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.
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?!
The first recipes that come to mind for slow cookers are usually meat heavy — lots of hearty stews and chilies. There have, however, been quite a few cookbooks that have come out recently that highlight a vegan diet for slow cookers. These recipes generally focus on wonderful beans, grains, and vegetables.
On a busy weeknight the last thing you want to do is make a trip to the specialty grocery store or cook such a complicated meal that you'll be washing dishes for an hour afterward. What you need are recipes that are easy yet fresh and nourishing. Isa Chandra Moskowitz comes to the rescue with her latest cookbook, Isa Does It. The book is filled with pantry-friendly, satisfying recipes for every day of the week — and, yes, they're vegan, too!
Although it forms the foundation of so many meals, the humble onion rarely gets showcased front and center. The first time I cooked a whole, stuffed onion, I was a bit apprehensive; would it be too pungent, too odiferous, too much? In fact, it was succulent and sweet and made the perfect vessel for stuffing. I instantly imagined serving roasted stuffed onions at Thanksgiving or any cozy fall dinner.
This particular recipe was inspired by one of my favorite dishes, kale sautéed with onions and golden raisins, along with nutty, chewy wild rice.
A hearty vegetarian chili can make a great weeknight dinner or dish to serve to a crowd of mixed eaters. The key is to build in plenty of texture and flavor so the chili is satisfying to the taste buds and belly. Check out our tips and share your own!
I didn't quite realize what a rut I'd gotten into with my slow cooker until settling down with this cookbook. I have my usual repertoire of seasonal soups and braises, and I'll pull it out for my semi-regular pulled pork cravings. But it would have never occurred to me to make, say, Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Burritos for my overnight guests. Or, say, an All-In-One Vegan Thanksgiving. (Seriously. It looks amazing.) If your slow cooker has been gathering dust lately, Vegan Slow Cooking is just the thing to get you back in the groove.
During The Kitchn Cure, I reorganized my cookbooks, filling one shelf with "Dang! I used to love this one!" books. Sundays at Moosewood was a favorite of mine in college, so it went on a low shelf. I have been meaning to think of new breakfast options for my kids, who are getting older and would rather sleep a few more minutes and skip breakfast. They need protein in the morning and I love starting their day with veggies, so Moosewood's vegetable pancakes were the perfect option.