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Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t have fresh delicious salads. And while I love squash season, I don’t necessarily love peeling and seeding them - which is why the delicata is awesome. It’s the low maintenance squash, which must be why Heidi at 101 cookbooks has so many delicata recipes including this one for a roasted delicata squash salad with miso harissa dressing.
Alterations: Instead of marcona almonds, I used pistachios and I used a combination of yellow and purple fingerlings (which tricked my boyfriend into thinking there was sausage in this salad). I also left out the radishes.
Do-again?: Even after his initial disappointment about the lack of sausage in this salad, this got the thumbs up. The dressing was awesome - tart and salty and spicy.
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Weather-wise, it was predictable that I would get sick this week. It took a dive into the low 40s following a nice 70 degree weekend last week. It has left me craving soup. I’ve satisfied this craving with butternut posole, spinach lentil and now Giada’s Hearty Tomato Soup. This appealed to me because it snuck in some extra veggies - carrots, onions and white beans - and didn’t use any dairy.
Alterations: I skipped the lemon and creme fraiche topping and instead decided to make grilled cheese “croutons” with some toasted rosemary bread and jalapeno jack.
Do-again?: This was definitely heartier and more filling than a standard tomato soup, due to the protein from the beans. Next time I would likely amp up the spices a bit more - but maybe I would have gotten that if I had used the creme fraiche topping. All in all, a solid winter soup.
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This year we bought three pumpkins but only got around to carving one of them. As far as I’m concerned, I hope I always remember to keep a Halloween pumpkin around to make Bon Appetempt’s Pumpkin Stuffed with Cheese Fondue as it’s an even better table decoration than a cute glowing face. It was an impressive centerpiece for the smorgasbord for the Scandinavian potluck dinner party I held with a handful of other couples.
Alterations: I used veggie broth and next time would add a little more cream/broth mixture to keep the insides even moister.
Do-again?: Definitely - it looked great and it was also super tasty - the consistency is more savory bread pudding than fondue but I bet a bit more liquid could thin it out. In any case, I’ll definitely make this again next fall at least once, if not several times.
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I keep impulse buying cauliflower with the intent to finally try to make cauli-rice or cauliflower crust pizza, but when it comes down to it, seems like too much work. Thankfully, Fork and Bean’s BBQ Cauliflower Salad gave me another good reason for buying cauliflower in addition to allowing me to eat BBQ without the guilt.
Alterations: Skipped the tortilla chips and don’t think our ranch was technically vegan.
Do-again?: Totally - this was a completely satisfying entree salad with lots of tasty components.
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I often have lots of little odds and ends of veggies left in my fridge. My typical way to use these up is to make a veggie scramble, but Cassie Crave’s recipe for Vegetable Tortellini Bake gave me a new option.
Alterations: I halved the recipe, using just one package of tortellini (pesto filled in my case) and used the veggies we had in our fridge - mushrooms, peas, red pepper, zucchini, chopped tomatoes. I also used veggie broth instead of chicken broth. Since our tortellini had pesto in it, I skipped on adding additional pesto and just added some spices like red pepper flakes and garlic powder to our sauce mixture.
Do-again?: This was easy and satisfying and a good way to use up leftover veggies.
I came across Bon Appetit’s Charleston Grub Crawl when doing food research for a trip to the city and was surprised that one of the most appealing dishes among a list of drool-inducing Southern delicacies was a Corn, Eggplant and Green Curry Salad for Xiao Bao Biscuit, an Asian comfort food restaurant. The early September bounty of corn and eggplant at the farmer’s market made it a perfect seasonal dish to serve at our first dinner party at our new apartment.
Alterations: I cheated and used some green curry paste that I purchased at the store. I also used this crazy purple corn - so pretty!
Do-again?: It was a fair amount of work to grill the corn and leeks on my indoor grill and fry the eggplant, but the result was worth it. This salad was delicious and a big hit with my guests. I would definitely make this again.
A few weekends ago, I spent a weekend with girlfriends in Palm Springs. We each took turns cooking various meals and I was impressed that people really brought their A game. We really feasted. Since we were in the final throes of summer, I decided to be seasonal and make SeriousEats’ Mexican Street Corn Salad.
Alterations: Followed the recipe, using feta vs cotija cheese. Since we were at a rental house, I got creative and snagged a few packets of mayo vs buying a little jar just to use two tablespoons.
Do-again?: This was awesome and disappeared quickly. The smoky corn played off nicely against the spicy jalapeno and the brightness of the lime juice and cilantro.
I’m not much of a sweet breakfast person. I’m actually not much of a breakfast person in general. As in, on a weekday, I’m not usually that hungry for breakfast. But I know it’s good for me and I’m trying to get into better habits. Steel cut oats are supposed to be a great way to start a day and when I saw a few recipes suggesting a savory way to eat oatmeal, I figured I had to try it. I took inspiration from Food52’s recipe for Overnight Miso Porridge and the Sriracha Cookbook’s Savory Sriracha Oatmeal.
Alterations: I made these in real-time, not the overnight preparation but added the same ingredients as suggested in the Food52 recipe, scaled back for one serving. Then I borrowed sriracha and a splash of soy from the other recipe.
Do-again?: I thought this was good, but my boyfriend was perfectly happy to eat his oatmeal with syrup. I would like to try this again and add a runny egg on top. I will definitely be experimenting with other savory oatmeal preparations.
Since we moved back to San Francisco earlier this month, I’ve been craving more warm and comforting food. Might have something to do with the cooler, foggy evenings. In any case, I have had a bag of dried garbanzo beans in my cupboard for a while. I had read a while back about how much better the texture of home-cooked beans vs canned beans is. It takes a while (overnight soak, cook for 90 minutes) but I liked that they were less mushy than some canned ‘banzos. I decided to use the beans in Smitten Kitchen’s Chana Masala.
Alterations: I left out the cumin seeds because I didn’t feel like grinding them. I also swapped lemon juice for amchoor powder as suggested by Smitten Kitchen.
Do-again?: I thought the spice level was going to be a bit higher but this was still tasty and filling. I thought the flavors came through even better when I had this for lunch the next day.
P.S. Happy second birthday Epifurious!
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Since we’re moving from LA to SF in a few weeks, we’ve been on quite a binge going to all the restaurants on our bucket list. This means that the in-between meals require lots of health and veggies. Luckily, my fridge is pretty packed with good produce. Knowing that I had corn and spinach on hand, I looked through my Pinterest file for inspiration. Edible Perspectives Lemony Millet Salad with Corn, Spinach and Chickpeas won the battle.
Alterations: My pantry didn’t have any millet but it did have just about the perfect amount of bulgur. I cooked it in a bit of vegetable broth and prepared the rest of the recipe as directed.
Do-again?: This salad was satisfying with lots of texture and flavor. I would gladly make this again. My weird-grain skeptic of a boyfriend also enjoyed it.
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