As many of you know, I’ve long been a fan of Meatless Mondays – one day a week where I try to eat meatless. It’s not usually much of a stretch for me (I’m a former long time vegetarian), but it was an adjustment when I started cooking for my meat eating family. I’ve found, over the years, that the key to really great plant based cooking is not trying to replicate meat based meals (i.e. veggie “bacon” etc) but to celebrate the amazing flavors, textures, and nutrients of the plants themselves. Plant based cooking is a fun, economical, and tasty way to enjoy food! When I became a vegetarian, classic books like Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook and Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone were key to learning how to really eat as a vegetarian (and you should still check out those books, by the way, they are classics for a reason). Now, the internet also provides a treasure trove of recipes and techniques to make plant based eating an easy reality for you and yours! This week’s Good Food Reads is a collection of plant based (mostly vegan, all vegetarian) recipes full of flavor and fun!…
Well, now that the solar eclipse craziness is over for a few years (or at least until 2024!) we can all get back to our lives and stow away those hard won eclipse glasses for next time, right? Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate well where I live and so even though we were predicted to have about 82% totality, all I saw was a bunch of storm clouds. A bummer, for sure, but definitely not as disappointing as if we had driven down to Nebraska to try and catch totality! Did any of you get great eclipse views? While waiting for the eclipse yesterday, I had a huge craving for something salty and crunchy. Despite my love of baking, I really do prefer salty snacks. One of my favorite savory treats is the Tostitos Hint of Lime Chips. I can’t get enough of that salty, lime-y crunch. After a weekend of food indulgences, however, I figured I had better try for a healthier treat that would satisfy my need for crunch. So, after a rummage through the pantry, these salty, crispy Roasted Chickpeas with a Hint of Lime were born and eclipse snack time was a huge success. …
I’ve always been a voracious reader (and eater, truth be told) and when e-readers first came out, I swore up and down that nothing – nothing! – would ever replace a physical book in my mind. I loved the feel of them in my hand, the smell of the paper, and seeing them stacked up on my bookshelves. Well, fast forward a few short years later and my kindle is one of my very favorite things. I love having so many books at my fingertips and not having to carry so many heavy books when I travel. The one thing it hasn’t replaced? My cookbooks. I will confess that I probably have a bit of a cookbook addiction. I love them. I read them like novels, pouring over the beautiful photos and stuffing bits of colorful post-it notes onto the pages of recipes I want to try. Growing up, my grandmother had the most impressive collection of cookbooks I’ve ever seen and I’m fairly certain my love of cookbooks comes straight from her. Some of the best books her in collection? Small town church cookbooks. Those little gems are filled with home cooking treasures and I love to read them for inspiration from fellow home cooks. This week’s recipe for Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad was inspired by a recipe for curried cauliflower I found in just such a cookbook. …
The Instant Pot. It’s all you hear about these days. But a pressure cooker? I wasn’t sold. And my husband was threatening me if I bought ONE. MORE. KITCHEN. GADGET. But, me, being me, went ahead and got an Instant Pot (read further for my marriage saving advice). And when I finally took my Instant Pot out of the box I found I just cannot stop using it. This gadget is magical! Pure magic! If you don’t have one, it’s definitely time to go get one. In fact, I like mine so much, I shipped one to my in-laws, just so I could keep cooking with it when we visited on Spring Break!
So, like any discerning person, I bet you are asking yourself-sure it’s great, but what are you actually making in it? Well, this Instant Pot Chipotle Black Bean Soup for one. You haven’t heard about the Instant Pot? Read further for some great information and this fabulous recipe!…
I recently read a book where all of the characters went outside of their comfort zones and ended up reaping some great rewards. I truly wouldn’t have believed how much greatness was going to come from going outside of my culinary comfort zone! I decided to dabble in vegan cooking-and YOU GUYS…!!!!
Turns out you don’t need meat, nor dairy, nor eggs to create an amazing flavorful meal! Just try this Falafel with Lemon Tahini Dressing!…
It’s March now and I’m SO ready for spring! And of course, just as I had decided winter was over, Mother Nature goes and dumps a whole bunch of snow all over the Twin Cities. The cold is back. And although I know it will be short lived, it is still a bitter pill to swallow. Since I really needed a bit of spring, I decided it was time to make a great salad. You won’t believe what leftovers you can use to create something entirely new. Chimichurri Panzanella Salad with White Beans is a bit of spring on a plate. …
First and Foremost HAPPY NEW YEAR! We are so looking forward to 2017! Secondly, if you are looking for a salad you can eat with a spoon, look no further. Roasted Squash and Quinoa Salad will fill you up while keeping your New Year’s resolutions intact! Read on for the recipe and for my resolutions…maybe you can help hold me to them!…
It is officially winter here in Minneapolis. It was well below zero when I drove home from work last night and it has just warmed up to zero as I am writing this now! We have entered the deep freeze and as the temperatures drop, we are all looking for warmth. This Slow Cooker African Peanut Stew will warm you from the inside out! Easily made vegetarian and even vegan, this is hearty soup everyone will love!…
Many years ago, I was overwhelmed with a stressful full time job, raising two kids and trying to appear that I had it all together (To be completely honest this may have not been so many years ago, or even so many months ago, in fact this may still describe my life today…but I digress). I was starting to find my way in the kitchen and was starting to read different food blogs. One in particular, Smitten Kitchen, spoke to me. I love Deb Perelman and her witty prose and her tiny kitchen in New York City. Her writing makes you feel like you are drinking coffee at her table while she is cooking for you. And at that time in my life, I was particularly in need of this. (Thanks Deb!)
So when a Facebook group I am a part of suggested we do a Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Challenge, I was all in. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, correct? The challenge was designed to go chapter by chapter. One person (and sometimes more than one) would make a recipe and review it, and we would continue on until every recipe in the chapter was completed. This sounded right up my alley. Mushroom Tart? Game on.
Due to my vacation, I entered in round 3 (Sandwiches, tarts and pizza) with the Mushroom Tart. I chose this partially because I really love tarts, partially because I really love mushrooms, and mostly because I knew no one else in my mushroom adverse house would even try this-so I’d have it all to myself (yay! leftovers!). And what a great choice it was! Shallots and mushrooms combined with marscapone, fontina and parmesan to form a hearty filling. Cornmeal in the crust gives the crust dimension. I happen to love herbs, so I added rosemary, because I personally think everything should contain rosemary.
I served this Mushroom Tart with a simple arugula salad, lightly dressed with Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Reduction from Queen Creek Olive Mill (if you haven’t checked out this family owned olive farm in Arizona, you need to!). Not only was it a great dinner, it was a great lunch (for the WHOLE next week).
Don’t be put off by all of the steps, many can be done somewhat simultaneously. A few tips: slice the mushrooms small enough to be bite size, if you like herbs, feel free to use slightly more thyme AND rosemary, and if you haven’t checked out Smitten Kitchen-do so now!
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced + a smidge extra for greasing the foil
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ pound (225g) cremini mushrooms sliced into bite site pieces
- 1 pound (455g) assorted mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, more cremini) sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated fontina cheese (Can substitute provolone)
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- TO MAKE THE CRUST (TART SHELL):
- Place flour, cornmeal, and salt into the bowl of your food processor and then pulse to combine.
- Add the chilled butter and pulse until butter is in small bits.
- Add the egg and pulse until dough clumps.
- Lay out a piece of plastic wrap on a clean counter.
- Place dough on plastic wrap and cover with an additional piece of plastic wrap.
- Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to a 12 inch circle.
- Remove the top piece of plastic wrap and invert the crust over a 9-inch tart pan.
- Use your fingers to push the crust against the corners and sides of the pan.
- Put the tart pan on top of a baking sheet, and place the pan into the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Remove the tart shell from the freezer. (keep on the baking pan)
- Grease one side of a 12 inch piece of aluminum foil with butter.
- Press the foil, butter side down, against the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove foil (carefully!) and bake for another 8-10 minutes until crust is golden.
- Remove tart shell from the oven to a cooling rack.
- Turn oven down to 350ºF.
- TO MAKE THE FILLING:
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan.
- Add the shallots and sauté over medium heat until soft, approximately 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Add the mushrooms, thyme and rosemary.
- Although it seems that all of these mushrooms won't fit, don't worry, if you keep stirring, the very large volume of mushrooms will be quickly reduced!
- Saute the mushrooms over high heat until tender and the released liquid has evaporated, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Add the salt and pepper and stir.
- Allow mushrooms to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone and milk, whisking until smooth.
- Whisk in the eggs and then add the fontina and parmesan.
- Finally, add the mushrooms and stir to combine.
- TO MAKE THE TART:
- Place tart shell back onto baking pan.
- Add the filling to the tart shell.
- If you haven't already turned the oven down to 350ºF, do so now.
- Bake for 25-40 minutes until golden and the custard is set.
- Cool the tart on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
Never has the old adage “you eat first with your eyes” been more appropriate then with these Rainbow Carrots. These visually stunning carrots can elevate your next dinner party or convince your kids to eat their vegetables! Win-win!…