Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Black Bean Hummus: Discovery & Gratitude

Vegan Black Bean Hummus with crudite and hemp-corn chips

In the days following Thanksgiving, many blogs are featuring recipes that either 1) repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers or 2) help people cope with their eating remorse by being uber "healthy."  I suppose today's recipe could fit into either camp, because it is quite healthy and I'm sure that some of you out there did have black beans for Thanksgiving.  But even if it didn't, I'd still be sharing it with you, because above all, it is delicious.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Canary Tip: Best Intentions and How to Prepare for Them

"I heard you have a cast member who is gluten-free."

"Yes, we do.  Jonathan is gluten-free."

"Well, he's in luck!  I made some cookies especially for him and they're gluten-free."

"Really?  Wow, he'll be so happy.  What flour did you use?"

"Just white flour.  No wheat flour at all.  They don't taste gluten-free one bit."


Monday, November 21, 2011

Red Lentil and Acorn Squash Soup

Hearty Red Lentil and Acorn Squash Soup

The holidays wouldn't be complete without hot soup.  Of course, I love hot soup any time of year (even here in Texas), but when the weather starts to cool and the days start to shorten, there's something even more special about it.  The way it feel like it's "sticking to the bones," fortifying the body against weather and sickness, bringing warmth within.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cranberry Compote

Cranberry Compote with Blueberries and Ginger

When I recall cranberry sauce from family gatherings in Michigan when I was younger, I remember a red, gelatinous mass in the shape of a can.  I bet you know exactly what I'm talking about.  Sometimes it would be broken up into jiggly shards, but usually they would just slide it straight from the can into a small bowl and park it next to the turkey.  While it wasn't appetizing in the least, I was fascinated as to why something that appeared more akin to a science experiment was such a staple during the holidays.  And perhaps out of sympathy for the person who brought it or just being an opponent of wasted food, I would always extract a spoonful from it and attempt to "spread" it on my turkey.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mashed Rutabagas Rock

I am lucky to work at a job inhabited by so many foodies.  And between the seasonal offerings of the kitchen to the everyday "water-cooler" conversation between co-workers that frequently gravitates towards food, it's an endless source of inspiration for me.  I'm constantly tearing off pieces of paper and scribbling down recipe ideas throughout the day.  Unfortunately, it's a double-edged sword, as my desire to cook and bake far exceeds the time and resources needed to follow through with it.  But alas, excessive inspiration, while annoying and certainly frustrating, is not a bad problem to have.  And on the bright side, since these recipes have usually been stuck in the gray matter for so long, when I finally find/make time to make them, I have a pretty clear idea of what I'd like to do.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Collard Greens "Fettucine" with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Collard Greens "Fettucine"

Fall is my absolute favorite time to be in the kitchen.  Between lingering cold fronts, the progressive shortening of days, and the multitude of occasions bringing people together, I become extraordinarily inspired.  The ingredients associated with the season also resonate with me in a very special way.  Root vegetables, warming spices, dark leafy greens, squash, mushrooms, crisp apples and pears.  And even though it's been nearly ten years since my last "real" winter in Michigan, the desire and craving for warming foods and rich, hearty flavors seems to defy both geography and climate.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful for Change

When one mentions the holidays, common associations may include colder weather, relatives, gift shopping, changing leaves, knit hats, vacation, turkey, and pine trees covered in tinsel.  Stress may also come to mind, as to-do and to-buy lists have a tendency to continue growing past our budget and our patience.  But for me, when it all boils down, the holidays are a special reminder of how fortunate and blessed I am.  Blessed to have family and friends that love and support me.  Fortunate to not only have a job, but a job that I enjoy.  And exceedingly grateful for my health and the harmony I have found with my body.