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.

Vegan Thanksgiving to Share

Vegan Thanksgiving to Share

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday, a time to gather with friends and family and share a meal. There’s no reason that vegans and turkey lovers and everybody in-between can’t enjoy a spread of Vegan Thanksgiving food. Serve these plant-based dishes, and everyone will be able to have a sample of something delicious. Dinner conversation is up to you!

Pumpkin Cranberry Chocolate Muffins

Pumpkin Cranberry Chocolate Muffins

As pumpkin season ramps up, it’s time to start making better versions of your favorite squash-based treats! In these tender, sweet muffies, you’ll find nuggets of chocolate and dried cranberry, for a truly worthy companion to a cup of coffee or tea. Of course, you don’t need eggs to get an open, light texture, when you use my favorite combo of bubbly mineral water and ground flax.

Tangy, Crunchy Asian Pear Salad

Tangy, Crunchy Asian Pear Salad

I love The flavors of Thai food. I often make Thai favorites like Marinated Grilled Tofu or the spectacular Blue Rice with Satay Sauce. Often when I’ve got my Pad Thai or tofu, I want a salad to go with it. That’s when this crisp, colorful Tangy Asian Pear Salad hits the spot. It’s simple and easy to assemble, and makes great use of the Asian Pear, which may not be a regular on your menus.

Rainbow Wild Rice Bowl with Green Tahini Drizzle

Rainbow Wild Rice Bowl with Green Tahini Drizzle

Brighten up your day with a bowl of rainbows! As the days grow shorter, we all need a little boost, from colorful, nourishing food. This Rainbow Wild Rice Bowl has all the eye-catching hues that make you want to dig in, along with the hearty, nutty wild rice on the bottom. A tangy, creamy tahini dressing tops it off, to complement all the sweet, earthy flavors in the bowl.

Cashew Rice Salad; Crunch for Lunch

Cashew Rice Salad; Crunch for Lunch

Crunchy cashews, chewy whole grains and vegetables, bathed in a miso-ginger dressing; this is the kind of hippie comfort food that I love to prep for myself. Life is often uncertain, but when you have a tub of food that makes you feel good when you eat it, you can take on whatever comes.

Sweet Potato and Artichoke Salad

Sweet Potato and Artichoke Salad

Do you want a salad that really says “Fall?” A little more substantial, delicious warm, with some cooked vegetables as well as raw? This Mediterranean-inspired sweet potato salad delivers a riot of colors, flavors, and textures to wake your palate from its slumber. With tender sweet potato cubes, crunchy celery and peppers, tangy olives and capers, and a garlicky lemon dressing, this is sure to be your new Fall favorite.

Roasted Tomato Sauce, Make Pasta, Freeze the Rest

Roasted Tomato Sauce, Make Pasta, Freeze the Rest

I didn’t have a huge harvest this week, but that’s the great thing about this method. 10 tomatoes, 60 tomatoes, it works either way. Just halve them, roast them, puree them. Use them today, in this easy pasta, or freeze the sauce for later. My small pile of tomatoes made about 3 cups of puree, and I used 1 cup for this pasta. The rest went into the freezer, for winter pasta feasts, soups, and other uses.

Moroccan Carrot and Tart Cherry Salad- Meal Prep Salad

Moroccan Carrot and Tart Cherry Salad- Meal Prep Salad

Do you eat a salad with dinner? It’s a good habit to have, as long as it doesn’t get repetitive. If you’re getting bored with your usual green salad, try this easy carrot salad, with tangy tart cherries and a little Moroccan-inspired spice. It’s a make-ahead salad, that actually improves with a few hours in the refrigerator, making it a savvy meal-preppers dream. This is my go-to as a side for a Tagine, or to jazz up any meal.

Have You Tried Long Beans?

Have You Tried Long Beans?

If you haven’t tried Long Beans yet, I hope you’ll find your local Asian Market or Farmer’s Market and seek them out. They look like your usual green beans, but when you serve a platter of Long Beans and Mock Duck in Black Bean Sauce, everyone will want to know how you made green beans taste so much better than usual.Long beans are similar to green beans in appearance and use, but are actually from the cowpea family. They are picked while immature, so that the pods are tender and the seeds are small and mild. The flavor of long beans is often compared to asparagus, if you can imagine a green bean-asparagus hybrid. I’m not sure that I get that flavor, but I do find the taste of long beans much more complex and interesting than regular green beans. They stand up to strong flavors, like this black bean and garlic sauce.