Who’s Hungry? Three Beloved South Bay Chefs Share Favorite Dishes to Enjoy This Season

Summer sensations.

Manhattan Beach’s Pamela Salzman is a cooking instructor, cookbook author, holistic health counselor and food blogger. Pamela’s first cookbook, Kitchen Matters, was published in June 2017, and her second book, Quicker Than Quick, was released in April 2020. She is a contributor to Food Network Kitchen and has appeared on numerous media outlets including Today, Rachael Ray, Hallmark’s Home & Family, dozens of local TV shows, goop, mindbodygreen, and ELLE and Allure magazines. Pamela shares her family-friendly recipes and nutrition tips on her social media channels and her website, where she also offers cooking classes and courses. 

“Chinese Chicken Salad is one of my most beloved recipes from Quicker Than Quick,” she says. “You can swap in precooked rotisserie chicken if you like. And you can swap in tahini for the cashew butter in the dressing.” 

Photographed by Amy Neunsinger

Chinese Chicken Salad

serves 6–8

  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts 
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced into rounds
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 cups chopped Savoy or Napa cabbage
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/8 medium head)
  • 1 large carrot, grated or julienned
  • 1 cup mandarin orange segments 
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted


  • 6 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pure grade A maple syrup, mild raw honey or cane sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons raw cashew butter (or add an extra 1½ tablespoons of olive oil)
  • ¾ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¾ teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (such as sriracha)
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon minced garlic, about 1 medium clove
  • ⅜ teaspoon ground ginger

To poach chicken, place it in a saucepan with the garlic, peppercorns, ginger and salt and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to low, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Allow chicken to cool in the poaching liquid for 20 minutes. Remove the skin and bones and shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Add chicken and remaining salad ingredients to a large serving bowl.  

To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients in a bowl or shake in a glass jar with a screw-top lid. Pour enough dressing over the salad to coat lightly and toss. 

Amber Caudle is a best-selling author and holistic chef. Her passion for nutrition and cooking nourishing food led to the creation of Hermosa Beach’s The Source Cafe in 2012, a soul project born from her journey to heal her relationship with food. Amber’s mission is to make an impact on people’s lives through the power of food, emphasizing the importance of what we put into our bodies. By integrating this knowledge with her culinary knowledge, she offers a unique, holistic approach to nutrition that promotes physical and emotional well-being, guiding individuals toward a life of authenticity, peace and freedom. Her bestselling cookbook, Sexy, Nourishing To Fuel Your Body, Mind & Soul, is a testament to her culinary skill and deep understanding of food’s restorative power. 

“I love this versatile dish hot or cold, as a main or side, for lunch or dinner,” she shares. “As a side dish, it pairs really well with a piece of grilled or seared salmon or cod. As a main dish, I accompany it with a simple green salad, and for extra protein I add a scoop of collagen powder to the pesto before mixing everything together.”

Photographed by Hailee Repko

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto & Tomato

serves 4 

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 cups baby grape tomatoes, rinsed 
  • 2 (10-ounce) containers zucchini noodles or 4-5 large zucchinis spiralized
  • ½ cup Pumpkin Seed Pesto (see recipe below) 
  • a pinch of sea salt 
  • a pinch of black pepper 
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds 
  • Almond Ricotta for topping (optional, see recipe below)

Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes until skins start to blister and soften, being careful not to burn them. Add zucchini noodles and cook for 1 minute. In a medium bowl, combine zucchini-tomato mixture with pesto, salt and pepper and mix until the noodles are coated. Plate the noodles and top with pumpkin seeds add big spoonfuls of almond ricotta.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

  • 2 cups basil 
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • ¾ cup activated pumpkin seeds 
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds 
  • juice from 1 orange (about 3 tablespoons) 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper 

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Almond Ricotta

  • 2 cups peeled almonds, soaked for at least 6 hours, then strained 
  • ¾ cup filtered water 
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 

Combine almonds with the rest of the ingredients in a high-speed blender until creamy. 

Peggy Curry is a lifelong educator, food entrepreneur, author, speaker, and award-winning health and wellness advocate who has spent decades supporting others on their health journey. She is committed to supporting people of all ages in healing their bodies of autoimmune disorders and upleveling their health. In her debut gluten-free cookbook, Damn Good Gluten Free, this mother of four shows how to heal your body with food and make flavorful meals that will knock the socks off everyone at your table. After healing her family of six nearly two decades ago using a gluten-free diet, Peggy has become a go-to source for delicious gluten-free recipes that are safe, healthy and functional. 

 “For June and Father’s Day, I’m sharing my Fajitas 4 Ways recipe,” she says.

Fajitas 4 Ways 

serves 6-8 

  • 1–2 pounds grilled grass-fed skirt steak or 2 cups roasted chicken or 1 pound whitefish or 2 cups cauliflower 
  • 2–3 teaspoons fajita seasoning blend 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 2–3 tablespoons avocado oil 
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 colorful bell peppers, sliced
  • ½ jalapeño or serrano chili, finely chopped 
  • 3–4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1–2 limes (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1–2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 6 gluten-free or grain-free tortillas, warmed 

Depending on what you choose, shred the cooked chicken, slice the raw meat into strips, leave the fish whole or chop the cauliflower. Season with fajita seasoning, garlic granules and sea salt. Heat a skillet over medium heat; add oil. Sauté onions, peppers and chili until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 5 minutes until caramelized. Add meat, fish or cauliflower to pan. Add lime juice, vinegar and salt to taste. Cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes so flavors marry. The liquid should reduce so the fajitas are moist but not soaked. If it appears dry, taste and add a little more oil, balsamic or lime juice. Let your intuition decide! Garnish with cilantro just before serving with a plate of warmed tortillas. 

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