People are always surprised to find out that my mom and dad eat vegan, but they actually started eating vegan before I did.
I grew up on cube steak and meatloaf, but salad was an essential part of dinner (my dad would sulk otherwise): big chunks of tomatoes, chopped carrots, onion and lots of lettuce. When I went vegetarian, my dad would make special salad-tortilla wraps for me and my mom would buy TVP-chili box mixes from the co-op.
And so when I went to live with them for a summer after college, I knew I had to make them as many great veggie (and usually vegan) dinners as possible, so they could see how much I’d learned about the variety and the ease of cooking healthy and filling vegetarian meals for myself. They kept eating that way after I moved to Scotland and then went completely vegan when I was still eating yogurt a few times a week (that’s when I knew I had to go for it).
Like my mom said, it was a totally natural step for old hippies to take.
This is a variant of a Mark Bittman recipes that I made for my dad in the beginning of his first vegetarian summer and he said (one of my favorite things to hear): “I didn’t know vegetables could taste like this.” Now he knows better than me.
This is a super simple recipe that completely transforms standard red radishes. Begin by braising the radishes in veggie stock (or white wine if you like) until tender and then boil off the liquid and glaze them in the olive oil, soy sauce and pan juices. It’s great on toast for lunch but also for dinner as a savory side dish.
In a medium-sized pot (with a lid), combine the veggie stock, radishes, olive oil, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until the radishes are tender. Remove the lid and increase the heat to a boil and cook until the liquid is gone.
Serve hot as a side with chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Or lightly mash on toast with parsley, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt to taste.
This is my winter version of zucchini bread: carrot bread. It’s a healthier version of a quick bread – it uses mashed carrots for moisture and only a bit of oil, and lots of grated carrots on top of that. Orange zest and fresh grated ginger brighten it up and there’s lots of my favorite (and hopefully your favorite) spices in there, too: cardamom, clove, and cinnamon. Plus coconut – a great texture for the topping. It makes it look kinda like a carrot snowball (the dessert… not a real carrot snowball).
When my favorite vegetables are in season, I try to get sick of them. I don’t want to crave peaches in the middle of winter when there are none to be found (I guess I didn’t eat enough last summer).
I’m working on my Romanesco fix, but even with this Romanesco series I’m doing, I’m just enjoying all the different ways to cook it and I’m getting more excited about all the ways I want to try it. Hopefully the season hangs in a bit longer until fresh beans or rhubarb come into season!
Well, this is probably one of my favorites. Romanesco is roasted intact with a thick, spicy mint-cilantro chutney and served in slices. The mint chutney crust layered atop the lime-green Romanesco makes for a vivid presentation. It’s a great meal for a dinner party – you can make the sauce ahead and marinate the romanesco in it up to a day ahead. Or you can blend up the sauce right away and stick it in the oven for the fanciest lunch ever, like I did.
I often eat the same breakfast every day – oatmeal. When I’m feeling crazy, I might eat steel-cut oats or muesli. I’m a wild one. But it’s good to branch out, even if it is still a grain cooked in milk with fruit stirred in – and this is special enough to serve for brunch or if you are feeling fancy. The brown rice is nutty and filling and the coconut milk makes thiscreamy and decadent.
I took a vacation from blogging last week to spend time with my family. My mom and dad flew into SF and we drove up to meet my sister in Ashland, OR. She brought Resi and I brought Harriet and they had the most fun. It reminded me of meeting with all the cousins at Christmas and how much fun we had – except now the cousins are Resi and Harriet and they bite each other for fun. And I’m pretty sure they smell worse than we did.
Although you may be familiar with creamed spinach, this mix of leeks, curly kale, and swiss chard is a much fuller-flavored mix. Rather than cream, a roux is used to thicken these stewed veggies. Make sure to use an unsweetened milk and preferably a thicker type; a high-fat soy or almond milk will bring much more creaminess and body than a thinner rice milk.