Monday, February 16, 2009

Recent Meals

1. Chicken & Dumplings with Leeks and Tarragon:

Chicken and Dumplings

2. Leftover breakfast (Coffee, sweet potato biscuit, scrambled eggs, spinach and apple salad, rosemary wheat roll with butter)


Biscuit recipe:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall Food Projects

This is not complete. I am excited to make some old favorites, and learn some new tricks.

  1. Muesli-making party

  2. Borscht and Autumn Squash soup

  3. Cooking with edible lavender and making refreshing beverages with Monin lavender syrup

  4. Buying a cast-iron skillet

  5. Doughnuts at the Doughnut Plant and brunch at Balthazar(not in the same day)

  6. Roasting vegetables and chicken
  7. Nameless cake
  8. Chicken and dumplings with Leek
  9. Lemon drizzle cake

  10. Lots of pots of tea in my beautiful new Brown Betty:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Andreae's "Chili For All"

I can't believe I haven't mentioned this. Andreae's chili recipe is one of my new favorite recipes of the year, and quite easily one of my most frequently-made dishes. Easy, cheap, friggin' delicious. I really recommend using the quinoa--the flavor it adds is tops. And don't forget the sour cream. I also am a sucker for the corn chips shaped like scoops when it comes to this.


Makes 8 servings. I make this fairly mild to suit a certain four-year-old's palate, but feel free to bump up the chili powder and crushed chilies to taste.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 - 1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed chilies
1/2 teaspoon cocoa (unsweetened, not hot chocolate mix!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup peeled, chopped sweet potato (1/2 - inch dice)
1 540-ml tin black beans, rinsed
1 398-ml tin dark red kidney beans, rinsed
1 796-ml tin diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato juice (or v8 if you've got it)
2 cups cooked quinoa (or 2 cups cooked brown rice, or about a pound of ground beef, browned and drained)
juice of 1/2 lime

In a rather large pot over medium heat, sauté onion in olive oil until nearly translucent. Add garlic and sauté a few minutes more, stirring. Reduce heat to low and add spices, cocoa and salt. Stir until nicely fragrant, then add coffee and stir it all into a paste. Add chopped vegetables and beans, then tomatoes and tomato juice. Stir in your quinoa (or rice, or ground beef) and bring everything to a gentle simmer. Cook on low until sweet potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Chili burns easily; make sure you stir the pot frequently, and keep the heat as low as possible. Before serving squeeze in the lime juice.

Serve topped with sour cream or yogurt, or with grated cheese, or with diced avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds.

To cook quinoa:
Rinse 1 cup quinoa well to remove the bitter coating on the grains – I use a colander lined with a cotton napkin. Put the rinsed grains in a small, covered pot and add 2 cups cold water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, for about 15 minutes.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Borscht Again!

This blog has been woefully inactive! I will change this. Because I am so, so psyched about this invention of mine!

Before those without a food processor. If you choose to use a chand grater, I salute your spunk. That sounds really dirty.

Almost-Raw Borscht

One bunch 3-5 small/medium beets (including greens)
One carrot
One cup chopped cabbage (aprox)
One small, sweet-ish onion
One Clove garlic
Two cups vegetable broth
1 tsp vinegar (I used apple cider)
1 tsp sugar or other sweetener
1 tsp salt
Dashes of black pepper
Two cups water
about a half of another onion, diced
Fresh Dill

Wash, peel and puree beets and greens, carrot, first onion and garlic in food processor, in batches if necessary. Transfer to blender, adding broth, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Blend til well incorporated. Transfer to large bowl or storage container. Stir in water, diced onion and however much fresh dill you have and/or want. Chill at least one hour before serving. Serve plain or how I prefer, over a boiled potato and topped with sour cream.

NOTE: This is an outline. Go ahead and futz with it. Adjust the amount of liquid to your preferred consistency, season to taste, throw some olive oil in the blender, sautee the onion and garlic before adding, use leftover boiled cabbage, eliminate the suger (uncooked beets are pretty sweet)...I really make this a little differently each time.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Asparagus and Wild Rice Soup

This request goes out to Jeff in Greytown, KwazuluNatal, SA. I miss you like crazy, brother!

"A Favorite of somebody"

2 lbs asparagus
2 medium onions, medium dice
2 tbps unsalted butter
1 c wild rice
4 c stock
toasted pecans (1 tbsp butter, 1/2 c coarse chopped pecans, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 c heavy cream, salt n pepper, juice of 1/2 lemon

Wash and trim asparagus. Cut off tips for garnish, set aside. Roughly chop the stalks.
Sweat the onion in butter in a heavy soup pot.
After a few minutes add half the wild rice and all the stock.
Simmer for 40 minutes then add asparagus.
Simmer another 5-10 minutes, until asparagus is al dente.
While soup is cooking, blanche and shock the asparagus tips, set aside.
Simmer the remaining 1/2 c of wild rice for aout 40 minutes or until cooked through.
Preheat oven to 350.
Melt 1 tbps butter in saucepan. add sugar pecans and salt, toss until butter is absorbed.
Place on a sheetpan and toast for 8-10 minutes.
After the soup has cooked for about an hour, puree in a food processor. Pass through a medium strainer to remove any asparagus strings.
Bring the sou pback to a boil and add the asparagus and wild rice garnishes.
(Optional) add heavy cream and re-simmer.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Vegan Tuna Noodle Casserole!

I made it!

8 oz elbow macaroni
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion
10 oz cremani (“baby bella”) mushrooms
1 stalk celery (I didn’t actually use this, but if I’d had it I would have)
1 T tamari/soy sauce/bragg’s
3 T margerine
1/4 cup flour
2 Cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 Cups rice (or soy, or w/e)milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 T lemon juice
1 t paprika
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 15 oz cans garbanzo beans
2 T kelp granules (or to taste)
1/2 cup green peas
bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 and grease an 8” x 12” pan. Prepare macaroni as directed, drain, put back in pot and set aside. Heat oil in pan, add onions and mushrooms (and celery). When most of the water has cooked out of the mushrooms, add soy sauce, sautee another minute or so, and set aside. Mash chickpeas with kelp granules and set aside. Melt margerine in pan and whisk in flour til well incorporated and thickened. Continue to heat and whisk and slowly add broth. bring to boil. slowly add milk, whisking all the while. add nutritional yeast and whisk well, then add lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper and mix well. slowly add vegetable mixture, mix well. Slowly add chick pea mixture, blending very well. Add peas, mix well. Dump all this into the pot with your macaroni and mix well. Scoop/pour it all into your pan, cover and bake for 15 min. Remove, uncover, sprikle with bread crumbs (and maybe mist with oil) and return to oven for another 5-10 minutes. Serve hot.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Vegetable Tagine of my Dreams

I found this recipe on, a great site for foodies. I did not follow the recipe to the letter because of ingredient restrictions (there was no way I was finding preserved lemons in east williamsburg at 7 pm), but I will tell you what I did here.

It was incredibly delicious! (The illustration is from the website, not my photo. I actually used tricolor couscous and it looked like a plate full of rainbows!!!!) Aside from the preserved lemons, the only ingredient that it might be hard to come by would be the saffron, which luckily my roomate had at home.

* 6 tbsp olive oil
* 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
* 2 tsp cumin
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
* 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 3 medium carrots, peeled, medium dice
* 1 c canned diced tomatoes in juice
* 4 c vegetable broth
* Pinch saffron
* 1 head cauliflower, large dice
* 1 1/4 c green olives, pitted and halved
* 2 cups cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas, drained
* 3/4 tsp lemon zest, hearty squeeze of juice

* 3 cups dry couscous (I recommend tri-color!)
* 3 cups water
* 1 c greek-style yogurt
* 1 cup whole almonds, toasted and chopped
* 1/2 cup sliced scallions

  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and season with salt and black pepper; sweat onions, (~5 min).
  2. Stir in cumin and cinnamon stick, stir.
  3. Add ginger and garlic, stir.
  4. Add carrots, cook until they start to get tender.
  5. Add broth and tomatoes, saffron.
  6. Simmer until the vegetables are almost cooked (~5 min)
  7. Add cauliflower, olives, chickpeas, lemon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes more.
  8. Taste and add seasoning if necessary

Serve the tagine over couscous with chopped toasted almonds, scallions, and greek-style yogurt.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Vegan Baked Ziti

Hi this is Constintina. I am so honored to have been invited to post to this magnificent blog!

I made this:

It was really f-ing good.

  • 1 box (1 lb) ziti
  • 1 big Jar + (30 oz?) of tomato Sauce (I made a version of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's pizza sauce from Vegan with a Vengeance, use whatever you like)
  • 1/2 cup Cheese sauce of your choice (I used Joanne Stepaniak's melty white cheese recipe fromThe Uncheese Cookbook, but use whatever you want. shredded fake cheese would work here too.)
  • 1 lb ricotta substitute (I used Joanne Stepaniak's tofu ricotta recipe from The Uncheese Cookbook, again, whatevs)
  • at least 8 oz melty Cheese substitute of your choice (I used half a block of Vegan Gormet Mozarella and I WOULD HAVE USED MORE IF I’D HAD IT...and god damn it, if anyone knows of a recipe for anything equivalent, send it my way. That stuff is way too expensive, and it's FAR AND AWAY the best mozarella substitute I've found for any and all purposes, and it actually melts. Not like how Veganrella "melts", it melts. But you could use a variety of things from TUC
  • Fake Parmesean (I used J Stepaniaks Parmezzano sprinkles, ibid.)

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook ziti according to package directions and drain.
Put it back in the empty pot, add the Cheese sauce & tomato sauce and mix.
Spoon half the ziti and sauce into your pan/casserole dish. Spoon the ricotta over it.
Spoon on the remainder of the pasta and sauce and top with the melty cheese substitute of your choice, followed by a sprinkling of Parmesean.
Cover with foil and bake in hot oven for 25 min or until it looks done and is very hot. If you’re using vegan gourmet, I recommend you now turn your oven up very high and either stick the pan in the broiler for a minute or leave it in the oven uncovered, checking every couple minutes until it’s really bubbly and melted. It has a higher melting point than real cheese, but it willl do what you want it to. See photographic evidence above.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Wooing Borscht

My borscht recipe is a flexible thing. I often choose ingredients based on availability and mood. The first borscht I made (and the one I base my own off of) was out of a Linda McCartney cookbook. The borscht I make is still vegetarian--I find meat borschts too unneccessarily heavy, and this way, more people can enjoy the borscht experience.

Prior to finding Linda McC's recipe, my experience of borscht was mixed. When my mother first began her professional and academic projects in Russia, she tried out one of her colleague's recipes for borscht. A staple like chicken soup, borscht has many incarnations depending on whose kitchen you're in and where their influence is from. This borscht that she made was vinegar-riffic and pungent--too much for my teenage palate. However, once I went to Russia myself in 1996, my idea of borscht and it's potential was radically altered. Some borschts that I had were basically cabbage soups with a bit of beets, in a clear broth. The borscht of Veselka, as you may know, is thick and deep magenta, with beef mixed in with the beets.

My borscht has been called "liquid love" by many, and I often refer to it as my "wooing soup". If I aim to win your heart, I'll put all my best into making a fabulous borscht for you. But don't worry--if I feed you borscht it doesn't automatically mean I'm trying to romance you. I'm just trying to romance your taste buds.

Every batch is different, and really depends on the quality and flavor of the beets.

Here we go:

5 or 6 mid-to-large beets
1/2 head cabbage
1 lge potato
1 lge sweet potato
1 lge onion
2 or 3 carrots
1 lge tomato
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh dill
butter (optional)
6 c of stock (veg or chix, doesn't matter)
1 tsp white vinegar
(If you want to use other root vegetables, go crazy. Just remember that beets and cabbage make up the bulk)

  • peel and chop the beets, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, (other asst root vegs) into matchsticks. This requires quite a lot of elbow grease, and will leave you with pink hands. Be sure to wear an apron or unimportant clothing--beets will stain!
  • tomatoes can be diced
  • chop the onions roughly
  • sweat them in the olive oil with a little salt and pepper
  • add the other vegetables (this will be quite a mountain)
  • stir the vegetables, trying to let them sautee a bit. add extra oil as necessary.
  • cover the vegetables with broth, let simmer until vegetables are soft (~1/2 hour)
  • turn down heat
  • scoop out the solid material, puree in a food processor or blender
  • return the puree to the broth
  • add more broth or water to reach the desired consistency
  • add salt and pepper to taste, plus 1 tsp white vinegar (if you dont have it it's ok)
  • if you like, a pat of butter is always a good idea
  • serve with fresh dill (many also enjoy sour cream with this)

Hot, warm, sweet, earthy and pink. It's liquid love.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Ally's Autumn Soup

*possibly the best soup I've ever concocted

1 large piece of pumpkin
1 butternut squash
1 sweet potato
5 carrots
1 large yellow onion
1 head of garlic
fresh ginger
1/2 c cooking wine
4 or so c stock (chix or veg)
  • halve the squash and the sweet potato, brush everything with a melted butter/olive oil garlic glaze, place some fresh rosemary on top of each one, put them in the oven at 350.
  • roast a head of garlic, take out early, smooth into a paste, and saute in olive oil.
  • add the chopped onion and some fresh grated ginger, sweat the onions and add some pepper.
  • when the vegetables get soft, turn the oven up to 450 at the end to really get them roasting.
  • scoop out all the flesh and cut up the carrots, removing the rosemary from the top.
  • pour about 4 cups of stock on top of that
  • add a splash of white cooking wine and two cloves, and let it all simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • scoop it all out bit by bit and puree it in the blender.
  • With the thickness of the squash, its usually necessary to add a few cups of water or stock until you get the consistency you want. I just used water.
  • add a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper, some more fresh ginger and a tiny bit more cooking wine.
  • I served it with a dish of chopped scallions for people to sprinkle on top

The only thing that would have made it better would have been a nice crusty piece of bread to balance the texture of the soup.