For Earth Day, it’s time to take a look at your impact on the Earth. Recycling, driving and flying less, and planting pollinator gardens are all good places to start. But if you want to have a powerful impact on the health of the planet, the lives of animals, and more, you might want to eat more plants. That’s the underlying message of the new book Eat Meat Less, from the Jane Goodall Institute.
Jamaica is home to I-Tal cuisine, the plant-based cooking of the Rastafarian religion. It’s also a Tropical paradise.
After researching the dish we know as rundown, I learned that it is actually a method borrowed from Indonesian sailors who traveled to the “Spice Islands” on their travels. In Indonesian cuisine, a “Rendang” is a dish simmered in coconut milk. The theory is that Jamaicans learned the method and colloquialized the name. So, it’s not about “running down” the vegetables at all. It’s about using the abundant coconuts of the Tropics to make delectable plant-based food.
I’d like to have a round of applause for the cook, long lost to history, who first combined saucy tofu with a nest of tender noodles. There are few things so simple and yet so sophisticated at the same time. These sticky sweet tofu cubes tossed with whole wheat linguine are crushably delectable, and only take minutes to prepare.
Are you intimidated by sushi? Maybe you pick up veggie sushi at the deli, where it seems like something way too hard to make at home. The plant based sushi options are limited to a few cucumber rolls at most places, and always white rice. Well, I promise you, you can make these pretty, veggie-packed, whole grain-enriched handrolls, and you don’t need any special equipment. Just a pot, a cutting board, and your hands.
Big Fat Burritos Rule. Something about rolling the whole meal into a bundle that you can hold in your hands makes the big burrito an ideal food delivery system. A truly epic burrito layers in complementary flavors and textures, to make each bite exciting. My Big Fat Burrito delivers a riot of flavors in every mouthful.
And you don’t need a fork.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Big burritos are big business, and places like Chipotle crank out millions of them every day. It’s easy to skip the takeout line, and make your own burritos. At home, you can stuff them with tender roasted veggies, quinoa and avocado.
The sexy, stimulating chemistry of chocolate is all well and good, but the truth is, we loooove the taste of chocolate. Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a luscious treat that delivers the cacao. These pretty little cakes are chocolate-y enough to thrill, but light enough to keep you from passing out on the couch.
Nam Prik (or Phrik) is a dish with many many faces in its country of origin. Eggplant Nam Prik is a version of the Nam Prik Kapi of Central Thailand. It always contains chilies, but beyond that, the heat might be carried on a base of vegetables, fruits, nuts, even seafood. The classic balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet makes the puree into a tasty dip. In this version, I skipped the fermented shrimp and fish sauce, in favor of a simple dash of tamari.
This Big Greens Soup is a great way to make sure you eat your leafy greens, deliciously. According to the CDC, only 9% of Americans actually eat the recommended amount of vegetables.
This dish is made from plants, from the grains in the noodles, to the beans that were transformed into soy sauce. That’s a given. But whenever I cook, I try to add a few more vegetables. Get that noodle to veggie ratio just right, so it feels like a bowl of slippery noodles, but it’s also a bowl of fresh, crunchy veggies. I love my carbs, and I look at them as the comforting, lovable friends they are. But the veg to noodle ratio should be balanced a little toward the veg side. This dish achieves the right mix, with just enough noodles, and just the right amount of snappy snap peas and crisp carrots.
Do you love chips and dips? Perhaps in the covid days, you’ve found solace in mindlessly crushing a bag of potato chips and some onion dip, or chips and salsa? Well, I’m here to offer you a much better option. These Roasted Potato Spears with Chimichurri Dip are just as comforting, and waaaay better than those packaged chips and dips. They even give you an opportunity for mindfulness.
These Crunchy Avocado Tacos are a fun, deliriously tasty way to eat your fave hand-held, and I promise everyone will love them. The combination of lush avocado and a crispy shell flecked with panko crumbs is just sooo good.
Do you crave some comfort? We are all feeling it. I’m forging ahead with all the healthful piles of plants that I usually serve, and feeling good about it. But a balanced life also affords us a little treat. Like these caramel-drenched, walnut-studded Monkey Biscuits.
Once you have these made, just store them in a jar in the refrigerator. They keep for a couple of months, if they last that long. Whether you sprinkle dukkah on a salad, or a bowl of hummus, you’ll be so glad you have it. Gomasio makes its way onto everything from a bowl of quinoa to a toasted bagel at my house. I know it will make your life more delicious, too!
Winter Squash and Wild Rice for the Season Everybody needs a little comfort right now. It's cold out, and these are challenging times. What better way to warm up than to turn on the oven and bake some tender, fluffy muffins? These are perfect for cozy breakfasts at...
We all love hummus. Like so many global foods, hummus has become as American as tacos and pizza. We love it so much that we can’t resist tweaking it here and there. Kind of like meeting someone great, and saying “I love you! Now change!” We just can’t resist.
Certain kitchen adventures are shared by pretty much everyone. Even if you don’t cook much, you have made a batch of cookies, or cooked some mac and cheese. But when it comes to the world of candy, most of us leave it to the pros. Packaged candy is all around us, and it’s so easy to buy that the thought of making it is on a level with sewing your own pants, or building your own chairs.
You know you love tacos. That’s a given. Let’s just acknowledge that we want to eat tacos and nachos every night. These are trying times. A mouthful of spicy, savory taco goodness goes a long way toward comforting the soul. For even more comfort, I took away the shells and swapped in a soft, lovable sweet potato. Taco sweet potatoes are the comfort food I want, rig
When the temperatures drop, I no longer have to plan menus around keeping the kitchen cool. It’s time to start roasting my meals, and filling my kitchen with the scents of caramelizing vegetables and herbs. As you’ll see in my video, it’s also time to harvest the beets I was growing in my garden, and put them into a delicious meal.
Fried rice is one of the best uses of a leftover ever devised. In Asian countries with rice-based cuisines, there is bound to be some left over. Nobody wants to waste valuable food, so creative cooks find a way of making that cold rice into a a dish that may well be better than the original dish. That dish is, of course, fried rice. Take cold, crunchy rice and toss it in a hot pan, and you have food that comforts your very soul.
And once you’ve had corn on the cob three nights in the week, you might want to branch out and try making something a little different. That’s when I like to make this quick and easy Chinese-inspired dish. It’s a brilliant idea, really. If you are thinking about canned creamed corn, banish that from your mind. When you puree fresh corn, season it with lots of fresh ginger, garlic, and chilis, it has much more pizzazz.
When tomatoes are at their peak of flavor, give them a starring role in this fast and easy pie! Shave time and ingredients from your effort by using mayonnaise as the secret ingredient in the crust, and as a base for a lemony drizzle at serving.
Fresh Edamame pods are a seasonal treat, and when they come to market, snap up a few bunches to boil, then either eat them as a snack, or slip the beans from the hulls and use them in salads, soups, dips, and anywhere you might use a bean or pea.
There’s no time of year when chocolate is “out of season.” We don’t eat pumpkin pie in the summer, or cold soup in the winter, but we will eat brownies all year long. That makes these lush, dark chocolate treats appropriate for every month of the year.
It was time to move some of my peaches into the savory realm, and enjoy them alongside an Indian-inspired meal. I love chutneys, and find that just about any fruit can be made into a respectable one.
If you’ve looking for a fantastic meal that comes together quickly, look to the Banh Mi. It’s a sandwich, but it’s so much more than the usual sandwich. Packed with chewy, five-spice and garlic laced seitan, a sweet and sour quick radish pickle, sliced jalapenos, cilantro, and garlicky aioli, it’s a riot of flavors that will keep your palate in a state of excitement through the last bite.
Think you are too busy to cook? Not when you can make this easy, plant-based pasta in minutes! Good extra virgin olive oil is key to the flavor, so you need to learn more about where your oil comes from.
Garlic Scapes appear briefly at the Farmer’s Market and in CSA boxes in early summer, and are worth snapping up for a seasonal feast.
Do you feel overwhelmed at the end of a long day, with no ideas for a quick meal for the family? Try an easy Korean-style Stir Fry, made with canned mock duck and an easy, flavorful sauce.
https://youtu.be/M7uZtT7ddmM Have you ever known something for so long that you forget about it, then suddenly realize that it's time to get back into it? That's just how I feel right now about tofu on the grill. It seems that our time has come, because of the...
Red Lentil-Carrot Hummus I recently put together a cooking segment for my favorite local TV show, Twin Cities Live. Since Covid, we are doing them via skype, from my kitchen. In light of the current situation, with so many people out of work, I wanted to get the word...