24 October 2020

Maggie's Lentil Barley Soup


Soup season is the best season because soups are the best. I don't think anyone who has spoken with me in cooler weather and/or visited this blog is surprised at that statement. 

This particular soup emerged because I'd been digging past all the lentils in our pantry when my hand landed on a jar of pearled barley. Obviously, the first thing I thought of was soup (I mean, I'd just been touching lentils!), but I felt *certain* I had a recipe for barley soup already on my blog. Turns out I do, but it uses quick barley, not pearled, and in looking at the recipe, it just wasn't the flavors I wanted. Plus, it's very clear that I love lentils in soup. After looking at a huge number of possible ideas on the internet, what emerged was a blend of the recipes I'd looked at and the flavors I was dreaming out. Healthy, hearty, and happy-making, this soup is going to be in regular rotation. 

17 September 2020

Maggie's Instant Pot Lentil Sloppy Joes

The temperatures each day of the past week have been dropping, little by little. Tonight it's supposed to dip below 50 degrees and tomorrow I'll wear my first sweater of the season. I've had apple cider, gotten the first of the fall squashes in my CSA (delicata!), and purchased my first pie pumpkins at our local farmer's market. I don't care if fall doesn't officially start for a few more days; it's fall to me. 

This particular dish perfectly straddles this late summer/early fall time, including some summer produce and minimal heating up of the kitchen paired with savory, warm flavors and a hearty texture. 

All things fall make me happy. The colors of the trees = happy. The smell of the air = happy. The sweater-ready weather = happy. The food = happy. This particular recipe is certainly included! 

16 July 2020

Maggie's Chickpea "Tuna" Salad

I talked about vegan potluck before and how much I love it. We haven't had our regular potluck since February and I miss the company, camaraderie, and cooking of our vegan potluck crew so much! As I kept thinking about our monthly gatherings, I'd remember a delicious dish from one month, a different dish from another month, and so on. But one dish kept popping up in my head. At the very first potluck she came to - years ago!, our friend Alissa brought a chickpea "tuna" salad. Everyone was amazed. As in, there was outright clamor for the recipe. Alissa gladly shared. 

About a month ago, as the temperatures kept rising, I wanted to make this chickpea tuna salad again but could not find the recipe. Alissa couldn't either! But she remembered better than I did. With her list of ingredients + rough amounts and my tinkering around, what emerged was this amazing, healthy, and summer-temp worthy "tuna" salad. 

17 June 2020

Maggie's Vegan Strawberry Pie

While I love all fruits and vegetables, I certainly have my favorites. For fruit, there's no comparison to strawberries, as far as I'm concerned. This year, I planted my own strawberry plants, which hopefully means I'll have my own source of strawberry deliciousness for years to come! In the mean time, I'll be making this strawberry pie with berries from other local & organic sources. That's actually how this pie originated! 

Shana knows I love strawberries. Last summer, she surprised me with a delivery of 5 pounds of local & organic strawberries. That's love, folks. I kept eating them a bowl at a time, but worried that I wasn't going to get through them all quickly enough! Then a dinner party with some friends took shape and I asked if they'd all mind trying out a new strawberry dessert. After enthusiastic positive responses, I decided on a strawberry pie and began scouring the internet for ideas. As usually happens, none of the recipes I found were quite right. Instead, I decided to take some ideas from all of them, plus from some of my other recipes, and created a magical dessert. It was a hit at the dinner party and is a perfect cool treat for summer temperatures.

29 May 2020

Maggie's All-Cuisines Salad Dressing

Well, we are mid-way through spring with hints of summer in the air. This means that it is time for our CSA again! I was *so* excited to sing our "CSA-day" song on the first week of pick-up. The joy at our CSA starting up again is also set against the backdrop of the global pandemic that rages on. Indiana has slowly begun to open up, but we're still very wary about heading to restaurants and we've only been going to the store every three weeks or so. Our weekly CSA box has dramatically expanded our access to fresh veggies, especially leafy greens! Seriously, we've gotten lettuce mix, heads of lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, braising greens, and micro-greens, plus turnips, radishes, and the first bit of asparagus; it's magical.

With so many leafy greens to eat, we've been finding new ways to eat them. Shana has been craving tikka masala with regularity, which is fine by me since it is delicious. A leafy green salad is a wonderful companion. When we first confronted the combination of tikka masala and salad, I looked at the dressings in the fridge and didn't love any of the possible taste combinations. So obviously, I made up my own! 

While originally intended as a lovely accompaniment to flavors in Middle-Eastern dishes, this salad dressing works beautifully with every flavor profile we've tried. It's a fast, easy, and tasty dressing for salads with any meal. 

Poured here on a simple salad of spinach and toasted almonds.