Sometimes it’s the little things, like Taco Tuesday on Cinco de Mayo, that really make me happy. I had other plans for dinner Tuesday, but strolling through Whole Foods with their huge displays of nachos and salsa samples, I succumbed to the power of suggestion and picked up a few taco ingredients. One thing I didn’t pick up? Taco seasoning. I love mixing my own tweak-able, MSG-free (you’d be surprised how many ingredient lists include hidden names for MSG), version. Continue reading
We spent last Christmas up in Toronto with Geoff’s family, and while there (hunkering down in the house, out of the cold and snow) I picked up his Mom’s copy of Jamie’s Food Revolution and read it from cover to cover. Geoff and I already have quite a collection of Jamie Oliver cookbooks but this is not one I would normally buy — it just seems too simple and basic. But the more I read it, the more I realized, these are the meals I need to be making now. They’re just easy, get-some-good-food-on-the-table meals.
Still I resisted. We left Toronto and I looked up a few of the recipes online. Then I checked the book out from the library, and had it overdue, and re-checked it out again until it was overdue once again. And then, to salvage my relationship with the library, I went ahead and bought the cookbook. I mean, I don’t use half the cookbooks I own as much as I had used this borrowed one, so I figured I might as well add it to my bookshelf. Continue reading
I know, I know, this soup really doesn’t look like much. That’s what I think every time I make this, but it’s also why I’m always so surprised when I take my first bite. Mmm, yes, lentils are good. They make amazing soup that’s healthy, filling, budget-friendly and delicious.
I always struggle with lunches. When I worked in an office building I usually bought my lunch (I miss Chelsea Market so much!), and one of my favorite lunch stops was Hale and Hearty Soups. You can always count on a humble cup of soup to make an easy, satisfying lunch. At home I make large batches of soup so I can freeze the leftovers in single serving containers (and ice cube trays for Zoe) — a perfect lunch solution. Continue reading
I don’t know why this vegetarian chili recipe from the January 2003 issue of Bon Appétit magazine caught my attention, but I do remember making it right away for a Super Bowl party at my aunt and uncle’s house. I was a senior at Wash U, I thought maybe I wanted to be a chef, I was totally addicted to food magazines and espresso drinks, and I had never tasted polenta. Oh, and I made this chili for a group of enthusiastic meat eaters (myself included). I think it went over surprisingly well…or at least I remember being pretty impressed.
Since then I’ve made it over and over again, partly because it’s so darn easy and also healthy, but mostly because I really, really love it. Something about the cumin with the black beans and the spice all make perfect chili magic. You can make it with or without the espresso, make it as spicy or as mild as you like, serve it with all the toppings or by itself, and it’s always delicious.
The very best thing about this chili? I found out this week that Zoe loves it. Yes, score one for “mom meals”! I set a small saucepan on a separate burner while I was mixing this up and made her batch without any chili, espresso (heavens, I can’t even imagine!), and less salt. I pureed it a bit when it was cooked, and she gobbled it all down. Continue reading