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)

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 (987)

Lemony Roast Chicken On the Fly

If your family is anything like mine, when you roast a whole chicken, everyone eats the breasts, drumsticks and thighs but you’re always left with this unappealing carcass of wings and skin. Nope, I’m not going to tell you to ‘simply make chicken stock’ out of the leftovers because mine is not that kind of blog. You know, that blog that is so smug it makes you feel like a failure in the kitchen if you use (gasp) store bought broth.

My advice is simple: don’t roast a whole chicken and save yourself both the messy hassle of carving it and a lot of cooking time.

Serves 4 (three in my household)
Preheat oven to 400

4 bone in, skin on organic chicken breasts (they really are more tender and moist)
Juice of one lemon, remove pits
3 tbs EVOO or basil infused olive oil or lemon infused olive oil
3 chopped or crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp dijon mustard (if you have it on hand. If not, disregard)
Herbs de provence, salt and pepper to taste

In the bottom of a roasting pan whisk together all of the ingredients and coat both sides of the chicken well. Leave the skin on, it gives the chicken so much more flavor and you can remove it before eating if you’re watching your cholesterol.

Roast until juices run clear when you pierce the breast. 35-45 minutes.

Serve with my kale salad or raw cauliflower couscous salad and you have just made a simple and delicious dinner. Be proud!

Enjoy and always let your taste buds soar
Hugs,
Maria (1257)

The Marinate Anything Marinade

To feel comfortable in the kitchen it really helps to have one or two basic recipes committed to memory. It just builds confidence. When you can make a quick marinade with just a few ingredients, one that pairs perfectly with fish*, poultry, pork and flank steak and also works on the grill, under the broiler or in the oven, you will feel like a rock star.

And it is so unbelievably easy.  Continue reading (1873)

Marathon Brownies

It’s marathon Sunday here in NYC and I am sitting at my kitchen counter, staring at my computer asking myself how I can pay tribute to and honor the unbelievable and awe inspiring physical feat that is the ING New York City Marathon.  I’ve cheered my friends on, gotten choked up at the sea of warriors refusing to give up, sent out all the congratulatory texts and emails, and have high fived runners walking home wrapped in their orange blankets. But what more can I do? Bake some kick ass brownies of course because that’s just what I do. Those who can’t run (this year) bake!

These brownies are easy, quick, require few ingredients, and elicit loud and wildly inappropriate moans from all who indulge. And to all of you who ran 26.2 flipping miles today…. INDULGE THE CRAP OUT OF YOURSELVES

Marathon Brownies

Continue reading (1345)

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)

Are we sick of chicken yet?

I rarely make red meat at home since a) I don’t eat it b) my husband watches his diet like a girl (no offense honey) c) burgers and steaks are so much better on an outdoor grill and d) steak dinners just masochistically taste amazing when the markup is 500 percent and you’re being served by cranky waiters in ugly suits. So, I buy enough organic chicken to feed an army at Costco and within two weeks it’s gone. Yes, this is another flipping chicken recipe. But it’s delicious, so so easy (have I lied to you about that yet?), and perfect for a fall night when you don’t feel like cooking but feel like a shitty wife and mother if you don’t.

Roasted Red Chili Paste Chicken Curry Continue reading (2318)

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)