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.




I’ve loved gingerbread since I was very young. My mother used Dromedary’s mix and served the gingerbread warm with sliced canned peaches and whipped cream. We all loved it. Now that I am older and wiser, I looked for an oil- and egg-free gingerbread recipe. Susan Voisin, www.fatfreevegan.com has a very good recipe for Applesauce Ginger Cake with Maple Glaze. I recommend it to anyone who wants a light cake. However, I am partial to gingerbread with lots of molasses as well as ale or stout. So I came up with the following recipe using Kettlehouse Coldsmoke Scotch Ale and molasses. I also used Susan Voisin’s Maple Glaze to finish this new gingerbread. The cake is intensely spicy, and, surprisingly, not too sweet.  CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE ARTICLE


I love the flavor of corn as well as lemon so this was something I really wanted to figure out. A small wedge of this torte is a great finish for many dinners.  I was inspired by a recipe from Sunset magazine that I came across quite a few years ago. I wanted to make something with that flavor profile but with a stronger lemon flavor. I also added some minced rosemary to give it a bit of a bite. You could use some minced lemon balm instead of or in addition to the rosemary.  CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE RECIPE