I was looking for a green cabbage recipe that a toddler would like, and I came across this pretty simple (albeit quite Americanized) vegetarian Okonomiyaki recipe on the 101 cookbooks blog. Alma generally likes pancakes, so I decided to give it a try. Below is a doubled version of the original recipe, with a few modifications. Derek and I like them a lot, and it’s a relatively quick recipe, so suitable for a weeknight dinner or a Sunday lunch. Read the rest of this entry »
So far Alma does not like fennel. I was looking for a recipe for fennel that she might possibly like, and I found this Cook’s Illustrated recipe for a modern succotash with corn, white beans, and (a little) fennel. She loves corn and generally likes white beans, so I figured it was worth a shot. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a standard Sicilian combination that I’ve seen in many cookbooks. Sometimes the recipe also includes pine nuts, anchovies, garlic, basil, tomatoes, pasta, and/or parmesan. I’ve tried many different variants, but I’m never that excited by the dish. It’s flavorful, but somehow just not my preferred flavors. But a student of mine from Iran gave me a ton of saffron as a gift and I was trying to figure out what to do with it. I came across this Ottolenghi recipe in Plenty, and was surprised to see that—unlike other recipes which usually call for only a pinch or 1/8 tsp. of saffron— his version calls for 1.5 teaspoons (!?!) of saffron. I decided to give it a try. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m trying to get more “purple” in, and wanted to use red cabbage, but never know what to do with it. I tried this Tassajara warm red cabbage recipe by way of 101cookbooks. Heidi says her version is less cheesy, less fruity, and less rich, but it still tasted plenty cheesy, fruity, and rich to us. Both Derek and I enjoyed it.
I served the cabbage on top of mache (green!), grated carrots (orange!) and leftover basmati rice (made with saffron, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon). I quite liked it with warm, sweet spices in the basmati rice. Next time I might even add some to the cabbage itself. Read the rest of this entry »
This is another recipe featured on Food52’s Genius Recipes page. It’s from Heidi Swanson’s cookbook Super Natural Every Day. I chose it because I had some chickpeas and homemade vegetable broth to use up, and a student of mine from Iran got me a boatload of saffron as a gift. Also, it looked pretty easy, and I needed to make a quick lunch that was suitable for both Alma and me. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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 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 »
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 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 »
It’s turnip time! My farmer’s market here in Saarbruecken is full of beautiful bunches of white turnip, with the greens still attached. The name for these turnips is Mairübchen, literally “little May root” or “May root-let.” But they’re not little. Each turnip is about 2 to 3.5 inches in diameter. I’ve been buying lots of turnips just so I can eat the greens, but I had to figure out what to do with the turnips themselves.
I’ve never been a huge turnip fan, and I don’t have so many go-to recipe. I like them raw in salads, in soup (with leeks, potatoes, and chard), and in stews (like this tagine or Thai curry). But I had one last delicata squash from the fall that was turning soft and needed to get used up, and some leftover brown rice int the fridge, so rather than making an old recipe, I decided to try a new recipe for miso tahini soup from 101cookbooks. I love Peter Berley’s miso-based tortilla soup with avocados, so the addition of avocado didn’t seem that odd. But a miso soup with tahini and lemon juice? I could not imagine it. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve decided to go on an elimination diet for a month, to see if it helps my allergies. I chose the foods to eliminate based on how allergenic they seem to be in general, as well as the results of a skin-prick test I had years ago. I decided to eliminate the three big allergens—soy, dairy, and gluten—as well as a number of other foods.
Today was my first day of what I call my “allergy-free” diet and I got home from work quite late and found very little in the fridge, since we were out of town all weekend and I didn’t get a chance to do my normal Saturday morning shopping. Normally I would throw together a pasta dish or a stir-fry with veggies and tofu, but today I had to be a little more creative. I found some sweet potatoes and a jar of giant white beans in the pantry, and so I improvised what turned out to be a quite tasty dinner of sweet potato fries and white beans with leeks and dill and parsley. (I had chopped herbs in the freezer.) Read the rest of this entry »
I occasionally buy napa cabbage to make this wonderful vietnamese slaw, but then I never know what to do with the leftovers. I have very few recipes that actually call for napa cabbage. This time I bought the napa to make kim chee, but the end result was the same—leftover napa cabbage languishing in the crisper drawer. I searched in my cookbooks for a new recipe to try and found this one in Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott. It’s a really simple recipe. You just saute up the cabbage with a lot of garlic and a bit of a sweet/salty/soy sauce, and add lots of freshly ground pepper. Read the rest of this entry »
I think of escarole as more of a wintery green, but they had fresh, local escarole this week at my local farmer’s market. My favorite escarole recipe is escarole and white beans in tomato sauce, but that seemed a bit too heavy for my currently-85-degree apartment. And none of my other escarole recipes were calling out to me, so I went looking online for something new. It turns out that the world of escarole recipes is surprisngly circumscribed. There are lots of escarole and beans recipes (many of them soups or pasta dishes), many simple braised escarole recipes with garlic or lemon or parmesan, a few raw escarole-based salads, and not much else. After a lot of searching I finally found this Bittman recipe for mashed potatoes with bitter greens from The Food Matters Cookbook. It sounded perhaps a little bit boring, but at least it was something different! Since I actually had all the ingredients, I decided to give it a try. Read the rest of this entry »
I can’t believe it, but I haven’t posted a proper recipe to this blog since Spring 2013. At this point my list of recipes to blog about has grown so long that I have despaired of ever posting them all. So instead I decided to just do one quick smorgasbord post. Read the rest of this entry »
Yes, another sauerkraut dish! This is a Flemish-inspired recipe from Peter Berley’s Modern Vegetarian Kitchen that I’ve been wanting to make for years. Alex was in the mood for seitan, and I was in the mood to use up more of my sauerkraut, so we bought a bottle of dark German beer and a couple of pounds of onions and we were all set. Read the rest of this entry »
This recipe is from another cookbook that I “borrowed” from Spoons and Kathy: Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen. When I returned home from California, my fridge contained (in addition to sauerkraut) a pack of eggs. And there were some soon-to-be-seeing potatoes in the pantry. So this recipe seemed like a good fit for a welcome home dinner. Read the rest of this entry »
I wanted to update my post on mixed roasted vegetables, but when I went to look for it I discovered there wasn’t one! I’ve been roasting vegetables for years, and I have never posted about it? Wow. Normally I roast vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet, but today I wanted to try to heal my cast iron dutch oven, and so I decided to roast the vegetables in it instead. I’ve always thought that a baking sheet (with its low sides) is better when it comes to roasting, because it lets the moisture escape and yields crispier edges. But my dutch oven roasted veggies turned out great. Better than normal, I would say. But I changed a few other things as well, so I can’t really make a direct comparison. Read the rest of this entry »
This stew from the AMA cookbook is vaguely similar to the Moroccan-style tagine recipe I posted earlier this year. Like that tagine, the recipe calls for vegetables and chickpeas and sweet spices like cinnamon and ginger, but unlike the tagine recipe the ingredient list isn’t a mile long. And yes, I did notice that the recipe calls for eggplant. I decided to step outside my comfort zone, as well as the season. Read the rest of this entry »
I needed to use up some tofu before I went out of town a few weeks ago, and I wanted to make something I could use to make sandwiches. I decided to try marinating the tofu in an Asian, gingery marinade, then baking it in the oven. I started off with the recipe for sweet ginger tofu in Peter Berley’s cookbook Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, but then I modified it a bit. Read the rest of this entry »
I made this recipe for “braised pinto beans with delicata squash, red wine, and tomatoes” a few years ago when I was visiting Derek’s parents in New York. My mom joined us for dinner. Since Derek’s father can’t eat much salt, I cut the salt back substantially, and just let each person salt the dish to taste. At the time, my mom really liked the dish, but no one seemed to want to eat the leftovers, but maybe it was just because I cut out the salt. Adding salt at the table doesn’t get the salt into the center of the beans and squash, where it’s needed. I do remember being impressed that the delicata squash skin really wasn’t tough at all. But overall I just found the stew a bit boring. But I finally found delicata here in small-city Germany, and decided to give it another try. Read the rest of this entry »
This recipe is from the autumn section of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast. It’s paired with a recipe for stuffed lettuce, kind of like cabbage rolls except with romaine lettuce leaves instead of cabbage. I haven’t tried the stuffed lettuce yet, but I’ve made this squash recipe many times. It’s very easy and always a hit. I usually make it with red kuri squash, which has a nice flavor and texture and a thin skin that doesn’t need to be peeled. When I make it with red kuri squash, I call it curried kuri. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the recipe that Peter Berley (in Fresh Food Fast) pairs with the baked escarole and eggs recipe that I blogged about yesterday. The potatoes are steamed briefly (to speed up the roasting time) and then tossed with crushed cumin, garlic, salt, chipotles in adobo sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh thyme, and paprika. Then the potatoes are baked on a cookie sheet at a very high temperature until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Berley warns in the headnotes that these are “some really spicy roasted potatoes,” but I chose small-ish chipotles, and our potatoes turned out spicy but not as fiery as I expected. I liked the potatoes a lot, and Derek loved them. There’s something about spicy, crispy roast potatoes that’s just very satisfying on a cold autumn day. And the lemon juice and garlic add a little acidity and bite, which contrast nicely with the dark, roasted, smoky flavors of the cumin, paprika, and adobo sauce. Read the rest of this entry »
As you can see, I’m on an escarole kick. I’m so excited to have found it after four years, that I’m trying every escarole recipe I can find. This one is from the autumn section of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast. It’s actually called baked eggs with escarole but the dish seemed more escarole-y than eggy to me, so I’ve renamed it. Read the rest of this entry »
Derek and I used to love the escarole and beans appetizer at Girasole in Pittsburgh. It consisted of braised escarole and white beans in a rich tomato sauce. It was hearty, warming, and satisfying. I hadn’t thought about it for years, until this week I saw a green that looked a lot like escarole at the farmer’s market. I asked the farmer what it was and he called it “Endivien”–the German word for endive. I asked him if you could cook with it and he said Germans only ever eat it raw in salads. But it looked similar enough that I decided to try making escarole and beans with it. There are tons of recipes online for escarole and white bean soup, and a few for escarole and bean dishes, but none seem to call for tomato sauce. So I decided not to try to follow a recipe. Nonetheless, my beans and greens came out quite well. Read the rest of this entry »
On a hike recently I met someone here in Germany who was reminiscing about American-style pancakes, and I suggested that she come over sometime for a pancake brunch. I haven’t made pancakes in a few years, but back in Pittsburgh Derek and I used to make oatmeal walnut pancakes pretty often. But for this brunch I wanted to make something more like what you’d get in an American diner. I asked Derek to pick two recipes and he picked an Alton Brown recipe and one from 101cookbooks.
When I was in high school I used to love going to parties at my best friend’s house. Her mom (Diane) would always cook up a huge amount of delicious finger foods, most of which I’d never had before. Three of my favorites were spanakopita, stuffed grape leaves, and what she called “mexican quiche”. Last summer I finally asked Diane for the recipe for the quiche. It’s surprisingly simple. Read the rest of this entry »
Back in Pittsburgh I used to make this recipe several times each winter. This dish has all four essential Thai tastes: sweet, salty, spicy, and sour. It tastes just like the curry you’d get in a restaurant, except the addition of vegetable broth results in a lighter dish that’s less overwhelmingly rich. The crunchy cashews make a nice textural contrast to the silky broth and creamy-soft vegetables. Based on a recipe from Nancie McDermott’s Real Vegetarian Thai. Read the rest of this entry »
When I first moved to Saarbruecken there were no shiitakes to be found, but in the last three years they’ve started appearing at a few stores around town. They’re quite expensive, but at least they exist! I splurged on a bag of shiitakes the other day, and ended up throwing together a quick, tasty stir-fry with an onion, the shiitakes, some diced tofu, and miso. I sauteed the onion and shiitakes in just a touch of olive oil, then added the tofu and the miso at the end. I don’t have a recipe, but I loved the combination, and so I thought I’d record it here so I don’t forget it.
I was in a rush to get some sweet potatoes roasted the other day, and so instead of baking them the usual way (stabbing them with a fork and roasting them whole), I cut them into long wedges (about 8 per sweet potato), and roasted them on a cookie sheet at 425 F. I didn’t add oil or salt, and I didn’t peel the sweet potatoes first, just gave them a quick scrub. They turned out really well, with a mixture of textures—some soft, moist parts like you’d get in a typical baked sweet potato, and some crunchier, more caramelized bits, like you’d get from a sweet potato fry. Both Derek and I really liked the texture of the roasted sweet potato skin. So don’t peel your sweet potatoes!
I made sweet potato wedges again a few days later, except that I sprinkled on a little salt and some olive oil. The wedges ended up both a bit more moist and a bit more crisp than the previous time. Delicious!
This is a pretty simple soup recipe from the winter section of Peter Berley’s cookbook Fresh Food Fast. The unusual addition is 1 tsp. of whole caraway seeds, which are sauteed with butter, garlic, and two leeks. Then you add turnips, potatoes, water, and salt. The final step is to add a bunch of roughly chopped Swiss chard and lots of pepper. Read the rest of this entry »
Butternut squash season is short-lived here in Germany. It seems to be available only for about six weeks, starting in early October. I bought a bunch of butternut squashes, but somehow managed to use them all, save one, by early December! I decided to use my last half of a butternut squash to try this simple soup recipe from the quinoa chapter in Rebecca Wood’s cookbook the Splendid Grain. Wood is an expert on quinoa. She was travelling around Peru and Bolivia researching her book Quinoa: The Supergrain in the mid 80’s, long before almost anyone else in the States had even heard of quinoa.
Despite the last disaster, I decided to try another melon recipe from the Vegetarian Table: Mexico cookbook by Victoria Wise. The author says that melons are an old world ingredient (originally cultivated in Persia), but that they’re extremely popular in Mexico. She uses the melon as the basis for a fruity, tropical salsa.
This is another recipe from Ron Pickarski’s cookbook Friendly Foods. It gets its creamy texture from olive oil, soymilk, and pureed potato rather than cream. Pickarski also adds miso for extra umami flavor. Read the rest of this entry »