I adore Brussels sprouts but they can be tricky to cook just right, especially if one's attention is on lots of other dishes, as in the case of a holiday dinner. This Thanksgiving I've found the solution: smoky, lemony shredded and sautéed brussels sprouts! The sprouts can be shredded a day ahead and then get quickly cooked just before serving, eliminating any worry about soggy, under-cooked, over-charred, or otherwise less than yummy Brussels sprouts.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is famous for her fresh, bold approach to vegan cooking, with her inspiring vegan cookbooks and cooking videos, as well as her website Post-Punk Kitchen.
But when we spoke with her about her five essentials for home cooks, she wanted to be sure we kept the emphasis on weeknight cooking — vegan or otherwise. "These tips and essentials apply to all cooks," she said.
Q: I've been eating meat my whole life and today I decided that I don't want to eat meat anymore. I want to be a vegetarian now. How do I begin? What should I do, aside from not eating anything with meat in it? Should I start buying new groceries for myself since my whole family eats meat and I'm the only one who is vegetarian now?
When I was in my 20s I decided to live alone, finally, after sharing homes and apartments with an ever-changing stream of roommates. That first year in my solo apartment was the genesis of my desire to learn how to cook well. I knew how to follow a recipe, but I realized there's so much more to becoming a cook at ease in the kitchen. I remember staring at a pile of brown and wilted vegetables in my fridge and thinking how recipes are nothing more than the gleaming tip of the iceberg, shiny and alluring, but not signaling the many demands they make on a cook: how to shop, how to plan, how to make the most of the ingredients in your fridge and pantry every single day.
There were a few recipes that got me through those early days of starting to acquire the 95% of kitchen knowledge that isn't found in recipes. No matter how empty my fridge, I always had eggs, lentils, and spices, and maybe you do too. If so, this is the simplest weeknight meal — homey and comforting.
We are lucky enough to live in a neighborhood known for its excellent trick or treating opportunities, and our street is one of the most popular ones. Halloween is a blast, because we get to see loads of cute kids in costumes and they usually take all the candy, so we don't have leftovers. My own kids, of course, come home with their own haul, and we have to deal with it. (By "deal with it," I mean decide whether or not to make any rules about eating it and stop myself from binging while they're at school.) What are the options?
Among the surprises in my first year of being gluten-free has been my growing enjoyment of raw desserts. I love how simple they can be to assemble and often find them more texturally satisfying than gluten-less baked goods. These raw spiced pumpkin cupcakes are filled with autumn goodness and yet are free of many allergens like grains, dairy, eggs, nuts, and refined sugar. And did I mention they're topped with coconut vanilla icing and ginger date caramel?!
Spooky treats for Halloween are here in full force, but usually I don't contribute much to this particular holiday. I'm always a little thrown off by ghoulish treats, although I admire the ingenuity that goes into creating meatloaf hands, marshmallow spiders, and chocolatey witches' hats.
But this year I had a new favorite recipe in mind — and I realized it would make the perfect Halloween gross-out dessert, one that looked goofy but actually tasted delicious. Meet chia pudding — your best friend when it comes to Halloween treats.
Q: I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinners for over 20 years, but this will be my first time cooking gluten-free. Any hints on what kind of flour to use for gravy, the best rolls to make, and what to use for bread crumbs? What is the best gluten free cookbook? Thanks.
Many years ago, I had a memorably boisterous dinner in the upstate home of a Colombian woman, surrounded by snow and filled with light. It was a blustery winter night and she served a huge clay pot of Ajiaco, a traditional Colombian chicken soup. There was something different about this soup, so I asked if there was a secret ingredient. Indeed, there was one flourish: an herb called guascas that imparts a deep grassy flavor essential to an authentic bowl of Ajiaco.