Nourishing No-Knead Bread

Making this bread recipe, adapted from cookbook author and cooking teacher Penni Wisner, is one of the best things I do all week. From mixing the ingredients to flipping the finished loaf out of the pan, the whole process is satisfying. And with this no-knead technique, time and the yeast do most of the work for you. I like dusting the dough with cornmeal for a nice crunch, though you can use sesame seeds, poppy seeds, rolled oats or simply flour. I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh the flour — it’s easier, really, and you’ll get more consistent results.

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Sticky-Spicy Sauteed Asian Eggplant

Not everyone is an eggplant lover. But this eggplant recipe may change that. Long, slender Asian eggplant are no-fuss, and soak up the spicy, sweet, sticky sauce they’re doused with when creamy and tender. This is a hearty, gluten-free, vegetarian main course paired with brown rice, quinoa or even wheat berries, but would also make a terrific side dish.

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Lia’s Best Barbecue Ribs Recipe

A pressure cooker makes this sublimely tender, shot-through-with-flavor-to-the-bone barbecue ribs recipe possible in under an hour using the same technique as our Last-Minute Corned Beef From Scratch. Given their quick and easy nature, and the proliferation of really good bottled barbecue sauces out there, I opted not to take the extra step of making a sauce from scratch. When choosing your sauce, look for as few ingredients as possible (ideally all “real” words) with real sugar or honey or molasses or maple syrup as a sweetener, rather than high fructose corn syrup.

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Tomato Salad with Green Beans, Corn and Bulgur

This tomato salad is the perfect fresh-from-the-garden all-purpose summer side dish for the season. It’s bursting with green beans, tomatoes, corn and cucumbers, with toothsome bulgur adding just a touch of heft (and healthy whole grain) while soaking up the tangy dressing.

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Fregola Salad with White Beans and Arugula

Fregola is an Italian rolled pasta similar to Israeli couscous, and it’s wonderfully toothsome in this summer salad. Think of it as a new twist on old-school pasta salad. If you can’t find fregola (or wanted to go gluten free), millet would be a great substitute. Top with a few chunks of good quality tuna packed in olive oil (unless you want to keep it vegan) and you’ve got a nice, hearty, nourishing meal.

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Fudgy Black Bean Brownies with Sea Salt

I love these fudgy, black bean brownies, which I originally found here on Minimalist Baker, for many reasons. For one, all you do is blam a few ingredients in the food processor, spoon the batter into a mini muffin tin and bake (now that’s my kind of baking recipe). For another, the whole baking-brownies-in-a-mini-muffin pan thing is genius–no breakage, no muss, no fuss, and they’re cute to boot. And yet another, they’re made with black beans in lieu of flour. There’s all kinds of fiber and goodness in this gluten-free brownie recipe, and yet all you’re going to hear on the receiving end is “man, these are AWESOME.”¬†

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Carrots with Coconut, Lime and Cashews

Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy came in the mail yesterday and I had about 40 recipes tagged within the first 40 minutes. This dish featuring carrots was one of them. I’ve been on the lookout for seasonal vegetable recipes that take a different direction than I might, while keeping everything short and simple for busy nights. This one from Deborah Madison hit that spot perfectly. I’ve embellished a bit to make it into vegan main dish, but you could pull back to the basic carrots, coconut oil and lime and serve it as a side dish. Either way, I cannot recommend¬† heartily enough.

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Simple Butter Lettuce Salad

I can’t tell you how much I love this salad. Butter lettuce has a delicate, sweet crunch to it, and its crevices catch the nubbins in the vinaigrette perfectly. It’s crazy simple, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to Frittatas, Soft Scrambled Eggs, Simplest Roast Chicken, Crispy Curry Quinoa Cakes … you name it.

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Whole Wheat Couscous with Raisins and Almonds

I’m always on the lookout for a good whole grain dish. This whole wheat couscous is a winner on several fronts. It’s tart and tangy, savory and sweet. It’s super simple, and it plays as well as a side dish as it does a salad.

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Pesto-Rubbed Butterflied Grilled Chicken

This is true end-of-summer fare. A batch of pesto from the basil that’s growing gangly in the garden. (Try our zippy Asian Pesto, Basil-Mint Pesto or Spicy Sage and Parsley Pesto.) A spatchcocked (butterflied) chicken cooked (relatively) quickly on the grill, since the days are shorter now. Which is good. I like saying goodbye to a season with a taste of all I love about it — and this grilled chicken recipe has it.

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