Potage Parmentier (Leek & Potato Soup)

When I was a little girl in Michigan, we had potato soup at least once a week. It was inexpensive, warming and ready in relatively little time. I can remember taking my mother's thick homemade bread, slathering it with warm sweet butter and dunking it into the hot soup. A subtle heat wave made its way down to my center. I was not one of those kids who liked playing in the snow. I didn't get it. Snow was cold, wet and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Black Bean, Greens and Corn Veggie Burgers (Gluten-Free)

So I used buy these manufactured black bean burgers in the frozen section. They were fine. A little tough, a tad cardboard like, but they would get the job done. Then, after working on my second book, I couldn't bring myself to buy processed veggie burgers anymore. So, I went on a frenzy to develop or adapt recipes to make my own versions. I learned two key things. First, if you can chop, stir and play patty cakes with … [Read more...]

Recipe: How to Make Vegetable Stock

Despite the name of this recipe, there’s actually not such a thing as vegetable stock. By definition, stock is made from simmering bones in water. No bones? Then it’s broth. So, let us commence with vegetable broth. In my own kitchen, I collect and save the trimmings from the likes of carrots, celery, onions, the green tops from leeks and spring onions, stems from herbs and the skins from onions and garlic. If I am … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mushroom and Lentil Burgers

Years ago, I found myself the only vegetarian at a barbecue hosted by co-workers. I've dabbled with vegetarianism on and off; this was during one of my "on" phases. Thoughtfully, or so I thought, I packed my own frozen meatless patties so no would even notice that I wasn't eating meat. Of course, that didn't happen. Instead my hard commercial discs became the center of everyone's attention. "These don't even look like … [Read more...]

Shepherd’s Pie with Chard-Lentil Filling

Recipe by Kim O'Donnel My family has shifted to mostly vegetarian in the past couple of years. This has meant something new for us: meatless holiday dinners.  The key to this recipe is a great technique: braising lentils in red wine. This step adds a certain "meatiness" to the dish. Since I first made this dish, I now routinely braise lentils in wine for other dishes, too. Last year, we had the extended family for dinner … [Read more...]

Recipe: Carrot and rosemary soup

  This savory and sweet soup can be served at any temperature, but it’s excellent chilled. Immersion or “stick” blenders are great for soup because you can plunge them directly into the pot. Hot soup can create a vacuum in conventional blenders, so if you use one, let the soup chill slightly first, and then take the cap off and cover with a towel. Running soups through a food mill is a low-tech option. If you have … [Read more...]

Recipes: Deviled Eggs & Easy Thai Curry

Tofu is widely regarded with suspicion by those on low-income budgets as it can smack of sprout-loving vegans, but I think it’s often overlooked. It’s high in protein, low in fat, endlessly versatile and inexpensive, about $1.50 a pound, or 38 cents per four-ounce serving. What to do with it? Mike makes great Thai food, so I’ve never tried it. But inspired by the most recent issue of Fine Cooking, I wanted to see if Thai … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mushroom-Lentil Paté

One day during summer break in high school, my mother took me to lunch at the posh The Longboat Key Club, where she worked in HR at the time. Lunch at "the club" meant finger bowls, white linens and posh French food. The first course was chicken liver paté with toast points. I grew up on a farm. We did not eat paté, although my mother clandestinely padded the occasional dish with chicken livers, which came free from the … [Read more...]