Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Roasted Carrot-Cabbage Slaw with Lemony Ras el Hanout Dressing.

corrected brassica misconception.
Roasted Carrot-Cabbage Slaw with
Lemony Ras el Hanout Dressing and 
Pomegranate Seeds. 
learn to love. and roast EVERYTHING.

An open letter. 

Dear cabbage, I was wrong about you.
So very wrong and for that I apologize.
It was pop culture that clouded my judgment, like always.
Years of "comedic" bullying jokes made at your expense seeped into my subconscious.
I developed a reflexively negative reaction to the mere mention of you.
My mind clouded with images of old kerchief-ed ladies in slouching knee-highs serving you up, boiled and vaguely stinky.
Or of you drowning in big tupperware bowls full of mayo, warming on picnic tables in the summer sun.
I couldn't see beyond the limitations others imposed on you.
I was weak.
You are so much more than a sad lifeless shell or a vehicle for mayonnaise,
I see that now.
I am awake.
I've been thinking a lot about you lately, about us.
About being open and receptive and allowing the "new" in.
And about my place in your beautiful world.
I see you, cabbage. All of you, the REAL you.
Now let's get dressed up (in our best spice blends) and ride off into the sunset together.

Yours always.

Many thanks to the lovely Christine Dionese of Garden Eats for inviting me to participate in this Our Growing Edge monthly blogger event.
The theme of which is "new kitchen experiences,"
NOT "longwinded love letters to much maligned produce".

cabbage. forever and ever.

Roasted Carrot-Cabbage Slaw 
with Lemony Ras El Hanout Dressing 
(serves 4-6)

1 lb carrots, halved and cut into 1/4" thick sticks
1 very small head of cabbage (I used purple-tipped savoy, but any variety will do),
quartered de-stemmed and cut into 1/4" thick pieces
1 large shallot, very thinly sliced

1/3c extra virgin olive oil
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1Tbsp ras el hanout*  
1Tbsp pomegranate molasses
1/4tsp ground sea salt
1/4tsp cracked black pepper

1c fresh pomegranate seeds

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Raw Vegan Cashew-Cranberry Cheesecake Bites

because one can only eat so many cookies.
Raw Cranberry-Cashew Cheesecake Bites.
Bake, eat, repeat. My perpetual holiday mantra. Bake the treats. "Quality test" the treats. Second round "quality test' the treats (because this is the very definition of important stuff, folks). Realize I don't have enough treats left to actually give as gifts. Bake the treats again. Feel shame.

I did not break the cycle this season. I did, however, supplement with something raw and full of whole food-y deliciousness and PRETTY.
The most important feature of any food gift.
I quality tested the entire first batch as my gift to you, my dear readers.
And then I made some more.

 Raw Vegan Cashew-Cranberry Cheesecake Bites
(makes approximately 12 1" bites)
1 1/4c raw walnuts
1 heaping cup pitted medjool dates
1/4c raw flaked coconut, unsweetened
1Tbsp flax seeds
pinch sea salt
1 1/4c raw cashews, soaked for 2+ hours and drained
1c raw cranberries
1/2c liquified coconut oil
1/4c agave or maple syrup
1/4tsp sea salt
1.5Tbsp lemon juice

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dark Chocolate-Dipped Candied Citrus with Vanilla Infused Sea Salt

conflicted confections.
Dark Chocolate-Dipped
Candied Navel Orange + Clementine Slices 
Vanilla Infused Sea Salt.
confections gotta be confected.

Apparently today (yesterday, as I post this) is (was) national dipping things in chocolate day, or some equivalently contrived BS foodie holiday. I loathe participating in these things and tend to avoid them like the transparently disingenuous plague they are. Yet here I am, joining in. It really couldn't be avoided. Sometimes confections need to be confected and this was a pre-planned, pre-holiday food gift prep day that just so happened to fall on an unfortunately coincidental calendar square.
But I feel a little tool-y about it all the same...

Addendum-- all previous complaints notwithstanding, if there's ever a national vanilla-infused 
sea salt day, I'm all over it. 
That stuff is worth a cynical and VERY public sacrifice of integrity.



Dark Chocolate-Dipped
Candied Navel Orange and Clementine Slices
Vanilla Infused Sea Salt
(makes about 25 pieces)

3-4 medium sized organic navel oranges +
3-4 organic clementines
(should yield somewhere around 4c, once sliced)
6c water
2c (+ 1-2Tbsp) unrefined sugar
1/2c dark chocolate chips 
2tsp unrefined coconut oil

1Tbsp finely ground sea salt
1/4 fresh vanilla bean pod, halved

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cinnamon-Oat Crumble Stuffed Baked Apples

baking things inside of things.
Cinnamon-Oat Crumble
Stuffed Baked Apples.
again and again and again.

If I read (or consider writing) one more "tis the season" post I may vomit in protest. 
The seasons are changing, leaves are falling, it's cold all the time, we all get it. 
That being said... the "cooking things inside of other things" time of year is inevitably upon us. 
Most of these things inside of things fall into the traditionally squash-based category or the profoundly horrifying category (Turducken, anyone? Of course not, because it's fucking disgusting). 
Now I'm not much of a stuffed squash person and my views on the other thing should be abundantly clear, but there is something about the concept that feels kind of right. 
Putting foods inside of other foods seems appropriate as we're stuffing ourselves inside of long sleeve shirts inside of sweaters inside of coats. 
So bake this cinnamon-oat crumble inside of apples. 
It's like a winter coat for your insides. 
Plus it's a dessert you can eat for breakfast and we all need more of that in our lives these days.

soon to be much less colorful.


Cinnamon-Oat Crumble Stuffed Baked Apples
(serves 5-6)

5-6 medium sized apples* (I use a mix of macintosh and cortland)
*make sure the apples will fit tightly into your baking dish, I use a 9" square 
which fits 5-6 depending on their size
1/2c vegan butter
1/2c unrefined sugar
1/4c light brown sugar
1/4c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4c rolled oats
2tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground sea salt
1tsp vanilla bean paste (extract will work, too)
1Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

*1/4c fresh cranberries, halved (optional)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Baked Apple Cider Donuts with Cardamom Cinnamon Sugar

Baked Apple Cider Donuts 
Cardamom Cinnamon-Sugar.
Donuting, or to donut. Its a verb.

If you live in New England, come fall, you go apple picking. I'm pretty sure it's a law in most states. Like, if you don't go a guy in a tricornered hat shows up at your house on horseback and takes you at musket point. Either that or a hefty "apple-picking non-compliance" fine will be levied against you, probably hand delivered to your house by a guy wearing knickers and ringing a bell. So apple picking we go. Because, and I admit this grudgingly, its actually pretty fun. If you can get past the hordes of screaming children, ridiculous shtick-y corn mazes, and annoyingly packed hayrides full of suckers (hayrides are indeed for suckers, unless they're free. that's all I'll say on that subject), standing in a sun-soaked apple orchard, wearing a seasonally appropriate (!) sweater and picking fruit right from the tree is pretty much the best thing about fall. Throw donuts into the mix and the enjoyment level skyrockets. Sadly, for the more plant-based among us farmstand apple cider donuts are not an option. This has been an annual, almost soul-crushing disappointment for me. So this year, instead of giving the side-eye to every overjoyed person around me eagerly shoving apple cider donuts into their facehole, I took action.
Apples were picked, donuts were baked, and the "autumn in New England" circle was completed.

that sparkle tho...

found. and the one that got away.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Cardamom Cinnamon-Sugar
(makes one dozen)

1 1/2c whole wheat pastry flour
2/3c light brown sugar
1/2tsp ground sea salt
1tsp baking soda
1Tbsp ground cinnamon

1Tbsp finely ground flax seed + 3Tbsp boiling water
1tsp vanilla extract
3/4c applesauce
3Tbsp apple cider
1/3c canola oil (or other neutral oil)

1/4c unrefined sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp finely ground cardamom

Friday, October 3, 2014

Raspberry-Cashew Cream Cheese Pinwheels in a Coconut Oil Crust

my head hurts and everything smells like berries...
Raspberry-Cashew Cream Cheese Pinwheels
in a Coconut Oil Crust.
worth it.

Did you ever have one one of those delayed hangover mornings where you don't realize the full extent of your hungover-ness until you undertake a way too massive baking project? C'mon, anyone? This is not a situation I find myself in too frequently as of late; sadly (?) my reckless "party like a rock star all night then bake vegan treats all morning" days are waning. But the weekend will ALWAYS call for baked goods and in that two day span I will, on occasion, go a little to hard at the brown liquor. And yeah, on some mornings those two things can create slightly unpleasant overlap. Last Saturday was a full day and night of social consumption but I jumped out of bed the next morning bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and almost annoyingly pumped to make use of my handpicked raspberry haul from the previous week. I had battled many a bee for those perfect little berries and they were destined for greatness. So tea was made and dough was cranked out like nobody's business. Then the fatigue set in. My eyeballs started to feel dry and the thought of continuing to move my body in any way at all became massively unappealing. But I was already in too deep, raspberry pinwheels were the chosen course of action for the morning and there was no turning back. The rest was a blur of whirring food processor blades, berry-stained fingers and uncontrollable sweating, but at the end there they were.
All pink and swirly, and totally worth it.
This is life in the fast lane, my friends.
It's not for everyone, but for those that can handle it...
Party like an aging rock star, make raspberry pinwheels, rest, repeat as necessary.
Or sub out the whole party thing and just make the damn pinwheels.
Your head will hurt way less and there are still delicious baked goods at the end.

do what the sign says.

seasonal rituals: u-pick at sunshine farm in sherborn, ma.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Yeasted Whole Wheat-Vanilla Waffles with Coconut Whipped Cream + Record Shopping & Sky Gazing.

Yeasted Whole Wheat-Vanilla Waffles 
Coconut Whipped Cream
(+ Record Shopping & Sky Gazing).
waffle therapy.

Last week was kind of shitty. Lots of unanticipated stress and weirdness. Lots of scattered thoughts and interrupted sleep, lots of anxious heart pounding, lots of forgetting to eat for an entire day. Nothing earth shattering, just...disrupting. So the weekend called for some serious food therapy, hence waffles, and some serious soul therapy, hence flipping through bins of musty old records. 
Both helpful in their own ways, though one smells significantly better. 

A little riff on an old favorite because, as we all know, 
everything's better with coconut. 

Yeasted Whole Wheat-VanillaWaffles 

with Coconut Whipped Cream
(serves 4/ makes about 12 waffles)

2 14oz cans organic full fat coconut milk,
refrigerated (unopened) overnight
1/2c lukewarm water
1 1/2c whole wheat flour
1c all purpose flour
1/2c unrefined coconut oil
2 1/2tsp active dry yeast
1tsp raw sugar
1/2tsp ground sea salt
1tsp vanilla bean paste (extract will work, too)
2Tbsp ground flax seed + 6Tbsp boiling water
1tsp baking soda

additional 2-3tsp unrefined sugar + 1/2tsp vanilla paste for coconut cream
1c wild blueberries or other fresh fruit, for serving

nice nooks.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"Thank You, Summer" Ratatouille + 36 Hours in Midcoast Maine.

good times, (metaphorical) noodle salad.
"Thank You, Summer" Ratatouille
36 Hours in Midcoast Maine.
summer kicks ass.

When I originally posted this recipe just about a year ago my folks were packing up the last of their boxes and getting ready to make the permanent move from Virginia to Maine and I wasn't handling it particularly well. It's hard to let go of a place where so many of your firsts happened. First steps, first words, first kiss, first love, first know the drill. At the time it felt like the end of an unbearably large number of things; I pulled out of the driveway for the last time
and cried all the way across the blue ridge mountains. 
Melodramatic, I know, but that's how it went down. 
And that's probably why I gave this recipe such a depressing name the first time around. Summer's End Ratatouille?? Sheesh. Shoulda just called it "we all die" vegetable medley... Over the past year I've come to realize that home is where your people are, that past is past, present is present, and memories are yours regardless of where your parents live. I've also come to realize that (as a tidy little bonus) coastal Maine is a pretty kick-ass place for said people to be, especially in the summertime. 
So, in the spirit of newfound emotional maturity,
I'm re-branding this recipe "thank you, summer" ratatouille. 
No melodrama, no sad-sackery. 
Just an unabashed appreciation of the season, while it lasts. 
Knowing full well it'll be back around again soon enough.
Nothing but good times and noodle salad (bonus points if you get that reference).

every little bit of it.

"Thank You, Summer" Ratatouille
now with even less melodrama
(serves 4-6) 

3Tbsp olive oil
2-3Tbsp red wine 
1 large onion (yellow or red), thinly sliced
1 full head of garlic, cloves finely minced
two bell peppers, green red or yellow, sliced thin
Diced eggplant (any variety), about 3-4 cups
1-2 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into thin slices
3-4 medium-sized tomatoes, diced (about 2c)
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2c shredded fresh basil leaves

full recipe here.

And now a few of my favorite Maine-based things:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Small Batch Spiny Gherkin Pickles & Doin' All The Things.

to old friends and new. 
Small Batch Spiny Gherkin Pickles
Doin' All The Things.
(also, i'm kinda famous now.)
garlicky brine is always the answer.

I stumbled across these Hmong Farms-grown maxixie cucumbers at the Brookline farmers' market last week. After excitedly staring at them for a good two minutes I picked out what looked like a good bunch (?) and brought them to the cashier. My gleeful confusion was not exactly mirrored by the guy who sold them to me, but I would not be deterred. I had no idea what they were or what to do with them but was absolutely certain that they needed to be mine. Find a strange, vaguely Seussian variety of gherkin while doing your weekly produce shopping? 
The only option is to pickle the hell out of it. 

Garlicky Small Batch Spiny Gherkin 
(Maxixie Cucumber) Pickles
(makes one quart or two pints)

1 bunch spiny gherkins (also know as maxixe cucumbers), about 8
1c apple cider vinegar
1/4c water
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 large head of dried dill, or 2 teaspoons dill seed
1Tbsp kosher salt
1tsp unrefined sugar
1/2tsp brown mustard seeds

Add garlic, mustard seeds and dill seeds to a clean quart canning jar, 
or distribute evenly between two pint jars.
Wash and thoroughly scrub gherkins, then cut lengthwise into quarters or eighths, 
depending on your pickle thickness preference.
Whisk together vinegar, water, salt and sugar until dissolved.
Stuff cucumber slices into jars, pouring water and vinegar mix over top until covered.
Cover jar(s) tightly, give them a good shake, and refrigerate.
The longer they sit, the more the flavors will develop.

all the pickled things.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bulgur-Lentil Salad with Preserved Lemon, Cucumber and Mint.

true love salad days.
Bulgur-Lentil Salad with 
Preserved Lemon, Cucumber & Mint.
its a forever kind of thing.

I couldn't live without cucumbers. Or, more accurately, I could live without them but their absence would cause me to spiral into an deep, dark food-based depression from which there would be little to no chance of recovery. I'd shuffle around the kitchen, muttering about how good things used to be between us, cucumbers and I. About how I was sure from the first time we met that it was gonna be a long-haul kind of thing. I'd bore my friends with old stories of our perfect summers together, all vine-y, gourd-y love. Of dirty fingernails and straight-from-the-garden goodness. Of Maine vacations spent biting into lemon cucumbers like apples. Love would begin to feel foreign and alienating and I'd stay up nights wondering
how I could have been so wrong in thinking we were forever.

The point of all this rambling is to say that you are my everything, Cucumis Sativus.
Don't ever leave, I'd be lost (and probably pretty annoying) without you.

And not to take anything away from this epic love manifesto,
but preserved lemon and fresh mint are pretty dope, too...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fresh Corn & Basil Quinoa Fritters plus Scenes from the Weekend

frittered and rocked.
Fresh Corn, Basil & Sweet Onion Quinoa Fritters
 Produce, Punk and Pizza.

Dusting off an old favorite for you guys today because...SUMMER. 
Get frittering.
Fresh Corn, Basil & Sweet Onion Quinoa Fritters
(makes about 8 medium fritters)

1c quinoa/ 2c water
1 cob of sweet corn, shucked and grated (approximately 1/3c)
1/2c whole wheat flour
1/3c minced sweet onion
1/2c minced basil
2Tbsp ground flax seeds
 6Tbsp boiling water
2Tbsp nutritional yeast
2tsp sea salt
1tsp black pepper
1tsp crushed red pepper
1tsp paprika
Oil for frying

Link to the original recipe here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wild Blueberry & Nectarine Cobbler plus Scenes from the Weekend

Wild Blueberry & Nectarine Cobbler 
Some Scenes from the Weekend.
the truest of true things.

In my world, summer and Maine are inextricably linked. Summer will always mean Maine, and Maine summers will always mean wild blueberries. In August they are EVERYWHERE. At markets, in parking lot fruit stands, for sale on the side of the road (every. single. road.) and they are perfect.
Summer also means fruit cobbler.
The more clever among you can probably see where I'm going with this...

oven bound.

Wild Blueberry & Nectarine Cobbler
(serves 4-6)

1c whole wheat pastry flour
1/3c unrefined sugar
1c non dairy milk (I prefer coconut)
2tsp baking soda
2tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2tsp salt
1tsp vanilla
2c sliced nectarines
2c wild blueberries, washed and patted dry
1/4tsp cinnamon
1/4c unrefined coconut oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Melt coconut oil in an 8" square baking dish by placing it in the oven while heating.
Sift together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon) 
in a medium mixing bowl.
Add milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir until combined.

Remove baking dish with melted coconut oil from the oven.
Gently pour 3/4 of the batter into the pan, spread fruit over top, 
then add remainder of batter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
Serve warm or cooled.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pan-Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Lemony Walnut Ricotta

Pan-Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms with 
Lemony Walnut Ricotta.
stop showing off, summer.
I've never really been one to succumb to impulse purchases while grocery shopping. I try to approach the wall of delicious chocolatey/ crunchy things one must pass through before getting to the cashier with a "don't tell me what to do" kind of 'tude. I am cheap and I can make most of this stuff my damn self. I don't need to spend a dollar on your impossibly tiny square of dark chocolate, Co-Op. So there.
And those $7 bags of raw kale chips? Don't even get me started. 
But the farmers' market is a whole 'nother story. I never fail to get distracted by shiny, new, delicious things and if those things are affordable, all the better. When these ridiculously photogenic squash blossoms caught my eye on the way out of the farmers' market yesterday I HAD to have them.
And only three dollars for 12 of the most gorgeous flowers you ever did see?
No self respecting, produce loving cheapskate could pass that up.
I plunked down some cash and made them mine.

piping walnut ricotta into blossoms.

Pan Fried Squash Blossoms with
Lemony Walnut Ricotta
(makes 12 stuffed blossoms)

1 bunch squash blossoms, about 12, 
preferably with stems attached

3/4c raw walnut pieces
1 clove garlic
2Tbsp nutritional yeast
1Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2tsp mellow white miso
1/2tsp ground sea salt
1/4tsp cracked black pepper
1-2Tbsp water

2-3Tbsp olive oil, for frying
extra lemon juice and black pepper for garnish.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Scenes from the Weekend.

this is a thing that is happening now.
Scenes from the Weekend (and a little beyond).
rainy saturday at the egleston farmers market.

raw beets all summer long.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Strawberry-Balsamic Stoneground Cornmeal Muffins

live in the (berry stained) now.
Stoneground Cornmeal Muffins
strawberries in all things because they are everything.

It recently came to my attention that I've been approaching this whole strawberry thing wrong for a good portion of my adult life. Call it something of a culinary epiphany. Each year I dutifully drive to the u-pick, spend the better part of an afternoon plucking perfectly ripe little gems straight from the plant, haul my pounds and pounds of berries back home and proceed to jam and can for what feels like days. Because of this my pantry shelves look mighty impressive, and I always have holiday gifts covered, but I eat shamefully few strawberries during their sadly brief season. As this summer began, I took stock of my still jam-packed (that's a pun, mind you) larder and decided NEVER AGAIN. Too much damn jam and not enough berries in my belly. This year I'm making a change. No more unnecessary self-denial.
Strawberries in/ on/ over all the things until there are no more. 
I'm living in the berry-stained moment.

Stoneground Cornmeal Muffins
(makes 1 dozen medium muffins)

1c stoneground cornmeal
1 1/4c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2c unrefined sugar
1Tbsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp finely ground sea salt
2tsp apple cider vinegar
1.5tsp vanilla extract
2c fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1c unsweetened non dairy milk
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4c canola or other neutral oil
extra sugar for dusting tops of muffins

Thursday, July 10, 2014

quick pickled watermelon radishes and fennel

pretty pink picklemania.
Watermelon Radishes & Fennel.
anxiety-inducing seasonality be (ever so slightly) damned.

Sometimes spring and summer produce gives me anxiety. Truthfully, sometimes most things give me anxiety, but we're here to talk about vegetables. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE summer (and all of the radishes, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, etc. that come with it) but sometimes that "love with a capitol L" leads to irrational excitement which leads to overbuying and that overbuying leads to panic.
Or the excitement leads to panic and that panic leads to overbuying....
How on earth am I going to eat all of these ______ 
*fill in the blank with seasonally appropriate produce* before they go bad? 
How can I keep eating said seasonally appropriate produce 
even when it is no longer seasonally appropriate???
Quick pickles are the answer.
A little vinegar, a little spice.
Seasonality temporarily upended,
(vegetable-based) anxiety alleviated.

And the picklemania? Totally manageable.

pretty pickle therapy.


Quick Pickled Watermelon Radishes 
& Fennel.
(will fill one quart jar)

1 bunch watermelon radishes (about 3-4)
1 large fennel bulb with stalks and fronds attached
1/2c unseasoned rice vinegar
1Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2tsp sea salt
2tsp organic sugar
2tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
2 star anise pods
2Tbsp toasted sesame oil