Tag Archives: Vegetarian

French Fridays with Dorie: Vanilla Vegetable Salad

Vanilla Vegetable Salad Dorie Greenspan

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Harissa Red Pepper Dip

Harissa Red Pepper Dip

Harissa is a Tunisian pepper paste or condiment that is used to season meats and vegetables or to bump up the flavor in soups and stews.    Although it is traditionally found and can be made at home in paste form, dry blends have been popping up in specialty grocery stress.  The dry blend I have on hand has paprika, caraway, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, garlic, and peppermint.  The jar suggests mixing it with oil to create a paste closer to the traditional preparation.  I’ve been using it lately as as substitute for Cajun seasoning, especially for blackening fish.  The fresher herbs give such a nice contrast to the fiery peppers.  Harissa is often combined with lemon, another essential ingredient in North African cuisine. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Christine’s Simple Pepper Soup

simple pepper soup

I’m trying to make up my mind about this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe: Christine’s Simple Pepper Soup (nee, Party Soups).  Simple is an understatement.  All this soup requires a quart of vegetable (bouillon) broth, a pound of peppers, extra seasoning to taste, and a simmer of twenty minutes.  In the hardware department, a blender and a strainer.  Adding to the simplicity, it can be served either warm or cold.  Dorie Greenspan’s friend Christine, a pro of turning the simplest ideas into chic, serves these soups in tumblers, wine glasses, and dainty coffee cups.  Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Baked Apples filled with Fruits and Almonds

baked apples stuffed with fruits and almonds

I like a good apple.  I love a great apple.  A bad apple could almost ruin my day.

My hopes weren’t too high for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, baked apples filled with fruits and nuts.  It had nothing to do with the recipe and everything to do with the apples.  By this time of the year, many of the apples in the supermarkets in Puerto Rico have been sitting out for a while.  The odds of finding a good one amidst the mealy ones are definitely stacked against us! Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Dressy Penne Pasta

Dressy Penne Pasta

It’s the first French Friday of 2014!  Mon Dieu, where does time go?

Today’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is a Dressy Pasta Risotto, a take on macaroni and cheese where small-shaped pasta is cooked with chicken stock and aromatics and finished with a cream and Parmesan and Mascarpone cheeses.  Instead of a side dish, I prepared two main dish servings of dressy penne pasta with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and a dash of truffle oil.  We eat a lot of pasta on weeknights and this technique creates a lot of depth in the taste.  That is no small feat when cooking whole wheat pasta. Read More…

Orange Cinnamon Oatmeal

Orange Cinnamon Oatmeal

Roll call: Sweets that dwelled together in my refrigerator during the last week of the year.

  • Chocolate/mint cupcakes
  • Mallorca bread pudding
  • My sister’s INSANE amaretto cheese flan
  • Arroz con dulce
  • Banana cake made out of overripe banana guilt
  • A big bottle of Tita’s coquito
  • Coquito popsicles (Failed experiment, I’m sorry to report.  Need higher creme anglaise to coquito proportion)

By the time 2014 rolled in, there are only two of these list left over.  But you can imagine I’m going through quite the hangover.  Sugar hangover.  And with four more days of Puerto Rican Christmas indulgences to go, I’m trying my best to keep a reduced stash of homemade treats around. Read More…

Cauliflower-White Bean Mash

mashed cauliflower and white beans

I need time savers for practically everything in my life right now.  At work, I rely on magic pivot tables, having two monitors to reduce going back and forth between applications, and many reports that arrive straight to my inbox.  For the blog, I use a dictation application and try to talk my way into posts while stuck in traffic.  In the kitchen, I keep canned beans, seafood, and tomatoes in the pantry and frozen vegetables in the freezer.  There’s almost always something thawing in the refrigerator while I’m out in the office.  I have been hearing about more things that can be precooked and stored in the refrigerator like potatoes and grains.  This mashed cauliflower and white beans recipe came out one of those ‘it’s 8pm – what do I do?” moments.  It was inspired by more elaborate recipes that combine these two ingredients.

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Catching Up with Dorie: Summer Vegetables

Palomino Island

Palomino Island, off the coast of Fajardo, Puerto Rico

And I present you my version of floating islands for this weekend!  ¡Hola Palomino!
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French Fridays with Dorie: Socca from Vieux Nice

Socca from Vieux Nice

Socca!

That’s such a fun word to say out loud.  Did you know that soca (with one c) is also the name of a music genre from the Anglo/French Caribbean?  It’s not the “Dieter”/dieter conondrum from tartine week, but another fun coincidence.

Unlike most of my fellow Doristas, I had seen socca before under its Argentinean moniker, faína.  Almost exactly six years ago, Eduardo and I were honeymooning in Argentina.  After four straight days of wonderful multi-course meals in Mendoza, one of the main wine growing areas, we arrived into Buenos Aires looking for something… simple.  Our first meal in the city was pizza and a cold Quilmes at a very good chain restaurant a couple of blocks from our Palermo Soho hotel.  All through the pizzeria there were signs with the different menu items and family style combinations. Most of these included the faína.  Admittedly, we were not curious enough to try it but made sure to ask about it later.  Chickpea flatbread… interesting concept.

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My Favorite Garbanzos

My favorite garbanzos

I’ve always been the health nut in my family – or the closest thing to one.  Exercise regimen, check.  Regular salad chomping, check. Stashing weird ingredients in my parents’ refrigerator and pantry before moving out, check.  It has been rewarding seeing some of those good habits kick the bad ones’ butts.  That’s literal!  I smoked cigarettes casually through most of my twenties.  When I took up running almost six years ago, I completely lost the taste for them.

Much has been written about how consistently consuming healthy foods can help replace those cravings for items that are not as nourishing.  Food guru Mark Bittman recently published VB6, a book on how keeping a vegan diet before 6pm can help combat many health conditions brought upon by the standard American diet (and a career in food writing!).  Eating plant-based foods  for the first 2/3 of the day seemed like a worthy tradeoff for a “free pass” for the rest of the day.  Although I’m not formally following a VB6 type plan, I have been incorporating more vegan meals into the packed lunch repertoire, like Dorie Greenspan’s orange scented lentil soup and this garbanzo (chickpea) stew. Read More…

Vegetable Broth

I’m playing catch up with the French Fridays with Dorie crowd , and for some reason I decided to group my efforts by topic.  During the last few weeks I’ve made the three soups I missed writing about: the creamy cauliflower soup sans creamcheating on winter pea soup, and the orange scented lentil soup.  The backbone for all three soups was a homemade vegetable broth.  I usually just use the bouillon cubes whenever a recipe calls for vegetable broth, but I wanted to make my own stock for these soups.  Vegetable broth gets the ugly duckling treatment in most cookbooks and kitchen reference books I have around.  It’s usually ignored or mentioned in a little blurb away from its chicken, beef, and veal counteparts. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Lemon-Steamed Spinach Flashbacks

I spy…. lemon-steamed spinach! And broth-braised potatoes and Bistrot Paul Bert pepper steak too!

It has been almost two years since I made that meal and wrote about it. Revisiting that post was a bittersweet. Part of me wishes that writing those witty musings came in as easily as it did back when I started the blog. During this last months-long hiatus, that storytelling side got disconnected from my posts. I have been spending more time with my copies of On Writing Well, The Writers’ Idea Book and my big black bargain bin journal to help me snap it back into place.

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Very Simple Pico de Gallo

I’m itching to go to the beach.  I don’t think I’ve been to the beach since my friends D&D got married in Cancún last September.  It’s a pity and a shame, considering I have one of the nicest strips of beach in Puerto Rico – the Isla Verde public beach – at a mere twenty minutes from my home.  Feel free to insult me in the comments.  I am planning to make up for lost time soon. Read More…

Arugula Chimichurri

Arugula Chimichurri

As much as I love chimichurri – the Argentinean condiment for meats and potatoes – I don’t make it as often as I should.  Skirt steak is in our dinner rotation at least every other week.  Most of the time it is sliced and used to top salads, but when I don’t there’s always roasted potatoes or some other starch involved.  In those occasions, it’s always nice to have some sauce on the side.  This is part of the lore on how chimichurri came to be an Argentinean and Uruguayan staple. Read More…

Kale Sofrito Risotto

kale sofrito risotto

I don’t consider myself a slave to fashion and trends.  My favorite pair of jeans is a faded, soft as sweatpants boot cut I bought ten years ago.  I have never made a cake pop.  It takes us a while to actually visit new ‘it’ restaurants. Eating healthily should never be considered a trend, however, I’ve fallen deep and hard into the kale love train.

Kale chips

Kale smoothies

Kale pestos

Stir-fried kale

Kale, kale, kale. Read More…

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