Wander the world without leaving your kitchen! Popular blogger, chef, and TV personality Ally Phillips shares her favorite recipes from around the globe in this truly unique cookbook. Full of cultural background, delicious recipes, and Ally Phillips’s signature “food branching” ideas, this cookbook is guaranteed to turn your ordinary meals into memorable masterpieces. Join me for a trip around the world on Ally’s Magic Carpet Ride!
I met Ally at the 2013 Dole California Cookoff where she was one of the three finalists competing to win the grand prize of $25,000. I was one of three sous chefs there to assist and cheer on our gal (or guy – there have been male finalists). Ally is the kind of person that makes friends wherever she goes and that day was serendipity for her as she went on to win the grand prize. Ally’s free spirited ways led her to coin the phrase “boho-licious” to describe the joy of life which manifests itself in her personality, her food, her design and entertaining style, and her all around outlook on life.
And here’s an “after” shot of the salad dressed and with the couscous that I forgot to add for the photos because it was cooling in the refrigerator! The yogurt and goat cheese dressing is light and creamy, beautifully balanced with a touch of acid from the lemon juice and zest. The dressing served as a perfect base for tzatziki to slather on keftedes – just add diced cucumber – delicious!
Ally’s Kitchen: a passport for adventurous palates will be released in bookstores on May 12th or you can order it online at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. Friends of Ally’s, like me, who jumped at the chance to promote her boho-licious cookbook, received an advance copy so we could tell you a little about the culinary adventure within. Ally has been fortunate to travel all over the world and share her discoveries with us. She and I have a mutual love for Middle Eastern flavors, and the cookbook is a handy reference for anyone who is passionate, curious, or wants to learn more about global flavors from around the world.
- 2 cups thinly sliced chard leaves
- 1 cup thinly chard stems
- 1 cup cooked Israeli (pearl) couscous
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- ⅓ cup diced DOLE dried mangoes, or frozen mangoes, thawed and diced
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice and zest of ½ large lemon*
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- freshly ground pepper
- Combine the chard, chard stems, couscous, parsley, mango, cranberries, and toasted pine nuts in a large mixing bowl. Toss to blend.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, goat cheese, milk, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, mint, salt* and pepper.
- Chill for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to meld and the chard to soften.
* I eliminated the salt (2 teaspoons) for a low sodium diet, and increased the amount of lemon and lemon zest from half a lemon to a whole lemon.
You’ll love Ally’s winning recipe for Moroccan spicy meatballs in a red wine fruit sauce that wowed the judges at the 2013 Dole California Cook-off and garnered her yet another cooking competition championships. Ally is well known on the circuit – Larry Oliphant, co-creator of the World Food Championships wrote the foreword for her cookbook and describes Ally as his “kite flyer”, as many people’s kite flyer. She is that rare person who lifts you up, through her food, her cooking, her incredible spirit and strength. “Through this book…your spirt and palate will soar with amazing adventure and joy.”
Beyond the Middle East, Ally’s magic carpet ride takes you through charming European flavors, the stunning Mediterranean, an African excursion, exploring exotic Asia, Caribbean eats, and other random escapades around the world. The recipes include main dishes from hearty meats like Vindaloo oven-roasted chicken to Singaporean grilled glazed salmon and Shakshouka – a popular meatless, Middle Eastern dish of eggs in spicy tomato sauce; appetizers such as Chinese spring onion pancakes and Blackened Shrimp & crispy cucumbers; beautifully exotic salads like Curried channa salad and the Rainbow chard with couscous that I chose to feature. There are warming soups – Mariachi chicken enchilada soup, anyone; and eye-popping delectable desserts like Lemon and Almond Basbousa and Cardamom coconut sugar fried plantains (I can’t wait to try this one!).
For those just beginning to explore global flavors, Ally has included a whole section of recipes for “boho-licious” sauces and spices so you can bring Bohemian Bold to life in your kitchen – with the help of incredible internet resources we have at our fingertips, if particular ingredients are not readily available in your neck of the woods. Vibrant photographs and Ally’s incredible spirit and culinary know-how guide you along as you hitch a ride on her magic carpet!