The Real Food Journal
Robin Asbell is your experienced guide to cooking and eating healthfully, sustainably, and deliciously. Her cookbooks, articles and blog are valuable resources for anyone interested in the good life with good food.
For St Patrick’s Day, try my latest rendition of Colcannon, the classic potato dish of Ireland. The original is a simple dish of mashed potatoes, mixed with very buttery sautéed cabbage or kale, served with a big puddle of butter on top. The mythic Irish farmstead was built on potatoes and butter, or at least that’s how we see it, through the haze of nostalgia and imagination. In the Irish farm of my personal imagination, butter is too dear, and a creative cook summons maximum flavor from humble plants she’s got in the root cellar.
Meal Prep is The Key!
In today’s blog and video, I’m featuring one easy meal prep item: shredded carrots. I love using my food processor to make my life easier, and this is a prime example. Just shred carrots and you’ll have them ready to go, to toss in salads, or to make these two easy recipes.
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.
When it’s cold outside, a bowl of leafy greens may not be what you are craving. May I suggest something heartier? My food processor makes it easy to turn some wintry cabbage and root veggies into a crunchy, riotously colorful salad that keeps for a week in the refrigerator. You can get all the benefits of eating raw veggies with your meals, and take a break from the same old mixed greens.
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.
Who needs eggs, when you can have a delicious, high protein plant based breakfast? Drizzled with Sriracha-tahini sauce? So simple you’ll make it all the time.
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.
Do you find yourself eating cold cereal every morning, and wishing for something more exciting?
We’ll make the Apple Breakfast Sausage Patties from Plant Based Meats, and some tender Pumpkin Biscuits and Mushroom Gravy to go with it. Then we’ll use the blender to make gluten free Oat Waffles with Maple-Peach Topping. We’ll round out the meal with a thick and creamy, spoon-able Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl with Fruit and Granola on Top.
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.