Chilean Bean Stew + Brown Butter & Sea Salt Rice Krispie Treats


Chilean Bean Stew

I have been making this recipe since Chris and I got married eight years ago. It's vegan, nourishing, and great for brightening grey days. The original recipe is from Moosewood New Classics Cookbook. I remember cooking from Mollie's first Moosewood Cookbook when I was 16. This New Classics edition is my favorite go-to book. I have cooked about 75% of the recipes and they are all wonderful. This book makes a great gift for a vegetarian friend. I also like to pair this stew with Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats for dessert. I've included that recipe below as well. 

2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 cups chopped onions
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
4 cups seeded, peeled and cubed butternut squash
3 cups corn
1 can of pinto beans
1 can of light red kidney beans
1/2 cup basil
1/2 juice of a small lemon

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot. Add onion, garlic, salt, cumin and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes of medium heat. Add stock, water and squash and cover for 10 min. Add 1 cup of corn, beans and basil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Ladle 2 cups of broth from stew and blend with remaining 2 cups of corn in Nutri Bullet or blender. Puree until smooth. Add back into the stew. Add lemon juice and taste for any additional seasoning with salt. Note—I serve this with sharp shredded cheddar cheese for a vegetarian version, or sliced avocado for a vegan version. 

Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook. 

Brown Butter and Sea Salt Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats always seem to bring people joy and comfort. I think Rice Krispie Treats are the best when they are as close to the classic as possible. The brown butter and sea salt in this recipe slightly elevate the flavor profile. 

6 cups of Rice Krispie cereal
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 stick of butter
1/2 tsp course sea salt
coconut spray (or cooking or baking spray) 

Melt butter over medium high heat in a large pot. Continue to cook until butter starts to turn brown and smells nutty. Remove from burner and add marshmallows. Stir and return to burner for a couple seconds while stirring to melt all marshmallows. Add cereal and 1/4 tsp (half of the required amount) of the sea salt and mix. Transfer into a glass pan lightly sprayed with oil. Sprinkle with remaining salt. Note—I double this recipe to make the height of the treats super tall. 

Adapted from the original Rice Krispie Treat Recipe on the side of the box. 

Curry & Mango Pizza

Curry & Mango Pizza

I can’t get enough of this simple 6 ingredient pizza. Its got all the good stuff—sweetness and floral hints from the honey and mango, a little heat from some Sambal, and crunch from the crispy arugula and baked naan. I make it so much, that I am fearful I will one day burn out on it. Note—if mangos are not available you can use pineapple in a pinch. 

3 Tbps local honey
2 tsp curry powder
2 medium or 4 small Naan Bread
1 mango, peeled and large diced
1 bunch of green onions, diced
1 bag of mozzarella cheese
Handful of arugula
Sriracha, Sambal Oelek, and Chili Garlic Sauce (optional)
Cilantro (optional) 
Salt and pepper to taste

Method: Combine curry and honey. Spread on Naan bread. Top with a little mango, some green onions, and desired amount of mozzarella cheese. Pile arugula on top. Bake at 375 degrees until Naan is brown on the sides and cheese is melted. Top with fresh cilantro and sambal. 

Lentil and Kale Soup


Lentil and Kale Soup

One of my winter reading list books was Nicole Centeno’s book Soup Cleanse. Nicole owns a company called Splendid Spoon and although I haven't tried her home delivery service, I have tried her soup recipes and they are wonderful. The ingredients are simple but the flavor is big. My favorite so far is this very healthy and easy to make Lentil Kale Soup. Soups are an affordable way to feed a large bunch! At the end of the recipe I have also included my winter cookbook reading list. Do you have a favorite new cookbook? 

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 rib celery, small dice
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp Madras curry powder
3/4 Tsp cinnamon
1/2 pound red lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 pound green lentils, rinsed and drained
2 quarts of water
2 cups thinly sliced kale leaves
2 tsp sea salt

Method: In a medium pot over medium heat, warm oil. Cook the onion, carrots, and celery stirring frequently for 10 min. Stir in garlic, pepper, curry, and cinnamon and cook for 1 min. Increase the heat to high and add lentils and water, bring to boil. Add the kale and reduce heat to low for 30 min. Stir in salt. 

I like to serve this with a warm baguette with butter or a little cheese.

Recipe credit: Nicole Centeno

Winter ReadingList

Soup Cleanse Cookbook: Embrace a Better Body and a Healthier You with the Weekly Soup PlanPoole's: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner
Kentucky's Cookbook Heritage: Two Hundred Years of Southern Cuisine and Culture
The Laws of Cooking: And How to Break Them

Other Books on my Winter List
The long journey home : the true story of Mary Draper Ingles, early pioneer of the Virginia Colony
A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Friday night I tried a new recipe and I loved it so much that I ran back out to the grocery Saturday morning to make it for family meal. If you're in a hurry this is a good quick meal (to make it even faster you could buy minced garlic and minced ginger.) I bought tempeh to serve for a vegan option for one of our team members. These wraps are filling, fresh— and lovely with a cup of jasmine tea.

1 tbsp prepared PB2 or natural peanut butter
2 tsp chili garlic sauce or hot sauce
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp Carriage House Farms honey (or your favorite local honey) 
1 tbsp. sesame oil
Juice from half a lime
1 lb ground chicken
1 onion, diced
10 Bibb lettuce leaves

Grated carrot
Green onions
Sprinkle of sesame seeds

Method: In a large skillet, cook chicken and onion over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Whisk the first 9 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour the sauce into skillet with chicken and stir, cooking until heated through. Toast sesame seeds in small saucepan. Assemble and garnish lettuce wraps with sesame, green onions and carrot.

Recipe Adapted from: Haute and Healthy

A Better Tomorrow Chili

A Better Tomorrow Chili

Cooking is like a ritual to me. I put the tea kettle on the stove, line up bowls of mis en place, and listen to The Splendid Table. Last week’s episode of The Splendid Table featured chef Justin Warner, the author of The Laws of Cooking. Warner has interesting theories on flavor pairings which include his law of peanut butter and jelly and the law of gin and tonic. His recipe for Better Tomorrow Chili intrigued me. This recipe includes ingredients like mushroom powder, whole cinnamon sticks, and finely chopped pecans. Instead of making my own recipe this week, I thought I would try this one.

The chili was delicious, earthy, and had great texture! Did I mention this recipe is vegan?  We served this for family meal with topping options of corn chips, green onions, and/or cotija. I think I will feature someone else’s recipe once a month in addition to my own. Do you have any suggestions? 

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
16 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed, wiped clean, and quartered
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 cups pecans (about 7 ounces), toasted, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 cinnamon stick
Two 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups vegetable stock (or vegetable broth, and cut the salt by half)
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
One 1-ounce package dried mushrooms (whatever is cheapest), pulverized in a blender
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Method: In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil and add the fresh mushrooms. Cook, stirring only once, until browned, about 6 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot and stir to incorporate. Simmer until the vegetables and nuts are soft, about 30 minutes. Take out cinnamon stick. Let cool. Refrigerate overnight. (Warner suggests making this the night before since chili is always better the next day reheated.)

Recipe credit: Justin Warner

Vegetarian Enchiladas with Creamy Green Chile Sauce


Vegetarian Enchiladas

This is one of my go-to recipes for an after work dinner. This recipe shows up in my week night rotation more often than not, and I never tire of it. You can serve this no-fuss style, all by itself—or with toppings such as cilantro, lime slices and/or avocado. I usually serve it just as it is, with a side of fresh mixed greens. This is one of those recipes that is even better reheated for lunch the next day. 

10 flour tortillas
10 oz package chopped spinach
15 oz can black beans, rinsed
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles and spices, drained
¾ cup scallions, chopped
19 oz can green chile enchilada sauce
8 oz sour cream
3 cups shredded cheese (mixture of your choice of cheeses, some examples—Queso Quesadilla, Asadero, Queso Gallego, Manchego, Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack.)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Method: Add spinach to a bowl with beans, tomatoes, 75% of the scallions, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste. (If your are using frozen spinach, defrost and press as much water as you can from spinach.) Set aside. Mix together the sour cream and green chile enchilada sauce in a large bowl. Spread about 1/3 of the sauce mixture into a glass baking dish. On a cutting board, place a tortilla and top with some of the spinach mixture and a small amount of cheese. Roll and then place into dish, seam side down. Repeat until the dish is full. Spread the rest of the sauce on top of the enchiladas and top with the remaining cheese and scallions. Bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Let rest before serving. 

Cauliflower Velouté + Blueberry Pound Cake


Cauliflower Velouté

I found this original recipe in the pages of a Monastery Cookbook deep within the shelves of our local library. I first made this soup in my mid 20s and I have adapted it many times over the years. The term velouté is from the French adjectival form of velour, meaning velvet. I adore the richness the egg yolk lends to the soup and the vermouth brings a lovely unexpected note. 

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 potato, small dice
2 leeks, whites sliced, rinsed and drained
2 egg yolks
1 cup vermouth
Salt and pepper
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp sour cream
Whole nutmeg, finely grated

Method: Combine cauliflower, potato, and leeks in a large, heavy bottomed pot with water. Cook covered, over low-medium heat for 30 minutes. Melt the butter in a separate pan. Gradually add the flour, salt, and pepper and make a roux. While stirring with a whisk, add 1 cup of the broth from the soup. Set aside. Blend the vegetables and water from the pot in a blender. Return the soup to the soup pot. Add the roux, stir, and continue cooking, uncovered, over very low heat, not allowing the soup to reach the boiling point. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks then add vermouth and sour cream. Pour this mixture into the soup. Add the nutmeg and stir well. 

Adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups

Blueberry Pound Cake

This pound cake is a decadent morning treat with coffee. It also makes a great dessert after dinner paired with fresh whip cream.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 and 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar for pan
1/4 cup flour for blueberries
Butter for greasing pan

Method: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease bundt pan and dust with 1/4 cup sugar. In a medium bowl, combine 2 and 3/4 cup flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, dredge blueberries in 1/4 cup flour. In a mixer, cream sugar and butter. Add eggs to mixture one at a time, then add vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients until combined. Fold in blueberries. Batter will be very thick. Add batter to pan and bake for 75 minutes. Let cool before slicing.