We are big broccoli fans here. Even Alma loves broccoli. And pesto? Yes. So a double broccoli quinoa recipe with broccoli and broccoli pesto from 101cookbooks — sounded great. But it ended up being a surprising amount of work, and had an awfully lot of fat for something that didn’t taste particularly decadent. We didn’t love it. And there were a few things about the recipe that we found odd. Read the rest of this entry »
Derek picked this recipe out of our new Indian cookbook: 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. He thought it would make an easy weeknight recipe. I liked the recipe, but it turns out it’s not so quick. Read the rest of this entry »
When we visited my Mom in June, she made a simple chia pudding with almond milk, which I really liked. It’s also vegan and raw. I liked it so much that when I got home I bought some chia seeds. But then of course I never got around to using them. When my mom came to visit in August, she discovered the unopened package, and made homemade almond milk and then used it to make me some more of her chia pudding. It was delicious. But making the almond milk was a pain, because my almonds didn’t peel easily. So for a second batch she tried making a version with hemp milk instead of almond milk. It was also good, but the hemp milk adds a pretty sharp grassy note. Alma ate both versions, but seemed to prefer the one with almond milk. Once my mom left I didn’t have the energy to make almond milk, so I bought some at the store and made another batch of chia almond milk pudding. Alma really liked it. So I tried to find some more recipes using chia seeds, and I came across this recipe for pumpkin pie chia pudding. Read the rest of this entry »
When my mom was here a few weeks ago she made an excellent parsley salad. It was made from parsley leaves (lots!), grated carrots, red onions, and a simple lemon dressing. Then she added roasted pepitas, which are optional. Delicious. I’ve never been a big fan of taboulleh, so I didn’t realize how tasty a simple parsley salad could be.
My mom had more parsley leftover after making two parsley salads, and so just threw it into a regular green salad. Sooo good. I really miss having a variety of green leafy vegetables available, and so adding parsley to salads is a great way to get more dark green vegetables into my diet. Plus it’s cheap and delicious. I highly recommend it.
Tonight was a “use what’s in the fridge and be quick about it” dinner. I threw together this stirfry and Derek liked it so much that he asked me to write up what I did. I didn’t measure or time anything, so below is just a best guess. Read the rest of this entry »
This is another recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty cookbook. My mom picked it to make last week, as she had never tried celeriac before. I’ve mostly eaten celeriac pureed in soups or raw in salads, so I was also excited to try this recipe—the celery root is boiled but not pureed.
I got Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty cookbook from Derek’s father a few weeks ago, and Derek looked through it and chose a recipe for a swiss chard, chickpea and tamarind stew. The stew is seasoned with caraway seeds, cilantro, and yogurt among other things. But then when I went to make it I looked it up in the index and found a different recipe— also a chickpea and chard sauté, which is seasoned with caraway seeds, cilantro, and yogurt, among other things. We stuck with the tamarind stew, but then made the sauté a few days later.
I bought a large kohlrabi without having any specific plans for it, then found a recipe on thekitchn.com for a kohlrabi and carrot slaw. I used the recipe as a jumping off point, altered it based on what I had in the fridge, and ended up with a kohlrabi, carrot, fennel, and apple slaw with a cilantro jalapeño lime dressing. It was a little spicy and a little sweet, and both Derek and I liked it a lot! I didn’t measure anything, so below is my best guess at what I did. Read the rest of this entry »
My mom recently asked me if wild rice combines with beans to form a “complete protein,” as brown rice does. I thought I’d post my answer to her here, as the myth about complete proteins is pretty widespread.
The “incomplete protein” myth was first popularized by Frances Moore Lappé in her 1971 book, Diet for a Small Planet. The main concern is that, as a general rule, legumes are lower in the essential amino acid methionine while most other plants foods (including grains) are lower in the essential amino acid lysine. So to get a “complete protein” you have to eat grains and beans together.
An aside: I’m not sure how “most other plant foods” became “grains.” Maybe it’s because most people think beans and grains are the only plant foods that have much protein? They seem to not realize that nuts and vegetables can also provide non-negligible amounts of protein.
But going back to the complete protein myth. Today, most vegetarians (at least) know that your body can store the essential amino acids and so you don’t have to actually eat grains and beans together at every meal. But many vegetarians still seem to believe that you have to eat both grains and beans in order to get all the essential amino acids. But that is also a myth.
To see why, consider the amount of methionine and lysine in various foods:
|Food||Serving||Calories||Protein (g)||Lysine (mg)||Methionine (mg)|
|Green leafies||1 cup||38||3.7||200||100|
|Cheese||1 – 1.5 oz||112||7.7||640||210|
About this table: Note that the weight when stated is of the cooked food, except for the dairy, nuts, and seeds entries, which are assumed to be raw. When no serving size is stated the protein numbers are based on the specified number of calories. The general category entries (e.g., grains, beans, nuts, cheese…) are based on a manual averaging of 5 to 10 common varieties from each category. The serving size for cheese was taken to be 1 ounce for hard cheeses and about 1.5 ounces for softer, fresh cheeses.
First let’s take a look at lysine. The first thing to notice is that a serving of beans has about the same amount of lysine as the “complete proteins” of dairy and eggs. But most other plant foods have very little lysine. And the RDA for lysine for a 125 pound person is 2159 mg. There are a few non-legume foods with reasonable amounts of lysine (most notably pepitas, which have 575 mg in 3/4 oz). But even if you were to eat a lot of pumpkin seeds, it would be hard to get close to 2159 mg without eating beans. And if you weigh more than 125 pounds then you’ll need even more lysine. So if you’re a vegan you will either need to eat a huge amount of calories or you will need to eat beans! You can read more about lysine requirements for vegans on the excellent www.veganhealth.org website.
Now methionine. None of the plant foods have as much methionine per serving as a serving of eggs or dairy. But the RDA is also lower, at about 540 for a 25 pound person. (The RDA is actually 1080 for methionine + cysteine, but the amounts are usually similar in most plant foods, so I divided it in half to get an estimated RDA for methionine alone.) While it’s true that grains have a higher percentage of methionine than beans and other plant foods (except for green leafies apparently), the total amount of methionine from a serving of grains is actually slightly less than the total amount from a serving of beans, since beans have quite a bit more protein than grains on average. That said, it would be almost impossible to meet the RDA for methionine from beans alone. Our prototypical 125-pound woman would need to eat about 5 cups of beans! Not impossible, but probably a bad idea. To get enough methionine, you need to eat a range of protein-containing foods (i.e., not just fruit and starchy vegetables), but you don’t need to eat either beans or grains in particular. If you’re eating enough protein then it it’s be hard to not get enough methionine.
Here’s a sample diet that has no grains and meets the RDA for both lysine and methionine: 2 cups of beans, 2 ounces nuts/seeds, 1 cup green leafies, a serving of mushrooms, a serving of cruciferous vegetables, and 2 servings of other veggies. Yes, that is 6 servings of vegetables, but you’re supposed to get 9 servings a day of fruits and vegetables, so that seems reasonable.
All of that said, in practice many people (even supposedly health-conscious vegans) do not eat 2 cups of beans and 6 servings of vegetables on a daily basis. But they probably eat quite a bit of grains, so they can get the rest of their lysine and methionine that way.
To recap: If you’re eating beans and a variety of vegetables along with some nuts and seeds, you don’t have to eat grains, at least in terms of protein requirements. But a vegan most likely can’t hit the RDA for lysine with just grains, nuts, and vegetables — most days you’ll need to eat beans as well.
Of course, some might argue that the RDA for lysine is unnecessarily high, but that’s a topic for another day….
We went to Greece last week (Derek had a workshop there), but most of the time we just ate in our hotel in Kefalonia. The food there wasn’t so inspiring (I guess it’s about what you would expect from an all-inclusive resort hotel), but I did appreciate that there were always beans available. We were there for five nights and they served chickpeas several times, fava beans several times, black eyed peas once, and various white beans.
We spent one day in Athens, and ate at two places that I can recommend for vegetarians—Chemin and Mani-Mani. Read the rest of this entry »
I say what we’ve been cooking instead of what I’ve been cooking, because with the new baby, Derek has been doing about as much cooking as I have, if not more. In the first few months he was mostly just making old standbys, but in the last week or two we’ve finally started to branch out and try some new recipes. I don’t have time to write full blog posts about each one, so I’ll write a short blurb here for each. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s another recipe that Hanaleah made while she was here last week. It’s from the cookbook Buddha’s Table by Chat Mingkwan. We didn’t have the time to make the massamun curry paste from scratch, so we used store-bought red curry paste and added the sweet spices to it. Read the rest of this entry »
This is another recipe my sister decided to try while she was here last week, this time from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers cookbook. Madison describes it as a “homey gratin”. You boil the cabbage and leeks, and then mix them with flour, milk, sour cream, eggs, salt, and finely chopped parley and/or dill. Read the rest of this entry »
My sister visited me last week, and picked this recipe from the Angelica Home Kitchen cookbook. In the end, however, she didn’t have time to make it, and so Derek and I made it for lunch today, along with a pan of some garlicky kohlrabi greens. Read the rest of this entry »
Derek’s parents brought us four pounds of giant black beans from Rancho Puerto. They’re big and meaty and delicious plain, but I thought they might also make a nice salad. We went looking for a recipe and found this recipe for a giant black bean salad with a honey jalapeño lime dressing on 101cookbooks. We’ve tried various salads from the 101cookbooks website before, and usually haven’t found them that inspiring, but everyone really liked this one. The dressing is a nice balance of sweet and spicy and tart, and it goes great with all the other ingredients (black beans, arugula, feta, and toasted almonds), each of which adds an essential taste and texture.
The only criticism I have of the recipe is that the amounts seem off. We had more than 2 to 3 “large handfuls” of arugula, but it wasn’t nearly enough greens for that amount of beans. And it seemed like there was more almonds and dressing than we needed for 3 cups of beans, although perhaps if we had had more greens, we would have used up all the dressing.
I don’t know how this recipe would be with regular small black beans, but I’d like to try it, as I can’t get my hands on giant black beans very often.
Alma is six weeks old tomorrow, and I’m finally finding a tiny bit of time to do some cooking. Derek brought home a savoy cabbage and a bunch of scallions, and I decided to try this Cook’s Illustrated recipe, even though it calls for green cabbage not savoy cabbage. The recipe recommends soaking the cabbage briefly to reduce bitterness / sulfurous and provide extra moisture to help the cabbage steam. I wasn’t sure if the savoy cabbage needed this step, but I did it anyways. Read the rest of this entry »
I wanted to use up some brussels sprouts and cilantro, and found this recipe for a tofu, sprout stirfry on 101cookbooks. It looked interesting, and we had all the ingredients on hand, so Derek and I gave it a try for lunch yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »
I had a butternut squash that was starting to go bad, and I asked Derek to choose a recipe to use it up. He chose this Yotam Ottolenghi recipe for roasted butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za’atar, which I was happy about, because it would allow me to use up some of the zaatar I bought to make the last Ottolenghi recipe we tried (this za’atar spiced beet dip). You can find more comments about the recipe (and a photo!) on this seriouseats page. Read the rest of this entry »
This was another pantry-cleaning-inspired selection. I wanted to use up some whole (unhulled) barley, and Derek and I chose this refreshing-sounding recipe for a barley salad from the 101 cookbooks website. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m doing an end-of-the-year pantry cleaning, and wanted to use up some risotto rice. Derek and I looked at a couple of different recipes and finally decided on this pumpkin risotto recipe from the Union Square Cookbook. The recipe first has you make a pumpkin broth using standard vegetable broth ingredients (onion, leek, celery, carrots, etc.) as well as 2 cups canned pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and sweet spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Once the broth is made, you make the risotto, adding diced winter squash along with the rice, and then tossing in fresh sage, arugula, and mozzarella right before serving. Read the rest of this entry »
I bought a large bunch of mint for this lemon mint lentil potato ragout recipe, but didn’t use it all up, and went looking for something to do with all the mint. I found this recipe in Nancie McDermott’s Real Vegetarian Thai cookbook. It looked pretty simple and called for a whole cup of mint leaves, so Derek and I made it for dinner the other night. Read the rest of this entry »
I was looking for a recipe to use up some teff flour, and I came across this recipe for chocolate, teff, banana bread on the Cannelle Et Vanille blog. I vaguely recall making a different chocolate, teff, banana bread earlier this year (this recipe from the gluten-free-girl blog) and not being so excited about it. I’m not usually a fan of chocolate in banana bread—I normally prefer adding nuts and spices, as I find that adding chocolate or chocolate chips overpowers the pure banana-bread-y-ness. With this recipe, however, I absolutely loved the final product. I’m not sure what made the key difference (maybe it’s just the pregnancy talking?), but I adored this cake. It’s very sweet and very moist and very banana-y, with a tender crumb that is neither overly delicate nor overly gooey. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve seen this Yotam Ottolenghi beet dip recipe show up on several blogs lately, and although beets and goat cheese is a standard combination, I’ve never tried beets and goat cheese with Zaatar before. It sounded interesting, so I thought I’d give it a try.
I used pre-cooked, pre-peeled beets, and so the recipe was pretty easy—just put everything but the garnishes in the food processor and blend. The puree tasted okay, but I could barely taste the za’atar, which was the reason I had picked the recipe in the first place. I ended up adding quite a bit more as a garnish on top of the puree. as well as more hazelnuts and goat cheese and scallions. (The garnishes seemed to disappear much faster than the beet dip.)
We ate the dip with pita bread, but it seemed to last an awful long time, given that it was only made from 6 beets. (Normally Derek and I could polish off 6 small beets in one or maybe two sittings.) Derek liked the dish more than me, but after we finally finished it I asked him if we should make it again, and he said no.
I think my main problem with the recipe is that it’s a dip. I just didn’t know what to do with it. I couldn’t figure out what to dip into it other than pita bread, and I didn’t really want to eat a massive amount of pita bread. I think I would have liked it better as a salad with sliced beets.
My sister loves this recipe for a yam and peanut stew with kale, and has recommended it to me several times. She mentioned it again last week and coincidentally I had (almost) all the ingredients on hand (everything but the roasted and salted peanuts and the scallions). Hanaleah said that I could leave off both, since they’re just garnishes. So I decided to make it for dinner.
I bought a new bottle of grade C maple syrup at Al Natura last week, and Derek really wanted to try it, but we were out of oatmeal. Forced to improvise, I decided to make this “better than oatmeal” recipe, which is basically mashed banana mixed with eggs, pecans, and spices. Weird, no? Read the rest of this entry »
For my next zucchini recipe, I chose this simple recipe from Sara Moulton Cooks at Home. Jack Bishop has similar recipes in his Italian Vegetarian cookbook. The idea is to concentrate the zucchini flavor by tossing the grated zucchini with salt and letting it drain, then squeezing out a lot of the moisture. Read the rest of this entry »
Even after making two zucchini breads, I still had a ton of zucchini left. I cooked some up with carrots and onions and used it as a topping for pasta along with fresh tomatoes and basil. It was tasty but for my next recipe I wanted to try something a little bit different. When I was looking for recipes that call for coconut flour, I had bookmarked this recipe for almond meal and zucchini falafel from the divaliciousrecipesinthecity.com blog. Unfortunately, I didn’t go back and re-read the head notes before making the recipe, I just started with the ingredient list. I saw “almond meal” and thought it was supposed to be ground almonds, but it turns out the recipe is actually calling for the fibrous, low-fat almond meal leftover from making homemade almond milk. Whoops! Maybe that’s why my falafel were such a disaster. But a surprisingly tasty disaster… Read the rest of this entry »
A friend gave me a ton of zucchini from her garden, and I had to figure out what to do with it. I’d never made zucchini bread before, but I was in the mood for something sweet, so I found two recipes online for reasonably healthy-looking zucchini bread. One is for a “regular” zucchini bread, just modified a bit to be lower calorie. The second is for a chocolate zucchini bread. Read the rest of this entry »
This recipe is based on one from the Cook’s Illustrated “The Best Light Recipe” cookbook. The original recipe is for a lentil salad with scallions, walnuts, and roasted red peppers. But when Derek makes this dish he usually just makes the lentils, and doesn’t bother to add the other ingredients. He’s perfectly happy with just the lentils and the über simple mustard-olive oil-sherry vinegar dressing. Read the rest of this entry »
I spent three days last week in Prague with my sister, my brother, and my sister-in-law. Three of the four of us were vegetarian, so we mostly ate at vegetarian or ethnic restaurants. Below are some notes.
Hotel K+K Fenix: I was quite impressed by the breakfast at our hotel. It was open long hours, offered a wide selection of cold and hot items, and even included some organic items. There was lots of tasty fresh fruit including melons, kiwis, apricots, cherries, and apples. Other cold items included various pastries and cakes, various breads and jams and nutella, various juices, milk including soymilk, yogurt, meusli and various cold cereals, and nuts and dried fruit. On the hot side, there were hard-boiled eggs, broiled tomatoes, and sautéed mushrooms. The quality of the food generally seemed quite high. The only thing I tried that I really didn’t like were the scrambled eggs.
Kotleta: We ate our first lunch on the patio of this restaurant right near the old town square. The name of the restaurant apparently translates to “eyeball,” which is not the most appetizing of names. But our tour guide recommended it, and we were hungry, so we let her cajole us into eating there, despite the fact that it didn’t have a lot of vegetarian options. It’s supposedly a non-smoking restaurant but lots of people were smoking on the patio. We shared a few different dishes. The portobello mushroom appetizer was quite small, with only two tiny portobellos, but I thought they were tasty. The grilled marinated peppers were yellow bell peppers on top of large mounds of feta cheese. We ordered a salad with gratinated goat cheese on toast, marinated fig in honey and herbs, roasted walnuts, grapes and a wild cherry dressing. The dressing was a little too sweet for me but the salad was okay. Finally, I ordered a baked potato. Everyone was making fun of me for ordering such a boring dish, but I quite liked it. The skin was nice and crispy and the inside was various moist. The salad, grilled peppers, small baked potato, and 2 little portobello mushrooms cost 249+169+79+79=576 crowns, which adds up to $9.55 per person just for the vegetarian food. We were definitely paying a tourist bonus. We also ordered drinks, which were actually my favorite part of the meal. I got a ginger lemonade which was very gingery, and my sister-in-law ordered a cucumber lemonade that was bright green and tasted strongly of cucumbers. Both were absolutely delicious, although too strong for my brother and sister.
Maitrea: We ate dinner our first night at this vegetarian restaurant, which a friend had recommended. We started with a selection of mixed starters, which consisted of hummus, red beet tartare, roasted bell peppers, pickled goat cheese, a spinach crêpe, and bread). Everyone else thought that the starter plate was really bland and boring, but I liked it. The hummus mostly tasted like mashed chickpeas, with little lemon juice or garlic, but I found it satisfying. I think one issue was that everything was pretty low-salt. I also ordered a bowl of lentil soup, which was again pretty plain but with some sweet spice (cloves?) that I couldn’t quite identify. Again, I liked it more than anyone else. We shared four main dishes. I thought the vegetable lasagna was reasonable, but my sister and sister-in-law found it sour and offputting. We ordered a spinach and arugula salad with sun-dried tomatoes, capers, garlic, smoked tofu, and a balsamico-honey reduction. I liked the smoked tofu but found the dressing too sweet. My sister liked the salad much more than me. My brother ordered Thai eggplant with tofu, fresh coriander, chili peppers, and coconut milk, which I couldn’t eat. The sauce was just too sweet and goopy. Everyone’s favorite dish was the meatless „chicken“ and mushroom balls with oven-roasted vegetables, basil pesto and homemade tofunnaise. The balls were very tasty, but unfortunately there were only three of them. Overall no one was particularly impressed with the food, but everyone agreed that the ambience and decor of the restaurant was quite nice. If this restaurant were in Saarbruecken I’d definitely go back, as I’m sure with some trial and error I could find a couple of dishes I really like. The meal for the four of us with water and a few non-alcoholic drinks came to about 1050 crowns, or $13.05 per person.
Modry Zub Noodle Bar: For lunch on our second day we went to what we thought was a Thai order-at-the-counter joint. But it turned out that most of the tables were part of a sit-down restaurant. So we were relegated to a little table off to the side. We thought it was a fast food kind of place but it ended up taking quite a while for them to bring us our food. The four of us shared three dishes: a green curry with tofu, pad thai, and ma-muang tofu with veggies and cashew nuts. I liked the green curry, but my brother didn’t care for it much. My brother and sister really liked the cashew dish. Overall it was a pleasant lunch, and three dishes was plenty for the four of us. Altogether the lunch cost 535 crowns, or $6.65 per person. They even gave us free tap water!
Pizzeria Ristorante Giovanni: For our second dinner we went to this Italian restaurant not far from the center. The first table they sat us at was very smoky, so we asked to be moved, and they moved us to a different room which was apparently their non-smoking section. We ordered a tomato soup and garlic bread as appetizers, but they brought them out at the same time as our main dishes. The garlic bread was basically just pizza dough with no discernible garlic flavor. The tomato soup was very good though, and we ended up spreading it on the garlic bread to give it some flavor. My sister ordered the tortelli tartufo, which were stuffed with truffle and asparagus in a tomato-truffle cream sauce. I couldn’t detect any asparagus, but the truffle and cream sauce was tasty. We shared a salad of arugula, tomatoes, carrot, and zucchini, which was fine, but the salad dressing seemed to be just oil. Luckily there was balsamic vinegar on the table, and that helped. I ordered the pasta primavera, which was a bit small and really boring. It had very few vegetables and needed some pizzazz. My sister liked the noodles though. She thought they tasted homemade. Our final dish was a regina margherita pizza with buffalo mozzarella, arugula, and cherry tomatoes, and we added olives to it. Again, it was inoffensive but boring. It helped to dip it in the tomato soup. I guess it needed more tomato sauce? Altogether with a bottle of water the meal came to 1130 crowns, or $14.04 per person.
Bombay Express: My sister and I got take-out from this Indian fast food joint, and took it on the train with us for dinner. The yellow dal was pretty tasty, but the saag paneer wasn’t quite right. Both dishes came with massive quantities of rice. For the two dishes and two take out boxes they charged us 188 crowns, about $4.68 per person.
Clear Head (Lehka Hlava): My sister and I ate our last lunch at this vegetarian restaurant, which turned out to be a sister restaurant to Maitrea. I was in a bit of a rush because I had to get to the airport, so I just ordered a bowl of red lentil and carrot soup. The bowl was quite small and brothy, and it didn’t seem like nearly enough food for lunch. So I asked the waitress what else I could order that would come quickly, and she recommended the quesadilla with marinated vegetarian “chicken.” It arrived quickly and piping hot, but I found it a bit odd tasting. The inside had not only the vegetarian mock meat and cheese, but tons of grainy mustard. I found the combination odd, and I thought that the dish as a whole needed salsa desperately. The quesadilla came with a bit of guacamole, which was pleasant, and helped to add a bit of flavor to the dish. My sister ordered the beet burger, which was huge and disconcertingly bloody looking. The burger was on a bun with pickles and soggy lettuce and some kind of creamy sauce. She had also ordered it with cheddar, but she said that with the sauce and the cheddar it was too rich. She ended up pulling off the bun and just eating the burger. She said it was better that way. I tried it but didn’t particularly care for the dish. Since it was my last meal in Prague, I splurged and ordered another ginger lemonade. This one tasted different than my first one, but was equally delicious. Wow, was it ginger-y and lemon-y. I wish I could get it in Saarbruecken! I guess I’ll have to learn how to make something similar myself. Altogether our meal with drinks added up to 485 crowns, or about $12.06 per person.
My sister and I left Prague for a couple of days and took the train out to the Adršpach-Teplice Rocks. The park itself was lovely, and we spent a very nice morning and early afternoon hiking through the Teplice section of the park. But food was an issue. We were staying right near the park rather than in a town, and all the restaurants at the hotels near us were inexplicably closed. We ended up having to go 2 km to the single restaurant in the nearest town (which was more like a village). The vegetarian pickings were very slim, and we ended up with a plate of french fries, mayonnaise, deep fried cheese or broccoli, and cabbage salad. Although we enjoyed the natural environment, foodwise we were quite glad to return to the more veggie-friendly Prague.
What have I been cooking lately? Not much. I just haven’t been in the mood. Derek has been cooking some old standbys like whore’s pasta and chilaquiles and sesame noodles, and I’ve been making a lot of really simple dishes like stir-fries or roasted veggies or big pots of beans. But I have tried two new recipes, which I’ll blog about here, briefly.
Naomi Pomeroy’s Celery Velouté With Spring Herb Salsa Verde. It’s rare that a vegetarian recipe wins a challenge on Top Chef, so I was excited to try this recipe for a creamy celery soup. Without the salsa verde, the soup was not that exciting. I generally like celery, but the soup smelled a little too strongly of cooked celery for me to really love it. It was better with the salsa verde, which added some acid and non-celery flavors. Still, overall I wasn’t so impressed. It was basically a celery vichyssoise (i.e., using celery instead of potatoes). But Derek liked it a lot more than me. I had a few bowls over a couple of meals, but he single-handedly finished off most of the pot.
Gluten-free pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins. I don’t eat gluten-free, but I bought some coconut flour and was looking for recipes to try it out with. I chose this one because the photos looked very good and the comments were generally pretty positive. I doubled the recipe to make 12 muffins. Some of the comments said the muffins were greasy so I cut down on the oil by about a tablespoon and used an extra tablespoon of pumpkin puree. I reduced the maple syrup to 1/4 cup and halved the amount of chocolate chips, because some reviewers complained that the muffins were too sweet. When the muffins first came out of the oven the texture was very odd, but by the next day they had improved. They were definitely sweet with plenty of chocolate chips (despite the halving), but not very pumpkin-y or spice-y. The outside of the muffin was a bit greasy. Derek didn’t like them at all, so I ended up giving some to a friend and eating the rest by myself. They weren’t bad, but I don’t think I’ll make this exact recipe again. Maybe next time I’ll try a recipe that calls for both coconut flour and almond flour.
I came across this recipe for saucy Italian baked eggs on a random blog, and immediately started drooling. I’ve been craving tomato sauce lately and this recipe is basically an egg baked in a big ramekin of marinara sauce with a little mozzarella and basil for garnish. It even looked easy enough that Derek could make it himself. Read the rest of this entry »
I needed to bring a salad to an Argentinian barbecue, but I wasn’t feeling so well, and wanted something quick and easy. I settled on this recipe for Chilean cabbage and avocado slaw by Martha Rose Shulman. Read the rest of this entry »
I liked the miso tahini turnip soup from 101cookbooks so much I decided to try another soup recipe from her blog, this time for “immunity soup,” built on a garlic, ginger, pepper broth. The recipe calls for white pepper but I didn’t have any, so I just used black pepper. I assumed the only difference was cosmetic, but maybe white pepper actually tastes different, because this recipe was a let down. I thought the soup would be wasabi-up-your-sinuses intense, but we found it bland, even after adding more black pepper. I really like clean, brothy soups in general, but this one was unsatisfying. It didn’t taste bad, it was just boring and a bit bland. Maybe if I’d been able to find some pea shoots they would have brought the whole dish together? I doubt it.