when it releases easily from the pan, then add the crushed tomatoes, butter, coconut milk, bay leaf, and lemon juice. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 30 minutes. Season with additional salt and lemon juice, if desired. Serve warm.