Best Home Cooks: Tara Bench aka Tara Teaspoon

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A former food editor, Tara Teaspoon has since opted to work for herself as a blogger and cookbook author. She's got some serious skills and connections to show for it!

Tara Bench, whose blog Tara Teaspoon is named in part due to her small stature, is a self-described collection of contradictions. She loves staying at home and traveling. She has a sweet tooth but can’t resist a good savory recipe. And she’s a home cook with a professional background.

Find out more about her with fun fill-in-the-blank answers!

The best compliment I’ve received about my cooking is: “It almost brought us to tears, it was so good!”

I always make sure my kitchen is stocked with: butter, sesame oil, harissa, sherry vinegar and plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

My kitchen soundtrack is: ’80s pop/rock

If I were an ingredient, I’d be: sugar

The No. 1 dish on my cooking bucket list is: really good galbi (Korean short ribs)

The last thing I ate was: homemade Neapolitan pizza

A food that brings back childhood memories is: whole wheat pancakes

Try Tara’s Grape & Feta Quinoa Recipe

Grape and feta quinoa Tara teaspoonTy Mecham/Courtesy Shadow Mountain Publishing

Tara combines unexpected ingredients for a fresh, heart-healthy side dish or light entree that hits the spot in every season. The recipe makes 6 servings.

See dozens more nutritious sides.

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • Dash plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

Step 1: Make quinoa

In a saucepan, combine water, quinoa and dash salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Step 2: Stir up the dressing

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and remaining salt.

Step 3: Toss together

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, feta cheese, walnuts and parsley. Add dressing; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.

Delicious gatherings Cover Final SqTy Mecham/Courtesy Shadow Mountain Publishing

Try out more of Tara’s elevated everyday recipes and tips in her cookbook, Delicious Gatherings: Recipes to Celebrate Together!

Get to know Tara even better. Follow her on Instagram @tarateaspoon.

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Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.