Category: Vegetarian 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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Mushroom Scallion Tartine with Poblano Yogurt

I think of this as a sheet pan sandwich recipe. You roast a bunch of mushrooms and scallions in a hot oven as your main components. And you whip up a simple poblano yogurt while those are roasting. Pile everything high on top of hearty slices of well-toasted bread, and you’re set.

Mushroom Scallion Tartine with Poblano Yogurt

The poblano yogurt is a key component here, but I totally understand if you want to skip out on it because of time, lack of poblanos, or you’re anti-chile. No problem, just about any flavor-forward yogurt slather will do in its place. You could simply crush a clove of garlic into some paste with a pinch of salt, and stir that in your favorite plain yogurt – also delicious. Or, whisk a tablespoon of harissa paste into your yogurt.

Mushroom Scallion Tartine with Poblano Yogurt

 

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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 Vibrant Beet Caviar | 101 Cookbooks

I’m lucky to be the occasional recipient of Josey Baker experimentations. The other day Josey handed me a still-hot loaf of 100% einkorn bread – substantial, fragrant, a dark brown crumb with a craggy top-crust. It smelled like a great brewery – all malt, and grain, and warmth. And it begged to be treated right.
A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe

The first question to come to mind was slicing strategy…the consensus was: 1) Allow the bread to cool completely. 2) With this loaf – not too thick, not too thin. Not to digress too much, but when it comes to toast, the thickness or thinness of the slice is key. Some breads lend themselves to a thick slab – Blue Bottle Cafe (in downtown San Francisco) cooks an egg-in-the hole of Acme’s pain de mie. Perfect. There are other breads I like thinly sliced and extra-toasted – Josey’s rye comes to mind, also Anna’s Daughters’ Rye – a beautifully distinctive local bread. Once this was sorted, Josey got on with his afternoon, and I started thinking about what I’d eventually put on the bread.
A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe
Silvena Rowe’s book had been in my bag for a few days, I was reading it when I was on the bus, or waiting on a coffee. So I started paging through, and settled on a beet spread I knew would be beautiful – the sweet earthiness of the roasted beets accented with toasted walnuts, chives, dates, a bit of booziness, and a swirl of creme fraiche.A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe

Silvena has written a couple of other books I have in my library – I suspect a good number of you might find them inspiring as well. I first purchased Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean, and then Orient Express: Fast Food from the Eastern Mediterranean.A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe

The beet caviar was a nice accompaniment to the einkorn, and I imagine it would be brilliant as a spread or dollop on just about anything – from toasted pita, to a harvest soup. A swirl would be nice in risotto, or as part of a mezze spread. Enjoy!

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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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A California Panzanella | 101 Cookbooks

This is a wildcard panzanella. And it is very Northern California inspired. I first featured a grilled version of it in Super Natural Cooking after enjoying a quirky sandwich while driving up the California coast to a spot near Anchor Bay. The sandwich was a mix of oven-roasted tomatoes, peanut butter dressing, grilled tofu, and sprouts, all pinned between two slices of multigrain bread. Odd yet completely delicious. I liked it enough to rework it into this twist on panzanella, the much-loved Italian bread salad.
A California Panzanella

This version in Super Natural Cooking is grilled. This version you can make using your oven instead. Just remember, when the weather warms, roll out your grill – toast the bread, and cook the tofu slabs that way.
A California Panzanella

You have some options with the tomatoes. When cherry tomatoes are abundant, and in-season, I love to toss them in a bit of olive oil, and roast them on a sheet pan in a hot oven until browned and blistered. But, you can also use chopped, sun-dried tomatoes, the ones packed in oil are best here. Kind of raisin-y in texture.
A California Panzanella

This is a great way to use up day-old bread. It’s even better than using a loaf of fresh because the bread ends up more structured and hearty.

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Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

One of my favorite cold-weather soups – green lentils (or split peas), topped with a curried brown butter drizzle, and pan-fried paneer cubes. Some of you might recognize it from Super Natural Every Day.
Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

It’s a soup I revisit often, and these photos are outtakes of it that ran in an early issue of Kinfolk magazine. I did a short little essay about winter (volume two!), and it ran alongside with some pictures Wayne and I contributed. 

Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

Here’s the deal. The magic here is the curried brown butter drizzle. Don’t skip it. Also, a good chunk of hearty sourdough really elevates the whole experience. Or! Some good naan or paratha.

Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

You can certainly explore a vegan version though. You could infuse some olive oil or coconut oil with spices, and brown some tofu in place of paneer. A different beast, but also really good. Not brown butter good on the flavor front, but still good. 😉Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

I also want to note there are some great variation ideas down in the comments. 

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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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Make Ahead Vegan Samosa Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe uses a number of my favorite techniques: mashing, slathering, and drizzling. Imagine a Shepherd’s pie meeting the flavors of an Indian samosa. That’s where we’re headed. Shepherd’s pies are typically lamb or meat based, but this is a veg-friendly version.
Make Ahead Vegan Samosa Shepherd's Pie

The Process

Here’s how this shepherd’s pie comes together. It’s pretty straight-forward. You make a hearty, flavor-packed, vegan base using split peas (or lentils), chopped mushrooms, spices, and crushed tomatoes. Layer this under a thick slather of mashed potatoes and baked until the top is golden and a bit crusted. If I know the week ahead is going to be a crusher, I’ll assemble everything over the weekend, and all I have to do is pop it in the oven a bit later in the week. Give it a go, this has been on repeat all winter.

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I forget to mention this in the video, but you can certainly create smaller, individual pies – they’re cute, and people love getting their own. And you can absolutely swap in sweet potatoes, just give them a quick peel first.

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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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