Ginger-Ponzu Tuna Poke

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Remember a few years ago where fast-casual poke spots were opening up in what seemed like every other corner? I liked that. It was a food trend I could get behind. I love poke bowls, especially in the summer, but I’ve started making them at home more often because a lot of those poke restaurants aren’t around anymore (come back please!).

This gingery tuna poke gets its creaminess from the addition of macadamia nuts and an unmistakable herbaceousness from shiso leaves. You can use salmon just as easily as tuna here.

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (preferably Meyer) ponzu
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced fresh shiso (Japanese or Vietnamese), plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon crushed unsalted roasted macadamia nuts, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound skinless sushi-grade tuna
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Toasted white sesame seeds
  • Cooked short-grain white rice and nori seaweed, for serving


  1. Stir together soy sauce, lemon juice, green onions, shiso, macadamia nuts, sesame oil, and ginger in a medium bowl. (Mixture should be slightly creamy.)
  2. Cut tuna into bite-size (about 3/4-inch) cubes. Add tuna to ponzu mixture in bowl; gently stir together until well coated.
  3. Season with salt to taste. Adjust flavors with additional ponzu, green onions (pungency), shiso, macadamia nuts, sesame oil (velvety richness), ginger, and/or salt to taste. Serve atop individual bowls of rice and garnish with sesame seeds, more shiso leaves, and nori seaweed; serve immediately. (Poke itself can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.)

Corn, Okra, and Red Pepper Skillet

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If you’ve know me at all then you know okra is my favorite vegetable, and this blog is a no-okra-slander zone. This easy summer skillet pairs okra with corn and peppers for the ultimate summer side dish. Eat it with rice and chicken or even better, by itself. (I paired it with Iranian dolma here, because why not?)


  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • 2 slices turkey bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 10 okra, stemmed and sliced crosswise
  • 4 ears corn, shucked, kernels sliced off (or one 10-ounce package frozen corn, about 2 cups)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Do not wipe out the pan.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet and add garlic, shallots, bell pepper, and jalapeno and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high, add okra and corn, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in green onions, reserved turkey bacon, and remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.

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.

  • 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.

Loaded Steak Nachos

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Behold, the ultimate appetizer for a crowd. These nachos are one of my favorite appetizers to serve — think a giant platter of crunchy chips loaded with juicy seared steak, shredded cheese, avocado, beans, and a trifecta of salsa, lime, and sour cream to top it all off. Let’s bfr; who doesn’t love nachos?

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound steak (I use sirloin, ribeye, or flank)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 16-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups tortilla chips
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 16-ounce tub pico de gallo salsa
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees and prep baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and salt in a small bowl, then rub mixture into steak. Heat a cast iron skillet with oil until hot, then sear steak on both sides until done, flipping once. Remove from heat and top with lime juice, then leave to rest, about 10 minutes. Dice or shred steak into bite-size pieces.
  2. Spread tortilla chips in a layer on the baking sheet, then top with beans, steak, and cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbling and beans and steak are heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to serving platter. Top with pico de gallo, sour cream, and salsa. Serve immediately.

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.

  • 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.