Nước chấm is a popular condiment and staple of Vietnamese food. It’s a multipurpose sauce, used as a dip for egg rolls, summer rolls, bún (rice noodle dishes), and lots more. It’s made with fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic, and Thai bird chili peppers, but I haven’t had fish sauce in my pantry in a couple years. I’ve found that I can achieve similar flavors with plant-based umami sources – mushrooms, soy sauce, mushroom seasoning, vegan chicken boullion cubes,… Read more »

I used to live in Hawaii. My husband was stationed there in the military, and that’s where I moved to after we got married. Yeah, I wasn’t complaining about that! It was a wonderful two years. I learned how to surf and got a pink surfboard (let’s not get ahead of ourselves – I wasn’t that good and just liked the rolling baby waves), went foraging for banana lilikoi and strawberry guava fruits on our hikes, and hubby and I… Read more »

This dish just screams “fall food!” It’s vibrant in fall colors, earthy, rustic, and packed with nutritious whole grains and plant love. I thought of this dish when I was prepping my menu for a cooking class, with the theme “Falling for the plant-based meal.” The same night I was making this dish, we were supposed to go out for dinner with some friends. But the day turned into a wet and rainy one, and we decided to forego walking… Read more »

The first time I taught a cooking class, I struggled with timing. How long it would take to prep for the class (all that chopping, cleaning, organizing), how long it would actually take to prep the meal, and all that stuff. The guy I worked with during my first few classes said that he’s seen some people take a lot of time measuring ingredients out, following recipes exactly to a “T.” Oh gosh, I’m SO NOT LIKE THAT. I was… Read more »

I’ve been wanting to make this for awhile – now that spring is here, it finally feels appropriate to make fresh tomato and basil salads! We spent a month in Florence, Italy, a couple of years ago, and had a mini kitchen in the place where we stayed. I would go to the Mercato Centrale every week (eh, sometimes three times a week, but who’s counting?) to stock up on fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs. I bought a tiny bottle… Read more »

You know, I really love Thai green papaya salad, but every time we order it at a restaurant, my hubs chooses to make it off-the-charts, Thai-spicy hot. I like to think of myself as a person that can handle the heat, but the guy bites off Thai bird chilis like they’re apples. Come on!! Every few months, we take a trip out to an Asian market (they’re at least 45 minutes away from us in Maryland) to stock up on… Read more »