Living in San Francisco has turned me into sort of a fish taco snob. There are so many incredible fish taco places here! For me, the one thing that makes a delicious fish taco (besides the fish, of course) is the creamy “dressing” lathered on top.
Most fish tacos I’ve had here are topped with a delicious, flavorful, creamy topping that I have not been able to reproduce… until now! I finally perfected a fish taco crema topping that tastes just like some of my favorite fish taco places in the city. This cilantro lime crema is made with fresh lime, cilantro and green onion, plus a little mayonnaise for a bit of tangy flavor.
Cilantro Lime Crema
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Add all ingredients to a small Magic Bullet cup and pulse a few times until well blended, but not smooth.
- Chill in the refrigerator for up to 3 days until ready to serve.
Makes ~1/2 cup
If you find yourself craving pumpkin pie this holiday season, why not skip the extra calories and make a healthy pumpkin mousse instead?
This pumpkin mousse is vegan and gluten-free, and tastes just like a delicious pumpkin pie filling. The secret ingredient is tofu, which makes it really thick and creamy. You can sweeten it with almost any sweetener, from honey to maple syrup to brown sugar. I’ve tried a few different sweeteners in this recipe and they all work really well. I have found that firm tofu works best.
It’s an incredibly easy dessert to whip up (literally) for guests, or simply a treat for yourself. For best results, chill the mousse in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.
- 1 can (15 oz) organic pumpkin
- 1 package (15 oz) firm or silken tofu
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ginger
- ¼ tsp. allspice
- Add all ingredients to a Magic Bullet cup and blend until smooth. Add more honey or other sweetener, depending on your tastes.
- Top with whipped cream and cinnamon before serving.
Makes 2 cups
Lately I have been making a lot of my own nut and seed butters. They are cheaper and easier to make at home, plus you don’t need to add any preservatives or stabilizers if you make them in small batches at a time every few days.
I made this creamy cinnamon nut butter the other day. It can be used as a spread for apples for a healthy snack, or on a piece of toast for a protein-rich breakfast. The most important ingredient is the sunflower seeds, because depending on the type of seeds you buy, you will get very different results.
First, make sure they are roasted. Roasting the seeds really brings out their flavor. Second, make sure you buy unsalted, otherwise your butter might be too salty. I like to add the salt myself to control how salty it tastes. For a creamier texture, add more oil. For a sweeter butter, blend in more honey.
Cinnamon Sunflower Seed Butter
- 1 cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. honey
- Add all ingredients except for the honey to a small Magic Bullet blender cup and pulse a few times.
- Add the honey and stir with a spoon, then twist the blade back on and pulse a few more times until your sunflower seed butter is nice and creamy. Add more coconut oil if needed for a creamier texture.
Makes 1 cup
If you like hummus, you’re going to love this red lentil hummus recipe!
While traditional hummus is made with chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, it can also be made with other beans. Technically, “hummus” means chickpeas, but red lentils are a perfect alternative to this classic dip. I don’t notice a big difference in flavor when I make hummus with chickpeas or red lentils, so it is nice to be able to use whatever I have on hand at the time. All of the other ingredients are the same. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita chips.
Red Lentil Hummus
- 1/2 cup dried red lentils
- 1 cup water
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for topping
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Red paprika for topping
- Bring 1 cup of water to boil and add lentils. Cook for 20 minutes, until lentils are tender.
- Cool the lentils for at least 30 minutes.
- Add the cooked lentils and all of the rest of the ingredients to a small Magic Bullet cup and blend until smooth.
- Top with drizzled olive oil and a few dashes of paprika.
Makes 1 cup
It’s still summer! Grill grill grill grill! Okay, that’s definitely part of summer fun, but it’s also a great time at the farmer’s market, and in particular the only time of the year you can get green garlic. Green garlic is just immature garlic, but it’s a really neat and tasty ingredient – like the sweet, mild garlic of your dreams. Sometimes, ingredients just taste better when you can only get them for a few short months.
Taking a cue here from Melissa Clark of the New York Times, I use the Magic Bullet to create green garlic butter, a creative condiment that goes well with fish, chicken, or, in this case, green garlic bread. Basically, you blend up green garlic with butter and parmesan, which creates a rich, savory, mildly herbal spread. You can use it as you would use butter, of course, but it works equally well as a topping for on plain dishes. You may have heard of “hotel butter,” a similar topping that steakhouses often use on meat. Typically that’s made with parsley and lemon. I think this works just as well, if not better.
Of course, you could always combine green garlic butter with grilled meat or fish to make a summer double threat. Yum.
Green Garlic Butter
- White and green parts of a green garlic bulb
- 1 stick butter, softened on the counter or microwave
- 1 large chunk parmesan
- ¼ tsp. kosher or sea salt
- Blend parmesan in Magic Bullet until shredded. Remove to bowl.
- Blend garlic bulb in the Magic Bullet.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl or in the Magic Bullet.
A few years ago, I went through this thing where I was eating Chinese chicken salad pretty much every day for a month. It was right after I tried my very first Chinese chicken salad and, I guess you could say I became a little obsessed.
What truly makes a Chinese chicken salad superb is the dressing. Minced fresh ginger is one of the essential ingredients in this great-tasting dressing. I like to make a big portion of the dressing and keep it in the refrigerator to enjoy over a few days, since I clearly never get tired of eating this salad! All you need for a simple salad is chopped romaine lettuce, mandarins, sliced almonds, grilled chicken and carrots. Pour this dressing over and you’ve got a spectacular meal.
Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Add all ingredients to a small Magic Bullet cup and pulse a few times until all ingredients are blended together well.
- Cover with a lid and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Makes ~1 cup dressing
The other day, I came up with a new recipe that seriously surprised me. The title of this post already gives it away, but there you have it: avocados really do make delicious, creamy pasta sauce! After the first bite of my avocado pasta, I scarfed down the rest of the entire dish in a matter of seconds. It may sound strange to use avocados in pasta sauce, but I promise it is so good!
Don’t you just love it when healthy foods taste amazing?
- 2 avocados
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- Parsley for garnish
- 1 box linguine
- Cook the linguine al dente, according to the package directions.
- Add all other ingredients to a small Magic Bullet cup (except the parsley) and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Toss the drained noodles with the avocado sauce.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle Parmesan cheese and parsley on top of individual plates.
Makes 2 servings
I was recently in Greece, home of my ancestors (not really) and, in addition to having no trouble getting money out of ATMs, I had Greek salad almost everyday. There’s nothing more Greek than Greek salad, except debt crises and ouzo, which is a nasty liquor that tastes like a mixture of fennel, vodka and squashed bugs.
Okay, I can’t really back that up. Anyway, when I got home, in addition to watching the Greeks and the Germans negotiate on television everyday, I realized that IT’S TOMATO SEASON and I should make Greek salad for myself because Greek salad is delicious and so should you.
In Greece, they use a variety of interesting cheeses for this salad, but back home we’re mostly stuck with feta, unless you happen to have a great Greek store in your ‘hood.
This salad uses one of my favorite new ingredients, white balsamic vinegar. White balsamic vinegar: you’d never guess it from the name, but it turns out that it’s white vinegar, not balsamic vinegar at all. What it really turns out to be is good, like balsamic vinegar in terms of depth and tang, but with a pleasant sweetness. Make this Greek salad with white vinegar and see if the Grexit happens.
Greek Salad with White Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
- 2 pounds tomatoes, cut into big pieces
- 5 pounds cucumbers, peeled
- 4 oz feta cheese, or to taste
- a few slices of red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp Greek olives
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 4 Tbsp Greek olive oil
- 4 Tbsp white vinegar
- Blend olive oil and vinegar in the Magic Bullet and serve over all the other ingredients.
Chickpeas are an exciting food that can add substance to an already-established dish, or, given the opportunity, can rise to the challenge of leading a meal. Inspired by Indian curry flavors and Greek hummus textures, this recipe presents a delicious chickpea curry spread that you’ll find both new and comfortably familiar.
Chickpea Curry Spread
- 1 cup chickpeas, cooked (about 8 oz.)
- Handful of cilantro
- Handful of raisins
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. curry powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- Lightly chop cilantro, removing stems (most of the nutrients and flavor are in the leaves).
- Combine all ingredients in a Magic Bullet cup and blend.
Enjoy as a side dish, appetizer or snack. Best if served with small pieces of bread, crackers or carrot sticks. Or add this spread to a wrap, along with lettuce, tomato and other garnishes and enjoy it for lunch!
There are some dishes that are so classic they don’t need to be improved upon. But everything can be improved upon, right? I present to you, courtesy of the clever little buggers over at Cooks Illustrated, fresh pasta puttanesca.
Pasta puttanesca is a famous classic Italian pantry dish. Its name translates to – well, you can google that yourself – but suffice it to say it’s a dish that’s known for being salty and satisfying. What I love about it is the way it combines the bold flavors of anchovies and capers with olives; it just smacks you in the face with flavor. This version is very clever because it combines those lip-smacking elements of the original with fresh tomato flavor.
If you’re dying for tomato season to come along but are getting impatient, this is the perfect pasta dish for you. Fresh cherry tomatoes get blended up in the Bullet to provide sweetness and, well, freshness that really pair well with the salty umami of the classic puttanesca ingredients.
Fresh Pasta Puttanesca
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tin anchovies, or to taste
- 1 quart grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 pound small pasta, such as fusilli or campanelle
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 3 Tbsp capers
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp. oregano
- Boil pasta in heavily salted water until just short of al dente.
- Blend anchovies, garlic and oil in the Magic Bullet and add to a pan over medium heat. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about two minutes.
- Blend tomatoes in the Magic Bullet and add to pan. Raise heat to high and cook three minutes.
- Add cooked pasta and tomato mixture to a pot and put heat on medium. Cook one or two minutes until pasta starts to absorb the tomatoes. Serve.