Category: Quick Recipes

Ten Weeknight Express Recipes eBook

Hi all! I made a free ebook for anyone who signs up for the 101 Cookbooks newsletter. It’s a collection of favorite weeknight-friendly recipes, and by being on the mailing list, it’ll be easier for me to send future recipes and content directly to you. I get the feeling that reaching many of you via Facebook, Pinterest, and other social networks is increasingly challenging (even if you’ve asked to follow 101 Cookbooks). So if you click on this link, or the graphic below, and sign up, you’ll get an email with a link to your Weeknight Express PDF. If you’re already on the mailing list, you’ll get a link later this week. Enjoy!

Weeknight Express eBook

Recipes in this collection include: Curried Tomato Tortellini Soup, Ponzu Pasta, Last Minute Red Lasagna, Spicy Tahini Noodles with Roasted Vegetables, Quick Vegan Enchiladas with Sweet Potato Sauce, Double Broccoli Buddha Bowl, Golden Crusted Sesame Seeded Tofu, Garlic Lime Lettuce Wraps with Tempeh, and The Ultimate Vegan Nachos. I love all these recipes, and hope you’ll cook your way through them! (Sign up here)

Weeknight Express eBook

Weeknight Express eBook

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Microbiota-friendly Turmeric Cashews | 101 Cookbooks

Some fascinating emails have come through my in-box over the past decade. One example arrived back in 2015 from Erica Sonnenburg, which led to this write-up shortly thereafter. Erica and her husband, Justin Sonnenburg, are researchers at Stanford where they study the collection of bacteria that inhabit our gut. It’s called the microbiota. Her name struck me as familiar because the Sonnenburgs, both Ph.D.s, were included in Michael Pollan’s article – Some of My Best Friends are Germs from May 2013. Her note went on to say they often cook recipes from 101 Cookbooks because many of them have the hallmarks of “good microbiota food”. This immediately made me feel great, but also sparked many questions that have been dancing around my head ever since.
Turmeric Cashews

When it comes to broad strokes, I get it. You want to encourage, nourish, support your internal bacterial community. The good bugs. And there are some general “best practices” in life that help. But, for me, the real, well-researched, specifics beyond that start to get increasingly hazy. I immediately wanted to know from her, which recipes exactly, and why? How exactly do I befriend and support my microbiota? How much does food impact it, and what are the other major factors? Best beverages – beer? wine? smoothies? In short, I wanted to know what sort of things I was doing in my day-to-day to support (or hurt) my unique-to-me friendly bugs, so I could continue to do more to support my microbiota.
Turmeric Cashews

Erica went on to tell me about the book they were working on – The Good Gut. It establishes the case for the importance of gut microbiota, and documents their research and findings. They’ve done a lot of work to start to understand the role of diet in this realm, and what they’re finding is that a diet rich in dietary fiber (plant matter) helps to keep the microbiota happy. Also, because different microbes feed on different things, diversity in your diet is key. Broadly speaking, you’re after a wide range of beans, whole grains, seeds, and vegetables. And you’ll want to consume foods rich in microbiota accessible carbohydrates. It’s a fascinating read that goes well beyond dietary recommendations. They are doing the direct research into what makes your microbiota happy, and have some amazing findings based in good science.
Turmeric Cashews

The back of the book includes a recipe section to set the tone for this type of beneficial food choice. These turmeric cashews became one of my favorite snacks of the week. They’re substantial and filing, and microbiota friendly. I used the recipe in The Good Gut as a jumping off point, and flared it out with a few extra spices. They were extra special because I used turmeric gifted by Tara (Seven Spoons) when I saw her last recently. She told me the turmeric is from her maternal grandfather’s estate in Dehra Dun (Dehradun) in Uttarakhand, in the north of India – beautiful turmeric. I’ve exhausted my turmeric supply from Tara, and fortunately I’m now able to source this special turmeric from Diaspora Co. 

Related Links:

– The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health

– Cute Family. And You Should See Their Bacteria

– Some of My Best Friends are Germs

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A Ridiculously Good Chocolate Pudding

I’ve done chocolate pudding many, many ways over the years. And it’s nearly always good. But from this day forward if you come to my house for dinner, and I decide chocolate pudding might be a nice finish to the meal, this is the recipe I’ll be using. 
The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

It’s from a whimsical, illustrated French children’s cookbook published by Random House in 1966, La Patisserie est un Jeu d’Enfants, with text and drawings by Michel Oliver. The pudding completely caught me off-guard, in the best way possible.The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

French versus American Chocolate Pudding

This is not like a typical American chocolate pudding, it has no milk, cocoa powder, or cornstarch – which makes sense because it is from a French book. This is more of a deep, concentrated, dark chocolate mousse, although if you’re used to chocolate mousse that has whipped cream folded in, it’s different from that as well.
The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

Tips & Tricks

The key here is good chocolate, then a gentle touch bringing a short list of common ingredients together, and the bit of patience required to let the pudding cool and set. That last part makes all the difference. Time in the refrigerator allows the pudding to set into the densest dark chocolate cloud imaginable, the consistency of whipped frosting. 

The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

Choosing the Right Chocolate

I’ll make note in the recipe below, but you’ll want to use good-quality chocolate in the 60-80% range – semi-sweet to bittersweet. Aside from the chocolate, you’re only adding a bit of water and butter, a sprinkling of sugar, and two eggs, so don’t skimp on the quality of ingredients here, there’s really no place to hide.
The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbookThe Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

As you can see up above here, the book itself is incredibly charming. The edition I have alternates French and English pages, so you’ll have a page in French, then the same page in English. The French title for this recipe is “Glissade” which they’ve translated on the following English page to Slippery Chocolate Pudding – which made me smile. Keep your eyes peeled, you can find copies of La Patisserie est un Jeu d’Enfants (Making French Desserts and Pastry is Child’s Play) here and there if you look around.

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An Incredible No Bake Chocolate Cake

I suspect this will be the easiest chocolate cake you’ll ever make. And it’s always a huge hit. It’s the sort of easy dessert that is perfect for summer (and entertaining!) because you don’t need to heat your oven. I think of it as a no bake chocolate cake, you wouldn’t be far off calling it a slice-able truffle. Or, imagine an espresso-spiked, velvety, chocolate mousse you were able to cut into beautiful wedges. Sounds incredible, right? If you have ten minutes,  some dark chocolate, cream, and something to infuse the cream with, you’re in business. I also have some non-dairy variations as well.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

When this Sort of Chocolate Cake is Perfect

This is the sort of thing I’ll throw together if we’re having friends over for dinner and I run out of steam on the dessert front. It’s less trouble to make than it is to go out and buy something. A small slice really goes the distance. It’s intense, it’s hardcore chocolate. Paired with a touch of whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream) it’s a total crowd-pleaser. I infused the cream used in the cake with espresso adn allspice in this version, but you could play it straight. Or take it in any direction you’re inclined – there are dozens of great suggestions in the comments.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Choosing the Right Pan

This is a small but mighty chocolate cake. The choice of pan warrants a mention. You end up with with ~ two cups of batter, and for the most part you can pour that into any small-ish, parchment-lined cake pan you like. The parchment is important if you ever want to get the cake out of the pan. For this cake, I used a little loaf pan I like, but I’ve done this in small spring-form pans, and on occasion little tart pans. Just keep in mind, a bigger pan will mean a thinner slice. A small loaf pan like this yields a deeper slice, and so on. It’s hard to screw up – I mean, it’s a slice-able truffle cake. In the lead photo I’ve used a 6-inch springform pan. In the shot below, I’ve used a small loaf pan.

In a pinch – a number of you have mentioned that you simply pour the chocolate mixture into individual muffin tins, or dessert cups, allow it to set, and served this way. Brilliant! Less cake like, but I suspect no one will complain.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Variations

If you want to avoid heavy cream, there are a number of substitutions that work well. I love using cashew cream in place of the heavy cream called for in the recipe. Make cashew cream by combining 1 part cashew nuts + 1 part water and process in a high speed blender until silky smooth. No need to strain. Coconut milk also works nicely as a substitution.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Finishing Touches

I like to bring a bit of extra flavor (and some pretty) with a dusting of cocoa powder, a few dried rose petals, and a sprinkling of cacao nibs. Others like to finish things of with a few berries. Generally speaking, if it pairs nicely with chocolate, go for it. A few toasted nuts, or crumbled cookies wouldn’t be unwelcome.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Choosing the Right Chocolate

Because this cake is all about the chocolate, you don’t want to skimp on quality. I’ve been using Guittard Organic 74% Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers for this cake. It works beautifully. I often use it straight, meaning, without the added espresso or allspice noted in the recipe. So it’s just the beautiful chocolate notes coming through. San Francisco family-run chocolate represent! But, any good chocolate between 70% – 80% will work.

No Bake Chocolate Cake

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This is How You Step up Your Guacamole Game

I’m all for a straight-ahead, no-fuss, guacamole. Nine times out of ten, that’s how I approach it. Let the avocado shine. Don’t distract with tomatoes, or pomegranate seeds, or too much lemon, or too much lime. I wrote some thoughts about guacamole basics here. That tenth occasion? I’ll work in a wildcard, or take a surprise approach. Something along the lines of what you see pictured here, a recurring favorite.
This is How You Step up Your Guacamole Game - Indian-spiced Guacamole

The Inspiration

It’s a recipe I shared years ago in Super Natural Every Day, loosely inspired by a preparation I came across in Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking. Imagine guacamole topped with fragrant, Indian-spiced onions and garlic, green chiles, and mustard seeds. The creamy, ripe avocado melds beautifully the savory bits, and the vibrant cooking oil works its way into all the little valleys. People love this with chips, toasted pita, or naan bread. If you’re in any sort of a guacamole rut, give this a try.

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A quick side note – I can also imagine a Thai-spiced version being wonderful (with green curry in place of the Indian curry paste.

This is How You Step up Your Guacamole Game - Indian-spiced Guacamole

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The Ultimate Magic Sauce – 101 Cookbooks

I call this my magic sauce recipe. In part, because it makes everything it touches shimmer with deliciousness. It’s magic like that. Technically, it’s a riff on a chimichurri sauce – one that veered off the rails in a big way. Much tweaking has rendered it a distant second cousin. If that. In fact, the hallmark of that sauce, parsley, I skip entirely. But I love this. Love love love. And I use it a hundred different ways. Magic sauce, it’s real.

Magic Sauce Recipe

Double Up

Let’s just start by putting one thing out there. You’re best off making a double or triple batch. This is the sort of stuff you burn through in minutes. Not exaggerating. I cook eggs in it – scrambled, omelette, frittata, you name it. I drizzle it on soups. This time of year that means corn soups, brothy bean pots, or lunch time slurpy noodle bowls.
Magic Sauce Recipe
Magic Sauce Recipe

 I can also attest it’s the sort of thing that makes baked potatoes even better than usual. And salads welcome it as well – particularly shaved salads, or ones made from spicy greens. You can use it to marinate or slather ingredients before grilling or roasting. And its the sort of dressing that turns a bowl full of farro or quinoa or soba noodles into something close to a full meal – just toss in another favorite seasonal ingredient or two.

Magic Sauce Recipe

This sauce is as versatile as a black dress. Although, it’s not really the little black dress of sauces. Think more bohemian that that – earthy, intricate and interesting. Completely approachable. The way the garlic-perfumed oil suspends flecks of rosemary, thyme, and oregano is really nice. And the rusty red tint of the paprika makes everything this sauce touches look just that much more special.
Magic Sauce Recipe

If you do anything extra special with it, give a holler in the comments. I still have a half-full mason jar of it ready for business. -h

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An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

Blender dressings are great, in part, because they’re fast. Everything into one container, puree, and you’re set. This is a dressing I tend to make quite a lot in the fall, and then I just keep on going all the way through winter. It’s an incredibly versatile blend of favorite ingredients like carrots, turmeric, coconut milk, ginger, and sesame. Also, lots of shallots. Which, as we know from last week, I rarely skimp on.
An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

A Versatile Dressing & Ways to Use It

I use this dressing on green salads, grain salads, and as an A+ finishing touch over sautéed, steamed, or simmered vegetables. It works nicely in cold, summery noodle salads, and as a dipping sauce for crudité. This is all to say, it’s great on many things. I’ll list of some specific ways I’ve used it recently below!
An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

Shredded Winter Salad: Add some winter citrus segments, to a bowl of shredded baby romaine, endives and radicchio, and toss with the ginger carrot dressing and lots of toasted sesame seeds.

Noodle salad: Toss soba noodles with it and then go from there, adding other favorite seasonal ingredients – roasted vegetables, toasted seaweed, tofu or whatever protein you like, etc.

Brussels Sprouts: Pan-fry some brussels sprouts along these lines, transfer to a serving bowl, and toss with a bit of the dressing.

Farro Salad: I did this as a side for Thanksgiving – combine farro, lots of toasted seeds, and plenty or arugula in a large bowl and toss with a generous amount of the ginger carrot dressing.

Summer / Early Autumn: tossed with green beans and topped with deeply roasted cherry tomatoes +toasted almonds

A number of you were curious about a winter miso chowder I posted a photo of to my instagram feed recently. I’m going to write it up next. Making it again tonight, and fine-tuning the ingredient amounts. It’s definitely a hearty, winter warmer.

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Coconut Baked Oatmeal | 101 Cookbooks

Baked oatmeal is one of my signature breakfast and brunch moves, for all the typical reasons. Make ahead, check. Adaptable, check. Many five year olds love it, and most forty year olds too. Check, check. There are versions of it in my last two books, and I’m constantly riffing on the general concept based on what is in season, and what I have on hand. This version is extra special – banana, coconut, vanilla, coconut milk, and some winter citrus, all baked into fragrant, golden-topped magic. 
Coconut Baked Oatmeal Recipe

The concept couldn’t be simpler. In fact, I suspect many of you have everything you need on hand right now. Butter your baking dish, layer of fruit, top with dry ingredients, finish with wet ingredients. Bake.

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Coconut Baked Oatmeal Recipe

The secret wink I included in this version is a final drizzle of warm coconut milk accented with a splash of rose water. That said, you can absolutely play around with different flavors and variations – think citrus zests, or extract, or drizzles of infused oils. All in all baked oatmeal is nearly impossible to mess up.

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Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

Sit tight! This is one of my very favorite recipes. It’s a boosted wellness honey – bright rosy pink, vitamin C packed, and bursting with flavor. This honey tastes like a thousand Sweet Tart candies were crushed up and dissolved into it. It’s tangy, sweet and sour, and ups your honey game immediately.

Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

I tend to make a big container of this Vitamin C Honey a few times a year with whatever powdery Vitamin C ingredient magic I have on hand. This batch has rose hips and hibiscus, and some echinacea. It’s an electuary of sorts.

Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

Little jars of it make the best gifts. Or a little spoonful after a meal to satisfy a sweet tooth. If you love PB&J sandwiches. Make one with this honey in place of the jelly.

Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

I’ll note this in the recipe down below, but use my recipe as a jumping off point. Play around! If you can’t find one of the ingredients I call for, no big deal. Leave it out, or add another spice or powder you like! Pitaya powder is tricky to source (and pricey), you can totally leave it out, and maybe crush up some freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries instead!

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Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh Recipe | 101 Cookbooks

This might be the best tempeh recipe I’ve highlighted to date. It features a simple ginger and garlic-spiked orange glaze that plays off the nutty, earthiness of pan-fried tempeh beautifully. Unlike many other tempeh recipes, there is no need for a long marinade time with this one, making it great for a last-minute weeknight meal.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh

The recipe comes with a bit of a story, originates in a book I suspect many of you haven’t seen yet, and started with an email I received one morning last September from Australian cookbook author (and natural foods enthusiast) Jude Blereau. It read,

Dear Heidi, My name is Jude Blereau and I’m a Natural Foods Chef and author from Western Australia. I’m currently in San Francisco, having a fabulous time(…) I’d love the opportunity to have a chat with you and meet you. We do similar work I think, though with our own different slant. Hoping we can meet…

The name sounded quite familiar to me, I did a quick scan of my cookbooks, and spotted her book immediately. It was a thoughtfully composed volume of natural food recipes that I had tucked into my suitcase on my journey back from New Zealand a couple years ago. The minute I discovered Wholefood in a bookstore in Wellington, I knew I was reading along with a cook I had much in common with. Flash forward a couple years (and emails) later and we are chatting over coffee and croissants at Tartine Bakery here in San Francisco.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh

We talked about all sorts of things, and I asked Jude if she’d let me highlight one of her recipes here on the site. She told me she had a new book just published in Australia, and that she’d send the new one to me upon her return. Today’s tempeh recipe is from Jude’s new book – Coming Home to Eat: Wholefood for the Family published by Murdoch Books. It is beautifully written, delicately designed, brimming with great recipes, and punctuated by a handful of photographs (by Geoff Fisher and Michelle Aboud) that help set the aesthetic tone of the book perfectly.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh

My hope is that Coming Home to Eat will get U.S. distribution sometime in the near future, but as far as I know, that could take some time. Meanwhile, you can follow Jude through her site or her blog. And if you find yourself in Perth looking for a cooking class experience or natural chef training program – Jude’s the one to track down.

And thank you for reaching out Jude, I look forward to visiting you in Perth someday. You books an inspiring, and your enthusiasm infectious. I hope our paths cross again soon. -h

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