Does this ever happen to you? You make a grocery list, trot off to the store, buy everything on the list, bring it home, unpack, and then scratch your head and wonder what on Earth you'd planned to cook. I can't remember what I had in mind for a bag of unsweetened coconut flakes -- cookies? cupcakes? -- but from now on, it's going to be this broccoli slaw salad, inspired by the garnishes traditionally served with Indian curries. Cashews, raisins, and toasted coconut give crunch and sweetness to the broccoli, which is tossed with a curry-spiced Greek yogurt dressing. Call it a side dish, or a main dish for lunch. I promise you'll be buying coconut more often, because you're going to love this salad, so please do as I forgot to do -- write down, somewhere, what you're planning to make with it.
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Every day, green shoots (chives! daffodils!) appear in the garden where snow and mud used to be, so I'm pushing the season and planning ahead for picnics and porch dinners. You really can't have a party without cole slaw, at least not in New England. There's nothing wrong with the traditional cabbage-and-mayo recipe, but this smoky spicy cole slaw seems tailor-made for barbecue. I love to make it with Rhode Island's own Cowboy Ketchup, a magical blend of ketchup, mustard and barbecue sauce flavors; you can swap in your own favorite homemade or store-bought barbecue sauce. To keep this slaw on the lower-fat side, I use two parts nonfat Greek yogurt to one part mayonnaise. Make the slaw a day or two in advance, and serve it cold, atop your favorite ribs, hot dogs or burgers.
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WARNING: This is not a mirage. It's cauliflower. More specifically, it's aloo gobi, the classic Indian cauliflower and potato dish, redolent with warm spices and gold-tinged by turmeric. Yes, I am trying to get over my lifelong distaste for cauliflower in 2013, by combining it with flavors and in recipes I already know I love. Almost anything cooked in a spicy hot base tingles my taste buds; add to that the convenience of using the slow cooker, and I had to give this dish a go. I can't say I fell head-over-heels for the cauliflower, but I ate a few pieces, which is more than I might have done a year ago. My husband Ted happily devoured the rest with some steamed basmati rice.
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It's not easy to learn to love something you have spent a lifetime detesting. For me, that something is cauliflower, so I've decreed that 2013 will be The Year I Learn to Love Cauliflower. Or, if not love, like. When you're incorporating something new into your diet, start with a dish you already know you will eat. In this case, I swapped cauliflower for half of the potatoes in a creamy rich potato soup, and topped it with sharp Cheddar cheese. What's not to love? Stay tuned as I continue my adventures in cauliflower. I'm pinning recipes ideas to a Cauliflower board on Pinterest, so please leave any links to your own favorite recipes in the comments. Then, make this soup. I loved it, and I know you will, too. By the end of the year, I'll be making it without the potatoes. I promise.
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