Easy Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

As with many roasted veg recipes, use this idea as a general guideline. Feel free to play with the spice mixture—use regular sweet paprika for the pimentón, or even add a pinch of cayenne if you want a little heat. Cumin, coriander and chili powder would also be fun to play around with! If your oven heats really evenly you can bake two sheet pans at a time on the top and bottom. If your oven is unevenly heated (like mine! :), then bake one sheet pan at a time in the center of the oven.

Spiced Meatballs

These are like the falafel of meatballs. And as much as I love falafel, legumes can be challenging for myself and many of my clients to digest. ***In steps the ever versatile and affordable, high quality, pastured, grass-fed or or organic ground meat of your choosing. I love the soft texture of dark meat turkey, but these are honestly a crowd favorite with lamb or beef, as well. for crispier meatballs, brown them on all sides in a non-stick skillet, and shorten the baking time to 6-8 minutes (but I honestly never have time to brown them, and love the all-bake method). Just giving the meatball purists out there the option!

This recipe was adapted to be gluten free and bake-able from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

Smokey Quinoa & Black Beans

This is one of those seemingly odd recipes that ends up being totally delicious and super simple. I found the original over at Oh She Glows, a plant-based blog that’s full of super flavorful and playful vegetarian and vegan recipes. I was skeptical of A) Just throwing everything in the pot at the same time and B) of the PINEAPPLE! But I’ve got to tell you—it comes together in a snap, and the pineapple, smokey paprika and coconut aminos totally work. I’ve been making this for clients topped with tons of cilantro and chopped tomatoes, but have also used it as a filling for tacos with handmade tortillas and avocado.

Tangy Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers! Napa cabbage! Sweet new onions! Crunchy, cooling produce is abundant just in time for the heat, and Summer is indeed the perfect time for this simple, sweet and tangy salad. This is a great side dish for fish, chicken or even grilled steak, and you can easily double it up for a crowd. If you can’t find uncured onions at your farmers market or CSA, seek out a sweeter variety of white onion.

Coconut Turmeric Chicken

Cooking for clients following the Autoimmune Paleo Diet is inspiring me to create dairy and seed free versions of some of my favorite recipes.  (This was my take on the Chicken Tikka from last month.)  Marinating this for several hours is key so that the lime, coconut and spices really penetrate the meat.  Since the marinade takes about 5 minutes to throw together, I like to marinate the chicken in the morning so that it’s ready to grill for dinner. (No props or styling for this photo—this is a real-life meal for a client!)

Grilled Chicken Tikka

My former boss, private chef Emily Su, calls this 5-minute chicken because you could marinate it for as little as 5 minutes. They used to make it for quick staff meals at Chez Panisse, and she taught me how to prepare it for her private clients back in California. It’s been a favorite ever since, and it’s always the first thing I grill each Spring. If you want a little more heat, feel free to add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the marinade.

Kale & Cabbage Slaw with Pistachio Vinaigrette

Yes, this is another kale salad, but it also has my absolute favorite cruciferous cousin as a co-star! Rich in Vitamin C and sulfur, cabbage is known to boost the immune system and fight infection. The dressing is satisfyingly creamy sans dairy, and the parsley helps keep it a lovely shade of green. If you eat dairy in moderation, you can peel any nutty, aged cheese over top to finish (however it’s fabulous without).