Ratatatouille has always been a favorite dish of mine (and I enjoy pronouncing it with my best French accent)–but honestly, I consider it a bit of a pain in the you know where to prepare. I have terrible luck with mandolines, and usually not nearly enough patience to use my chef’s knife to thinly cut a ton of veggies for dinnertime, I usually just find myself opting for another meal instead. And this is unfortunate, because to my tastebuds, ratatouille is really, really good. The way the eggplant, peppers, and zucchini merge into one deliciously fragrant explosion of flavor is quite crave-worthy.
Today I’m excited to share with you a new book from the kitchen of one of my culinary heroes, Martha Stewart. Her latest book, Meatless, is quite unlike her typical tomes in that the entire book revolves around–as the title suggests–meat free recipes. And, even though every single recipe isn’t solely plant based, I can confidently say that most of the recipes within the pages of this beautifully illustrated book are vegan (even marked with a handy “V”), and pretty much all of the non-vegan recipes can easily be made vegan with non-dairy substitutions. There are also a ton of gluten-free recipes, also clearly labeled for your gastronomical enjoyment.
Tonight’s Dinner. It’s also my favorite dish to order at pretty much any Indian restaurant I end up at. I love the variations I’ve had of this dish, which simply translates to spiced okra. Although, I’m admitting right now, this doesn’t taste exactly like authentic Indian cuisine–because, ya know, I’m much better at Polish/German/Irish/American cooking.
But! It’s delicious, and pretty spicy in a mild kinda way. Feel free to add more chili powder to jazz it up. Before attempting to make my own Bhindi Masala, I learned some important tips from Manjula about okra cooking that I never knew the hundred other times I’ve made it. First, after you rinse your okra, be sure to pat them very dry, lest your okra get slimy while cooking. Also, you don’t have to cut your okra into cute little ferris wheels to make this dish. Hers looked pretty kickin’ with the pods cut lengthwise.
Since the weather outside has been too hot for even this heat junkie to handle — with temperatures reaching close to 100 °F — I’ve been avoiding my oven and stove-top and instead looking to water-packed raw fruits and veggies to get me through these sweltering days of summer.
This light summer salad is reminiscent of the pasta salad I used to enjoy as a wee one… except I left out the heavy pasta and replaced it with my fave go-to summer staple: zucchini “noodles”. If you don’t have a spiralizer, a vegetable peeler works great too.
The simplicity of this soup is what makes it so darn delightful. The cilantro imparts a wonderful citrus flavor and pairs well with the dense sweetness of the carrots.
The carrot soup alone is extremely flavorful, so if you have an aversion to cilantro, it’s not essential to add it at the end.
But, of course, if you LOVE cilantro… then by all means, add twice the recommended amount.
Let me start off by extending a heart felt thank you to everyone who left comments and sent emails in support of my cookbook project. I have been working tirelessly on the darned thing and the support from you guys just makes doing it so much more worthwhile. ♥ In fact, some of the responses I received were down right tearjerkers… but I digress.
I woke up this morning determined to create something wonderful with this little acorn squash that had been rolling around on my counter-top for the past few days.
After mixing up all of the ingredients, I had no idea that I had just created my new favorite Autumn treat. I’m serious! This dessert tastes remarkably like a chocolate pumpkin pie, or a pot de créme, or simply what it is: an awesome baked custard (no eggs or cream needed). And it’s so easy to make!
Creamy, rich, and chocolatey, I dare you to eat just one bite.
I seems like ages ago when my husband and I tilled up a large area of grass in our backyard and transplanted our tiny seedlings into a barren patch of dirt. We tended to each little plant with love and waited all summer long to reap the fruits of our labor. Now, our garden is brimming with peppers, okra, cabbage, kale, cucumbers, herbs, and tomatoes.
Green tomatoes, that is. They are taking their sweet time in ripening; and, although I love nothing more than a ripe garden fresh tomato- a bit of impatience culinary nerve came over me.
In all the years I have grown tomatoes, I had never once considered eating the fruit before it ripened. So early yesterday morning, I decided I should create something delicious with my still green and crunchy tomatoes.
I knew I wanted to try a more unorthodox approach than simply frying them up, so I created these delicious turnovers.
Let me just state that I am extremely impressed with these things. In fact, my husband and I were both so enamored with the taste and texture, that we are already planning on making them again. Soon.
Like, maybe tonight.
The thinly sliced tomatoes and onions melded with the nutritional yeast and cumin inside the crispy pocket to create a treat that smells absolutely wonderful while baking in the oven.
And, they tasted so damned good.
Try them… if you’ve never eaten green tomatoes, this is a great intro recipe. Other fillings can be added or subbed in for the ingredients listed, but I really love the flavor of this exact recipe. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Now I wonder if my tomatoes will last long enough to ripen to red? At this point, I couldn’t care less.
My love for Baingan Bharta has turned into a bit of an obsession lately; especially since I mentioned it in my recent post for blueberry salsa. This recipe is an adaption of the link I posted from Manjula’s Kitchen. But, it’s a tad different with the addition of yellow zucchini squash.
The entire dish comes together quite easily, although the mashing of the ingredients while cooking takes a little elbow grease. It works wonders to curb a desperate craving for Baingan Bharta, say… really late at night when everything is closed and the nearest Indian restaurant is 45 miles away.
This cold noodle salad combines a lot of great flavors and textures to make the perfect summertime meal. It also includes my newly discovered friend, the purslane.
These beautiful and nutritious succulent plants are often weeded from folks’ gardens. Last week, as I was weeding my own garden, I came across this little plant that resembled a jade plant. I decided to let it go, as it simply was too beautiful to pull up from the ground. That exact same day, I was researching edible wild plants (one of my fave things to do), and wouldn’t you know it… the plant I left alone turned out to be something that should be in my garden!
Purslanes were apparently one of Ghandi’s favorite foods, and they are quickly becoming one of mine.
I had never heard of them prior to my recent discovery, but the purslane is actually a nutritional powerhouse! Now that I recognize the greatness of this little plant, I have been encouraging it to spread far and wide in my garden. It seems to prefer the company of my kales to any other veggie. Seriously, so would I …
I have never seen a purslane at the grocery store, unlike it’s edible weed friend, the dandelion. Like I said, I had no clue what it was before I almost weeded the poor thing. But, then again, I’m hardly a foodie. Feel free to substitute fresh green peas, spinach or arugula for the purslane. Those veggies aren’t quite as awesome as the humble purslane, but they’ll do.