Lentil Tacos

This is one of our favorite 'go-to' meals. It's simple, doesn't take much time to prepare, and is super inexpensive.

Homemade Coleslaw + Dressing

Coleslaw is one of those summertime comfort foods for me. It's a simple 2-ingredient shredded salad with a dressing. (And, usually, the dressing is what makes or breaks it.) I've had the Carolina vinegar based coleslaw (which will do in a pinch, but it's not the coleslaw I grew up with). There's the vinegar+creamy mix (which isn't bad), but my preference is for that good old, mayonnaise-based, creamy slaw.

You can make it with a few basic ingredients, but if you don't have dried mustard or celery seed in your pantry, you'll wish that you did—just to make this dressing.

Simple Dessert: Granita

Granita is a flavored ice dessert that is super simple to make. It was (and still is) my go-to recipe in the summer months when you want a sweet treat, but are out of ice cream.

The ingredients can vary slightly, but the base ingredients include water and sugar. (simple enough.) To that you can add whatever flavor you like. I like to make it with whatever fresh produce is in season (and on sale) — or whatever I can harvest from my garden.

Flavor Boosting Tips

When you don't have a lot of ingredients to begin with, it's important that you make the ingredients you do have work for you. The following are a few tips to help you boost the flavor of any dish you're making.

Homemade Veggie Stock

Soup stocks are fairly simple creatures that can be made with any number of ingredients on hand. While beef and chicken stocks use bones, vegetable stock can be made with just about any vegetable scraps you have.

Save those onion skins and end pieces, the peeled skins of carrots and cucumbers, the tips of asparagus, celery, zucchini, radishes; the pieces of smashed garlic left in the garlic press, the mushroom stems, etc. All of these, instead of making their way to your trash or compost bin, can first be used to make a wonderful vegetable stock.

How to Make the Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

Soft boiled eggs are the simplest thing in the world to cook—unless you get easily distracted (like me), then they may prove to be rather illusive.

There are four simple rules:

One Ingredient Ice Cream

This recipe was popular a few months back, making the social network circuit. It's simple, easy to make, and good (if you like bananas). And, of course, the only ingredient is bananas.

Peel and slice however many bananas you like.  Place the slices on a tray and put into the freezer for 1-2 hours.

Remove from the freezer and place banana slices in a blender or food processor.  Blend until ice cream begins to form, scraping down the sides as you go.  There's just enough fat in bananas to give them the creamy smooth texture of ice cream.

Serve cold or freeze.

You can experiment with this recipe by adding in different ingredients (Honey, Peanut butter, cocoa, etc).

Banana Fritters

As I have a bunch of overripe bananas, I thought I'd stir up some banana recipes. Of course, the obvious is Banana Bread, but I thought I'd go for the more exotic or fun recipes.  This one, called Kuih kodok or godok pisang, is basically a banana fritter, and is easy to make with few ingredients.


8-9 ripe bananas
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
oil for frying


  1. In a medium bowl, mash bananas (you can use a fork, or a bean or potato masher).
  2. Add Flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well to form a thick batter.
  3. In a large skillet or wok, heat about 2 inches of oil over medium heat.
  4. When oil is hot, lay a spoonful of batter in skillet.  Fry a few at a time, so the oil temperature doesn't drop. When golden brown, remove fritters (a slotted spoon works nicely for this), and set aside on a wire wrack to cool (and drain). You may want to put paper towels below the wire wrack to catch any dripping oil.
  5. Serve warm.

Papaya Smoothie

Papayas aren't the normal pantry fare, but in the summer months you'll often find them on sale at the grocery store. Other than slicing them up and eating them, what else can you do with Papayas? Well, you can make smoothies, of course.


(Recipe from Martha Stewart)

2 1/2 cups papaya
1 cup ice cubes
2/3 cup yogurt
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh ginger (optional)
1 Tbs honey
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)


Peel papaya, cut, and remove seeds. Save seeds and set aside.

Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Either serve cold, or store in the freezer for later.

Papaya seeds are edible and taste like something between a caper berry and a peppercorn. You can dry them and use them in place of either ingredient. (or, if you live in a tropical area, you can plant the seeds and grow your own papaya plants).

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