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It's not like a have a dearth of recipes to choose from. I've got this big stack of organic, seasonal and vintage cookbooks that I keep in my non-functioning fireplace. (A literary metaphor that you can interpret however you wish.)

This is especially true since cooking is one of those habits like meditating, journaling, crafting, calling my grandmother and--let's face it--blogging that I do far too little.

But I still collect new recipes, so I have a big stack of them awaiting my barely-skilled hands.

When I choose a recipe, my criteria are as follows:

  • Healthy

  • Easy

  • Devoid of processed base ingredients

  • Seasonal

  • At least loosely adhering to paleo principles (Can't hurt, right?)

  • Free of exotic, expensive spices that require you to buy a whole jar and then forget about it in the back of your cabinet (For example, Epicurious is really fun until you realize every recipe requires $80 of ingredients that you will never use again. But hey, if you're trying to figure how to cook quail eggs ...)


Some music to cook to: 


A few weekends ago when my visiting friends and I were laying out on the High Line, I handed a Whole Living over to my friend crazy-A to read. A half hour later I suggested we hit up the Union Square Greenmarket instead of going out to dinner. (That's my kind of tourist destination.) Crazy-A ripped a recipe for shaved radish, fennel and parmesan salad out and we had an almost precious time of it, wandering around the market, sampling cheeses, picking out produce, etc. Once we were back at home, we (OK, Crazy-A, while I watched) whipped it up along with some bluefish for dinner. It was so fresh and tasty, I was glad we didn't pay $50 each for a dinner out in NYC. (That was the night before, at the John Dory Oyster Bar.)

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Whole Living doesn't have a monopoly on good recipes, of course. Last night I put together an avocado, edamame and quinoa salad from InStyle, of all places. I was totally being a crazy, has-lived-alone-for-too-long person while I ate it, saying out loud while I shoveled it in my mouth, "Holy crap, this is so good."

One place where the recipes are complete doo-doo? Self. That magazine is obviously geared toward middle-America women with body issues that they can prey on. I would sum up their editorial direction as, "How to lose ten pounds while eating low-calorie, processed food!" I read that magazine religiously in college while on the stair stepper and gained weight.

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Back to Whole Living. A couple weeks ago I tried what looked like an ambitious recipes for home-made chocolate-apricot nut bars, and I'm totally hooked. You just shove a few healthy ingredients in a food processor, smoosh it onto a cookie sheet, drizzle chocolate (or in my case, smear gobs of it) across the top, stick it in the fridge and then cut it into bars. There's something so edifying about pulling an energy bar you made yourself out of the fridge when you're running out the door. I doubled the recipe and made more on Sunday. (Yes, it was a "low key" weekend for me and I may have had some time on my hands. Shut up.)

So tell me: Do you have any recipes you've found lately you're totally obsessed with?