Minestrone Soup

The first soup I learned to make was minestrone.  As a youngster, I thought it was very romantic to use wine in cooking.  I felt like such a grown up incorporating it.  The smell of garlic and Italian herbs filled the air.  And at once, I was transported from my life on the Illinois prairie…

Grilled Vegetables with Za’atar Chickpeas and Mint Pistachio Barley

Za’atar is an herb and spice blend from Levantine cuisine.  I was first introduced to it by a former roommate, who called it “the spice”.  While there are variations across the Middle East, the star of za’atar is thyme.  It is often served with pita and olive oil.  The pita is dipped in olive oil,…

Okra Masala Soup

One of my all-time favorite Indian dishes is bhindi masala.  First of all, it’s star attraction is okra, which I positively love.  Second, it tastes like a dream within a dream.  It’s spiced and has a bit of astringency, while also maintaining a buttery, savory flavor.   When I was thinking of today’s soup, I…

Vegan Fish Chowder

When I was a kid, we eliminated eating meat over the course of a year.  First, it was no red meat.  Then, it was no chicken.  And in the final phase, it was no fish.  My parents told us that we were always welcome to eat meat outside of the home, like if we went…

Mediterranean Chickpea Eggplant Salad

Recently, I asked one of my friends, “If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?”  I was very surprised to hear, “Eggplant.”  Despite the fact that I eat baba ghannooj daily (I’m looking at you Al-Amir!), I don’t think of eggplants very often.  They are flavor…

Carrot Artichoke Tortellini with Garlic Butter Arugula

Three weeks ago, I decided I wanted to make stuffed pasta. The biggest issue holding me back was the filling.  In the US, there are a few stuffed vegan pastas on the market.  Ten years ago, there was only one or two companies that made stuffed vegan pastas, so having a few more different flavors…

Hearts of Palm Ceviche

While there are some seafood vegan mimics on the market, they tend to veer towards being frozen and breaded.  It can be a bit of a challenge to find healthful seafood alternatives. Eaten all across Latin America and the Caribbean, ceviche is a popular seafood dish.  It generally involves raw fish, citrus, cilantro and chiles….

Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup

When I was conceptualizing this soup, I couldn’t help but think about shakshuka.  It’s a staple entree of North Africa and Arab cuisine, and involves eggs and tomatoes.  Being vegan, I wasn’t going to go the eggs route, and because I wanted soup, this would need to veer in a different direction.  Just like shakshuka,…

Texas Caviar

I still remember the first time I had Texas Caviar.  It was a work potluck to celebrate a baby shower.  While my co-worker used bottled Italian dressing, it was still really, really good.  As I recall, it was the one dish that didn’t make it home.  We devoured it straightaway.   I was inspired to…

Slow Cooker Vanilla Smoke Jerk Jackfruit

When I lived in California, one of my favorite places to go to lunch was a Caribbean restaurant down the street from my office.  If we were lucky enough to bring leftovers back to the office, someone would always say, “That smells amazing.”  At least once a week, we would find ourselves devouring plates full…

Red Cabbage-Watermelon Radish Slaw

I made the most amazing sandwich today.  It was rich and cheesy.  And it needed an accent.  Something acidic to bring everything together.  It’s nothing a little bit of slaw can’t solve.  While slaws are easy to make, this one tastes best if it has a little time for the flavors to meld.  The hardest…

Hearty Sweet Potato Garbanzo Stew

Puchero is a peasant stew from Spain, but is prepared in a number of countries in Central and South America, and in the Phillippines.  The word “puchero” translates to “stew pot” in English.  Many times, the broth is made from meat or cured bones.  Depending on the country preparing it, there are variations in some of…

Cuban Black Beans

I love beans and rice. Maybe you do too? These budget-friendly black beans are easy and flavorful. Enjoy these delicious black beans over rice as a meal, or as a side to an entree, like Slow Cooker Vegan Ropa Vieja. Top it with vegan sour cream, top it with cilantro, top it with the sauce…