Inspired by the success of my flaky Southern-style buttermilk biscuits, I wanted to try a version using whole wheat flour. Though these ones didn't rise as much as the other biscuits, they are perfectly flaky too and an ideal accompaniment to a bowl of steaming hot soup. Yet another biscuit to add to my repertoire.
Cooking often takes longer than I figure it ought to, but that is largely because I am easily distracted and writing up the dish that I am making both in my head and on paper. Maintaining a food blog for so many years has certainly inspired variety in the kitchen, but there are times when the whole documentation process becomes rather a chore.
That said, this soup was even better than I imagined and it really took very little time at all to simmer up. This simple recipe resembles a classic Indian dal makhani both in appearance and its wonderfully creamy texture. But instead of red kidney beans and urad dal simmered in an Indian-spiced cream-based sauce, brown and red lentils are cooked here in a seasoned coconut milk sauce with sumac, mint and dill. The result is a deliciously unique and warming combination of earthy, tangy, zesty and slightly sweet flavors with a refreshing twist from the fresh mint that will have you spooning bowlfuls with increasing pleasure as you explore the layers of tastes in your mouth.
There is something so very comforting about cozy wraps of goodness. Most of the cuisines I am familiar with have traditional wrapped up delights and the cooks imagination adds extra flair to the plate. I went with an Indian theme for this meal as I often do, and made some Indian crêpes to serve with a quick and easy spicy paneer scramble.
I suppose this could be classified as "street food" but I've also enjoyed bites like this, especially when it comes from my kitchen. In fact, I made this meal, served along with some spinach rice, for my best friend Basil's birthday.
Over the years, I have gained a reputation for my savory quick breads. Scones and biscuits are always a welcome addition to meals, as are many of the breads that I make without yeast. This time, I have gone with a blueberry biscuit, so these are sweeter than the ones I often serve, but the burst comes from the natural goodness of plump berries — rather than too much added sugar — that makes its presence known in a muted way. The addition of lime adds a tangy undertone that pairs well with the berries. These biscuits work especially well for a quick breakfast, accompaniment to lunch, or as a light dessert after a meal.
Whether you observe Christmas, another religious or cultural holiday, or even just the opportunity for some time off, for most of us this is also a season for celebrating family, friends and — of course — food. Food plays a significant role in our observance of Christmas and seasonal holidays, with cherished traditional recipes and tantalizing displays of elegant dishes and treats, and from a special family breakfast through to the snacks passed around during the day and finally to a memorable dinner.
These are some of the most special treats, breakfasts and dinner ideas I've created for my own loved ones through Christmases of the past years, and they have become as cherished to them as to myself. Many vegetarians such as myself, or families who have one or more vegetarians, have had to forgo or add to earlier Christmas food traditions out of necessity. But this should be considered no loss as Christmas traditions have always grown throughout generations of family. One of the purposes of this food blog has always been to show that vegetarian food can be a rewarding experience, not just for everyday eating but also for the most important occasions. I hope that those of you who have followed me through the years can agree, and I hope that you will find an idea in these posts that will add to your own holiday eating and entertaining experiences. Most of all, I hope that each and everyone one of you — old friends and newcomers — have a very warm and blessed Christmas.
Check out these and other menu ideas on
Nothing like a nourishing boost for the mood than to receive a cookbook in the mail that is destined to become a treasured favorite. One of my newest acquisitions is written by Ricki Heller, a fellow cook, baker, blogger and published author whom I have been following since I ventured into the world of food blogging nearly 7 years ago.
I've tried more than a few of Ricki's recipes and I've never been disappointed. Indeed, I have been excited with the results each and every time. Her latest book, Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free, is packed full with over 100 recipes that are free of gluten, dairy, eggs and refined sugars. Most are also soya free.
Ricki transformed her diet after years of eating refined sugars and decadent treats that led to a diet free of dairy, gluten and refined sweeteners, and to the path of wellness. You won't miss out at all when you try some of these whole food recipes that taste just as good, if not better, than the Hyde version of your favorite treats. A bonus is that many of the ingredients are already staples in my kitchen and fairly easy to find too. Informative, friendly and just what you want to eat, Ricki's book is one of the best of the season. It's lavishly illustrated too. Nourish yourself with some positive and creative energy from Ricki. Treat yourself to this lovely book and get baking to good health.
I meant to incorporate some dried fruit into the mix, such as cranberries or cherries, but I forgot … but no matter, as this is one recipe that stands alone just as developed. I only made a few minor changes. If you drink coffee, brew up a cup and indulge. Typically, I am not a big coffee girl, but in this case, that little extra indulgence is just right.
There's nothing quite like a bowl of chili when you are chilly, and I often am because my apartment is on the upper flour of an old drafty house. I call it the igloo.
Not only is this dish warming, but it is especially appealing because of the multitude of perhaps surprising flavors that go into the pot. It's nice and thick with plenty of texture from the beans and nuts, and lots of spicy and salty goodness from the chipotle, paprika, tamari, Worcestershire, vinegar and tomato. The chili even includes coffee and beer, lending additional layers of flavor to the bowl. And then there is the corn and avocado salsa that proved to be an ideal and refreshing topping to the chili — actually quite delicious even on its own, I'll be keeping the salsa recipe on hand for snacking with tortilla chips. Surely this is one vegetarian meal that won't fail to impress your family, especially if you serve it up with some homemade biscuits such as these classic Southern-style buttermilk biscuits.