I’m in the Strib!

I am quoted in an article “Is bone broth the new coffee?” by Kevyn Burger, which appeared in the Taste section of Thursday’s edition!!

Burger contacted me b/c of my old blog post about making broth from chicken feet, entitled “Why Didn’t the Chicken Cross the Road?”.    Answer: because its feet were in China.

I believe you will get a ‘kick’ out of that post (pun intended)!  Basically, I make the case for chicken feet broth and decry the common hypocrisy about feet vs wings.

I do want to add a comment, however. I’m quoted as saying that I don’t always tell people that I’ve used chicken feet in soup. But rest assured, the vegan food I cook for clients is truly vegan! No bones about that!  

Besides being cheap and tasty, chicken feet broth is full of healthful glucosamine and chrondroitin.  You may as well enjoy animal joints more directly. I don’t find gel supplements particularly tasty.

There are lots of recipes for chicken feet broth on the interweb, as there are for other stocks & broths. But really, just throw them in a pot or crockpot w/ an onion and simmer away.

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More about the benefits of cooking chicken feet: http://realfoodforager.com/3-ways-to-improve-bone-and-joint-health/

Rah for Reduceatarians

Apparently, according to an article by Kevyn Burger of BringMeTheNews.com, my latest label is “reduceatarian, a newly coined name for eaters who aim to consistently bring home less bacon.” (Love that pun.)

I like this new term. It combats the reductionistic simplification of labeling our eating habits. I speak to many people at my catering and demo events, who ‘confess’ they aren’t vegans although they try.

I don’t think the Yoda approach — “there is no try, there is only do” — is all that helpful when changing something as big and complicated as our eating habits. Despite specializing in vegan and gluten-free cooking, I am not the high priestess of veganism and, even if I were, I absolve you of all sins.

Thus my mantra is to cook and eat more healthfully, one dish at a time. (Forgive me, I had to stick that in.)  Hey Yoda, Trying IS doing.

Burger cites “other efforts aimed at consciously cutting back on consumption — meatless Mondays, or Mark Bittman’s “vegan before 6 p.m.” movement, which advocates eating meat at dinnertime only.”  Whatever ‘rule’ you adopt, these habits become easier and easier over time.

I’ll add RESPECT here, as in respecting what your body tells you. Our bodies are all different. Thus, the limitations of these labels. There are those of you who feel amazingly better cutting out XYZ altogether. And there are those whose bodies can tolerate or even appreciate having a little meat— or dairy, sugar, wheat, caffeine or alcohol.

For instance, I try to eat vegan about 75% of the time. However, on certain occasions such as when I’m slogging through an 16-hour day, I find animal protein early in the day is helpful. I’ve also recently discovered that, who knew?, sugar is my friend when I’m really dragging. OK, maybe everyone else knows that but, since I don’t add sugar to food and I don’t like very sugary things, it was news to me. So now I keep dried dates, juice and hot chocolate mix on hand.

 

 

Speaking of bringing home the bacon, vegetarian meals are on average less expensive than meat-based meals. Some of my cooking class students are surprised by how hearty and how cheap a vegan dinner can be. Most people can respect that!

Furthermore, Burger’s article quotes local chef & cookbook author Raghavan Iyer:  “When meat is not the focal point, the meal is about everything on the plate, its textures and aromas,” he said. “You get a better representation of balance.” 

Balance on your plate, balance in your body. May it be so.

Movin’ On Up to April Menus

Moving on from March, here’s the online order form for DDoW April 2015. Please go to the DDoW Order page, scroll down to the embedded form and fill out what you’d like. Here’s a quickie summary of what’s cookin’.

April 6 -10th
1) Organic Tempeh & Stir-fried Shredded Potatoes in Black Bean Sauce (v gf)
2) Sesame-seasoned Organic Brown Rice & Bok Choy (v gf)

April 13-17th
1) Organic White Bean & Kale Soup with Sage (v gf)
2) Organic Quinoa, Red Bell Pepper & Cuke Salad in Dill Dijon Vinaigrette (v gf)

April 20-24th
1) Caribbean Coconut Curry of Organic Lentils & Plantains (v gf)
2) Organic Millet & Spinach (organic) Pilaf (v gf)

Roast Beets & Cabbage Salad (my photo).

Roast Beets & Cabbage Salad (my photo).

April 27 -May 1st
1) Organic Chickpea & Barley w/ Kalamata Olives (v, not gf)
2) Roast Beet & Fresh Cabbage Salad in Horseradish Vinaigrette (v gf). An antioxidant powerhouse. Bam!

 

 

And, We’re Movin’ On Up

I am moving to a new house in St Paul !  Please note my new home & business address effective April 20th: 620 Desnoyer Ave, St Paul 55104. [One Dish at A Time’s base of operations remains at GIA Kitchen.]  Well, there are no sofas but I do have a fabulous new dining table and cool chairs. I have my priorities, you know.

Other “Moves”:

  • Just taught a community ed cooking class titled “Power Up with Beans & Greens”. The students and I made 5 dishes. They took home lots of practical tips, several recipes and food samples to share. One student wrote:

    “It was a great class. I’m already putting some of the principles to work and have been enjoying the dishes I brought home and doing interesting things with them. I combined the white beans and kale dish with chicken broth and cut-up chicken — it was delicious. “

  • I’m scheduling private cooking lessons with a new cooking coaching client to help her adjust to a vegan diet. More about my lessons.

  • I’m currently planning menus for catering gigs in May, including an engagement party, a graduation picnic and a volunteer dinner.

    I’m available for more catering this summer, so please kindly refer me to your social networks! 

 

 

 

Turnip Over A New Leaf for New Year

The Southern staple of turnip greens is woefully neglected up in these here parts, despite being faster-cooking and higher in vitamins than its more trendy cousins. So is another Southern go-to, the black-eyed pea legume. And, even Minnesota Lutherans like the modest, mild black-eyed pea.

Whole turnips with their greens. Super-nutritious!  (web-sourced photo)

Whole turnips with their greens. Super-nutritious! (web-sourced photo)

However, turnip greens sport a spicy, somewhat bitter kick, especially if cooked quickly and not braised for a long time as is traditional in the South. Many Eastern cuisines treat turnip greens this way. If you’d like a tangy green side dish, try turnip greens sauteed with lots of garlic and cherry tomatoes or throw them in soup. But do warn the Lutherans!

My Delivered Dish of the Week menus start off the New Year with two dishes which feature the lowly turnip. One is Hoppin’ John with Turnip Greens and the other is a Roasted Turnip & Squash Soup. As in the past menu cycle, I’m making soups nearly every week, many from Anna Thomas’ “Love Soup” book.

Order DDoW online right here. If you’ve never ordered before, do please read the full description of Delivered Dish of the Week service first.

DDOW MENUS FOR DEC 8TH – JAN 24TH

Week of Dec 8th:

A kaleidoscope of different kinds of lentils (web-sourced photo).

A kaleidoscope of different kinds of lentils (right side) & beans (left side). (Web-sourced photo)

4-Jewel Dal w/ Spinach  Vegan, GF, soy-free, no added sugars.   A lovely recipe from cookbook queen Madhur Jaffrey that uses a variety of dal legumes including small brown lentils, black lentils, split yellow lentils and split white pigeon peas. Each adds a slightly different texture. I really liked this when I made it for DDoW last year.

 Kasha (Buckwheat Berry) Mulligatawny Soup.  Vegan, GF, soy-free, no added sugars. I thought kasha would be a nice substitute for rice in classic Mulligatawny. Actually, Mulligatawny is a British invention, adapted from a Tamil recipe during the empire’s colonization of Southeast Asia. It’s morphed over the centuries and continents since and, there are many variations. The classic one is basically a Chicken Soup for the Eastern soul, w/ curry spices, apples & rice, so I’ll just omit the chicken.

 Week of Dec 15th:

Herbs & spices are the key to flavorful vegan cuisine. (Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos)

Herbs & spices are the key to flavorful vegan cuisine. (Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos)

Ethiopian Millet & Sweet Potatoes.  Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, no added sugars.   Another dish adapted from the “Appetite for Reduction” cookbook by Isa Moskowitz that I have made several times. I pair millet with an exotically spiced tomato sauce, reminiscent of an Indian curry but with the addition of cloves & cardamom. Sweet potatoes add sweetness and moisture, which helps keep the millet from drying out too quickly. Even so, sprinkle some water on it each time you reheat. Mildly spicy; add your own hot sauce, like Berbere.

White Bean & Garlic Soup with Greens.  Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. From Anna Thomas’ Love Soup book. This straight-up simple soup should provide a nice contrast to the spiced millet.

~~~ Week of Dec 22nd – NO DDoW for Xmas  ~~~

Week of Dec 29th (New Year’s):

Hoppin' John, a traditional Southern dish served on New Year's Day.

Hoppin’ John, a traditional Southern dish served on New Year’s Day.

Hoppin’ John w/ Brown Rice & Turnip Greens. Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. Throughout the American South it’s considered good luck to eat Black-eyed Peas on the first day of the New Year and, in particular, the bean dish Hoppin’ John on rice. This will be a vegan version based on chef Bryant Terry’s “Vegan Soul Kitchen” book (his first was “The Inspired Vegan”).To punch it up I’m adding turnip greens which are spicy and somewhat bitter. If you’ve a mind to, getcha some fried cornbread!

Roasted Turnip & Squash Soup w Sage.  Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. “Love Soup” author Anna Thomas says “this soup is a the taste of fall” and “turnips perfectly balance the sweet squash”. She also recommends three additions to make it more luxurious: to stir in marscapone til it melts; to drizzle a spicy Chipotle or Ancho Chile sauce on top; and to garnish w/ toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds. Sounds good to me!

Week of Jan 5th, 2015:

 French Green Lentil Soup.  Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. Another ‘love soup’ featuring French green lentils, leeks, chopped veg and fresh green herbs and then spiked with lemon and cumin. Yum.

Puy aka French green lentils are smaller and more of a grey-green than regular green lentils.

Puy aka French green lentils are smaller and more of a grey-green than regular green lentils.

Also known as Puy lentils, this variety is chewier than other kinds, hold their shape and do not disintegrate. For that reason, I love them in marinated salads. Get Puy lentils at co-ops in the bulk aisle; take note, they’re not easily found anywhere else.

Quinoa Pilaf with Arugula Dill Pistou.  Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. A nice light side dish for all seasons. Pistou is an herb & garlic puree, like a “pesto” without cheese or nuts. You can make pistous from any green herb. This particular combo was born when, a few summers ago, I was trying to figure out what to do with a boat load of fresh dill. Eureka! Now it’s a fave. Serve this pilaf room-temp.

Week of Jan 12th:

Mushroom & TVP filling, spiked w/ green olives & raisins, topped with Yukon Gold mashed pots. (my photo)

Mushroom & TVP filling, spiked w/ green olives & raisins, topped with Yukon Gold mashed pots. (my photo) 

Spanish Shepherd’s Pie. Vegan, GF, no added sugars; contains soy. Who doesn’t like mashed potatoes? Especially with a savory mixture like picadillo. Picadillo is ground beef mixed with green olives & raisins and is found on Spanish and some Mexican menus. My vegan version uses sauteed mushrooms, TVP and celery to replace the beef. It will come layered in the usual deli containers but, you can also order a 2-qt casserole in a foil loaf pan.

 Turkish Tomato Eggplant & Garbanzo Bean Soup.  Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars.  From Madhur Jaffrey’s “World Vegetarian”.  I have made this recipe many times and adore its signature combo of fresh mint, parsley & lemon, which adds Middle Eastern flair to a basic thickened tomato soup. This time, I’m skipping the original’s wheat berries to lighten it up a bit.  Add a grain back in for a one-pot meal.

Week of Jan 19th:

Beet the System graphic  Roasted Golden Beet Soup.  Vegan, GF, soy-free, no added sugars. I’ve never made this before but every one of Anna Thomas’ “love soups” are terrific. Besides, the color will be gorgeous in the dead of winter!

Barley Risotto w/ Peas.  Vegan, soy-free, no added sugars; contains gluten. A soft sticky grain dish to approximate risotto. Chewy barley is perfect and popular for this kind of treatment. With bright green peas, a bit of carrot and finely shredded cabbage that’s braised until sweet and super-soft. Add your own grated cheese & butter if you wish.

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SLURP IT UP

It’s Soup Season!  My latest Delivered Dish of the Week menus feature soups nearly every week. The great thing about soups — and all my autumn & winter dishes in general — is that you can freeze them in small containers to enjoy later. Furthermore, ziploc bags of soup, frozen flat, can be stored vertically to save freezer space.

You can order online right here for any weeks you wish.  Easy peasy.  If you’ve never ordered before, do please read the full description of Delivered Dish of the Week service first.

MENUS FOR DDOW OCT 27 – DEC 1ST

Week of Oct 27th

Beautiful Beet Soup (my photo)

Beautiful Beet Soup (my photo)

Blood Red Beet & Lentil Soup w/ Ginger
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. A satisfying fiber-rich soup for Halloween, to counteract any candy.  Very popular with beet-lovers plus a natural source of iron.

Fried Brown Rice w/ Shredded Cabbage & Carrots flavored with Coriander, Mustard & Fennel Seeds.
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. One of a hundred easy variations on fried rice.  I add stronger spices here to spark up organic brown rice. A great way to use up left-over rice, too. Sauteed cabbage w/ fennel seed is a lovely, mild side dish by itself and, so easy to make at home –– try it.

Week of Nov 3rd
Squash Soup w/ Red Chile & Mint
Vegan GF, Paleo, soy-free, no added sugars. Spicy red chile & cooling fresh mint adds a nice twist on a classic autumnal soup. Dollop with queso fresco or yogurt to dress it up.

Butternut Squash Soup w/ Red Chile & Mint (Splendidtable.com)

Butternut Squash Soup w/ Red Chile & Mint (Splendidtable.com)

Beans & Greens Tamale Casserole w/ Tomatillo Sauce
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars; contains corn. Clients voted this an all-time favorite!  I always add chopped dark greens to beans for added nutrition and fiber. The mild tangy sauce disguises the taste of greens, too, if you have fussy eaters. It comes in a mini-loaf foil pan.

Week of Nov 10th
Minestrone w/ Rice Pasta
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars, Paleo option. Rice elbow noodles, kidney beans, green beans and other veg in a light tomato broth. I like Tinkyada brand rice pasta. You can request no pasta & no beans for Paleo diets.

 Roast Ratatouille w/ Lentils
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars, Paleo option. I adore ratatouille. Period. Especially when made of garden-sourced veg. I roasted & froze this in Sept for a wonderful infusion of summer days gone by. And it’s incredibly versatile: plop it on mashed pots for shepherd’s pie, spread on pizza, fill burritos, add to pasta sauce, et al.  You can request no-beans for Paleo version.

Week of Nov 17th

Ripe, medium ripe and green plaintains (web photo). Called the pasta of the Caribbean.

Ripe, medium ripe and green plaintains (web photo). Called the pasta of the Caribbean.

Caribbean Coconut Curry
Vegan GF, Paleo, soy-free, no added sugars. From Isa Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction cookbook and featuring naturally sweet steamed plantains. Mildly spiced. Really yummy.

 Quinoa Pilaf w/ Spinach & Cilantro
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. A nice green pilaf that complements the curry.

 Week of Nov 24th: Impress your guests! Terrific with turkey.
Polenta w/ Sage
GF, soy-free, no added sugars; contains corn and dairy unless you request no dairy. Smooth polenta makes a great gluten-free side. For a stuffing substitute, brush slices w/ olive oil and broil til crispy on top, then chunk it up. Yes, it’s fab with turkey & gravy on top.

Wilted Kale & Roasted Beet Salad in Tahini Dressing
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars, Paleo. Two super foods in one dish to complement (and dare I say, counteract) starchy holiday meals. Creamy tahini softens raw kale’s texture while sweet roast beets balance its flavor. Sprinkle seeds or nuts on top, and/or go more even gourmet w/ dollops of goat cheese.

Week of Dec 1st
Smoky Split Pea Soup
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. I always add chopped collard greens and puree the whole thing to hide it. Sometimes I add nori seaweed as well for extra umami (savoriness); it melts away. Smoked paprika provides that “ham” flavor.

Puerto Rican Rice
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. Another easy variation on rice w/ green bell peppers, sweet peas , tomatoes and some tumeric for color. However, it won’t be exactly the national dish of Puerto Rico as I’m omitting the grandule verde (pigeon peas) and using brown basmati instead of white.

Delivered Dishes = Dinner, Done!

Want a little respite from planning and cooking meals?  Why not have fresh healthful home-made food delivered directly to your office or home?  Plus, it’s vegan and gluten-free! That’s my Delivered Dish of the Week service in a nutshell.

I’ve been churning out all sorts of tasty dishes this summer and am now able to get lovely fresh produce from local farmers. Yay!

All you need to do is order online right here for any weeks you wish.  Easy peasy.  If you’ve never ordered before, do please read full description of Delivered Dish of the Week service first.

Here are the menus for the month of August: 

AUG 4 – 10, 2014
White Bean Succotash: A classic summer combo of organic zucchini & corn, this time with creamy white beans instead of fresh lima beans, plus fresh sage for fun. Good hot or room-temp. Vegan, GF, no added sugars or soy.

Jambalaya: Short grain brown rice with the Cajun trifecta of celery, green peppers and onions and spices. I may even throw in some crunchy stir-fried okra. Tastes better when heated up. Vegan, GF, no added sugars or soy. 

AUG 11 – 16

Balsamic Green Beans (photo by Brad Dahlgaard)

Balsamic Green Beans (photo by Brad Dahlgaard)

Chickpea & Oat Berries Pilaf w/ Tomatoes, Olives & Mint: Based on a terrific recipe from Splendid Table. Clients love this chewy toothsome pilaf. This time I’m using Oat Berries instead of Barley — they’re basically interchangeable. Good hot or room-temp. Has gluten. Vegan, no added sugars or soy. 

 

Balsamic-marinated Green String Beans: One of my go-to salads, year round. Simple but so, so good. Vegan, GF,  Paleo, no added sugars or soy. 

AUG 18 – 24
Spicy Millet & Lentils w/ Harissa Sauce: Millet is an under-utilized whole grain that is high in protein. And, it’s gluten-free. Here I add protein-rich lentils and zing it up with home-made Harissa sauce. Pls note, millet dries out quickly, so add a bit of water when you reheat. Vegan, GF, no added sugars or soy. 

Big, dappled Spanish Tolosna beans (pic Purcellmountainfarm.com).

Big, dappled Spanish Tolosna beans (pic Purcellmountainfarm.com).

Heirloom Bean Salad: This will feature farmers’ market veggies, organic heirloom beans from local Encore Farm and a nice tart vinaigrette.  Vegan, GF, no added sugars or soy. 

 

 

 

 


AUG
 25 – 31 ( Pre- Labor Day)
Both these salads are perfect to serve at holiday BBQs & potlucks!

Hominy Salad (my pic)

Hominy Salad (my pic)

Hominy Salad in Lime Cilantro Pesto: Chewy hominy (dried corn) and crunchy seasonal veggies makes an interesting and filling side dish.  Vegan, GF, no added sugars or soy. 

"Aunty Oxidant" demos Firecracker Slaw.

“Aunty Oxidant” demos Firecracker Slaw.

Firecracker Slaw in Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette: My ever-popular fiber-rich slaw of crunchy shredded cabbage, kale, carrot and beet (yes, raw beets), spiked with a surprising vinaigrette. I often demo this at Farmers’ Market & other community events. It converts even beet-phobes! Vegan, GF, Paleo, no added sugars or soy. 

 

 

 

 

 

SEP 1 – 7
Zucchini “Linguine” in Raw Tomato Basil Sauce: Carb-less zucchini noodles can satisfy that pasta craving and have even fooled folks.  And there’s nothing like fresh tomatoes from the farm. Vegan, GF, Paleo, no added sugars or soy. Pls note, pureed raw tomatoes spoil faster due to its high sugar content, so this doesn’t last as long as my typical salads. Eat within 4-5 days.

Romesco Beans & Rice: Romesco is a classic and addictive Catalan pesto of pureed roast red peppers & garlic. However, I’m leaving out the traditional ground almonds to make a thinner sauce that will flavor this great vegan main dish. Vegan, GF, no added sugars or soy.

ORDER ONLINE RIGHT HERE!  I’ll confirm you as a new client and send delivery info. I also send out weekly confirmations of orders.

September menus will be posted in a couple weeks. Look for Gazpacho, Thai Farmers’ Market Chowder and Roasted Ratatouille, among other harvest-based goodies.

New Demo Videos

Check out these little videos!  Thanks to Lane Rapp of Growing West Side, here I am captured for all eternity at last Sat’s cooking demonstration at their “Bean Summit”.

It was a terrifically educational session, starting with a show-and-tell of many kinds of heirloom beans, followed by growing tips from heirloom bean farmer Paula Foreman of Encore Farms, and lastly, my demo, where I made 3 different organic bean dishes (all vegan and gluten-free, no added sugars and no soy, of course).

  1.  Jacob’s Cattle Bean & Veg Salad in Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette
  2. Cassoulet of Black Beans, Green Kale & Cherry Tomatoes in Red Pepper Sauce
  3. Smashed Garlicky Black-eyed Peas with Spinach & Sage (great as bruschetta topping or sandwich filler)
Paula Foreman of Encore Farms on bean irrigation

Paula Foreman of Encore Farms on bean irrigation

Growing West Side’s mission is “Building community by supporting local gardening and sustaining a healthy neighborhood” in St Paul’s funky West Side. Among its many activities, it

  • runs a small Sat morn Farmers Market in the Icy Cup parking lot at corner of George and Stryker Sts, so you can buy veg and eat ice cream simultaneously (very smart);
  • offers free Scarlet Runner bean seeds for “Beans on the Boulevard”, a program to beautify the ‘hood;
  • offers classes on topics from Growing Small Fruit Orchards to Chickens 101;
  • has established a free Seed Library at the Riverside Library on George St.

Another fab organization that offers similar programs & resources in St Paul is Frogtown Gardens in the Frogtown neighborhood that stretches north of University Ave between Lexington and Western Aves.