1. In celebration of NOT celebrating Mardi Gras for the past three years in a row thanks to my job, I decided to make red beans and rice for the first time.

    I bought a magnet when I visited New Orleans and it details a super simple recipe for the Bayou staple. It’s been staring me in the face for years, so I had to take it on on a most appropriate day. However, due to an obvious lack of ingredients (i.e., Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder), I had to improvise. Here we go:

    3 cans of organic kidney beans with sea salt

    2 tsp. salt

    1 tsp. black pepper

    2 chicken andouille sausage links, cut into 1” pieces

    1 tsp. oregano

    3 tsp. white wine vinegar

    1 small sweet onion, chopped

    dash of hot sauce

    1 tsp. spicy grain mustard

    1. First, drain the beans, rinse them well, and place them in the pot and put on medium heat. Add the chopped onion, and stir continuously for a minute, then set to low heat. Add seasoning (salt, pepper) to taste, and the teaspoon of oregano. 
    2. Add the vinegar, mustard, and hot sauce. Stir until incorporated.
    3. Add the sausage, and slow cook for up to 6 hours. There’s no need to cover the pot if you add in 1/2 cup of water every half-hour or hour to prevent the dish drying out and sticking to the bottom.

    **I made California jasmine rice to go with this, and it was lovely. 

    Bon appétit, ya’ll!

     

  2. I’m back! Thanks to cold and blustery New York City days, and constant weekend traveling, I am back with a cooking vengeance.

    Who wants homemade chili? Sure, I’ve posted this before but it did not include my first attempt at homemade rosemary bread (homemade dough and all)! I recently took a cooking class with Peter Breyer, pizza extraordinaire, and he showed me tips on how to make the perfect pizza crust. With my class leftovers, I made a makeshift rosemary bread drizzled in olive oil and French salt. Superb with my classic vegetarian chili.

     

  3. Fancy the MOB?

    I tend to love watching or absorbing anything that has ‘mob’ attached to it. I am currently a decade too late in watching The Sopranos, but I still find it an amazing show. However, what’s featured above, has no relation to the Italian-based crime-ridden Cosa Nostra. It’s the MOB from the Brooklyn restaurant M.O.B. on Atlantic Avenue. 

    It’s a strictly vegetarian restaurant in an expansive space with full-length farm tables and an old Pacman machine in a corner. Plus, their only other location is in Paris — ouais, c’est vrai

    The meal above — and what a meal — is their Autumn Glow. A black bean pâté-like base is the backdrop for sweet potatoes, corn, jalapenos and some serious sour cream. Needless to say, I fell in love and will be going back. 

    Join the MOB today.

     

  4. How is this for a nice fall day meal? It’s a fusion of flavors: Eastern flavors on the left, and Tex-mex on the right. 

    Try your hand at couscous — a super easy side dish or main! — with clarified butter rather than oil, onions, garlic, red pepper, cumin and cranberries. You can’t go wrong!

    The enchilada contains black beans and corn in a small tortilla, with a spiced and tangy enchilada sauce. Add hot sauce galore.

     

  5. It’s been a while since I’ve uploaded anything, but here is a lovely transitional dish featuring…

    vegetable pasta, sweet potatoes, onions, and garlic in a cayenne-pepper spiced eggplant-garlic sauce

    Bon appétit!

     

  6. A delightful dinner at Beyond Sushi: September Roll of the Month

    I finally was able to experience Beyond Sushi as the tables are usually filled. I order the Roll of the Month which is made of:

    "Black Rice w. Maple Chili Charred Bamboo Shoots, Avocado, & Dehydrated Shallots, topped with Chickpea-Sage Pureé.

    Sauce:  Sundried Tomatoes  & Dehydrated Kalamata Olives.”

    Can you say yum? I’ll be back. 

     

  7. Homemade veggie chili, with farmers’ market Tuscan loaf and cheddar cheese and couscous. 

    The chili is made with black beans, North Carolina BBQ sauce, carrots, onions, green peppers, red pepper spice, habanero sauce, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. My original recipe includes one bay leaf, but a 1/4 tsp. of thyme is an adequate substitute. Eat hearty!

     

  8. Sorry for the poor image quality here. I blame the kitchen lighting and making dinner at 8:30 p.m. 

    It’s Green-ville in my kitchen again! Greens, greens, greens including spinach leaves, chopped carrots and broccoli, red onion, goat brie, avocado, and cucumbers topped with homemade balsamic vinagrette. Simple yet satisfying…

     

  9. At Kos Kaffe: Tofu Banh Mi sandwich. Tofu with sriracha mayo sauce, lettuce, cucumbers and carrots on fresh bread

    I have to say, I have a love/hate relationship with tofu. As a texture foodie, it’s hard for me to understand the love for tofu besides the fact it can absorb any flavor and achieve many consistencies. However, this sandwich proved me wrong. Couple that with housemade lemonade and this sandwich — and cafe — is a winner. 

     

  10. Worked-too-late-too-lazy-to-cook-anything-remotely-gourmet dinner: brown rice and quinoa, avocado chunks, Red Leicester cheese, Carolina BBQ sauce, with sauteed yellow onions and spinach leaves.

    All I can say is: everyone should try this cheese. It’s not spicy, it’s not sweet, it’s perfectly zesty.