Honey Aleppo Roasted Delicata Squash with Pistachio Dukkah

Honey Aleppo Roasted Delicata Squash with Pistachio Dukkah

I love meeting people in the food industry. I recently met Jill Fergus from @feedtheswimmers during a food shoot with Seed + Mill. Jill told me all about cooking and hosting team dinners for her kids swim team. This brought back so many memories from high school.

Team dinners were once a week and I always found myself in the kitchen talking to the parents about the food and helping them out food out. It truly was my favorite part of doing sports. This is one of four fall harvest recipes we came up with inspired by fall veggies.

These recipes can be used as side dishes, entrées, and perfect for leftover lunch sandwich or salad! I was so happy when I found this twin delicata squash, tossed with honey and Aleppo pepper and finished off with crunchy pistachio dukkah and dried apricots this has all the sweet and spicy you are looking for!

Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 lbs of delicata squash, sliced

  • 1/2 tbsp salt

  • 2 tsp Aleppo pepper

  • 2 tbsp honey

  • Pistachio Dukkah (2 tbsp chopped pistachio, 1 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tbsp sunflower seeds, 1tsp Aleppo pepper)

  • 5 dried apricots sliced

  • Parsley, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

  2. Toss your delicata squash with EVOO, salt, Aleppo pepper, honey.

  3. Place on parchment-lined sheet tray and and bake in a single layer for 12-15 minutes or until they are fork-tender.

  4. Plate and garnish with tossed pistachio dukkah, sliced apricot, and chopped parsley.

  5. Enjoy with chicken, fish, or steak.

Sumac Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini Sauce

Sumac Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini Sauce

I brought back a bunch of fresh spices from my recent trip to Turkey, and one of my favorite spices that I brought back is Turkish sumac. Turkish sumac is thicker (you can actually see sumac crystals!), more pungent, and more acidic than Lebanese sumac. Sweet potatoes, which are in season now, will be perfect to let the flavors of sumac shine.

Pair this irresistible and addictive side dish with any choice of your protein to complete your meal. If you don’t have Turkish sumac from a local vendor in Turkey like the ones that I used for this recipe, store-bought is fine ;)

Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs of sweet potatoes

  • 1 tbsp EVOO

  • 1.5 tbsp sumac

  • 1 cup tahini

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Mint and sesame seeds for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

  2. Cut the sweet potatoes into big wedges. Toss them with EVOO, salt, pepper, and sumac.

  3. Bake tossed sweet potatoes in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are fork-tender.

  4. While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, make the tahini sauce by whisking tahini, water, and lemon. Season it with salt.

  5. Once the sweet potatoes are done, serve them warm with tahini sauce and garnish sesame seeds and mint.

Maple Orange Carrot Dip

Maple Orange Carrot Dip

Fall is upon us, which means I’ve begun writing my fall menu. As I was researching for new vegan mezze dips to include in my upcoming menu, I came across Bon Appetit’s Smoky Carrot Dip recipe. I loved how their recipe combined smoky cumin flavors with carrots, but I wanted to have more carrot-forward dip without using chickpeas. So, I roasted the carrots to deepen the flavors, and I used both freshly squeezed juice and the zest of an orange to brighten the color and the taste.

Combined with the sweetness of maple syrup, this has become my new fall favorite dip. I served it with a few big leaves of cabbage, which provided an excellent foundation to plate. Be sure to add this dip when you are making your next fall-inspired #BrownPaperBoard!

Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 lbs of peeled, chopped carrots

  • 1/2 tbsp salt

  • 2 tsp cumin, divided

  • 1/4 cup tahini

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 orange, juiced and zested

  • 2 tsp maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

  2. Toss your chopped, peeled carrots with EVOO, salt, and 1 tsp of cumin and bake it in the oven for 15 minutes until they are fork-tender. *SIDE NOTE: we are not looking for colors here!*

  3. Add your roasted carrots into the food processor along with tahini, garlic, the remaining amount of cumin, juiced and zested orange, and maple syrup. Pulse it until the mixture becomes smooth. Season it with salt to taste.

  4. If the dip turns out too thick, add iced water to thin it out.

  5. Serve it with crudites or crackers. Enjoy! You can keep this dip up to 10 days in the fridge.

Blitzy Fairytale Eggplants with Tahini Sauce

Blitzy Eggplants with Tahini Sauce

A few weeks ago, Rachel from Seed + Mill invited me for a day of cooking fresh produce and taking pictures with other fun content creators! It was enjoyable to work with people from different backgrounds in food styling and cooking. Their unique eye for details genuinely inspired me!

When I saw these adorable fairytale eggplants, I wanted to blister them for that charred flavors and serve them with my signature tahini sauce. These cute eggplants are in season right now. And, you don’t have to do much to enjoy them at their finest!

It’s a low-effort dish with high satisfaction that will make everyone happy.

Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 7-8 fairytale eggplants

  • 1 tbsp EVOO and a little bit of extra

  • 1 cup tahini

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • Mint & roasted pine nuts for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Coat fairytale eggplants with salt, pepper, and EVOO.

  2. Heat up your cast iron pan with a little bit of EVOO until you see the smoke. Make sure the pan is smoking hot. Add oiled eggplants to the hot cast iron pan and cook them until each side gets dark.

  3. While the eggplants are getting blistered, make the tahini sauce by mixing tahini, water, and lemon. Set it aside.

  4. Arrange the blistered eggplants on a plate with a scoop of tahini sauce. Garnish with mint leaves and roasted pine nuts.

Summer Squash Salad

Summer Squash Salad

I have been growing a lot of zucchini but bored of grilling them all the time! After recently visiting my favorite neighborhood restaurant - five leaves - I was inspired to make this simple salad with a new way to eat summer squash RAW!

What’s so great about this salad is that it’s fresh, simple, fast, and can be made in one bowl! Each bite needs a little feta and pistachio for that silky crunchy texture. Make this salad for lunch, or as a side with your grilled protein!

Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 cup arugula

  • 1 green zucchini

  • 1 yellow summer squash

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 lemon, squeezed

  • salt & pepper

  • 1/4 cup marinated olives, chopped

  • chopped pistachio for garnish

  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Using a mandolin, slice green zucchini directly on top of the bed of arugula.

  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the sides of summer squash on top of the vegetables again.

  3. Drizzle olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and toss the vegetables together and season them with salt and pepper.

  4. Finish the salad with chopped olives, pistachio, and crumbled feta.

Labneh 2 Ways

Labneh 2 Ways

I truly have a relationship with labneh and this is me taking it to the next level! Summer season is my favorite produce season. Eating tomatoes and peaches raw is the best way to enjoy there natural fresh and juicy flavors. I combined my two favorite things into easy summer dishes.

You can make this when a friend is coming over to nibble on, as a quick snack or lunch! To bring the savory labneh to the next level you can add some prosciutto or sopressata for that extra salty meaty bite. For the sweet labneh you can shave some chocolate, or drizzle some nut butter or chocolate hazelnut spread to add a richer chocolate bite.

Look up times to your local farmers market and make the best of summer’s finest produce. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS:

FOR SAVORY

  • 1 cup labneh

  • 2-3 tomatoes, preferably ripe from farmer’s market

  • 1 cucumber, sliced in circles

  • 1 tbsp za’atar

  • 4-5 marinated olives, chopped in lengthwise

  • Drizzle of olive oil

FOR SWEET

  • 1 cup labneh

  • 1 peach, sliced in chunks

  • 1 dark plum, sliced in chunks

  • 1 apricot, sliced in chunks

  • a few raspberries and blackberries

  • Drizzle of honey & granola

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Spread labneh on a platter.

  2. For savory, arrange all the ingredients on labneh-spread platter. Finish it with a drizzle of olive oil.

  3. For sweet, arrange all the ingredients on labneh-spread platter. Finish it with a drizzle of honey and granola.

Almond & Cucumber Gazpacho

Almond & Cucumber Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables, and it’s a perfect way to capture all flavors, especially during the summer season. This chilled soup is a great way to get the meal started. Use any leftover vegetable as a starter!

Marcona almonds add creamy, rich texture to the soup, and cucumber provides a refreshing flavor foundation to this ideal, summer dish. People often add breadcrumbs to thicken the blend, but you can substitute them with more almonds to achieve the same consistency.

Make this ahead and let it chill in the fridge for at least 24 hours so that the flavors develop.

This recipe is inspired by Food & Wine’s Green Grape and Marcona Almond Gazpacho

Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 large garlic cloves

  • 2 large seedless English cucumbers, cut into 1-inch dice

  • 1 cup Marcona almonds

  • 5 scallions

  • 1/2 cup cold water

  • 1/4 cup EVOO

  • 2 lemons, squeezed

  • salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a blender, add all the ingredients and blend them together until very smooth. Transfer the soup to a large container and season it with salt. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 24 hours.

  2. To serve, stir the chilled gazpacho, then pour it in shallow bowls. Garnish the soup with chopped cucumber, Aleppo pepper, or a dollop of greek yogurt and finish it with a drizzle of olive oil.

Whole Roasted Halloumi with Tomatoes on the Vine

Whole Roasted Halloumi with Tomatoes on the Vine

I grew up eating seared halloumi like it’s my version of grilled cheese. I’ve noticed that halloumi has been getting a lot of attention lately, seeing it pop up on different menus everywhere. But, I was still shocked to find out that so many people have never heard of my favorite cheese, aka RuPaul!

For those who don’t know what halloumi is, it’s a brined semi-hard cheese, mixed with goat and sheep milk, that doesn’t melt, which makes it super versatile - you can fry, sear, and grill it. The taste of halloumi completely changes after it gets cooked. The salty flavors get more intense, and there is a contrast between a crispy outside and salty, creamy inside.

Since it’s tomato season, I added tomatoes on the vine to add an extra burst of flavors. Such a simple way of preparing side dishes for summer parties, and I hope this dish gets you addicted to halloumi even more!

Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole halloumi

  • 1 pound tomatoes on the vine

  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled

  • a few sprigs of thyme

  • 3 tbsp EVOO

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • scallion to garnish

  • handful of arugula to serve

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Set the oven temperature to 450F.

  2. In a parchment-lined sheet tray, add the whole halloumi. Drizzle 1 tbsp of EVOO and roast it for 5 minutes.

  3. On the same sheet tray surround the halloumi with tomatoes on the vine, crushed garlic cloves, and thyme. Drizzle the rest of EVOO and season everything with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast them for 8-10 minutes, or until the tomato skin pops and the tomato juice starts to ooze out.

  4. Serve this with a handful of greens, such as arugula. There should be plenty of garlic thyme infused olive oil from the sheet tray to drizzle on top of the green as a dressing.