30 December 2020

Lazy Dinner Teriyaki Tips

Can you believe I haven't posted a "Lazy Dinner" post since 2017?  With COVID shifting schedules and working from home, it's not like we haven't been eating lazy dinners... so I'm not sure why I haven't posted an new one! 

Anyway, this recipe is a a quintessential Lazy Dinner. It's really quick (relying on a faux meat product), super easy, and delicious. Plus, its versatile! If you don't want Asian flavors one evening, use the same technique but switch to different flavors. 

23 November 2020

Maggie's Vegan Wild Rice Stuffing

A few years ago, I was FaceTiming with my sister, talking about our respective plans for Thanksgiving. We were heading to the home of some friends (remember when we could do that?!). Of course, the conversation turned to what we planned to eat. Among other things, I told her that I was planning to bring the wild rice stuffing we grew up eating and we both said, simultaneously, "because it's the only kind."

Fast-forward to Thanksgiving 2020, when COVID cases are out of control in much of the country and every major health official is telling us not to join together. With complicating layers of tradition, troubled historical legacies, a sense of unease pervading most of the US, a desire to be mindful about giving thanks, and an unknown future during the darkest months of the year, many of us may have a hard time feeling festive. However, food can bring a great sense of comfort and normalcy, especially when imbued with memories, as this stuffing is for me. 

Not pictured, all of the gravy that I pour on my stuffing.

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.

03 May 2020

Maggie's Almond Sour Cream Jam Muffins

These muffins are so, SO good. I wasn't sure what to expect, since I more-or-less made up the recipe and baking isn't as much my thing as cooking, but wow. They are rich, have great texture, and I love the dollop of jam in each one. I ate four in one day!

I didn't intend to create a sour cream muffin recipe, but I'd used a small amount of sour cream making cheesy taco mac. While normally I wouldn't think twice about an open tub of sour cream in the fridge, I've been far more conscientious about the food we've been making and using. We have only been to the grocery store twice in the last six weeks, and while we are very lucky in terms of our ability to stock up on food (plus, beans and lentils are cheap and delicious!), I am pretty sure that our changed behaviors have altered my processing of food in our house. This recipe is a great thing to emerge from my shifted consciousness and it is sure to make it into a regular rotation!

11 April 2020

Crockpot Teriyaki Tofu with Veggies

It feels odd to be posting new recipe during a global pandemic. This feels especially true I last went to the grocery store over a week ago and don't plan to go again for at least another week. However, I did a good job planning when going to the store last week AND we did a good job planning dinners around how long each veggie will last. This teriyaki tofu dinner (based on a recipe from The Super Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Cookbook) was just perfect, using up the last of our bell peppers and half of our kale. The rest of the kale will be used tomorrow in white bean and kale soup. Plus, I made a great teriyaki sauce from ingredients in my pantry - though feel free to buy one instead!

While I do like the flexibility of cooking at home without having to plan around classes, meetings, events, and more, I miss my students and colleagues and friends so much that this flexibility pales in comparison. sigh. At least we're eating well?

I hope you're eating well, too! If not, try this recipe?

28 March 2020

Maggie's Self-Quarantine Lentil Soup

The world is a little anxiety-provoking at the moment, hmmm? A global pandemic, a weak and uncoordinated response from the US government, and unheard of rates of unemployment; any one of these would be enough to produce anxiety, so all three is a doozy.

Shana and I have both been self-quaratined since March 13. She has been sick enough that much of the time, us being at home didn't matter. She was sleeping 17 hours a day and even when awake she found the walls and ceiling entertainment enough. She's on the mend, but just at the time that we're running out of fresh veggies.

Given our general lack of fresh veggies and the need for comfort, dinner last night called for soup. On one hand, it's odd to be a creative cook during a pandemic. On the other hand, necessity is the mother of invention. The soup below is simple, using only ingredients that stay good for long periods. It's also healthy, with veggies and protein. If you have a frozen chunk of bread to thaw & warm, it's a great meal for trying times. Take care of yourselves. <3