A Favorite New Platform

The best part about a cooking challenge is the rare discovery of something great. Forced to think outside your cooking or ingredient box you might find a new technique or ingredient that will soon become part of your regular rotation. This was exactly the case with this chickpea recipe. Having not long ago discovered the delicious socca, I had chickpea flour on hand and was searching for something else to do with it. I also happened to have some smoked salmon that I thought would be great atop a chickpea pancake or similar platform. I thought adding a shredded or … Continue reading

    A Pile of Greens

    Food52 recently had a contest for your best recipes using hearty greens. I had a bazillion ideas, but less free time than ever and a promise to myself to do a better job with priorities. I did, however, have kale and spinach and I do have to eat and feed my family so a few recipes got through. The results of the contest are not yet published, so I will type with crossed fingers. And regardless, these are just good recipes that will continue to be in my repertoire. This first recipe is a silky, umami-rich condiment made with spinach, … Continue reading

      Pickled, toasty, herby obsession

      In my third week of eating along the lines of the VB6 (vegan before 6) meal plan I hit a happy stride with an Ottelenghi-esque salad. A friend had long been trying to get me to try it and I finally had most of the ingredients to give it a go. Here is his original recipe which I read only after attempting to recreate what I had remembered from reading the recipe before. I started by simmering some red onions, carrots and jalapeño in cider vinegar (he used white, no sugar and only marinated), sugar and salt which I then … Continue reading

        Discovering VB6 and It’s Polar Opposite in the Same Month is … Cruel

        So I am reaching the end of week two of VB6, or Vegan Before 6 pm for all you newcomers. Aside from a couple crazy hiccups ranging from an oven thermometer bursting into flames and smoking out huge platters of roasting kabocha and cauliflower to a flat tire at Whole Foods to some plain and simple vegan ennui, I’ve enjoyed the journey so far. As hoped, my creative brain churning has kicked up a notch and I’ve been able to imagine and assemble all sorts of meals of healthy persuasion. My life, in general, feels more mindful and I’ve gone … Continue reading

          Caramel Tofu Banh Mi

          I’m well into my second week of the VB6 plan, minus a couple days falling off the horse (and rolling down a spikey hill into some traffic). I started the week with another big grocery shop for piles of veggies, tofu and some grains and nuts and a list of recipes and meal ideas. On the first day I made a coconut saucy mix of zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, corn and peanuts which I served on the farro/quinoa mixture I had frozen the week before. I was so glad to find that because I would have resorted to making a … Continue reading

            VB6: Week 1 Recap

            Well here I am in week two of VB6. I didn’t post beyond the first couple days last week mainly because some things were just repeats but also because it was the Fourth of July and my good intentions got all out of whack. So here is a recap in addition to some advice. Don’t start a new meatless or less meat diet right before a holiday that brings the whole neighborhood out to the grill to cook MEAT. Don’t go to an event or bar(s) and drink enough to be sufficiently fuzzy the next day that your only real … Continue reading

              Adventures in VB6: Day 2

              This morning I woke up to a velvety bowl of steel cut oats that had cooked slowly overnight in the crock pot. I had made it with almond milk and water and stirred in some almond butter and maple syrup. I know the diet says no white sugar and I’m hoping a touch of maple syrup is ok and if it is not, so be it. I can’t eat oatmeal or other breakfast porridges without some sort of sweetness though I am willing to try weening to just fresh fruit. And I put milk in my coffee again and that … Continue reading

                My Adventures with VB6: Day 1

                I am no stranger to a cooking challenge. My interest began years ago in San Francisco watching the original Iron Chef on public television (KQED?). Briefly we engaged some friends in a swanky cooking club called the One Up Supper Club. But then grownup life took over and somehow it fizzled. Later I enlisted my mom to go shopping at the Asian grocery stores to supply me, my husband, my sister and my niece with a mystery bag which we would cook from in teams. More recently came Meatless March—much harder because of the DENIAL and DURATION—but I did it … Continue reading