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 »
A friend served us this recipe from Peter Berley’s cookbook The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, and both Derek and I really liked it. Shredded carrots and parsnips add a bit of sweetness, turnips add a slightly funky note, while the beans add an earthy, hearty feel. Ginger and tomato paste add even more flavor. The original recipe also calls for burdock, but we can’t get it here, so we left it out. I’m sure it would make the dish truly stellar. Read the rest of this entry »
When my mom was visiting she made me kasha with mushrooms, and I quite enjoyed it. I have quite a bit of the toasted groats leftover, and so when I was looking for something to do with parsnips last night, I was excited to come across this recipe in Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast. It came out a bit soupy, but I really liked it! 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 »
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 loves broccoli, but I have surprisingly few easy broccoli recipes. My two standbys are sesame broccoli and pan-fried broccoli with garlic, but I’d love a nice easy recipe for broccoli salad. I still remember a delicious salad made from grated broccoli stems from the buffet at Whole Foods in Pittsburgh years ago. This recipe, from Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast, looked like just what I was looking for. Read the rest of this entry »
I made this recipe from Peter Berley’s cookbook Modern Vegetarian Kitchen back when I lived in Pittsburgh, and I remember not liking it very much. But when I was in California last month I was discussing vegetarian cookbooks with a friend of Kathy and Spoons’s, and she had Modern Vegetarian Kitchen. I asked her what her favorite recipe was and she chose this one! I thought maybe I screwed it up last time and so I decided to try it again. 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 »
Derek and I picked this recipe from the winter section of Fresh Food Fast for dinner last night. The pancakes are supposed to be chock full of shredded cabbage, grated carrot, scallions, and dill. Instead of adding the shredded green cabbage, however, I used some of my homemade sauerkraut. Read the rest of this entry »
I was in California last week visiting my friends Spoons and Kathy, and I noticed that they had a copy of Peter Berley’s newest cookbook, The Flexitarian Table. They said they never use it and that I could take it with me to Germany. Although the cookbook isn’t actually vegetarian, every menu has a vegetarian option, so it’s very vegetarian friendly. This recipe for navy bean, fresh pea, and leek soup caught my eye because it calls for sauerkraut, and (under my mother’s telephonic tutelage) I just finished making a big batch of sauerkraut right before I left for California. On my return, faced with a near-empty fridge brandishing two quart jars of sauerkraut, I decided to give this recipe a try. 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 »
Years ago I ordered the OLÉ MAN SEITAN at Angelica Kitchen in New York City, and loved it. It was a whole wheat tortilla stuffed with seitan and roasted vegetables and topped with mole sauce. It was huge, but so tasty I finished the whole thing. Afterwards, however, I regretted it, as I went into one of the worst salt comas of my life. Still, I have fond memories of that mole sauce. The recipe for the dish is in the Angelica Kitchen cookbook, and I tried making it once many years ago, without success. I no longer remember the details, but I remember it didn’t taste nearly as good as at the restaurant. But I had some homemade seitan to use up, and decided to give it another shot last night. 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 »
A friend told me that he really liked this vegetable side dish from the winter section of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast. It’s part of a menu that also includes porcini mushroom and parsley risotto. I haven’t tried the risotto yet but I made this kale dish twice and enjoyed it both times. It’s very simple, but satisfying and tasty. You basically saute some oil and garlic and caraway seeds, add sliced red cabbage, cook a bit, then add a bunch of kale with some water and salt. Once the vegetables are cooked through you season with apple cider vinegar and black pepper. One warning: my friend said that more than one member of his dinner party was quite affected by all the cruciferous vegetables. So if you’re sensitive, start with a small portion only.
I really like the five-grain croquettes in Peter Berley’s cookbook Modern Vegetarian Kitchen (especially the amaranth), but Derek was never a big fan of them. Since he’s out of town this week, I thought it would be a good chance to finally try Berley’s other croquette recipe from the same cookbook. This recipe is a bit different in that it uses fewer grains (only white rice, quinoa, and millet), but adds in red lentils, sesame seeds, and chopped sweet potato, plus the seasoning is a little different (garlic, ginger, celery, scallions, and parsley). Read the rest of this entry »
The main seasonings in this stew are fresh ginger, sage, and soy sauce—an unusual combination. The recipe is from the winter section of Peter Berley’s cookbook Fresh Food Fast. The instructions say to cook the wehani (a dark red rice) and the wild rice in a pressure cooker. I don’t have apressure cooker so I just cooked them for longer in a regular pot. Otherwise I followed the recipe carefully, except I added my mushrooms much later than Berley suggests, since I wanted my mushrooms to be firmer. This stew has a lot of vegetables in it: onions, mushrooms, celery, a carrot, winter squash, and one bunch of kale. After sauteing all the aromatics you add the squash chunks and simmer them til almost tender, then the sauteed veggies and the raw kale are added to the pot with the rice, and simmered until the kale is tender. You’re supposed to garnish the stew with toasted pumpkin seeds.
My stew didn’t turn out very stew-like. I think of a stew as chunky soup with a really thick liquid base. But this stew was more like lots of veggies in a little bit of broth. I used butternut squash, and the pieces seemed to either alternately undercooked or totally following apart. Maybe it would have been more stew-like if I had cooked the squash longer, so all the squash pieces were falling apart? Certainly the rice didn’t add much of a stew-like quality. That said, I liked the recipe. It was a bit of a surprise (but not unpleasant) when I bit into a round of sliced ginger! (Berley never says to take the ginger out, so I imagine you’re supposed to eat it?) I added extra sage but didn’t really notice it in stew. The stew didn’t really have a distinctive flavor. It just tasted earthy and like vegetables. But it made a pleasant (if not very filling) dinner on a cold winter night. I wouldn’t rush to make it again, but if I had all the ingredients lying around, I would certainly consider it. But I’d probably add more liquid to make it more of a soup.
Berley pairs this recipe with a romaine salad, but I think it would be better paired with a dish with a bit more protein, to make the meal more filling.
This is another coconut curry with winter vegetables, but this one is from Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast, and I actually made it a few weeks before the recipe I just posted about. Unlike McDermott’s recipe, this one doesn’t call for curry paste. Instead you add the seasonings individually—garlic, jalapeno, ginger, ground coriander seeds, and turmeric. McDermott has you saute the curry paste and onion in some of the coconut milk, but Berley calls for 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Given that there’s a whole can of coconut milk in the recipe, I think I’d use McDermott’s method next time. The previous recipe called for mixed winter vegetables, but this one calls for only one large sweet potato, cut into 1-inch chunks. Berley doesn’t give a weight for the sweet potato, but he does say that once cut it’s supposed to make 4 cups. That seems like a large sweet potato! Towards the end of cooking Berley’s recipe calls for 1 small bunch of collards greens cut into strips. I can’t get collards here, so I subbed in curly kale. The final step in the recipe is to garnish the stew with cilantro and lime juice.
The soup was paired with a recipe for crispy tempeh strips. The combination sounds good but I couldn’t get myself to deep-fry tempeh. It just seems like such a waste of oil!
Neither Derek nor I cared for this dish very much. There wasn’t anything wrong with it per se—it just tasted underseasoned. And unfortunately the kale wasn’t a good substitute for the collards. I guess kale just doesn’t go with these southeast Asian flavors. Although we didn’t like the dish that much, we had a guest over for dinner who quite enjoyed it. He said he doesn’t normally like coconut curries, but this one was excellent!
This recipe (from Peter Berley’s cookbook The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen) is for a warm lentil salad with Mediterranean flavors. I was positive we made this recipe before (unsuccessfully), but I couldn’t find any post about it on my blog. So we decided to give it another try. Last time I think part of the problem was that the sundried tomatoes we used weren’t very good. This time I used tomatoes from my mother’s garden, that she dried herself! Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
I could have sworn I blogged about this recipe before, but I can’t find any post about it, so here it is again. This is a recipe from the fall section of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast. Despite the name, the recipe doesn’t actually call for any fennel. At least, not the vegetable. Rather, it calls for fennel seed, which Berley says brings out the natural sweetness in other ingredients. I can’t vouch for that, but I really like fennel seed in savory dishes. I was very excited to try the combination of squash, pear, leeks, ginger, and fennel seeds. Read the rest of this entry »
I can’t normally find portobello mushrooms in Germany, but this week I got some from the American store in Ramstein. (Thanks Rowena!) I wanted to make something simple that really showcased the mushrooms, so I decided on this recipe from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley. The top side of the mushrooms are brushed with olive oil and then roasted at 400 F for 30 minutes. Then the mushrooms are sliced and tossed with a “vinaigrette” made from olive oil, garlic, reduced balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s finally gotten hot in Saarbruecken, so I decided to make this uncooked pasta sauce from the Summer section of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast. The sauce is made of raw, chopped tomatoes, olive oil, parsley, basil, chives, balsamic vinegar, and minced garlic. Read the rest of this entry »
This recipe is in the winter section of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast, and I’ve been wanting to try it for a while now. Berley says that the salad is “all about the nuance of crunch. The green apple, celery, and walnut each have a different yet complementary toothsome quality in the mouth.” It seemed like a great winter salad, but I was nervous about making this recipe because Derek normally isn’t too excited about celery. I thought I might have to eat all four servings myself. I shouldn’t have worried though — Derek loved it. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been eying this recipe in Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast for quite a while now. I love brussels sprouts and I’m always looking for new tempeh recipes. The recipe is basically a stir-fry. You saute onion and caraway seeds, add tempeh and a sliced bell pepper, then toss in the halved brussels sprouts, water, soy sauce, and mirin. The stir-fry is served over quinoa and sprinkled with toasted almonds and a squirt of lemon juice. Read the rest of this entry »
I brought back a big stack of very fresh corn tortillas from Austin. The first thing I did with them was throw together some bean and cheese tortillas one morning. But something was wrong–neither Derek nor I liked them that much. So I decided to try Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast recipe for black bean tostadas with seitan. The black bean mixture turned out much better than my improvised version. Read the rest of this entry »
This recipe makes up the second half of winter menu number five from Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast. Last January in Segovia, Spain I had a bowl of garlic soup that was quite satisfying. It was a rich garlic broth with olive oil and little tiny tendrils of egg. I was hoping that this provençal garlic and herb broth would be similar. Berley’s head notes say this pungent broth (made from plenty of garlic and herbs) is a traditional hangover cure in southern France and Spain. He seems to imply that it doesn’t normally have egg in it, because he says “to make it more substantial I enrich it with egg and serve it over croutons with grated parmesan cheese.” I think it’s funny that he added more cheese to a menu that was already swimming in smoked mozzarella (from the bean salad). But, nonetheless, I followed his instructions to a T. Read the rest of this entry »
Derek chose this recipe from the winter section of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast. I had a white bean and smoked cheese dish years ago at a friend’s place in Chicago. It was excellent. I was hoping that this dish would bring some of the same flavors together. The technique is pretty simple. You saute up carrots, celery, onions, garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes, then add a little water and let the vegetables steam briefly. Then the white beans, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, and red wine vinegar are stirred in. Finally you toss the whole thing with arugula and chopped parsley. Read the rest of this entry »
I asked Derek to choose something to make for dinner, and he picked this menu out of the winter section of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast. It was a big undertaking! The menus in this book usually take under an hour, but I had to first make my own seitan. Even after the seitan was made, this menu took longer than an hour, mostly because peeling the shallots took forever. Luckily Derek liked the dish a lot, and I enjoyed it as well, so all that effort wasn’t wasted. Read the rest of this entry »
Adzuki beans (also called aduki beans) are the small red beans often used in sweet dishes in China, Korea, and Asia. They’re relatives of mung beans, urad dal (which is not actually a lentil), and black eyed peas. But adzukis (in my opinion) are cuter than all their close cousins. I don’t have many recipes that call for adzukis, perhaps partly because I can’t get them here in Germany. I brought some back with me from the U.S. last time I was there though, and decided to use the rest of them to try this savory, Asian-flavored adzuki bean recipe from Peter Berley’s Modern Vegetarian Kitchen.
This recipe is quite simple but extremely tasty, and quite refreshing. The vibrant orange of the salad adds some loveliness brightness to our otherwise grey European winter days. The recipe is based on a recipe in Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast, but I’ve modified it a bit to suit my own tastes. Here’s my in-progress version of the recipe. I’ve doubled the amount of carrots because carrot salad makes such nice leftovers, and I can eat it days on end without getting tired of it. If you don’t have a food processor and don’t feel like grating 2 pounds of carrots by hand, by all means cut the recipe back down. Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t remember the last time I made a grilled cheese sandwich. But we finally found cheddar that we like here in Saarbruecken, and I decided to celebrate by making grilled cheese. I didn’t want to make just a regular old boring grilled cheese, though, so I pulled out various flavorful additions I had in the fridge: jalapeno, sage, garlic, and lime. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m on a quest to try all the recipes in the summer section of Fresh Food Fast. In the past few weeks I tried five new recipes:
- Pan-seared summer squash with garlic and mint
- White bean and arugula salad with lemon dill vinaigrette
- Chilled soba noodles in dashi with tofu and shredded romaine
- Warm green beans and new potatoes with sliced eggs and grilled onions
- Chilled tomato soup with shallots, cucumbers, and corn.
- Spicy corn frittata with tomatoes and scallions
Read the rest of this entry »