Kasha Mixed Mushroom Gratin

Kasha Mixed Mushroom Gratin

In North America, kasha refers to roasted buckwheat groats or kernels. Roasting the groats brings out a strong nutty flavor that makes kasha a popular grain in eastern European cooking where it is enjoyed not only as a porridge but also in savory dishes like soups where its firm and chewy texture makes for an added appeal. And since buckwheat is not a grain in fact but a seed that cooks like a grain, it's gluten free too.

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Azuki Beans in a Fragrant Spicy Tomato Gravy


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Azuki Beans in a Fragrant Spicy Tomato Gravy

The colorful little red bean spelled variously as azuki, aduki or adzuki is also known sometimes as the red mung bean, with which it shares not only a visual appeal but also a delicate sweetness. But while mung beans are widely used in savory preparations, it's much more difficult to find savory dishes featuring azuki beans which are far more often simply boiled with sugar to make a sweet red bean paste. This is a strange scarcity because both beans are an excellent foundation for savory cooking.

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Wild Rice and Kidney Bean No-Meat Loaf {Vegan}

Wild Rice and Kidney Bean No-Meat Loaf

I've been a vegetarian for so long now, over 25 years in fact, that I really don't remember much about eating meat from my younger days except that I found it mostly a distasteful experience. However, I do remember enjoying my mom's signature meatloaf — a superior version of what is for many families like my own a classic comfort food. While carnivores may not find this vegan no-meat loaf made with red kidney beans, wild rice, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, walnuts, herbs and spices an exact substitute, I will simply say that it is not meant to replace a traditional meatloaf but deserves to be appreciated in its own right.

Like a meatloaf, though, this bean and rice loaf is a substantial meal that really doesn't take all that long to put together once the wild rice and kidney beans are cooked and your ingredients are assembled. It bakes for just over 30 minutes and can be made ahead of time and reheated, so it's especially suitable for planning meals in advance. It's also a good choice for a holiday entrée, because although humble in appearance it's packed with flavor and substance. After making this loaf twice already in a short period of time to perfect the balance of tastes and textures, I can safely say that those carnivores will not miss the meat.

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Tahini Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Tahini Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Tahini is a condiment or paste made from sesame seeds and has a consistency much like nut butters. It figures prominently in Middle Eastern cuisine, and one of the most well known uses of tahini is the central role it plays in most hummus preparations. You can make your own from unhulled, hulled, sprouted or toasted sesame seeds, but I have yet to do that. I already make so many of my own staples and there is only so much time in a day. I have a few favorite store-bought brands that work well for me, and my preference is always to get pure tahini, without any additions and that most resemble the consistency of nut butters, meaning I avoid varieties that have a watery consistency.

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