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Believe it or not we’re having another “Thanksgiving” dinner tonight. Yes, this is the annual Friends Thanksgiving, a little late because many of us were out of town after the traditional dinner this year.

After several rounds of emails, and a thrown guantlet over macaroni and cheese *snicker*, someone in the group pointed out an obvious lack in the dinner menu.

Where were the vegetables?! (Thanks Joaquin).

B’s got plans for some salad to come, involving oranges and apples. Very nice, and I’ve been up all morning sipping java with Trixie in my lap, pouring over old issues of Vegetarian Times, cookbooks, and recipes in the scrapbook. It’s so Martha.

Here is what I have come up with as contributing dishes.

Greens and Quinoa Pie

Appears in the March 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times, page 50, in the “Super Seder” article… Special thanks to the Den of Trees (yes that’s a code name) for supplying me with another year of my favorite magazine!

Technically, quinoa is not a grain (it’s related to spinach and chard), so it’s perfect for Passover. Here, spring greens are wilted then mixed with quinoa and cheese for a golden-crusted savory pie.

Ingredient List

Serves 6

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large bunch chicory (1 to 1 1/4 lb.), cut into bite-sized pieces (bottom 1 1/2 inches of hard stems removed)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, preferably Greek (1 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup grated aged goat cheese or Swiss cheese (1 oz.)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten


Place quinoa in small saucepan, and toast over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until almost dry. Add 1 cup water, and season with salt, if desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to large bowl.

Heat large pot over medium heat. Add chicory, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until wilted, stirring frequently or tossing with tongs. Add romaine, and wilt 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer greens to strainer, and squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to cutting board, and chop into small pieces. Stir greens into quinoa.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté 10 minutes, or until browned. Add cooked onions, green onions, dill, feta cheese, and goat cheese to quinoa mixture. Stir in eggs; season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Pour 1 Tbs. oil into 9-inch pie pan, and place in oven. Heat 5 minutes, or until oil is hot. Swirl oil to coat bottom of pan, then spread quinoa mixture in pan with spatula. Bake 20 minutes. Drizzle pie with remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and bake 20 to 30 minutes more, or until golden brown.

Nutritional Information

Per slice: Calories: 233, Protein: 10g, Total fat: 13g, Saturated fat: 4g, Carbs: 20g, Cholesterol: 115mg, Sodium: 149mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 4g

Copyright © 2008 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. | an Active Interest Media Company.

via Greens and Quinoa Pie.

Someone had the half baked idea to put Chorizo in the stuffing so I’m covering a vegetarian version of that. This is only dolled up with my own version of vegetable stock, a combination of root vegetables, winter herbs, boiled over an hour. Pressed, drained and then used in various recipes like soup, flavoring, etc.

Vegetable Stock

  • 10 cups water
  • 2 medium onions, cut into quarters
  • 2 large potatoes, sliced
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • handfull of button mushrooms
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed (not minced)
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • small bunch of parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pinch of ground white sage
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put all of your washed and prepared ingredients into a pot with a good lid. Something tight. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. You can tell the stock is done when the vegetables lose their color. strain out the solid parts, give them a good press, and the stock is done.

You can blend this excess up, I like it as a thick soup.

Mixed Mushroom and Tarragon Gravy

Friend Kim found this one. As Rach would say, YUM-O!


Recipe by Bruce Aidells

Photograph by Hans Gissinger

Mixed-Mushroom and Tarragon Gravy


  • 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 pound fresh crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced
  • 1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 4 1/4 cups stock (See above)
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon


  • Place dried porcini in large bowl. Pour 2 cups boiling water over. Let stand until soft, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Using slotted spoon, transfer porcini to small bowl. Cool porcini, then chop. Pour porcini soaking liquid into medium bowl, leaving sediment behind.
  • Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic. Stir 15 seconds. Add fresh mushrooms, thyme, and sage. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to bowl. Add vermouth to skillet; boil 3 minutes, scraping up browned bits. Add 4 cups stock, fresh-mushroom mixture, porcini, and porcini liquid. Boil 10 minutes. Whisk in crème fraîche. Stir 1/4 cup stock and cornstarch in bowl to dissolve; mix into gravy. Cook until gravy coats spoon, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and chill. Rewarm before continuing.
  • Whisk tarragon into gravy and serve.


Complete recipe can be found at Bon Apetite, here.
Finishing with simple stuffing… Recipe found here.

– –

Be well,

Scott K Smith

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Found this lovely in my inbox, from Bon Appétit. I love chilled soups, B’s not such a fan but I’m going to couple it with the Shrimp, Mango, Avocado salad (here). It’s going to be hot this weekend in LA, cold, fresh foods sound the best!



Chilled Corn Soup with Adobo Swirl

Adobo is the spicy tomato sauce that comes in the can with chipotle chiles. Look for canned chipotles at supermarkets, specialty foods stores, and Latin markets.

Recipe by Bon Appétit Test Kitchen
Photograph by Scott Peterson
July 2005

Chilled Corn Soup with Adobo Swirl


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui)
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 3 ears of corn)
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 cup (or more) water
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
  • Fresh cilantro leaves


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add corn kernels, broth, and 1 tablespoon lime juice; bring mixture to boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer until corn is just tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Working in batches, puree soup in blender until almost smooth.
  • Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 cup water (or more as needed to thin soup to desired consistency).
  • Season corn soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer soup to large bowl; cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.
  • Meanwhile, whisk remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and adobo sauce in small bowl to blend. Divide chilled corn soup among 4 bowls. Drizzle soup with adobo oil, then garnish with cilantro and serve.
    This and many other great recipe’s can be found at

    – – –

    Be well,

    Scott K Smith

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    Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

    Scott Lifencompass

    Doesn’t this sound YUM!?
    Shrimp, Mango, Avocado, Chili, Ginger, Butter Lettuce. Drool.
    Another one for the weekend. B’s mom will be here Saturday and Sunday so I thought I might try some different things out on the two of them. I’m going to make this along with the cold corn soup.
    Wish me luck.

    Shrimp, Mango, and Avocado Salad with Sweet Chili-Ginger Vinaigrette

    Asian sweet chili sauce is available in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets.
    • PREP:15M
    • TOTAL:15M

    Recipe by the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen
    Photograph by Patricia Heal
    August 2010

    Shrimp, Mango, and Avocado Salad with Sweet Chili-Ginger Vinaigrette


    • 1/2 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
    • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
    • 12 peeled cooked large shrimp with tails left intact (about 8 ounces)
    • 1 large head of butter lettuce, leaves separated
    • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
    • avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices


    • Whisk first 3 ingredients in small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Place shrimp in medium bowl. Add 3 tablespoons vinaigrette; toss to coat. Divide lettuce among plates. Alternate mango, avocado, and shrimp atop lettuce on each plate. Drizzle vinaigrette over.

    – – –

    Be well,

    Scott K Smith

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    Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

    Scott Lifencompass

    Like. Like. Like. Like. Like.

    I can’t wait to try. Thank you Tes for the recipe, ‘how-to’ and great family photos!


    Homemade Pasta with Mushroom and Asparagus Homemade pasta is something to cheer your kid up. Nothing stop Yaseen from running around the house making a mess like show him a big plate of freshly made pasta with rich hearty meat sauce. Making pasta seems to a lot of work. “Why can’t I just snug a bag of dry spaghetti from my pantry and drop them in the boiling water? Won’t it do the justice?” if you haven’t tried the fresh pasta, you wouldn’t know how different and amazing the fresh pasta i … Read More

    via Homewarming


    For the tomato lover in us all — pickled shallots accent the deep flavors of a tomato salad. Make sure to arrange the dish in a low mound on a platter with the goat cheese around the outside. Bon Appetite!

    Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
    Servings: 4 to 6

    2 shallots, sliced moderately thin
    3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1/2 cup olive oil, divided
    1/4 pound fresh goat cheese
    3 tablespoons minced chives (about 1 bunch)
    1 baguette (about 3/4 pound)
    1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, sliced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick rounds
    Freshly ground pepper

    1. Combine the shallots and the vinegar in a small bowl and set aside at least 1 hour. Combine the garlic and one-fourth cup of the oil in another small bowl and set aside at least 30 minutes. In a small bowl beat together the goat cheese and chives.

    2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the baguette at a sharp angle to create 8 long, three-fourths-inch thick spears of bread. Strain the garlic from the olive oil and brush the bread on both sides with the oil. Discard the garlic or save for another use. Place bread on a baking sheet and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

    3. Put the tomatoes in a wide bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Strain the vinegar from the shallots into a small bowl and then beat in the remaining one-fourth cup of oil. Pour this over the tomatoes and toss gently to coat the slices without breaking them.

    4. Rap each toasted baguette slice rather sharply in about the middle with the back of a chef’s knife to break it into a couple of large, rough pieces. Spread each piece with the goat cheese mixture.

    5. Arrange the dressed tomatoes in a wide serving bowl or on plates, being careful to mix colors and sizes. Carefully separate the shallot slices into individual rings and scatter them over top. Arrange the bread spears around the outside and serve.

    Nutrition information:
    Each of 6 servings: 388 calories; 9 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 24 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 9 grams cholesterol; 424 grams sodium.

    From the LA Times: Recipe: Tomato salad with pickled shallots, goat cheese –

    Eat it up!


    In my love of spring rolls, and I do love them terribly, I find that I’ve got some severe hesitation when it comes to making them. It goes back to the days of trying and failing, trying and failing to make egg rolls.

    Any-who-who, I think I found my recipe that works.



    For a party icebreaker, serve these rolls Vietnamese style, with the fillings and the leafy wrappers laid out on a plate so everyone can roll their own.


    1. To make Lemon-Ginger Dipping Sauce: whisk together all ingredients and 1/2 cup water in small bowl.

    2. To make Spring Rolls: Fill each chard or lettuce leaf with pinch of carrots, beets, bell pepper, and sprouts. Top with basil and mint. Roll chard leaf around filling, tucking in edges. Serve with Dipping Sauce.

    Ingredients, and shopping list via Live Spring Rolls with Lemon-Ginger Dipping Sauce Recipe.

    Simply delicious.
    Sorry about the lack of photo but we devoured this before I had time to think.
    Good stuff!
    Indian Spiced Chickpea and Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), 2 turns of the pan
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
    • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, (2/3 palmful)
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes  (28-ounces)
    • 1 cup plain yogurt
    • Warm pita, any flavor or variety, toasted


    Heat a medium pot with EVOO over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Grind the chickpeas and onion in food processor. Add to pot and cook 5 minutes to sweeten onion. Season the chickpeas with cumin, cardamom, turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir in stock, then tomatoes. Simmer soup 5-10 minutes to combine flavors.

    Serve with a dollop of yogurt and warm pita for dipping.

    via Rachael Ray’s Official Website :: Indian Spiced Chickpea and Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup.

    Hi there. Happy Food-day (or something like that).

    Wednesday night  be and me hit the good ol’ Fresh & Easy just outside of downtown Los Angeles. My shopping list filled with necessities for B, Trixie, and me, a list of ingredients from Budget Friendly Meals (ala Rachael Ray) we went shopping.

    Last night we made…

    Roasted Cauliflower Salad

    • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds
    • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (1/3 palmful)
    • Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
    • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
    • One 10-ounce box couscous
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
    • Roasted Cauliflower
    • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
    • Salt and pepper
    • 4 flatbreads or pitas, warmed


    Preheat the oven to 425°. On a baking sheet, spread the chickpeas and pine nuts in a single layer; roast until the nuts are golden and the chickpeas are warmed, 7 to 8 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic and cumin. Stir in one-third of the lemon juice.

    In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable broth and 1 tablespoon EVOO to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the couscous, dill and chives. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

    In a serving bowl, combine the chickpeas, pine nuts, cauliflower and parsley and dress with the remaining lemon juice and 2 tablespoons EVOO; season with salt and pepper.

    Fluff the couscous with a fork. Spoon onto 4 plates and top with the salad. Serve with the garlic yogurt and bread.

    Visit Rachael Ray for more great recipes: Rachael Ray’s Official Website :: Roasted Cauliflower Salad.

    Fresh and Easy

    OK be excited. A Fresh & Easy opened just outside of Downtown LA. Yes we all wanted it here in the city center but I don’t think the grocery store operators were quite convinced about the market. I don’t think that will last long.
    Every aisle was packed with groceries. The Hollywood Fresh & Easy is a shadow compared to this place. Fresh fruits, vegetables, sauces, meats, cheeses, wine, and beer. Yes it was a shopping paradise, seen on the faces of all the happy people. Literally.

    Yes the workers were snappy and talking it up, telling jokes and seemed to be in good spirits. It was the customers though that really made me smile. I’m not kidding when I say it was apparent on the faces of all the happy people.

    “Hi!”, “Hello” and other wide lipped, toothy greetings. Even a cheeky conversation at the check out.

    It is inexpensive, which is a total bonus compared to the Ralph’s Fresh & Fair, significantly. Although I love having the Ralph’s I much prefer to find my groceries at the Grand Central Market, Marukai, and the various little market’s peppered throughout out home zone.

    That said we did spend a hundred bucks rather easily… but that was six bags of groceries, TP and paper towels too.


    Check it out.

    Fresh & Easy
    1025 E Adams Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90011
    (213) 765-0918

    8AM – 10PM

    Find it. Shop it. Love it.



    I found this great article on the Huffington Post earlier  in the week, thinking “what is it that I need in my kitchen?” when I decided to repost and share with you. Naturally I  like to point you to the little gems I find on the web.

    The pasta maker has been rolling around in my head for some time. Last summer I went to a party in the Hollywood Hills and this guy was just rollin-and-dollin out the pasta. I was impressed, if a little intimidated with the idea of making my own pasta.

    ME?!?! Yes me. :0

    Anyway. Um, here’s some food for thought, brought to you via the Huffington Post, be sure to follow the link and click through the slideshow, there is a host of photos, recipe, and word:


    Pascale Boucicaut: 3 Luxury Kitchen Items Worth Loving

    Three years ago Mark Bittman, who taught us How to Cook Everything, published an article in his New York Times blog, The Minimalist, about kitchen equipment. Reading it, one learned how “$200 can equip a basic kitchen that will be adequate for just about any task, and $300 can equip one quite well.” For many months I kept the article bookmarked in my browser and every time I was tempted by a bread machine, or even a food processor (Bittman cooks without one), I’d go back and remind myself that “a no-frills kitchen still cooks.”

    In the years since Bittman’s article, many of our kitchens have gone through a Renaissance. Sure, we purchased our un-name-brand pots and kept our countertops sparse. And yet, for many of us, the joys of cooking from scratch have replaced our exhausted efforts just to stay fed. It seems the world’s collective conscience has finally deemed food a serious subject of study, and home cooks are working hard to keep up.

    This year, the prestigious Fulbright Association will award its first grant to study at Italy’s University of Gastronomic Sciences. Within the United States, more and more universities are endowing graduate programs in Food Studies. At the French Culinary Institute, aspiring food journalists can enroll in a Food Blogging course with Steven Shaw, founder of eGullet. Food bloggers and inspired home cooks can find just about any recipe online if they look hard enough, as well as the history and mythologies of all the world’s cuisines. But, if they plan on cooking all these new dishes, they need the proper equipment.

    So after negotiating with my bank account and my own limited counter space, I compiled a list of tools that would enhance my kitchen capabilities. I followed his advice and headed to a restaurant supply store downtown where even my luxury items would cost less. Listed below are three kitchen tools that bring me the most joy, and that I recommend to the aspiring foodies seeking culinary bliss and gastronomic credibility.

    via Pascale Boucicaut: 3 Luxury Kitchen Items Worth Loving (PHOTOS, RECIPES).


    Oh and I forgot to mention, I may have a foodie surprise post on  Friday. I mean it’s not totally fantastic but I tickled me in the right place, the stomach. 🙂

    Be well,


    I really love my re-subscription to Vegetarian times. (Thanks Kaynek). In addition to the magazine I get great little email articles like this with little possibilities.

    For example:


    Cheese, Please!

    As I was checking out the cheese aisle of my natural foods market the other day, I suddenly caught a case of “the stupids.” There I was, with all my cooking and cheese-eating experience, but because there was such a huge selection of cheeses to choose from, my mind went blank. I just stood there and stared. The salesperson asked if I needed help, but I couldn’t admit that so many cheeses had just turned me stupid. I couldn’t think of a single recipe that called for raclette or ricotta salata (which, by the way, was cheaper than plain ol’ Cheddar that day). Either would have given me an excuse to buy some gourmet cheese. So, I walked away.

    Now that I’m home, I wish I’d picked up at least one wedge of something to liven up dinner tonight; the block of moldy Monterey Jack just isn’t cutting it. Here are some things I could be making if I’d only thought through some cheese possibilities:

    Get the recipes via My Vegetarian Times.

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