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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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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

One word: Neat.

My friend Carol just turned me onto a service in the Los Angeles area, The Farmer’s Cart. On Monday I placed an order, on Wednesday I received a box of goodies including:

  • 2 Yellow Peaches
  • 3 Valencia Oranges
  • 2 Hass Avacados
  • 3 Bananas
  • 1 Pt Grape Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Bunch of Green Onions
  • 1 Green Leaf Lettuce
  • 12oz Green Beans
  • 1 Red Russian Kale
  • 1 Bunch of Carrots
  • 1 Pineapple

In addition to the box of yum, they sent me a “Recipe of the Week”!

Labor-Light sautéed Red Kale And Julienned Carrots


1/3 pound of thinly sliced fresh kale leaves (4 packed cups)
2 tsp. canola oil
1 cup julienned carrots
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of Cayenne pepper, optional


– Rinse kale and remove stems, including large stem running through center of each leaf. Place a few leaves on top of each other and cut into thin strips. Repeat until all kale is cut.

– Add kale to pot of boiling water and boil, uncovered, 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

– In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots and saute 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 more minute. Add coriander, salt and pepper (to taste) and cayenne, if using.

– Cook 15 seconds. Add kale and cook 1-2 minutes.

Guess what we’re having as part of our dinner tonight? You guessed it, Labor-Light sautéed Red Kale And Julienned Carrots!


The Farmer’s Cart (from their website)

Our mission is to support healthy living through organic produce.
This preserves your health as well as our planet’s health.
Our program is simple, we deliver fresh, wholesome boxes of organic produce to you and your neighbors on a weekly basis.

We serve the Los Angeles area.

You will be impressed each week with a newsletter containing information on the origins and secrets of your produce as well as our recipes of the week.

How it works

  1. A box of field-fresh, USDA certified Organically Grown produce will be delivered to your home or office weekly or bi-weekly.
  2. Mother Nature will surpise you with a different produce ensamble each week from the freshest of her harvest! Your box will contain 10-15 kinds of the fruits and vegetables. These are grouped into 3 general categories: Cooking Veggies, Salad Vegies and Sweet Fruit.
  3. With The Farmer’s Cart, you have no tedious preference forms to complete. Only the freshest, highest quality produce will be hand selected for your box. However, if you do have any probelms with an item, we will gladly fix it for you in your next delivery.
  4. The Farmer’s Cart; Quality, Convenience, Variety.


We serve the neighborhoods of Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Downtown Los Angeles and South Pasadena.

To sign up, or for any questions, contact us at:

Phone: (213) 509-9821


I’m thinking that next time I will get the bigger box!

If you decided to try them, please let The Farmer’s Cart know that I referred you! You can sign up for one time payments, and order weekly, every other week, or monthly. They deliver ever Wednesday.

– – –
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.

Sockeye salmon with green garlic is a lovely and deeply colorful dish that tastes grand. (Los Angeles Times/Kirk McKoy)

LA TIMES Recipe of the week looks tasty… However Every time I hear or read “Fava Beans” I think of Silence of the Lambs. Go figure. It wont stop me from trying this recipe out on some friends this weekend.

Speaking of the weekend, are we all geared up for the Spring Equinox? I’m heading over to the Sound Healing experience with Jamie in Eagle Rock on Friday and I have my Temple of Witchcraft Initiation on Saturday.

Yes: Food. Friends. Art. Witchcraft. That’s me. That’s my site. 🙂

Any who-who,



Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Note: Sockeye salmon is available from fish markets and select well-stocked markets. Green garlic is available seasonally from farmers markets and select well-stocked supermarkets.

2 pounds whole fava beans
4 (5-ounce) skin-on fillets sockeye salmon
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced green garlic, from about 4 stalks cleaned and sliced crosswise (both white and green parts)
Zest and juice from 1 lemon

View the full Recipe of the week at

Posted using ShareThis

Hi there.

Watching the tube after brunch at Pete’s Cafe and a walk with Trixie and our mouths are watering for seafood paella. It would be a new recipe for me. Something I’ve never attempted before.

There is a lot out there from epicurious to Rachael Ray. I’d love to know, if you have made Paella, your recipe, seafood  choices, preparation, etc.

Got something good for us?


Onion Confit

This is an old post from Lifencompass but I’m working on making a new big batch of this completely delicious confit that I found in Vegetarian Times.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

(Excerpt and Recipe from the magazine, Vegetarian Times)

“What you get: 1 whole onion per serving”

Cooking chopped onions slowly over low heat caramelizes their natural sugars and turns the pungent vegetables into a rich, ultra-versatile spread that will keep for up to a week in the fridge. Try slathering it on bread and toasting with cheese for an open faced sandwich, spread it on pizza dough, stir it into sour cream for a homemade dip, or thin it with vegetable broth for easy onion soup.

  1. •3 Tbs. olive oil
  2. •8 large red or yellow onions, chopped, or 3 10-oz. bags of frozen diced onions (8 cups) -I prefer fresh.
  3. •1 tsp. salt
  4. •1 cup beer
  5. •1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme -I did not have fresh or dried thyme. I used 1 handful of fresh Roman parsley with six drops of Thyme Essential Oil, from Young Living.
  6. •2 Tbs. Dijon Mustard

Heat oil in a pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and salt, cover, and cook 45 minutes (frozen onions may take longer -again I prefer fresh vegetables) or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in beer, 1 cup water, and thyme, scraping up bits stuck to pot. Partially cover, and simmer 15 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated (that took longer than 15 minutes, but I made a double batch). Stir in Mustard; season with pepper.


I was heavy on the mustard because it added a little bite to the sweetness, I would say that I added 2 tbs. more than recommended.

Here are my results:

I was heavy on the mustard because it added a little bite to the sweetness, I would say that I added 2 tbs. more than recommended.

The confit turned out fantastic.

I took it upstairs to my friend, who has a cold, and Brandon and I “slathered it on bread for an open faced sandwich.

This morning I took it out of the fridge, uncovered and tasted the end result after it had sat. Still delicious. I mixed with some sour cream… oh… I was drooling. The sour cream mixture would be great with some sesame seed crackers or something whole grain.

Breath deep!

Scott K Smith

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“We all have a special responsibility to help create a better world, because material progress alone is clearly insufficient for a happier human society. No one loses, and everyone gains by a shared universal sense of responsibility to this planet and all living things on it.”

-His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Gingered squash soup —

I was shooting for this recipe. Something to try out for a Friday recipe spotlight but I couldn’t find a dam Winter Squash anywhere at the Grand Central Market, or Marukai Market in Little Tokyo.

Does NO ONE eat pumpkin or squash… I mean it is Sowain for the sake of deliciousness!

Regardless. I went with ingredients for a vegetable soup (root stock, twice boiled) and some extra’s for a beet and orange, goats cheese salad this weekend.

PS: Checked the crop report… nope, no significant hit on the california Squash crop. Just a “slow down”. O.o

Be well,

Scott K Smith

Scott LifencompassCreate Your Badge

… I’d have to let you slap me. 🙂 It’s kind of wrong for me to even think it.

Anyway I haven’t posted about any of the fun foods we’ve been eating and creating. I was keeping up with it semi-regularly on the Journey before my computer crashed. My fingers are still crossed that the Time Capsule did it’s job and my information is saved in that little packet of information I can see via my PC but cannot open.

“Yada. Yada. Yada.”

vegetarian_classics_Celia_Brooks_BrownAnyway, Birgit my sister-friend got me this great book for my birthday back in August, World Vegetarian Classics. As the subtitle says it’s filled with “Over 200 essential international recipes for the modern kitchen”.

Notice me looking back over my shoulder at my “modern kitchen”…. HEY! At least I finally have some new pots and pans. *ahem*

Any-who-who I’ve tried out a few for B and me and I’ve got to say that they really are great food combinations! Here are two that I particularly enjoyed, note that on the second recipe I switched it up a bit from printed directions…

Trator Yogurt and Cucumber Soup with Walnuts (Bulgaria)
(Pg. 77, “Northern European and Russia” section)

*S: Super soup. I love Yogurt and cucumbers. We ate this up for dinner and I saved the rest for breakfast. LOVED it. Directions from the book are included.

Ingredients: 2 cups chilled Greek or thick and creamy Yogurt; 1 cup chilled water; 1 garlic clove, de-germed; Course sea salt and ground black pepper; 2 medium cucumbers, chilled, peeled, de-seeded and finely diced; handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped (I used Lemon Balm because I did not have mint).

Garnish: Virgin sunflower, olive or grape seed oil.

Whisk Yogurt and water together in a bowl until smooth. Pound the garlic with a large pinch of course sea salt in a mortar until smooth. Alternatively, use a garlic press. Stir the garlic into the yogurt mixture. Add the cucumber and mint and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Watch the salt). Leave to chill in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Pour into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of oil and chopped walnuts.

This went together with the next recipe perfectly, the way we switched up the base.

Houby paprikas Mushroom Paprika (Hungary)
(Pg. 78, “Northern European and Russia” section)

The design of this mushroom recipe was intended to be served over rice, pasta or Spätzle but I decided to pull an old favorite: 1/2 Pasta, hot over 1/2 salad which blanches the salad a bit. I then poured the mushroom mixture over the top.

… go ahead, you can drool, it was good …

Ingredients: 2 tbsp butter (I subbed that with grape seed oil); 1 medium onion chopped; 1 lb of mixed mushrooms (I went Agaricus, Crimini and Shiitake); Sea salt and ground black pepper; 1 tbsp (add a bit more if you prefer a bit more of that subtle spice of paprika); Generous pinch of cayenne pepper; 1 cup sour cream or Crème fraîche; 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill; Rice, pasta or Spätzle. Again I did the 1/2 pasta, 1/2 salad which was a mixed greens.

Heat a large saucepan over a low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent.

Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste, then increase the heat and stir. When the moisture from the  mushrooms has been released, allow it to evaporate, concentrating the flavour. This might happen quickly or slowly, depending entirely on the type of mushrooms used.

Add the paprika and cayenne and dry for a few moments longer, until the paprika turns a shade darker. Finally, add the sour cream or Crème fraîche and dill, and allow it to bubble for a further 5 minutes or so.

Serve over the rice, or pasta (+or pasta+salad  mix).

I gotta say, so far so good Celia Brooks Brown. We’re loving these flavor combinations and the break down of the sections by region and cuisine is fun and interesting as well.

Happy eating.

Scott K Smith

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