This is a quick pantry dish with intense flavors.

serves 2
You might need to buy:
  • prepared pesto

Perserving: Cal 278; fat 2 g; carb 54 g

You might need to buy:
  • olive oil
  • curry powder
  • chopped carrots

Parsley and walnuts add extra health benefits to this version of aglio e olio, the Italian classic of spaghetti with garlic and oil. I like using whole-grain pasta made from farro, an ancient form of Italian wheat that tastes mild and nutty. Specialty stores and natural foods markets have this pasta di farro, made by Manicaretti or Latini, while supermarkets, usually sell whole-wheat spaghetti. (Those from DeCecco and Delverde are especially good.)
Fast Fact: Walnuts are the only nut containing ellagic acid, an important antioxidant.
Quick Tip: Roasting the nuts at 350º F. for 5 minutes improves their flavor.

serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • farro or whole-wheat spaghetti
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • chopped walnuts
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • chopped green onions
  • dried cranberries
  • Italian Dressing

You can make the peanut sauce anytime and reheat just before serving. It may thicken up a little so you might have to add additional water to it.
The soba noodles should be made just before eating. Or you can make them in advance and add a little oil to them to prevent them from sticking together.

serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • rice vinegar
  • tamari
  • water
  • peanut butter
  • Peanut sauce:
  • soba noodles

This is a beautiful, colorful salad. Rinse the quinoa carefully before you cook it to get rid of the saponin.

serves 6
You might need to buy:
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt
  • cucumber chopped
  • quinoa
  • Crumbled feta cheese

There are lots of variations for this recipe. The first time I made it, I took a fresh carrot and just cut it up into small dice.
The last time I made it, I cooked the couscous in vegetable broth to add a little flavor, then I nestled the grain salad onto a bed of baby spinach leaves, added a few coins of cucumber, extra peas (because I love peas) and microwaved wax beans and then added them, as well as some orange pepper dice.
It’s just a lovely canvas to add veggies to.

You might need to buy:
  • raisins
  • frozen or dried small peas
  • frozen or dried finely diced carrots
  • pine nuts
  • Spices:
  • salt
  • dried garlic
  • mild Indian curry
  • turmeric
  • olive oil or butter
  • water
  • coucous
  • parsley

Lentils are a wonderful source of protein, calcium, and iron. They are a staple ingredient in Indian cooking, and combine well with many different seasonings. You may be most familiar with brown or green lentils, but there are lentils out there in black, yellow, red and pink. Look for these more exotic varieties in Indian and specialty food stores. Similarly, not all curry powders are the same, ranging from quite mild to very hot. In making this side dish, start with a small amount and taste it to be sure your dish meets the comfort and taste level of your guests!

serves 6
You might need to buy:
  • pink lentils
  • canola oil
  • Curry powder to taste
  • chopped gingerroot
  • Salt or soy sauce to taste
  • Hot cooked rice

Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford have trekked through most of Asia, photographing and cooking with tribesmen, local women, and street vendors, then sharing recipes from their adventures in award-winning cookbooks like Flatbreads and Flavors (William Morrow, 1995) and Mangoes and Curry Leaves (Artisan, 2005). I think they will forgive me for adding green beans and straw mushrooms to their recipe for the nourishing but minimal vegetable soup they ate at a truck-stop on the Plain of Jars in Laos.
Adapted from Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Tour Through Southeast Asia, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid (Artisan, 2000).

Fast Fact: In Asia, fish sauce is considered so indispensable in dishes that many vegetarian cooks use it
Quick Tip: For variety, make this soup using prepared mushroom broth or instant miso.

serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • coarsely chopped Savoy cabbage
  • cauliflower florets
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • fresh ginger
  • chicken or vegetable broth

This creamy purée shows how using fruit in savory soups adds a nice, mellow flavor. Pears, because they are high in fiber, add body, too. If you buy the squash pre-cut, this soup is a good choice when you are entertaining because it is rich enough to be special while it lets you devote more time to other preparations. Chefs use leeks frizzled in a little oil to garnish dishes and add pungent flavor.
Fast Fact: While higher in fat than milk, cream is far lower in sugar and carbs.
Quick Tip: Large leeks tend to be woody, so buy them an inch or less in diameter.

serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • chopped peeled butternut squash
  • dried thyme
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground cloves
  • vegetable broth
  • heavy cream or milk
  • canola oil
  • unsalted butter or canola oil