Try This— Classic Homemade Cacio e Pepe

I’m heading out on another European adventure this Summer. First stop: Rome. This will be my first time visiting the Eternal City  and while I imagine the Sistine Chapel is really impressive, I’m mostly looking forward to dining out on really real Italian food. Everybody I know is telling me that I have to try cacio e pepe while I’m there. Cacio e pepe, literally translating to ‘cheese and pepper’, is standard Roman fare, and if the name is any indication, it sounds like it’s as close to perfection as food can get because, well, cheese and pepper.

Anyway, I scoured the internet for a recipe that I could prepare at home so that I when I try it in Rome, I can slowly lean back at the table, loosen my jeans button, and arrogantly say, “the cacio e pepe I make at home is waaaayyyyy better.” #petty. So, I found this amazing recipe from the fine folks at Food52, and I’m pretty confident that this dish will hold up against any cacio e pepe I order in Rome. For real, this recipe is real life weeknight dinner goals. You must try this!

Classic Homemade Cacio e Pepe


  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns crushed in a mortar and pestle or 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 (16 oz) package spaghetti
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • About 3/4 to 1 cup of cooking water


  • In a pot over low heat, heat the crushed peppercorn with the olive oil.
  • In a pot large enough to cook the spaghetti, bring water to a boil.
  • Turn the heat off under the olive oil and add about 1/2 cup of the hot cooking water from the pot into the pan, then set aside.
  • When the pasta water comes to a rolling boil, add the salt, stir, then add the spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti until 2 minutes under the lowest time recommended on the package. Using tongs (you don’t want to get the rid of the water), add the pasta to the pot with the pepper. Turn the heat onto very low and turn the pasta continuously until most of the water is absorbed. At this point, remove from the heat and transfer to a warm bowl.
  • Still tossing, begin adding the two grated cheeses, a couple handfuls at a time. If it starts to get dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of pasta water. Keep turning and turning, adding cheese and pasta water, a little at a time, until all the cheese has been incorporated and you have a lovely creamy sauce coating each strand of pasta. Eat immediately.


Try This— The Easiest Homemade Vegetarian Ramen Recipe

I pretty much lived on ramen when I was in college. Back then my four basic food groups were salt, junk, cheap, and easy. Such is the gut fortitude of a nineteen year old. Times have certainly changed, and though my taste and my junk food cravings haven’t, at least now I’m old enough to try and make healthier choices. I want to keep my ramen classy, y’all. No more undergrad ramen for me! I mix up my own seasoning and keep it on the shelf, ready for those nights when I’m feeling just as sleepy as I did when I was in college. You can’t get much easier than a basic ramen bowl, and with some simple add-ins, you’ll be well on your way to total ramen sophistication. You must try this!!!

Homemade Ramen Seasoning


  • 2 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 vegetable bullion cubes
  • 1 tbsp black pepper


  • crush bullion cubes into a powder
  • mix all ingredients, including bullion, together
  • store in an airtight container

Basic Ramen bowl


  • 2 oz vermicelli rice noodles (If you use this kind that’s about one quarter of the box)
  • 1 c of boiling water
  • 1 tbsp homemade ramen seasoning (you might want to start with less and add more to taste)


  • place rice noodles in a small bowl
  • sprinkle with homemade ramen seasoning
  • add boiling water and allow the rice noodles to sit for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally to separate the noodles
  • Enjoy!

optional add-ins

  • chili oil or (homemade) sriracha, to taste
  • a splash of lemon or lime juice
  • a boiled egg or two
  • lightly fried tofu
  • kimchi
  • quick cooking vegetables: spinach, thinly slice cabbage, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, bean sprouts, or green onions are all good choices
  • frozen vegetables: corn and peas are my favorite! Just be sure to thaw them a bit in warm water before adding them to your ramen bowl

This recipe makes the perfect mason jar lunch. just like these healthy mason jar snack ideas, mason jar ramen is ready in minutes. The dry ingredients have a long shelf life, so you can assemble a few dry noodles/seasoning mason jars well ahead of time. When you’re ready to eat them, just lift one from the pantry and add boiling water. Lunch in 3-5 minutes with no effort! Think of it as a savory alternative to your favorite mason jar oatmeal recipe.

Recipe adapted from: Connoisseurusveg and Minimalist Baker

Try This— Vegetarian ‘Chicken’ Shawarma

I’m not really in the business of trying to fool any meat eaters with my vegetarian recipes. I stay away from mock meat for the most part and I just bask in the glory that is a well prepared plant based meal. But this Beyond Meat stuff is really testing my resolve as a dyed in the wool vegetarian, and it’s also making it possible for me to slip more plant based meals under the radar to my unassuming, carnivorous family members. Case in point: this vegetarian chicken shawarma I just made over the weekend. There are no words, let’s just say these are amazing. You can’t get a meatier meal than shawarma, and up until now there was absolutely no viable vegetarian substitute. This recipe from Gimme Delicious has the slow roasted taste of your classic shawarma with none of the meat.  You must try this!!!

Vegetarian ‘Chicken’ Shawarma


  • 1 pack Beyond Meat© Chicken strips
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil ( 2 for the pan and 2 in the paste)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon all spice
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 pitas
  • optional toppings sliced onion, tomatoes, lettuce
  • Creamy Yogurt White Sauce


  • Combine the spices, garlic, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. The mixture will form a thick paste. Next, add the chicken strips and onions. Combine the chicken with the paste.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-duty pan or skillet. After the pan is very hot toss in the chicken and onion mixture. Sautee for 2-3 minutes or until he chicken is lightly charred and the onions are soft.
  • to make a shawarma sandwich, lay a pita flat on a plate with a sheet of foil under it. Top with chicken, veggies and sauce.

***If you’re vegan, leave out the sauce!

Try This—No-Knead Turkish Bread With Middle Eastern Zhoug, A Spicy Cilantro Pesto

So I was listening to The Clash’s Combat Rock over the weekend and I suddenly had a craving for Turkish bread. Hear me out, Joe Strummer, the singer of The Clash, was born in Turkey and I started thinking about how punk rock it would be for me to bake bread on a Saturday night. Whatever. It made sense at the time. I’m glad my stream of consciousness leads me down these roads, because yum. This no knead bread recipe is gonna be your favorite, and if you have an extra few minutes you can make some zhoug for dipping. You must try this!

No-Knead Turkish Bread

This bread recipe from Lazy Cat Kitchen is super easy to make and so, so, so delicious! It’s perfect for dipping, but don’t stop there. I’ve even made myself a loaded Mediterranean veggie sandwich using this bread.

Middle Eastern Zhoug

Zhoug is quickly becoming my go-to condiment. From sandwich topper, to dip, to marinade, to omelets, zhoug just makes everything better. This recipe from Feasting at Home is my favorite. You guys, this stuff is spicy, but you can totally adjust it to suit your taste.

Happy Dipping!

Try This—5 Vegetarian Recipes That Almost Got Away

I share a lot of recipes with you guys. I know you haven’t tried them all. Don’t be ashamed. I’m not mad. It’s totally ok. We’re still friends and all that and I’m totally here for you if you need a hug. But you do know if I share a recipe twice, I mean business. These are the recipes that may have gotten away from you, but they are so worth it that I had to share them again. Like I always say, you must try this!!!

Halloumi Burgers With Sticky Sriracha Glaze

Tbh, this sriracha glaze is everything. You’ll dream about this sandwich. Promise.

Cheesy Savory Oatmeal

There’s almost nothing as hearty as oatmeal. This stick to your ribs recipe is definitely a keeper.

Pan-Fried Gnocchi

The perfect weeknight dinner. Quick and amazingly tasty, This is sure to become one of your go to meals.

Savory Yogurt Bowls

Who says that yogurt has to be sweet? Not I. These savory yogurt bowls will make you a believer.

Loaded Sweet Potato With Lime Cream

This is probably my favorite way to serve sweet potatoes. I usually fry up some tofu, load up a sweet potato, toss a side salad and pig out like a queen.