Middle Eastern Beef Kabobs

Kabobs are a great way to literally spice up the usual meatball or hamburger dinner. This recipe uses garlic, fresh parsley and mint as well as some traditional middle- eastern spices to create a warm and pungent kabob. If you don’t feel like making these on skewers, you can also turn them into sliders. Be sure to serve with the spicy parsley sauce on the side for dipping – some in my family think this is the best part! (Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis)

Weeknight BBQ Chicken

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This is an easy weeknight dinner and it is “finger lickin’ good!” The sweet and tangy BBQ sauce here comes from a recipe that Chef Alex Guarnaschelli attributes to her mom. Make a whole batch of this BBQ sauce and keep it in your fridge for lots of other meals, like wings, or burgers. If you don’t have time to make this BBQ sauce, you can always use one of your favorites.

Roasted Pesto Salmon

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Pesto and salmon are a great combination and as a bonus, this may be one of my easiest weeknight dinners, especially if you already have the pesto made. All you have to do is spread the pesto on the salmon and bake! It also tastes great room temperature, so it’s a great make-ahead meal. Serve with TG's Crispy Roasted Herb Potatoes and weeknight green salad.
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This bowl is a bit of an adventure, inspired by a vegetarian cookbook gifted to me (thank you Elke!). It starts with a base of quinoa, and is topped with flavorful and spicy black beans, earthy sautéed mushrooms and leeks, creamy avocado and lime and fried plantains! Be sure to buy ripe sweet plantains that are yellow and brown, not the green ones that are very starchy. Make sure to serve with lots of lime wedges, and some salt to sprinkle on top. The lime brings it all together!

Balsamic Glazed Endive

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Endive is a great spring vegetable. I love the bitterness of the endive, which is not too powerful. I simmer the endive in broth and balsamic vinegar until it gets soft and the liquid makes a thick syrup that I drizzle on top. The sweet balsamic glaze pairs very well with the slightly bitter endive.
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Cauliflower rice is all the rage and I had been trying my hardest to get on the bandwagon, but hadn’t yet fallen in love with the taste, until… I stumbled upon this cooking method. This recipe was inspired by a vegan meal in a box that my sister sent me through Green Chef, a local box of the week company. This recipe mixes cauliflower rice and short grain rice, to make an earthy, cauliflower flavored risotto. It is topped with some BBQ tempeh and a delicious scallion, peanut and ginger relish. The combination is a flavor burst!
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This is one of my favorite middle eastern street foods. There is nothing like a warm pita, stuffed with crispy falafel balls, crunchy fresh Israeli salad and tahini. You can, of course, add a myriad other toppings, like spicy sauce (harif), pickled turnips and fried eggplant, but this recipes goes for that bite of simple and delicious authentic falafel. (Adapted from Joan Nathan)

White Chicken Chili

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This is a great light yet hearty dinner, when you want to curl up with a warm bowl of hearty chili. Instead of beef, this chili uses chicken and even some kale at the end to round out this healthier version of the classic. Depending on what’s in season, add you favorite veggies. I like to serve this with some crusty bread.
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If you are looking for a light, one dish meal, that has all of your protein and veggies, try this fresh and delicious steamed sole dish. If you’re not a fan of sole (dover or lemon) use any of your favorite light white fish. The fancy way to cook this dish is en papiotte, where you bundle each portion inside of parchment paper and seal them and each person gets their own little package, cut open and steaming hot. I have simplified this, and bake it all on a sheet tray or pyrex, covered tightly, and served family style. Make sure to cut you veggies super thin, so that the fish and the veggies cook in the same amount of time. Serve on a bed of cous cous to sop up the delicious juices.

Homemade Saag Paneer

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This Indian classic can be made at home for your whole family to enjoy. The creamy spinach with the Indian flavors of turmeric, coriander and cumin, is a comforting winter supper. If you are feeling adventurous, try making the paneer at home the night before. (Adapted from Aarti Sequeira)