Southwestern Corn Chowder

Make this Southwestern corn chowder for a cozy dinner at home! This vegetarian corn chowder recipe is fresh, wholesome and delicious. It’s perfect for cool late summer…

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Southwestern corn chowder recipe

Make this Southwestern corn chowder for a cozy dinner at home! This vegetarian corn chowder recipe is fresh, wholesome and delicious. It’s perfect for cool late summer or fall evenings when fresh corn is at its peak. Or, you can make it any time with frozen corn.

I wanted the corn flavor to shine and balanced its sweetness with some Southwestern spice. You’ll find bell pepper, poblano and chili powder in this atypical chowder. I promise you will not miss the bacon.

corn chowder ingredients

I purposefully avoided using the heavy cream that you’ll find in most chowder recipes. Heavy cream has a tendency to dull flavors and also makes me feel weighed down. Instead, I blended a bit of butter into the soup (one of my favorite soup tricks) and stirred in some crème fraîche or sour cream at the end. These dairy ingredients offer some creaminess, of course, plus some tanginess that you won’t get from plain cream.

You can easily make this soup dairy free or vegan, if desired. You’ll love the end results either way!

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Ultimate Veggie Pizza

As a vegetarian for over a decade, I’ve eaten quite a few veggie pizzas. Truly fantastic veggie pizzas are few and far between. So, I combined all…

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best veggie pizza recipe

As a vegetarian for over a decade, I’ve eaten quite a few veggie pizzas. Truly fantastic veggie pizzas are few and far between. So, I combined all of the elements I’ve enjoyed over the years to create my own “ultimate” veggie pizza pie. This is the best homemade veggie pizza I’ve ever had, and I hope you’ll say the same!

This vegetarian pizza recipe will delight vegetarians and carnivores alike. It’s fresh and full of flavor, featuring cherry tomatoes, artichoke, bell pepper, olives, red onion and some hidden (and optional) baby spinach. You’ll find a base of rich tomato sauce and golden, bubbling mozzarella underneath, of course.

veggie pizza ingredients

The trick with loaded veggie pizzas, as many pizza shops seem to forget, is that they require a few extra minutes in the oven to develop full flavor and structure. Don’t stop baking until the cheese is deeply golden in spots. Otherwise, you might end up with floppy pizza that doesn’t live up to its true potential.

Start with my easy whole wheat pizza dough, and this recipe is ready in about 45 minutes, start to finish. This veggie pizza is quicker and healthier than delivery!

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Pasta alla Norma

We’re going back to Sicily! Pasta alla Norma is a delicious Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant, marinara and basil. I’m excited to introduce you to this dish…

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pasta alla norma recipe

We’re going back to Sicily! Pasta alla Norma is a delicious Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant, marinara and basil. I’m excited to introduce you to this dish because it is a completely satisfying vegetarian dinner. I’m craving a bowl as I type.

Most pasta alla Norma recipes are made with fried eggplant, but this recipe features roasted eggplant. Eggplant really absorbs oil like a sponge, so this lightens up the dish. Another plus? Roasting eggplant is easier and less messy.

I further lightened this classic recipe by using more eggplant and less pasta, so this dish won’t put you to sleep. It’s nice and saucy, just the way I like it.

pasta alla norma ingredients

I don’t speak Italian, so I first assumed that “norma” meant eggplant. Not the case! Norma is capitalized because she’s a lady. Or an opera, depending on how you look at it.

Here’s the backstory: Pasta alla Norma comes from Catania, a city on the eastern coast of Sicily. Catania is the hometown of Vincenzo Bellini, an Italian opera composer who lived in the early 1800s. One of Bellini’s most famous operas, Norma, is named after its lead character.

Folklore has it that playwright Nino Martoglio, after his first bite of this pasta dish, exclaimed, “Chista è ‘na vera Norma!” (“This is a true Norma!”) That’s quite a compliment.

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Colorful Veggie Sesame Noodles

These sesame noodles are colorful and completely irresistible! I’m always excited when I find sesame noodles amongst a plethora of dishes at a gathering. As a solo…

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sesame noodles salad recipe

These sesame noodles are colorful and completely irresistible! I’m always excited when I find sesame noodles amongst a plethora of dishes at a gathering. As a solo dish, I crave noodles with a little more color, perhaps, and more texture and flavor. Must be the “maximalist vegetarian” in me. Always more veggies!

This riff on sesame noodles is exactly what I’ve wished for. This recipe features tender noodles and green onions, of course. I replaced some of the noodles with tons of crisp raw veggies, plus I added tiny sesame seeds, toasted to bring out their best.

The bold but simple seasonings include soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh ginger and garlic, and a generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro (omit it if you don’t like it). I added some chili flakes for extra heat, which you can scale up or down to suit your preferences.

sesame noodle salad ingredients

From what I’ve read, sesame noodles likely originated in the Sichuan province of China (please let me know if you know more). These noodles are not authentic, but they are tasty. I can’t stop going back for more.

Bring these noodles to a gathering or serve them as a side dish. They are nice at room temperature or chilled. Or, turn this recipe into a light meal by adding shelled edamame, crispy baked tofu or a fried egg or two. This recipe keeps well for several days in the fridge, and packs well for lunch.

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Easy Homemade Pickles

What took me so long to make classic pickles? As it turns out, homemade dill pickles are simple, easy and delicious. They’re the perfect little summertime project,…

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best cucumber pickles recipe

What took me so long to make classic pickles? As it turns out, homemade dill pickles are simple, easy and delicious. They’re the perfect little summertime project, if you even want to call it that. These pickles are ready after a short chill in the refrigerator (as little as one hour), and they keep for several weeks.

These pickles are tangy and refreshing, nice and crisp, and offer garden-fresh flavor. They remind me of Claussen or Grillo’s pickles—but they’re even better. In short, I’m in love with this refrigerator pickle recipe and I think you will be, too.

how to slice cucumbers

These pickles are made with simple ingredients, including vinegar (I prefer rice vinegar’s mild flavor), fresh dill (technically optional, but delicious), a couple cloves of garlic, and a few basic seasonings.

I added a touch of sweetener, too—just enough to cut the bite of vinegar. These pickles are decidedly tangy, and nowhere near “bread and butter” territory. However, the sweetness level is entirely up to you.

These pickles aren’t overwhelmingly salty, either, yet they’re fully seasoned. They are irresistibly just right—perfect for burgers, for snacking, and more.

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Vegetarian “BLT” Sandwich

Here’s a vegetarian spin on a classic BLT sandwich! We should probably call it an “HLT” since we’re using halloumi cheese in place of bacon. Halloumi is…

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vegetarian BLT sandwich recipe

Here’s a vegetarian spin on a classic BLT sandwich! We should probably call it an “HLT” since we’re using halloumi cheese in place of bacon. Halloumi is a magical cheese from Cyprus that retains its shape when heated, rather than melting.

Pan-fried halloumi cheese turns deliciously crisp and golden on the outside, and leans more savory in flavor. It’s a little chewy and somewhat salty. In other words, pan-fried halloumi makes a fine bacon replacement, especially if you shower it with freshly ground black pepper while hot.

This sandwich is closer to an authentic BLT than my more abstract vegan BLT, which is made with coconut bacon and avocado instead of mayo. Make your preferred variation before tomato season ends!

Serve these sandwiches with a simple side salad—perhaps Gaby’s Cucumber Salad or a green salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

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Fresh Black Bean Burrito Bowl

Let me introduce you to one of the best meals I’ve had all season! These fresh black bean burrito bowls are made from scratch with simple, wholesome…

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best burrito bowl recipe

Let me introduce you to one of the best meals I’ve had all season! These fresh black bean burrito bowls are made from scratch with simple, wholesome ingredients. While the components initially take some time to prepare, they make great leftovers to enjoy all week long. These bowls pack well for lunch, too.

In fact, these burrito bowls represent how I eat at home. I like to make a few components that play nicely together, and mix and match them all week. That way, I don’t get bored, and I don’t have to start from zero with every meal.

ingredients (rice, lime, cilantro, red onion)

“Tell me more, Kate,” you say. Ok, so maybe you first enjoy these burrito bowls exactly as shown here. You could change up your next bowl by adding some avocado and a fried egg.

Or, you could make a simple quesadilla, top it with pickled onion and cilantro pesto, and serve it with a side of black beans and rice. Another option? Turn these components into black bean tacos (or a burrito). Maybe you have some extra rice, so you warm it up and toss it into your green salad for lunch.

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How to Cook Black Beans (From Scratch!)

Meet my go-to, foolproof black bean recipe! If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cook black beans from scratch, this guide is for you. These beans…

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best black beans recipe

Meet my go-to, foolproof black bean recipe! If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cook black beans from scratch, this guide is for you. These beans are rich and creamy, yet lively and full of flavor. They rival the frijoles negros I’ve loved in Costa Rica, Mexico and Belize, and they make a delicious side dish or meal component.

Home-cooked black beans offer far more flavor than canned beans, especially when you include the right seasonings. I’m thrilled with how these turn out. Dried beans are also less expensive than canned beans, and they reduce waste (no cans to throw away).

black bean recipe ingredients

Plus, black beans are very good for you. Black beans are rich in fiber and plant-based protein, and a fantastic source of folate, thiamin (vitamin B1), phosphorus, manganese and magnesium. If you’ve ever read that beans are “unhealthy,” it’s because beans contain lectins until they’ve been sufficiently cooked. Lectins, which are naturally present in many plant foods, are considered an anti-nutrient. If you’re eating properly cooked beans, as instructed below, there’s no reason for concern.

You might be surprised to hear that black beans are actually so blue that they appear black. Black beans are full of anthocyanins, a powerful group of flavanoids that also makes blueberries, purple cabbage and red onions so nutritious. You can read all about black bean nutrition here.

If you’re learning to cook dried beans, start them early. The wild card with dried beans is that you’ll never be 100 percent certain when they’ll finish cooking. Better to start cooking well before you’re in a rush for dinner. Let’s get to it!

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Gaby’s Roasted Beets and Labneh

Would you look at those colors?! This roasted beet side dish is the prettiest recipe I’ve made in a long time, and the leftovers look like an…

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roasted beet salad recipe with herbs yogurt

Would you look at those colors?! This roasted beet side dish is the prettiest recipe I’ve made in a long time, and the leftovers look like an abstract Easter basket.

This recipe comes from a new cookbook called Eat What You Want by Gaby Dalkin. You may know Gaby from her blog, What’s Gaby Cooking. I love Gaby’s fresh, California-style cooking and boundless enthusiasm for all things food-related!

eat what you want cookbook with beets

The funny thing is that I’ve never met Gaby in person, but I feel like I know her after watching her on Instagram over the years. We share an affinity for fresh herbs and flaky sea salt, and I turn to her blog and cookbook for inspiration often. When she offered to send me a copy of her cookbook, I said yes, of course.

Her newest book features “125 recipes for real life” and I had a hard time choosing just one to share with you. I’ve been on a beet kick lately, so beets won the draw. This recipe also gave me an excuse to make Gaby’s go-to basil vinaigrette, which I’ve been meaning to try for ages.

This dish features roasted beets over thick yogurt (I used Siggi’s “skyr” instead of labneh), with fresh basil vinaigrette, avocado wedges, and a heavy sprinkling of fresh herbs. Even my husband, who’s not a fan of beets, went back for more.

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Easy No-Bake Granola Bars

How are you doing? I find myself oscillating between hope and frustration. I look at the news, and promptly crave a distraction. I’ve always hoped that this…

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best granola bars recipe

How are you doing? I find myself oscillating between hope and frustration. I look at the news, and promptly crave a distraction. I’ve always hoped that this website serves as a helpful resource. If it provides a ray of sunshine or a healthy escape, even better.

Today, I offer you my go-to recipe for granola bars. These bars are delicious and easy to make with basic pantry ingredients. They can pass as a quick breakfast, and they make a perfect snack.

granola bar ingredients

These granola bars have spared me from some hangry moments lately. They’re satisfying, just sweet enough, and stick with me for a few hours. Granola bars to the rescue!

I’ve finally found some ingredients to work with, so I’ll be back with more recipes soon. Please let me know what you’re looking for, and I’ll try to come up with something good.

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