Tag Archives: Vegan Friendly

Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

Strawberry rhubarb sorbet 029

In what I would presume to be very old news by now in foodie-land, celebrity chef Bobby Flay has opened his first new fine dining restaurant in years: Gato. I’ve followed his career for years now, so of course Matt and I snagged reservations as soon as we could after Gato first opened last month. We figured it would be a luxurious, romantic date-night-out-on-the-town kind of dinner. And if you can experience that sort of thing at 6:30 pm on a Tuesday, well, then that’s what it was!

making strawberry rhubarb sorbet 001

making Strawberry Rhubarb sorbet 004

In all seriousness, the meal was insanely delicious. Service was fantastic, the décor is beautiful, and the whole night was capped off with a celebrity sighting (Tommy Hilfiger) and dessert: for me, blackberry crostata with strawberry rhubarb gelato. Oh my. Simply *divine* (the dessert, not Tommy Hilfiger. I’m more of a Ralph Lauren girl myself). Anywho….

strawberry rhubarb sorbet 012

I adored that gelato, and wanted to recreate it at home ASAP. But then I remembered that swimsuit season is rapidly descending upon us, and sorbet sounded better to my waistline. So Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet it was! This little frozen treat is really wonderful, and so easy to pull off. The fruit really shines, and of course the color is stunning. This disappeared quite quickly in my house – I found we didn’t miss the cream of that gelato at all. Enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet 039

{One Year Ago: Fried Green Tomatoes, Rhubarb Ginger Soda, Rhubarb Jam Tart}

Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

12 oz. fresh rhubarb
2/3 cup water
¾ cup granulated sugar
10 oz. fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
½ tsp fresh lemon juice

Wipe down the rhubarb stalks and trim the ends off. Chop or slice the rhubarb into ½-inch pieces.
Place the rhubarb, water, and sugar in a medium stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender and cooked through. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Slice the strawberries and place them in your blender. Add the cooled rhubarb mixture and puree until very smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until thoroughly cold. Then churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Vegan Carrot Soup

vegan carrot soup

So it’s Carrot Week here at the Texan New Yorker, and yesterday I showcased carrots in dessert form, so I figure today I’m going to give you an extremely healthy soup. I found this recipe in Joanne Chang’s second cookbook, Flour Too, and she serves this at her bakeries for lunchtime patrons.

Vegan Carrot soup

Last fall, I went to visit my mom in Cambridge, MA, (she was there for a conference) and I was able to dine at the original Flour locale. Twice. In one day. Needless to say, it was phenomenal. This soup isn’t what I ordered (carrots weren’t really in season back in November), but having tasted it at home, I can completely see why the locals would go nuts over it.

vegan carrot soup

Vegan carrot soup

Chef Chang says she has a rule about making vegan dishes at the bakery: non-vegans must go nuts over them too. She hit the nail on the head with this one. Matt and I aren’t vegans, but we LOVED this soup. I think the secret is roasting the carrots. That method coaxes out so much flavor I’m not even sure I knew carrots had. Really amazing end results. Vegan or not, you should try it.

Vegan Carrot Soup

{One year ago: “Old Fashioned” Snickerdoodles}

Source: slightly adapted from Flour, Too by Joanne Chang

2 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1-inch chunks
3 tbs olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced crosswise
1 medium fennel bulb, leafy tops trimmed and bulb cored and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into rounds
6 cups good-quality vegetable stock
1 small tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and chopped
½ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
Pinch of dried thyme

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Place a rack in the center of the oven.
Spread the carrots on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbs of olive oil, plus the fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with your hands to make sure they are evenly coated. Roast the carrots for 35 to 45 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.
In a large stockpot, heat the remaining 1 tbs olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, fennel and garlic. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the ginger, the roasted carrots and the stock. Bring to a boil.
Now add the apple and simmer about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until very smooth. Add the nutmeg, dried thyme, and taste for seasoning. It will likely need some salt and pepper at this point.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm.

Garbanzo Bean, Lentil, and Vegetable Stew

garbanzo bean, lentil, veggie stew

Happy Friday everyone! Today we wrap up Winter Stew Week by being good and eating our vegetables, like mom said we should. In deciding what kinds of stew to make for this week, I wanted to be sure and have a vegetarian option in there, but of course didn’t want it to be bland. Or too light. I mean, it is stew after all. This legume-and-potato-filled bowl really fits the bill on all counts. Very hearty and filling, without weighing you down. And it comes together much more quickly than beef stew, yet tastes like it slow cooked all day. Win!

Garbanzo Bean, Lentil and Vegetable Stew

So now let’s recap Winter Stew Week.

First up, I could not do a theme of stew without including a classic beef version. This one was delicious, and included some dark greens for our health!

Red Wine Beef and Chard Stew






Next up, we ventured down South for a classic: Brunswick Stew! Easy, hearty, delicious.

brunswick stew






And yesterday we had a Spanish-inspired fish stew, which was light, healthy, and very scrumptious.

fish, fennel and saffron stew






I hope you enjoyed this week and this gave you some good ideas for what to make on those bitterly cold days when you need something earthy and cozy. Also, be sure you check out some other stew recipes from the blogosphere!

Garbanzo Bean, Lentil and Veggie Stew

Recipe Round-Up:
Cabernet Braised Short Rib Stew from How Sweet Eats
Guinness Beef Stew from The Texan New Yorker
Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken Stew from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Fish and Zucchini Puttanesca Stew from Closet Cooking
Spicy Calamari Stew with Garlic Rubbed Ciabatta Toasts from The Texan New Yorker
Crock Pot Chickpea, Butternut Squash, and Red Lentil Stew from Eat Live Run

Source: adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook, edited by Barbara Fairchild

2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large sprig of rosemary
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbs tomato paste
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp caraway seeds
½ tsp cayenne
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
½ cup water
1 cup dried lentils
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped Yukon gold potatoes
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 (10 oz.) bag of baby spinach

Heat the oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and carrot. Sauté until softened. Add the rosemary, garlic, tomato paste, coriander, caraway seeds, and cayenne. Stir for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the stock, water, and lentils. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pot, and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are mostly cooked. Add the beans, potatoes, and parsley. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked.
Stir the spinach into the stew. Let it wilt, about 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Ladle into bowls and serve; but don’t forget to fish out the rosemary stem!

Indian-Spiced Cranberry Chutney

Indian-Spiced Cranberry Chutney

Continuing the countdown to Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a few more Big-Day-Appropriate dishes with you. Although, some of my original plans aren’t going to grace the webpages of this little url. As I’ve been recipe testing Thanksgiving dishes, I’ve had some serious floppers! Some were recipe flops, while some were picture flops, and I think pumpkin pie just hates me this year. But, anyways…

Let’s talk cranberry sauce! To be quite frank, it’s something I never really understood. Growing up, I would never add any to my plate. I just didn’t get it. I mean, is it a side dish? It doesn’t seem substantial enough. Is it a sauce to go over the turkey? Well, I figured not because then why would there be gravy?


I suppose it’s still a bit of a mystery to me, as far as where it comes from and why it’s there, but I freely acknowledge that I was in the minority by not eating any all those years. So here is my answer to the whole, cranberry sauce thing – an Indian spiced, thick and chunky chutney!

Indian spiced cranberry chutney

It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it’s a twist from the usual ordinary sauce. If you’re scratching your head right now, wondering how this could possibly fit in to your traditional Thanksgiving spread, that’s fine; all I ask is that you read on and allow me to convince you of its merits.

Thanksgiving leftovers panini

First of all, the Indian flavors are not overwhelming, so you really don’t need to make any part of the rest of your meal Indian to have this complement your table. It’s just a hint in the background. Secondly, it’s really thick, so it won’t get all liquid-y and run into your potatoes or green bean casserole. Win! And thirdly, it’s insanely good on leftover sandwiches the next day!

Indian Spiced Cranberry Chutney

Try it. See what you think. Report back. 🙂

Source: adapted from Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet by Padma Lakshmi

4 tbs olive oil
24 oz. fresh cranberries (or thawed if frozen)
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp cayenne
Kosher salt
1 ½ tsp garam masala

In a medium to large nonstick stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cranberries and sauté, stirring intermittently. Once the cranberries have softened and most of them have burst open, about 25 to 30 minutes, add the sugar, cayenne, and salt. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the garam masala. Continue to cook another 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture is a thick, uniform sauce and all the cranberries have completely burst open. You can help them along by using a rubber spatula to press an individual cranberry against the side of the pot until it bursts. It’s like the food equivalent of popping bubble paper!
Keep covered on low until needed, or cool and refrigerate in an airtight container if not using right away.

Blackberry Orange Sangria Ice Pops

Blackberry Orange Sangria Ice Pops

Sangria + Ice Pops = Oh Yes I Did.

This is the other (and final for the season) blackberry recipe I promised to share with you. And it’s a doozy of a good one, one that might make you a bit doozy if you eat too many of them. Haha!

blackberry sangria ice pop mix

Bad jokes aside, this one is a huge winner. As Matt said, “Wow. It’s sangria… in an ice pop!” No false advertising here, I assure you. And of course what I’m really sharing here is the method for transforming sangria into an ice pop – you can vary up the specific ingredients however you please.

instant ice pop maker

Blackberry Orange Sangria Ice Pops

The only recipe note I have on this one is to please be careful pouring, as there are chunks of fruit in the liquid, and it will spatter all over if you pour too fast. And due to its rich, deep purple-red color, I’d advise having paper towels extremely handy when you are pouring into the ice pop molds. We all know how red wine can stain if not mopped up immediately. Oh, and if your ice pop molds don’t come with a spill guard, use an apple slice for that purpose (when you remove the frozen ice pops from the mold, quickly slip a slice of apple onto the stick at the base of the treat). Again, that deep purplish hue will stain like nobody’s business, so just something to watch out for. But, the good news is that the kids aren’t eating this one, so it’ll be easier to control for that! Enjoy!

Blackberry Orange Sangria Ice Pops

{One year ago: Baba Ghanoush}

Source: adapted from Ice Pops by Shelly Kaldunski

2 oranges
1 (750-ml) bottle light red wine, such as Rioja
¼ cup plus 2 tbs granulated sugar
1 small tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup fresh blackberries
Pinch of salt

Juice 1 orange into a measuring cup. You should have 1/3 cup. Cut the top and bottom from the remaining orange, then use a sharp knife to cut off the peel. Holding the orange over a bowl, cut along each side of the membranes between the sections. Let the sections fall into the bowl along with any juices. If your first orange didn’t give enough juice to make 1/3 cup, add any juice in the bowl to the measuring cup. Chop the orange segments into about a ½-inch dice and set aside.
Place the blackberries in the same bowl and mash with a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Add the diced oranges and apples and stir to combine. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring the wine to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat level to low. Add the sugar, orange juice, bowl of fruit, and salt. Add 6 tbs of water. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.
If using conventional molds, divide the mixture among the molds, cover, and freeze until solid, about 4 hours, inserting the sticks according to manufacturer’s instructions. If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to freeze the pops (mine took 9 minutes). Unmold and enjoy!
Makes 12 to 14 ice pops.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

My father always told me growing up that I shouldn’t assume things – because it makes the first three letters out of you and me. It’s usually a good rule of thumb, but a rule I’m going to break today. Why? Because I feel very safe in assuming that you all are enjoying the beautiful summer produce bounty just as much as I am. So in that vein, I thought I would dedicate a week of posts to dishes made with lovely summer fruits and vegetables.

vegan blueberry muffins, before baking

Let’s start with blueberries, shall we? I’ve been wanting to bake with blueberries lately, but I didn’t want to blog another classic blueberry muffin recipe. Not because they’re not delicious (they are), but because it would be so redundant. The internet is filled with what can probably be accurately called a surplus of classic blueberry muffin recipes. Gotta shake things up, you know?

blueberry muffin batter

So I figured, let’s go vegan on the old blueberry muffin. These were very delicious. More importantly, they were enjoyable for all, vegans and non-vegans alike. They didn’t scream “not the real thing” like vegan mayonnaise (I’ve tried but I seriously cannot handle that stuff). But no matter what diet you follow, I promise you’ll love these.

Vegan blueberry muffins

vegan blueberry muffins

A few recipe notes: first, I used vanilla soy milk. You could certainly use plain soy milk but if you do, add up to a tablespoon of vanilla extract. You could probably use almond milk too, though I hesitate to say that because I’ve never used it for baking (or drinking for that matter). But I see lots of recipes using it these days, so it would probably work. Secondly, these muffins are more delicate than most, probably due to the lack of eggs. Let them cool for a good 10 minutes, longer if need be, before you try to remove them from the muffin tin. The upside of the delicacy is that they are soooo moist!

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Source: adapted from Flour, Too by Joanne Chang

2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup plus 2 tbs canola oil
1 1/3 cups vanilla soy milk
2 tbs cider vinegar
2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line the cups of the muffin tin with cupcake liners. And why, yes, I did run out of liners in the middle of making these muffins, thank you for asking! If that should happen to you too, just grease the pan well. 🙂
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and ¾ cup plus 2 tbs of the sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, soy milk, and vinegar. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the middle of the well. Stir with a rubber spatula until well mixed. Add the blueberries and fold them in.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop an equal amount of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 2 tbs sugar.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the muffin tops are pale gold and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack before popping them out.

Hummus {the Classic}

Classic Hummus Dip

Here’s a story for you – it’s about the time I ruined my perfectly good Oxo Good Grips rubber spatula… and probably ate part of it too! It all began when I ignored my kitchen instincts.

making hummus

As an aside, instincts have been shown to be not a sixth sense or divine revelation, but the result of experience. So it’s usually a good idea to follow them, especially if you’re dealing with something you’re good at or have some expertise in. So when I saw a recipe that said to make hummus in the blender, my instinct said “No, you should use your food processor.” My reasoning was that chickpeas are fairly thick and dense, and they would have more room to groove in the food pro. But the recipe said blender! It said blender! So I went with the blender.

chickpeas in the blender

And my instinct proved correct. The blender (my blender anyway) wasn’t quite equipped to puree all those garbanzos. It jammed up and wouldn’t catch the top third of the vessel. So I kept stopping the machine, using my wonderful spatula to scrape it down, and was getting nowhere. So, with the machine still running, I gingerly stuck my spatula in and scraped as the blender was running. It did work, in the sense that the chickpeas all got pureed, but predictably I scraped too low, and the blade caught the spatula.


It took a few little chips out of the end, small enough so that I wasn’t able to fish them out, but big enough chips that the spatula was forever ruined. May he rest in peace. Oh, and the part about eating some of the spatula? Yeah, that was because it was late, I was tired, and this was dinner. So I pressed on, and hit puree again until the mixture came together. And there were undoubtedly little chips of rubber spatula in there, little rubber chips that likely got consumed on a pita chip. Oh well. No one died. (Perhaps Oxo will start advertising them as non-toxic when swallowed!)

Pioneer Woman's Hummus

But I am sharing this recipe with instructions to use your food processor, thus sparing you from eating some of your nice spatulas!


Source: slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

3 (14.5 oz.) cans chickpeas, well drained
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
½ cup tahini
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
½ cup to 1 cup cold water (yes I used the entire cup!)
2 tbs olive oil
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

To your food processor (or blender, but you know where I stand), add the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Process the mixture, pouring in the water as you go, starting with ½ a cup and adding up to 1 cup as necessary.
Once it is to your desired thickness, add the olive oil and give it a final pulse. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Place the hummus in a serving bowl and garnish with parsley. Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, veggie sticks, whatever you want!

Cantaloupe Sorbet

Cantaloupe Sorbet

Today is a day for massive laundry; soothing itchy sunburns; trying to persuade my cat from nesting in my still-packed suitcase; and maybe even unpacking said suitcase. Yep, we are officially back from a week of vacation! We had a great time, mostly great weather, and the most wonderful, coziest, most adorable little beach cottage you can imagine. I did LOTS of cooking and baking, some of which I even managed to snag some pictures!

farmer's market cantaloupe

One of which being this cantaloupe sorbet. Matt and I ventured to a really awesome farmer’s market last Sunday, and they had samples of all the fruits and veggies to try. One bite of the cantaloupe and I was convinced. It was so juicy and flavorful, and it cut like butter. I just had to turn it into sorbet.

making cantaloupe sorbet

Delicious, easy, and fairly easy on the waistline; although I’ll hasten to add that it’s delicious mixed with vanilla ice cream…. And that might add a few calories… {shrug…}

cantaloupe sorbet

On its own or paired with ice cream, this is a wonderful little summer treat quite capable of giving exceedingly strong brain freezes, mostly because it’s so tasty that you’ll eat it a little too fast, and yeah, don’t ask me how I know all this. 🙂 Just enjoy it.

cantaloupe sorbet

Oh, and also enjoy a few pics from our lovely week!

{Note: the house itself was not lopsided, just the picture}

{our peaceful beach, where we spent many hours}

{my beloved other half enjoying the beach}

Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

1 (2 lb.) ripe cantaloupe
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbs dry white wine

Peel the rind from the melon, removing any traces of green. This is easiest to do with a sharp chef’s knife. Split the melon in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon.
Cut the melon into 1-inch chunks. Puree in a blender with the sugar, salt, lime juice and wine until smooth.
Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Happy Hump Day everyone! I’m still battling some cold virus thing that is really getting on my nerves. Matt and I are leaving for vacation Friday afternoon, and there’s still so much left to do to prepare and pack, little of which has been accomplished thus far. Oh, well, I trust it will all get done one way or another…

making strawberry salad

My dream last night is certainly an indicator I’m a bit under the weather – I dreamed I was on a “Chopped” episode and my competitors were Marcus Samuelsson, Marco Canora, and Shakira. The basket was themed “mystery meats” and the only recognizable ingredient was a bagged stir fry starter kit. And yes, I was the first one chopped…

tossing strawberry salad

I’m still a bit fatigued and fuzzy, and thus not really feelin’ it on the whole Write Creative and Articulate Blog Posts thing, so I’ll largely spare you. I had wanted to write a post about the whole Paula Deen fiasco; I do have some opinions (me? Have opinions? Never!), and I’d love for you to weigh in as well. But I think that will wait.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Instead, I’ll share this delicious, simple side salad in the hopes that strawberries are beautifully at their peak wherever you live. This was just wonderful – it would work as a side to a nice dinner or at brunch.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Source: adapted from Mr B’s Bistro Cookbook

2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups baby spinach
½ cup sliced and hulled strawberries

In the bottom of your salad serving bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Add spinach and strawberries, tossing to coat, and lightly season again with salt and/or black pepper if desired. Serve immediately.

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar and tortilla chips

A few months ago, I had the following exchange with my darling husband, who you’ll remember is not from Texas.

Matt: What’s Texas caviar?
Me: Black-eyed peas.
Matt: Oh, I thought it was veal testicles.
Me: ???????

What can I say, the man leaves me speechless sometimes……

black-eyed peas

Texas Caviar is actually a salad-esque dish of black-eyed peas and veggies; it’s eaten either with a spoon as a salad/side dish, or with tortilla chips as an appetizer/dip. It was created in the 1950’s by a woman named Helen Corbitt. Corbitt moved from New York to Dallas to become the food service director at Neiman Marcus, an upscale department store.

assembling Texas caviar

The New York native was understandably unfamiliar with the humble legume, but quickly discovered its deep roots and beloved status in Texas. She came up with this dish and began serving it at swanky gatherings and chic hotels. When she served it to some wealthy patrons at Austin’s Driskill Hotel, it was dubbed Texas Caviar, and the name stuck.

making Texas caviar

It’s a delicious, healthy and filling dish. I was happy to finally make it for Matt and let him see what the fuss is *really* all about (as well as what it’s not about). I can report that he is now a big fan of the humble black-eyed pea recipe. With tortilla chips, of course.

So now I proudly present to you official, legit Texas Caviar.
With no veal. And no testicles.

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar with tortilla chips

Source: The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

2 (15 oz.) cans of black-eyed peas, drained
4 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
3 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and diced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs lime juice
1 generous tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Tortilla chips, for serving

In a large bowl, stir together the black-eyed peas, scallions, cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes, bell pepper, and garlic.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, and cumin. Stir into the black-eyed pea mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 4 hours. Serve cold with tortilla chips.