Brussels Sprouts Chips

I once ordered a side of Brussels Sprouts chips in a little restaurant in Guerneville. They were fried, salty and so SO good! Definitely not something I would attempt to make at home! (I said to myself as I left the restaurant.) Definitely something I tried making minutes after I pulled into the driveway! And my

Goat Cheese Cherry Quinoa Salad with Almond and Basil Gremolata

Welcome to my hell. Lets talk about asthma for a moment. I rescue a kitty and suddenly, BOOM, non-stop cough, tightness in my chest, breathing issues… So I see a doctor, who surprises me with a diagnosis – a case of kitten-induced Asthma. Full house of inhalers, nose sprays, prescription bottles and I finally breathe

Sweet Corn Ceviche

I get so excited when I stumble upon a new culinary discovery. I walk around feeling all proud, with a huge smile on my face and a strong urge to share! My latest discovery is corn. No, I’m not talking about having made a brand new grain discovery (that was done for me a long

Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

As a child, I did not really like geography.  I liked poetry and art… Photography… Even math… But not geography.  And geography didn’t like me! From cartography and paleogeography to geomorphology and physiography, they all treated me with a contemptuous superiority complex.  But it was the political geography, with its locations on the map, names

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

My recent lack of motivation has forced me to take a break from cooking and Cuceeing. In the last few months, the only meals I have been putting on the dinner table were healthier-than-takeout, getting-rid-of-spoiling-ingredients, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink meals. But as the holiday season approached, my culinary ego went into an assertive state and forced my creative

Algerian Tomato Soup

I was blasting down a steep windy trail over the rock gardens and roots – rocks ricocheting off of my shiny, barely used Target “tricycle.” I was holding on for dear life, in fact so tight that my hands were starting to go numb and turn white from gripping the brakes too tightly. As I

Red Pepper Soup

Work life balance no more. I had been the only designer at a small internet startup for years… until the Big Bang explosion of success had happened and the company began expanding like a mushroom cloud. In what  feels like a blink, my design department grew to 5-people, with 3 more open recs, and I

Caramelized Onions & Mushroom Bake

My 6-year-old son has been known to forget. No, he does not have ADD or ADHD, or any other abbreviated disorder. He is just a happy kid with a condition that I call “selective forgetfulness.” He clearly always remembers: to ask for a desert after dinner, e-v-e-r-y   s-i-n-g-l-e  d-a-y to leave a trail of

Three-Seed Cabbage Salad

The following are observations of a backpacking foodie: Sometimes…. Chicken comes prepackaged in a flashy vacuum-sealed plastic bag.  Milk resembles powdered cocaine.  It is OK to eat fish out of a can.  Granola + cold river water make for an interesting breakfast.  Instant coffee and bagged tea in the morning help to wake up… even

Baked Goat Cheese With Frisée Salad

Jerusalem to Jews, Vatican to Catholics, Meca to Muslims, Chez Pannise restaurant to Cucee.Yep, Chez Pannise, the esteemed restaurant of Alice Waters, is kind of a big deal to me. Long before I ever stepped my foot into this little Berkeley foodie shrine, I had been worshiping its’ recipes the way Hindus worship Vishnu. And

Grilled Chicken Salad with Mangoes

I get so excited when people, who try my recipes, tell me how much their families enjoy them.  I get very emotional when I learn that Cucee inspires my readers to cook more and to cook healthy. What a rewarding feeling it is to hear a friend enthusiastically share a story of how she made

Quinoa “Mac and Cheese” with Spinach

Quinoa meets Mac ‘n’ Cheese.It is time for another Cucee confession: I love Mac and Cheese. An image of this warm comfort food on my plate takes me back to my childhood…  I can just see myself on a chilly winter afternoon, coming home from school to a feel-good plate of creamy pasta and a

Jalapeño-Corn Chowder

I am a girl and I like ruffles, unexpected surprises and charming things. The things that touch my girly soul are: Polka dots and hair clips Sky reflection in the puddle of water on a rainy day Innocence in my boy’s eyes as he paints the sofa with a permanent marker Husband’s capacity to embrace the unconventional

Warm Mezze Hummus

It is not rocket science that eating healthy is a lot harder when you are traveling. Finding Michelin-rated restaurants that serve healthy five-star dishes is often “mission impossible.” Especially if you are dining outside of California. Coming back from vacations is somewhat bitter-sweet for me. A flight home is often accompanied by nostalgia… and a

Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

Comfort food comes in all textures and flavors. Comfort food is that special dish that your mom made you when you were sick. The dish that helped you get over a bad breakup.  The dish that got you through your finals in college. It’s your grandma’s matzo-ball soup. Mom’s mac-and-cheese. Crispy grilled-cheese sandwich.  Hearty bowl

Salmon Sashimi with Blue Cheese and White Miso Puree

The birthday season has officially been kicked off at our house. My hubby opened it with his yesterday and I will close it with mine in January. In our family, birthday parties are loud, with lots of friends, wine and food. But this year, the birthday boy was feeling melancholic and asked for a more private celebration.  No loud toasts,

Granny Smith Apple And Yam Soup with Glazed Slivered Almonds

Silky and warming with a hint of ginger and curry, this soup is perfect for a chilly fall night. Granny Smith Apple And Yam Soup with Glazed Slivered Almonds Adapted from A Beautiful Bowl of Soup by Paulette Mitchell Ingredients For the almonds Vegetable oil cooking spray 2 tablespoon agave nectar 1 cup (4 ounces) slivered

Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas

It happened to me on the day I met my daughter… My water broke in the morning. I was in the middle of my contractions, scared but excited of becoming a mother for the first time.  Suddenly, I realized that I was dying for some good old Mexican food. Yep, that is me – thinking

Roasted Squash, Pear, and Ginger Soup

I’ve collected quite a few squash recipes over the years. This one is my new favorite. The soup is easy to make and only requires a few key ingredients that you are likely to have at home. Sweet and zesty, it satisfies my fall comfort food cravings. As an added bonus, the soup is low

Marinated Cauliflower Salad

My name is Cucee Sprouts and I am addicted to Cauliflower. There are many chocoholics, carboholics, sushiholics out there. Well, I am a Cauliholic. I have all the signs of being an addict: I cannot go for more than a week without a cauliflower dish I cannot be trusted around cauliflower – I can finish

Cheesy Zucchini Polenta Cakes with Mushroom Duxelles

I’m always curious about what people in my group-ex classes think while doing their round kicks, pushups, or bicycle crunches. I usually exercise after work and my mind is often busy with possible dinner ideas. This past Friday, instead of following the kick-boxing instructor, I found myself inventing a new polenta recipe in my head. What do

Caramelized Roasted Figs with Baby Greens and Honey Vinaigrette

This summer salad is a hit at every gathering. It’s one of my most requested recipes.  Slightly tangy vinaigrette truly compliments the sweetness of the caramelized figs. Caramelized Roasted Figs with Baby Greens and Honey Vinaigrette Top 5 recipe on FoodBuzz Adapted from Ingredients 4 small fresh black mission figs, stemmed Extra-virgin olive oil

Moroccan Red Lentil-Bean Stew

Last weekend, I took my friends on a culinary journey to Morocco. No suitcase required. Only a plate and a wine glass. Napkins and utensils — optional. My husband and I experienced Moroccan food on our last vacation. The number of exotic delicacies that we came across was a bit shocking (even a little intimidating).

Julia’s Heirloom Red and Green Tomato Gazpacho

I feel lucky to know people who are passionate about food and cooking, just like me. Recently, my friends Julia and Yuri, true aficionados of fine cuisine, had us over for company. Julia’s elaborate multi-course dinners, complemented with her husband’s well researched wine pairings, always make me look forward to evenings at their house. The theme

The Superhero Soup

I feel like I receive an extra reward sticker every time I successfully serve my family a nutritious meal that they all enjoy. That is why I am always on a lookout for a healthy recipe that appeals to all members of my family, including a self-proclaimed vegetarian daughter who does not really like vegetables,

Sesame Chicken of Our First Date

My husband, who has known me since I was in high school, is often amazed at how my memory works. I may not remember anything about a movie we watched a week ago but I can tell you in details what I ate on a particular date, a company holiday party, a vacation, or a rehearsal dinner. On our

Scallion Sweet Potatoes

My love affair with Mr. Sweet Potato (aka Sr. Yam) began not that long ago… It was love at first sight. We were introduced to each other at my friends’ house over one unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner. Served with beef kebab and a medley of root vegetables, Mr. Sweet Potato rested modestly by the rim of

Grilled Red Snapper Tacos

I tend to get pretty conservative when it comes to preparing fish. I have two favorite recipes, Asian Infused Sea Bass and Puff Pastry-Wrapped Salmon, which fly off the table the moment I serve them to my family and I so make them often. Craving something lighter and fresh-tasting, I decided to mix things up