Tag Archives: Vegan Friendly

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Pecan

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Pecan

With less than two weeks to go until December 25th, I’m guessing that most of us are starting to think about menu planning – I know I definitely am. Here I’m offering up a side dish we should all consider serving for our holiday meal. It’s easy, it’s unexpected, and of course, it’s delicious.

This is one of those side dishes you sit down to eat and don’t think much of, until you realize you have been ignoring those around you and absolutely scarfing it for the past five minutes. And then you wonder how uncouth it would be to take seconds of it even though you’ve touched nothing else on your plate. I really can’t say enough good things about it.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Pecan

I absolutely loved the mixture of the savory, grassy herbs with the sweetness of the potatoes and the maple syrup. The crunch of the pecans lends a needed contrast with the softness of the sweet potatoes, and truth be told, I wasn’t sure how to feel about leaving the skin on the potatoes until I tasted it; rest assured, it’s wonderful. Interesting, unexpected, and balances out the sweet notes with a little bit of “roughness”.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Pecan

Highly, highly recommend this one. Enjoy!

Source: Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:
2 medium to large sweet potatoes
3 tbs olive oil
4 tbs pecans
4 scallions, thinly sliced
4 tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 tbs dried cranberries
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

DRESSING:
4 tbs olive oil
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs sherry vinegar
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs orange juice
1 scant tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Do not peel the sweet potatoes! Wash them, dry them, then cut them into ¾-inch cubes. Spread them out on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and mix well with your hands. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, shaking the pan well about halfway through.
On a separate baking sheet, toast the pecans for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and chop coarsely.
Make the DRESSING: whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
When the potatoes are done, transfer them to a large bowl while still hot. Add the scallions, parsley, cilantro, pepper flakes, pecans, and cranberries. Pour the dressing over and toss gently to coat (you may not need all the dressing!). Season to taste, then serve at once or at room temperature. It’s even pretty good leftover and cold.

Blood Orange Tabbouleh

Blood Orange Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh – it’s new to me. While I’d like to think I wasn’t totally sheltered from international cuisines growing up, Middle Eastern food just wasn’t a thing for me in my formative years. There weren’t restaurants in my area (that I knew of, anyways), my friends didn’t eat it, and my parents didn’t seek it out.

I’m not sure if it’s just that the tide has changed over the past couple of decades, or it was me moving to New York, but now I’m surrounded by this fascinating (to me) and novel (again, to me) cuisine. Geopolitical quagmires aside, they’ve got some good food over there!

Blood Orange Tabbouleh

Take tabbouleh. Oh sure, I’d heard of it in recent years, but hadn’t tried it until somewhat recently. One of Matt’s foodier relatives made a batch at a family reunion, with tomato, lots of fresh herbs, and couscous as the base. Upon a little (admittedly cursory) research, I learned that tabbouleh originated in Syria and Lebanon, and it’s a grain-based salad with tons of fresh herbs. Some version (like my first one) use couscous while others (the one I’m sharing today) use bulgur wheat as a base. I find both please my palate, but as I’ve gotten more into whole grains lately, I chose a bulgur wheat based tabbouleh to feature on the blog.

And also, it’s February. I mean, you were probably aware of that, but the fact remains, it is February in the northeast United States where I’m shopping and cooking, so as you can imagine – no tomatoes. Instead, we’ll feature what we do have in abundance right now: winter citrus!!!

blood orange tabbouleh

The original recipe I’m adapting here called for grapefruit, a citrus I’ve never been too crazy about, so I decided to sub in blood oranges (while I still can!).

This was crazy delicious and so healthy and clean. And it’s very adaptable – you could definitely use grapefruit if that’s your thing, or feel free to sub in regular navel oranges once the blood oranges disappear for another season (sniff). If you’re a regular tabbouleh consumer, I feel certain you’ll enjoy this version; and if you’re new to this dish, I’d highly encourage giving it a shot!

Blood Orange Tabbouleh

{Two Years Ago: Coffee Rubbed Bacon}

Source: adapted from Carnivore by Michael Symon

Ingredients:
½ cup bulgur wheat
Kosher salt
Grated zest and juice of 3 small regular or Meyer lemons
1 garlic clove, minced
Up to ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 generous cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup chopped scallions
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 blood oranges, peeled and segmented

Directions:
In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil over medium heat. Add the bulgur and cook until the bulgur has absorbed all the water and is slightly tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Start stirring when the water is almost gone, otherwise the bulgur touching the bottom of the pot will stick.
When done, season with ½ tsp kosher salt and set aside.
Meanwhile, add the zest and juice of the lemons to a small bowl. Add the garlic and the olive oil. Whisk to combine and season very lightly with salt. Set aside.
In a large salad bowl, combine the parsley, scallions, cilantro, and blood orange segments. Add the cooked bulgur wheat, then pour just enough dressing to lightly coat everything. Toss gently, coating the entire salad with the dressing, adding more as needed. You may have some dressing leftover though. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed. Serve and enjoy!

Vegetarian Pâté with Chestnuts and Porcini

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Pâté seems to be the perfect elegant party food, especially around the holidays. It appears to be most likely featured in the December issue of popular food magazines, and even cookbook entries tend to extoll its December-y seasonal virtues.

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Pâté is traditionally made with cooked and pureed chicken livers, but today I wanted to share a vegetarian (vegan, actually!) version. Firstly, because your vegetarian friends and guests cannot eat the chicken livers, and secondly because many of your carnivore friends and guests probably won’t eat the chicken livers either.

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Chicken livers have gained of lot of foodie ground in the past decade or so, but they are still fully capable of dividing an otherwise peaceful room of people. Personally, I find them delicious and will eat them in whatever form except for over- or undercooked; but I am not everyone.

This particular pâté will solve all your problems. It’s still completely delicious, completely sophisticated and completely seasonal, but no one will lodge any complaints. (Except maybe your chicken liver loving friends… Nah, they’ll take one bite and get right over it!)

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This cocktail party favorite is very easy to throw together, and since it must chill before you serve it, it automatically falls into the make-ahead category, which we all know is ideal for hosting a party. Everyone will adore this one, promise. Enjoy!

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Source: Vegetarian Dinner Parties by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

{One Year Ago: Recipe Round-Up: 75 Comfort Foods}

Ingredients:
5 tbs olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
5 oz. (about 2 cups) thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
2 tbs brandy
¾ cup roasted, unsalted cashews
1/3 cup jarred roasted chestnuts
1 tbs finely ground dried porcini mushrooms
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
¼ tsp ground turmeric
Toasted bread slices, for serving
Cornichons, for serving
Radishes, stemmed and halved, for serving

Directions:
Set a medium high-sided skillet over medium heat for a couple minutes, then add 2 tbs olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes.
Shut off the heat and carefully add the brandy. Swirl the brandy around gently, then turn the heat back on. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom, then shut the heat off again and transfer the contents of the skillet to your food processor. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Add the cashews, chestnuts, dried porcini powder, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, turmeric, and the remaining 3 tbs oil. Process until very smooth, scraping down the bowl a few times to get every last speck of nuts of spices incorporated. Be patient, as this may take a few minutes.
Once the mixture is completely smooth, scrape the pate into a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Serve with the toasted bread slices, cornichons, and radishes.

Butternut Squash, Onion, and Espresso Bruschetta

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Does your family have Thanksgiving appetizers? I tend to think they are necessary. I mean, usually on Thanksgiving Day, you have the one large meal, but generally it’s not served until mid to late afternoon. Obviously eating a regular sized lunch is out of the question, but asking people to not eat anything until the big meal is a bit unreasonable. A little snack earlier in the day is a necessity.

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And this year, I think you should shake things up and serve these wonderful little bruschettas. Nothing about them was the least bit unbalanced. All the diverse flavors melded perfectly together in one harmonious bite (though rest assured, you’ll take more than one bite!).

This is fairly easy to throw together too, as steps can be taken ahead of time, and it’s supposed to be served around-ish room temperature anyway (a little warm is also just fine though). The butternut puree is incredibly thick, kind of like peanut butter! I was a bit skeptical, but that wasn’t needed – it was perfect. The espresso powder sprinkled on top might sound weird, but it works soooooo well. It provides a bitter note that perfectly balances out the sweetness of the squash.

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I think I’m using the word “perfect” a little too often, but well, that says it all! Try this one, either as a snack earlier in the day on Thanksgiving, or a wonderful h’or d’oerve at a holiday cocktail party. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Pumpkin Scones, Bacon-Wrapped Monkfish with Apple-Shallot Jam}
{Two Years Ago: Sweet Potato Biscuits, Chili Dogs}

Source: slightly adapted from Vegetarian Dinner Parties by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

Ingredients:
2 cups peeled, cubed, and seeded butternut squash (about 1 small)
1 small onion, roots cut off and quartered
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tbs olive oil
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp cayenne
1 loaf Italian semolina bread, sliced on the diagonal and grilled or toasted
Instant espresso powder, for sprinkling

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Spread the butternut squash and onion quarters on a baking sheet, then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and then drizzle with olive oil. Shake the pan or toss to evenly coat everything. Bake until the squash is soft and golden, 30-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then scrape the contents of the baking sheet into your food processor.
Add the cumin, cinnamon, oregano, and cayenne. Process until very smooth. Using a small cereal spoon or a butter knife, spread a dollop of puree onto each bread slice. Sprinkle a small amount of espresso powder on top of the puree. Set out on a platter or tray and let your guests dig in.

Almond-Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli #SundaySupper

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Welcome to Sunday Supper, where this week’s theme is Lighten Up the Holidays! I thought it very appropriate that this theme should occur two days after Halloween, when some of you are probably starting to overload on Halloween candy.

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Now, I’m fully aware, and I fully agree that the autumn/winter holiday season is a time for splurging, and you may have groaned a little when you read the theme. However, as someone who has taken to eating much healthier all around the past few months, I think it’s great to have a few dishes in your arsenal of tricks that aren’t so heavy, but are still completely delicious.

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Sometimes you need a lighter note to balance out all the richness. And this recipe delivers in a huge way. Tender-crisp vegetables, coated in a healthy-but-slightly-rich almond crumb, charred just enough… this little unassuming side dish is so yummy.

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I think it would be very much at home at your Thanksgiving table in a few weeks, or possibly for a holiday dinner party later in the season. A wonderful contrast and complement to the gravy-laden turkey and rich potatoes and cheesy green bean casserole. I happily ate this dish reheated for about three days after serving it for dinner. So good!

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And be sure you check out the rest of the fantastic, lighter holiday fare from my Sunday Supper cohorts!

{One Year Ago: Nacho-Topped Chili}
{Two Years Ago: Apple Pie Ice Cream, Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, Apple Jalapeno Cheddar Scones}

Source: In My Kitchen by Ted Allen

Ingredients:
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Kosher salt
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 lb. broccoli, cut into florets and trimmed to roughly the size of the Brussels sprouts halves
2 tbs olive oil
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 450 F.
Put the almonds in a mini or regular food processor and pulse several times; you want them crumbly and chunky – do not make nut butter!
In a large pot, bring some water to a boil and salt it generously. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 2 minutes, then add the broccoli and cook 2 minutes more. Or, if you need to do this in batches, cook the Brussels sprouts for a total of 4 minutes and the broccoli a total of 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables with a spider or other large slotted spoon, or drain in a colander. Plunge into an ice bath or run under very cold water for about 30 seconds. Drain well.
Heat a large, cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the olive oil and then the vegetables, nudging the sprouts cut side down to encourage browning. Toss in the almonds. Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the veggies are tender and golden brown with a bit of char on the edges, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add ½ tsp kosher salt and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and serve in the skillet.

Drinks

Appetizer or starter

Main Dishes

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.
To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.



Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Austin-Style Black Beans #SundaySupper

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Welcome to a Budget Friendly edition of Sunday Supper! Up front, I have to confess something. I don’t really ever budget when it comes to our food costs. Now I’m certainly not buying things like caviar and lobster every week, and I’m very cognizant of what is and isn’t on a special sale that week, but I don’t enter the grocery store with a number in mind that I can’t or shouldn’t exceed. I’m a firm believer in the principle of pay more for your food and less for your healthcare. So I’ll cut back in almost every other area of life, but not food.

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True story to illustrate my point: several years ago I noticed that my everyday boots had a not-so-insignificant hole in the sole. Fortunately they were thick soles, so the situation wasn’t as dire as it sounds, but still – that’s not great. I ventured into a shopping mall with the express purpose of buying a new pair of shoes. Two hours later I walked back to my car, without any new shoes, but carrying in hand a bag of goodies, including a bottle of $11 gourmet barbecue sauce, from Williams-Sonoma. Yeah. You can see where my priorities lie.

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Eventually I did replace the shoes, but I didn’t on that particular day because I was being mindful of our overall budget, and well, I wanted the barbecue sauce more. So this week’s theme was a little bit out of my wheelhouse!

In the end, I decided I couldn’t go wrong with dried beans. They are extremely cheap, and once cooked they stretch to either feed a small army, or let a few people eat for a week, easy. These were delicious – full of flavor, incredibly filling, high in protein, and you will not feel like you are “eating cheap”, if that makes sense. They work wonderfully as a side dish, but I ate a more substantial-sized bowl for lunch today, and was a perfectly happy camper.

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I hope y’all enjoy them! And definitely check out the rest of the Sunday Supper gang for some fantastic ideas on budget friendly, yet delicious recipes!

{Two Years Ago: Poutine, Blue Cheese Hazelnut Biscuits}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

Ingredients:
1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed, picked over and rocks discarded
1 tbs canola or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped, plus a nice spoonful of adobo sauce
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs tomato paste
¼ cup lime juice
Kosher salt, to taste
Crumbled Cotija cheese, for garnish (optional – this will make it non-vegan)

Directions:
Place the beans in a large bowl and fill with water, covering them by about 1 inch. Soak at room temperature overnight. Drain the beans well, then transfer to a large soup pot. Cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
Drain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink.
Return the empty pot to the stove and heat to medium-high. Add the oil, then the onion. Saute the onion and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Lower the heat to medium, then add the beans, chipotle plus adobo sauce, and ¼ cup cilantro. Cover with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for 1 ½ hours. Adjust the heat around as necessary and stir occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom. You want to keep things at a gently rolling simmer.
After 1 ½ hours, add the remaining cilantro, cumin, tomato paste, lime juice and salt to taste. Cook uncovered 30 minutes more, or until the beans are tender. Taste again for seasoning and adjust as needed. Garnish with Cotija if you desire, noting that it will no longer be vegan if you do so.
Note: you may need to go longer than the stated 2 hours cook time, just keep tasting and see. Mine went an extra 30 minutes purely because I got distracted cooking the rest of our dinner that night, and they were not overcooked at all.

Scrumptious Mains (Breakfast and Dinner)

Satisfying Sides

Sweet Treats

Sips, Spreads, and Snacks

Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.
To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.



Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Peach Salsa #SundaySupper

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Welcome to Sunday Supper, where this week we are Preserving Summer Produce! This theme is very good for me, because …… I’m really ready for fall. Okay, there I said it – it’s my shameful secret. This happens to me every year about this time. Even though I know I shouldn’t, I start becoming a tad ungrateful for all the beautiful summer bounty and I just want to make chili and watch a football game. And then bake something with apples…

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So thanks to my Sunday Supper gang for encouraging me to use up that summer produce while I still have access to it, and put off thinking about fall cooking and baking for a few more weeks, as I very well should.

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My grocery store is selling lovely, local Jersey peaches, so this week I snapped some up and made you this homemade, from-scratch peach salsa. I don’t know about you, but I have *always* been sorely disappointed by store-bought fruit salsas. I have a couple of brands I trust when it comes to store-bought regular tomato-based salsas, but it seems that the minute you add the word “mango” or “peach” to the label, well, brace yourself, cuz it ain’t gonna be pretty.

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There is no disappointment with this homemade peach salsa. Oh my, it is divine. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness to salty, with the peaches being front and center without overpowering the whole thing. So perfect.

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Oh, and this is so easy to make, too! The stovetop and food processer do most of the work for you. And I really can’t stress how delicious it is. That said, it’s not terribly spicy at all – probably very kid friendly. Leave the ribs and seeds in the jalapeno, or just add a second jalapeno if you prefer it hotter. So please try this one while you can still get fresh, in-season peaches. The salsa will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a week.

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Oh and be sure you give some love to my wonderful Sunday Supper peeps!

{One Year Ago: Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta Alfredo}
{Two Years Ago: Mussels in Red Chile Broth, Pickled Doughnut Peaches, Mexican Lamb Barbacoa}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

Ingredients:
1 lb. peaches (about 3 medium-to-large)
1 lb. plum tomatoes, halved
1-2 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded if desired, and halved
½ a red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into thick slices
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
¼ red onion, peeled and root tip discarded
1 cup water
2 tsp fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt

Directions:
First you will need to peel the peaches. To do this, bring a medium to large stockpot of water to a boil – you need just enough water to cover the peaches. Using a small paring knife, make an “X” on the bottom of each peach, a shallow cut that just cuts the skin. Submerge the peaches in the boiling water for 1 minute. Lift them out with a slotted spoon to a plate or cutting board. Let them cool a few minutes, just until you can comfortably handle them. Starting at the bottom where you made the “X”, peel off the skins. They should come off easily; if a few little stubborn bits are insisting upon hanging on for dear life at the top, don’t fuss over it. Life’s too short. Now pit the peaches and cut them into quarters.
Add the peaches, tomatoes, jalapeno(s), bell pepper, onion, and water to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until the tomatoes are soft, about 10 minutes (I did a combination of covered and uncovered). Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 10 minutes.
Using tongs, carefully transfer all the solid pieces to your food processor. Add the lime juice and pulse on and off until combined but still somewhat chunky. If it’s too thick, add some of the water left in the stockpot.
Stir in the chopped cilantro and salt to taste. Let it cool the rest of the way to room temperature, then either serve or store in the refrigerator.
This is fantastic as just a dip for chips, but it’s also wonderful on chicken or fish – as tacos or by themselves. Oh and it makes a ton – about 2 cups!

Learn how to …

Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies

Scoop up special salsas and sauces

Jump into jellies, jams and preserves

Pucker up for pickles

Slurp and spoon soup and a side dish

Dive into divine desserts

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.


Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement?
It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Spicy Mango Ice Pops + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Here we are – the final day of my giveaway! There’s still time to enter to win a copy of The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman!

I’ve been very impressed with it. This is the fourth recipe I’m sharing from the book, and it is so ridiculously easy, and healthy, and delicious (of course).

When you take your first lick or bite (whichever team you belong to) of these ice pops, the first thought you’re going to have is, “pfft, these aren’t spicy. I can’t even taste the cayenne.” It’s okay. Just wait. Keep working on the ice pop. It’ll get there. Oh, trust me. It’ll get there.

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The spicy part is what we like to call a slow build-up. At first you don’t notice it, then there’s a tiny, little pop of heat, then there’s the background heat – kind of like it’s only in the after-taste. Then you get it, on every single bite.

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That said, these are quite tasty. They are very thick, and the only sweet part is the sweetness from the mango itself. So, perfect for those without much of a sweet tooth. They actually remind me of the ice pops my mom would make us growing up. She never divulged this until later, but often she would just pour orange juice into the molds and freeze them, or just puree a fruit like strawberries and freeze that into molds, with no added sugar at all. We never figured it out…

Be sure you enter the giveaway by 5 pm EST!! I can’t wait for one of you lovelies to win this wonderful book!!!

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{One Year Ago: Pan-Roasted Clams with Bourbon, Bacon and Jalapeno, Hummus (the Classic)}

Source: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
2 cups chopped mango
2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
Pinch of kosher salt
¼ tsp cayenne, or more to taste

Directions:
Add all the ingredients to your blender, plus about ¼ cup water. Puree until very smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add more water, 1 tbs at a time, if it’s too thick and isn’t cooperating.
Spoon the mixture into your ice pop molds and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Enjoy!

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Chipotle Pinto Bean Dip with Jicama “Chips” + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Welcome back! This week I am giving away my surprise excess copy of Mark Bittman’s The VB6 Cookbook! And each day of blogging, I’m sharing a delicious recipe from the book, to give you a taste of what you’ll be getting if you win. The giveaway goes on until Friday at 5 pm EST, and you can enter at the bottom of this post – don’t miss out!

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Yesterday I shared his insane Eggplant and White Bean Meatballs – totally vegan, and beyond delicious. I was in awe. Today I’m sharing one of the snacks chapter recipes. I have a huge weakness for bean dips, and they are super easy to make at home. Being from Texas, Frito scoops are quite common and popular for use as a dipper. Tasty? Oh yes. Healthy? Ummm, not really.

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So I was incredibly pleased to see Bittman’s take on what the heck we should be using to scoop up creamy, spicy bean dip. He had several, but the idea that really jumped out at me was jicama. Jicama! Yes! Why didn’t I ever think of that? Jicama is perfect for bean dips. It’s crispy, it’s sturdy, and it’s commonly used in Mexican or Tex-Mex cooking, so it doesn’t feel out of place at all. I am seriously doing this again.

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A quick warning about the bean dip: you can use one chipotle in adobo or two. It will surprise no one that I used two, and I can assure you it is super spicy that way. If you’re not into the heat, definitely use only one! enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Grilled Romaine Hearts with Bacon Blue Cheese Vinaigrette}

Source: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
2 (15 oz.) cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 cup packed cilantro sprigs
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1-2 chipotle in adobo, plus a little bit of the adobo sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large jicama, peeled and sliced into discs, like chips

Directions:
Put all the ingredients except the scallions and jicama into your blender. Puree until very smooth, adding water if it’s too thick and not completely cooperating.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Transfer the dip to a bowl and garnish with the scallions. Serve with the jicama “chips” for dipping.

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Eggplant and White Bean Meatballs + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Thanks to a snafu with my local post office and a generous Amazon customer service agent, I wound up with two copies of The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman. So I’m giving away my extra copy to one of my lucky readers! The giveaway will run all week, until Friday, July 18, 2014 at 5 pm Eastern, and each day that I blog until Friday, I’ll be featuring a recipe from this wonderful book!

First up we have these amazing vegan meatballs. When I say these were amazing, I’m not joking. At all. For full disclosure, I’ll freely admit I was a little wary of these. I’d never before had meatballs that didn’t contain meat or at least poultry or fish. So there was a touch of trepidation at how they would taste, whether I’d screwed them up, etc, etc.

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I needn’t have worried one bit. They were so insane. Matt ate seconds the night I served them, and we argued over who was to get the last container of leftovers. They are that good.

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Whether you are vegan or not, or occasionally vegan, or whatever: try these meatballs – I guarantee you’ll make them again and again. And like any kind of meatballs, they are flexible. I served them simply, just in a bowl with some marinara (someone might have been too lazy to make pasta that night), but they would be so delicious over pasta or in a meatball sub.

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And stay tuned for three more VB6 Cookbook recipes! You can enter to win a copy of this lovely book in the rafflecopter below.

Source: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
3 tbs olive oil
1 lb. eggplant, unpeeled, cut into cubes no larger than 1 inch
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
1 cup cooked or canned white beans
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup breadcrumbs
Pinch of crushed red chile flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Use 1 tbs olive oil to grease a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
Add 1 tbs olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the eggplant and 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces shrivel a bit and are tender and beginning to color, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl of a food processor.
Add the remaining 1 tbs olive oil to the pan and add the onion and garlic. Return to medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain the beans (also rinse them if using canned). Add the beans and parsley to the food processor bowl with the eggplant and pulse until well combined and chopped, but not completely pureed.
Transfer the eggplant mixture to a large bowl and add the onion and garlic mixture, along with the bread crumbs, chile flakes, and oregano. Mix to combine well.
Make sure your hands are clean and get them wet. Roll the mixture into meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter. You’ll wind up with between 12 and 16 meatballs. You will likely need to rewet your hands between each meatball or every other meatball.
As you form them, place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Bake undisturbed until they are firm and well browned, 20 to 30 minutes (start checking after 20 minutes, though you may need longer).
Meanwhile, warm the marinara sauce; and this is when you would cook pasta or toast hoagie rolls if desired.
Serve the meatballs with the marinara in a bowl, or in whatever other fashion you desire.

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