An Award-Winning Dinner, Sesame-Crusted Cod

Eat more fish. Dishes like this colorful combo of cod and a succulent salad, both sparked with Japanese flavors, make following this health-enhancing advice easy.

Fresh cod is meaty and satisfying. Its mild taste, though, needs a kick. I usually liven it up by baking cod in an Italian-style tomato sauce or spooning a Mexican salsa over the warm fish. Now I have another way, using the enticing flavors of wasabi and citrus-sparked ponzu sauce.

Wasabi cod with saladI love wasabi, as you know from my post in April. Here, this feisty condiment adds a hint of heat and also helps a sesame-seed crust adhere to the cod.

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Make-Ahead Healthy Pasta Salad, Perfect for Cookouts

Memorial Day is right around the corner, making it the perfect time to start planning a cookout staple: pasta salad. Traditional pasta salad made with mayonnaise and white pasta is heavy and high in saturated fat and refined carbohydrates. But it’s actually an easy dish to lighten up — in calories and taste — with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Making the pasta whole wheat also adds fiber, which is known to reduce cancer risk and keep you full for longer.

The vibrant colorful ingredients make this Spring Pasta Salad pop and the flavor improves as it sits. You can store it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and use for leftover lunches or dinners. It is hearty enough to be served as a main, but also pairs well with grilled shrimp or salmon.

File_003This pasta salad includes some springtime favorites of mine: asparagus and fava beans. Continue reading

Tips for making spicy roasted chickpeas, a trendy and tasty snack

Odd couplings using savory and spicy flavors in unexpected places are trendy these days, from pairing sea salt with chocolate and caramel, to sriracha-flavored popcorn and almonds. Dried legumes eaten as snacks is also trending, although the idea has deep Mediterranean roots, particularly for chickpeas.

Roasted ChickpeasI first encountered the surprise of roasted chickpeas for munching at a Middle Eastern grocery store on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. In the 1970s, a gang of us – single and adventurous – were regulars at the Lebanese, Yemeni and Turkish restaurants lining Atlantic Avenue. After feasting on grilled kebabs, baba ganoush and warm pita, exotic eating at that time, we wandered into one of the neighboring food stores, drawn by the fragrant aroma of cumin and coffee beans wafting from its narrow aisles lined with bins and barrels. Continue reading