Roasting chickpeas makes an extremely simple and crispy snack. This recipe is for barbeque flavored chickpeas, but any of your favorite seasonings will work well.
On Wednesday, the New York Times published The End of Meat is Here an Op-ed by Jonathan Safron Foer. The piece raised many important and problematic points about the current food system in the United States. I recommend you read it to pontificate your own daily food choices and the subsequent social, economic, environmental, and physical impact.
In the early 2000’s after a new diagnosis my mom began cooking more plant based meals for the family, which led me to become both a vegetarian and a Dietitian. In the last few years my approach to eating has been Food Freedom and I’ve since returned to meat, but I haven’t stopped wondering about its ethics. The article prompted a lot of questions and conversations for me in the last couple of days. Why is it so hard for so many to reduce their meat consumption? Why do some people fly into a rage when confronted with the realities of the industrialization of meat and dairy? Why are so many indifferent? Amidst these conversations there were two sentiments that kept getting repeated:
1. Meat tastes so good and I don’t feel satisfied without it.
2. I don’t know how to make plant based food taste good.
This felt like a creative challenge to me as an ex-vegetarian who went to culinary school. The trick to getting satisfaction out of meatless meals is finding your way to Umami, the elusive 5th taste that is naturally present in meat and dairy, but takes much more coaxing from tofu and kale. It’s that thing that separates the nopales from the pork belly, that you can’t put your finger on, but sways your taco order towards the pork.
Enter my Vegan Umami Bean Burgers.
Toasting bread crumbs is an exceptionally easy way to elevate a dish or bring new life to leftovers. Earlier in Quarantine, I was channeling the wartime food writer MFK Fisher, for fear of wasting something that could have been eaten or otherwise wringed for flavor. (See: this post on candied orange peels.) I had a couple of big, New York Bagels lose their freshness so I took them to my box grater and turned them into crumbs. Store bought crumbs will toast just as nicely, and will save your arm from the workout. If you’re gluten-free you can substitute the bread crumbs for finely ground nuts, like almonds or cashews.
It's officially bowl season and this soup is one of my all time favorites to kick off the cool weather with. Chicken Orzo Soup used to be one of my favorite dishes to eat when I worked in a little Greek restaurant called My Greek Kitchen back in my college days. It's so warming and bright, nourishing and satisfying that when I moved to the city, and stopped eating meat I had to find a way to recreate it. I'm sharing an easy flexitarian recipe for the meatless and chicken version.
I'm a little embarrassed at how long it's been since I've written, so don't mind me as I sheepishly wiggle my way back into this space. But, whoa lots has happened. Birthdays, graduations, internships. Seasons have changed. Twice!
Nonetheless, I've found my way back and after last week's heat wave I'm not hesitating to stock my freezer with some refreshing and satiating cold treats. I've been gobbling up my favorite summer fruit for many weeks--CHERRIES. I've also been on a big tahini kick. It was only a matter of time before the two of them came together to create beautiful and delicious cherry-tahini babies. Both have been the stars of my smoothies this summer, and after nearly bursting into flames while walking the sweltering New York City sidewalks I had a revelation-FREEZE IT.
Sweet Italian Tempeh “Sausage” in Creamy Sauce with Tomatoes, Kale & Banza Rotini (vegan/gluten-free)
Remember a few weeks ago when I was a bit complain-y about things feeling slow and not having much momentum in the new year? I've been so busy since then that I barely do. Between school, cooking for clients, and the teeny tiny social life that I'm trying to maintain, I haven't had much time to come up for air.
I did, however, make time to develop this super creamy, gluten-free, vegan recipe for Banza.
It's officially the New Year and as far as I can tell, or at least based on what social media tells me, everyone is sprinting out of the 2019 gates with one arm raised in resolution glee and the other clutching their new Whole30 cookbook. Or paleo. Or keto. Or a Meditation Guide, or Atlas or whatever new thing they've pledged themselves to this year. And I'm just sitting over here groggy and foggy wondering what day it is and how I'm going to create a blog with interesting content and make enough money to live the comfortable life I'm used to living, and learn new things and meet new people, and be happy doing what I thought I'd be happy doing instead of the thing I was doing and generally down spiraling in my mind while Instagram images of everyone that seems to be doing it better wash over me.
Every year in December, for as long as I can remember my family has gathered around the table for one of our most cherished traditions--making Christmas cookies. For over 30 years we've cut out sugar cookies together and decorated them with festive frosting, sprinkles and sparkles. My parents started this ritual when they were first married in 1980, and continued it with me and my sister so we could choose our favorite creations to leave out for Santa. Some years flour wars broke out, while other years called for our full attention to make the most impressively detailed treats, which usually lead to gingerbread men with globs of frosting dunked in sprinkles by the time we reached for the last ones. One year, under the mischievous guidance of my dad, we coated a tree shaped cookie with cayenne pepper and watched giggling and wide eyed as a family friend popped the whole thing into his mouth. Tears formed in his eyes and his face turned bright red as we ran away laughing, leaving a glass of milk on the table.
At the end of 2017 I spent a lot of time reflecting on the year I had and for the first time I set intentions for the year to come. Rather than using the popular "New Year, New Me" platform, I chose a few words that I could use as my guide and my anchor throughout 2018 to grow into a better version of myself. One of those words was "evolve." Nearly a year after setting that intention, I sit here basking in the the glow from the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm simultaneously surprised and not surprised at all to see how this word has manifested in my life throughout the year.
I'm a Registered Dietitian and Personal Chef in Brooklyn, New York. I grew up around the dinner table, and believe that food is intricately woven through all of our stories. It holds memories of home, childhood, and beliefs; it comforts us, nourishes us, and creates a centerpiece to gather around.