I made this back in 2015, but I also needed it this weekend because it was sunny and bright and I needed to gulp down a ton of liquid but water sometimes is a little overrated. I hope you enjoy! 

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Strawberry Basil Lemonade | Garlic, My Soul

Mondays can be hard. Coming off a weekend of sunshine and great weather and hanging with friends, sitting in your office (or wherever you work!) might not seem as…well, free. This weekend I worked on some wedding stuff for my friends A and E, and I also spent some time in my kitchen whipping some new items up for you.

Now that Monday has rolled around, I wish I was back outside in the sunshine, spray painting things gold…but a glass of strawberry lemonade someone makes the world seems a little brighter, like I am still sitting outside making my Pinterest dreams come true.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade | Garlic, My Soul

I don’t often drink sweet drinks, but something about strawberries makes me want to sip ice cold glasses of lemonade and dream of long summer evenings.

This recipe is pretty similar to my Rosemary Blueberry Lemonade, but you know, with strawberries and basil. The point is this: get an herb you like, and a berry you like, and you’re on your way to a drink that’ll make Mondays seem like the new Thursday (even I can’t make Monday a Friday.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade | Garlic, My Soul

Ingredients:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup lemon juice (about 8 lemons, see below)
8-10 leaves basil
1 cup strawberries
water, to taste

Directions:

1. Mix the sugar with one cup of water over medium heat. Once all the sugar is dissolved, add your basil leaves and turn off heat.
2. While your basil simple syrup is melding, prepare a pitcher with a handful or two of berries, and lots of ice.
3. Freshly squeeze lemons to get about one cup of lemon juice. I used about eight lemons, but honestly this can vary depending on the size and juiciness of your lemons. The good news is you can never have too many lemons, so just grab a bag and you’ll be OK.
4. Put your lemon juice in the pitcher. Remove the basil leaves and add your simple syrup to your pitcher. Now, add water to taste – keep in mind that the ice will dilute the drink, too!

Strawberry Basil Lemonade | Garlic, My Soul

Happy Monday, y’all. Let us know what you do on Mondays to make them a little shinier – we’re all in this together, after all.


April! Springtime! Wahoo! We love April in Los Angeles because things are waking up – the birds, the trees, the cacti (ok maybe they were already awake) and the sun is shining for more and more hours each day. April means May and SUMMER are just around the corner, and we’re starting to think about sundresses, sandals, and beach days. With that comes this sunny desktop calendar celebrating peas, my fave fall veggie, and a great recipe for Shells with Ricotta and Peas that I need to make ASAP. (PSST….here is the Tablet Version, and here is a horizontal iPhone version!)


I made this back in 2013. The photos are horrible, I’m so sorry. I am bringing it back because y’all said you could use more easy dinners in your life. I am a helper. This is quick. It’s delicious. It’s full of veggies. But also chicken, because #protein. And, this was hilarious to read because you guys, I still eat chicken tacos like once a week. Whatever. I can’t change. I won’t! #chickentacosforever

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I’m not really a casserole person. I don’t like the idea of all my foods together because I like a plate of diversity, so I can take little bites of everything. Need we discuss the Chicken Spaghetti disaster of 2010?

But this was easy. And basically like mac and cheese. And it had 2 veggies in it. And Jeff loved it. Did I mention it was done in 30 minutes? This is added to the wheelhouse for us – good because I was getting sick of chicken tacos (just kidding, I will never be sick of chicken tacos. Chicken tacos forever.)

Chicken Casserole + Peas | Garlic, My Soul

Chicken Casserole + Peas | Garlic, My Soul

Here’s what you’ll need: spinach (or kale or some other leafy green) and peas (or broccoli or some other wilting veggie in your fridge), and chicken (or not if you’re a veg, you get the idea), and parmesan cheese, and ricotta, a couple eggs, and some pasta. OK? Go.

So here’s what you do. First, put some water on to boil for pasta. Then cut up your chicken, and cook that in some olive oil and salt and pepper. When the water boils, put in your pasta, and cook it al dente!

Meanwhile, cut up your spinach. Shred some cheese – use as much as you want – I used about a cup of parm. Mix your parm cheese with ricotta (I used 15 ounces) and two eggs.

Chicken Casserole + Peas | Garlic, My Soul

So now your pasta should be almost done, right? Here’s a trick I learned from someone…I think Nikki? Nikki, was that you?

Chicken Casserole + Peas | Garlic, My Soul

When you’re pasta is about two minutes from being done, throw your peas into the water and let them cook for two minutes, then drain. It saves time! It turns the water a little green! It uses one less pot! Rejoice!

Chicken Casserole + Peas | Garlic, My Soul

So now, put your cooked chicken peas, and pasta in a bowl, and mix it up with your cheese, add the spinach, and stick it in a casserole dish. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the top is melty.

Chicken Casserole + Peas | Garlic, My Soul

Here’s what you’ll end up with. A casserole dish full of cheese goodness. I used a pound of pasta, and on day 2 the pasta was a little dry, so if that happens just add some shredded cheese to the top of your bowl before reheating!

Chicken Casserole + Peas | Garlic, My Soul

I also highly suggest topping with some sundried tomatoes – what a delight! Full recipe here.


I made this falafel salad in the spring of 2015, and it’s high time I bring it back. I recommend making Mark Bittman’s baked falafel because is is divine. Otherwise, you can get it at your local mediterranean restaurant or I hear Trader Joe’s isn’t so bad.

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I love falafel and am constantly looking for an excuse to eat it, but I don’t love that it can leave me feeling heavy when it’s fried. The best falafel I ever had was at this place called Cafe Zog in Providence, Rhode Island with my friend Lauren (circa what, 2001, maybe?)

I recently saw Lauren and it reminded me of our adventures in Providence, and of my love for falafel. So I made some falafel baked in the oven instead of deep fried, and I threw it on a salad. I think this is a great compromise for those of us who love the flavor but don’t want to make something chocked full of healthy ingredients bad for us.

Falafel Salad | Garlic, My Soul

I love Mark Bittman, and his recipe really impressed me. If you plan on using canned chick peas (I did!) use two cans instead of one, and know that it might be a bit wet – you might need to not add any water, and your patties will be slightly flatter, but I can tell you they were delicious despite this.

I also just found tahini at Trader Joe’s as a dip, so I used that in this recipe and in this salad, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Falafel Salad

Ingredients:

1 recipe Mark Bittman’s falafel
4 cups arugula
1 cucumber, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 oz fresh feta, crumbled
1/4 cup tahini sauce
s/p

Directions:

1. Make your falafel according to Mark’s directions.
2. Chop cumber, halve tomatoes, crumble feta.
3. Add arugula, cucumber, tomatoes, and feta to a bowl, and top with falafel (crumble this in if you’d like, or leave in patties.)
4. Add tahini on the side, and salt and pepper as you see fit.

Falafel Salad | Garlic, My Soul

What do you think of falafel? Do you love it? Have you tried it?


Guys, I sat in the backyard this weekend and BOY were those birds chirping hard. Spring is coming and I can taste it in the air and see it in the farmers market rows (and let’s be real, the TJ’s produce section.)

Asparagus
Avocado
Beets
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Chard
Citrus
Kale
Leeks
Mushrooms
Peas
Spinach
Strawberries
Sweet Potato

So what am I going to be cooking this month? I always love ushering in a new batch of produce so I can try my fave recipes again…

I will forever and always want to eat this copycat Kale Caesar (from Mendocino Farm’s delicious salad) ESPECIALLY now that they changed the menu and it’s not quite the same salad anymore. So fresh, yet so filling, and perfect for all your kale needs, plus avocado. (If you can’t find good tomatoes, skip ’em and make this again in the summer.)

These Portobello Mushroom Pizzas were SO DAMN GOOD. Toppings of your choice, but suffice to say the bacon was perfect. A great appetizer or main course with a salad? YUM.

Two birds, one stone. This Parmesan Lemon Broccoli is so good. A great side for any meal, the lemon brings the tart while the broccoli is fresh and hardy. Let it get crispy – you deserve it. This was one we made for Thanksgiving a while back and it has become a regular dish in our house!

These photos are old. The recipe is classic. Strawberry Shortcake with a little mint? An easy and fast dessert that’s light but decadent at the same time. The mint makes it that much more refreshing, too. You can just eat the whipped cream and strawberries even (YUM). So glad strawberry season is here.

Happy March, folks. What are you cooking?