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Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

In Food, Recipes on March 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm

This past month, I’ve only been able to handle cooking if it is super-duper easy. My current go-to side dish is this roasted curried cauliflower, a riff on a favorite from A.O.C. restaurant in Los Angeles. I serve this alongside brown rice and chicken cooked in an Indian Life Tikka Masala simmer sauce from Whole Foods. (I prefer the Indian Life brand to Seeds of Change.)

The simmer sauce is a far cry from the sublime (and involved) Chicken Tikka Masala I loved making pre-pregnancy, and someday I’ll hopefully have enough energy to return to cooking good Indian, but in the meantime, at 9 months pregnant, opening a jar is fine by me.

But back to the cauliflower. I promise you this dish will be a grand slam at the dinner table. There is so much flavor and comfort, which seems particularly surprising given how easy it is to make. Let me know what you think!

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower florets (preferably orange cauliflower if you can find it)

1 medium yellow onion, quartered

3 teaspoons curry powder

3 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place cauliflower florets and onion in large roasting pan. In a bowl, whisk together spices, salt, oil and vinegar. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in single layer in pan.

Roast vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Serve.

Lemon-Rosemary White Bean Dip

In Food on April 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I keep a couple of cans of cannelini beans on hand at all times in case of impromptu cocktails with friends or neighbors. This simple no-cook recipe for Rosemary-Lemon White Bean Dip comes from Lidia Bastianich, and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. The secret is lemon zest.

Any leftover dip is fantastic the next day, thickly spread on good bread with roasted peppers or tuna.

Fusilli with Kale and Cauliflower

In Food, Recipes on April 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Our weekly CSA farm box continues to throw out more challenges for using kale. Which is a good thing; we should all eat more kale. In fact, my friend Andrea has a weekly kale night. I riffed on a Suzanne Goin recipe from Sunday Suppers, but simplified it a lot.

1 pound cavolo nero, or dinosaur kale

3/4 to 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 sprig rosemary

1 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 medium head cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets

1 pound fusilli pasta

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

4-6 cloves garlic, minced or chopped

1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

Grated parm (optional)

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch kale for 2 minutes. Drain and cool greens on baking sheet. When they have cooled, squeeze out excess water.

Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add rosemary sprig and red chile flakes and cook for about 1 minute. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add kale and a couple more tablespoons of olive oil and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often.

While kale is cooking, boil cauliflower for 4-5 minutes, until just tender. Remove with slotted spoon and reserve pot of boiling water to use for cooking pasta. After kale has been cooking about 20 minutes, add cauliflower, thyme and garlic to kale/onions in Dutch oven. Add additional olive oil as needed. Cook 8-10 minutes, until cauliflower starts to caramelize, scraping pan often with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile add pasta to pot of boiling water and cook to desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add drained pasta to vegetables and toss to combine with vegetables. Cook for a couple minutes and add 1/2 cup pasta water to pan. Stir to combine, and add more water if necessary. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in toasted pine nuts and add additional olive oil (and, if using, grated parm) if desired. Serve.

Bucatini with Romanesco, Mint and Capers

In Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A., Recipes on February 11, 2011 at 9:58 pm

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). For $25/week, each Wednesday I pick up a huge bag of produce from local farmers at the nearby Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

I can’t tell you how much I dig this—I totally look forward to Wednesdays now. And have been having so much fun challenging myself to use everything in my haul each week. It kind of forces your hand as a cook. Like this week, when we discovered a gorgeous chartreuse sci-fi head of romanesco. Sometimes called Romanesco Broccoli or Romanesco Cauliflower, it’s a form of cauliflower with a slightly nutty flavor. And it’s beautiful beyond belief.

The conical florets remind me of Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour. I mean, if Gaultier were going to design a vegetable, surely it would be le romanesco, non?

I’d like to think that Jean-Paul would approve of this romanesco pasta creation, which I’d like to humbly say was something of an inspiration. And I realized as I was serving it that—added bonus—it’s vegan, unless of course you liberally sprinkle it with shaved Pecorino Romano as we did.

Bucatini with Romanesco, Mint and Capers

1 head of romanesco

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons red chili flakes

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped capers

1 lb bucatini, cooked to desired doneness

Salt and pepper, to taste

Break off romanesco florets and soak in ice water for about 10 minutes, to preserve color.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. In a separate skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Sauté minced garlic, red pepper flakes, mint and capers for 30 seconds to a minute.

Remove from heat. When water is boiling, drain romanesco from ice bath and add to boiling water for 3-5 minutes, until al dente. (Don’t overcook—you want a little texture from the florets.) Drain and toss in skillet with garlic and mint mixture.

Mix with pasta, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

The Onion Eater

In Food on November 22, 2010 at 10:08 pm

My father, who is the cook in our family, does not like onions. AT ALL. And so my sister and I grew up with nary an allium in sight. Which of course made onions all the more beguiling, the forbidden fruit—or plant—whose name we dare not speak. And so it will be quietly that I introduce a gorgeous bowl of Glazed Pearl Onions in Port with Bay Leaves at our Thanksgiving table this year. The recipe ran in Bon Appétit a couple years ago and has been cunningly tempting me ever since. I made a test-run for dinner tonight, served alongside a pan-fried pork chop, and let me tell you the fall from grace is worth every bite. The port-balsamic glaze is nothing short of heavenly and will add a bright note to all the earthy and comforting flavors at Thursday’s table. It was also quite, quite good drizzled on a pork chop.

The comments on the recipe all say that the flavors continue to develop over a day or two, so I’ll be making another batch tomorrow for Thursday’s feast. You do have to carve out a bit of time. First the onions soak in hot water for an hour before you peel them.

Oh, and I used red pearl onions instead of white simply because they have a slightly milder flavor plus I thought they were prettier. After they’ve soaked and the skins have been peeled, the onions simmer in port and broth with bay leaves for half an hour.

And then the onions rest while the sauce is reduced to a glaze. Total time commitment is a little over two hours from start to finish (including soaking and peeling, which is something of a pain), but if the payoff is worth the effort.

Sugar-Free Granola

In Baby Love, Food, Recipes on September 2, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I’m not one of those meanie moms who never lets her kid eat ice cream or popsicles, but I do make every best effort not to give those treats to Tiny G myself. Which makes me only a little bit mean. At school and other people’s homes what are you going to do? (And seriously, what’s childhood without sugary fun?) But at home, we try to limit his sugar intake and at breakfast that can be something of a challenge. I discovered this sugar-free granola recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery. It’s a compendium of recipes from the rustic Rose Bakery in Paris. I’m not going to lie, Rose Bakery’s honey granola is extra delicious, but for sugar-free I don’t think you can beat this one. Tiny G likes it sprinkled over plain yogurt. So does his mama.

Rose Bakery’s Sugar Free Granola

Adapted from Breakfast Lunch Tea, by Rose Carraarini

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup whole almonds (I chop them in a mini Cuisinart so they’re easier to manage for Tiny G)

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds (I substitute golden flax seeds)

1 tablespoon wheat germ

1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice

4 tablespoons sunflower oil

pinch of cinnamon

dried or fresh fruits such a figs, apricots or blueberries

plain yogurt, to serve

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix oats, seeds, wheatgerm, apple juice, sunflower oil and cinnamon in a bowl, then spread out evenly on a baking tray.

Bake, turning often, for between 45 minutes and 1 hour.

Remove from oven and leave until cool. Add dried or fresh fruits and serve with yogurt.

Grilled Red Onions with Balsamic and Lemon Thyme

In Food, Recipes on June 15, 2010 at 10:03 am

Did you know that red onions are a rich source of flavonoids and phenolics, which means they are great antioxidants? We like to throw red onions in the mix whenever possible, and Mario Batali’s Thick-Sliced Onions with Lemon Time is one of our favorite summer grilling recipes. They are great alongside a grilled buffalo New York steak.

Thick-Sliced Onions with Lemon Thyme

Adapted from Mario Batali’s Italian Grill

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh lemon thyme

2 pounds large red onions

About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat a gas grill for direct cooking over high heat.

Combine vinegar, garlic and thyme in small saucepan and heat until fragrant and just beginning to steam; don’t let it boil. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut onions into 1/2-inch-thick slices and lay out on baking sheet. Brush on both sides with 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place onions on hottest part of grill and cook, unmoved, for 4 to 5 minutes, until just charred on first side. Turn and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more, or until softened and lightly charred on the second side. Transfer to baking sheet or platter.

Whisk remaining 1/4 cup olive oil into vinegar mixture and drizzle over onions. Serve warm or at room temperature.

A Healthier Work Week

In Food on April 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

Despite my best intentions, I end up eating a lot of stuff I probably shouldn’t. Typically my transgressions involve Mexican food or some sort of dumpling. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But in order to make way for my next pot of Su Jae Bi, I’m trying to eat more veggies and lean protein during the week with the idea that on weekends, the gloves are off. Yesterday, I hit up the Plummer Park Farmers Market in West Hollywood, where I filled my bag with fava beans, artichokes, squash blossoms, flowering rapini, asparagus, green garlic, some feta and a couple filets of local yellowtail. Oh – and a really pretty bouquet of anemones for $4.

Last night, while Mr Foodinista grilled the yellowtail, I steamed a few artichokes using my dad’s simple method. Slice off tops of artichokes, and carve off tough outer leaves at bottom. Fill a pot with about an inch of water. Smash a few garlic cloves and throw them in. Squeeze half a lemon into the water.

Place artichokes in water and drizzle with your favorite olive oil. We grab a half gallon jug of this stuff from the Napa Olive Oil Company every time we visit my parents up north. It’s really mellow and great for cooking.

Simmer artichokes for 40 minutes or until tender. Squeeze a little more lemon on top and enjoy, guilt free.

Make Your Own Vegetable Stock

In Food, Recipes on March 31, 2010 at 8:21 am

Yesterday I was making a soup that called for vegetable stock, and since I had all the ingredients I thought I’d give it a go. The resulting broth tasted so rich, and I love that it didn’t come out of a can. Active time is about 20 minutes, and then you leave the broth to simmer for an hour and a half. The recipe makes about 3 quarts, so you can freeze it until you’re ready to use.

Vegetable Stock, adapted from The Jimtown Store Cookbook

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large yellow onion, sliced

2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks

4 celery ribs with leaves, cut into 1-inch lengths

3 large garlic cloves, mashed

4 quarts water

1/2 bunch (4 ounces) flat-leaf parsley, stems and leaves

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the water, parsley, salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and thyme. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours.

Cool stock, then pour into strainer set over bowl. Press hard on the solids with back of spoon to extract as much of the liquid as possible. You should have about 3 quarts. (If you have much more than this, return to pot and simmer until reduced to 3 quarts.)

Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.

Spice Up My Salad

In Food, Recipes on March 30, 2010 at 10:44 am

Believe me when I say this Spicy Lime and Avocado Vinaigrette will change your life. The recipe comes from Jimmy Shaw of Loteria, and he generously shared it with Bon Appétit last September. I made this salad to take to a neighbor’s barbecue (it is an undisputed fact that our neighbor Chris grills the best carne asada in town—any town) and promised to share the recipe. Don’t get scared by the number of ingredients. It all comes together pretty quickly (especially if you use cayenne for pepitas instead of toasting & grinding peppers), but warning: this salad disappears just as fast.


9 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced peeled seeded avocado
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup unsalted shelled raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 garlic clove
3/4 teaspoon minced seeded serrano chile

To make vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.


4 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup unsalted shelled raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Finely grind chiles in small spice mill or in mortar with pestle. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and stir until evenly toasted (seeds will pop), about 5 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with sugar, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon chile de árbol powder. Toss to coat. Transfer pumpkin seeds to bowl and cool.


1 5-ounce package mixed baby greens
2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, sliced
1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
1 medium jicama, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices, then 1/3-inch sticks
1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups coarsely crumbled cotija cheese or feta cheese (about 7 ounces)

To assemble salad, place greens in very large bowl. Add avocados, tomatoes, cucumber, jicama, and onion. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and spicy pepitas.