Essence of Spring: Asparagus and Parsley Soup

By Alan Roettinger     Earth has been called “the blue planet,” owing to the vast area covered by oceans, but in truth it is the green planet, the only one known to support life. The season that most represents this miraculous fact is spring, a time when brown and gray transform before our eyes into lush greens and the potential locked in every seed explodes with near-infinite variety. When I lived in Mexico, I paid little attention to the seasons — we only had two, the dry and the wet, and it was never very cold. But where...

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Penne All’arabbiata – Fiery Comfort in Winter

by Alan Roettinger Winter has never been my thing. I’m a man who feels most comfortable wearing only a sarong, a pair of sandals, and sunglasses. Yet somehow I ended up living on the side of a mountain in Colorado, which is a tale too long for this page. I’ve since acquired the close friendship of a roaring fire, a hot tub and a hearty meal. Fortunately, a deeply warming and satisfying dish is surprisingly easy to make when you set your mind to it. Give me a bowl of steaming spaghetti, and I’m one contented paesan. Speaking of...

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Stretching the Envelope on Holiday Favorites: Butternut Squash Soup

By Alan Roettinger As a private chef, I was privileged to observe the wealthy, powerful and famous up close. I discovered that although they never – ever – had to eat anything they didn’t like, some of them actually had surprisingly simple tastes. What surprised me even more was that during the holidays, nearly every single one of my clients reverted to their old family favorites. These normally (sometimes unbearably) sophisticated people genuinely preferred to eat exactly what mom used to make, right down to the mashed yams with mini-marshmallow topping. Something about the holidays brings us all together...

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Sauce It Up with Red Pepper Sauce

By Alan Roettinger The importance of joining health and pleasure together in our everyday food cannot possibly be overstated. Why? There are two compelling reasons. First, if what we eat is not assuring good health, we will inevitably pay a steep price eventually, and second, if healthful food is not enjoyable to eat, then at some point we will not want to keep eating it. Even masochists like a good meal (trust me on this, I’ve cooked for a few, and they want no pain at dinnertime). This is the reasoning behind my passion for finding ways to make...

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Fast, Easy and Convenient! Artichoke and Lentil Salad

I’m an avid fan and ardent supporter of fresh, whole, organic foods, and I strongly advocate cooking and eating at home. People know this about me. But what many may not know is that I will gladly make an exception for processed food. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right. And yes, I do have an extremely low opinion of processed food. I’m fond of pointing out that if you’re in the habit of eating at restaurants and consuming a lot of processed food, then you’re putting your health in the hands of people who don’t know you, and...

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