Vegan

Apple Cider Roasted Carrots with Rosemary and Nutmeg

November 14, 2011
Thumbnail image for Apple Cider Roasted Carrots with Rosemary and Nutmeg

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, probably because it’s all about food and there’s no gift buying pressure.

Our family’s Thanksgiving tradition is a little different from most. It started back when my mother was a young graduate student at Berkely in the early 70′s. I remember it clearly and I couldn’t have been more than 4 years old at the time. We had about 25 people over to dinner and they were all “friends and orphans” with no family in the area and nowhere else to go. We didn’t have a lot of money, but somehow my mom managed to put on an amazing feast.
Over the years little has changed. We still have somewhere between 15 and 25 people at dinner, mostly friends and sometimes the occasional relative. The players have evolved to be a greater proportion my generation’s “friends and orphans” but the love and familial …

Read the full article →

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

July 25, 2011
Thumbnail image for Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

It’s summer and most of the U.S. is swealtering under a blanket of record breaking heat. The last thing anyone wants to do is cook in a hot kitchen, right? Both my grandparents and my husband’s grandparents had outdoor canning kitchens and I think they had the right idea; get the heat out of the kitchen! This recipe is both flexible in cooking method and usage; cook it outside to beat the heat, and use it with multiple dishes.

First, while you can roast the vegetables in the oven, you can also cook them on an outside grill, keeping your kitchen cool. If you choose to cook outside, I recommend you still place the vegetables on a pan on the grill because the tomatillos will get very soft and you don’t want to lose any of their juice or any of the smaller pieces of onion and garlic.

Second, while …

Read the full article →

Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions with Dijon Vinaigrette

June 28, 2011
Thumbnail image for Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions with Dijon Vinaigrette

Sometimes the best meals are those which are uncomplicated; those which allow you to share a glass of wine and chat with your guests while cooking at the same time. This dish is one which will enable you to do just that. You can even prepare it before your guests arrive, because it’s just as good at room temperature as it is hot off the grill. In fact, it may even be a little better if the vinaigrette has time to “marinate” the vegetables a bit.

I used Mexican Spring Onions in these photos, but you could also use the ones which are slightly pink and oblong at the base. Spring onions can range in size from a large version of the standard green onion to small round bulbs about 2 inches in diameter. For the larger ones, it’s a good idea to cut them in half so they cook …

Read the full article →

Beet, Fennel and Arugula Salad

June 20, 2011
Thumbnail image for Beet, Fennel and Arugula Salad

Last week we had a friend visiting Los Angeles on her way back home to where she lives in Cambodia. Living in a developing country can be challenging on many levels, not least among them the quest to find familiar and well loved foods. While it’s often preferable, and easier, to eat local food, sometimes after months of noodles, rice, and curry, the cravings for foods from home kick in.

Knowing that she was on her way back, I tried to craft a meal which included many of the things she likes but cannot get there, chief amoung them beets, arugula, and cheese. While this salad would be lovely with the addition of goat cheese, the night’s meal already included home made pizzas with fresh mozzarella and we had a non-dairy eating guest. When we visited our friend in Cambodia last year we arrived with a cooler bag filled with …

Read the full article →

Winter Quinoa Salad with Mixed Beans and Tahini-Chili Dressing

January 12, 2011
Thumbnail image for Winter Quinoa Salad with Mixed Beans and Tahini-Chili Dressing

Last year I did a 21 day cleanse diet which I detailed here on the blog. During that time I adhered to a very simple, yet strict, set of rules; no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine, no wheat gluten and no animal products (totally vegan) for the entire three weeks. I was very proud to be able to say I completed my goals with no cheating. It was an eye-opening experience and taught me three big things; I have the will power to say no to donuts (and everything else for 3 weeks), that pork really isn’t a food group (I didn’t need to eat meat protein at every meal), and that I have the skills to eat well even with limitations. That said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to return to how I normally eat when it was over.

Even though my typical diet …

Read the full article →

Midsummer’s Garden Vegetable Ratatouille

July 28, 2010
Thumbnail image for Midsummer’s Garden Vegetable Ratatouille

Is there such a thing as too much zucchini?
Oh yes, there is.
We went away for a week and our garden went crazy. It was scorching hot at home while we were in Panama and the garden responded as if breathing its last breath; it pumped out extra vegetables in a last ditch effort to get all its children off a sinking ship.

So what to do with all this bounty? Well, besides cooking up many of the other garden inspired recipes I have, I like to make a simple and fresh ratatouille. This dish is not only versatile, but freezes well for later when all the fresh vegetables are gone. See the end of the post for some ideas on what to do with extra ratatouille.

The vegetables are cooked in stages in this recipe. I did it this way for two reasons; first because I could not …

Read the full article →