Sunday, November 14, 2021

Easy, Pantry Bean Chili

Yup, here in Humboldt county those foggy mornings that don't always burn off lead me to dream of good, stick to the ribs chili. Basic, pantry ingredients with a few spices that might surprise you will produce a complex and hearty chili that will have you making a second batch.

I make a fair amount of Mexican dishes, so I always have Mexican oregano and annatto seeds in my pantry, but you can leave out the annatto and use regular oregano and it will still be delicious! If you make your beans from scratch, you will have lots of cooking liquid that helps make this all come together quickly.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Walnut Chickpea Tacos

If you look around the blogosphere, there are plenty of interesting non-meat options for making tacos. Really, you can put just about anything in a corn tortilla and call it a taco! But these from Vegan Richa really intrigued me.

Vegan Richa made quesadillas with them but the idea of walnut chick pea fillings for tacos sounded like a winner. Yes, yes it was! Simple, fast, delicious. Can you beat that? Never! 

If you don't have ancho chili powder, use some sweet paprika and a little cayenne, but not too much unless you really like heat!

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Zucchini Chickpea Pancakes with Sriracha

Are you ready for zucchini season? Think I’m jumping the gun a little too soon? If you have planted them in your garden in the past, you know the green rascals grow exponentially, so begin stockpiling your recipes for using up their deliciousness now!

One of my favorite recipes for zucchini are pancakes made with chickpea flour. My first foray into this dish was as an Indian side dish, so I have kept the Indian spices, but don’t let that deter you if spice is not your thing, although these spices are not hot per say, just flavorful. The basics are a few tablespoons of chickpea flour with salt, oil and a little water mixed with diced zucchini, which you allow to rest and then fry up in a cast iron pan. It’s magical!

Chickpea flour makes great pancakes on its own - google Socca and see how the French and Italians eat it with just salt. When you add chopped veggies that cook quickly, like zucchini, then it’s a full meal and a quick one at that.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Asparagus Fritters with Curried Mayo


Have you ever seen an asparagus bed? No, that’s not a trick question, they do grow in “beds” and they are finicky growers, I’ve tried. So when you see local asparagus available, grab it up and thank your neighbor for bringing this delectable spring vegetable into the world, because it isn’t easy to get started. However, once they are going, they will last for years. Kind of a metaphor for being a mom!

Moms take care of us as babies, as toddlers, as teenagers and even as adults. It’s kind of pathetic that we only allocate one day a year to officially thank them, so make it a hearty and heartfelt one!

Asparagus fritters sound fancy but they are really simple and delicious. If curry isn’t your thing, dollop sour cream on top and sprinkle some chives to make it look pretty. Your mom deserves it!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Asian Tuna Salad Bowl

Poke bowls are new to me but I am embracing them whole heartedly! Yes, I know the above photo does not have raw fish in it, but hear me out. Mark Bittman - my personal food god - put out a recipe that inspired me to go with the look if not the exact ingredients of a poke bowl - canned tuna.

Add soy sauce, wasabi and lemon juice to canned tuna and surround it with a bunch of fresh, raw chopped veggies and herbs and presto! Deliciousness that you didn't know existed!

While Mark uses cooked rice as a base (similar to a poke bowl) I often stick with more veggies, but feel free to use what you like. This dish is definitely great for using up odds and ends in your veggie drawer, but there are a few staples that I think work well: cucumber, radish (daikon, red), and bell peppers. After that, it's a grab bag. Avocado is always good along with pickled onions or ginger. It's your bowl, make yourself happy!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Pan Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins, Almonds, Capers and Fresh Herbs


Adding fresh herbs to your cooking repertoire seems to feel daunting and although cookbooks abound on the idea, don’t bother with them, just follow your taste buds. Mine led me to this amazing cauliflower dish that apparently originates from a famous New York chef. I just know it was so delicious I may have eaten a whole head of cauliflower for dinner that night!

Raisins, almonds, and capers with cauliflower is a traditional Sicilian pairing, truly, no lie. But add in a bunch of fresh chopped herbs and this dish is something special. Fresh herbs are like citrus, they enliven all that they touch!

The original recipe called for fresh breadcrumbs toasted in butter, and while it was good, I felt disinclined to make them the second time and I found I didn’t miss them. For me, the star of the dish were the raisins simmered in a vinegar butter bath that plumps them into delicious sweet tangy bites that are mind-blowing with the crunch of almonds and the brine of capers, alongside the cauliflower and assorted herbs! This is truly a dish where you will want to fish around to get all of those flavors and textures in each bite!