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Food, Sauces, Dressings + Spice Blends, Vegetarian

Garlic Scape Pesto

I went to the Raleigh farmers’ market in hopes to find cucamelons (the hunt continues…), but instead, I brought home garlic scapes.

I’m not even mad.

Up until this point I’d never even *seen* scapes in real life. I’m telling you, moving to Raleigh has opened me up to a whole new world of what I like to call “unicorn produce” and it’s nothing short of amazing. These lovely scapes are from a family-owned farm from Selma, NC, Kidd Farm. They’re automatically a winner in my books because a) they practice sustainable agriculture and b) they specialize in elephant garlic. They’ve been growing the stuff for the last 15 years and are one of very few farms in the area that grow it. Truth be told, the ginormous bulbs of elephant garlic are what caught my attention at the stand in the first place and, as I approached, I noticed the scapes. I was so excited about the scapes that I forgot to buy elephant garlic. (Womp womp.) Until next time.

Given my lack of experience with garlic scapes, I had no plan for them until I was 3/4 of the way home and it hit me: PESTO.

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Food, Main Dishes, Salads, Sides, tapa-tizers + snacks, Vegetarian

Cold Soba Noodle Salad With Spicy Peanut Sauce

I love hitting up the patio to grill. Nothing tastes more summertime than something that’s been given the char treatment — especially when it comes to your fave proteins and veggies. But here in North Carolina, some days are just too damn hot. Too hot to fire up the grill, too hot to heat up the oven, and almost too hot to eat… but we *have* to eat.

For this reason, I think it’s super important to have a few go-to recipes that will cool you down while also being substantial and nourishing for your bod.

This soba noodle salad does just that; this soba noodle salad is LIFE.

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Food, Main Dishes, Sides, tapa-tizers + snacks, Vegetarian

Buffalo Sweet Potato Fries With Smokey Blue Cheese

Sometimes you just need a plateful of fancy fries for dinner. And when you’re an adult, you can do these sorts of things; this is adulting done right.

This is also what eating your anxiety looks like.

You see, there’s a bit of a stressor brooding over me and I can’t seem to step from beneath it. In less than a month, a good friend and I are catering an engagement party.

Catering. (Me?)

I’ve never catered anything in my life. I’m excited! And I’m terrified.

This party is for our dear friends who will be tying the knot this fall. I love them and I feel like I’ve grown incredibly close to them since moving to Raleigh so of course, in true Dana fashion, I’m having nightmares about coming up short on fancy crostini, people grumbling about the sangrias not being boozy enough, or people naysaying the playlist. (For the record, I’ve never made a sangria that wasn’t boozy and I’ve NEVER made a shitty playlist.) But after staring at the menu specifics on Monday, I decided that I needed to eat my worries away.

For this reason, this plate of fries.

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Food, Main Dishes, Vegetarian

15-Minute Pasta Aglio E Olio With Toasty Bread Crumbs

The Italian language can make just about anything sound romantic and frilly, and this dish is a pretty great example of that. Though pasta aglio e olio sounds elegant, it translates to “pasta with garlic and oil”. Woah-hoh!

But, there is a bit more to it than that.

This dish is created by lightly simmering sliced garlic in olive oil and, if you know what’s good for you, dried red chili flakes. This oily goodness is tossed with your fave long pasta — typically spaghetti — as well as freshly chopped parsley, and some parmesan or pecorino-romano. Some recipes will tell you to nix the cheese, but not *this* recipe.

(Who denies cheese, ever? Ridiculous.)

Though my husband has always spoken highly of this dish, I wasn’t too interested until I saw David Rocco’s recipe on David Rocco’s Dolce Vita.

Two words: toasted breadcrumbs.

At first blush, I thought adding carbs to carbs was hella sinful and something I should avoid, but heck no. How many of us eat bread with our pasta?

Exactly. You’re welcome.

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Food, Main Dishes, Vegetarian

Crispy Chipotle Chickpea Tacos

I just now realized that with Taco Tuesday being tomorrow, and Cinco de Mayo being Friday, this is a damn good day to post a taco recipe. It likely won’t compete with the margarita round-ups and enchilada recipes circulating the Web since this isn’t the most traditional of taco recipes, but I think some folks have lost sight of what certain traditions mean anyway; so maybe this plant-based twist has a chance after all.

While people in the US are eager to plan their Mexican-themed hooplas, Cinco de Mayo has seemingly taken on a different meaning to them: the celebration of Mexican-American culture (it’s also been mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day which is actually on September 16). While some use this holiday to slam back Coronas with lime and mow down tortilla chips while drunkenly swinging at piñatas (sorry for the finger-wagging, but bros…), Mexico remembers their unlikely victory over the French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862 with military marches, music, parades, and a lot of damn good food. Though anyone from any nationality is welcomed (and encouraged!) to commemorate, consider nixing the sombrero as some sort of funny accessory. Instead, take the opportunity to learn about Mexico’s history and appreciate the celebration for its national unity and patriotism!

Okay. Take this soapbox away.

Now. About these smokey and crispy plant-based tacos that have no relation to Cinco de Mayo…

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