If you are ever thinking to yourself that you need to get more veggies into your diet, I have one excellent suggestion: buy a colorful vegan cookbook.
(What, Melissa? This is a strange way to begin a post that is mentions salmon in the title…which is most definitely not vegan.)
A few weeks ago, I told Sarah of Well Dined that all I wanted to do this Fall is bake, bake, bake, and I wondered whether she would mind eating nothing but cookies for lunch when we got together. She thoughtfully responded that we should make empanadas.
And after we made these, we congratulated ourselves over and over again because the filling is so delicious. I mean seriously, we were both sneaking spoonfuls of filling as we assembled the empanadas, and licking our fingers when we were done. It’s amazing.
You should make yourself a batch of empanadas right away, so you will know what I’m talking about!
If you’ve been hanging out here for a while, then you already know how dearly I love Sarah of Well Dined.
She is one of my favorite people on the planet! Sarah has been unspeakably kind and generous to me in the seven years (!) we’ve known each other. She is thoughtful, thought-provoking, and hilarious. She is bold—and I don’t just mean her hair—and she pursues life fully. I am grateful to Sarah for stretching me as a cook, for her encouragement and patience through all of my motherhood woes, and for being the best friend a girl could ask for.
Which is why I am so excited to be cooking from Well Dined for the September Secret Recipe Club challenge!
Months ago, when Sarah joined the SRC, I mentally earmarked this spinach and gruyère strata to make whenever I got assigned to cook from her blog. But…surprise! During one of our subsequent lunches, she mentioned this amazing caramelized French toast she makes, and I knew my life would not be complete without it, so I decided to make that instead. And then, when the assignment actually happened, I got so excited about making some kind of ravioli, which Sarah makes all the time—and we talk about endlessly—that I threw out all my breakfast plans entirely. This somehow turned into the joy of hiding vegetables inside of pasta sauce.
Last week, I made these amazing beet burgers. Beets are lovely, aren’t they? I think beets are the most beautiful color in the whole world. But…I have to admit that I really hate to eat them plain. I’ve tried them in salads with goat cheese and soaked in butter and horseradish sauce. But my favorite beets are definitely those diced small and mixed well with other flavors.
As I was contemplating what to do with the lonely, leftover beet in my crisper, I suddenly remembered a batch of beet hummus Dave’s aunt had made at Christmas, and I immediately got excited.
This hummus is a little earthy and a little tangy, and full of gorgeous pink. Eat it with a huge handful of bright, raw vegetables and you will feel like you are on cloud nine.
This week, Sarah and I were feeling super laid back. We started our lunch planning at noon on the day of. (Just for context, we typically start cooking around 11.)
Our conversation went something like this:
Sarah: I just woke up. (cut to me, crumbling inside with jealousy)
Me: I have a headache. Let’s make something easy.
Me: Same page.
Yet somehow, an hour later, we found ourselves poaching eggs and rubbing sourdough slices with garlic.
Food bloggers be crazy.
This was the most delicious impromptu meal I can think of. We cobbled together ingredients (mostly) from our combined fridges and gardens, and I humbly submit that these open face sandwiches are magic.
It’s no secret that I love foodie burgers.
I’m not the kind of girl who longs after the simplicity of mayo and relish.
The fact that I don’t eat meat has definitely exacerbated this situation. Now, in addition to the fancy sauces and unique toppings, I crave interesting and colorful patties.
Like this one, made from green peas and edamame!
For Memorial Day this year, do something special. Skip the all-soy burger and make a masterpiece.
Remember how I hatched a plot to eat greens at every meal?
Yeah…desserts kind of got in the way of that healthy plan. But you know, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I am still trying to focus on the greenery as much as possible!
So this month for the Secret Recipe Club challenge, I decided to take a recipe for green chile enchiladas—which sounded heavenly—and green them up!
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.
It may surprise you to learn that I don’t actually eat a lot of vegetables. I can go entire days without a vegetable, if you don’t count the tomato sauce in pizza.
The problem obviously isn’t that I don’t like vegetables…I love them! The real problem is that I am busy and tired, and preparing vegetables (plus, let’s get real: doing the subsequent dishes) takes more time than boiling an egg.
“But,” you protest, “you’re a vegetarian. How can it be that you don’t eat a lot of vegetables!?”
And that, my friends, is a beautiful question. As I have been trying to plot ways to actually model good health for my kiddos, I have made a resolution: I will make it a priority to eat greens at every meal. Seriously, even breakfast. I have been drinking green smoothies and tossing kale into scrambled eggs. I even made oatmeal with spinach in it. More on that later.
Greens are so good for you. Greens, and vegetables more broadly, are the one thing we never have to eat in moderation.
Jump on the greens train!
I adore Indian food. I love the spices and the warmth. I love that Indian food is packed with things that are good for my body, and that it doesn’t taste like “health food.” Indian food is fantastic.
But I’ve got to admit that I don’t cook Indian food at home very often. True, I love going home and recreating every delicious food in my very own kitchen; but I just find that Indian food is always better when I order it out. (Or, ahem, when friends make it for me. Yeah, you know who you are.)
In the months since learning about Caitlin’s dairy intolerance, I’ve had to avoid eating a lot of my favorite things. Dairy is in almost everything! And since a lot of Indian food is cooked with ghee (clarified butter), I’ve been wary of ordering Indian food at a restaurant.
Enter glorious chana masala, a simple dish featuring chickpeas cooked in a rich, spicy tomato sauce full of grated ginger and pressed garlic. This version comes together very quickly, ready from start to finish in under an hour, thanks to the help of canned chickpeas. And it is delicious!