When I mention that I develop vegetarian recipes, the most frequent reply is, “You must eat a lot of tofu!” However, I am actually a late adopter of tofu. I’m a texture person, and I’ve only recently found ways to prepare tofu that are not only easy, but also result in a great taste and texture. In this recipe for tofu and chickpea stir-fry with its creamy tahini sauce, you’ll find all of the above.
Roasting radishes may be one of my favorite spring treats. The bite of raw radishes gives way to a sweet, earthy flavor once they’ve spent some time in the oven. An omelet might seem like an odd pairing for these radishes, but I love the roasted radish flavor alongside eggs and herbs.
I’m not a very frilly hot beverage kind of person. Most of the time it’s coffee with a splash of heavy cream, or a simple cup of hot tea. On occasion, I’ll splurge and get a latte but beyond that, I don’t branch out too far. However, once fall hits, I start craving hot apple cider — usually paired with a freshly made apple doughnut from the local apple orchard. This chai spiced apple cider is a lovely fall splurge and it’s easy to make!
Banana bread is one of those recipes with a thousand different versions floating around the internet and in books. It’s such a classic recipe that I always find it hard to improve upon all the variations that have come before. However, I’m rather picky about my banana bread — I like it with whole wheat flour, maple syrup, and walnuts. (Always walnuts!) Here’s the version of whole-wheat banana bread I’ve finally settled on in my kitchen.
I inevitably eat too much during the holidays, especially when I travel back home to Illinois. Because of this, I don’t necessarily look at the New Year as a time to eat healthier, but rather a welcome return to lighter fare and a relief from the heavier foods I just consumed. I like to pull in fresh flavors, use quite a bit of ginger, and include has many leafy greens as I can.
In the past few years, pistachios have inched their way towards the top of my “favorite snacks” list. This is mostly due to their unique flavor paired with the “fun” aspect of cracking the nut easily out of the shell. These spicy curry pistachios have recently become my evening go-to snack with a glass of crisp white wine. Before making my favorite snack list, the only time I ate any type of pistachio was thanks to a local bakery that made stellar baklava.
When I make salads, I have a fairly basic formula that I adapt based on what I have on hand: greens, extra vegetables, grains, nuts or seeds, a basic vinaigrette, and protein (either legumes or eggs). This spinach salad follows my basic formula, pairing some wonderful spring produce — green garlic and spinach — with the earthy, chewiness of the spelt. Add the hard-boiled egg and you have a quite the hearty salad. I have a soft spot for spelt.
People close to me know I have a small soapbox I keep (figuratively) tucked away for times when I hear someone say, “Oh, I’ve wanted to make that recipe but it looks hard.” I then launch into a five minute diatribe on why it’s not and how to tackle it, with enough enthusiasm to convince that person it’s actually quite easy. Spring rolls are one such “hard” item I’ve convinced numerous people to make — and enjoy!
Two of my favorite conversations that happen around my new book The Homemade Flour Cookbook is when someone realizes that grinding flour at home isn’t just about making wheat flour for bread and that not all flour requires buying a grain mill. I find it really fun and exciting to play with grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds in unexpected ways, and this recipe for mini breakfast quiches with their easy flax crust is the perfect example.
When it comes to grilling, I’ll try anything. I love grilled beets, polenta, cheese (like halloumi), and of course, vegetables. The options for vegetarian-friendly grilling are endless. These stuffed peppers combine two of my favorite ingredients — sweet corn and goat cheese — for a filling side or a nice, light dinner served with a salad. During July, my evening dinners usually revolve around one of two different produce items: tomatoes and sweet corn.
I can be an impatient person (my husband will affectionately call me Veruca Salt from time to time, and if I’m being exceptionally impatient, he will sing the Willy Wonka song). This impatience has lead to many years of quick meals because when I want food, I want it now. Breakfast especially needs to be quick and something I don’t have to put a lot of energy in to. So where does this strata fit in?
I have two schools of thought on pasta recipes: they should either be an event or they should take no time at all. When I want to make an event out of pasta, I’ll make my own fresh pasta with a homemade sauce (and homemade ricotta, if I’m making lasagna!). These recipes take all evening and are usually accompanied by a bottle of wine. But for the other times, I just want a quick pasta dish I can get to the table without much fuss.
When I started working for myself full time, I had this idyllic notion that since I would be working from home, I’d have time to cook the types of meals I wanted to eat. I dreamed that dinner would be my time to unwind and cook what I wanted to cook. It turns out, however, I do not know how to say “no” to projects, and instead of those nice, long dinners, most weeknights I’m in a rush just to whip something up in between projects.
I am not a holiday food purist. When my family switched our eating habits, we carried our love of vegetables and whole grains into the holidays as well. At first, the other members of my extended family were hesitant, but after a few years, they realized that while the food was heavily loaded with vegetables, it was still delicious. These simple sweet potatoes would easily grace our table during the holidays. Now, however, these potatoes are a treat only for me.
When the calendar hits September 1st, fall comes full blast with seasonal recipes, warmed-up restaurant menus, and even those spiced coffee drinks. Pumpkin, sweet potato, and butternut squash feature big, but I always urge people to look towards the vegetables that can sometimes end up as second players in the show. Carrots are delightful as a mealtime star and I have a favorite technique that makes these carrots perfectly tender without going too soft.
One of the biggest complaints I hear about vegetarian and vegan recipes is that they just aren’t enough. I mean, how can a plate full of vegetables and legumes be filling and satisfying? Rest assured, it can be. Here are my five tips for making a well-rounded vegan meal. I think the misconception that vegan meals are all veg and nothing else gets to the issue at hand.
While I love being in the kitchen, there are times when I just need a quick but nice meal. I have a list of these meals that I keep tucked away for when company shows up unexpectedly or I want a bit of an extra-fancy feel to our average daily meal. Polenta, ravioli, and especially gnocchi tend to be my go-to’s because the meals are filling, beautiful, and easily adapted to what I have on hand at the time.