VEGAN MONDAY BLACK BEAN CASSEROLE

After a week at The Ranch in Malibu I returned inspired to try and stick to a “vegan until dinner time” diet as well as eating a plant based diet one full day a week. My husband and son do not embrace my new found enthusiasm so the dinner I make on my vegan day needs to satisfy them as well….or maybe I should tell them to shove their opinions where the sun don’t shine considering that I’m the boss of the kitchen. But, OK fine, I’ll play nice. Here’s a wonderful Mexican flavored vegan dinner that requires very little time to prepare:

Black Bean Burrito Casserole (adapted from Gourmet Magazine, 1990)  Continue reading (258)

Baby Got Bundt

Want to pass the time on a lazy, rainy, fall afternoon? Google songs that contain the word ‘butt’. There are many. MANY. But few are as catchy as Sir Mix Alot’s “Baby Got Back” and the opening line in all its Valley Girl glory is iconic “Oh my God Becky, look at her butt”

And while your shakin your thang, bake this easy, delicious, made-completely-in-the-food processor Apple Bundt Cake. Any recipe that is so straightforward that you can (Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty while you’re making it is a WINNER.  Here goes my bundt-y-ilicious friends:  Continue reading (768)

Quinoa Chia and everything else that will get stuck in your teeth Granola Bars

It’s been ten months since my last blog post. Forgive me reader (singular on purpose…Hi Mommy!) for I have just finished a massive one year renovation of my home, and was simultaneously training to climb Kilimanjaro (summited August 10th! Can you we say hell yeah!). But I am back in my home, Kili behind me and reenergized to share some of my favorite recipes with you.

Let’s talk granola bars. The store bought ones deserve all the bad rap they get. They really do. They are loaded with sugar, contain barely any fiber, have negligible protein and let’s face it are so antiquated since the advent of the ubiquitous protein/energy bar. But here’s the deal, if made by you they can really pack a nutritional punch because you get to choose what you want in them. The basic formula is: Continue reading (986)

Flycakes Fancy Fruit Salad Syrup

Picture this: You’re at a dinner party and the hostess places a fruit salad on the table, or you’ve brought one to a friend’s house as your healthy contribution to the night and all of a sudden you hear a sound. What is that? It kind of sounds like a stifled yawn. I’ll tell you what it is, it’s the sound of eyes rolling at the thought of another boring-ho-hum-who-really-wants-fruit-for-dessert-but-I-have-to-pretend-to-like-it fruit salad.

The recipe I am about to share elevates the usually completely average dessert to a whole other level and it really couldn’t be easier. It’s basically a tricked out (dare I say sexy) simple syrup that works gorgeously on mixed berries, melon, sliced oranges, grapefruit, pineapple chunks, even kiwi. So you know the peeled and prepared fresh fruit you buy at Whole Foods? Pick any of them, put them in a pretty bowl and pour this concoction over the fruit. Done. Continue reading (1792)

Bye Bye Aunt Je-mi!

I’m a bit embarrassed to confess that until very recently, I outsourced my pancake making to Aunt Jemima. And then, hearing reports from my son that my mom (his ‘abuela’) makes him pancakes from scratch every sleepover morning, I decided to rethink my lazy ass approach to pancake (or griddlecakes) making.  It’s a simple, time-tested, tasty and old fashioned recipe borrowed from the classic Fannie Farmer Cookbook. The toughest step in the recipe is melting the butter; that’s how easy this is. Buh-bye Auntie J! Continue reading (1675)

Juniper Ridge Granola

Granola… Such an innocent little word. It conjures up images of wellness, hiking, backpacking, yoga, and hippies. I’m sure many of you already know this but it’s also a densely packed calorie BOMB. One cup of this seducitive little grain delivers between 200 and 400 calories depending on the recipe. Unless you’re planning on running a marathon that day, it’s hard to justify consuming that many empty calories/sugar/fat for breakfast. If you have the self control to measure out a couple of tablespoons to sprinkle on your yogurt, then granola is a great option but many of us don’t have that self discipline and end up eating way more calories than we want to. Personally, I’d rather save my calorie chits for my evening mezcal.

Enter my mother in law. She and her husband live 20 miles outside Santa Fe, New Mexico on nine acres, surrounded by piñons, junipers, lone buttes and the siren cry of coyotes in the evening. It’s a magical place that lends itself to trail running and fitness. My father in law loves granola, is a triathlete and therefore consumes and burns an insane number of calories a day. So rather than buy granola in the supermarket (the nearest being 30 minutes away) which is loaded with calories and also costly my MIL started making it herself. Here I’ll share her granola recipe perfected over the last decade and lovingly stripped down to a delicious, healthy, crunchy, just sweet enough version:  Continue reading (1699)

Quick Spicy Pineapple Salsa

Want to spice up you sex life? I mean dinner. Make this quick spicy pineapple salsa and serve it along side your simply grilled/broiled/roasted chicken/fish/fish tacos/pork. It’s so easy, can be made a day in advance and requires nothing other than a chopping board and a knife. I buy the cubed pineapple from Whole Foods. Yes, you heard me. It’s a huge timesaver but do not use canned!

This summer when you’re sitting outside grilling, you’ll think of me.  Continue reading (2956)

Turkey Bolognese

In Italian restaurants I am always tempted by those bowls full of stick to your ribs Pasta Bolognese that I see being delivered to tables around me. I don’t eat red meat often, well maybe never, so  I played around with some classic Bolognese recipes and over time came up with my version of it using ground turkey instead of beef. It’s quick, easy, yields a lot and freezes beautifully.  Continue reading (1644)

You’ll-never-buy-it-in-a-jar-again Tomato Sauce

As much as I love cooking, I am here to tell you that there are certain products I will NEVER make from scratch and will shamelessly continue to buy from a store because let’s face it, they are just so good. Spending hours in the kitchen replicating the original gives you bragging rights yes, but it also inspires people to want to punch your smug face and it will NOT taste better than the original.  So, peanut butter, mayonnaise, sriracha (sorry GP), Oreos, Ritz, Mallomars, Graham Crackers, flour tortillas, are perfect the way they are. Move on people.

But if there’s one product that with just a teensy bit of effort can be improved tremendously it is TOMATO SAUCE.  Now, listen readers and listen carefully. If you are having one crazy military operation kind of day and jarred tomato sauce is all you’ve got, then by all means heat that sucker up, boil some pasta and call it dinner. It certainly beats the drive thru at McDonalds or KFC. This is a no judgment zone. Continue reading (2115)

It’s (finally) getting to be turkey chili weather

Here we are with October virtually behind us and only now will day time temperatures dip below 60. Yeah, yeah, yeah everyone around me loves it and I just feel like I’m being cheated out of that perfectly crisp New York weather. It’s just not natural to go apple picking in shorts people! Fall weather to me means new boots, outdoor running, good hair, and turkey chili. This is a recipe I can comfortably claim as a Flycakes original. I’ve tweaked and adjusted it over the years and honestly I barely even measure the ingredients anymore. It’s simple, healthy, delicious, makes your apartment smell like a spice market and yields so much you can freeze the leftovers for a night when you don’t feel like cooking.

Flycakes Turkey Chili  Continue reading (1046)