Celeriac? What’s that? I confess, the first time I saw one, I was completely baffled by this brown, rough sphere with tendrilly roots still attached. Approximately the size of a large grapefruit, it was kind of intimidating, reminding me of a creature from Doctor Who. But now we are friends! Do not judge a vegetable by its cover. Why should you get to know it? Well, celeriac has a very mild celery flavor and is crisp when raw, and creamy and soft when cooked. It is much lower in calories than potato – 42 calories per 100 grams, versus 322 calories per 100 grams for potato, but when you roast it, you feel as if you are enjoying a very large, slightly celery flavored baked potato, with a creamy interior and crispy skin. Prep is extremely quick, but roasting it takes a while, so make it on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy the delicious aroma wafting through your home. This got two thumbs up from my husband! Continue reading
Here is a super-easy and refreshing summer salad with chickpeas, cucumber, and mint, as well as crisp hearts of palm, complimented by a smoky tahini dressing. Don’t hearts of palm automatically make everything more elegant? Also, I happen to agree with Mark Bittman of the New York Times that smoked paprika improves almost every savory dish. It really brings out the natural smokiness of the tahini (which is kind of like peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts). If you don’t have any smoked paprika, though, just leave it out. But seriously, go buy some for next time, try it in a variety of savory dishes while you’re at it, and thank me later. A few years ago you had to special order it, but now it’s fairly readily available in supermarkets. Continue reading
Smoked paprika, olives, pine nuts and golden raisins combine with garlic seared chickpeas and capers as well as fresh spinach and chewy farro to make an unforgettable Spanish-influenced hearty salad. This dish is vegan, but my best taste-tester husband actually thought (hoped?) there might be bacon in it due to the smoky flavors. Nope. Just a bunch of veg and nuts! Interesting how one can make things taste kinda bacon-y without actual bacon, isn’t it? Must investigate further.
These creamy white giant beans in a rich tomato dill oregano sauce are simply begging for a crust of hearty bread to swipe up the tomatoey goodness. Have you ever had these as a meze (small plate) in a Greek restaurant? I always order them when I see them, and I was excited to try making them at home. Gigante beans are aptly named – they are so gigantic that just one bean will practically cover up your spoon! This recipe does take a while, but no step is difficult, and if you’ve got a lazy Sunday afternoon to make this, your home will smell amazing. It’s the kind of dish that is delicious right away, but gets even better over the next couple of days as the flavors and richness have a chance to blend. It’s also worth mentioning for my vegan readers that this dish is naturally vegan. I made this with Royal Corona Beans from Rancho Gordo, my favorite source for heirloom beans. Check them out!
I realized I didn’t blog on Sunday as usual because I was busy cooking. Too busy cooking to blog about cooking? I hoped that you would forgive me. Especially because of new and delicious things to share! Like this easy-peasy vegetarian slow cooker white bean cassoulet. Usually cassoulet has a mix of meats in it, but this is a lovely guilt-free and healthy version that simmers all day, smelling delicious all the while. So put this together and then go out and live your life, and come home to something comforting and warm on a chilly spring day! That’s what we’re having in New York City, so comfort is needed. Continue reading
Since my husband and I have been on our quest to consume fewer animal products, my slow cooker has had a little vacation. I was used to making meat-based roasts, stews and curries and it took a little while to find my way into veggie territory. I was determined, though, because you can’t beat the convenience of the slow cooker. I expected to find beans, beans, and nothing but beans! And while slow-cooked beans are indeed delightful, it turns out there is a whole world of delicious vegetarian and vegan slow cooking to play with, and it’s not brown and mushy as one might fear, but colorful and intensely flavored. This tortilla soup will make your whole home smell so smoky, spicy and delicious that you will hardly be able to wait to eat it. Get some really nice multi-grain tortilla chips to serve with it. My husband and I aren’t really vegan, so we had regular low-fat sour cream as a topping, but if you’re keeping it animal-free, just use vegan sour cream or skip it. Continue reading