Happy New Year!
Have you heard of Veganuary? No? It's a 30-day challenge of eating plant-based foods. Won't be doing it straight for a month, but two-three times per week is great. [Ed. note: Through the NFL playoffs? Are you insane, woman?]
This red kidney bean curry (a.k.a. Rajma) is like a vegetarian chili, but with Indian spices. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, this super-easy-to-make (20 minutes, start to finish), freezer-friendly and budget-conscious dish is fantastic served with rice, quinoa or naan bread. Great veggie sides include roasted yams, roasted cauliflower or sauteed greens like spinach, kale, or chard (if you're trying to be low carb).
Full disclosure, I was a little hesitant to offer this to the BF. Not because he doesn't like vegan meals, but because he's not a huge chili fan; he likes, but doesn't love beans. So I can't tell you how surprised I was that he loved this. I mean, really, really, truly inhale-a-bowl-and-ask-for-more loved this. [Ed. note: You tricked me! Curses!] #Winning
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen
Number of servings: 6
Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, ang nefer took da treat...
"Autumn has caught us in our summer wear."
–Philip Larkin, British poet (1922–86)
Sans takeout, there is not an easier meal than this. [Ed. note: Well dang, woman, why not open up a bigger can of whoop ass for the lede, I'll tell you what.] Took some inspiration from a recipe in the now defunct Donna Hay Magazine (sniff). Please note, you can sub ground beef or turkey if you don't eat pork. If you don't want the carbs, throw this over shredded cabbage.
In other news, the BF alerted me The Old Farmer's Almanac states Saturday, September 22 was the first day of fall, or the autumnal equinox, also called September equinox. [Ed. note: Oh did I now, he queried while injecting Buffalo Trace directly into his veins.] Mornings and evenings have definitely been crisper, but the days are still pretty darn warm, unlike our dear friend in Washington State who is already harvesting apples and pears from her orchard. Alas, I'm counting down the days until sweater weather.
Until then, our Marlowe wishes everyone a Happy Fall, y'all.
PS: One year ago, the BF delved into his past life as a music journalist, and somehow we worked Alien Ant Farm into a recipe for Peanut Butter Scotcheroos...
Adapted from : Donna Hay, Issue 97, Feb/Mar 2018
Number of servings: 4
It was about seven years ago that I started to like avocados. I know. I was in the minority. Wouldn't touch guacamole. Didn't understand the draw of "nature's butter" on sandwiches. It truly puzzled me. The BF can take it or leave it.
Now I love them and can't get enough. Will plan entire meals around a ripe avocado I have hanging out in the kitchen. When my sister visits, avocado toast for breakfast. Every. Single. Day.
Guacamole? [Ed. note: The late George Carlin used to say, "That sounds like something you yell when you're on fire."] All the time. And god help me if I don't have spare avocados to top tacos.
Years ago I fell in love with this warm Indian spiced avocado dip from Heidi Swanson's cookbook Super Natural Every Day. She is also known for her blog 101 Cookbooks.
Serve this dip at room temperature, or warm with sesame rice crackers, fresh veggies, toasted naan, pita or tortilla chips. My current favorite scooper is parsnip chips from Trader Joe's.
Adapted from: Super Natural Every Day
Number of servings: 2 cups
I'm writing this post on Halloween morning and it's the first cool day of fall (always pleased when it's sweater weather). Know you're seeing this the day after, and hope you had a fun evening with the trick or treaters.
Roasted yam wedges are common fare in our house, usually lightly slicked with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with salt, Aleppo pepper and coriander powder, and roasted until crispy like fries. Makes for a terrific side dish. Even "Supergirl" Marlowe (see pictures below) loves them.
However, this satisfying entree fits the bill for a meatless meal while having enough flavor, heft and protein to satisfy our carnivore tastes. It's also perfect for the cooler weather we have coming.
Crispy Tandoori Chickpeas
Tahini Lime Sauce
The countdown begins: twenty-seven days until Halloween. The pumpkins have found a rightful place in the house. Pumpkin lights are up and dare I say cinnamon-apple-cider candles are lit and wafting their collective fragrance throughout the house. The boyfriend is asking for caramel apple cheesecake—which is a sure sign that autumn is here (at least inside our house). He does not get as excited as I do for fall to arrive [Ed. Note: Perhaps it's the annual fall reminder of how aged I have become, but I digress], but does enjoy the autumnal foods and cute costumed kids ringing our doorbell on the 31st.
Although this post is not a pumpkin recipe [Ed. Note: Spoiler alert--next week], it's the perfect transitional dish through the end of our regular bay-area Indian summers, when the Oregonian in me is chomping at the bit for crisper "soup, sweater, boot" weather.
In the meantime, enjoy this healthy, flavorful soup.
Adapted from: A Beautiful Plate
Number of servings: 3-4 (makes 4 cups)
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.