Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Meatless Monday: Slow Roasted Tomatoes


This is a NON recipe for one of the most delicious foods on earth! I first discovered slow roasted tomatoes from Orangette and then Gwyneth put a recipe for them in her book which I also made (they were excellent as is her book, don’t hate.)  Basically you take any small sized tomatoes, cut them and half, add salt and EVOO and let them sizzle and shrivel in a low oven for 2-5 hours. Even the crappiest tomatoes condense as they roast into the richest, tangiest, sweetest flavor on earth. Make these and eat like an Etruscan King. Drew calls them “Umami discs.”


Farmer's Market Roma Tomatoes

Farmer's Market Tomatoes in Baggu Bag

I’ll walk you through the process. Buy some tomatoes, I got these at the Farmer’s Market but I’ve also done this recipe with (gasp) grocery store, out of season, non-organic cherry tomatoes and it was just as yummy. Wash them and take the tops off. Cut them in half.


Roma Tomatoes for Roasting


Toss the tomato halves with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lay cut side up on a baking sheet (I line mine with these parchment paper sheets, best product ever.)


Tomato Halves with Grey Salt

See how much salt I use, this gives the tomatoes lots of flavor. Now put them in a 250 degree oven for 2-5 hours depending on the size. These Roma halves took 3.5 hours.


Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Roast them til they look like this picture. Shriveled but not burnt or crisp.


Slow Roasted Tomatoes- close up

Aren’t they pretty! Let them cool and store them in your fridge in an airtight container drizzled with olive oil for up to a week. Toss them with pasta, puree them into soups or hummus, add them to sauteed lentils, each them on steak sandwiches or with fresh mozzarella. Eat them off the baking sheet for all I care, just make these.






Meatless Monday: Raw Kale Salad with Strawberries and Almonds


Raw Kale Salad with Strawberries and Almonds

Sarah wanted to develop a summery version of our favorite raw Kale Salad with Apple and Currants to accompany our Memorial Day Picnic menu. She suggested we use strawberries and I added the creamy vegan basil dressing (originally developed as a dip for steamed artichokes). Grassy ribbons of kale+ sweet basil dressing= heaven. Tangy strawberries and crunchy almonds add sweetness and depth of flavor. Teamwork friends.


Raw Kale Salad with Strawberries

Raw Kale Salad with Strawberries and Almonds
Serves 4

1 bunch kale, cut into chiffonade
1 x Creamy Vegan Basil Vinaigrette, see recipe below
1-1/2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
¼ cup slivered almonds or pine nuts, lightly toasted
¼ cup fresh basil, cut into chiffonade

Wash and dry kale ribbons.  Toss with basil vinaigrette 10-15 minutes before serving so kale has time to soften.  Arrange on serving platter then top with berries, almonds and fresh basil just before serving.


Creamy Vegan Basil Dressing


Creamy Vegan Basil Dressing
makes ¾ cup

1 tablespoon shallot, minced
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
10 grinds freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup basil
2 tablespoons Veganaise or mayo
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor or blender.  With mixer running, add olive oil in a slow steady stream until dressing is emulsified.  Keeps in refrigerator for about a week. Yay this salad got featured on the Meatless Monday site!



Meatless Monday: Potato Salad Gribiche


According to Wikipedia:
Sauce gribiche is a mayonnaise-style cold egg sauce in the French Cuisine, made by emulsifying hard-boiled egg yolks and mustard with a neutral oil like canola or grapeseed. The sauce is finished with chopped pickles, capers, parsley, chervil and tarragon. It also includes hard-boiled egg whites cut in a julienne.
Sauce gribiche may be served with boiled chicken, fish (hot or cold) or calf’s head.

Potato Salad Gribiche

Ok well this may be the proper definition of sauce gribiche but my version of this French classic is much lighter. I took our basic vinaigrette potato salad recipe and added chopped capers, cornichons, hard boiled eggs, parsley and chervil. A nod and a wink to this classic suits me just fine. The warm fingerling potatoes drink up the shalloty vinaigrette and the capers, cornichons and herbs add a tangy brightness to the earthy studs. The eggs offer a creamy surprise though you could easily omit them for a Vegan version. I served it at a dinner party last week to rave reviews.


Potato Salad Gribiche 2

Potato Salad Gribiche
serves 8 generously

3 pounds mini fingerling potatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 shallots, finely diced
8 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cornichons, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup chopped chervil, roughly chopped

Wash and clean the potatoes. Cut them in half so that all pieces are approximately the same size and approximately 1-1/2 inches. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Let boil until knife tender, approximately 8 minutes. Drain and place back in the pot, covering with a lid, so that the potatoes stay warm until they are dressed.

While the potatoes are boiling, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and shallots.  Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking continuously so that the vinaigrette emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the drained hot potatoes using a spatula to gently turn the potatoes so that the vinaigrette coats them all. Let the dressed potatoes cool to room temperature. In the mean time chop the capers, cornichons and hard boiled eggs. Mix them into the potatoes in vinaigrette.

Reserving some of the herbs for topping the plated dish,  Generously sprinkle the potato salad with the chopped herbs, gently mixing so that every potato bite will have some herbs. Scoop the potatoes into a serving platter and top with the reserved herbs. Enjoy chilled or at room temperature.



Farmer’s Garden Smoothie


Fruit and greens ready for blending


While visiting my parents last weekend I discovered a sad truth.  Not all Whole Foods have smoothie bars.  Not a surprise, I’m guessing, to those of you who didn’t realize any Whole Foods have smoothie bars, but a disappointment to me who depends on a Farmer’s Garden Smoothie to transform the checkout line from frustration station to my own personal happy hour.

Chopped spinach and kale


Luckily, it’s the world’s easiest smoothie to recreate at home. If you’ve been hesitant to try green smoothies (like our Organic Green Smoothie), this is a great first step because it has all the health benefits of a green smoothie plus the familiar creamy sweetness of a strawberry/banana blend.  Strawberries are beautiful now, but using frozen fruit keeps the smoothie even colder, so the recipe is just as good out-of-season as in.  I also like to peel and freeze ripe bananas so I have them for this smoothie (or banana bread).

Question–where do you stand on protein powder?  I had been anti for a long while but I’m coming around to it now after experiencing one too many post-smoothie energy crashes. One scoop of vanilla whey protein rounds out the flavor, adds creaminess and keeps me energized until lunch.  I finally stopped filching from my husband’s protein jars and bought my own, which makes it official.  I’m a fan.



Farmer's Garden Smoothie


Farmer’s Garden Smoothie

adapted from Whole Foods smoothie bar

Makes 2


1 small bunch kale, washed and finely chopped

1 small handful spinach, finely chopped

1 medium banana, cut into chunks

4 strawberries, cut into chunks

1 cup orange juice

1 small handful frozen blueberries or raspberries, about 4-5 berries (optional)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.  Kale refuses most blitzing efforts so be patient and keep pulsing until it is puréed enough for your taste.

Enjoy immediately.


Meatless Monday: Cold Tofu with Green Onions and Ginger



After ten days of travel, parties and dinners out with family and friends, I’m craving the gustatory equivalent of an all-white room. And so I woke up with cold tofu on my mind.  Like the perfect white room, cold tofu shouldn’t be boring, but fresh, clean and bold in its details.

This is a super simple dish that sings.  Every taste and texture is clean and clear–cold, custardy tofu and sharp, green ginger and scallions.  The soy sauce–not too much or it will overwhelm the delicate tofu–pulls it all together.  I eat it over warm rice to catch the soy and tender bits of tofu as they start to fall apart.


Cold Tofu with Green Onions and Ginger


1 package (12 oz) extra-firm silken (Japanese-style) tofu

3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Soy sauce


Take tofu out of the package and drain.

Cut the tofu in half and place each piece on a serving dish or over rice.  Sprinkle with scallions and ginger.  Drizzle a little soy over each  and serve immediately.

Soft-Boiled Eggs


Breakfast is hands-down my favorite meal of the day.  Even during the week, when I rarely stray from anything oat.  What can I say? I’m loyal to oats in every form–oatmeal with bananas or blueberries, Greek yogurt with raw oats, almonds and honey or quick oat bran with currants and agave.

Unless of course, I’m with a soft-boiled egg.  Because sometimes we all need a change and it can be really satisfying to make something in a pot on a weekday morning as opposed to in a microwave.  If you have to rap-rap and crack that something open in order to spoon out a buttery yolk, well, even better.

Am I right?

Don’t forget to cut your toast into “soldiers” for dipping.


Soft Boiled Eggs

serves 2

2 large eggs

2 pieces bread for toasting

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Fill a medium-sized pot with cool water to just cover your eggs.  Set over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.  As soon as your water begins to simmer, set your timer for three minutes and pop your toast in the toaster.  Keep the water at a gentle simmer for the full three minutes, which is the perfect amount of time for a firm whites and runny yolks.

When your timer sounds, immediately retrieve your eggs with a slotted spoon or tongs and run briefly under a cool faucet so that they are cool enough to touch.  Place in your eggs cups and remove the tops with an egg cutter or by tapping along the tip on all sides with the sharp edge of a knife and then lifting the cap.  Season each individual bite to taste and enjoy with hot, buttered soldiers.



Meatless Monday: Spicy Carrot Soup


Spicy Carrot Soup

This soup is perfect for an April showers afternoon or an “it’s still so light outside” evening. Velvety smooth texture, sweet carrot base pumped up by warm Moroccan spices like cumin and allspice and lots of garlicy heat from the sriracha. Very little fat, vegan (swap out the honey for maple or agave syrup) and naturally gluten free this soup is delightfully sin free.

Spicy Carrot Soup

Spicy Carrot Soup

serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped white onion

1 pound large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 2/3 cups)

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

2 teaspoons sriracha (plus more for garnish)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)


Warm olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 2 minutes. Mix in carrots. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Carefully puree in batches in blender until smooth. Return to same pan. Whisk in honey, lemon juice, sriracha, cumin allspice. Season with salt and pepper and add more lemon juice if needed. Serve warm with a garnish of sriracha or freshly chopped cilantro.






Bon Appetit’s Pimiento Mac n Cheese


Ayeisha and Niki

The loveliest and most special of guest bloggers today friends. Ayeisha Mesinger creator-designer of Morgan Parish handbags and Niki Shwartz-Wright writer-business woman extraordinaire, extol the virtues of the pimiento cheese mac n cheese on the cover of the March Bon Apetit magazine. They were kind enough to answer my many questions about the experience of the mac. Enjoy!

How did you decide to make the dish?

Ayeisha: Our decision to make this dish stemmed form a combination of general hunger and Niki seeing this delectable looking food pic that graced the cover of this month’s Bon Appetit.

Niki: Yes, I think it went something along the lines of (slo-mo voice): I waaannt thaaaaatt!!!!!

Bon Appetit Mac cheese

looks like the cover dish!

A: Often the covers prompt instant salivation, but sometimes they can be rather intimidating and don’t seem attainable to the normal human being.  In addition to the recipes good looks, we saw that it’s execution time was 45 minutes, which, in the world of Bon Appetit is like a 50 yard dash, so that definitely made us game for trying it out.

What were you drinking when you were cooking?

Ayeisha: I was drinking my usual Kentucky Bourbon, Maker’s Mark, of course =)

Niki: Since I can’t drink Bourbon without making a psychotic face and punching the air after each sip, I was drinking a kidney pleasing Vodka Cranberry.


Mesinger Mac

stunning in an orange Le Creuset pan


When you served it?

A: Switched to wine for the eating portion of the meal (The Pinot Project, I believe)

N: Yes, which my boyfriend described as “very flavor forward”…whatever that means. It was delicious!

What did you serve alongside the mac?

A: We made the Mac the centerpiece of the meal.  We wanted to keep the meal on the light side in general, as we had been having some lovely meals out that were leaving us pleasantly stuffed.

Niki: What Ayeisha is trying to say is, The Fats came to town and we were taking down large amounts of calories at every opportunity. We needed a light meal. Hence, mac & cheese.

Ayeisha: We did add an easy breezy mixed greens salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and a homemade dressing on the side to top it off.


Ideal Market in Boulder, CO

Explain the shop/prep/cooking process.

Ayeisha: The shop was done at Ideal Market.  It’s a local Boulder market that is technically a mini-Whole Foods.   We divided our  list which was pretty straight forward.  The hardest thing to locate was the Pappadew pepper, which I am sure everyone is familiar with from the olive cart, but none of us knew was called Peppadew.  Also a bit confusing is the fact that the recipe is called a pimiento mac and cheese, but technically no pimiento in the recipe.  As we were getting olives and Gerkin for the pre-dinner munchums, we came across the missing link.  The Peppadews were in the Olive Cart!  Crisis averted we went home to begin our mission….

Niki: I cannot take any credit for the shopping process of this meal as I had located the newest copy of People Magazine and HAD to find out all about Christina Applegate and her new baby. She’s presh, by the way…

Ayeisha: Cooking was easier than expected.  It was mostly in the prep which even then was mostly about grating cheese in terms of muscle.  No roux making needed at all!  Simply boiling some of the ingredients and then blending them together before mixing in the cooked pasta which then went into the oven, topped with the toasted crumbs.  I mean, real child’s play when it comes to Bon Appetit.  If you are a novice home chef, this meal will make you look like a pro.  Plus it was the kind of cooking that allowed you to still be interactive with your guests.

Niki: Absolutely. Even though Ayeisha was steering the ship, I honestly felt as if I could tackle this dish at home alone and would probably be able to pull it off. Which is saying a lot as my cooking ability is…well, I have a handicap.

Ayeisha: As a side note: There is always something one forgets to purchase while at the store (or in my experience their is anyhow).  Naturally, once we arrived home, we didn’t start cooking for a couple hours at which point we realized in the commotion to find the Peppadew part of the equation, we forgot to get the panko! We substituted toasted crushed saltine crumbs for the panko…Maybe not so much a top chef move, but it worked great all the same!

Niki: I thought it was a brillz move on A’s part to do this. When I saw her actually toasting the crumbled saltines in a pan, I nearly lost my shit. What creativity!!!


Describe the way it tasted!

Ayeisha: Last but not least, it tasted wonderfully scrumptious.  It was perfect kind of cheesy, but a different kind of cheesy because the recipe didn’t called for making a roux as most Mac’s do.  It was not heavy in taste and didn’t leave us comatose at all.  There was a little heat to the mac as well as a perfect amount of salt.  It was warm and cozy which was great as the weather outside was not.  The bell peppers and peppadew added great sweet-tangy flavor (as promised by Bon Appetit), and were a great twist on a classic.

Niki: It was a little like that scene from What About Bob? All I could say for about 10 minutes while eating it was “Hmmmmm” “Oh, Hmmmmmm” “Hmmmm Hmmmmm Hmmmmmmmm!!!!!!”  Serious restaurant quality.

Sesame Brown Rice Salad


Sesame Brown Rice Salad

My darling friend Alissa gave me this recipe from her sister Risa and it a zesty delight. A perfect lunch salad, light dinner or try it spooned it into lettuce cups for a healthy appetizer. It’s naturally gluten free and you can easily make it vegetarian/vegan by omitting the shredded chicken.

You’re welcome.

Sesame Brown Rice Salad- close


serves 4

1 cup of dry long grain brown rice

2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup red or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 cup shredded broccoli stems

1/3 cup scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup of roasted and salted peanuts, crushed and divided

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced (plus more for garnish)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice (plus more wedges for serving)

1 clove of garlic, minced

4 teaspoons canola/avocado/grapeseed oil

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil


Cook the brown rice according to the package instructions. Transfer the rice to a large bowl and fluff with a fork, allow to cool. Add the shredded chicken, vegetables, scallions, 2 tablespoons peanuts and cilantro and toss to combine. Make a dressing from the fresh lime juice, salt, minced garlic and then whisk in both oils. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette and garnish with extra cilantro and remaining chopped peanuts. Serve with a wedge of lime.


Winter Chopped Salad


I made this salad from Bon Appetit magazine at work yesterday on Sarah’s suggestion and it was excellent. So fresh and crisp from five different winter vegetables sliced thin over juicy romaine leaves. Topped with garbanzo beans, avocado, crunchy sunflowers seeds and tossed in a guilt free creamy Lemon-Yogurt Dressing.


photo courtesy of Bon Appetit

Absolutely satisfying as a dinner salad though some grilled chicken breast would be a delicious addition. You can bring the leftovers (untossed of course) to work the next day for a great healthy lunch. The dressing is excellent, it would make a lovely light dip for crudite as well for you Oscar parties next weekend. Go check out the recipe at Bon and let us know if you make the salad and had any notes.


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