I know it looks like all I do around here right now is eat pie. And tomorrow, steel yourselves, there will be more. But in between, we’ve actually been making all kinds of great things with tofu. A vegan variation of this saag paneer, and a vegan riff on this lemony broccoli and harissa dinner salad, and straight-up tofu with greens and rice and so-good spicy peanut sauce. Stay tuned. Because by this weekend we’ll all be over talking about Thanksgiving, won’t we? Or at least ready to sneak in some healthier meals among the gravy-laden feasts?In the Kitchen
My thoughts are with the many people still suffering the after-effects of this week’s epic storm. My sister- and brother-in-law extended their visit last weekend to ride out the worst of the hurricane here in Seattle with us, and we were glad to be safe and dry and together. But seeing the aftermath unfold on the other coast, with all its tragedies big and small, is heartbreaking. I hope that you and your families are safe and warm. Let me know if I can send you cookies. And if you are lucky enough to live at a distance and can give $10 or more, please join me in making a donation to the Red Cross.
In The Kitchen
This week I roasted everything. Winter squash, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots. Roasting vegetables sweetens them and makes the house smell good. Menu 1: Roasted squash wedges and roasted Brussels sprouts were finger food straight from the pan before falafel for dinner. Leftover roasted squash became a tahini-laced dip (also good with falafel!).
Menu 3: And speaking of comfort food, I made pasta with white beans, red onion, garlic, roasted broccoli, roasted tomatoes, and parsley, sauced with some of the cooking liquid from the homemade white beans. I served it with a variation on that lemony celery salad that I’ll be sharing soon.
Complete Fail: I made a gummy, heavy pasta dish with potatoes. For company. Whoops. Sorry, company. I won’t link to that recipe.
And the granola, this week, was a salted maple pecan. I’ve been adding ground flax seeds, I think they’re supposed to be healthy.
Remember my first batch of sauerkraut?Yeah, the one I spilled all over the floor? Well, my next batch is well underway. It’s in week 3 of fermenting in the basement and I tasted it today. It’s ok. The taste seems a little…flat. Is that going to improve with time? Help me out, fermenters!
I also made fruit leather under Janet’s tutelage. Oh, it’s good. I think I need a dehydrator of my own.
On My Plate
I browsed back through my archives and pulled together some vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe ideas. More on that topic soon!
And did I tell you that I brought home grape leaves from California last week? I have in mind some kind of grilled grape-wrapped goat cheese thingy, maybe, or the grape leaf pie from Plenty.
Thanks for Cooking with Emmy Cooks!
And finally, don’t forget to enter the Cookbook Giveaway this week! It’s a way to say thanks for reading and cooking along with me. Thank you!
Welcome to Emmy Cooks! You can see more of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are July, August, and September). If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, add the RSS feed to your blog reader, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
What’s Halloween like in your neck of the woods? We here at Emmy Cooks are bracing ourselves for a sugar-fueled whirlwind of a day, complete with daytime and nighttime trick or treating (in the rain), hot apple cider, and an unreasonable number of plastic spider rings that will repeatedly turn up in the washing machine for months to come.
And oh, woah, what do you do about the candy? In past years I’ve simply spirited it away after the one night of debauchery (and by “spirited it away,” of course I mean “I ate all the good stuff”). But my big girls are older and wiser now, and it seems like the right time to teach them something meaningful about making good food choices and moderation. So, yeah, any tips you have on that front would be welcome!
Also welcome will be returning to real food after tomorrow’s sugar overload. The recipes below were some of my favorites this month.
|Italian Parsley Salsa Verde|
|Homemade Celery Salt|
|Green Spinach Soup|
|Savory Oatmeal with Curry, Greens, and Caramelized Onions|
|A Great Big Pot of Minestrone|
|And the readers’ favorite (aside from the recipes above, which were all popular this month): Shakshuka|
Thank you so much for reading and cooking along with me!
At this time of year, I have chili on the brain. It’s is basically everything I want in a winter meal: hot, filling, a little spicy, and a perfect vehicle for avocado. I know that in the meat-chili world, there is a beans-or-no-beans question. That question does not exist in my vegetarian chili world. Yes, there will be beans (or, in this case, lentils). Continue reading
The tomatoes are purple, broad-bottomed, flecked with green. These are not my backyard Sungolds. They’re Cherokee Purple heirlooms, hefty in my hand, and they come from east of the mountains where it actually gets hot. They’re rare visitors in my kitchen, but I know just what to do with them today. Continue reading
Watch this space for more Thai food now that summer is coming. Tropical fruit gets all the love, but vegetables like eggplants, peppers, and squash are unique products of hot temperatures as well, and with summer comes the opportunity to cook like we live someplace warmer. Like Thailand.
My sweet tooth has always liked the idea of eating dessert first, and we’re starting our summer Thai series with it here. I have to admit that we cook less Thai food now that Little Uncle makes it so well and so close by, but the flip side of that coin is that it was one of their desserts that reminded me to dig out this recipe for black sticky rice pudding. (The dessert in question was kabocha squash simmered in sweet coconut milk; watch for it on the menu!) It’s a great dessert to make for a party because it’s so simple yet visually impressive, and also because you can make it in advance and serve it cold or gently reheated.
Little Uncle’s simmered kabocha was excellent stirred into this rice pudding, but if you don’t have any handy you can just serve it plain, as I usually do, or with mango slices stirred in or on the side. Of course you can also make this dessert with white sticky rice in place of the black, although, as you’d expect, the resulting color is a bit more pedestrian. Try to remember to save a swirl of the thick coconut cream from the top of the can to garnish the dish. Continue reading Black Sticky Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk (click for recipe)
When I moved to LA in the late ’90s, I was pretty sure of two things. First, that I was going to love graduate school. And second, that I–born and raised in Northern California–would hate living in LA. But life has that funny way of playing tricks on you sometimes, and of course the opposite was true.
About LA: I liked the 72 and sunny, of course, and I liked riding my bike to the beach and the farmers market. I liked breakfasts on Venice Beach and the late-night city scene and did I mention the 72 and sunny? But what I loved most about living in LA was my roommate.
Having a good friend means a lot in a new place, and I lucked out when I connected with my roommate through the school’s matching system. She picked me, she later said, because I said I wanted to find an apartment with a balcony so I could have an herb garden. Ours flourished in the three years we lived together, and I was so sad to say goodbye to her when I left my roommate and that apartment to move to Seattle.
But life has that funny way of playing tricks on you sometimes, and now she lives in Seattle too. We went shopping for seeds and starts this spring for our respective gardens, and when we had lunch last week she brought me a gorgeous bag of newly-picked kale from her back yard. Old friends, tender new greens, both so nice to have around.
A kale salad was in order, of course. Some creamy avocado, some toasted almonds for crunch. I gave that fermented black garlic one last chance and blended it into a vinaigrette. Last time I baked it and I thought maybe I had destroyed its magic properties with the heat–but no, its flavor simply isn’t that dramatic. So you can save yourself $3.50 and substitute half a head of roasted garlic for the black garlic if you prefer. Continue reading Kale and Avocado Salad with Black Garlic (or Roasted Garlic) Vinaigrette (click for recipe)
When I visit California, I sometimes wonder if people are really meant to live anywhere else. We left Seattle in the driving rain and arrived in California’s summertime. My mom’s tomato plants are taller than me, and I picked a ripe tomato. The girls gorged themselves in the raspberry and blackberry patches. We spent all day in in the back yard.
When it was time for lunch, it seemed only sensible to chop up a small mountain of garden and farmers market produce to make a DIY chopped salad bar. My parents (who eat very healthfully) always have a fridge full of the best fruits and vegetables of the season. My uncle recently started eating an exclusively plant-based diet, so we made our salad bar vegan. Today’s offerings included shredded lettuce and diced cabbage, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, and broccoli. You could vary these in infinite combinations, of course. We put out drained kidney beans, ground flaxseeds, nutritional yeast and walnuts for protein, and raisins for a bit of chew and sweetness.
I love this approach because it lets everyone customize a salad to their own taste. I bet my mom took all the veggies plus flax and nutritional yeast (and maybe a splash of vinegar); I left off the carrots, went heavy on the broccoli, and topped my bowl with walnuts, raisins, and balsamic vinaigrette.
My uncle took this photo of his salad to share with you all in exchange for some tips about embarking on a vegan lifestyle. What’s your best advice for him? Vegan Chopped Salad Bar (click for recipe)
A new cookbook is such a good treat. Whether it’s on loan from the library or all mine from my great local bookstore, I always love to curl up on the couch or in bed with a new cookbook. And I just got a good one.
I’m telling you about it because you might think that the Food in Jars cookbook, by Marisa McClellan of the delightful Food in Jars blog, is only for us fringe types who are into canning. Not so! First of all, this is truly small-batch stuff, with most of the recipes yielding a manageable 2 or 3 pints of jam or pickles. No need to can those–give one to the neighbors and put the other(s) in your fridge; they’ll be gone in no time. Second, there are also plenty of recipes that have nothing to do with canning: think of them instead as recipes for foods that you could put in jars, if the urge struck, but it would be mostly for decorative purposes. Granolas. Nut butters. Pancake mixes. Infused salts. This recipe falls into that latter category.
I meant to put it in a jar, I really did, but unfortunately I halved the recipe. Served alongside a plate of apple slices, it was gone before the jar question even came into play. The full recipe is below, and I don’t recommend halving it. Continue reading Homemade Maple-Roasted Almond Butter (click for recipe)
I was trying to decide whether to make you black sticky rice pudding with coconut milk or chocolate cookies tonight. But J, scrolling back through my recent posts, said that I haven’t been feeding you enough protein. (That’s a dad talking, there. Fair enough, though, since yesterday’s “recipe” was for ice cubes.)
Thank J, then, for this heartier fare. We’ve been making this dish for more than a decade and it is always satisfying. It’s a quick dinner and our regular answer to the question “how am I going to cook down of some of these greens to make more room in the fridge?”
The core ingredients are, as you may have cleverly deduced, beans (white ones) and greens. The spare supporting cast includes a small onion, garlic, chile flakes, white wine and rosemary. These bit players can be swapped or omitted depending on availability. I most recently made this dish with lacinato kale, but any kind of hearty green will work. I have been known to combine kale, chard, beet greens and radish tops when the fridge is full to bursting.
I like to serve a big bowl of these greens alongside a grainy slice of grilled or toasted bread, preferably spread with a Cypress Grove goat cheese. Now that’s a proper meal. Continue reading Beans and Greens (click for recipe)