This mushroom and spinach yakisoba was inspired by a gift from my two oldest and dearest friends: Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of The Week by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. As soon as I saw it I thought of all the bowls of yakisoba that I had scarfed down in San Francisco over the years. For this version I used two of my favorite vegetables, cremini mushrooms and fresh spinach. I added sweet red pepper to give it a little pop of color and flavor. The sauce is shoyu (soy and wheat) and mirin (rice cooking wine) and a little chili sauce. Mixed together with noodles, ginger, garlic and scallions it is a delicious and satisfying dish. I could eat this every day. Once the vegetables are prepped, this goes together pretty quickly.
A couple of months ago, while in the deli section of The Good Food Store at lunch time, I saw a pot of mushroom soup. It looked rich and strong and creamy and delicious so I helped myself to a bowl. At the checkout, the clerk smacked her lips and said that it was one of her favorites. She told me that the cooks based the mushroom soup on a recipe from an old Moosewood Cookbook. I sat down at one of the tables in the store and started spooning up the soup. I’d never tasted anything like it. The flavors of the paprika and dill were strong and surprising and when underlain by the silky and earthy mushrooms and onions the whole experience was outstanding. I couldn’t believe that I had never heard of it much less never eaten it before. As soon as I got home I googled the recipe. The Moosewood Cookbook was written by Mollie Katzen when she was a member of the Moosewood Collective and self-published in 1974. Now, some 50 years later, there are upwards of 30 versions of the soup online. So, after making it a few times, here is my take on this celebrated soup.
A few nights ago while rummaging through Waverly Root’s book, The Food of France, first published in 1958, I came across a description of a dish frequently made in Provence, specifically the city of Arles. It consisted of eggs scrambled with garlic and the inside of a zucchini. Then the mix was put inside the hollowed-out zucchini and topped with some tomato sauce. It sounded pretty good to me. The next day I was in my garden and found a fairly large cocozelle (very similar to zucchini but stronger tasting). I immediately thought about Root’s description of the stuffed squash. I thought that it might work as a tofu scramble.
This week I harvested quite a few of the French filet beans or haricot vert variety called Rolande. I grew them from seed from Renee’s Garden, located in Felton, California (www.reneesgarden.com) I’ve been happy with all the plants I’ve grown with seed from Renee. These beans have a delicate but definite flavor and don’t need a lot of sauce or other ingredients.
Who can resist the flavor of basil? It enhances so many things, from vegetable soup to spaghetti, to sandwiches – anything savory that wants a little extra kick. This pesto is easy to put together and can be frozen for a few weeks. CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE ARTICLE
There are almost as many ways to make polenta as there are ways to make beans. The wonderful chef Judy Rogers included a tasty recipe in The Zuni Café Cookbook, W.W. Norton and Company, 2002. Here is my recipe for polenta. I find this the easiest way to make polenta because it doesn’t require an inordinate amount of stirring. You will need a large saucepan and a double-boiler with at least a six cup capacity. CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE ARTICLE
These dark purple beauties make a wonderful pot liquor. The beans have black stripes on them and are a lighter color before they are cooked. I purchased these beans from www.ranchogordo.com, the company started by Steve Sando that specializes in heirloom new world beans. According to Sando, they are also known as Hopi String Beans and while they are somewhat like pinto beans the Rio Zape beans have a deeper flavor. CLICK HERE FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE
This is my favorite combination of ingredients for salad. I use the best flavored apples that I can find. I am partial to butter lettuce because it contrasts with the crunchy ingredients and is a good foil for the vinaigrette, but any favorite will do. I make this salad all year long to serve with lots of different dishes but it seems to have an affinity for dishes made with root vegetables. CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE ARTICLE
In another life my husband and I frequented a deli in West Los Angeles just for their egg salad sandwiches. They were so big that we always split the sandwich. Now I hate to think of all the fat and cholesterol packed into that sandwich. And I found that you can get that great flavor without all the bad stuff. Look online for vegan egg salad you will find a host of recipes for egg-free egg salad but still with oil. Here is my recipe for an oil-free egg salad that will bring back lots of memories. CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE ARTICLE
One of our local bakeries, Le Petit Outré, makes a great pizza dough that is available in many local markets. It is made with wheat flour, malted barley flour, semolina flour, sea salt, yeast and water. It is better than any pizza dough that I have made. And it is so easy to pick up a package at the market and make a calzone for dinner. Look for some freshly-made pizza dough in your area. There are so many combinations of ingredients to choose from. This particular evening I had some Romesco, artichoke hearts and olives as well as some savory tofu cream cheese. It couldn’t get any easier. Add a green salad and you have a quick, nutritious meal.