Category Archives: main courses

southwest paneer with peppers and onion

Southwest Paneer with Peppers

april 3,2019

southwest paneer with peppers and onion

Indian food is my absolute favorite cuisine  to cook and also enjoy in restaurants with a bunch of adventuresome  friends who like to share all the flavors and delights of East Asian food. The chewy, waxy, filling nature of paneer cheese brings out the closet vegetarian in me, but I wonder sometimes “why does Indian food get to possessively claim paneer as its own?”. Why not a southwest vibe?

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bean and artichoke pasta bake

Bean and Artichoke Pasta Bake

march 21, 2019

bean and artichoke pasta bake

It would be easy to categorize this dish as a variation of macaroni and cheese, which is what we all tend to call pasta in a creamy, cheesy sauce. But there are veggies in this pasta, with a sauce made creamy from blended white beans and artichoke hearts, as well as feta cheese, and green peas and roasted red pepper nestled among the noodles. This, my friends, is not your mother’s mac and cheese. Continue reading

beans and greens

Beans and Greens

march 6, 2019

beans and greens

Southern comfort food means a big old pot of beans simmering on the stove. And an even bigger pot of slow cooked greens. This recipe combines the two and adds potatoes for good measure, because potatoes are the universal symbol of comfort with any meal.

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black eyed pea and cheddar fritters

Black Eyed Pea and Cheddar Fritters

december 26, 2018

black eyed pea and cheddar fritters

Time once again to eat something special for the new year to bring luck, health and prosperity. And treat your belly to something delicious as well. Of course I’m talking about black eyed peas, which every southerner knows is absolute for the  new year’s menu. The vegan version of Hoppin’ John published a few years ago is a thick stew, or a chunky soup, and can be made with smoked meat for a non-vegan version. Today’s black eyed pea fritters are versatile in that they may serve as an appetizer or a light meal and can be accompanied by all kinds of sauces and spreads.  Continue reading

Goat Cheese Polenta with Mushrooms

november 29, 2018

goat cheese polenta with mushrooms

Here’s one for Meatless Monday. Satisfying in a creamy, hearty, chewy way, this goat cheese polenta with wild mushrooms will feed four as a starter course and two as an entree. I’ve been making polenta with parmesan cheese for eons, and for some reason never thought to try goat cheese. What was I thinking? Even those who have not joined the goat cheese fan club will appreciate the slightly tangy and very creamy addition of chèvre to this dish. Continue reading

Pork Chops with Peach Corn Salsa

july 25, 2018

pork chops with peach corn salsa

One of my tasters for this dish was raised on a farm with real food. She swears these pork chops from Harlow Ridge Farm taste like the pure, unadulterated meat she enjoyed in her youth. I also have a memory of farm raised meats and chicken which had a richer taste and texture than today’s supermarket offerings. Family-owned Harlow Ridge Farm in nearby Hanover County, Virginia, has pasture raised Berkshire and Tamworth pigs as well as beef and poultry. They sell directly from the farm, at local farmer’s markets and at several small grocers. Some of Richmond’s finest dining establishments feature their meats.  Continue reading

Spring Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

june 13, 2018

spring quinoa breakfast bowl

A friend recently consulted a nutritionist who advised her to eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner. I get it—we really should start our day with a hearty meal and end the day lightly to promote restful sleep and sensible habits. Can’t say I always eat a light dinner unless I’m dining at home because evenings out are my favorite type of entertainment and I want a little of everything! Small plates rule, I say. But let’s not examine my habits too closely unless we’re talking about breakfast. Big breakfasts are my thing, whether we’re serving breakfast tostadas or a breakfast salad or a loaded smoothie bowl. No sweet pastry for me. Continue reading

Chicken Lentil Eggplant Stew

april 25, 2018

chicken lentil eggplant stew

Some recipes come to life when all the right ingredients are at hand. Okay, quite often they are born when there is an excess of items in the fridge and pantry. Such was the case recently; too many boneless skinless chicken thighs, an eggplant unused for a cookdate and a full jar of French green lentils. Oh, and those four bottles of pomegranate molasses I purchased, thinking I would eventually put this wonderfully tart-sweet syrup to good use . Each ingredient was giving me the eye and daring me to ignore their union in this savory stew. Continue reading

Socca Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes

march 29, 2018

socca pizza with roasted tomatoes

The esteemed food writer Michael Pollan said it best : Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. Starchy carbs are not my enemy, but I do feel better when I stick with Pollan’s suggestion to let plant based foods become the star in my meal planning. There is no substitute for my beloved potatoes and they are always welcome at the table. Grain based products like pizza and breads are an occasional craving, so replacing starchy grains and enjoying a quick bread made with almond flour, or this pizza made with chickpea flour, is the way I choose to enjoy the things I love.  Continue reading

Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken

february 15, 2018

lemon rosemary roasted chicken

 

This winter my perennial herbs really took a hit. After a few chilly spells, the thyme has the color and consistency of slimy sea kelp. In milder winters I have been able to harvest oregano for weeks after the first frost. This winter, all I have left is one herb —  a few scraggly spears of rosemary on my plants, and the most viable went toward today’s Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken. The house needed a really comforting aroma before guests arrived, and the rosemary contributed to the illusion I had been cooking all day. In reality there is nothing easier than roasting chicken thighs. No pan sear, no fuss, just marinate for a bit in the lemon garlic rosemary magic, roast and there you have it. A simple rustic meal emboldened with the bite of pickled hot peppers, on a creamy base of whatever suits your taste. Continue reading