January 18, 2015

Every December my best friends and I make a shared spreadsheet of goals for the new year. We try to update it as the months pass and we’re able to check things off the list (or in some cases, not). Some goals get transferred from year to year without being completed, some we have the satisfaction of knowing we did it(!) Last year was a tough one for me – there were lots of transitions in my career and feeling a bit like I wasn’t getting anything done that I’d laid out for myself. When I decided to start working for myself at the end of 2014, my biggest promise to myself was that I would start taking better care of myself and prioritize the things that help me do that. Many of those things go hand in hand. Cooking makes me feel good, creative projects make me feel great, and eating healthy is key. When I can do all three things at once, it’s the best!

I’ve been working on a inspiration photoshoot with some talented local ladies Michelle Bablo and Katie Osgood, and when Michelle and I decided to have a brainstorming session, I took the opportunity to do my take on this Thai Curried Butternut Squash Soup from Cookie & Kate. The soup is rich and spicy with a nice balance from the fresh lime juice. Serve it with some toasted bread for dipping.

Vegan Curried Butternut Squash Soup The Bored Vegetarian

Ingredients

– 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
– 2 lbs of Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
– 1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
– 4 cloves Garlic, minced
– 3 Tbsp Thai Red Curry paste
– 2 tsp ground Coriander
– 1 tsp ground Cumin
– 1 Tbsp fresh Lime juice
– 1/2 tsp fresh ginger (preferably micro-planed)
– 4 cups Vegetable Stock
– 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
– Unsalted roasted Peanuts, chopped well for garnish
– Cilantro for garnish
– Salt to taste

Directions

In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat and add onion. Saute for a few minutes before adding the garlic. Once the onions are translucent, add in the squash, red curry, ginger cumin and coriander. Season with a pinch of salt. Combine ingredients together and cook over low/medium for about 10 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer for approx. 20 mins or until squash is soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Using a hand blender, blend soup until smooth. Add coconut milk and lime juice and blend until ingredients are well combined. Serve hot with cilantro and crushed peanuts as garnish.

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April 16, 2014

This post feels a bit like an awkward first date. My inclination is to comment on the weather (which sucks) and how the seasons are finally changing (slowly), but in truth there have been heavier things weighing on me the last couple of months. It’s amazing to see how unhappiness in one area of your life can completely wipe away the joy you find in the others, but am happy that I’ve made the decision to choose to pursue joy, even if it means things are a bit up in the air at the moment. Spring is the season of rebirth & growth after all.

Roasted Asparagus Soup by The Bored Vegetarian

Ingredients

– 2 lbs Asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 2 inch pieces
– 4 cloves roasted garlic (learn to roast it here!)
– 1/2 Onion, chopped
– 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
– 2 cups Milk
– Juice from 1 Lemon
– Salt & Pepper
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until tender, about 25 minutes. While the asparagus is roasting, saute the chopped onion in a saute pan with a bit of olive oil and salt until tender. Combine the roasted asparagus and sauteed onion in a large sauce pan. Top with vegetable broth and using a hand blender, blend the broth with the asparagus and onion until it begins to liquify (you can also use a blender). Add the milk and continue to blend, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Finish with fresh lemon juice. Over low heat, bring the soup to a simmer for an additional 10-15 mins or so. Remove from heat and strain soup with a mesh cone strainer. Garnish with a bit of creme fraiche and toasted pinenuts and serve hot.


January 3, 2014
vegan vegetable udon soup miso carrots mushrooms edamame bored vegetarian

I am now three days into my Vegan January challenge. As soon as I woke up on New Year’s Day, I realized I hadn’t done much preparation shopping-wise, so after lazing around for most of the morning, Chris and I walked over to the newish Greenpoint outpost of CHAMPS for some diner food. “I hope you realize that going vegan doesn’t mean that you get to only eat french fries all month” Chris said as I shoveled fries into my mouth. Whatever, Chris.

Yesterday was a bit better. I braved the cold during my lunch break to check out the newly opened Whole Foods on the disgusting beautiful Gowanus Canal. Have you visited yet? It reminds me of the sprawling suburban grocery stores of my youth, except four times more expensive and with three times the variety of kale. I was able to pick up some raw cashews to make cashew cream (more on that in another post) and a hearty salad with plenty of quinoa and nuts added for extra oomph.

For dinner, my stomach was craving warm comforting and fit for a snowstorm, so I created this miso soup with plenty of veggies and udon noodles. I didn’t use a vegetable stock, but if you have one, you could replace some or all of the water. You might also adjust the amount of miso and soy sauce in that case. As a rule, always adjust recipes to taste!

I want to mention that resources instruct not to boil miso and that it should be added only at the very end to preserve its health properties. I did not do that, I’m a little new to cooking with miso.

Ingredients

– 5 cups Water
– 4 Tbsp White Miso Paste
– 4-5 Tbsp Soy Sauce (more to taste)
– 2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
– 1 cup Mushrooms (I used beech mushrooms)
– 1/3 cup sliced Carrots
– 1 small Onion, chopped
– 1/4 cup Edamame, shelled
– 1/4 cup Scallions, chopped
– 2-3 ounces dry Udon Noodles
– Sriracha to taste

Directions

Bring water to a boil, add soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Add onions and turn down to a simmer until onions are translucent. Add in the miso paste, carrots, mushrooms, edamame and most of the scallions. Once the vegetables are tender, bring to a boil again and add noodles. After the water begins to boil again, turn down to a simmer until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot topped with some fresh scallions and Sriracha to taste.

I’d like to work on my vegetable broth-making skills. Do you have any suggestions?


May 31, 2013

Ingredients

– 3 Cucumbers 1/2 cup Parsley, chopped
– 1/3 cup Mint, chopped3 Scallions, chopped
– 1 pint Buttermilk
– 6 oz strained Greek Yogurt
– Juice from 1 Lemon
– Salt & Pepper to taste
– 2-3 oz crumbled Feta Cheese (optional)

Directions

Peel cucumbers. Slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 30 minutes (this helps remove some of their water). Coarsely chop. In a food processor or blender, combine cucumber, mint, parsley, scallions, buttermilk and yogurt. Blend until smooth, season with salt and pepper (I used a food processor, so there was still some texture to the soup, but you can always strain through a sieve if you’d like). Chill in the fridge until… chilled. Serve garnished with about an ounce of feta crumbled on top.

I just returned from Chicago on Monday (pictures to come) and am entering the final month of the busy event season. I have 6 more events that I’m planning/managing before the end of June (3 Bat Mitzvah celebrations, 3 weddings!), so the long weekend was a nice refresh before a lot of intense focus.

I’ve said this before, but the adventures I take are almost necessary in inspiring me when I feel like I’m in a cooking slump. New York is an incredible city for food, but sometimes it takes being out of your routine to realize that there are still worlds of ingredients to experiment with. Thank you to everyone who gave me advice on where to eat in Chicago! I didn’t make it to all of them, but I had some incredible food during my trip. The best meal I had came from a restaurant I went to a few years back during my first trip there. Anyone else as in love with Lula Cafe as I am? We had a six course vegetarian tasting menu that was amazing… creative, beautiful and delicious! We managed to snag seats at the chef’s counter, so we got a nice view into the kitchen where all the magic happens. If you haven’t been there, I can’t recommend it enough!


February 21, 2013

When I’m feeling a little uninspired in the kitchen, sometimes all it takes is a visit to an amazing restaurant or two to get the wheels turning again. Usually it’s because I’ve had a new combination of ingredients or take that I hadn’t considered, but sometimes I get inspired to recreate a dish that isn’t as good as I think it could have been. Case in point the cauliflower soup I had a place in Bushwick recently. While it wasn’t terrible, I thought it was missing the rich silkiness (ew, that word) that cauliflower can create. I decided I should try my hand at it at home to see if I could make a version that captured the comforting and warm feeling that soup should give in the deep hellish depths of winter (also known as February in New York.)

Ingredients

– 1 head Cauliflower, trimmed of stalk and leaves
– 1 cup chopped Onion
– 2 cloves Garlic, minced
– 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 6 cups Vegetable Stock
– 1 cup Half & Half
– Salt and Pepper to taste
– Truffle Oil (optional)

Directions

In a large pot, saute chopped onion and garlic on low/medium heat until translucent. Chop cauliflower into small, manageable pieces. Add to pot and cover with vegetable stock. Turn heat to medium/high until cauliflower is very soft, about 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, blend the stock and vegetables until smooth. Add half & half and continue to blend. Salt and pepper to taste. If soup is too thick, you can add a little water or more half and half. If it’s too thin, continue to cook until to desired thickness. Serve hot in a bowl with a drizzle of truffle oil and a parmesan crispFor the Parmesan Crisp1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese(for those asking, BelGioioso makes a rennet-free parm)Preheat oven broil. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread cheese in an even layer so that you can’t see the area of paper, about 4-5 inches around. Broil in oven until cheese melts and begins to crisp and brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Break into pieces and serve with soup.

Thanks to Mardi of Sprout & Pea for coming over for dinner and to share an amazing bottle of First Fruit from Shinn Vineyard on Long Island that I’ve been holding onto for far too long. It’s time I made a trip back there…


January 2, 2012


Black-Eyed Peas & Collard Greens SoupIt’s a Southern tradition to eat black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Years for good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year. Sounds good to me.1/2 pound of Black-Eyed Peas (soaked overnight)1 bunch of Collard Greens, thick stems removed, leaves chopped1 large Onion, chopped3 Carrots, peeled and sliced1 container Vegetable BrothExtra Virgin Oil1 tsp Liquid Hickory SmokeSalt & Pepper to taste
In a large pot, saute onion in a bit of olive oil until it begins to soften. Add carrots and black-eyed peas and cover with vegetable broth. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes and then lower to low/medium heat. Simmer for 15 minutes until peas and carrots are soft. Add collard greens and liquid smoke and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. Continue to simmer for 20-25 mins more. Remove from heat and serve immediately. 


November 28, 2010

Forgive me while I work a bit backwards. I plan on sharing what I made for Thanksgiving, but right now my mind is on the Ginger Carrot soup I just finished eating. There’s something about chilly, windy days that give me the urge to hide away in my apartment for a few hours, turn on some music (thank you, David Vandervelde and Laura Veirs for providing the soundtrack) and spend some time creating something tasty.


Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

Ingredients

– 5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
– 1 large yellow onion, chopped
– 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
– 3-4 tbls of fresh ginger (grated with a microplane)
– 1 can lite coconut milk1 tbls coriander
– 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you want it really spicy)
– olive oil
– salt & pepper
– water (or vegetable stock if you prefer)

Directions

In a large pot, saute onion and garlic with olive oil and salt until it starts to brown. Add in carrots and cover with water. Bring to a boil until carrots are tender. Using a handblender, blend ingredients until smooth. Add grated ginger, coriander and cayenne pepper. Blend and season with salt and pepper. Continue to heat until soup is at the consistency you prefer. Serve hot!

I’ve been back from Boston for a few days now – I ended up cutting my trip a little short since I was missing my bed and needed to deal with a driver’s license renewal situation. It was great to catch up with some of my friends there… and snuggle with my favorite dog, Roger.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a great time in Louisiana/Mississippi. I’m still uploading/editing pictures from the trip, but here’s some highlights. My hosts, Chris and Sabrina Watson (check out Chris’ label, Park the Van! Home to The Generationals, Dr. Dog and more!) Chris is holding avocado cream pops. They were good.

 
Woodville, MS



Natchez, MS


Lafayette, LA


Natchez-Vidalia Bridge, LA side


Cotton field, somewhere in Louisiana

Louisiana swamp (airboat tour)

I’m really happy that I took the two days to drive up through Mississippi and back down through Louisiana. Not only was it a beautiful drive, but I got to visit a lot of tiny little towns, talk to different people and dig through all sorts of antiques. One store owner talked to me about finding treasures buried in the backyard of his Civil War home, another about his trip to New York as a teenager. I put my foot in the Mississipi River. I got a schooling on Southern prejudice. I perfected my faux-accent. More photos/stories of New Orleans in my next post. I can’t wait to go back.


October 6, 2010

I blinked a few weeks ago and now suddenly it’s October and I’m tracking leaves and mud into my apartment and cursing myself for not thinking to bring a jacket. With this colder weather comes the craving for heartier, warmer meals full of greens and gourds.
Mmm soup. 


Vegetarian MinestroneDoes anyone else get Olive Garden flashbacks from the word “minestrone”?1/2 large yellow onion, chopped2 cloves garlic, chopped1 large tomato, chopped2 carrots, chopped1 red pepper, chopped2 cups kale, chopped2 cups of dry pasta (I used Ditalini)2 tbls dry oregano1 tbls dry basil1 1/2 containers vegetable stocksalt & pepper to taste2 tbls olive oilIn a large pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Pour in vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Add tomato, basil and oregano. Add red pepper and carrots. Salt and pepper to taste. Add in dry pasta and continue to simmer until al dente. Finally, stir in kale and remove from heat. Season to taste and serve immediately. A few notes: I mistakenly did not use enough liquid, and once the pasta started absorbing, it quickly started to disappear. Feel free to add a bit of water (and reseason accordingly) prior to adding the pasta.
 

Squash Soup with Thyme and Honey1/2 large yellow onion, chopped2 cloves garlic, chopped1 squash, rind(?) removed, chopped (I used Spaghetti Squash.. more on that later)1 1/2 tbls honey1 tbls fresh thymeolive oilsalt & pepper to tastewater In a small pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until it starts to brown. Add in chopped squash and cover with water. Season with salt & pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until squash is soft. Add thyme and honey and stir. Continue to simmer. Once everything is incorporated, turn off heat and let cool.Use a hand blender, blend soup until smooth consistency. Return to heat and simmer until soup is at the thickness you prefer. Serve.
Some notes: My mom used to make us “spaghetti” using spaghetti squash as the noodles. I can’t remember the squash being bitter, but this soup had a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Next time I would probably use a different squash – butternut perhaps? I’d love to update you on what I’ve been up to since the last time I did a proper post, but there’s been too much to cover. Instead I’ll just share some of my favorite photos from the last few weeks and let you come to your own conclusions.






The next few weeks are full of birthday celebrations, visitors & house guests, some CMJing and the start of my photo class (ack!) I love fall.


June 14, 2010

Every once in a while, when dining at a restaurant, I’ll pull out a pen and paper (oh fine, I pull out my iPhone) and jot down the ingredients of whatever delicious thing I’m eating so that I can recreate it at home.  I’ve done this twice in the last couple of weeks – once at Rick Bayless’(!) Frontera Grill in Chicago, and then again at Back Forty in the East Village.  My homemade version is usually not exact, but I like getting inspired by other people’s food.
I hadn’t had a Sunday night dinner in a while, so I invited over Kasey, Noel, Mads and Bjorn tonight to help me test these recipes out.  Then we watched Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and tried not to fall into a food coma.  Success!

Jicama Salad (inspired by Frontera Grill)Jicama is insanely difficult to find in New York.  I looked at three grocery stores before giving up and going to the Whole Foods.  Bjorn was able to find one at C-town, so now I have enough Jicama to last me through the summer.  Or at least the next two weeks.
1 Jicama rootJuice of 2-3 limes (I used a lemon too, cause my limes weren’t being as juicy as I wanted.)chopped cilantrosalt to taste
Peel the Jicama and julienne.  Toss with lime juice, cilanto and salt.

Homemade Foccacia CroutonsFoccacia bread, cubed (I bought a small chunk from Whole Foods for less than $2)2 tbls buttergarlic salt
Melt butter in a saute pan and add bread, tossing to coat.  Let bread begin to brown and crisp, and sprinkle with garlic salt.

Chilled Pea Soup (inspired by Back Forty)The soup I had at Back Forty was mind-blowingly good and I must accept the fact that I will never be able to recreate it.
2 bags of frozen peas4 cups of vegetable stock2 1/2 cups of plain yogurt1/2 cup scallions, choppedolive oilsalt and pepper to tastewhite truffle oil (just a drizzle!)In a large saute pan, combine peas and stock and heat on medium.  In a small pan, saute scallions in olive oil until soft.  Transfer peas, stock and scallions to a food processor, add yogurt and blend until smooth.  Salt and pepper to taste.  I garnished with the croutons and mache lettuce, which I bought on a whim today.

Spaghetti with Artichokes, Lemon and Ricotta (via Paris and Back)
1 lemon, halved 1 can or jar of artichoke hearts 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, chopped salt and pepper to taste 1/2 pound of spaghetti (I used whole wheat) 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley1 cup ricotta cheese (homemade perhaps?) 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Bring pasta to a boil
Place the oil and garlic in a large skillet.  Drain artichokes and pat dry.  Add to pan.  Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the artichokes begin to crisp and lightly brown.  About half way through, add the juice from both lemon halves over the browning artichokes. Before draining your cooked pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water in case you need a little moisture later.  Drain the pasta when it reaches al dente, but do not rinse. Once the artichokes are browned, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Toss the pasta with the artichokes and parsley, adding the reserved pasta water as needed.  Serve immediately with a heaping spoonful of the ricotta on top or other grated cheese as you like.
(I only loosely followed this recipe.)
Kasey made a watermelon and feta salad that was super delicious, which I failed to photograph.  So refreshing!