Sesame Garlic-Ginger Cabbage

I like most veggies. Add some sesame, garlic and ginger and I’m in love. This cabbage sauté is quick and yummy and works great with any variety of cabbage. It’s even good with other greens, like spinach, kale or chard. It’s equally tasty with book chop and mushrooms. Ya know, this sauce is probably even good on a shoe! If you’re trying to keep things healthy, you can substitute this cabbage for rice in other stir-frys….or not, your choice. As always, feel free to adjust the spice level to make this side dish your own. This cabbage reminds me of kimchi, a mild to spicy Korean fermented slaw made with cabbage.

In case, I’ve neglected to mention it before, I always use low-sodium soy sauce  and fat-free, low sodium broths for cooking. 

Prep Time: 10 min           Cook Time: 5 min               Total Time: 15 min.        Serving Size: 1 cup

Servings: 6                          Difficulty: easy peasy        Yield: about 6 cups         SP: 1 SP


1 large Nappa cabbage, any variety, cut into ribbons

2 teaspoons toasted black sesame seeds


4 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 tablespoons, sriracha or chili garlic sauce

1 tablespoon freshly  grated ginger

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, Tamari (gluten-free)

2 teaspoons toasted dark sesame oil

Kosher salt, pinch (optional)


1.  Whisk garlic, sriracha, ginger, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil in a small. Set aside.

2. Spray a  wok or large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium high heat. I like to add the tougher core pieces of cabbage first and let them cook before adding the softer leaves. Stir-fry the cabbage core pieces, about 2 minutes. It’s great to get a lil color on them. Add the cabbage leaves  to wok and stir-fry 1-2 minutes until wilted but still crisp with a little bit of color. 

3. Add the sauce to the pan and stir-fry, combining the sauce with the cabbage until the sauce is slightly thickened  1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

4. Remove the cabbage from the eat, garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy as a side dish or with my Kung Pao Shrimp.  


Don’t worry about peeling the ginger. I keep a piece in the freezer at all times and just grate it straight into recipes with a micro place as needed. Plus, it’s extra fiber! To get this dish on the table even faster, prep the cabbage and make the sauce the day before. 

Sometimes, I like to add thinly sliced onions to the cabbage stir-fry for a little sweetness. Add the onions with the cabbage core pieces in Step 2. They’re sooooo good when they car Alexis a bit. 

If you can’t find black sesame seeds, the regular ones are just fine! I just like the contrast of the black seeds with the cabbage. 

If you’re allergic to soy, try liquid amigos as a soy alternative, to achieve that salty, umami flavor. 


Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad

I’m currently working in Southern California and have discovered Xiao Long Bao, savory soup dumplings with a delicious yummy broth hidden inside various meat or veggie fillings. These dumplings are amazing! They are typically served with a side of fresh slivered ginger, vinegar, soy sauce and chile oil to customize your dim sum feast. 

In my dumpling quest, I have become addicted to a crisp cumcumber salad appetizer. This recipe is my version of this cool and crunchy simple veggie dish. As you may have gathered from my recipes, I like it spicy. If you don’t, just cut back on the chile paste. If you like it super hot, add more chile paste. Happy eating in 2017 my virtual friends. 🍴😊

Peace & Java 

Prep Time: 10 min       Marinating Time: 30 min

Total Time: 40 minutes    Serving Size: 1 cup

Servings: 4                           Difficulty:  Easy Peasy

Yield: about 4 cups            SP: 1 

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

1 tablespoon red chile paste

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons lime zest

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

4 small Persian cucumbers, sliced into 1 inch rounds

sea salt, optional 


1. Whisk all ingredients, except cucumbers to make dressing in a medium bowl.

2. Add cucumbers rounds to dressing. Toss well to coat. Marinate 30 minutes to 1 hour.

3. Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt if desired. 


I like to create a stripe effect using a vegetable peeler before slicing my cucumbers. 

Charred Onion Dip 

I  was looking for an onion dip recipe to serve for a party and ran across this dip recipe on It has a richer deeper onion flavor than the dehydrated onion flakes tossed into a tub of sour cream that was popular back in the day. And it’s way tastier than the stuff in the dairy aisle at the grocery store. I made a few small changes to the original recipe, because that’s what I do!  I wanted a slightly lighter, lower-fat version so I used reduced fat dairy and upped the ante on the fresh herbs. Make a double batch, because there are never leftovers of this dip. 
Peace and Java


Prep Time: 30 min            Cook Time: 15 min            Serving Size: 2 tablespoons            Servings: 16

Difficulty: Medium            Yield: about 1 cup


1 leek cleaned and sliced

1 large shallot

1 tablespoon olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 green onions, sliced 

1/2 cup light mayonnaise 

1/2 cup light sour cream 

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons chopped thyme, plus more for garnish

Salt to taste

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Dash of hot sauce, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Toss 1 thinly sliced shallot, 1 thinly sliced leek, and 2 thinly sliced scallions with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Broil, tossing once, until charred, 10-12 minutes. Let the mixture cool. 

Toss with garlic,  mayo, sour cream, hot sauce, lemon juice, and thyme. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve topped with thyme.

NOTES, TIPS & TRICKS: To clean the leek, fills bowl with water and let the sliced leeks soak for a few minutes so the sand and grit falls to the bottom of the bowl. Drain the water, nd repeat. I usually soak and rinse my leeks twice to make sure they are totally clean.

Roasted Chicken Bread with Arugula Salad

I first became aware of this recipe last fall from an tweet. The post featuring How to Make Chicken Bread caught my attention. It sounded delicious, so I bookmarked the page, resolving to return later to try this roasted chicken.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw Ina Garten preparing a similar dish. I pulled up my bookmarked post and compared the recipes.  My understanding is that this recipe originates from a dish at the famous Zuni Cafe. I’ve never been to the Zuni Cafe, but the reactions from the tasters of Ina’s Roast Chicken with Bread & Arugula Salad, inspired me to create a shopping list and finally test this recipe.

Based on my pantry and herb garden staples, and my love of garlic, I tweaked the recipes to create my version of Roasted Chicken Bread with Arugula Salad.

Peace & Java

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Prep Time: 1-2 days      Cook Time:  50 min         Difficulty:  Moderate     Servings: 4         Serving Size: 2 cups salad and 3-4 oz chicken



Roast Chicken

1 whole organic, farm-raised chicken, 3-4 pounds

6-8 sprigs thyme

6-8 sprigs sage

8 large cloves garlic, smashed

1 lemon, halved

1 tablespoon, kosher salt

2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground or to taste

4 slices stale sourdough, country or Italian bread, sliced 1-inch thick

1/4-1/2 cup white wine


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Light Vinaigrette 

1/4 cup white wine or champagne vinegar

1/4 extra virgin olive oil, EVOO

1/4 cup water

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon spicy mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

Kosher salt and  freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Arugula Salad with Chicken Bread

6-8 oz arugula, cleaned

1/2 cup green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons craisins



1. Place the chicken in a deep bowl or baking dish. Use your fingers, to gently loosen the skin from the breasts and thighs without breaking the skin. Carefully slide the sprigs of sage, thyme and the garlic under the skin. Put the lemon in the bird’s cavity. Tie the legs together and tuck the wings under the body. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. cover the chicken with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 450º. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and pat dry. Let chicken come to room temperature.  Place the bread in a medium, 10-inch, cast-iron skillet in a single layer. Place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the bread. Roast for 30-35 minutes, turn it over and roast for 15-25 minutes, until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove from oven. Place the chicken on a large plate or platter. Tent the chicken with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes. 

3. The bread will be almost burnt on the bottom and soft with the pan drippings on top. Cut the bread into 1-inch squares.

4. De-glaze the chicken drippings with 1/4-1/2 cup white wine.

5. For the Arugula Salad: whisk the vinegar, mustard, garlic, kosher salt, and pepper to taste together in a small bowl.  Whisk in the water and olive oil. Place the arugula on a large platter, add the vinaigrette, and toss well with the craisins and green onions.

6. Sprinkle the salad with the Chicken Bread cubes. Carve the chicken and place it on top of the salad. Spoon the de-glazed pan juices over the chicken. Serve

NOTES, TIPS & TRICKS: To make a traditional vinaigrette use 1/2 cup EVOO and omit the water.

To make ahead, season and prepare the chicken and make the vinaigrette. Assemble the salad just before serving.