Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Za’atar Carrots

October 6th, 2015 3 Comments

  Za’atar is a delicious and versatile condiment originating in the fertile crescent of the Middle East.  It generally is made from oregano, sesame seeds and salt, and variations may include other herbs like sumac, savory, cumin, coriander, fennel or caraway.  Like so many regional condiments or sauces, families would have their own versions and protect these inherited recipes.   I love the tanginess of sumac so I definitely wanted a version with this dark red ‘berry’. The furry berries on the right are from bushes growing

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Herbed Fruit

September 15th, 2015 No Comments

  Is ‘herb’ a verb? It is now.     I was recently asked to provide some desserts for a party in late September, a request I usually decline because I’m not baking-inclined, but they wanted the entire event to be gluten free so my empathetic streak took over.  A chocolate chile cake was of course on my menu but then I stumbled upon gluten free angelfood cake recipes online, and on chow.com found the idea of combining strawberries mixed with fresh herbs as a topping.  What

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Black Bean Salad

September 8th, 2015 No Comments

  First a little blast of color from local edible flowers.     These are a pile of late summer flowers grown by my friends at Canoe Creek Produce that I used as garnish on salads and an appetizer for a wedding a couple of weeks ago.  I see runner bean flowers, calendula petals, bachelor buttons, snapdragons, and I’m not sure what else.  They were so stunning I had to share them with you.       And even more stunning color brought to

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Ancho BBQ Sauce… or is it Chutney?

September 1st, 2015 No Comments

  It’s kind of a chutney, kind of a móle, kind of a ketchup…don’t let the label inhibit you.  It’s tasty and it goes well with warm things, that’s the most important thing to remember.   Anchos are dried Poblano peppers.  They generally have only the mildest of heat, but exhibit a rich depth that is almost sweet and even fruit-like.  Scott and I sometimes use them puréed in chocolate cakes as a secret ingredient to give a bit of warmth but without overpowering the experience.

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Tomato Dill Salad

August 18th, 2015 2 Comments

    Purple lisianthus from the Canoe Creek Produce at the Farmer’s Market.  I hear they’re difficult to grow because they are slow to germinate, but it is so worth the wait.  I’ve found myself sitting and just staring at them over the last week and a half that they’ve lived on the table.           In these August days we’re so free with how we use fresh produce here in the midwest, vegetables are mounded into salads because they

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Summer Relish

July 28th, 2015 2 Comments

  It’s amazing to eat produce when it is still warm from the sun.   These ingredients of summer that I’m finding in my garden or the Farmer’s Market—cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, onion—there is just nothing like fresh and connected to the vine or the soil sometime in the last 24 hours.   photo by David Cavagnaro   It’s been a busy summer of catering with back-to-back and mid-week events crammed into the first two months of summer, but this is the flip-side payback

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Yellow Pepper Pesto

July 14th, 2015 No Comments

  Colorful tasty vegetables or herbs ground into a paste…’pesto’ is a loosely used term.  The word pesto comes from the Italian word ‘pestare’ meaning to pound or crush.  Texture has such an impact on the way we perceive and taste a dish, and crushing or pureeing helps create a silky coating that adheres well to sauce-vehicles like pastas and vegetables.     This is a light and lovely spread that could be served over fish, noodles, vegetables, or chicken and has the extra bonus of being

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Celery Snack

July 7th, 2015 2 Comments

  A ridiculously simple snack it is, yet it’s been a (sometimes daily) staple for us when we need a no-grain high-protein crunch.  If you’ve ever done a cleanse-diet or a few weeks of eliminating sugars and grains and reducing carbs, you know the near-desparation that can set in as you search for something you can eat.  This provides a satisfaction that is hard to describe if you’ve never experienced that frantic hunt for foods that are not sugars or grains—it’s fast to make, fulfilling with

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Ginger Beet Lemonade

June 10th, 2015 7 Comments

  Once again I find myself wrapped tightly in the schedule of catering events and I’m not able to do justice in writing the experiences of the last ten days on our adventure into the south.  This sunset tells the story much better than I ever could, it was the gift given as our group gathered to celebrate our friend, teacher, family, mentor, writer and artist Mary Kay Parker Deen. .       . These angels are trees in Bay St. Louis, resurrected

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Avocado Strawberry Salad

June 4th, 2015 No Comments

    NOLA a.k.a. the Rebirth City. I’m traveling with friends this week to New Orleans and Bay St. Louis, visiting friends and eating delectable dinners everywhere we go.  Not much time for words so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.         A sweet morning on the porch while we visited my friend Beatriz who owns the Fairchild House B&B on Prytania in the Lower Garden District.     It was recommended we take the ferry across to Algiers and

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