Food was central to her philosophy of love, but so far as I know, my grandmother didn’t own a single cookbook. She introduced me to baking not as an art or even a science, but as a sort of alchemical process whereby lowly ingredients—Jell-O instant pudding, packaged marshmallows—were simply transformed.
Last year, around the time I bought the Instant Pot, I also purchased an Air Fryer. I wanted to experiment with it, see what all the hype was about. The Air Fryer was being heralded as the next “must-have” counter-top appliance, roughly the same size as the 6-qt. Instant Pot, with one primary feature – it’s a small, electric convection oven. The draw here is, in theory, you can emulate the results you get with frying, using a much healthier cooking method.
We had some hits and misses with the Air-fryer straight out of the gate. Things “fried” directly from the freezer generally did better than anything clever I dreamed up. Big fails included: beer-battered cauliflower, and all my tempura attempts. One day Wayne brought home a big bag of all-natural, frozen, cauliflower onion rings and those were awesome. We also did potstickers in it a few times, and those were pretty good – a little dry though, so our strategy was to overcompensate with dipping sauce.
After a couple of weeks, my love-affair with the Instant Pot continued, and the Air-Fryer took up residence in the corner of the pantry for the months to follow, neglected. That said, I’m not ready to give up on it quite yet! I thought I’d comb the internet for new Air-Fryer recipe inspiration, and ask you all to weigh in as well. These were a handful of the recipes to catch my attention. If you have any favorite, go-to, veg-friendly recipes for the Air-Fryer please(!) post a link in the comments. I’d love to figure out the magic here – my take-away is that people are likely using them for frozen fries 90% of the time? Laugh / cry.
1. Gobi Manchurian – (Olives for Dinner) There are many air fryer cauliflower recipes, and most qualify as good side dish candidates. But this is the recipe that caught my attention. Erin’s Gobi Manchurian, could definitely be a main. An elaborate-to-make main. And I’d probably add some lentils. And shallow-fry. Anyway, I’m intrigued! It looks delicious. Also see her Buffalo Cauliflower Steak for another way to use air-fried cauliflower. I’m totally going to try these as well.
2. Smoky Sweet Crunchy Chickpeas – (Spa Bettie) Chickpeas in the air fryer is something I hadn’t thought of! Kristina’s chickpeas use the aquafaba as a base for the coating (brilliant!), with paprika and maple for flavor, producing a great snack.
3. Easy Falafel – (From My Bowl)
Good falafel is a wonderful thing. Caitlin of From My Bowl has a recipe that is gluten free, air fryer tested, and looks good! Imagining it with a bit of spiked tahini sauce and a warm pita.
4. Za’atar Spiced Air-Fried Kale Chips – (One Arab Vegan) I’ve spent a good amount of time trying to get kale chips right in the standard oven. This post promises crispy kale chip perfection, with za’atar in the mix as an added bonus.
5. My Favorite Air Fryer Tofu Recipe – (Julie Hasson) I love Julie! And (good) tofu is in regular rotation in my kitchen. This recipe is high on my must-try list.
6. Vegan Fried Green Tomatoes – (Cadry’s Kitchen) Here’s a fresh take on classic fried green tomatoes – vegan and crusted with salt and pepper potato chips. Cadry’s recipe has exact cooking times and tips on spritzing with oil and when to flip.
7. Homemade Croutons – (Sandhya’s Kitchen) Homemade croutons are always better than store bought, especially if they are still slightly warm. Sandhya, does these two ways using the air fryer, one batch with oil and another with butter. Yes to the garlic version.
8. Air Fryer Risotto Balls – (Vegetarian Mamma) Deep-fried risotto balls (arancini) are wonderful – so indulgently wonderful. I imagine making a big batch of risotto in the Instant Pot one night and then using the leftovers to make these risotto balls the next night.
9. Curried Sweet Potato Oven Fries with Creamy Cumin Ketchup – (Glue and Glitter) It would be difficult to have a list air fryer recipes without an example of fries! These use curry powder for the fries and a cumin-spiked ketchup to make these flavor-forward fries.
10. Buffalo Cauliflower – (LL Balanced) Here’s another great-looking cauliflower recipe that elevates the dish from a side to a main with the unconventional combination of hot sauce and nutritional yeast.
11. Twice Air-Fried Vegan Stuffed Idaho Potatoes – (Healthy Slow Cooking) Baked potatoes were a regular dinnertime staple in our household growing up. These feature a twist, removing the potato, mashing it with vegan yogurt (or whatever yogurt you use) and putting it back in the shells.
Let me start by disclosing something. As soon as I saw the title of this book, and subtitle – Dinner: Changing the Game By Melissa Clark, I knew it was going to be a great book. With a title like that, how could it not be? It’s eclectic, exciting, fresh, do-able, and most important, it answers the question: What am I going to make for dinner?
The book gets right to the point, and the diversity of recipes includes everything from a Chinese-inspired Spicy Stir-fried Cumin Lamb and Duck Breasts with Plums and Garam Masala, to Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese and Seitan Enchiladas, so everyone will feel welcome around Melissa’s dinner table. And yours, too.
Continue Reading One Pan Harissa Chicken…
Mother’s Day is less than a week away. It’s possible your mom told you she doesn’t need or want anything, but let us respectfully translate: she definitely needs or wants something. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas, all of which will arrive on time—and make any mom who loves food and cooking very, very happy.
There is always a case for chocolate cake. It’s as simple as that.
When I set out to make a chocolate cake, I’ll freely admit I use a perhaps unexpected recipe straight from Hershey because… well, the proportions are spot on and it makes for the most straight-forward delicious chocolate cake. It’s exactly what I want it to be.
But… since there’s always a case for chocolate cake – there’s also always a case for trying something new.
Texas sheet cake is a full slab of mellow chocolate cake that’s literally doused in hot fudge, then buried under an avalanche of toasted pecans. Baked in a half sheet pan, it’s clearly designed to feed a crowd, but it keeps so well that a small family could nibble on it for a week. In short, it deserves a place in any baker’s repertoire.
Sit tight! This is one of my very favorite recipes. It’s a boosted wellness honey – bright rosy pink, vitamin C packed, and bursting with flavor. This honey tastes like a thousand Sweet Tart candies were crushed up and dissolved into it. It’s tangy, sweet and sour, and ups your honey game immediately.
I tend to make a big container of this Vitamin C Honey a few times a year with whatever powdery Vitamin C ingredient magic I have on hand. This batch has rose hips and hibiscus, and some echinacea. It’s an electuary of sorts.
Little jars of it make the best gifts. Or a little spoonful after a meal to satisfy a sweet tooth. If you love PB&J sandwiches. Make one with this honey in place of the jelly.
I’ll note this in the recipe down below, but use my recipe as a jumping off point. Play around! If you can’t find one of the ingredients I call for, no big deal. Leave it out, or add another spice or powder you like! Pitaya powder is tricky to source (and pricey), you can totally leave it out, and maybe crush up some freeze-dried strawberries instead!
Hello my friends!
I’ve had one of those once-in-a-lifetime weekends in Louisville Kentucky at this year’s Kentucky Derby. It’s such a unique, cultural tradition that I’ve celebrated with my dear friend Whitney in Los Angelesfor the past seven years and it felt really special to be in Kentucky for the real deal. The horses are gorgeous, the jockeys are so strong. The hats were HUGE, y’all, and the rain was real.