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Oven-Baked Turkey Meatballs

These turkey meatballs are one of those simple recipes I get asked to make again and again for the families I cook for. They are certainly kid-friendly. These meatballs are tender (not always easy to do with turkey) and easy to cook because they bake in the oven rather than fried in oil in a pan. I’ve included my favorite, go-to tomato sauce as well.

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Ruby Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Fig Dressing

Earthy and sweet flavors mingle in this versatile and tasty salad. The color comes from raw beets grated and added to the quinoa.  A dressing of orange, lemon and lime citrus with a dollop of fig spread or honey adds a fresh, sweet note.  I’ve had several beet skeptics try the salad and pronounce it delicious.

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Roxanne’s Mediterranean Feta Spread

This feta spread can be made in minutes before company arrives. It’s great served with crostini, pita or crackers. You can try it with lavendar, if available, or fresh parsley, which is equally delicious.

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Fall Wild Rice Veggie Bowl

I love the colors, crunch, and sweet savory combo flavors of the veggies and pomegranate over the wild rice. A cilantro-lime dressing is the delicious “cherry” on this bowl. The grain can be cooked in advance. There may be some dressing left over – for your next bowl.

 

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Roasted Honeynut Mini Butternut

The size of the “adorable” mini butternuts — four to five inches in length –  compared with regular-sized butternuts of 10 or 11 inches — is actually perfect, making it an easy side for home cooks. Split down the middle and roasted, the mini halves fit neatly and easily on the plate with fall dishes like meatloaf, coq au vin, or Vineyard scallops, and add that beautiful rich burnt orange color as well. Their flavor is sweet and nutty.

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Summer Grain Salad with Tomato and Corn

In summer, perfectly ripe tomatoes, fresh corn kernels, fragrant torn basil and fresh mozzarella mingled with small kernels of grain is a winning combination that goes with nearly everything on a summer table. The combination is good with penne pasta, but healthier and more flavorful with a whole grain, such as farro, spelt, wheat berries etc. If you have herbs from the garden – anything from mint, oregano, chives, dill – add a few tablespoons.

 

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Strawberry Mint Mojito

The key to this delicious mojito is sweet-tart taste of juicy strawberries and fresh squeezed lime juice rather than bottled. All you need is a muddler to make this refreshing, Vitamin C-packed cocktail. Between the strawberries and limes, you can load up not only on Vitamin A and C, but also Vitamins E and K (good for ), calcium, folate, potassium and B-vitamins. As an added bonus, the vitamin C in strawberries is needed to produce that happiness neurotransmitter seratonin.

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Spring Asparagus + Mushroom Pasta

This is an easy, fast recipe for spring asparagus – which soon will be available from Morning Glory Farm on the island, as well as from a few growers selling at the West Tisbury Farmers Market when it opens later this spring. The eggs, imported Parmesan reggiano, and a bit of pasta water create a luscious, creamy sauce that coats the pasta and vegetables. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal to make the dish look prettier. Prep the asparagus and mushrooms in advance of cooking the pasta, so the timing of the dish works. For other recipes with asparagus, check out the asparagus article I wrote for Martha’s Vineyard Magazine which features Morning Glory Farm and tips for using asparagus.

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Grilled Steak with Mushrooms and Scallions

The fresh ginger, honey, black pepper and soy in this simple marinade results in a juicy, grilled steak with lots of complementary flavors. To serve, thinly slice the steak, sprinkle with sesame seeds, top with the optional scallion and mushroom sauce.

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Fish Tacos

This is a good recipe for a casual dinner party with friends. Toppings including fresh tomato salsa, crispy fish, warm tortillas are placed on the table for everyone to serve themselves. A pitcher of margaritas wouldn’t hurt.

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Maple Sesame Kale Chips

The news reported that the second most googled subject of this New Year 2016, after the holidays were over, was how to make kale chips. As a kale cookbook author, I cheered hearing this news, ever hopeful for that elusive “bump” in sales. I’d like to pass along one of my favorite kale chip preparations, that adds just a tad of sweetness from maple syrup and crunch from sesame seeds to make this an addictive healthy snack. It might make the transition from the season of excess to the season of health just a bit easier…..

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Italian Wedding Soup with Kale and Mini Meatballs

Mini meatballs are simmered in a chicken broth with mellow greens then topped off with Parmesan cheese. There’s nothing better for a winter dinner. It’s a great soup to serve guests as well. The meatballs, about an inch in diameter, are cooked in the oven for about 12 minutes – how easy!

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Rachel’s Apple Crostata

This is probably, hands-down, my favorite dessert recipe. Thank you Rachel Vaughn for teaching me to make the best rustic pies ever. It’s called a crostata, a single crust pie, topped with a simple crumble that keeps the apples from browning or burning. Everyone loves this recipe. It’s helpful if you make the topping ahead of time; the topping makes enough for 2 pies.

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Avocado Yogurt Spread

Health-promoting yogurt is in, and offers to turn avocado into a creamy, delicious spread with multiple uses. Use this as a dip, spread on toast, or filling inside a sandwich (BLT!) or veggie wrap.

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Fresh Raspberry Cake

This is an easy, light, delicious cake to make when you pick or buy fresh raspberries. The light lemon flavor highlights the berries. I found it on the internet and would love to credit its maker.

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Milk Chocolate Yogurt Pots from new cookbook Yogurt Culture

Author Cheryl Sternman Rule’s recipe note:  On a visit to 31st Union, a bustling restaurant in San Mateo, California, my family and I ended our meal in the best way possible: with a rich chocolate panna cotta dusted with salty, spicy peanuts. In my version, I’ve omitted the spice and turned to yogurt instead of gelatin for body to create a lighter, more mousse-like dessert.

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Fresh Spring Rolls with Mermaid Farm Pea Shoots

At this time of year, there are some superb spring greens to substitute for lettuce to make delicious, healthy fresh spring rolls. Last week, I used Caitlin’s pea shoots from Mermaid Farm – so good! In the next few weeks, I’ll be picking watercress – and that make another great addition, as many locals here can attest to. Give it a try. Kids love them too.

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Roasted Salmon and Asparagus with Honey Mustard Sauce

The salmon and asparagus are roasted on the same sheet pan to make an easy weeknight meal or casual dinner with friends during asparagus season. Serve this with orzo dressed in a little butter and some of the leftover herbs, or boiled new potatoes.

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Spring Asparagus + Mushroom Pasta

This is an easy, fast recipe for spring asparagus – which soon will be available from Morning Glory Farm on the island, as well as from a few growers selling at the West Tisbury Farmers Market when it opens later this spring. The eggs, imported Parmesan reggiano, and a bit of pasta water create a luscious, creamy sauce that coats the pasta and vegetables. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal to make the dish look prettier. Prep the asparagus and mushrooms in advance of cooking the pasta, so the timing of the dish works. For other recipes with asparagus, check out the asparagus article I wrote for Martha’s Vineyard Magazine which features Morning Glory Farm and tips for using asparagus.

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Chopped: A Very Veggie Spring Dinner Salad with Roasted Smoked Salmon

Green and fresh, the crisp romaine, salmon, snap peas, radish, avocado and red onion make this more than a simple salad. Yet with using packaged or store-prepared smoked salmon (not the sliced salmon, but a chunkier, meatier version – see cook’s note), the only cooking is the 10-minute hard-boiled egg and a quick blanch of snap peas. Serve as a spring or summer dinner salad for 4, or stow away a portion in the fridge, undressed, for the next day’s lunch. Do not be tempted to use bottled dressing here and miss the brightness of this mustard-lemon-honey dressing – so easy to make.

 

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Protein Plus Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

When I was growing up, my mom and I loved to make a dish from the original Moosewood cookbook that was called the Perfect Protein Salad – it had cottage cheese and cooked dry soybeans (and mayonnaise, if I can remember correctly). Here is a perfect protein salad for today – featuring a triple dose of protein from quinoa, tempeh and edamame beans – along with broccoli and other veggies. If you think you don’t like tempeh, try it as a crouton as it’s featured here, and topped with this tasty tahini and lemon sauce. This bowl is “perfect” for breakfast, lunch or dinner. How’s that for versatility?

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The Best Beef Stew

I have to say, I love my beef stew that’s printed in Soups + Sides. One of the keys here, which I learned way back from Cook’s Illustrated, is to use the flavorful chuck roast. That’s the kind of beef that becomes fork tender; its marbling melting away during the braise. Don’t be tempted to buy stew meat already cut up because that is often a combination of beef cuts, including some pieces without that similar marbling that toughen and get chewy as they cook, the opposite of what you ideally want. The other key, which does take an additional step, is roasting the potatoes to perfection, and steaming the carrots and green beans – letting you control the end textures. Enjoy!

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The Paloma

It was difficult to choose a favorite cocktail from Booze Epoque’s tequila tasting class this past summer here at the West Tisbury Kitchen Lab. For fans of grapefruit, like myself, this one is bracing and delicious. The cocktail duo behind Booze Époque (link) offers tasting classes and cocktail specialty classes here and in the Boston area such as Creating A Signature Cocktail; Cocktails and Literature; and Basic Bartending Skills.

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Pollo alla Cacciatora

I have been cooking and finding delicious recipes from The New American Cookbook by Joan Nathan since it came out in 2005. It’s one of my favorites. Nathan traveled the U.S. collecting regional and ethnic recipes to give an idea of the best of today’s American cooking and choosing her favorites to publish. “This recipe from Roberto Donna of Restaurant Calileo in Washington, D.C., is better than any other cacciatore I have ever tasted,” Nathan writes. I agree.

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Honey Dijon Salmon Bites

Cutting the salmon into bite-size squares and baking them in their own soy, honey and lemon sauce cuts the cooking time to just 12 minutes and creates a fun presentation. To make the pieces look as uniform as possible, get a piece of salmon that’s not too thick or thin – aiming for about 1 inch thick. Ask fishmonger to skin the salmon for you.

 

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