Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bean Tacos

These aren't your average tacos.  Martha says so.

Yes, I just subscribed to Martha Stewart Living magazine.  I couldn't help it.  I do love Martha.  She helped plan my wedding two years ago after all! 

So this is the first recipe from her magazine that I've tried, and so far - so good!  It actually is a recipe entitled "Bean-and-Fish Tacos."  No brainer here, I just left out the fish. 

First I boiled and soaked  2 cups of dry pinto beans.  Once I started cooking them, I added a quartered onion, some carrots, celery, and garlic as "aromatics."  The house smelled wonderful, and when it was time to eat, these tacos were amazing!  It was the radishes.  Who would have thought?

(I halved this recipe and it made about four servings)


  • 1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped scallions (about 6)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno chiles (about 2)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for serving
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups cooked beans, plus 1/4 cup cooking liquid
  • 8 to 12 corn tortillas, toasted briefly over an open flame and wrapped in a cloth, for serving
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced, for serving
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed and shredded (2 cups), for serving


  1. Preheat broiler with rack 8 inches from heat source. Toss onion with lime juice and a pinch of salt. Let stand at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, mix scallions, jalapenos, chopped cilantro, a pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons oil. Transfer 1/2 cup to a small bowl (set remaining mixture aside), and stir in remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Rub all over fish.
  3. Reheat beans and their liquid. When hot, stir in 3 tablespoons reserved scallion-cilantro mixture. Remove from heat; cover.
  4. Broil fish, flipping when scallions and cilantro begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Continue to cook until opaque throughout, about 4 minutes more.
  5. Serve beans and fish with tortillas, remaining scallion-cilantro mixture, lime wedges, onions, cheese, radishes, and lettuce.

Creamy Farro Pilaf with Wild Mushrooms

We had two Thanksgiving dinners to go to last week, and I wanted to bring some new, vegan side dishes.  Whole Living Magazine is seriously my go-to source for the perfect recipes!  I can not express enough how much I love that magazine. 

A couple weeks ago I visited an old friend and she made a farro salad for dinner.  It was delicious and amazing!  I had never had farro before, but I loved it.  When I saw this recipe in Whole Living, I HAD to make it asap. 

I just switched out the chicken broth with vegan chicken broth, and I left out the Parmesan.  I brought it to the Wednesday Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit.  


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup farro
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • Coarse salt
  • 12 ounces wild mushrooms, such as shiitake or oyster, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • Red-pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch spinach (10 ounces), stemmed
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Parmesan, plus more for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add farro, stirring until toasted, 1 minute.  Add stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until farro is tender and creamy, 35 to 40 minutes. Season with salt and cover to keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and red-pepper flakes. Roast, stirring once, until crisp and golden, 20 to 22 minutes.
  3. Warm farro over medium heat and add spinach, stirring until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and Parmesan. Top with additional Parmesan.

At the Campground Again

We went camping again at our favorite spot on the beach.  The best thing is that it's only seven miles from our house.  It's a stay-cation!  Once again it was a beautiful sunny weekend, perfect for camping and perfect for trying new camp recipes.  Oh and check out the lights!  We go all out.

This time we made all sorts of veggie-goodness, including chili, fire-baked potatoes, (not pictured) roasted tofu-dogs, yummy open-faced sandwiches and fresh salad.  For breakfast we had pumpkin granola with rice-milk.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, and Onions

Cheezy Potatoes and Broccoli

Boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli with a vegan cheesy sauce.

Cheesy Sauce
1 cup rice milk
1 cup Daiya vegan pepperjack cheese

Heat milk and Daiya over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Drizzle over potatoes and broccoli.

Add freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste.

Enjoy thoroughly. 

Home Sweet Home

As soon as I got home last Monday, Will took me out to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant -- Casa de Bandini!  Sorry, East Coast, you got nothin on our Mexican food out here. 

Oh, and it was 85 degrees and sunny, and we ate out side, and it was lovely. 

While I Was Gone

Every October and November are extremely busy for me.  I travel a lot for work during these two months, and pretty much don't have time or energy for much cooking.  I just got back from a ten-day trip to New England, and before that I was at college fairs almost every night.  This week I was exhausted from travel and planning for a big event, and next week I'm traveling in Northern California for a week.  And then it's Thanksgiving!  What?!  Where did that come from?

I've mentioned what I normally eat when I'm traveling, but while I'm still local and attending two college fairs a day, it gets a little interesting too.  For example, one week back in October, I made a big potato salad and ate that at my booth each day for lunch, since the fair was during lunch hours.  For dinner I would make some kind of quick soup, or rice and beans, or salad at around 4:00 before going to the next college fair that lasted until about 8:30pm.  Of course I would be hungry by the time I got home, so I usually made a big thing of popcorn before falling asleep.

While I was Back East, I ended up buying all my typical travel food at Trader Joe's when I first got there, but then my college fair tour was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy so I ended up being "stranded" at my parents house, which was not a bad thing at all!  It was wonderful to be fed homemade meals by Mom for five days!  After the storm passed I ended up doing some work travels that I had arranged on my own since I was out there anyway.  I got to see lots of friends and family and eat lots of good veggie food. 

Here are just a few pictures from my New England travels:

Pumpkin and Fig flatbread at some place in Boston with Kendra.

Burlington, Vermont:  Best veggie burger EVER.  Topped with Fresh kimchee.

Montpelier:  Tofu, tomato, and avocado bagel breakfast sandwich.