Delicious Vegan Breakfast Hash

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Question:

What do you serve your family when they visit for Thanksgiving?

I’m not talking about the big meal. I’m sure you do the whole turkey and pie thing. (Or maybe you like to order takeout Chinese, who knows?)

I’m talking about the rest of the meals. When your out-of-town family comes to stay for more than just a few hours…how do you work out feeding them while you are also prepping for the main festivities?

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Kale Salmon Caesar Salad

Kale salmon caesar is a metaphor for my entire marriage.

It represents a blending of taste buds and nutritional ideals, a desire for simplicity and for dinner around the table together.

To be honest, drenching salmon in caesar dressing is one of the only ways I can get every member of my family to eat it. I call it a win.

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Eat Your Greens for Breakfast: Salsa Scrambled Eggs and the Best Ever Veggie Breakfast Burrito

It’s the middle of February. Classically a time of year when folks lose interest in all their healthy intentions. How are you doing with your healthy goals?

One of my ongoing goals is to eat greens in as many meals as possible. To be totally honest, I have realized that this usually means spinach, which is maybe a bit lopsided (or, maybe I am treating my mild anemia naturally with food!) when there are so many delicious kinds of greens in the world. But! I still think it’s a win when I find ways to eat something dark green at every meal of the day—including breakfast.

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Broccolini Melts

Broccolini Melts

Have I mentioned my obsession with open-face sandwiches?

This broccolini melt is so amazing on so many levels. Not only is it full of bright green goodness, for which your body thanks you, but it is savory and cheesy and garlicky and a little lemony…in short, it is delicious. All delis should throw out their tuna melts and serve this instead.

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Debby’s Mac and Cauliflower with Ritz Crust

Debby's Mac and Cauliflower with Ritz Crust

The summer after I graduated from high school, my best friend and I started a weekly ritual we called “wife practice.”

We decided to learn how to cook, something our mothers had been trying to teach us for years. We spent hours making peanut pork with cellophane noodles and potato crust quiche and French silk pie. (Only the most practical dishes for our future husbands, let me tell you.)

I thought Debby walked on air because she had this brash disrespect for the recipes we were preparing. Unlike me, she had already mastered putting her own spin on a dish as she cooked. She knew when a coarse chop would do the trick, she didn’t measure her salt, she irreverently used ingredients that were less expensive, she had favorite chefs and favorite cheeses, she knew what a tomatillo was…

When I first ventured out on my own and began putting together a collection of meals I could make, 50% of them were Debby’s. Debby’s spindiforous chicken bundles, Debby’s verde burritos, Debby’s Mediterranean orzo, Debby’s focaccia bread. All these years later, I still leave her house thinking, “I have to go home and make that right away!” every time I eat with her.

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Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts

I fell off the thankfulness train a little bit. And I’m going to climb back on.

But first, I have to tell you what happened to me last week:

The pediatrician told me I have to give up eating dairy, because Caitlin is most likely allergic to it.

Major sad face.

And just in time for the holidays! (Don’t worry, I still have lots of good treats planned for you, even if I can’t eat them all.)

I suddenly realize that I have not been as empathetic as I could have been toward friends and family who have dietary restrictions. Because even though I know a million ways to substitute and avoid dairy, it’s really sad to eat in a world where butter is off limits.

So here comes some thankfulness! I am thankful for all the wonderful people who have gone before me in feeling hungry and cranky after giving up something that they loved for the sake of their health or the health of a loved one. I am thankful for all the vegans in the world (seriously, thank you) for being delicious without dairy. I am thankful for all the friends who called me, texted me, and gave me hugs as I cried silly tears when I realized I couldn’t eat any of my favorite breakfast foods for the next several months. I am thankful for special friends who sent me recipe ideas after I whined about being hungry.

To round off this thankfulness, and in preparation for eating a *gulp* dairy-free Thanksgiving meal, I made some brussels sprouts. Because I just can’t get enough of brussels sprouts in the Fall.

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Millet Vegetable Stir-Fry

Millet Vegetable Stir Fry

Mind, prepare to be blown:

Stir Friday.

Yes…it’s the solution to my weekly pleadings with my family to name something other than pizza (Jake) or meatloaf (Dave) when I ask what to cook for dinner. Stir Friday.

I love it for so many reasons: 1) it still allows room for creativity, because “stir-fry” is a huge, broad category…but it does give me somewhere to start with the meal planning; 2) it makes a beautiful peace treaty for the taste bud cold war Dave and I are waging…no more can he tell me that I never eat Asian food with him!; 3) it has an awesome name—always a bonus; and 4) it’s so easy to make large amounts of stir-fry, so easy to accommodate different dietary needs, that Stir Friday is the perfect way to kick off one of our major family goals: becoming better hosts.

So, friends who live in the greater DC area, consider this your open invitation.

It’s Stir Friday. Are you coming?

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Rainbow Baked Eggs

Rainbow Baked Eggs

As you may be aware, my husband and I have radically different food tastes.

If he could eat whatever he wanted for the rest of his life, he would be staring down a long succession of barbecues, charcuterie, spicy chicken wings, corned beef and cabbage, anything that goes well with rice (basically all Asian cuisines, especially dishes that are spicy and beefy and porky), Irish black tea, buckets of cola, mountains of fresh fruits covered in sugar to make them super juicy. I’d wager you would find nary a vegetable on the list, unless it appeared incidentally with the meat.

I, on the other hand, would be wolfing down cheese pizza by the pie, any dessert that has chocolate in it (especially cookies, brownies, ice cream, cake, tarts…oh my gosh, sweet tooth), butter, cheese, bread, buttery cheesy bread, salmon, crab cakes, ripe tomatoes, toasted nuts, Riesling, gallons of black coffee…and let’s throw in some salads for good measure. Because as much as I would love to eat nothing but foods half held together by butter, I definitely spend hours each week obsessing over how to eat more vegetables and be more healthy.

As you may imagine, this can make dinner time a little stressful (and it’s one of the reasons we love to eat out: to each their own!).

Thank God for eggs.

Seriously, thank you, God, for eggs. Because without eggs, Dave’s and my taste buds might have to declare war on each other.

And because of these eggs, I have a favorite little memory tucked away: Dave came home from work the day after I made these colorful eggs for the first time, and he announced: “All day long I was craving bulgogi. And then I realized that I didn’t want bulgogi. I wanted more of the eggs you made last night!”

(Cue victorious fist pump. Dim lights. End scene.)

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Kale, Pepper, and Onion White Pizza

Kale, Pepper, and Onion White Pizza

Recently, I had quite a shock: apparently, my husband likes kale.

What?!

When did this happen, and how did I not know about it?

In other news…this pizza is delicious (and healthy, to boot)! Since there is no sauce, it is a breeze to put together. I love how the kale crisps up in the oven and adds a rich, savory note to the melty cheese and the sliced peppers and onions.

P.S., my (apparently kale-loving) husband said he preferring this pizza over the kale-free, saucy version I made to serve with it. Will wonders never cease?

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