Category Archives: Dahlia’s Recipes

Spicy Red Kimchee

This month’s recipe comes from Katy Chang, a visionary in DC’s vibrant foodie scene. Proprietor of Artisanal Soy, makers of handcrafted natural soy products sold at Whole Foods stores throughout the mid-Atlantic, and founder of EatsPlace, a community commercial kitchen and marketplace with dining space to host pop-up restaurants and guest chef residencies in Petworth, she knows her food.  She understands that food is more than ingredients and flavor profiles, but a way for bringing communities together and for people to share their stories and traditions.  Indeed, her craft in born from a passion to breathe new life into family culinary tradition and share nutritious, artisanal foods.  Below she shares her recipe for kimchee, an incredibly tasty superfood rich in antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, and live probiotics to aid digestion. To your health!


Photo credit: Brad Edelman

Cabbage Brine:
1 head napa cabbage (approximately 2 lbs)
½ cup sea salt

Kimchee Seasoning:
½ onion, thin sliced
¼ carrot, julienned
4 green onions (spring onions), cut into matchstick-size strips
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
Chili, to taste (approximately ½ cup of red chilli powder if corsely
ground or 2 tablespoons if finely ground)
½ cup water

Quarter cabbage and place in a container. Sprinkle salt evenly
throughout cabbage. Use your hands to mix it in evenly. Cover and let
cabbage pickle for 3 hours. Toss and turn over and pickle for 3 more
hours. Add enough water to cover and pack into a crock, tamping down
to force air and water out of the cabbage.

Weigh down cabbage with a heavy plate so it is submerged in the brine.
Cover the entire crock  with a cheesecloth to allow air circulation.
Leave the crock to ferment at room temperature (around 70 degrees).
The cabbage will start tasting tangy after a few days, and the taste
gets stronger as time passes. After a few days to a week, the cabbage
is done pickling and it’s time to make the kimchee seasoning.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the seasoning ingredients. Let the
seasonings stand for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. With
your hands, spread the seasoning all over the cabbage — wear gloves
as the chilis will burn.

Ready to serve or tightly pack the kimchee in a jar and cover loosely
with cheesecloth. Store at room temperature for 24 hours for further
fermentation. Store covered in refrigerator for several weeks.

Mücver: Turkish Zucchini Fritters

Few things delight me as much as fried veggie goodness. Enter mücver, the Turkish zucchini pancake. The recipe below is now my third revision of crafting these indulgent savories, as I’m learning best practices. This traditional meze or small plate makes a lovely addition to an autumnal or holiday dinner party.  I recommend a veggie spiralizer for easy shredding. Your elbows will thank you. Be sure to strain zucchini shreds of excess water so they keep their form. For my gluten-free folks, use chick pea flour. Dust with za’atar or sumac. Serve with lebneh or strained yogurt. Or heck, recently I’ve even paired the mücver with a smoked maple pumpkin puree… That is to say, have fun, get creative. To your health!

Image Source

Image Source

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Serves 8-10


  • 5 medium zucchini, shredded, salted and thoroughly strained of excess water in a colander
  • 2-3 large carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat or chick pea flour
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground marash pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • High heat oil like coconut or grapeseed


  1. In a large colander, strain shredded zucchini and carrots for at least 10 minutes, allowing excess moisture to wring out. Even manually shake and press out excess water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly coat zucchini and carrots with flour & spices.
  3. Add eggs and thoroughly mix.
  4. Heat cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high for 1 minute. Add 1 tbsp of oil. Use your hands to shape patties, about 3-4 inches wide and immediately place on heated skillet, evenly spaced to crisp up.
  5. Fry until golden brown delicious on each side. About 2-3 minutes, then flip.
  6. Allow cooked patties to cool on platter lined with paper towels. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Raw Kale Salad with Coconut-Fried Polenta and Fruits of Summer

Consider this salad an delectable introduction for those not yet turned on to the raw kale trend. My test audience was two skeptical girlfriends I hosted one oppressively hot summer night when my a/c struggled to get below 87 degrees. I love the challenge of introducing crunchy foodie fare to my friends and winning them over. They helped me prep in the kitchen as we cooled off with a chilled chardonnay and they discovered nutritional yeast, the nutty, heady seasoning, for the first time. As we sat down to eat, floor fans a-blowing, I could see the delight in their faces as they took their first bites. The fried savory polenta was the bait, topping superfoods-du-jour kale and quinoa with the unexpected thirst quenching of summer sweets like blueberries and nectarines. Who knew, they exclaimed, the raw kale could be so dang tasty? Success! Share the love and to your health.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6-8

1 bunch kale, thoroughly rinsed, pat dry, removed from ribs and ripped into one-inch chunks
2 nectarines, diced
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup of cooked black quinoa
1 tube of store-bought polenta, cubed
2/3 cup of blueberries
1 tbsp coconut oil

1 lemon, squeezed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1) Over medium-high heat in a large cast-iron skillet, heat coconut oil for one minute.
2) Add polenta and sautee on one side for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Turn onto other side and repeat. When down remove from skillet and allow to cool on ceramic plate lined with paper towel.
3) In a large mixing bowl, massage dressing ingredients evenly into raw kale. Add quinoa and fruit.
4) Transfer salad mixture to large platter. Top with avocado and polenta and serve.

Thai Penang Curry with Chicken

Thai Penang Curry with Chicken

This recipe has been a long time coming, I know :-) Only two weeks after the move did I begin to settle into my new kitchen, and needed the time and space to do this dish justice.  Always stubborn to follow recipes, I have guess-tasted my way to imitating this dish over the past couple of years.  When I was in Thailand a couple months ago for my honeymoon, my husband and I made finally made this dish among others with professionals in a half day course at the Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre of Chiang Mai, perhaps of the most memorable experiences from our trip.  I have done my best to conjure this experience in my offering below, using as many authentic processes and ingredients as possible. However I want this recipe to be  as accessible as possible to the American home cook.  No galangal? Ginger will do.  No kaffir limes? Grab your your regular grocery store variety. So on and so forth.  One thing I did try to keep as authentic as possible is the process of the curry paste.  When our teacher fielded a question on whether the all the upper body workout of the mortar and pestal was really necessary (couldn’t we just use a food processor?!) she very politely explained that if we wanted the genuine percolation of flavors, we’d better roll up our sleeves and get to pounding. Please enjoy this interpretation of the classical Thai dish.  I recommend serving with red Himalayan rice. To your health!


Makings of a delightful curry!


  Curry Paste

The fruits of your labor!

10-15 small dried red Japanese chilis (to taste and spice threshold of course!)
15 whole white peppercorns
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp of peanuts, crushed
2 tbsp shallot, minced (about 1/2 shallot)
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp lime zest (zest of one small lime)
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground coriander

1) In a stone mortar & pestal, grind dried chilis for 2 minutes.
2) Add salt, garlic, shallots, and ginger and continue to grind.
3) Gradually add remaining ingredients and pound to an even paste.


1 pound of organic, free-range chicken cut into small tenders
1.5 cups of broccoli florets

1 can of organic coconut milk
4 tbsp curry paste
1 tbsp coconut oil
5-10 small dried red Japanese chilis (to taste and spice threshold of course!)
2 tbsp fish sauce
Basil leaves, julienned

1) Heat wok over medium flame. Add coconut oil and heat for about 30 seconds. Then add paste and continue to stir and heat through until the chilis are fragrant, about 2 minutes.
2) Add chicken and sautee until its edges begin to cook.
3) Gradually add half of coconut milk, beginning with the thick layer of cream. Bring to a boil and gradully add remaining milk to cultivate desired thickness.
4) Stir in chilis, broccoli and fish sauce.
5) Turn off heat and add basil leaves.

Pistachio-Dusted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad over Spicy Arugula

Beets are back in a big way and the beet and goat cheese salad has been delighting foodies nationwide. This root vegetable has long been hailed since herbal medicine as a potent antioxidant. It is also known for its incredible sweetness and its juices are extracted to create natural sugar substitutes, which makes it just about the one of the best whole foods for those with sugar cravings. This time of year is perfect to turn on the oven before it gets too hot, and roast beets to intensify its natural sugars. Coupled with goat cheese, a heavenly lactose-free alternative for those that typically struggle with dairy, this salad is truly a seasonal delight. Enjoy!


Prep Time: 2.5 hours
Servings: 6-8

4 medium beets, thoroughly washed and rough ends removed
at either end
2 cups of arugula
8 1-tbsp sized chunks of goat cheese, carefully spooned into balls
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. pistachio, crushed
fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon

1) Preheat oven to 385. Tightly wrapped in two layers of foil, roast beets in oven for 90 minutes. Immediately cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2) Remove cooled beats from foil and carefully use your knife to slit an opening in the skin. Peel off gently. Cut into medium sized chunks.
3) In a medium bowl, mix lemon juice and olive oil. Toss arugula in dressing, and plate it evenly on two flat dishes.
4) Carefully top arugula with layer of beets and decoratively arrange goat cheese. Dust with crushed pistachios and serve immediately.


Hindbeh: Lebanese Dandelion Greens

On my last trip to Lebanon with my old job, I vowed not to overindulge in meats and cheeses like I had the previous go around. Instead I would enjoy more salads and greens to keep up my energy for the work ahead. In almost every meal, we had a small plate of hindbeh, a nutty, flavorful sauteed green topped with crispy golden onions. I literally could not get enough of what I assumed was a spinach dish, and found that my energy increased dramatically. I googled it once stateside and learned that it was dandelion- as in the resilient weed. I read on, about its crazy detoxifying properties in cleansing the liver and promoting digestion. ‎For a complete Middle Eastern-inspired meal, serve with toasted pine nuts, chickpeas, and strained yogurt. To your health!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8

2 bunches of dandelion greens, rinsed, bottom four inches of stems removed, and coarsely chopped
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced into half moons.
5 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp kosher salt

1) In one quart of boiling water, blanch dandelion greens for about two minutes. Remove and rinse with cold water.
2) In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sautee for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3) When onions begin to carmelize to golden brown, remove half from pan and set aside. Continue to brown remaining onions to a golden crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.
4) Return half-cooked carmelized onions to pan with garlic and continue to sautee over medium heat for another 2-3 minutes.
5) Stir in dandelion greens and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until greens begin dry out slightly.
6) Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and salt. Refridgerate for 5-7 minutes to cool.
7) Once cool, top with crispy onions and if desired, serve with pine nuts, chickpeas, and strained yogurt.

Butternut Squash Brown Rice Risotto

When offering my readership recipes over the past 18 months, I have tried to alternate between the uber-simple and more complex foodie projects.  This offering is admittedly, the latter.  Usually when I work with grains, I keep it super simple: aromatic spices that inspire at the moment, boil, simmer, and walk away.  Risotto is not as carefree, especially the whole grain version, but it is a sumptuous offering that is sure to delight and inspire, and hearty enough to serve as a main dish.  It is indeed simple to prepare but requires some serious focus and elbow grease. Like making a good bechamel sauce you have to commit to standing stoveside with a wooden spoon and develop consistency.   With butternut squash, shitake mushrooms, kale, and black walnuts, it is ideal for warming your your winter belly.  To your health!


Prep time: 75 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves: 6-8

2 cups short grain brown rice
1 butternut squash, roasted and pureed, yielding just over one cup*
4-5 cups of veggie broth, heated not boiling
1 medium onion, chopped, yielding one cup
5 leaves of kale, removed from vein, and coarsely chopped, yielding 2 cups
1 cup white wine of choice
1 cup of shitake mushrooms chopped
1 cup of black walnut meal (or chopped walnuts)
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp of fresh sage and rosemary, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1) In a medium saucepan, heat half of the oil and sautee mushrooms over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until almost fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Then fold in chopped kale until it begins to reduce, about one minute. Remove and set aside.
2) In a separate large saucepan, over medium heat, add onions to olive oil and sautee for 3-5 minutes until they turn transluscent.
3) Add rice and sautee until rice toasts and become translucent at edges, about 3-5 minutes. Add wine and herbs and stir frequently until wine is absorbed, about 3 minutes.
4) Ladle in 1/2 cup of warm broth and stir frequently until it is absorbed, about 3-5 minutes. Repeat this process for another 25-30 minutes, until rice is fully cooked through but not mushy.
5) Fold in parmesan and walnuts and allow cheese to melt in. Then follow with squash puree, and kale and mushroom mix. Allow flavors to meld for another minute, throughly mixing.
6) Garnish with extra chopped herbs and walnuts and serve.

*Peel, remove seeds, roast at 400 for one hour and puree in food processor. If this is too involved, substitute with canned pumpkin puree.


Smokin’ Hot Mexican Chili!

There is nothing like chili on a cold winter day to warm the belly, warm the soul, and get settled, Not to mention that each bowl of chili is a great source of fiber and protein. This recipe utilizes enough convenience ingredients like canned beans and tomatoes to be accessible to the home cook, but still provides the opportunity to really spend time and connect to the dish and savor the results. To give that extra smoky touch to this chili, I have used not only cumin (my go-to spice), but cocoa powder, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Enjoy with tortilla chips, a pinch of grated cheddar, and substitute strained yogurt (make your own!*) for sour cream.

1 yellow onion, chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
2 bell peppers, red and yellow, diced
2 cups of corn kernels
2 cups of veggie broth (or make your own!)
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 15.5 oz can of black beans
1 15.5 oz can of dark red kidney beans
10 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (7 oz.)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp hot chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
olive oil
grated cheddar cheese for topping
strained yogurt for topping
fresh cilantro and/chives, chopped, for garnish

1) In a Dutch oven or large pot, swirl oil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium high and add garlic, onions, bell peppers, and chipotle peppers. Sautee for about 3-5 minutes until ingredients soften.
2) Stir in diced tomatoes, beans, corn, cocoa powder and spices for another minute until all ingredients begin to meld.
3) Gradually add veggie broth to deglaze, adding up to 2 cups based on your preference for consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4) Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
5) Serve in a deep bowl with tortilla chips and your favorite toppings. Garnish with chopped cilantro and/or chives.

*To strain your own yogurt, use your favorite plain organic brand, preferably in the whole milk variety. Line a large mesh strainer with either cheesecloth or a paper towel and place strainer over a deep bowl. Pour the plain yogurt into the strainer and strain for 4-8 hours. Enjoy!

Roasted Root Veggie Medley

Man, it is COLD out there. Finally winter is starting to feel like winter in the District which means it is time to start enjoying nature’s antidote to this extreme weather: root veggies! Warming and grounding in energy, packed with fiber, nutrients like beta-carotene, and antioxidants – and not to mention and easy on the wallet, root veggies are ideal for the start of the new year. When roasted, their natural, complex sugars percolate, making them a perfect food to curb holiday-end sugar cravings.  I used carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, sunchokes, and rutabagas, but just about any combination of root vegetables will do nicely. Just be sure to have a diversity and easy on the white starchy potatoes. Vibrant color is nature’s way to conveying nutrient-density and rich flavor. To your health!


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6-8

5 medium carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
4 small waxy red fingerling potatoes, coarsely chopped
2 medium sunchokes, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 large rutabaga, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown rice syrup
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dresh ground black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) In a mixing bowl, throughly coat chopped root veggies in olive oil, brown rice syrup, salt and pepper. Pour mixture in 3-quart rectangular casserole dish and put on center rack of oven.
3) Roast until veggies are golden brown, about one hour. If extra crispy texture is desired, broil on high for no more than 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Harira: Moroccan Tomato Chickpea Stew

The inspiration for this recipe is my Dad’s wife Nadia who hails from Morocco, just outside of Casablanca. She will often describe the food of Morocco – not just the dishes, but the way of life that honors the freshness and the stories behind the food, with such poignant nostalgia. She introduced me to this fragrant, hearty, and soul satisying stew which is the national soup of Morocco and traditionally served with dates in Ramadan to break fast. My recipe is a vegetarian version in which the ghee and egg are optional and is perfect adventure for a lazy weekend at home.  Serve with lemon and whole wheat lavash. To your health! 

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes

Serves 10-12

3 tomatoes, pureed, yielding about 3 cups or store-bought puree
2 cups of dried chick peas, soaked overnight, rinsed and strained*
1 3/4 cups of lentils, rinsed and strained
1 medium onion, finely chopped, yielding about 2 cups
4-5 stalks of celery, chopped, yielding about 1 cup
5 cups of water
1 cup of thin vermecelli egg noodles (I crushed whole wheat angel hair into 1 inch pieces)
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 egg (optional if you are keepin it vegan)
3 tbsp whole wheat flour thoroughly mixed in 1/2 cup of water without any flour pockets
2 tbsp tomato concentrate thoroughly mixed in 1/2 cup of water
1 tbsp of fresh parsely and cilantro
1 tsp saffron
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
1 tsp of ghee or clarified butter or regular old organic butter (optional)
Fresh lemon

1) In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium hight heat, then add onion and celery. Sautee and occassionally stir over medium high heat for 3 minutes until they begin to reduce down.
2) Add chickpeas, lentils, spices, ginger, ghee, and stir, coating beans and veggies in spices. Allow to sautee for another 2-3 minutes, then add water.
3) Bring to a boil for 3 minutes, then cover, reduce to low heat and simmer for one hour.
4) Add tomato puree, tomato concentrate and water mixture, and flour and water mixture, and noodles. Allow to simmer for another 20 minutes.
5) Slowly fold in and thoroughly stir one egg into the soup. As the egg cooks, you will see pieces of the egg white solidify. (wish I could make it sound sexier). Add fresh herbs and serve!

*If using canned chickpeas, add during step 4.