Chef Yolanda Banks

Epicurean, Culinary Instructor & Cookbook Author

Acquire a taste for Fresh Fabulous

Bringing seasonal, healthy, global cuisine to your kitchen.

Fresh is Fabulous

I make delicious food that happens to be healthy... moderation over deprivation!

Soups, Salads & Stews

Soups:

Asian Clam Chowder
Kaffir lime leaves are leaves that grow on the Kaffir lime tree.  They are extremely fragrant, lemony, and flavorful!  They are a staple in Southeast Asian cuisine.  Kaffir lime leaves can be found at Asian food stores or gourmet markets.  If you can’t find them, use the zest of a lime.Ingredients1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 large carrots, diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1/2 bulb fennel, diced
1 large sweet potato, diced, I used Okinawa for testing
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 2-inch knob ginger, minced
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 32-ounce container low sodium chicken broth
1 whole serrano chile, pierced with a fork
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 pound littleneck clams, shucked
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to tasteMethod

1.  Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  When hot, add oil, and vegetables.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook vegetables for 8-10 minutes or until they begin to soften.  Add garlic, ginger, and lime leaves; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2.  De-glaze with rice wine vinegar and fish sauce; cook 2 minutes.  Add broth, chile and tomatoes; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
3.  Add clams and cook 5 minutes or until clams are just cooked through.  Add cilantro just before serving.

Notes

I like to serve this light, flavorful chowder with a simple mixed green salad and warm crusty bread for sopping up all the delectable broth.

Servings 4Source
Yolanda Banks

Avgolemono Soup
Avgolemono or egg-lemon, is a classic Greek soup made with egg and lemon juice mixed with broth. It’s usually made with rice, but orzo is a great substitute. To make it heartier, feel free to add shredded chicken.Ingredients1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup long grain rice
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to tasteMethod

1.  Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add oil and garlic; saute for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Add stock and rice; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
2.  While rice is cooking, whisk egg yolks and lemon juice in a small bowl.  Gradually ladle one cup of hot broth into the bowl, while whisking constantly.

3.  Add the yolk mixture to the soup, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes opaque and thickens slightly.  Cook for 5 additional minutes.  Add dill, taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.

Servings 4Source
Yolanda Banks

Black Bean Soup
Serve over riceIngredients1 pound dried black beans, picked clean, soaked overnight, and rinsed
1 pound dried Chorizo, diced
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons Ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 whole bay leaves
8 cups chicken broth
8 basil leaves, chiffonade
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 lime, juicedMethod

1.  Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Once hot, add chorizo and cook until lightly browned and fat has rendered; about 6 minutes.  Add the onions and bell peppers; saute for 3 minutes or until softened.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add cumin, coriander, chile powder, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
2.  Add the beans and chicken broth, stirring to combine.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook beans, covered for 2-3 hours or until beans are creamy.  If broth is too thin, remove the lid and continue to cook until the desired consistency is achieved.
3.  Taste and re-adjust seasoning if necessary.  Add basil, cilantro, and lime juice to finish.

Servings 6Source
Yolanda Banks

Brandied Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups canned pumpkin
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. brandy
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup toasted pistachios, choppedMethod1. Place a large pot over medium heat. Add butter to melt.
2. Add onion and cook until transparent, about 3 minutes.
3. Add spices and toast for 30 seconds.
4. Stir in pumpkin, broth, honey, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let     simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutesto allow the flavors to meld.
5. Finish the soup with brandy and heavy cream. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
6. Top each bowl of soup with a sprinkling of pistachios. Serve hot.
Servings 5Source
Yolanda Banks

Broccoli and Corn Chowder
Ingredients1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup all purpose white flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-size florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
1 package frozen corn
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 cup 2% evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, choppedMethod1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add olive oil.
2. Add onion, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
4. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low.
5. Add potato; cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Add broccoli, corn, thyme, milk, salt, and pepper. Cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, about     8 minutes.
7. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add parsley.
Servings 4Source
Yolanda Banks

Chicken Piccata
Ingredients4 6-ounce boneless skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 large lemon, juiced
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely choppedMethod1.  Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper; set aside.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot; add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
2.  Place 2 chicken breasts in the skillet; cook about 2 minutes per side; or until lightly golden brown on both sides; transfer to a plate.  Repeat with remaining chicken breasts; transfer those to a plate when done.
3.  Add butter and flour to pan with drippings, whisk for 2 minutes.  Add wine, lemon juice, and broth; bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Sauce will thicken as soon as it comes to a boil.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
4.  Reduce heat to medium-low, add chicken breasts back in along with capers and parsley; cook for 2 minutes to re-heat chicken.  If sauce is too thick thin with more broth.  If it’s too thick, let sauce reduce more.
Servings 4Source
Yolanda Banks

Chilled Honeydew Cucumber Soup
For the crispy prosciutto: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place prosciutto onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Depending on the thickness of the prosciutto, cooking time could be more or less so keep a watchful eye.Ingredients2 cups honeydew melon, cut into chunks
1 small Persian cucumber, or half English cucumber, cut into chunks
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 serrano chile, chopped
1 lime, juiced
kosher salt, to taste
Honeydew Relish
1/4 cup honeydew, diced
1/4 cup cucumber, diced
1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
2 slices prosciutto, optionalMethod

1. In a blender, combine honeydew, cucumber, mint, chile, lime juice, and salt; blend until completely pureed and smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer soup to a plastic container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. Let soup sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine honeydew, cucumber, mint, lime juice, olive oil, and salt; mix well. Relish can be made up to 2 hours in advance. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. To serve: Place soup into a small glass or bowl, top with relish and sprinkle crispy prosciutto on top, if using.
Servings: 4

Source
Yolanda Banks

Chorizo & 3 Bean Chili
Top chili with soycheese, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, and jalapenos.Ingredientscooking spray
12 ounces soyrizo, preferably Melissa’s
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large orange bell pepper, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 dried ancho chilies, reconstituted in hot water, seeds and stems removed; pureed
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely choppedMethod

1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Spray pan with cooking spray just before adding the soyrizo. Remove soyrizo from casing; add to the pan; fry, for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; set aside.
2. Return pan to the stove over medium heat. Add olive oil to hot pan, add onions, and bell peppers; saute for 5 minutes to soften. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, oregano, and salt; cook, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes or until fragrant.
3. Add pureed ancho chilies, beans, tomatoes, stock, and honey. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until chili has thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Stir in cilantro; serve hot.
Servings: 8

Source
Yolanda Banks

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Cilantro Pesto
Soup can be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Re-heat over medium-low heat when you’re ready to serve.Ingredients1 large head of cauliflower, leaves and core discarded, cut into chunks
1 small white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
(null) kosher salt, to taste
(null) freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup heavy cream, optionalMethod1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Place cauliflower, onions, garlic, curry powder, and olive oil onto prepared baking sheet. Season liberally with salt and pepper; mix well.
2. Roast cauliflower for about 20-25 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Transfer half of cauliflower to blender along with half of the stock; puree until smooth and creamy. Transfer soup to a large saucepan; repeat with remaining cauliflower and stock.
3. Heat soup over medium-low heat until hot. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add heavy cream, if using.Notes

Top the soup with your favorite pesto for extra flavor and texture.

Servings 8Source
Yolanda Banks

Curried Ginger Carrot Soup
Ingredients2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup onions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder, preferably Madras
4 cups carrots, thinly sliced
8 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons fresh orange juiceMethod1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add oil and onions; saute for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add ginger, garlic, and curry powder; saute for another 2-3 minutes or until fragrant; stirring constantly to keep from burning.
2. Add carrots and vegetable stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, uncovered, until carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Working in batches, puree soup in blender or food processor. (Cover with a towel and fill only halfway as hot liquid expands.). Return soup to pot; add orange juice, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
4. If soup is too thick, thin with more stock, if too thin, bring to a boil and let reduce until desired consistency is reached. Soup can be made up to 3 days in advance or frozen for up to a month. Bring to a simmer before serving.
Servings: 6
Source
Yolanda Banks

>

Easy Tortilla Soup
Ingredients2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup onions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder, preferably Madras
4 cups carrots, thinly sliced
8 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons fresh orange juiceMethod1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; add oil, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add cilantro, broth, and tortillas, if using; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.
2. Cook for 10 minutes, puree and return to pan. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, lime juice, salt and pepper; cook for another 5-10 minutes or until hot. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
3. Top each bowl with a few crushed tortillas chips.
Servings 6Source
Yolanda Banks

>

Italian Wedding Soup
Ingredients1 1/2 pounds Italian turkey sausage, ground
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot , finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 head escarole, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonadeMethod1. Form sausage into golf-sized balls and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic and refrigerate up to 24 hours in advance. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting.
2. When ready, preheat oven to 450 degrees; roast meatballs for 10 minutes; set aside when done. Meanwhile make soup.
3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add oil, onions, carrots, and celery; saute for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper; saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
4. Add broth, tomatoes, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer for 15 minutes. Add meatballs and escarole; cook for another 5-7 minutes or until meatballs are hot and escarole has wilted.
5. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add basil and serve immediately.
Servings 8Source
Yolanda Banks

Mexican Fudge
Fudge freezes really well so make a double batch and put it in the freezer for a rainy day. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.Ingredients1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup bittersweet chocolate
sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, preferably, Mexican if you can find it
1 cup walnuts, chopped, optional
Method 1.  Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; add spices.  Toast, stirring constantly for 15 seconds or until fragrant; add milk, chocolate and salt.  Reduce heat to low and slowly melt chocolate, stirring frequently.

2.  Cook until melted and glossy; add vanilla and walnuts if using and mix thouroughly.  It will resemble thick hot fudge.  (By the way, at this stage it’s fantastic over ice cream.)
3.  Line the bottom of a 9 inch square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang to remove easily.  Pour the fudge into the pan and spread with a spatula.  Let fudge cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours or until set.
4.  Lift foil from the pan.  Cut into bite-sized pieces.Notes

If you want a classic version, omit the spices. They add a really wonderful subtly heat to the fudge.


Pasta e Fagioli
Ingredients1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, finely diced
1 cup onions, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 sprig rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 14-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup ditalini or tubetti, or other small pasta
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, gratedMethod1.  Heat a large stockpot or saucepan over medium-high heat; once hot, add oil and pancetta.  Cook until pancetta the fat has rendered and is crispy.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
2.  Add onions and carrots to the pan, saute until softened, about 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and red pepper, cook for 30 seconds.  Add broth and beans; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 10 minutes.  Taste and add salt and pepper to if necessary.
3.  Using a potato masher mash up several of the beans to thicken the soup.  Increase heat to medium-high, add pasta, cover soup, and cook until pasta is al dente; about 5 minutes.
4.  If soup is too thick add broth to thin.  Add parsley, stir well.  Garnish each bowl with cheese.NotesIf you’d like to make this soup even heartier you can add some Italian sausage.
Servings 6Source
Yolanda Banks

Potato Leek Soup
You can substitute leftover mashed sweet potatoes for the white potatoes.Ingredients1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium leek, rinsed well and finely chopped
4 cups low sodium vegetables
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to tasteMethod1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat; add oil and leeks. Cook, stirring until softened; about 3 minutes.
2. Add broth, rosemary, and mashed potatoes; whisk to combine. Cook for about 15 minutes or until hot. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Remove rosemary sprig before serving.
Servings 6Source
Yolanda Banks

Quick Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Ingredients1 2-3 pound butternut squash, roasted
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 ounces Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, toasted
1 tablespoon maple syrupMethod1. Place all ingredients into a Dutch oven or medium soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to heat to low; simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Puree until smooth, using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. If soup is to thin, cook at medium-low, uncovered, until it thickens.Cinnamon Maple Yogurt

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients; mix until combined. To serve: Place soup into warm bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt.

Notes

If you’re not using cooked leftover squash, cut a whole butternut squash in half, remove the seeds, drizzle flesh with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place, flesh side down on a sheet pan with the peel on. Roast at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until very soft. Scoop out the flesh and proceed as usual. If you’d like to add some complexity to the dish, you may add sauteed shallots or onions and other spices.

Servings 8Source
Yolanda Banks

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Roasted Vegetables
Ingredients4 large red bell peppers, tops cut off; seeds and membrane removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
1 cup baby carrots, quartered
1 12-ounce package  cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 large lemon, juiced
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbledMethod1.  Prepare the peppers; place into an 8 x 8 baking dish.  Set aside.
2.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Put fennel, carrots and mushrooms onto a large sheet pan.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto vegetables; season liberally with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 10-12 minutes or until carrots are tender and vegetables are golden brown.
3.  Meanwhile, prepare quinoa.  Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat; add 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Add garlic and quinoa, stirring to coat; toast quinoa for about 30 seconds.  Add stock, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.  Add parsley, lemon, feta and remaining tablespoon of olive oil; mix well.
4.  When vegetables are tender, add to quinoa mixture.  (This can be served as a side dish without the peppers.)  Fill peppers with quinoa mixture.
5.  Reduce heat to 425 degrees.  Bake stuffed peppers until heated through, slightly charred and have softened; about 30-40 minutes.
Servings 4Source
Yolanda Banks

Simple Tomato Basil Soup
Ingredients2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely choppedMethod1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; add oil, onion, carrots, celery and season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute for 5 minutes or until translucent.
2. Add thyme, tomatoes, and broth; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes; taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
3. Remove thyme, add basil and puree. If you like it chunky, don’t puree until smooth.
Servings 6Source
Yolanda Banks

Spring Pea Soup
Ingredients3 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 green onions, sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups vegetable stock
6 sprigs fresh mint, leaves only
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons Greek yogurtPISTOU
2 whole anchovies
2 cloves garlic
1 cup fresh basil, packed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juicedMethod1. Place frozen peas in a colander, thaw.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 minutes.
3. Stir in garlic and crushed red pepper, cook 1 minute. Add stock, mint,
thawed peas, salt and pepper to taste; bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Puree using an immersion blender or food processor.
5. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Let the soup simmer until hot.

For the pistou: combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended.
6. The soup may be cooled completely at this point and stored in an airtight container for up to 3  days or frozen for up to one month. Bring soup to a boil before serving.
7. Ladle soup into warm bowls. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of pistou and a sprig of mint.

Notes

Pistou is a condiment from Provence, (derived from the Italian word Pestare, to pound). Pistou is usually made with garlic, basil, and olive oil. Occasionally, tomato is added. Pistou is terrific with fish, chicken, and pork.

Servings 6Source
Yolanda Banks
Summer Veggie Soup
Ingredients2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 ears corn, husks and silks removed, kernels removed from cob
2 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch chunks
8 ounces green beans, stem ends removed, cut in half
1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes, dicedMethod1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat; add oil.
2. Once hot, add onions, cook stirring frequently until translucent, about 4 minutes.
3. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4. Add broth, water, salt and pepper, to taste; bring to a boil.
5. Add vegetables; cook, uncovered, about 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
6. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Servings 6Source
Yolanda Banks

Thai Pesto Black Cod
Substitute halibut, bass or other white fish that is fresh and sustainable.Ingredients4 6-ounce black cod, skin removed, pin bones removed
Thai Pesto
1/2 cup almonds
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and dried
1 bunch basil, preferably Thai, rinsed and dried
2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 Thai bird chilies, finely chopped, subsitute serrano or jalapeno
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
kosher salt, to taste
2 baby bok choy, cut in half
1 small red bell pepper, juliennedMethod

1.  Season fish on both sides lightly with salt; let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, if cooking right away.
2.  Meanwhile, combine all pesto ingredients into a blender or food processor; pulsing to achieve a slightly chunky texture.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
3.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut 4 sheets of parchment into circles.  Fold in half, open and place onto a work surface.
4.  Put 1 tablespoon of pesto along folded edge of parchment.  Top with one half of bok choy, and 1/4 of peppers.  Place fish skin side down on top of vegetables.  Top with another tablespoon of pesto, spreading evenly onto fish.
5.  Fold parchment over so edges meet, then fold over the open edge twice, making a semi-circle.  Make pleats around edge and secure with a paper clip.  Repeat with remaining fish, vegetables, and pesto.  Reserve leftover pesto for another use.
6.  Packages can be made up to 2 hours before serving, let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking.  Place packages onto a baking sheet, bake for 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  To serve:  Place packages onto a plate, allow guests to open their own packages.

Notes

The pesto can be made in advance.  Store up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, 2 months in the freezer.

Servings 4Source
Yolanda Banks

Thai Sweet Potato Soup
Thai food is known to have a combination of salty, tangy, sour, and sweet flavors. It doesn’t mean salty food, it means to have a balance of all those flavors in one bite.Ingredients2 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 lime, juiced
3 small shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
1 pound frozen sweet potatoes, diced
2 cups light coconut milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
kosher salt, to taste
red chiles, finely sliced
fresh cilantro, finely choppedMethod

1. Put grapeseed oil through curry paste in a blender or mini food processor and blend until pureed. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat; once hot, add spice paste. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. (Be careful not to burn.)
2. Add sweet potatoes, coconut milk, broth, and brown sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, uncovered, until sweet potatoes are soft, 15-20 minutes. Taste and season with salt. (You want the soup to be sour, salty, and sweet.) Using an immersion blender or blender, puree until smooth.
3. Transfer soup to demitasse cups or heat-proof shot glasses to serve. Top with cilantro and chile. Feel free to serve this soup in larger glasses, it will serve less people.

Notes

This soup tastes better the next day! Reheat, covered, over low heat. If you can’t find frozen, diced sweet potatoes use fresh. (Frozen saves tons of time.)

Source
Yolanda Banks

Tomatillo Posole
Posole is a soup from the Jalisco region of Mexico that is traditionally made with pork and hominy. Hominy is dried corn kernels from which the hulls and germs have been removed. In its ground form its called grits.Ingredients2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup yellow onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 cup tomatillo salsa, recipe follows
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans white hominy, rinsed and drained
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed, meat shredded
Tomatillo Salsa
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and dried
1 poblano, seeded, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 large lime, juiced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher saltMethod

1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat until hot; add oil. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, cumin and bay leaves; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
2. Add salsa, cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and hominy; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes uncovered. Taste; add salt and pepper. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is heated through.
3. Serve with chopped red onion, cilantro, avocados, and lime wedges.
4. For the Tomatillo Salsa: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Reserve extra salsa for another use.

Notes

You can substitute a high-quality bottled salsa for the homemade salsa. If you don’t like tomatillo salsa, replace with a red one. Tomatillos are a relative of the gooseberry family. They have an outer husk just like gooseberries. They are the main ingredient in salsa verde.
Servings: 6

 

Source
Yolanda Banks

Vegetable Curry
Ingredients1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 tablespoons green curry paste
2 14-ounce cans light coconut milk
4 cups vegetable stock
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 small head cauliflower
2 medium Japenese eggplants, diced
2 large red bell pepper, chopped
kosher salt, to taste
1 10-ounce package frozen edamame
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely choppedMethod1.  Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; once hot add oil.  Add shallots, ginger and garlic; cook, stirring until fragrant.  Add curry paste, and cook for 1 minute to release oils in paste.
2.  Add coconut milk through eggplant; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cook curry for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Add edamame; cook for 2 more minutes or until edamame is heated through.
3.  Add herbs; stir well to combine.
Servings 8Source
Yolanda Banks

White Bean Soup with Gremolata
You can replace canned beans with the dried ones. You will probably need about 4-16 ounce cans, rinsed and drained.Ingredients1 pound dried Cannelini beans, picked clean
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
8 cups vegetable stock
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Walnut Gremolata
1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons orange zest, finely grated
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to tasteMethod

1. Place dried beans in a large pot, cover with cold water. Let beans soak overnight. Or if making that day, cover beans with hot water and soak for 1 hour. Drain beans and rinse well with cold water.
2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onions, celery, and carrots. Saute until soft and translucent; about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; cook for about 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant.
3. Add beans and broth to the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, until beans are soft and creamy, stirring occasionally. Season generously with salt and pepper. Remove thyme sprigs. Working in small batches puree soup in blender. If too thick, add water or broth to thin. Return to pot; taste and re-season. Soup can be made several days in advance. Re-heat before serving.
4. For the Gremolata: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. The gremolata can be made up to 3 hours in advance.
Servings: 8

Source
Yolanda Banks

Salads:
Arugula with Fennel, Grapefruit and Pomegranate
You can replace all or some of the arugula with spinach, bibb, or mesclun.Ingredients1 bulb fennel, shaved thinly
1 large grapefruit, peeled and supremed
1 medium pomegranate, cut in half, seeds removed and reserved
4 cups arugula, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oilMethod

1. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, shave fennel thinly; set aside. Using a paring knife, cut both ends of grapefruit. Stand grapefruit up and cut the peel following the curve of the fruit, making sure to cut only the white pith. (The pith is very bitter.)
2. Hold the fruit over a small bowl, cut the flesh away from the membrane to release a wedge; repeat until all segments have been removed. Transfer fruit to plate, reserving juice in the bowl. Squeeze leftover grapefruit, extracting all of its juice; set aside.
3. Place a small bowl in the sink, cut pomegranate in half. Place one half of pomegranate over the bowl, flesh side down and tap it, using a wooden spoon. (This is the best way to remove the seeds-the only edible part of the fruit.)
4. Put arugula into a large salad bowl or plate; make the vinaigrette. Add mustard, honey, salt, and pepper to grapefruit juice; whisk to combine. Whisk in olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
5. To assemble, toss arugula with vinaigrette. Arrange fennel, grapefruit, and pomegranate seeds over arugula. Serve at once.

Notes

You can subsitute oranges or tangerines for the grapefruit. If you can’t find pomegranate, you can omit it.

Servings 4Source
Yolanda Banks

Arugula, Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad
I like my vinaigrette more on the acidic side. Use less vinegar if you want a milder vinegar taste.IngredientsWhite Balsamic Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
1/2 tablespoon honey
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cups baby arugula
4 firm-ripe peaches, rinsed, patted dry, sliced
2 large Heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup ricotta salata, crumbledMethod

1. For the Vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk vinegar, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the bowl while whisking to emulsify. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary; set aside. Can be made up to 3 days in advance; refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Place arugula, peaches, tomatoes, and ricotta into a large salad bowl; add salt and pepper and gently mix. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the salad; toss gently to coat. DO NOT OVERDRESS! Taste, adjust seasoning or add more vinaigrette if necessary. Serve immediately.

Notes

White balsamic vinegar is made from grape must and white wine vinegar. It is milder and less sweet than regular balsamic. If you can’t find white, substitute with regular balsamic.

Source
Yolanda Banks

Classic Caesar Salad
Croutons can be made up to 3 days in advance. Place in a Ziplock bag and keep at room temperature until ready to serve.Ingredients1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
4 anchovy fillets
2 medium lemons, juiced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated, divided
cooking spray
1 loaf french bread, cut into 1″ cubes
2 heads Romaine lettuce, washed, dried & choppedMethod

1. For the dressing: Place mustard, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, pepper, olive oil and 1/4 cup of Parm into a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cubed bread onto a baking sheet; spray liberally with cooking spray and lightly season with salt. Bake for about 6-8 minutes or until light golden brown. Allow croutons to cool completely before assembling salad.
3. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, remaining Parm, a handful of croutons, and drizzle a little dressing on top. (You will have extra dressing and croutons leftover. DO NOT overdress salad!)

Notes

If you hate anchovies you can omit them.  However, they add incredible umami flavor to the dressing without adding salt.

Servings 6Source
Yolanda Banks

Classic Chicken Salad
Ingredients1/2 cup light Miracle Whip
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 large hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 Rotissierie chicken, skin and bones removed, choppedMethod1.  In a large bowl, combine Miracle Whip, mustard, lemon, parsley, salt and pepper; mix well.  Add remaining ingredients; stir well to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  If it’s too dry, add more Miracle Whip.
2.  Cover and refrigerate at least an hour before serving.  Keep in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Notes

This salad is so versatile, it’s great stuffed into a pita, atop mixed greens, or even just as a simple sandwich.

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Curried Chicken Salad
Madras is a rich and spicy Southern Indian curry powder.Ingredients1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons Madras curry powder, toasted
2 tablespoon honey
1 large lemon, juiced
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed, chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toastedMethod

1. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, curry powder, honey, lemon, parsley, salt and pepper.
2. Add chicken, celery, raisins, and almonds. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Allow salad to sit for at least an hour so the flavors have a change to meld.
3. Salad may be made up to 3 days in advance. Place salad into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

Notes

I like to serve this salad lettuce wrap-style with bibb or iceberg leaves.
Servings: 4

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Fattoush
Fattoush is a Levantine bread salad usually made with leftover pita bread, and seasonal vegetables and herbs. Sumac is used to give the salad a sour taste.Ingredients1 large English cucumber, seeded, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
3 large green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1 large lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sumac, substitute Spanish paprika
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to tasteMethod

1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Salad can be made 1 day in advance; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

Sumac is a flowering plant that grows in subtropical climates throughout the world. The fruit is dried then pulverized to create this spice. It has a wonderful floral flavor with underlying citrus notes. It is an essential spice in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Servings: 6

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Grilled Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad
Only make this recipe when corn is in season. Feel free to add raw corn, which is absolutely delicious when it’s in season.Ingredients4 ears corn on the cob, husks and silks removed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 large Hass avocados, diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 large lime, juiced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to tasteMethod

1. Heat a grill to high heat. Grill corn on all sides for about 3 minutes or until corn turns bright yellow and is lightly charred in spots. Once cool enough to handle, remove kernels from cob; place kernels into a large bowl.
2. Add remaining ingredients. Gently mix well; taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. (If your limes are small you may need to use more than one.).
3. Salad can be made up to 2 hours in advance without the avocado. When ready to serve, dice avocado; stir gently to combine.
Servings: 6

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Kale Salad with Golden Raisins & Pepitas
Lacinato kale is a variety of kale from the Campania region of Italy. It has been grown there for centuries. It is also known as cavolo nero or black kale. If you can’t find it substitute any variety of kale you can find.Ingredients3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 bunches Tuscan kale, also known as Lacinato, center ribs & stems removed, chiffonade
1/3 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons pepitasMethod

1. In a large bowl; whisk vinegar, honey, salt and pepper until salt has dissolved; slowly whisk in oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add kale; massage vinaigrette into kale to tenderize. Add remaining ingredients, tossing to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Servings 6Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Middle Eastern Farro Salad
Farro is an ancient grain that was used to make cereals and pasta before wheat was widely available. It has a mild nutty flavor.Ingredients5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups farro
1 14-ounce cans chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups dried apricots, roughly chopped
3/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers packed in salt, rinsed, drained, roughly chopped
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to tasteMethod

1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the farro, stir to combine. Reduce heat to low; simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain farro, set aside in a large bowl and cover to keep warm.
2. Add remaining ingredients to farro. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Salad can be made up to 2 days in advance; bring to room temperature before serving.

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Roasted Beet Citrus Salad with Feta
The beets can be roasted up to 1 day in advance. Store, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving. The vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.Ingredients4 baby beets, red and golden, rinsed, tops trimmed, greens reserved
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Vinaigrette
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons orange zest
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 cups baby arugula, rinsed and dried
1 large ruby red grapefruit, supremed
2 oranges, supremed, zested (blood oranges in season)
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly choppedMethod

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss beets with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap each beet in 2 sheets of foil, place directly on lower rack; roast until tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Open foil; cool for 30 minutes. Rub skin off beets using foil; cut each into 6 wedges. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside.
2. For the Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk vinegar through pepper, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
3. In a medium bowl, toss arugula with some of the vinaigrette, making sure not to over-dress the greens. Divide arugula evenly onto 4 plates. Divide beets and citrus evenly among plates. Top each with 1 ounce of feta and walnuts.

Servings 4Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Roasted New Potato Salad with Haricot Verts
Potatoes and green beans are a classic Southern combination. But, you can substitute asparagus or peas for the beans.Ingredients2 pounds new potatoes, quartered
1 red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
(null) kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound Haricot Verts, blanched
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely choppedMethod

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place foil onto a sheet pan. Add potatoes, and onions to pan. Drizzle with oil and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper; tossing well to coat.
2. Cook potatoes and onions for 30 minutes, stirring once. Potatoes are done when they are fork tender and golden brown in spots.
3. Toss green beans with potatoes as soon as they come out of the oven.
4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine lemon juice, mustard, honey, olive oil and parsley; mix well. Pour dressing onto potato and green bean mixture, tossing well to coat. Season and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a large bowl; serve at room temperature. Salad may be made a day in advance. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Notes

Haricot Vert is a French term for baby green beans. Haricot meaning beans and vert meaning green. They are thinner than typical green beans, therefore more tender. If you can’t find them substitute regular green beans. This salad would be great with a combination of green beans and yellow wax beans.
Servings: 8

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Simple Arugula Salad
Potatoes and green beans are a classic Southern combination. But, you can substitute asparagus or peas for the beans.Ingredients6 cups baby arugula, or other mixed greens
1/2 large lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oilMethod

Place arugula into a large bowl. Put lemon juice, salt, and pepper into a small bowl; whisk to combine. (The acid in the lemon will allow the salt to fully dissolve.) Whisk in honey and olive oil until well blended. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Servings: 6

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Som-Tum or Green Papaya Salad
Green papaya salad is hugely popular throughout Southeast Asia. Green papayas have a firm white flesh and white seeds. If you can’t find them already shredded, use a mandoline or food processor fitted with a julienne disk to shred.Ingredients1 tablespoon shrimp paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Thai bird chilies, seeded and minced, substitute serrano chilies
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 pound green papaya, peeled, seeded, and shredded
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, finely chopped
3 tablespoons peanuts, optional, coarsely choppedMethod

1. In a small bowl, combine shrimp paste, garlic, chilies, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. You want the dressing to taste hot, salty, sour and sweet.
2. In a large bowl, combine papaya, carrots, tomatoes, and cilantro; pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. If using, sprinkle peanuts on top of each serving.
3. Allow salad to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving or up to 4 hours in advance; refrigerate until ready to serve.
Servings: 6

Source
Yolanda Banks

Southwest Shellfish Boil
Ingredients1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalepeño pepper, seeded, chopped
5 stems cilantro
1/2 cup red bell (capsicum) peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 cup orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 ear corn, kernels removed
2 tablespoons white tequila
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
12 littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
12 large prawns, vein removed, rinsed
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to tasteMethod1.  Heat a medium pot over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro stems; cook stirring constantly for 30 seconds.

2.  Add peppers and corn, stirring to combine.  De-glaze with tequila.  Once evaporated, add broth.  Taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking.
3.  Add clams and prawns to the broth; cover and cook for about 3 minutes.  Transfer prawns to a plate, and continue to cook until clams have opened.  Return prawns back to pot.  Add lime juice and cilantro.  Serve hot.

Servings 4Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh is a Levantine salad traditionally made mostly of bulgur, parsley and mint.Ingredients1/2 cup bulgur
boiling water
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
1 large tomato, seeded, finely chopped
2 large lemons, juiced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to tasteMethod

1. Place bulgur into a large bowl, cover with boiling water; let stand for 15 minutes. Strain excess water.
2. To the bulgur, add garlic, parsley, mint, tomato, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper; mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Salad can be made up to 2 days in advance; store, covered in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Notes

I like this as more of an herb salad, peppered with bits of bulgur. Feel free to use less herbs or substitute the herbs of your choice.
Servings: 6

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Tabbouleh-Style Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is a grain-like crop from South America.  It’s grown primarily for its edible seeds.  It contains essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.Ingredients1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh mint, finely choppedMethod

1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil; add salt and pepper to taste. When broth comes to a boil, add quinoa, stirring to combine.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes or until the quinoa has abosorbed all the broth. Transfer cooked quinoa to a medium bowl.
3. In the bowl, whisk lemon juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.

Notes

This salad tastes better after it sits for awhile, so make it at least 2 hours before serving. It will keep, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

Servings 8Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Tomato, Red Onion & Queso Fresco Salad
Queso Fresco is a Mexican semi-soft cheese whose name means “fresh cheese”. It has a wonderful creamy texture and slightly acidic taste. It is one of the most commonly used cheeses in Mexico. It is a versatile cheese, as it can be served hot or cold. It melts beautifully and makes the most delicious quesadillas as a result.Ingredients2 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup red onions, chopped, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes and drained
2 cups Queso Fresco, cut into 1″ cubes
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepperMethod

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Using clean hands, gently mix to combine. Let tossed salad sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. Salad can be made up to 2 hours in advance; bring to room temperature before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Servings: 6

Source
Yolanda Banks

Tom Yum Kha Goong
Tom Yum Kha Goong literally translates to spicy, hot, coconut, shrimp soup in Laos or Thai. There are other versions of this soup, the most classic being Tom Yum Gai which is made with chicken and the coconut milk is omitted. Feel free to experiment and come up with your own version.Ingredients2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
1 small shallot, smashed
3 stalks lemongrass, smashed
4 whole Kafir lime leaves
1 knob ginger, smashed
2 Thai bird chilies, smashed
1/4 cup cilantro stems
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 14-ounce cans light coconut milk
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 small limes, juiced
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, sliced in half lengthwise
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 green onions, thinly slicedMethod

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add oil and all the aromatics, shallots through cilantro stems. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not burnt
2. Add broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice; stirring to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 20 minutes. Do Not Boil!
3. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. You’re looking for a balance between hot, sour, salty, and sweet. If you don’t have all four flavors, add more chile for hot, lime juice for sour, fish sauce for salty, and brown sugar for sweet.
4. Add shrimp, green onions, and cilantro; stir well. Cook for another 2 minutes. Soup is done when shrimp is opaque.

Notes

Southeast Asian cuisine is known for its balance of Hot, Sour, Salty and Sweet flavors. Be sure when you’re making this soup you hit all those notes!

Servings 8Source
Yolanda Banks

Watermelon Gazpacho
Ingredients4 cups watermelon, cut into chunks
1/2 large cucumber, seeded, cut into chunks
2 green onions, roughly chopped
1 poblano, remove stem and seeds, roughly chopped
1/2 large zucchini, roughly chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to tasteMethod1. Puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
2. Taste, add more salt and pepper, if needed.
3. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
4. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to serving.Notes

The Gazpacho can be made 2 days in advance.

Servings 8Source
Yolanda Banks

Waldorf Salad
This simple salad got its name from the famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. It was invented in 1896 by Oscar Tschirky, maitre d.Ingredients1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 cup red grapes
1 1/2 cups apple, diced
2/3 cup candied walnuts, chopped
romaine leavesMethod

1. Whisk yogurt through mustard in a medium bowl; add salt and pepper to taste. Add celery, grapes, apples and walnuts. Allow salad to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
2. To serve: Place lettuce leaves onto a platter with the salad. Serve salad inside the lettuce leaves or chop leaves and toss with the salad mixture.

Notes

If you want to add a textural contrast to this salad, saute apples in a skillet for about 8 minutes or until softened.

Servings 6Source
Yolanda Banks

Stews:
Roasted Vegetable Salad with Feta
One of my favorite lunch spots in Dallas serves a version of this recipe. That was the inspiration for one of my favorite hearty salads. Add chicken, beef, or duck confit for an even heartier salad.Ingredients2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small red onion, cut into wedges, layers separated
8 stalks asparagus, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 small head Boston lettuce, torn
1/4 cup feta cheeseMethod

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place vegetables on a heavy-rimmed baking sheet. Add 1 tablespoon oil; season liberally     with salt and pepper.
3. Roast until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 15 minutes, tossing once halfway through     cooking time.
4. In a serving bowl, combine remaining tablespoon oil, vinegar, and honey; season with salt     and pepper.
5. Add lettuce to bowl, and toss. Top with warm vegetables and feta.

Servings 2Source
Yolanda Banks

Stewed Cannellini & Kale
Ingredients1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup yellow onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/3 cup celery rib, finely chopped
4 sprigs thyme
1 whole bay leaf
2 15-ounce cans Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds kale leaves, ribs and stems removed, chiffonade
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely choppedMethod1.  Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot.  Add oil, onions, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf.  Cook, stirring occasionally for about 3-5 minutes or until softened.
2.  Add beans, broth, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook, uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until beans are creamy and broth has thickened slightly.
3.  Increase heat to medium, add kale.  Cook for 5 minutes or until kale is tender.  Add herbs, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Remove thyme and bay before serving.
Servings 4Source
Yolanda Banks

Texas Style Pork Chili
Ingredients2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 pounds pork tenderloin, sliver skin trimmed, cut into 1 inch chunks, divided
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large orange bell pepper, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 dried ancho chilies, reconstituted in hot water, seeds and stems removed; pureed
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely choppedMethod1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Put 1 tablespoon evoo in pan, add half of pork tenderloin. Season with salt and pepper; allow pork to sear on all sides for about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining pork; set aside.
2. Add onions and peppers to the pan; saute for 5 minutes to soften. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, oregano, and salt; cook, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes or until fragrant.
3. Add pureed ancho chilies, tomatoes, broth, and honey. Return pork to the pan; bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until chili has thickened and pork is fork tender. (If pork isn’t tender enough, continue to cook.).
4. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add cilantro and serve hot.

Notes

Set up a “chili bar” with crumbled feta or queso fresco, fresh cilantro, avocados, Greek yogurt, green onions, jalapenos, and lime wedges.
Servings: 8

Source
Yolanda Banks

 

Peach Tart Tatin
Salmon-Nicoise
Fig & Goat Cheese Crostini
Fish-Tacos

View My Soups & Salads Gallery

 

 
 
previous next