Book Review, Main Dishes

Tyler Kord’s Texas-Wisconson Border Sandwich

Also known as: The Mildly Annoying Way I Messed with a Tyler Kord Sandwich Recipe, but Still Posted it on This Blog. (He May or May Not Understand.)

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Why would I mess¬†with a Tyler Kord recipe, you ask? The man’s work was voted 2012’s #2 best sandwich in America by the Huffington post, you say?! I’ll tell you. And I’ll do it in the form of a list, because people love lists.

1. I was home for the weekend and was with my parents at the grocery store when shopping for this sandwich. The recipe calls for homemade pork and shrimp sausage, but my parents wanted chicken sausage. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about chicken, and mostly express these opinions via shouting about how it is the most boring¬†meat to anyone who will listen, or happens to be in the room at the time. But I didn’t say these things to my parents, because they were buying the groceries.

2. I used vegan mayo in the sauce. Do with that what you will.

3. The grocery store didn’t have the pretty shiny rolls the recipe called for*‚ÄĒyou know, the hard ones that only rip off in massive pieces per bite that refuse to break down no matter how long you chew, and choke you a little while swallowing, but only a little so you work it out‚ÄĒbut a lot of squishy Italian rolls, which tasted fine. Also my mom wanted whole wheat rolls, which I may have contested if shopping with other people, but see #1.

4. The tomatoes pictured (and eaten) are heirloom; the recipe called for beefsteak. Heaven forgive me.

5. My dad insisted on cooking the sausage on his charcoal grill, but started grilling before I could tell him to slice the sausage open, so we did that after they were cooked. The sausages were less charred, and charred sausage is the best way to eat sausage, which was mildly disappointing. It still tasted okay, though.

*The store also did not have kaiser rolls, which is the substitute listed in the recipe (related: The apocalypse is clearly on its way.)
‡Or you can be an asshole like me and use ~chicken chorizo~ from Kings.

Regardless of which¬†recipe-liberties I took, A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches is a brilliant cookbook. I’ve mentioned I don’t usually like to cook from cookbooks (I prefer to read them and then accidentally-on-purpose create recipe¬†amalgams, like the Ottolenghi-Solomonov Hummus with Other Stuff of Two Weeks Ago) but Kord’s book is one I will cook from again. And then probably again after that. If you don’t like to cook or read cookbooks, get this book for the William Wegman art. You know, the dog guy! PS. Read the full recipes, Kord’s commentary throughout is perfect.

Texas-Wisconson Border Sandwich [from A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches, by Tyler Kord; makes 4 sandwiches]

Vegetable oil, as needed
1 pound Pork & Shrimp sausage, sliced open‡
4 Sheboygan hard rolls, split in half (If you’re not in¬†Sheboygan, a kaiser roll will work. If you are in¬†Sheboygan, you probably aren’t reading this, and if you are, this sandwich probably sounds like a waste of a¬†Sheboygan hard roll)
1 cup Roasted Onions (see below)
1 large beefsteak tomato, cut into 8 think slices
1/2 cup Michelada Mayo (see below)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat a grill, grill pan, or a large sauté pan over high heat until smoking. Lightly oil the grates of the grill or pan. Sear the already-cooked sausage until hot and charred on both sides.

Divide the sausage between the 4 rolls.

Top the sausage with roasted onions, tomatoes, mayo, and cilantro. Close the sandwiches and demolish.

Michelada Mayo
1 cup mayo
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 cup beer (something with a lot of color and flavor, but not a lot of hops; Nega Modelo would work well here), reduced to 1 tablespoon if you must

Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate in a small container with a tight-fitting lid and this will last three or four days and make you feel so proud every time you eat a sandwich.

Roasted Onions (Makes 3 cups)
2 large onions, yellow or red, peeled into 1/2-inch rings
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 450¬įF.

In a medium mixing bowl, toss the onions, oil, and salt together until thoroughly mixed. Don’t worry about trying to separate all the rings. Some will separate and some won’t when you mix them, and I like the variety of having some cook more than others.

Place the onions on a baking sheet or roasting pan and cook until somewhat tender and a little burnt, about 20 minutes. We’re not really going for that melty onion goo, which I definitely love, but we want the onions to still have a little bite so they are a component of the sandwich, not a condiment. Picture the onions on a shish kebab, charred on the outside and still little raw in the center. At some point someone decided that we could only have onions that are raw or cooked to mush. But I like the in-bewtween onions the best! This should not look super beautiful; some will be super dark, and the rings that stayed together will be less cooked. Variety is the spice in this dish. Transfer to a container and let cool before serving.

Will keep for five days in the refrigerator.

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NOTE: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. Check out this review on their website too!

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Main Dishes

Veg Noodles With Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, and Spinach

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I feel like so many recipe¬†headlines I see lately scream “THIS DINNER IS FAST” “BREAKFAST READY¬†12 SECONDS OR LESS” “MAKE A 5-COURSE MEAL IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE,” and it upsets me. No one has time for real food, and many¬†won’t even click¬†on a recipe unless it specifically is titled “X minutes or less”‚ÄĒeven though, had they bothered to scroll down, they would’ve seen that the total time clearly states “25 minutes.”

An article published last month called out the most popular food of the past forty years, and 2016’s was simply “viral food.” We literally don’t care about what we’re eating anymore as long as it’s trending. Food editors have to¬†consider such¬†things, because food media is a business, and online businesses have to listen to the metrics, or they will die. But we also should be brave enough¬†to change the conversation sometimes, and maybe the clickers will follow.

So many people don’t want to learn how to dice¬†an onion, yet loudly want you to know how much of a “foodie” they are because they went to a restaurant other than Se√Īor Frog’s to celebrate #nationaltequiladay. They look at beautifully-styled vegan smoothie bowls on Instagram and read every article about sweet potato toast, then go home to defrost pre-chopped vegetables and bake a boneless, skinless chicken breast. It’s disappointing, because everyone can do more.

This recipe is a product of lots of chopping, but also incorporates spiral slicing vegetables into noodles. Which yes, is one of those viral foods¬†I was passing judgement on mere moments ago‚ÄĒthough I do NOT call them “zoodles,” because gross. Really, I’m not a hypocrite; I do think there are certain edible¬†trends¬†that take off for a good reason. People love pasta and hate vegetables, so when a¬†trend makes veg¬†as fun to eat (and as neutral-tasting as) pasta, you get people who’ve never bought a zucchini in their lives excited to go to the produce aisle. That’s amazing. But then there are trends like the rainbow grilled cheese and the goddamn avocado burger bun¬†(which everyone seems to be really excited about, and which¬†I honestly just do. not. get. Weren’t burgers already messy enough? How do you literally EAT a five inch-tall sandwich?? Don’t we already put avocados on burgers? Does this mean¬†the lettuce-wrap is over?) that just make no sense. People only care about them because everyone else seems to. It’s like middle school all over again, and I’m not about it.

There are certain things about food we should care about, things that should be going viral. Enough to eat for dinner tonight. A farmer’s market coming to your town. Make these things trendy, and the food world will get better. Instagram the¬†dinner you cooked with your friends! Tweet about your fresh vegetables! Write a click-bait-y article about chef’s knife safety! You get the gist.

Veg Noodles With Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, and Spinach (serves 4-6)

2 large zucchini
2 small yellow squash
1 beet
2 large red onions
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 pint orange grape tomatoes
2 large cloves of garlic
large handful of fresh basil
a few tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Good pinch Kosher salt
Lots of fresh black pepper
5 ounces baby spinach (about 2 cups)
Feta, for serving

Slice the zucchini, squash, and beet into noodles with a spiral slicer (or veg peeler, julienne peeler, etc.)

Roughly chop the onions and olives, thinly slice the tomatoes and garlic, and chiffonade the basil (reserving a few tablespoons for serving).

Heat a large wok pan over medium and pour in a few glugs of olive oil. Add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add veg noodles, olives, tomatoes, and basil. Cook for 2-3 minutes; then add wine, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add spinach and cook just until the greens wilt.

Serve with reserved basil and crumbled fresh feta.

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Pictured: Kyocera Ceramic Coated Nonstick Wok and Kuhn Rikon Colori+ Classic Professional Set.

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Book Review, Main Dishes, Sides

Hemsley + Hemsley Green Goddess Noodle Salad

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If you’ve ever made a zucchini noodle, gnawed on refined sugar-free chocolate fudge, or dug a fork into a mason jar salad, give a nod to all the health bloggers and wellness sites out there, but mostly thank the Hemsley sisters. Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley‚ÄĒknown more commonly as Hemsley + Hemsley‚ÄĒlaunched their brand¬†in 2010, focusing on flavor and relying less on¬†gluten, grains and refined sugar. Lovers of cooking and eating, the Hemsleys began as healthy cooks and caterers for private clients and events, but soon proved to be working towards a larger goal.

To improve their clients’¬†relationships with food, the Hemsleys emphasize the importance of digestive¬†health, and are generally on a mission to make eating well a joyful experience. Their first book, The Art of Eating Well,¬†solidified the Hemsley + Hemsley name as a go-to for all foodstuffs related to making healthier choices, without perpetuating a culture of deprivation. The ladies’ sophomore book is¬†Good + Simple, which dives deeper into their aim to “coach people away from fad diets and unhealthy eating towards an appreciation of the power of real food, properly sourced and correctly prepared.”

The ingenuity behind the¬†Hemsley + Hemsley philosophy is that these women understand that in order to maintain any sort of lifestyle, (“healthy” or otherwise) the methodology must be simple enough to participate in not just often, but every day. Jasmine and Melissa do not suggest¬†that their audience throw out all evidence of bread in their kitchens and become spiral-slicing,¬†grain- and refined sugar-free droids. But they do want to advocate that their practice is attainable enough to introduce into anyone’s routine. Yes, there is a green juice recipe in this book, and zucchini noodles aplenty; but flip a few pages and you’ll find¬†pulled pork and plum clafoutis.

Further, there’s a¬†notion to emphasize a¬†deeper thought process behind eating and cooking: The food we put into our mouths shouldn’t just taste good and look good, it should be thoughtfully¬†sourced. Their¬†holistic approach to food is broken down¬†to three simple words‚ÄĒdelicious, nutritious, sustainable. H + H uses a 15-principle guide, which I find to be refreshingly contrary to the plethora of touters of Health-with-a-capital-H that are so easily lumped together:

  1. Gut instinct
  2. Boil your bones
  3. Forget calories, think nutrients
  4. Meat and two veg
  5. Going against the grain
  6. Fat is your friend
  7. Sweet enough
  8. Drink to think
  9. The real deal
  10. Know your onions
  11. Prepare, chew and combine
  12. Be mindful
  13. Stress less
  14. Tune in
  15. The “better than” rule

I won’t go into what each point means, but I hope you read through them¬†if you find yourself a copy of the book. (In fact, read through all the text¬†that doesn’t precede a recipe. They have something to say; something I can’t paraphrase in a short review.) ¬†The very fact that there are so many “principles” affirms that the Hemsleys¬†understand there’s more to¬†eating than one defining term for everything one puts in their body.¬†Relying¬†on food guidelines rather than restrictions is not only more attainable, but makes for happier eaters.

In addition to the recipes, Good + Simple includes advice for stocking a kitchen, two weekly menu plans (and shopping lists!), and suggestions for lifestyle habits like having a nighttime routine, drinking water, and making time for gentle exercise.

Good + Simple¬†is a cookbook you can actually cook from, which can be a rarity these days. The following recipe is the first I cooked from this book, and I strongly recommend it‚ÄĒfor dinner tonight, lunch next week, or for any upcoming potlucks. While I was slightly turned off by the title, (“green goddess” dressing is a¬†thick,¬†mint-colored substance I truly despise) the photos led me to believe I was not going to be pur√©eing anything¬†creamy. It’s a fresh and immensely flavor-packed¬†dish that was as satisfying to put in my mouth as it was to look at. After three servings for dinner, I went right back to the (plentiful) leftovers for the next two days. The recipe is¬†a keeper, as is the book.

Green Goddess Noodle Salad [from Hemsley Hemsley Good + Simple, by Jasmine Hemsley and Melissa Hemsley, serves 4 as main]

SALAD
10 ounces buckwheat (soba) noodles
1 tablespoon extra-version olive oil
10 ounces broccoli florets or purple-sprouting broccoli, asparagus, or green beans
1 medium green cabbage or bok choy, leaves shredded
1 meduim fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped out, and flesh chopped
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 large avocado, sliced
2 handfuls fresh greens (watercress, baby spinach, lettuce, leftover cooked kale)
1 small handful of nuts (cashews, peanuts, or almonds) or seeds (sesame, sunflower, or poppy)
4 handfuls fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, or basil), roughly chopped

DRESSING
Grated zest and juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, grated
1¬Ĺ -inch piece of fresh root ginger (unpeeled if organic), finely grated
2 teaspoons tamari
A pinch of cayenne pepper or chili flakes (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper

Cook the buckwheat noodles in a large pan of boiling water according to the packet instructions (about 7 minutes). Use two forks to tease the noodles apart during the first minute of cooking.

When they are tender, drain and rinse under cold water for 15 seconds. Drain again and then toss in the EVOO in a large serving bowl to stop the noodles sticking together. Set aside.

Using the same pan, after a quick rinse, steam the broccoli (or other vegetable), covered with a lid, in 4 tablespoons of boiling water for 4 minutes until tender.

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl or shake in a jam jar with the lid on. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then drain.

Add the raw vegetables, spring onions and avocado to the noodles with the greens and steamed broccoli. Pour over the dressing and mix everything together. Top with the nuts or seeds, toasted in a dry pan for a minute if you like, and the fresh herbs.

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NOTE: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. Check out this review on their website too!

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Main Dishes, Sides, Snacks

Shaved Carrot and Brussels Sprout Salad

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Last week I participated in a Snapchat takeover for feedfeed, a really rad site that acts as a platform for bloggers, chefs, home cooks, and “foodies” alike interested in being a part of a community to share recipes and food photos! The theme of the week was salad, so I made my favorite desk lunch: a shaved carrot‚Äďdare I say, carrot “noodle”‚Äďand Brussels sprout salad with crispycrunchyroasty chickpeas.

I used to make this salad at least thrice a week, if not more, in¬†my apartment last year, which now that I think of it seems like a hundred million years ago. It made the perfect 5pm meal-ish snack before going out for beers and truffle fries and duck nachos at 7 (and pickles and greyhounds at 11.) And better yet, if I remembered to make a large enough batch, I’d pack up the leftovers and take them for lunch the next day. After that overnight soak, the¬†dressing seeps further into the carrots, which you might think sounds gross, but I assure you it is not. It tastes great at room temperature too, so if you’re in a work situation where you either don’t have access to a fridge or are a new employee and too timid to use the team fridge (aheh) you’ll be all set. Watch my snap story below, then check out the recipe below that! And check out the feeds I edit on feedfeed too: Meatless Monday and Overnight Oats.

Shaved Carrot and Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Miso Dressing and Crispy Chickpeas (serves 1-2, depending on how hungry)

5 carrots
~6 Brussels sprouts
1 scallion
1 can (13-15 oz.) chickpeas
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon well-stirred tahini
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1 teaspoon lemon juice (you may want more)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
pinch/few grinds red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425¬ļ F. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then use a dishtowel to dry them thoroughly. Spread them out onto a baking sheet and coat with sesame oil. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste. Bake ¬†10-15 minutes, until crispy. If you hear them starting to pop in the oven before the time is up, cover the sheet lightly with foil. When they’re done, let them cool to room temperature on the baking sheet.

Slice the carrots into strands using a vegetable peeler and thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. Toss together in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, whisk together oil, tahini, miso, lemon juice, thyme, red pepper, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust according to your preferences! Toss the dressing with the carrots and Brussels sprouts. If you’re not expecting to finish the whole batch, transfer the amount you’ll be eating to a bowl. Add a few handfuls of chickpeas. Thinly slice the scallion and sprinkle on top. Devour!

Store remaining salad and chickpeas in separate airtight containers for about 2 days. Brighten with more lemon juice and cracked pepper.

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Main Dishes

recipes I’ve shared elsewhere

Who else is *thrilled* with this Daylight Saving thing? Yes, seriously. I love it. Obviously the whole getting up in the dark thing (without being able to just sit with a cup of coffee and watch the sky fill with light) is mostly terrible. But I can’t express how happy I am to get off the train at 7pm and not have it look like the middle of the night. As much fun as it is to watch the day begin, happen, and disappear from the windows of the office‚Äďor¬†NJ Transit, it’s more more preferable to feel like I actually have some semblance of a day post-work.

Speaking of which, I have a new gig, and there are a lot of snacks. And by a lot, I mean on Thursday we tasted five¬†grilled cheese sandwiches. FIVE. Speaking of snacks, I’ve shared some recipes on the internet recently, and you should probably check them out…and maybe even make some yourself!

Sweet Potato Tater Tots

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How to Make Homemade Cocktail Bitters + Low-Intensity Bitters Cocktail

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Matcha Hi-Hat Cupcakes

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Banana-Oat Blender Pancakes

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Quinoatmeal with Honey-Roasted Oranges

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Looking for more pictures of food (I know you are!)?

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Main Dishes

Roasted Beet Ravioli

I think one of the best things about my job is that I actually get to develop and publish my own recipes. I published my first last week!

If you still have yet to try wonton wrapper ravioli, you are¬†missing out.¬†It’s ridiculous how easy this is. And it tastes pretty exactly like regular pasta. With the big v-day coming up, I figured it’s about time to share a pasta recipe with a filling that is roughly the color of a beating heart, possibly a little pinker, but you can deal, right? Unlike the rest of the blogosphere, I have yet to succumb to dyeing everything blood-red. But I have started buying too many chocolate bars at the grocery store, so let’s call that properly getting into the holiday spirit!

As I was developing this recipe, I tried to remember if I ever actually made a ~Valentine’s Day meal~ for a significant other, and came to the realization that I don’t think I have. I’ve made birthday dinners and hey-my-parents-are-out-of-town dinners and Friday night dinners and possibly anniversary dinners, but never have I ever (that I can recall) cooked for my Valentine on Valentine’s Day. Odd, considering how often I cook. Less odd, considering I was kitchen-less and at college for the last four years, plus I didn’t have a Valentine for a couple of those years. I’m not even sure if I’ll be cooking this February 14 either. But you should! If you have a significant other or a spouse or a Netflix-buddy or just a lot of hungry friends, this is the meal you should make, for Valentine’s Day ¬†or any other time you feel like cooking but not necessarily like turning your kitchen into a disaster-zone.

The roasted beet filling is very easy to make, (even a few days ahead of time) as are the ravioli themselves. They also freeze well if you don’t have time to cook before dinner.

Head over to POPSUGAR Food for the recipe!

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Main Dishes, Snacks

Roasted Vegetables on Toast

Have you ever been sitting at your work desk, staring at your $14 Sweetgreen salad and distinctly felt as though you heard your credit card sigh? Or perhaps you’re less tempted by the to-go counter and manage to brown-bag it, only to be overwhelmed with despair as you crunch on damp baby carrots (why are they always damp?!) and mini packages of hummus, or relive your elementary school years with a Wonder Bread PB&J. Or sadder still, you find yourself with one hand on the computer and the other in a family-sized bag of pita chips at 3:45, stomach growling for all to hear, because you’ve once again just not had time¬†to eat. I propose an end to this (and an echo to the the #notsaddesklunch movement) in the form of toast and roasted vegetables.

The veggie spread takes all of an hour to create, as many days ahead as you choose. And did you know that toast CAN in fact be reheated to its original crunchy state? Head over to Food52 to check out my article!

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Extras, Main Dishes, Sides, Snacks

Name the Artwork: A Pop Quiz in Famous Food Paintings

I have a deep affinity for quizzes, particularly for those related to food. So naturally, I was thrilled when Food52 decided to publish my article about food in art, featuring (you guessed it) a quiz! Can you name them all? Head over to Food52 for answers and recipes!

ps- check out my new clips page to see other things I write outside of the blog~

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Breakfasts, Food Party, Main Dishes, Sides

Assorted Recipes from a Brinner Party

When it was still a billion degrees out, my friends joined together to eat a lot of food. Brinner food, to be specific. It was the¬†third¬†food party we had this summer, and they just kept getting better. So¬†many of my favorite people were in one backyard and it honestly was¬†hard to keep up. One of my favorite ladies from Smith¬†just moved to Brooklyn, and she actually got on the train and trekked out to Jersey (you rock, Kelsey!) AND another of my best girls¬†from high school was randomly visiting home from D.C., where she’s been living as a real person with a job and apartment and such. Not to mention a whole host of others from Montclair¬†who were back in town for the summer/indefinitely (like yours truly~~)¬†It actually made me waaaay too happy to see so many rad people in one space! As you’ll be able to tell,¬†I was being the paparazzi and taking all these pictures (thanks for not slugging me while I photographed you eating, friends!)

I think my favorite part about being a “grownup” (planning to use the air-quotes until I no longer have to text my parents with questions when filling out a tax form. Not that that happened at work this week or anything. ANYWAY) is the fact that a group of us can get together on a Monday night and drink a lot of beer without a care. No more sneaking sips of tequila/cheap wine out of plastic cups in between slices of pizza in the basement! We now drink cherry-flavored malt beverages out of the bottle in BROAD daylight (hi Eve) and it is pretty darn wonderful. Read on for the inside scoop of the recipes behind the brinner,¬†made by my lovely friends Emily, Rebecca, Eve– and me!

Vegan Zucchini Bread (adapted ever so slightly from About.com)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon cloves
3/4 cups melted coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scraped vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons extract)
3 1/2 cups grated zucchini

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease four mini-loaf pans with vegan butter  or oil. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside. In another mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, oil, vegan milk, and vanilla for a minute or two or until the mixture comes together (any oil separation is fine!) Add the wet ingredients to the dry, along with half the grated zucchini. Mix until combined, then fold in remaining zucchini. Divide batter among prepared loaf pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes, testing with toothpick after 40. You can also bake 2 9-inch loaves at 325 degrees F for 70-80 minutes.  Allow loaves to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before removing from the pans. The original recipe also includes an optional crumble topping, but I found the bread sweet enough on its own! Plus, I tend to slather loaf breads in jam, so the less sweet the better.

Charred Carrots w/ Lemon Mint Butter (recipe by Rebecca Klein)

3 pounds large carrots cut on the bias
1/2 cup butter
1/2 fresh mint
2 lemons
salt to taste
vegetable/canola oil for cooking
1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Chop mint, reserving one tablespoon and set aside. Zest and juice the lemons, separating the zest from the juice. Melt the butter in saucepan over low heat, making sure it doesn’t bubble. Once the butter is very hot, and zest and majority of the mint. Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl large enough to fit all the carrots

In the largest skillet you have (preferably a cast iron,) add enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan. Heat on high until it just begins to ripple or smoke. Add in a single layer of cut carrots. Sprinkle with salt on the top side. Allow the carrots to cook until parts become black and charred, but not so long that the whole side is burnt. Once the first side is slightly charred, flip carrots and repeat the same process on the other side (omitting the salt.) Once they have cooked on both sides, transfer to the large bowl along with the mint-lemon-butter mixture. This way, the carrots acquire a nice charred flavor without becoming too soft, so keep your heat up high, as once you remove them from the heat they will continue to cook. Repeat with remaining carrots. Once all carrots are cooked, add the lemon juice and the honey if using to the mixture, along with the reserved mint, and toss it all together.  Allow to sit at room temperature for twenty to thirty minutes, so. This can be served hot, but I prefer it at room temperature, so you can let it sit until fully cooled.

Frittata

2 white onions
1 bunch chard
2 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper
a solid amount of feta cheese (we recommend buying a block and crumbling it yourself, there’s better flavor there)
1/2 cup dairy (2% or whole milk, sour cream, cr√®me fra√ģche, etc.)
12 eggs

Caramelize the onions in a pan with a few glugs of olive oil. When the onions are done, transfer them to a bowl. Mince the garlic and dice the bell pepper. Wash, chop, and sautée the chard in the caramelized onion pan with the minced garlic and more oil as needed. Add chard to the onion bowl, then sautée the peppers in the same pan, adding more oil as needed along the way. Add to the onion/chard bowl. Crumble the feta. Follow these instructions using the aforementioned add-ins. We used a cast iron skillet because they are perfect.

Vegan Onion and Tofu Quiche (from Another Dinner is Possible; measurements converted from grams, so they are subject to change/standard deviation)

8-inch Crust (aka “flan case”)
¬Ī2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon mixed herbs, optional
¬Ī1/2 cup margarine or 1/3+2 tbsp vegetable shortening, or other solid vegan butter substitute
ice water

Filling
8-10 onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vegan butter
sprig of fresh thyme
17 ounces extra firm tofu
pinch of nutmeg
2 tablespoons miso
¬Ī3/4 cup vegan milk
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
yeast flakes (optional)
salt and pepper

Make the crust: Sift flour, salt, and herbs if using in a large bowl. Cut the butter substitute into chunks and cut into flour mixture with a pastry blender or your fingers until mixture makes coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of water and blend, then add more water by the spoonful until the dough just begins to come together. Turn out onto a floured work surface and gently knead it to form a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours)

After crust has chilled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch pie or tart pan with vegan butter or oil. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and roll out to form a ~10″ circle. Carefully roll the dough onto your rolling pin to transfer onto greased baking pan, fluting the edges if you so desire. Prick all over crust with a fork to let steam out. Cover the crust in foil and fill cavity with pie wights or dried beans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, removing the foil for the last five to let the crust let a little brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Can be made 1 day ahead.

Assemble the quiche: Thinly slice onions and caramelize in a pan with the vegan butter and oil over low heat for 20-30 minutes, adding thyme halfway through. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Blend the remaining ingredients together in a food processor or blender, tasting along the way for seasoning. Spread onions onto pre-baked crust and pour tofu mixture over. Bake for about 20 minutes, until filling seems mostly set and golden brown. Set aside to set up further for another 15  minutes or so.

Also on the menu
Bon App√©tit’s¬†Plum and Fennel Salad
Jessie Snyder’s¬†Berry Scones
Roasted Potatoes (like these)
Toaster waffles (thanks Sam!!)
Beer
Ice Cream¬†from Emily’s freezer, consumed straight from the container after a few too many of the aforementioned beers

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Main Dishes

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Zucchini Parmesan (GF)

Want to hear a story? When I was 7, or maybe 8 years old my mother made veggie burritos for dinner. She sautéed onions and zucchini and a pepper or two. She nestled the warm vegetables between toasted tortillas and a whole bunch of grated sharp cheddar. There was probably guacamole involved. Salsa was definitely present as well. She rolled up the burritos and served them up to me and my sister with a hopeful smile.

We were not amused.

Don’t get me wrong, we grew up eating vegetables. I won’t say we were forced to eat them, but I will say that there was always something green on the dinner plate and we knew better than to not munch away. And it’s not even as though we didn’t enjoy it. Carrots and hummus? Sure. Broccoli¬†with garlic on top of pasta? Absolutely. Salad? Puh-lease. We ate salad for BREAKFAST.¬†(While I am in fact saying that¬†idiomatically, knowing my mom I wouldn’t put it past her.) So you get where I’m coming from. We certainly weren’t those kids that turned up their noses at the healthy stuff, but we had our limits. Eggplant, tomatoes, summer squash. Zucchini. Basically¬†anything squishy or viscous didn’t quite do it for us. And by didn’t quite do it, I mean this. Yet, those zucchini burritos found their way onto the dinner plate one fateful evening. We looked at the offending objects. Mom smiled. I think my sister may have been a champ and managed to¬†choke¬†down a few bites. Not so much for yours truly. I bit. I chewed. I thought entirely too hard about the fact that I was eating a smushy, pulpy mass. Aaaaaand I spat it right out onto the kitchen floor. Geesh.

I can only imagine what ran through my mother’s mind. She probably wanted to make me sit at the table and eat every last bite of that squishy burrito, even if it took all night. She likely wanted to scream. ¬†She definitely wanted me to clean the floor. But I’m pretty sure she just ate the rest of them herself and made us chicken nuggets¬†or something.¬†So this is a rambling way of saying that I was not a zucchini fan (and that’s clearly putting it mildly) until this year, when I made a vow to myself to try new things, pulpy vegetables included. It has been a treacherous journey, but I’ve lived to tell the tale.

I’ve always been more of a lasagna gal when it comes to Italian casserole dishes, but this zucchini parm has really changed my mind. I’ve eaten my fair share of eggplant parm too, but I think I find the texture of zucchini more pleasing than eggplant. The veggies are baked, which is a really nice alternative to the usual frying (in terms of both preservation of vegetable taste and of kitchen not smelling like a diner.)¬†As I mention below, this was inspired by a recipe featured in the Times last month, but I used my own tried and true sauce recipe instead. I make it at least once a week. It’s just as good on pasta as it is on pizza. Or right out of the pot on a spoon (so what who cares, I’m Italian!) I’ve also gotten reaaAAally into spiralizing things this summer, and I think this tomato sauce + carrot/zucchini noodles is AMAZING. But we’re not talking about the spralizer right now (all in good time!!) This is a post about zucchini parm. So okay. Final thoughts: this¬†is a great dish if you’re in the mood for something hearty, but not quite as intense as a giant bowl of pasta. It’s also great if you’re serving someone who is avoiding gluten. It is not great for vegans. There’s a lot of cheese up in here. To the recipe!

Parm (adapted from the New York Times)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-oz can peeled tomatoes
1 28-oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
18 basil leaves, chopped
several glugs red wine
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

2 to 2¬ľ pounds zucchini
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 garlic clove
~2 tablespoons olive oil
¬ĺ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
4 ounces fresh smoked mozzarella cheese, sliced

Make the sauce: Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium, then add the onion and sauté until the onion is translucent (5-7 minutes.) Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so, then add tomatoes, thyme, and basil, stirring well. Turn the heat up to medium high and cook until mixture comes to a boil. Add wine, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil again, Return heat to medium, cover, and let cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more wine, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Prep the zucchini: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Slice off the ends of the zucchini and cut them in half crosswise, then lengthwise into 1/4 to 1/3 inch-thick slices. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and drizzle with two tablespoons olive oil. Place zucchini on the baking sheets in one layer. Roast for about 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees F.

Put it all together:¬†Rub¬†a 2-quart gratin with the half garlic clove and about a tablespoon of¬†olive oil. Spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce into the bottom of the dish. Lay a third of the zucchini in an even layer over the sauce. Spoon another 1/4 cup of¬†sauce over zucchini and sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan and a third¬†of the pecorino and both¬†mozzarella cheeses. Repeat for¬†2 more layers, ending with the remaining cheeses. There will be leftover sauce. (Aren’t you lucky! Make some pasta later this week and then go to town on the sauce. Or just break out a baguette. You won’t be sorry.) Drizzle on a¬†tablespoon of olive oil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving to firm up a bit. I like to top my portions with a dollop of sauce and cheese, and thick slices of chewy bread to mop up every last bit from the bowl, but you can listen to your heart.

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