Helloooo! Did you miss me? I took a wee holiday break from blogging, due to all the end-of-year craziness and celebration, and I am back all bright-eyed and bouncy! Speaking of celebration, did you know that many Asian cultures ring in the New Year by eating noodles, which represent long life? My good friend described to me how to make kimchi soba noodles – not just for New Year’s, but as a simple everyday one-pot dinner using ingredients that are easy to keep on hand. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, and have a hearty, nutty flavor which is perfect with the strong garlicky flavor of the kimchi. I’ve added tofu and spinach for extra goodness, and you should feel free to add whatever vegetables and protein you like as well. Continue reading
salty sweet maple granola
Granola. What’s your favorite kind? It might be this one, once you give it a try – and a mason jar of it would make a really cute homemade gift for the holidays! What makes it so great? It’s kind of hard to describe how super-good this is, but I will try, because you really should make it, even if you’ve never made granola before (I hadn’t). First of all, it has an amazing balance of flavors – sweet and salty in just the right way. Secondly, it is almost half nuts, so it is extremely hearty and will keep you going all morning. Thirdly, you can change it up to suit yourself – just keep to the proportion of oats to nuts, but you could use any kind of nuts you want, or add herbs and spices. I might try a little rosemary next time.
sesame kabocha soup with crunchy maple topping
Feeling like making something a little lighter, yet still comforting? Soup is your friend! Or maybe you’re looking for something to do with a random squash, like a kabocha, in your possession, and you’re ready to go beyond simple roasting. Here is a lovely and light, low-fat yet filling soup for your winter nights. Don’t skip making this topping – it is SO GOOD. It kind of reminds me of those little Asian sesame stick snacks which are my absolute favorite snack of all time – in fact, I can’t keep them in the house! And it does all this while being naturally vegan, darling. We had this with avocado toast on the side. (For avocado toast: Take a slice of hearty, whole grain toast, mash 1/2 avocado on top, and lightly salt & pepper to taste. Eat with everything!) Continue reading
pumpkin casserole with crunchy pecan topping
I love savory pumpkin dishes. Also, anything involving Ritz crackers is likely to be delicious. Perhaps not slenderizing, but delicious, especially when also featuring a savory blend of pumpkin, red pepper, onion, and garlic, with some smoked paprika and chipotle for pizzazz, topped with crunchy pecans and panko, and baked until slightly puffed and golden brown. The original recipe from The New York Times uses yellow summer squash, which one steams and purees for inclusion in the dish, but I didn’t have enough squash so I substituted a can of pumpkin for half the squash puree; you can make the whole casserole with all pumpkin instead of squash. Plus, it’s less work that way since you needn’t steam and puree the squash. Win! You can bake this in a casserole (2 1/2 quarts), or small ramekins or cocottes for a cute presentation (just bake it for less time). We had this as a main dish, but it would also be great as a side for a holiday meal such as Thanksgiving. Yay!
whole roasted celeriac
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
savory bread pudding with broccoli rabe and mushrooms
Just back from London, mates! Did you miss me? Here’s some healthy comfort food to make it up to you! Savory bread pudding features cubes of hearty whole-grain bread, broccoli rabe, mushrooms, and Gruyére cheese, bound with eggs & low-fat milk, then baked until puffed and golden. Having just been in London, I’m reminded that the Brits call dessert “pudding”. But this is not that kind of pudding. This is a main dish if you’re vegetarian, or a hearty savory side if not. It would also be a most excellent brunch dish! Or should I say egg-cellent? Teehee.