I check out tons of blogs on a daily basis, both for enjoyment, and to get recipe inspiration. You can see the blogs I follow regularly under my Blogs I Follow Tab at the top of the page.

In my blog surfing, I often come across blogs I’ve never seen before that I absolutely love. Anyway, the other day I was doing my reading and stumbled upon a blog called Pass the Sushi and was immediately drawn to the Creamy Chicken and Pasta Salad recipe she had posted that she got from Food Network Magazine.

For some reason when I looked at it, I immediately got a craving for a tuna noodle pasta salad. I guess that’s the last time I’ve had small noodles like she used in a pasta salad. Also, I’m not a huge fan of chicken, or cooking it, so I thought canned tuna was the perfect alternative. 

I slightly altered the recipe to make it a little more tangy, and it totally hit the spot! It’s perfect for these hot summer nights when you just want something cold to eat.

Tuna Pasta Salad
Adapted Food Network magazine

Print this recipe!

Serves 5-7


10 ounces tubetti or other small tube-shaped pasta1 1/4 cups 2% Greek yogurt (or mix of 2% and 0%)
1/2 cup light mayo
1/4 cup water
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1 Tbs chopped fresh chives or scallions
2 tsp salt
2 5-oz cans chunk light tuna in water, drained
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then each piece halved lengthwise again (i.e. cut into 1/8ths), then seeded and diced
Freshly ground black pepper
8 cups mesclun greens
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.

Meanwhile, whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, 1/4 cup water, the vinegar, mustard, dill, chives, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the celery and cucumber to the dressing and gently stir to combine. Dump in the drained tuna, breaking up if there are big chunks, and stir to combine

Shake the excess water from the pasta and add it to the tuna salad. Season with pepper and toss. Serve over greens with cranberries sprinkled on top.

You know, it is generally recommended to eat 2-3 servings of fish per week. Do you eat that much? I certainly don’t.

It’s not that I don’t like fish…I like most of it, but I just never think to get it when I’m at the grocery store. It’s stupid, really, considering fish meals are the quickest ones of all, since it takes so little time to cook it.

So when I was looking through my recipes the other day, I went straight for the fish section.

I should tell you that I have inherited my mom’s recipe boxes with all of the recipes she has compiled over the years. It contains both the ones we all know and love from growing up, as well as others that haven’t even been tested yet. I gained this vast collection of recipes when my mom decided to neaten things up by photocopying all of the recipes and putting them in a binder instead. I’m not sure why she did that, but I’m thankful because I got the hand-me-downs :)

When I told my mom that I made this recipe and how good it was, she said that the last time she cooked it was during one of our summers in Martha’s Vineyard. While I don’t remember her making that particular meal, I can just feel us all sitting out on the deck in the cool,  summer evening air, enjoying another of my mom’s delicious home-cooked meals.

Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish on Mixed Greens
Taken from Mom’s recipe box :)

Print this recipe!

Serves 2

1/4 cup cornmeal
10-12 oz. Catfish, in 1″ hunks
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon peel
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

3 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup thin sliced sweet onion

1. Put cornmeal in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Rinse catfish and shake off extra water- do not pat dry. Toss fish in cornmeal until well-coated.

2. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in large non-stick skillet over med-hi heat. Add fish and cook till golden, turning, about 6 min. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

3. Add 1/2 Tbsp oil, lemon juince and peel, honey an dmustard to skillet. Whisk 30 sec till combined.

4. Combine lettuce and onions in bowl. Add dressing and toss. Divide between 2 plates. Top with fish.

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For those who don’t know me, my background is as a civil engineer. While this gives me some very useful real world skills, the ability to stray from black-and-white thinking isn’t one of them. As all who know me will attest, I like to be given explicit directions and I follow them to a T. There’s no gray area for this girl.

As you might imagine, this means that I prefer to have a recipe to follow rather than making things up, and I tend to favor baking over cooking because there isn’t much room for ad-libbing.

However, I’m happy to report that since beginning this blog and reading about recipe contests that require creativity, I’ve been much more open to switching things up. I’m starting to create my own flavor combos and recipes!

I’ve found that the easiest way to begin the process of creating a “new” recipe is to rework an existing one by swapping one or more ingredients for other similar ones, or others that go equally well with the rest of the ingredients called for.

Last week my coworker sent me a recipe for a potato-wrapped fish. It involved slicing super thin slices of potato and actually wrapping the fish with it, then frying it, creating a beautiful little package.

I’m really not too fond of changes in general. I mean, I know my mom always told me that changes are usually for the best, but let me just tell you that in this particular cooking experiment, this was not the case.

My first change was to use sweet potato instead of potato…just make it a little more gourmet and colorful. These thin slices of potato were meant to be sliced with a mandoline because a knife wouldn’t get thin enough slices to have them flexible enough to wrap around the fish fillet.

I don’t own a mandoline so I attempted to do it with a cheese slicer. FAIL. Not only did it take me forever, but as careful as I was, I still managed to slice open my finger. I bandaged myself up and managed to salvage enough slices to cover four fillets. Lesson learned: DO NOT MAKE THIS WITHOUT A MANDOLINE!

I had some leftover rosemary from my tart the other day, so I made a sort of rosemary, parsley, olive pesto/tapenade to spread between the potato and the fish. It was a yummy choice. My mom warned me that sweet potato might not crisp up as well as a regular potato. In this instance, Mom, I know you may not believe your eyes as you read this but you were right. It got kind of brown but when I went to flip it, it just stuck to the pan and shredded. I could have left it to brown more, but it was already sticking a lot so I was afraid to. I mean it wasn’t horrible but certainly wasn’t as presentable as I would have liked. I served it along with a simple beet salad.

Nate enjoyed the fish, but he pretty much likes anything I make.  I, however, think I would benefited from some sort of balsamic reduction to serve over it because the pesto/sweet potato/fish combo was slightly rich and I would have liked something acidic to cut it (or maybe add more olives to to pesto?). I squeezed lemon on top but it wasn’t enough.

When I had it for leftovers the next day, I decided it was better than I had thought. That being said, by all means give it a try and make your own changes to my recipe…they might just be for the best :)


Sweet Potato-Wrapped Cod with Rosemary Tapenade
Recipe by Me
Serves 4

1 Tbsp rosemary
1/4 cup parsley
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
1-2 cloves garlic

4- 5 oz. cod fillets
1 large sweet potato, the longer the better

Put rosemary, parsley and lemon juice in food processor and blend til finely chopped. Add rest of tapenade ingredients and blend til it becomes a paste.

Peel the sweet potato. Using a mandoline, cut sweet potato into thin slices lengthwise. You will need at least 8 slices per fish fillet.

Pat fish dry; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a large piece of saran wrap on work surface. Set 4 to 5 slices of sweet potato on saran in row, overlapping long sides. Make another row that overlaps short ends of first row, forming 6×5-inch rectangle (see photos above). Sprinkle rectangle with salt and pepper. Set 1 fillet across overlapped short ends of slices. Spread 1-2 Tbsp of the tapenade evenly over the top of the fillet.

Fold short end of rectangle over fish one side of fish. While holding potatoes to fish with one hand, use saran to help to pull other side of potatoes up and over the fillet and wrap the fish fairly tightly in saran (see photos above). Repeat with other 3 fillets. Put fish “packets” in fridge and chill 1 hr.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in each of 2 large skillets over medium-high heat. Remove saran and set the wrapped fish fillets, seam side down, in each skillet. Cook until golden on bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn; cook until fish is opaque in center, 2 to 3 minutes longer.



Simple Beet Salad
Adapted from Martha Stewart
makes 3-4 side dish portions

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
3 medium beets, roasted and peeled
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces

Combine oil thru pepper and whisk to blend.
Toss beets with dressing and parsley.
Before serving, sprinkle beets with blue cheese and pecans.


Sunrise Mart at sunset, that is! Sunrise Mart is a japanese supermarket near Union Square that I discovered last year in my quest to find asian grocers in nyc.

I love asian supermarkets. I believe this penchant for exotic/unusual and, more specifically, asian groceries developed back when I was in my asian dating phase. Yep, you heard right…I exclusively dated asian men, better known as yellow fever (now, luckily for Nate, I have beardo fever!). Now don’t go asking me why I had this particular condition, because even I’m not sure of the exact catalyst for this phenomenon encompassing the majority of my adult life, but what I derived from these experiences was a love for asian food…both eating it and making it.

With each relationship, I taught myself to cook the food from the country of origin of the guy I was dating. It was mainly Vietnamese and Korean, but I consider Korean my specialty. In addition, I even learned to speak, read, and write Korean. I wish I had practiced enough to be really fluent, but as with most hobbies that came with guys I dated (paintball and motorcycles to name a couple), the korean classes, along with my desire to study, ceased when the relationship ended. But at least I can read the signs and menus in New York’s K-town 😉

I’m not sure if you’re at all familiar with Korean food, but they have these little side dishes that come to your table when you sit down, called panchan. They are DELCIOUS. They usually involve pickled veggies, or sauteed ones, or a korean version of potato salad, or these yummy black beans, and lots of other things. All korean grocery stores sell them, and this Sunrise Mart happens to sell them too, along with some other Korean items.

Prepared food case at Sunrise Mart

The point of all of this background information (yes, I realize I’m very wordy!) is that i was seriously craving some panchan yesterday. So I decided that I would go to the store and buy some, and then make some asian-inspired dinner to go along with it. I wasn’t sure what I would make but knew it would involve broiling fish and roasting veggies with some sort of asian glaze.

When I got to Sunrise Mart, I went over to the veggie area and selected some Japanese eggplant, along with what I thought was a very large sweet potato, although the label said Satsumaimo. This didn’t deter me because I knew that if it wasn’t a sweet potato, it was some other root veggie that could most likely be cooked similarly. I also picked up some white fish fillets also with a name I didn’t recognize, but it looked vaguely like Tilapia. (I looked up Satsumaimo when I got home and found out that it’s a japanese sweet potato with a milder flavor, softer flesh, and a lighter yellow coloring than an American sweet potato).

Satsumaimo, or japanese sweet potato


I wandered around the store further ( I could literally spend hours in an asian grocery store picking up and investigating every item) and came across a case of Miso paste. I’ve been wanting to buy miso for the longest time, so I took some of that and figured I could incorporate it into my glaze.

Tasty taters!

I walked home excitedly, with my purchases in hand and immediately scoured the internet for recipes for Miso glazes. After getting the feel for what went into a basic miso glaze, I created my own and discovered one of the easiest, most delicious dinners I’ve ever made! I’ll definitely be looking for that Satsumaimo again…both Nate and I agreed that it tasted like candy. While this dinner had more obscure ingredients,  you can substitute most everything for the American versions, but you will definitely need Miso paste.

Mah-is-geh deuseyo! (Bon appetit in Korean 😉 )


Miso Glazed Fish and veggies

Recipe by Me

2 Tbsp Miso paste (i used yellow but i don’t think it matters)
2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (you can find in any grocery store)
1 Tbsp sake, vermouth, or dry white wine
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 lb white fish fillets (Tilapia works well)
Assorted roasting veggies (i used 2 japanese eggplant and about 3/4 lb sweet potato), chopped into large cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil

Toss vegetables with olive oil. Spread on baking sheet and roast in oven at 450 for 30-40 minutes or until tender, but not too brown.

When veggies are cooked, remove from oven and brush glaze on top.

Broil veggies until glaze is caramelized and browning. Remove from oven.

Spread enough glaze on fish fillets to cover. Broil until fish flakes easily and top is golden. Brush additional glaze on fish and veggies if desired.


11. February 2011 · Write a comment · Categories: Dinner · Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been looking for a good easy recipe composed of ingredients usually found in a pantry. This prevents me from stopping at the market on the way home from work. And when you live in Manhattan, you have to shop at the market daily rather than making one big trip because A) you have to carry everything home, and B) your apartment is too small to hold more than a meals’ worth of items.  Plus, being that nyc is a city for walking, I pass the grocery store on my way home from the subway anyway. Also, sometimes you just don’t wanna go out in this to get groceries:

snowy nyc night

Anyway, I happened to stumble upon this recipe from Sunset magazine for Curried Salmon Cakes. However, I made some subs: I used tuna instead of salmon since I’ve had a few cans of tuna laying around for over a year (ok, maybe 3 years)…um, is that bad that I used them??. So far I’m not sick, and aren’t canned goods those foods that CAN sit around for years?

Eat Me!

Source: bumblebee.com

You know who loves tuna?


Yeah, that cat. LC was abeggin! So I gave in and gave her a taste. Don’t let that innocent face fool you…she’s a meowing menace. But I mean, seriously, who can resist that face??

Fresh and Crispy! (ignore those brown spots)

Ok anyway. These also had some apples, curry, paprika…you know, all the stuff you have in your kitchen. Easy! I also subbed quick oats for breadcrumbs to make it a lil healthier. And a shallot for green onions since I forgot them at the market even though they were on my list (am I the only one who forgets things even when she has a list??)

They were a little wet before frying, I’m not sure if that’s how they were supposed to be. I think maybe add some more oats next time. Then fry those babies up…Tassssty!

I made one of my favorite slaws on the side, but this was also edited by throwing in some Jicama, and ended up being a tasty combo.

Jicama, Apple, Cabbage and Cranberry Slaw

It’s not much to look at since the color combo without red cabbage was a little bland, but I assure you it tasted colorful!

Curried Tuna Cakes with Curry Lemon Aioli

adapted from Sunset

makes 4 servings


2 large eggs

15 oz. tuna (about 2 cans), drained well

1/2 cup finely chopped apple

1/3 cup quick cooking oats

1/4 cup minced shallot

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Oil spray



1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon paprika


For cakes:

1. Beat eggs with a fork. Add salmon and break up. Stir in apple, bread crumbs, onions, mayonnaise, curry powder, paprika, and pepper. Shape into four cakes (3/4 in. thick); place on a piece of plastic wrap.

2. Set a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add oil, then salmon cakes. Cook until well browned on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn cakes over and cook until browned on the other side, 3 to 5 minutes longer.

3. Serve cakes with aioli.

For aioli:

In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, curry powder, grated lemon peel, lemon juice, paprika, and salt to taste.


Red Cabbage, Cranberry, and Apple Slaw

adapted from Cooking Light

makes 8- one cup servings

5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup splenda (or sweetener of choice)
1 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 cups thinly sliced Granny Smith apple
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

Combine cabbage, apple and cranberries in a large bowl. Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients (vinegar through pepper), stirring with a whisk; drizzle over cabbage mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill 2 hours (*best chilled overnight). Sprinkle with pecans.