Jalapeño Bread and Butter Pickles (with extra brine)
My Jalapeño plants have been crazy this year and I can’t keep up with the fresh peppers, so I knew I had to do some canning this weekend. I made Bread and Butter Banana Peppers at the end of the season last year and they were a big hit with everyone I gave jars to. One of my friends really likes to add the pickle juice to her eggs before she cooks them, so this time I made extra brine and did a full jar of brine for her!
Jalapeño Bread and Butter Pickles
My tweaks: None! Other than I made a bit extra of the brine mixture for my friend.
BBQ Hearts of Palm Sandwich
I bookmarked this recipe about a month ago because it looked so easy. Then I forgot about it until I was reviewing my bookmarks. I got the ingredients this week and made it for lunch today. It was very easy and delicious, especially with the homemade BBQ sauce. I’ve tried making sandwiches with jackfruit before, but it’s genius to use hearts of palm.
Homemade Vegan BBQ Sandwich
My tweaks: I pretty much followed the recipe, but I added some avocado and fresh sliced tomato from the garden.
Carrot Ginger Dressing
My favorite Japanese restaurant has the best salad dressing. They even sell it so people can take it home. I used to buy it until I found this recipe which is exactly like the restaurant dressing (after my tweaks).
Recipe: Carrot-Ginger Dressing
My Tweaks: I double the amount of carrots and quick steam about half of them in the microwave first – it makes the dressing a bit more orange and blends easier. I use half the amount of oil (I use olive oil) and double the ginger. I start in the mini prep (small food processor) to get the carrots, onion and ginger chopped into fine pieces, then I move to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and use my stick blender to get the right texture.
Sweet Potato Surprise
This is the BEST thing I’ve made in a long time! Very easy and would be a great “take-along dish” for the holidays. Who doesn’t love a rich, decadent (yet healthy) casserole?? OMG YUM! It’s savory and sweet and tastes like Winter.
The Recipe: Sweet Potato Surprise
My Tweaks: I substituted unflavored So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer instead of real coconut milk. That way, I didn’t have to open a whole can just for 3/4 cup. I used Andean Dream Quinoa macaroni and added peas for more “green.” I used my stick blender and that worked fine to blend the sauce. I topped it with Whole Foods Gluten Free Stuffing after running it through the mini food processor to make it a bread crumb consistency.
Apple Butternut Squash Soup
I bought way, way, way too many apples at the farmers market last week. I also had some frozen butternut squash that I wanted to get out of the freezer. Perfect reason to make Apple Butternut Squash soup! I went looking for a recipe that doesn’t use cream and found this one on Martha Stewart that sounded good. It turned out great!
Apple Butternut Squash Soup
My Tweaks: I used Earth Balance instead of butter. Added a chopped tomato and 2 jalapenos from the garden to make it extra spicy. I topped it with some roasted brussels sprouts for some texture. It’s perfect! Sweet, savory and spicy.
I needed to use some ripe tomatoes from the garden, so I searched the internet for a gazpacho recipe that uses all fresh tomatoes (no canned sauce or tomato juice) and is gluten free (no bread to thicken). Found this recipe and although it’s very basic and easy, it’s the best gazpacho I’ve ever made!
My tweaks: Used banana pepper and poblano instead of yellow sweet pepper. I subbed fresh parsley for the cilantro because that’s what I had available. I used my mini food processor to blend most of the tomatoes (and the garlic and parsley), but left some tomatoes chopped for texture. I used my Cuisinart chopper (like a Slap Chop) to get a fine chop on the onion and cucumber.
It’s peak tomato season and I’ve been getting so many from my garden that I’ve been making tomato sauce every few days, but now my freezer is full. I have pasta sauce, pizza sauce, masala sauce, and ranchero sauce.
I needed to find another use for tomatoes and thought that a nice, spicy Rasam soup would be good for the Fall-type weather. I found this recipe and it was exactly what I was looking for. Quick and easy!
Tomato Rasam Soup Recipe
My tweaks: I didn’t use my pressure cooker, but boiled the red lentils in a pot. They took about 30 minutes. I added some coriander seeds to the mustard seeds and made it more of a vegetable Rasam by including green and yellow beans and zucchini and yellow squash from the garden. Also used fresh hot peppers from the garden instead of the dried chilis.
I have been craving the Chili Potatoes from Lao Sze Chuan. “LSC” is a restaurant in Chicago’s Chinatown, but I don’t get down to that area very often. I’ve been impatiently awaiting their new Evanston location, which was supposed to open last month. I finally gave in and decided to figure out how to make the crunchy, sesame flavored potatoes myself (with the help of the internet). This recipe is perfect!
Chinese Shredded Potatoes with Chili and Vinegar
My tweaks: I quadrupled the potatoes because I wanted to have lots of leftovers. I doubled the vinegar/sugar/salt because I didn’t want to overwhelm the potatoes with too much vinegar. I used a combination of regular toasted sesame oil and korean sesame oil for more complexity. Instead of chilis, I added thinly sliced poblano, jalapeño and shishito peppers from my garden and put them in at the same time as the garlic so they would soften. The potatoes are supposed to be crunchy and just barely cooked. They are perfect when they start to look translucent. Serve over rice with a little tamari.
Chickpea Salad Sandwich
I saw this on Post Punk Kitchen this week and wanted to make it immediately! Extremely easy and OMG YUM!
Here’s the recipe: Chickpea Salad Sammiches
My tweaks: Doubled the celery because I wanted it crunchy. Used minced fresh, sweet onions instead of the flakes. Added about 1/2 tsp of spicy brown mustard, 2 Tbsp of sweet pickle relish and some chopped parsley from the garden. I also used Boston Lettuce instead of the Romaine. Oh, and gluten free bread, of course.
The peas in my garden have been going crazy and I have a nice, big harvest every few days. Here’s a recipe for a very simple risotto.
Fresh Pea Risotto
My Tweaks: I used sake instead of white wine and used a combo of shallots and red onion. Also used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and substituted 1 slice of Daiya vegan Swiss Cheese for the cheese in the recipe. Topped with chives from the garden. Very yummy!
What to do with too many cherries? Make jam! I love to make batches of this and give it out to friends. This recipe is very easy. My tip for pitting the cherries (if you don’t have a pitter) is to “quarter” the cherry – – run a knife around the pit in two directions so you can break the cherry apart in quarters, then pluck the pit out of the last quarter. I do this in the sink so it doesn’t make a mess. What I like about this recipe is that it adapts to the amount of cherries that you have.
Here’s the link: No-Recipe Cherry Jam
My tweaks: I don’t use the kirsch, I use one or two drops of real almond extract as suggested in the recipe (NOT TOO MUCH!). That makes it super yummy!
I am a sucker for peas. When there are fresh English peas around in the Springtime, I could spend my whole paycheck on them. My favorite way to serve them is English style- minted mushy peas. If you don’t like peas, there’s something wrong with you! Or you’ve never had them properly prepared. Greeeen is goooood for you!
This is my go-to recipe, but I make a few tweaks: Simple Peas and Onions
My tweaks: I use vegan butter and vegan stock. I cut the amount of stock in half (to 1/4 cup), add some fresh mint (about 2 sprigs worth of leaves) and then blend the whole thing with an immersion blender once the peas turn bright green.
Addictive Green Beans
It’s finally Spring, which means I’m getting more variety in my CSA box. After weeks of making a lot of the same old recipes, now I can get experimental with what comes in the box. This week’s box had 2 lbs of green beans, so I had to put them to good use. This recipe lives up to its name and these are truly addictive. Crunchy, spicy, sweet, salty!
Szechuan Green Beans
My Tweaks: Pretty much followed the recipe except substituted Gluten Free Tamari for the soy sauce and I made it spicier by adding extra Sriracha plus crushed red pepper and togarashi. **memo to self- this sauce would be great for filling for lettuce wraps!
I love the spinach Goma-ae at my local Japanese restaurant and have just started trying to replicate their sesame dressing at home. This recipe isn’t exactly the same, but it’s still good. When I make Gomae-ae at home, I prefer to use steamed broccoli.
Japanese Sesame Dressing
My tweaks: I use sesame paste or plain tahini instead of grinding the sesame seeds myself. I add some roasted sesame seeds (whole) for texture.
Mashed Potatoes with Dandelion Greens and Gravy
This recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Dandelion Greens is from Mark Bittman’s column a few years ago. I still miss The Minimalist! I have started pairing it with a delicious chickpea gravy from Isa’s cookbook. It is fantastic and I would put it on anything including cardboard! You HAVE to try this recipe.
Green Mashed Potatoes
Silky Chickpea Gravy from Appetite for Reduction
My tweaks: For the potatoes, I use a lot less oil and add a little plain soymilk for creaminess. This time I used arugula and spinach instead of dandelion leaves. I omit the breadcrumbs and don’t bake. No tweaks to the gravy recipe.