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)

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)

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 Vegan Pumpkin Muffins Charlie Brown

NO, you haven’t mistakenly stumbled upon someone else’s blog. Yes, I am still passionately in love with butter and eggs and I am far from vegan. But, perhaps I am vaguely vegan: a vague-an.  I rarely eat meat these days, but the Argentine in me suspects I haven’t given up steak for the rest of my life. I can go days living on vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts but then find myself craving fish or chicken. When I bake I’m usually very stubborn about avoiding substitutes for the butter, eggs, dairy because since sweets should only account for a small fraction of your daily caloric intake why not make it really count. And, sorry folks but something made with dates and almond milk just isn’t going to scratch my itch. Until now…. Continue reading (1317)

Can’t Let Go of Summer Salad

New York City’s late summer weather is Colorado’s weather all summer long. Rarely above 80, low humidity, cooler at night, great hair weather and the blessed absence of summer city stink. Although I can smell fall in the air and have planned our apple picking day trip, I’m not yet ready to start making chili, soup or short ribs. I’m still craving light, refreshing, raw salads. I made this salad Sunday night for a casual get together with friends and I’ve been making some version of this simple salad for decades. I mean really simple. So simple, I’m almost embarrassed to call it a ‘recipe’.  Continue reading (1527)

Raw Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ salad because I’m feeling chubby

So, let me see a show of hands. How many of you are feeling a bit pickled from too much rosé (and/or mezcal), too many BBQ’s and the obligatory s’more, and overall just icky? Let’s face it summer vacation isn’t just for kids anymore and we’ve been pretending for the last ten weeks that eating ‘vacation food’ everyday is ok and that all of our self congratulatory consumption of farm stand produce somehow magically makes up for the all the overindulgence. Um. Nope.

“But I was in Italy/Ibiza/Hamptons/Greece/Hawaii/Vail” you might say….”I worked out/hiked/swam/ran/danced every day” you might protest…Well, I don’t know about you, but at my age (and this pisses me off more than I can express since I literally ran up MOUNTAINS this summer) it just doesn’t flipping matter. I always come home in September feeling chubby, bloated and highly motivated to do something about it. So, for the last three years I take the month of September off from booze; let’s call it “Sober September” and I really think about the food I consume.

The recipe I’m about to share with you kicks ass. It’s raw, nutritious, filling, textural, sweet and savory and yields a boat load so you only need to make it once a week. The food processor does 80% of the work for you, so preparation takes no time. Keep it in the fridge and reach for it every time you’re hungry.

Continue reading (1760)

Life is too short to chiffonade kale

My husband and I have a long standing love affair with Aspen. We got married there thirteen years ago (I was a surprise bride…yup, my husband planned a wedding unbeknownst to me….Yes, I was surprised….No, I didn’t wear a wedding gown, I wore a black suit….Yes, this will be a future blog post if I can somehow relate it back to food, or even if I can’t because it really is the best wedding story EVER), we have spent many summers in Aspen, we renewed our vows there three years ago and we are lucky to have many friends that live there. I have never skied Aspen. I repeat. Never. Skied. There. Why? I HATE skiing. Deeply. Passionately. Irreparably. But I LOVE going UP the mountain any time of year. WIth yak traks in the winter and trail running shoes in the summer. That I love. I also love Aspen’s restaurants, the shopping, the way it smells, the fact that my hair always looks awesome, its SOUL, the light, the clouds, the sky, the trails, the occasional Goldie and Kurt sighting and did I mention the food??  Continue reading (1480)

Chunky vs Smooth isn’t just for peanut butter anymore

My husband was raised in Houston, TX and he is a proud Longhorn. I’m pretty sure that learning how to make a good guacamole and tomatillo salsa was a pre-marital requirement. That and agreeing to participate in the systematic brainwashing of our son that his first choice school will be UT (I put my foot down at painting his nursery burnt orange). The more I delved into the world of avocados, salsas, tomatillos, jalapeños, cilantro (I pity people who are genetically disposed to tasting soap when they eat it), serranos, chili pequin, and chipotles, the more these ingredients revealed their potential.

Let’s say you went to Costco and find yourself coming home with six avocados you convince yourself you’re going to use by the end of the week and the end of the week comes and behold those untouched, perfectly ripe avocados are still in that sexy fishnet stocking like bag taunting and teasing you from your kitchen counter. Could you mash them and put them in your hair as a conditioning treatment? Probably, but that is the subject of a different kind of blog. Here’s how to use those avocados in two different ways using the exact same ingredients; it’s all in the texture. Smooth or Chunky.  Continue reading (4082)