Monday, January 19, 2015

New Blog Website

Hi, friends! You can now find me at Hop on over to check out new vegetarian and vegan whole-food recipes! I look forward to seeing you there.

Peace, love, and veggies,

Monday, December 29, 2014

Ris-oat-o with Artichokes and a Poached Egg

I entered this recipe in Bob's Red Mill Spar for the Spurtle recipe contest back in July. Yes, I have been holding out on you. Shame on me.

Well, bottom line, I did not win *silent weep*. But you know what: it doesn't matter. They do not know what they're missing. Warming risotto-style oats, topped with a splash of acidity from marinated artichokes, and a pillow of creamy egg. Ah, heaven. My mouth is watering just thinking of that oozing yolk... Looks like I will have to reunite again with this recipe, which is utterly perfect for a cozy winter night at home. Paired with a leafy side salad and a glass of wine, it would also steal the show at a small dinner party. I say small because bulk poached eggs is not a thing, unless you have one (or three) of these little numbers

This was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe that is included in her book, Meatless. There, however, it was made with creamy polenta. The boyfriend and I tried it out one night when we were looking for an easy-peasy dinner. Some polenta, artichokes, an egg. How good can it be with so few ingredients and such few steps? Lo and behold, our eyes bulged open at the first bite. So. simple. yet, so good. Oh, Martha.

I hope this recipe also makes your eyes bulge. Wishing you and your family all the best this holiday season <3

Ris-oat-o with Artichokes and a Poached Egg
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 4


  • 2 tsp olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion, diced 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 2 cans artichokes in water, drained, and halved 
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste) 
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning 
  • 1 cup of Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats (see note)
  • 1/2 cup white wine 
  • 3.5-4 cups vegetable broth 
  • 4 eggs 
  • A splash of white vinegar (optional) 
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese 


  1. Heat the 2 tsp of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. While the oil is heating, marinate the artichokes: mix the artichokes, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, italian seasoning and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic. Sautee 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add the oats and sautee for one minute. Add the white wine and stir for a few seconds. Then, add 3 cups broth. Stir. Put a lid on the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. 
  3. Once boiling, reduce it to simmer, with the lid on. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. About 10 minutes into the ris-oat-o simmering process, fill another medium pot with water and bring to a boil on a second burner. Add a splash of white vinegar to the water (optional). Reduce the water to a simmer. Crack an egg into a small bowl and gently slide it into the simmering water. Swirl the water to keep the whites together. Repeat with remaining eggs. Poach the eggs for 4-5 minutes. 
  5. By this time, the ris-oat-o's 20 minutes should be up. Check to see if additional broth is needed (1/2 cup to a cup), and add if so. Taste to see if the rice is cooked. If not, continue to cook for 5-8 minutes more. Stir in the cheese. 
  6. Ladle out ris-oat-o into 4 bowls, and top each bowl with artichokes and a poached egg. Savor. 

Notes: 1) I made this recipe for a Bob's Red Mill oatmeal recipe contest, so of course I suggested using their brand. However, any brand will work just fine. I adore all Bob's Red Mill products, so if you can find their Steel Cut Oats, I highly recommend using them. And, no, I am not being endorsed to say any of this! 2)You will likely have leftover artichokes, which are divine atop salads and pastas. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Honey-Mustard Broccoli & Apples with Pine Nuts

A seemingly simple recipe. Honey-mustard, broccoli, apples. Nothing revolutionary. Or so I thought until I took my first bite of this blow-your-socks-off veggie dish. What I failed to realize on my prejudiced analysis of the recipe was how sponge-like broccoli crowns are: perfect little mops for any and all saucey substance. 

Fishing through Mollie Katzen's The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without, (pictured on the left) with broccoli in hand and striving for a quick side-dish, I settled on this recipe. After devouring the whole bowl of this in two days, I am convinced Katzen really is the Queen of Vegetables (as if I should have had doubts?) I first chopped the broccoli, and saved the stems for some other dish. I've been adding them to soups and salads, but Katzen also has a pickled broccoli stem recipe in this book I may need to get on. 

You can also see pictured here my kick-ass KitchenAid knife. This is one of the sharpest, most balanced knives I have ever used, and it only cost me 10 bucks at TJ Maxx. Yes, I'm sure you just did a double take. KitchenAid isn't even known for having good knives! But really. If you ever see one of these at TJ's or Marshall's, pick it up. I haven't seen any on my latest trips, so maybe other people are catching onto their excellence.

So, here's where Mollie gets crafty: she slices the red onions, lines the colander with them, and then pours the boiled broccoli and the boiling water overtop (I swear there are red onions in the bottom of that colander!). This step softens the onions and takes out their astringent bite, leaving them sweeter, but still crisp. 

A honey mustard vinaigrette is made in the bottom of a large bowl. I tweaked the dressing recipe just a tad, using a bit less oil with success.

I also thought this dish could use a bit of crunch, and added some toasted pine nuts. Super buttery and aromatic, they added a nice contrast to the softer broccoli. However, their tiny size did make them susceptible to falling to the bottom of the bowl. Sliced, toasted almonds may be a better choice if you are concerned about this.

This was enjoyed as a side dish to baked potatoes stuffed with buffalo chickpeas + blue cheese, which were the bomb. It was quite the dinner. The leftover broccoli was a great lunch the next day, mixed with some blue cheese, spinach, and protein of choice (me with chickpeas, the boyfriend with chicken). Om nom nom.

Honey-Mustard Broccoli & Apples with Pine Nuts
Adapted from Mollie Katzen
Serves 4


  • 1 large bunch broccoli
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium apple, cut in half, cored, and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds
  • pepper, to taste
  • blue cheese, optional
  1. Cut the stems off of the broccoli and set aside for another use. Cut the broccoli into mouth-size pieces. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and boil for 3 minutes, or until bright green.
  2. Set a colander in the sink. Line with red onion slices. Pour the broccoli and boiling water over the onions in the colander. Drain and shake off any excess water.
  3. Make vinaigrette in bottom of a large bowl: mix together vinegar, mustard, garlic, and salt with a whisk. Then add in honey and olive oil. Whisk briskly until emulsified.Dump in broccoli, onion, apple and coat with the dressing.
  4. If your nuts are not already toasted, heat a frying pan to medium-high and add nuts. They should be ready in 3-4 minutes. Check often! Add nuts, pepper, and optional cheese to the broccoli mixture. Devour!
Note: This dish is just as good the next day, straight from the fridge. Double-batch, anyone?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Raw Cranberry-Orange Relish

I have been hiding something from you, friends. Something orangey, sweet, very tart, and dangerously addictive. It is truly a sin that I didn't share this recipe a week before Thanksgiving, so that you could have whipped it up to sit cozy alongside your turkey and root vegetables. Instead, time has escaped me. Part of it is the holiday season, and part of it was me being too occupied sneaking spoonfuls of this sweet-sour magenta crack. Open the fridge. Spoonful. Close the fridge. Maybe just one more spoonful?

This recipe takes all of 2 minutes if you have a Vitamix, and all of 5 minutes if you have a food processor. The Vitamix produces more of a puree (Vitamix version pictured here), while the food processor allows for a textured relish. Both will lure you into their jars at all hours. 

All you need are 3 ingredients: cranberries, an orange, and honey or agave. Plop them all in your machine of choice, and whiz away. There are only a few minutes between you and cranberry la-la land. 

I've been using this relish on errrrything: mixed with yogurt, plopped on salads, accompanying pumpkin pie, blobbed on sweet potatoes, and of course, with my Thanksgiving leftovers. I forgot to bring this home to my parent's house for Thanksgiving, so I even whipped up a batch there and stuffed the leftovers in the freezer for eating with Christmas dinner. Yes, this relish is that necessary.

Raw Cranberry-Orange Relish
Makes 2 cups


  • 1 bag of cranberries, preferably organic
  • 1 orange, NOT peeled, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey (see note)
  1. Wash cranberries and orange. If using a food processor, chop the orange into 1 inch pieces. If using a high-speed blender, you can leave it whole. 
  2. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blitz until combined. A food processor will leave you with a chunkier relish, while a high-speed blender will produce a puree. If using a blender, you may want to use the tamper to push the orange into the blades. Enjoy!
Note: 1) I have used both agave and honey with success. Using 1/4 cup sweetener may not be enough for some folks- it produces a very tangy relish. If you like it sweeter, try 1/3 cup agave/honey. 2) Try to use organic produce for this recipe, as you are eating the whole orange (you are eating the peel!) and whole cranberries. 3) My Aunt Mary (who, along with my Aunt Mina, inspired this recipe) says she also includes a pear and apple. I imagine this adds a nice, natural sweetness.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Orange, Artichoke, and Pistachio Salad : A Thanksgiving Salad Story

I created this festive salad to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. As you probably would have guessed, the fate of any salad on Thanksgiving day is a sad one. People scurry on down the line, piling high the mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, turkey, and stuffing, and ladle on a river of gravy, for good measure. Then they get to the salad, glance at their burgeoning plates with one eyebrow askew, walk briskly by the giant bowl of greenery, and sit down. I can't blame them- I did the same thing! It is Thanksgiving, and no one ever says, "My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the salad" after all. (Thanksgiving salads are weeping all over America, people). 

However, this is a delicious salad, Thanksgiving or any other wintry day. It contrasts navel orange acidity, with gems of salted pistachios, little bursts of sugary-tart dried cranberries, and the je-ne-sais-quoi meatiness of artichoke hearts. This mixture lays atop a bed of romaine and spring mix, and is lined with a halo of chopped parsley, adding a touch more brightness.  

Here everything is, all lined up (sans glorious orange). 

I whipped up an easy balsamic vinaigrette to go with this, but I imagine a cider vinaigrette, honey mustard, or yogurt dressing of sorts would go with this beautifully. If you are so inclined, chunks of feta would make for a nice briney addition.

Luckily, a bunch of people took bagfuls of this home, so no, I won't be eating this salad for every meal this week. 

Orange, Artichoke, and Pistachio Salad
Serves 4-15 (4: main course salad, 15: side salad)


  • 2 romaine hearts, washed and chopped into bitesize strips
  • 4-6 cups of spring mix
  • 1/2 English cucumber, chopped into half-moons
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped 
  • 2 oranges
  • 3/4 of a 15 oz can of quartered artichoke hearts
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup shelled, salted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Take an extremely large bowl, and fill it with the romaine and spring mix. Toss together. Layer on the cucumber and celery.
  2. Using a sharp knife, peel the orange by slicing off strips of peel, being careful not to remove too much flesh. Now, glide your knife close to a white segment separator. Glide it on the other side of the segment, and remove the segment. Voila, a lovely peeled orange piece with no nasty white pith. Repeat this until the whole orange is sectioned off. (My sister said what remains looks like a fish skeleton. Mmm, yummy.)Repeat with the other orange.
  3. Lay the orange pieces on the salad, along with the artichoke hearts.
  4. Sprinkle on the dried cranberries and pistachios. Top with red onion, parsley, salt, and pepper. (Hold off on the salt if you are not serving this right away.) Dress with balasmic vinaigrette, recipe below. Feast on!
Garlic-kissed Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 1 to 1.25 cups

  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
  1. Add everything to a dressing shaker. Use the lower olive oil amount if you like your dressing with a bit more acidity. Shake, shake, shake until a thick, glossy dressing emerges.
Notes: If you are serving this as a main dish salad, add a protein component, such as cooked lentils or chickpeas. A nice, crusty piece of bread with a schmear of butter, or a baked sweet potato completes the meal. I served this with balsamic vinaigrette, but any other vinaigrette, honey mustard dressing, or yogurt dressing, would go well.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WIAW: Long Run Edition

This week, I am joining the What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) party again over at Peas and Crayons.

I have been training for the Philadelphia Marathon half-marathon (I know, redundant, right?) and thus have been doing a long run each weekend. This past weekend, I ran 11 miles in preparation for the race this week. See below for an account of my eats that day. 

My day started off with my typical huge cup o' joe. I've been enjoying Trader Joe's Wintry Blend coffee these days. 

For morning sustenance, I had this frosty bowl: frozen berries + frozen banana + cucumber + 1/2 scoop Vanilla Sunwarrior + 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Vanilla Chai + almond milk, topped with raw oats and almond butter.

For lunch, I downed this butternut squash wrap, which consisted of a large whole wheat tortilla, hunks of butternut squash, a few tablespoons of pecan butter, and a shake of cinnamon. (At this point in the picture, I had eaten 3/4 of it because I forgot to take a picture. Blogger fail.) I was going on my long run shortly after lunch, so I wanted something carby and easily digestible. This did the trick!

Around mile 7 on the run, I bursted out this tasty GU. It tasted just like peanut butter frosting. A-maz-ing. This is right up there with my other favorite GU flavors: Espresso Love and Chocolate Outrage. 

11 miles completed! (Yes, I am slow- don't mock me. However, I never stopped my watch, and took multiple walking breaks)

Dorky post-run pic.

Upon arriving back, I had a glass of coconut water to rehydrate. Coconut water is rich in magnesium and potassium for muscle repair. 

For dinner, the boyfriend and I were starving our faces off, and whipped up this quick and hearty Thai Peanut Stir-Fry. It was basically a bunch of fresh veggies (included protein-packed edamame), stir-fried and mixed with a homemade peanut sauce that incorporated thai curry paste. It was all served on bed of Jasmine brown rice, and topped with green onions and julienned basil. I had this bowl, and half of another. 

Dessert was a bowl of greek yogurt + banana + boysenberry jam + peanut butter.

About an hour later, I had a second dessert: a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie (Angela's recipe) and a glass of homemade almond milk. 

That's it, folks. Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my long-run eats!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Borani Kadoo (Afghan Curried Pumpkin)

One dark, rainy night, the boyfriend and I ventured to Paradise. Kabab Paradise, that is. Our elbows resting on the cool tabletop, we sat in a large, sparsely decorated room that was squirming with children and families. Intermittent baby cries could be heard, and a general hub-bub muffled our ears. People were walking about, and servers were bringing large trays of food to each of the tables, for which you were given a number after ordering at the counter.

Your typical hole-in-the-wall, mom-and-pop quick food joint was my impression as we sat at the table, waiting for our platters to arrive. The boyfriend assured me that this place is much-beloved by his coworkers, who come often to gorge themselves on one of Paradise's infamous platters. Our entrees arrived- both of us ordering the falafel gyro platter, heaped with rice, a carrot slaw, chunks of falafel, and amply doused in yogurt sauce. Okay, folks- getting a bit real here- even though this was tasty, it was very heavy, and a bit too greasy for me. However, 4.5 stars on Yelp as rated by 196 people really cannot lie. Call me an outlier; I digress.

Anyway, due to this heaviness, I wanted a little something else that was a bit fresher. Kadoo Qorma, aptly described as "Pumpkin (Vegetarian Meal)", piqued my interest. When do I not like pumpkin? Really never. And so it was ordered. Upon arrival, it was not what I expected- more of a mash of pumpkin, served with warm Afghan bread, and drizzled with a stark white yogurt sauce. Pressing the warm bread into the garlicky, sweet pumpkin and the dabs of creamy yogurt made me close my eyes and sigh. The boyfriend's eyes perked up, too. We were indeed in Paradise, and finished the entire plate despite having already eaten half of our platters. It was that damn good. 

It may be obvious to you by now that I clearly felt the need to replicate it in my own kitchen. After much diligent Googling, with "Kadoo Qorma" not resulting in much of anything, I discovered that the recipe is often called Borani Kadoo. With that stealthy information, I was able to scrounge up a couple of recipes, but they all seemed to be based off of one: Kate Sullivan Moford's San Francisco Chronicle article, from 2008 (Come on people, was 2008 the hey-day of the Borani Kadoo recipe- at least for English-speakers? That's 6 years ago. The web needs more Borani Kadoo recipes!). So, using Moford's and Veggie Belly's (who also uses Moford's as inspiration), I created mine, eager to spread the Kadoo love. 

First, I peeled the pumpkin by shaving off the hard skin with a sharp knife. Ah, nakey pumpkin! Then I chopped it into chunks, mixed in garlic, ginger, and spices, and simmered it until soft. Borani Kadoo was born. 

I paired it with roasted green cauliflower, and scarlet runner beans drizzled in tahini (+ toast as pictured in first photo). A pumpkin-garlic mouth explosion. 

Borani Kadoo (Afghan Curried Pumpkin)
Serves 4


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, pureed
  • 3/4 tbsp minced garlic (or 0.5 tbsp if garlic averse)
  • 3/4 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 2 tbsp sugar (or 3 tbsp for added sweetness)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 4" wedges
  1. Heat oil in large skillet. Add pureed onion, and sautee for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, tumeric, coriander, and cayenne and cook for 2 minutes. Then add in the tomato paste, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil. Add in the pumpkin, and reduce heat. 
  3. Simmer the pumpkin, covered, for 20 minutes, or until very tender. Add more water if needed when cooking. Drizzle with garlic yogurt sauce, as detailed below. Happy feasting!

Yogurt Sauce
  1. Combine 1 cup lowfat or full fat yogurt with 1 clove of minced garlic. Salt to taste. Drizzle over kadoo and enjoy.