Vegetarian

Creamy Mushroom and Leek Tagliatelle

My sweet friend, Jen, gave me the gift of a free Hello Fresh week. It’s a service where you get a week’s worth of groceries specifically measured to create specific recipes and reduce food waste. It was fun to try different recipes and this one has become a favorite in our house. It’s creamy like an alfredo but much healthier and the leeks have a nice mild flavor – a perfect cold and rainy day dinner. Enjoy! (more…)

Sparkling Cardamom Spiced Cranberries

This recipe comes from a friend here in San Antonio – Annice Hill. She is an amazing cook and and was so sweet to share this with me. It’s perfect for the holidays and my in-laws have lovingly named these ‘Crackberries’ because of how addictive they are. The cardamom adds a slight spice which I really like. Though a little labor intensive, they are well worth the effort. Annice likes to display them in a clear glass or crystal bowl or a compote. No refrigeration required.


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Restaurant Review: Berbere Ethiopian Cuisine

One of my favorite types of ethnic cuisines is Ethiopian food. My grandparents spent many years in Addis Ababa and my mom and a few of her siblings were born there. In each of the cities that I have lived in I had a ‘go to’ Ethiopian or Eritrean restaurant that I could get a vegetarian plate with the soft tangy spongy Injera and my favorite lentils and veggies. However, San Antonio doesn’t have a restaurant like that… yet. After many weeks of Google searches and yearning for Ethiopian deliciousness I stumbled upon a Facebook page for Berbere Ethiopian Cuisine, a caterer who provided “catering for events and home parties along with personal chef services.” My parents and in-laws were coming into town for a weekend so I thought I’d give the personal chef a try so our family could spend some quality time together. I am so glad I did…

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Overnight Blueberry French Toast with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Some friends were helping us do some landscaping so I decided to make them breakfast as repayment for their kindness and hard work. Doing yard work in Texas… in July… deserves a very special treat. One of our friends really loves blueberries so I decided to try this recipe with a few changes. It’s a nice delicately rich and sweet side dish to a savory breakfast. Enjoy!

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Lemony Butter Bean Salad

One of my favorite places to eat out is the Whole Foods cafe (I maintain that the Whole Foods in Madison, WI on University is the best one I’ve eaten at so far). It’s a fun place to try a variety of healthy grains/tofu/legumes that I otherwise probably wouldn’t venture to cook. Butter beans are one of those things that I had never tried before eating at their salad bar and I really loved the creamy texture and mild flavor. Here how I like to eat my butter beans. Enjoy!

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Mushroom Barley Soup

My exposure to mushrooms as a kid was mostly mushrooms on pizza – which I could not stand. After about 15 years of thinking I hated mushrooms I came across this recipe for Mushroom Barley Soup. I decided to give mushrooms another go because I love barley and thyme. I am so glad I did because when served with a delicious chunk of warm crusty bread, this is one of my favorite cold weather dishes! (more…)

Spicy Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa

One of our favorite dinners (especially on a rare cold evening in Texas) is this veggie chili with quinoa. I have tried a few variations on chili using soy substitutes like meat crumbles, but we like quinoa in it the best. You can easily substitute the quinoa with meat crumbles, just saute the crumbles with the onions and garlic in the first step and you’ll have a chili texture that is thicker and more like the real deal. When I have a little extra time I make cornbread following either of these recipes: Homesteader Cornbread (takes about 1 hour) or Golden Sweet Cornbread (takes about 35 min). Enjoy!

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Quinoa Black Bean Burger

I love veggie burgers but don’t enjoy the frozen varieties at the grocery store – some have a funny texture or after taste that keeps me from eating them. I also think that these are so easy to make and freeze that buying the other kind aren’t worth it! I usually start with the base of quinoa and black beans and add whatever veggies I have in the fridge. When freezing them I usually cook them and then place them in an air tight container spaced out on parchment paper. You can thaw them before cooking but I go straight from freezer to pan and they turn out great. Enjoy!  (more…)

Upma (South Indian Savory Porridge)

Upma (pronounced ‘oop-maa’) is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish made from semolina or ‘sooji’. Recipes vary from household to household but this is my favorite way of making it. My mom would make this for me on Saturday mornings after dance classes especially in the winter and it made me feel cozy from the inside out. Semolina is similar to cream of wheat (aka farina) so you can use that instead of going specifically to an Indian grocery store for ‘Sooji’, however it may just turn out a little softer/smoother since it is further processed than semolina.

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Butter Pie Crust Recipe

This is my mother-in-law’s go to recipe for pie crust. The original recipe is here. The most frequent comments that I’ve seen on homemade pie crusts include the importance of cold ingredients/tools and not working the dough too much. Using a small measured amount of ice cold water so the dough just sticks together ensures that your crust won’t be too tough or too crumbly. Once the dough is made you’ll want to refrigerate it for 2 hours up to overnight to ‘relax the gluten’ and re-solidify the fats in the dough so it says in a flaky state and will help prevent shrinking as it bakes. I have a hard time eye-balling 9″ diameter so I just turn the pie plate over to trace the outline on some wax paper so I know when I’ve reached the appropriate diameter and then go 2″ outside of the line to ensure I can have enough height for a 1/2″ crimp on the crust.  (more…)