If you ask me, a great coleslaw recipe is created with good knife skills and a short list of easy-to-find ingredients. Equal importance being placed on both ingredients and the cut of the cabbage. When cabbage is cut into ribbons that are too wide, the slaw ends up awkward, heavy, and daunting on the fork. If the pieces are too long, cheeks get dirtied with dressing-soaked cabbage sticks – awkward and messy. I like to shred my cabbage into ribbons that are thin as can be, half a pencil width at most. The cabbage becomes feather light and yet each bite maintains the perfect amount of coleslaw crunch.
Inspiration for this Coleslaw
When Wayne and I visited Mexico City I discovered a simple snack that quickly became a favorite – salt-kissed peanuts that tasted as if they had been misted with lime. I made this coleslaw the other night with those flavors in mind. It builds on the peanut salad I included in Super Natural Cooking and is a tasty (and colorful) alternative to more typical, mayo-based coleslaws. I made it to go along with fajitas, but I suspect it would be a welcome addition to any potluck, BBQ, or summertime party or picnic – tacos, burgers, or whatever else you have planned for this holiday weekend.
Ingredients & Variations
I’ve been buying my tomatoes direct from farmers. If tomatoes aren’t your thing right now, I would substitute chopped avocado and red onion. Or, now that I’m thinking about it – shredded apple, or apple slices, or jicama. Other ideas: roasted cherry tomatoes in place of the fresh ones – would take longer but would add an entirely different flavor profile.
You can easily make this a creamier coleslaw by adding a dollop of your favorite mayo or yogurt after the initial tossing of ingredients – before you add the peanuts. It’s one of those things that is all about personal preference. Sometimes a hint of creamy is perfect, but some people really like to go for it! I mean, I’ve definitely had conversations with people convinced that a good coleslaw is as much about the mayo as it is about the cabbage.
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Non-alcoholic cocktails don’t have to be a bummer. And, there are an increasing number of reasons to enjoy them over their boozy counterpoints. For example, if you’re pregnant, if you’re attempting to improve your health overall, if you’re taking a break from alcohol, or if you’re just tired of waking up a bit groggy.
Winding Down with a Drink
That said, having something special to drink at the end of a day is a favorite ritual. A celebration of sorts, and a way for to transition from to-do list mode, into a more relaxed frame of mind. I’m hoping these will provide some booze-free inspiration. Play around with aqua frescas, shrubs, kombuchas, and fresh fruit syrups. All can be fun components in mocktail type drinks. I like to keep the components in nice jars and decanters, and serve in pretty glassware. Enjoy!
1. Rose & Rhubarb Soda – (QUITOKEETO)
Keep blushy pink rhubarb syrup on hand, and you’re just a splash away from a special soda. Love this for brunches, and if you serve the syrup on the side everyone can sweeten to their liking. Get the recipe here.
2. Hibiscus, Lemongrass, Basil, and Honey Sweet Iced Tea – (Half Baked Harvest)
If there’s hibiscus being brewed, I’m drinking it. Especially if something like this! I love the tangy sourness of this flower, and the incredible saturation of (anti-oxidant-packed) color. Hibiscus, lemongrass, lime and basil, in one electric iced tea. Get the recipe here.
3. Beet-Sumac Soda – (Healthyish)
Just look at that color! Fresh beet juice is paired with a quick syrup made from tangy sumac. Then you have bit of spritz from soda water, and a jolt of fresh lemon. Love this for autumn. Get the recipe here.
4. Homemade Tarragon Soda – (101 Cookbooks)
This is what you do with any leftover tarragon you find in your refrigerator. When you steep sprigs of it, the scent is like falling into a cloud of anise, and fennel, and green-ish black licorice. Making a syrup from it is simple, keeps well refrigerated, and makes a beautiful soda.Get the recipe here.
5. Pineapple Coconut Water – (101 Cookbooks)
Fresh pineapple juice is one of life’s simple pleasures. Enjoy it like this, spiked with fresh ginger juice, and rounded out with coconut water for a fragrant tropical refresher. Get the recipe here.
6. Tangerine Rosemary Mocktail – (The Merrythought)
Herbal citrus drinks are a weakness, and I love the unexpected use of tangerine juice here. The rosemary syrup is made separately, which is nice because you can sweeten to taste easily. Get the recipe here.
7. Cranberry Rosemary Refresher – (In Sonnet’s Kitchen)
The rosemary makes this refresher. Add it to your holiday repertoire this year! Get the recipe here.
8. Chai Blossom – (Healthyish)
I could drink this all day, every day. Perhaps the most vibrant, refreshing thing you can do with chai spices, lime juice, and club soda. Get the recipe here.
9. Louisa Shafia’s Watermelon, Mint, and Cider Vinegar Tonic – (Food52)
A beautiful summer option here. And, you can totally switch up the melon based on what you have on hand. Get the recipe here.
10. White Peach Maple Syrup – (QUITOKEETO)
When peaches are in peak season, make this. Get the recipe here.
11. Cider, Thyme, and Tonic Mocktail – (Offbeat + Inspired)
The combination of cider and tonic here, with a bridge of thyme, is quite brilliant. Get the recipe here.
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No surprise, the cornerstone of this recipe is the golden-crusted, spinach falafel. If you look at the photo, you’ll see the pan-seared patties hanging out in the 5 o’clock position. They’re crusted, golden, browned on the outside, tender and lemon-flecked on the inside. They’re also packed with good-for-you spinach and chickpeas. I make them in big batches, freeze them, and eat them (allll the time) as snacks, or in bowls like these.
Falafel at the Center
If you have the falafel, you can pull together a pretty good snack or meal. It could be something along the lines of what you see here, or something different based on what you have on hand. I had some hummus in the fridge (a red beet version of this hummus), some kale, carrots, and cucumber that needed to be used, and some pita. Also, some herb stragglers. The pita and carrots went into the oven, I cooked the falafel in a skillet, and chopped up the rest. Let’s say you didn’t have any of that, but you did have some romaine, yogurt, and a garlic clove. You could do falafel lettuce wraps instead, smashing the garlic into a paste and adding it to the yogurt along with a bit of salt. Use that as your sauce. The name of the game here is adaptability.
Once you’ve formed the falafel you have a range of cooking options. If you smush them a bit, and pan-fry them in a bit of oil, you’ll get the best golden crust. Sometimes I bake them (450°F), also pretty-strong contender. I’ve even tested them in an Air Fryer, and they’re one of just a handful of things to exceed my expectations in it (7 minutes at 390°F, shake the basket, and do another 7 minutes).
A Vegan Version
I’ll note this in the recipe headnotes below as well. To make the falafel vegan, you can use flax “egg” (5 T. water + 2 T. ground flax seeds whisked together), and skip the cheese.
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Hi all! Here’s a fresh list of links, recipes, reading, and watch-worthy gems for the week ahead. I’m working on a garden edition for the next one.
– Road Tripping with Diana Kennedy (NY Times)
– 12 Lovely Swimsuits (great links in comments too!)
– Best Books for Summer (Vogue)
– This recipe. (LA Times + Botanica)
– Also, Diana Kennedy Says Goodby to Her Cookbooks (NY Times)
– Herbal Iced Tea brainstorm
– Summer Reading – (NY Times)
– A Tale of Two Kitchens (Netflix)
– Reading this right now, next up.
– Everything you didn’t even know you wanted to know about celery (LA Times)
– Flageolet Salad with Lemon, Radishes + Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
– The Mission grape is cool in L.A. again
– Also watching this.
– Karl Blossfeldt, Art Forms in Plants
– The Mexico City home of artist Pedro Reyes and fashion designer Carla Fernández
Continue reading Favorites List (6.9.19) on 101 Cookbooks
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Let’s do nachos today. I know the title says vegan nachos, but whether you’re vegan or not, when you need a nacho fix, this is how you should roll. At least once. Just to see if you like them. I mean, nachos are always a crowd pleaser, and this is no exception, I promise. Chances are, you won’t even miss the classic cheese bomb version. On the flip side, your body will thank you because the “cheese” in this version is non-dairy, vegan, packed with beneficial spices, cashews, garlic, and grated sweet potatoes, and lasts up to a week refrigerated.
All About the Cheese
Sweet potato nacho cheese is a thing for good reason, it behaves a lot like a classic nacho cheese, it’s the right color even, but(!) it’s arguably more delicious, and made from natural ingredients. I incorporate a bunch of short-cuts in my version to speed things along, like grating the sweet potato. Also, if you make the sauce a day or two ahead of time, you can have a pan of nachos ready to go in a flash. Ready? Let’s do this.
How to Get the Toppings Right
I’m including two different versions here. Option one is your typical pile-it-on semi-classic approach (pictured above): baked tortilla chips, black beans, sweet potato nacho cheese, olives, salsa, guacamole, chiles, etc. The other? Option two (pictured below) is what I like to think of as my hippie version: baked tortilla chips, sweet potato nacho cheese, chickpeas, roasted broccoli, guacamole, hemp seeds, pickled serrano chiles. The only things that would make it more hippie-ish would be to sprinkle it with nutritional yeast, and perhaps do a green version of the cheese (which I’ve considered ;)…
If you’re trying to make a meal out of the nachos, a good approach is to pile them high with an added sheet pan of simple, roasted vegetables. Broccoli and cheese is a classic combo (that even a lot of kids like), so I tend to go that route, but experiment! Roast a pan of vegetables while you’re making the cheese. Easy.
Choosing Your Chips
Is it me, or are baked tortilla chips increasingly hard to find? I look for baked chips (and sometimes fail). And/or ones with added heirloom corn, added quinoa, maca, etc. I also look for lightly-salted (some are SO salty!).
Uses for Your Extra Nacho Cheese
Any extra cheese is also tops as a sandwich spread, crudité dip, or keep it on hand anytime you’re grilling or roasting.
Oven to Table Convenience
Bake and serve your nachos on the same plate (or pan). I use an oven-proof platter here. A baking sheet or sheet pan also works. It makes it simple to go from oven to table. Pile as many chips as you like on your platter/pan, top with beans, top with cheesy dollops, and bake for a few minutes. Don’t worry that they don’t look particularly nice, everything changes when you add your finishing toppings! No need to dirty another plate.
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Let me start by saying, if you already make your own nut milks at home, you have to try this. I mean – walk to your kitchen, turn the oven dial, and get some coconut in there. You have to trust me here. I started making homemade toasted coconut milk a few months ago, and it has become one of my favorite things. It’s creamy, rich, nutty, and intense. I enjoy it immensely on its own, and as an ingredient in other preparations as well. It’s a real flavor punch. Imagine all the ways you can use it to make some of your favorite preparations even better. It’s great in chai, in morning oatmeal, baked oatmeal(!). You can use it in a wild range of sweet preparations, but it’s also good as a way to add a little je ne sais quoi, to broths, soups, and weeknight curries.
You can see how it comes together in a video of the process here, and you can find the recipe down below, as well as a few notes. Let me know if you make it, and if you do, please let me know how you’re using it!
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A couple notes. If you want to totally geek out on this, play around with the toastiness of your coconut. If you toast coconut deeply, you’re going to have a different profile than a more lightly toasted coconut. I tend to ride the dark side of the spectrum, but it’s wild the difference between a milk made with lightly toasted versus dark. Both delicious, just different.
Also, like all pure coconut milk, it will separate. And it solidifies in the refrigerator. Use it as you would canned coconut milk, and expect it to behave similarly (i.e. you might need to warm it up a bit, and give it a good stir before using)…
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A fresh list of links, recipes, reading, and watch-worthy gems for the week ahead. Enjoy!
– To Make: Folkloric Immunity Tonic (Andrea Gentl + CAP Beauty)
– Let’s talk about eye health! (In Fiore + Dr. Elise Brisco)
– Photos: Southern India (in my Insta Stories)
– A few fave asparagus recipes: this, this, this, and these.
– Required reading: for aspiring restauranteurs
– 2019 Garden Inspiration: reading this, binge watching this
– Watching: this & this
– Love: Esther Choi’s The Kitchen Gadget Test Show
– Reading: this, this, and this.
– Warming up To Vegan Pozole (New Yorker)
– The House that Love Built – Before it was Gone
– The Truth About Wasabi (video)
– Wish list: for my elbow ouchie (via Healthyish), daisy lead to match Polly’s daisy collar, a kishu tree, more Kashmiri amaro
Let me know if you have a favorite to add to the list – a favorite recent book you’ve read, podcast you’ve listened to, recipe you’ve cooked, etc!
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If you’re looking to make a silky smooth, creamy vegan soup, today is your day. This gem caught my attention because it is quite different than most “creamy” vegan soups I come across. It uses a clever trick to achieve its signature texture. And the resulting soup doesn’t rely on heavy cream or lots of coconut milk. Bingo.
The lineage of this soup goes something like this. Genius recipe-spotter Kristen Miglore highlighted this Paul Bertolli recipe on Food52 back in 2011. The CAP Beauty ladies gave it a turmeric and mustard twist in their new book, and I went from there. Adding yellow split peas on top make it a one-bowl meal, nutritional yeast tees up some cheesy flavor notes. I also upped the quantity because, leftovers.
The Technique: Make a Vegan Soup Super Creamy
The base of this soup is cauliflower. I make cauliflower soup all the time. The thing that makes this recipe special is the cooking technique. You let the cauliflower steam, in the pot, for 15 minutes. You can do this with cauliflower and get tender delicious florets out of the process. When you do this with vegetables like asparagus you end up with sad, overcooked, off color asparagus. Long way of saying, cauliflower is a great ingredient for this technique. Carrot and sweet potato also love the steam approach.
This is a vegan soup. It is also gluten-free, boosted with turmeric, and relatively quick to make on a weeknight. Leftovers are great and endlessly adaptable.
This version is spike with turmeric and mustard. You can certainly explore other directions. Grated ginger would be a great addition. Or, if you have spices left over from chana masala, perfect! I even stir a cup of rice porridge into the leftovers, for an excellent rice soup.
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Turmeric fans, this is for you. I’m teaming up with @diasporaco for a GIVEAWAY of a year’s supply of my favorite turmeric. That’s FOUR jars of vibrant, potent, organically farmed, single-origin turmeric grown in Andhra Pradesh, India with a 4.7% curcumin content. TO PARTICIPATE: Follow both of us ( @heidijswanson & @diasporaco ) on Instagram and leave a comment (on Insta) telling me what you’d do with this special turmeric. I’ll select my fave this Sunday (3/31)! To kick things off I’m highlighting a few of my favorite turmeric recipes here.
Update! DISCOUNT CODE: We’ve also got a code for anyone who wants to score some turmeric stat: HEIDI15 and it’s valid for 15% off any order until April 3rd. I buy this for myself, and this for little gifts. Enjoy! Let’s do this! xx, -h
1. Turmeric Grilled Tofu Spring Rolls – The spring rolls we been eat all spring & summer. Grilled turmeric tofu, asparagus, herbs, and hot sauce.
2. Turmeric Cashews – Turmeric Cashews tossed with cayenne, nori, and sesame. Inspired by The Good Gut written by Stanford researchers Justin and Erica Sonnenburg. Keep your microbiota happy.
3. Sunshine Pad Thai – The pad thai recipe you’re looking for! Try this simple trick to make a turmeric noodle version.
4. Turmeric Tea – I started making this turmeric tea for its beneficial properties, and now it is one of my favorite daily rituals – made from a honey turmeric paste with lots of lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Pickled Turmeric Eggs – If you’ve got hard-boiled eggs and five extra minutes, you can make these beauties! They’re the best. Hard-boiled eggs pickled in turmeric, shallot, and apple cider vinegar – beautiful, quick to make, and delicious.
6. Instant Pot Congee with Brown Rice and Turmeric – making congee in your Instant Pot is literally reason enough to buy one. A complete home run.
7. Turmeric Soaked Chickpeas – Turmeric soaked chickpeas, you can use them in all sorts of things! This includes your favorite hummus, salads, and chickpea creations. I include conventional stovetop and Instant Pot instructions here.
There’s also this (8)turmeric popcorn, this favorite (9)lemongrass turmeric curry paste, and this (10) dynamite cold tonic.
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This is a primer on how to cook artichokes – if you’re going to invest the time into cooking artichokes, you want them to be fantastic. Spring is the time I tend to cook them once or twice a week. And, although the process takes time and attention, I can’t help myself. When artichokes are good, there are few things I’d rather be eating.
Straight up, I think a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of cooking artichokes, or they think it’s not worth the effort. My friends confirm this. The topic has come up a few times lately, and the conversations are typically punctuated by a confession that they never cook artichokes at home.
So(!) I thought I’d do a quick outline of how I handle these armored spring ambassadors. Eight times out of ten I use the cooking method I’m going to outlined in the recipe sectin below. It requires nothing more than good (baby) artichokes, olive oil or clarified butter, and sea salt. If you can pair those ingredients, with a bit of practice, a hint of patience, and a window of time, you can absolutely cook some of the best artichokes. Not kidding. Once you hit your groove with these wondrous thistles, few of you will look back.
A Case for Cooking Artichokes
Nutritionists celebrate artichokes for a long list of reasons. They’re packed with fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, and have long been known to support the liver. They don’t get as much of the limelight as other ingredients – for example pomegranate, turmeric, acai, etc. – but they bring quite a lot to the table. It’s worth incorporating them into your meals, particularly when they’re in season.
A Worthwhile Shortcut
Update: I recently discovered frozen bags of artichokes at a local Trader Joes, and started experimenting to see if using them would be a worthwhile substitute to using fresh artichokes. At the very least, this could be a way to extend artichoke season. I don’t love canned or jarred artichokes, and it turns out, the frozen option is pretty great. You can cook them in a covered skillet in a bit of olive oil, straight from the freezer, until they’re cooked through, and then remove the cover and dial up the heat to get some nice, golden color on them. Season and serve. So good!
More times that not, this is how I like to prepare artichokes. The method works for whatever artichokes look good at the market – baby artichokes are ideal. The gist is – trim, blanch, saute. You end up with beautiful, tender, succulent, golden-crusted artichoke hearts that can be enjoyed straight from the pan, or in any number of other preparations – I outline a few below.
Extra virgin olive oil or clarified butter
Fill a bowl with water, squeeze the juice of the lemon into it. You’ll add the artichokes to the water immediately after trimming.
To trim your artichokes: Actually, before I get into the details of trimming, let’s just establish what we’re after. We’re after the tender. Meaning, we want to trim any tough outer leaves, tips, and stem. We want to get down to the tender parts of the leaves, without trimming so much that we have little left. To start, trim the stem. Pull the outer leaves from the artichoke, until you get down to the more tender leaves. Cut off the top of the artichoke (roughly where it begins to taper in), you want to remove the tough part of the tips. I like to use a serrated knife for that cut. From here decide what shape you’d like your artichoke pieces to be. For this preparation, I cut each artichoke in halves, and/or quarters. If you are using larger artichokes, ones that have developed a fuzzy choke, you’ll need to use a teaspoon (or mellon baller) to carve the fuzz out before moving on to your final cuts. Work efficiently, and get the trimmed artichokes in the lemon water as quickly as possible to reduce browning from oxidation.
While prepping the artichokes, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Salt well, and use a slotted spoon to transfer them from the lemon water to the boiling water. Boil until just tender, typically a minute or two. Drain well, and set aside. Alternately, you can steam the artichokes – this will keep more of the nutrients intact. Either way, you want the artichokes to be cooked tender (and feel free to eat them at this point)!
I can’t resist a bit of crust and crunch to them, so… Heat a tablespoon of oil or clarified butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. When hot, transfer the artichokes to the pan in a single layer. Toss to coat, and add a pinch or two of salt. Allow to saute, tossing every few minutes, until the artichokes are deeply golden and crusted.
You can enjoy these immediately, or at room temperature, or you can save them for a few day, refrigerated, in a coating of olive oil (drain before using)….
A few other notes:
Buying Artichokes: Your success here is going to depend on sourcing good artichokes. Look for tight, dense examples. This is a sign that they have been recently harvested. If you see the leaves have started to flower out, separate, or dry out, give them a pass.
Storage: Store artichokes in a bag in your refrigerator until ready to use. That said, try to use them quickly – within few days of purchase. The sooner the better.
Add-ins: This technique makes beautiful artichokes in their own right, but occasionally I like to flare them out with other things I have on hand. they have a great affinity for olives, orange zest, chopped almonds, chile flakes, fennel, anise, and lemon oil.
Great-on: Once you have a skillet of these, you can eat them on their own, or use them in/on all sorts of things. This artichoke season I’ve had them on farro risotto, quinoa, frittata, pureed cauliflower soup, and chopped into a ravioli filling. As I’m typing this, I’m imagining they’d be amazing as a component in a dumpling filling, or spring roll.
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