Roasted Strawberries

This is a recipe I tucked into the final pages of a cookbook I wrote eight(!) years ago. You’d likely miss it if you skip the little recipes that tend to find their way to the miscellaneous or accompaniment section at the back of many cookbooks. It might seem a bit of a shame to take a basket of the season’s sweetest, most fragrant strawberries and roast them. But this is an alternative I love. There are few things better slathered on a flaky buttered biscuit, hot crepe, or piece of toast. Or, scooped over your favorite yogurt. A little bit of special magic.
Roasted Strawberries
When it comes to roasting these strawberries, you know you’re on the right track when the juices from the roasting berries seep out onto the baking sheet and combine with the maple syrup to form a thick and sticky, just-sweet-enough-syrup. At the same time, the flavor of the berries cooks down and concentrates. The port adds a surprise hint of booziness, and the balsamic delivers a dark bass note. The recipe can be doubled or tripled, just be mindful not to crowd the baking sheet.

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A Few Words on How to Cook Artichokes

This is a primer on how to cook artichokes – if you’re going to invest the time into cooking artichokes, you want them to be fantastic. Spring is the time I tend to cook them once or twice a week. And, although the process takes time and attention, I can’t help myself. When artichokes are good, there are few things I’d rather be eating. 
How to Cook Artichokes
Straight up, I think a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of cooking artichokes, or they think it’s not worth the effort. My friends confirm this. The topic has come up a few times lately, and the conversations are typically punctuated by a confession that they never cook artichokes at home.
How to Cook Artichokes
So(!) I thought I’d do a quick outline of how I handle these armored spring ambassadors. Eight times out of ten I use the cooking method I’m going to outlined in the recipe sectin below. It requires nothing more than good (baby) artichokes, olive oil or clarified butter, and sea salt. If you can pair those ingredients, with a bit of practice, a hint of patience, and a window of time, you can absolutely cook some of the best artichokes. Not kidding. Once you hit your groove with these wondrous thistles, few of you will look back.

A Case for Cooking Artichokes

Nutritionists celebrate artichokes for a long list of reasons. They’re packed with fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, and have long been known to support the liver. They don’t get as much of the limelight as other ingredients – for example pomegranate, turmeric, acai, etc. – but they bring quite a lot to the table. It’s worth incorporating them into your meals, particularly when they’re in season.
How to Cook Artichokes

A Worthwhile Shortcut

Update: I recently discovered frozen bags of artichokes at a local Trader Joes, and started experimenting to see if using them would be a worthwhile substitute to using fresh artichokes. At the very least, this could be a way to extend artichoke season. I don’t love canned or jarred artichokes, and it turns out, the frozen option is pretty great. You can cook them in a covered skillet in a bit of olive oil, straight from the freezer, until they’re cooked through, and then remove the cover and dial up the heat to get some nice, golden color on them. Season and serve. So good!
How to Cook Artichokes
How to Cook Artichokes

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The Creamiest Vegan Soup (Cauliflower)

If you’re looking to make a silky smooth, creamy vegan soup, today is your day. This gem caught my attention because it is quite different than most “creamy” vegan soups I come across. It uses a clever trick to achieve its signature texture. And the resulting soup doesn’t rely on heavy cream or lots of coconut milk. Bingo.
The Creamiest Vegan Soup Recipe
The lineage of this soup goes something like this. Genius recipe-spotter Kristen Miglore highlighted this Paul Bertolli recipe on Food52 back in 2011. The CAP Beauty ladies gave it a turmeric and mustard twist in their new book, and I went from there. Adding yellow split peas on top make it a one-bowl meal, nutritional yeast tees up some cheesy flavor notes. I also upped the quantity because, leftovers.

The Creamiest Vegan Soup Recipe

The Technique: Make a Vegan Soup Super Creamy

The base of this soup is cauliflower. I make cauliflower soup all the time. The thing that makes this recipe special is the cooking technique. You let the cauliflower steam, in the pot, for 15 minutes. You can do this with cauliflower and get tender delicious florets out of the process. When you do this with vegetables like asparagus you end up with sad, overcooked, off color asparagus. Long way of saying, cauliflower is a great ingredient for this technique. Carrot and sweet potato also love the steam approach. 

The Creamiest Vegan Soup Recipe

This is a vegan soup.  It is also gluten-free, boosted with turmeric, and relatively quick to make on a weeknight. Leftovers are great and endlessly adaptable.

Other Ideas

This version is spike with  turmeric and mustard. You can certainly explore other directions. Grated ginger would be a great addition. Or, if you have spices left over from chana masala, perfect! I even stir a cup of rice porridge into the leftovers, for an excellent rice soup.

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Ten Turmeric Boosted Recipes + Giveway

Turmeric fans, this is for you.  I’m teaming up with @diasporaco for a GIVEAWAY of a year’s supply of my favorite turmeric. That’s FOUR jars of vibrant, potent, organically farmed, single-origin turmeric grown in Andhra Pradesh, India with a 4.7% curcumin content. TO PARTICIPATE: Follow both of us ( @heidijswanson & @diasporaco ) on Instagram and leave a comment (on Insta) telling me what you’d do with this special turmeric. I’ll select my fave this Sunday (3/31)! To kick things off I’m highlighting a few of my favorite turmeric recipes here. Let’s do this! xx, -h10 Turmeric Boosted Recipes + Giveway

1. Turmeric Grilled Tofu Spring Rolls – The spring rolls we been eat all spring & summer. Grilled turmeric tofu, asparagus, herbs, and hot sauce.

10 Turmeric Boosted Recipes + Giveway

2. Turmeric Cashews – Turmeric Cashews tossed with cayenne, nori, and sesame. Inspired by The Good Gut written by Stanford researchers Justin and Erica Sonnenburg. Keep your microbiota happy.

10 Turmeric Boosted Recipes + Giveway

3. Sunshine Pad Thai – The pad thai recipe you’re looking for! Try this simple trick to make a turmeric noodle version.

10 Turmeric Boosted Recipes + Giveway

4. Turmeric Tea – I started making this turmeric tea for its beneficial properties, and now it is one of my favorite daily rituals – made from a honey turmeric paste with lots of lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper.

10 Turmeric Boosted Recipes + Giveway

5. Pickled Turmeric Eggs – If you’ve got hard-boiled eggs and five extra minutes, you can make these beauties! They’re the best. Hard-boiled eggs pickled in turmeric, shallot, and apple cider vinegar – beautiful, quick to make, and delicious.

10 Turmeric Boosted Recipes + Giveway

6. Instant Pot Congee with Brown Rice and Turmeric –  making congee in your Instant Pot is literally reason enough to buy one. A complete home run.

10 Turmeric Boosted Recipes + Giveway

7. Turmeric Soaked Chickpeas – Turmeric soaked chickpeas, you can use them in all sorts of things! This includes your favorite hummus, salads, and chickpea creations. I include conventional stovetop and Instant Pot instructions here.

There’s also this (8)turmeric popcorn, this favorite (9)lemongrass turmeric curry paste, and this (10) dynamite cold tonic.

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Favorites List (3.24.19)

A fresh list of links, recipes, reading, and watch-worthy gems for the week ahead. Enjoy!

– To Make: Folkloric Immunity Tonic (Andrea Gentl + CAP Beauty)

– Let’s talk about eye health! (In Fiore + Dr. Elise Brisco)

– Photos: Southern India (in my Insta Stories)

– A few fave asparagus recipes: this, this, this, and these.

– Required reading: for aspiring restauranteurs

– 2019 Garden Inspiration: reading this, binge watching this

– Watching: this & this

– Love: Esther Choi’s The Kitchen Gadget Test Show

– Reading: this, this, and this.

– Warming up To Vegan Pozole (New Yorker)

– The House that Love Built – Before it was Gone

– The Truth About Wasabi (video)

– Wish list: for my elbow ouchie (via Healthyish), daisy lead to match Polly’s daisy collar, a kishu tree, more Kashmiri amaro

Let me know if you have a favorite to add to the list – a favorite recent book you’ve read, podcast you’ve listened to, recipe you’ve cooked, etc! 

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How To Make the Creamy, Toasted Coconut Milk of Your Dreams

Let me start by saying, if you already make your own nut milks at home, you have to try this. I mean – walk to your kitchen, turn the oven dial, and get some coconut in there. You have to trust me here. I started making homemade toasted coconut milk a few months ago, and it has become one of my favorite things. It’s creamy, rich, nutty, and intense. I enjoy it immensely on its own, and as an ingredient in other preparations as well. It’s a real flavor punch. Imagine all the ways you can use it to make some of your favorite preparations even better. It’s great in chai, in morning oatmeal, baked oatmeal(!). You can use it in a wild range of sweet preparations, but it’s also good as a way to add a little je ne sais quoi, to broths, soups, and weeknight curries.

You can see how it comes together in a video of the process here, and you can find the recipe down below, as well as a few notes. Let me know if you make it, and if you do, please let me know how you’re using it!

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A couple notes. If you want to totally geek out on this, play around with the toastiness of your coconut. If you toast coconut deeply, you’re going to have a different profile than a more lightly toasted coconut. I tend to ride the dark side of the spectrum, but it’s wild the difference between a milk made with lightly toasted versus dark. Both delicious, just different.

Toasted Coconut Milk

Toasted Coconut Milk

Also, like all pure coconut milk, it will separate. And it solidifies in the refrigerator. Use it as you would canned coconut milk, and expect it to behave similarly (i.e. you might need to warm it up a bit, and give it a good stir before using)…

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Pie Crust Design, These Pie Crust Masters Show you How it’s Done

There’s an art to creating a beautiful pie crust, and it doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you’re looking to move beyond a simple, basic crust this season, there are a host of next-level pie crust design techniques out there to inspire your creations. There’s really no reason you can’t master the basket weave, the leafy border, or the fluted edge! Have fun with these.
Pie Crust Design, These Pie Crust Masters Show you How it's Done

1. Pie Crusts Classics
Thomas Joseph shows us a nice range of pie crust design options – a leaf border, a braid border, a honeycomb top (a favorite!), a classic lattice top crust, and he makes it all look easy and doable. Listen up for some of his helpful little tips as well like, how to hide seams.

2. Harvest Leaf Pie Crusts
A really pretty video demonstrating a range of beautiful harvest leaf pie designs. There’s the a mega-leaf pie (cool & unusual!), and a couple of free-style approaches with medium leaves. They all bake up beautifully!

3. Twenty Pie Crimping Techniques
Watch this one for the corkscrew crust, and Caesar’s crown. Measuring spoon is brilliant as well, but I have to admit visibly flinching at the pearl crust ;)…

4. Cookie Cutter Crusts
There is so much that could be said about this video, so many questions I have! 😉 I like the way our Topless Baker friend uses little fondant/cookie cutter flowers to accent his pie, and he really goes for it. Double decker flowers and all! That part kicks in around the 5:15 minute mark – I’ll tee it up for you.

5. Hearts, Flowers, & Polka-dots
There’s a nice graphic sensibility to this collection of crusts. And, the lace technique is new to me. I really love how the ribbon-edged crust baked up – super inspiring! Trying to find the original source video for this one and will update the link when I do.

6. Nine Minutes of Pie Inspiration
There are some very strange pies in this one. But, perhaps there will be something in the mix here that will inspire your own creations in the coming months.

7. Savory Square Basketweave
I sort of love this square basket weave with the sesame sprinkle. For when your basketweave game is strong.

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These Incredible Italian Grandmas Teach you to Make Pasta from Scratch

Pasta videos are one of my favorite things on the internet. To be specific, the making and shaping of pasta using traditional ingredients and methods. There are all sorts of videos out there, and pasta enthusiasts on all the different platforms, but I love watching Italian grandmas (nonnas) the most. I’m going to highlight a handful of favorite pasta videos here, and let these Italian grandmas show us how it’s done.

I also want to mention a channel on You Tube, Pasta Grannies, because it’s an absolute treasure trove of pasta videos by Vicki Bennison. I’ve embedded a few favorites episodes down below, definitely poke around the archives as well. There’s also some great inspiration at #pastamaking, and Miyuki Adachi is one of my all-time favorite Instagram accounts. Let me know in the comments if you have any favorites in this vein as well, I’m always adding to my list!

1. Pici
Pici(!!!) Pici is my first pasta love, and my favorite pasta to shape by hand. You roll out long spaghetti-shaped noodles across a countertop, and because you’re doing it by hand the shape is beautifully irregular and rustic. I thought my pici game was respectable until I came across this Tuscan grandma. Around the :50 second mark of this video, she shows us who’s boss.

2. Trofie
Trofie is the most recent shape I’ve tried to master. To make these tiny coils, some people wrap the pasta dough around a thin needle or umbrella spoke. I don’t have the patience for that (I’m so slow), and always resort to something more like this. Look at her outside-the-palm technique!

3. Fusilli Ricci
Proof that making fresh pasta keeps you strong! A beautiful portrait of nonna Maria at 86 years old making fusilli ricci.

4. Tagliatelle
Nonna Elena makes beautiful tagliatelle here, and make you think you can ditch your pasta machine for a pasta board and mattarello rolling pin. If you watch carefully, you get a sneak peek into her refrigerator too :).

5. Orecchiette
I visited Puglia years ago, and could watch the ladies make traditional orecchiette (little ears) for hours. In this video we see an orecchiette master at work, but don’t look away, because at the 2:00 minute mark, she goes big.

6. Cavatelli
The shaping of the cavatelli kicks in around the 2:00 minute mark here. I remember meeting some of these ladies when I travelled to Puglia years ago.

7. Sicilian Maccheroni
One more from the Pasta Grannies series. Filmed in Menfi, Sicily, I love this video for a hundred reasons. Watch Damiana and Gaetano make an incredible fava bean pasta lunch. Her knife skills are the best, the fresh from the garden favas(!), the sunny patio(!), Damiana’s fruit and berry tablecloth!

8. Miyuki Adachi
Not a nonna, but I suspect you’ll love Miyuki nonetheless. I found her on Instagram, and love watching her video shorts and pasta shaping demonstrations from Toronto. This is a video of some of what you’ll find her working on. As you can see, her trofie game is quite strong as well! (Follow Miyuki)

 

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Ten Weeknight Express Recipes eBook

Hi all! I made a free ebook for anyone who signs up for the 101 Cookbooks newsletter. It’s a collection of favorite weeknight-friendly recipes, and by being on the mailing list, it’ll be easier for me to send future recipes and content directly to you. I get the feeling that reaching many of you via Facebook, Pinterest, and other social networks is increasingly challenging (even if you’ve asked to follow 101 Cookbooks). So if you click on this link, or the graphic below, and sign up, you’ll get an email with a link to your Weeknight Express PDF. If you’re already on the mailing list, you’ll get a link later this week. Enjoy!

Weeknight Express eBook

Recipes in this collection include: Curried Tomato Tortellini Soup, Ponzu Pasta, Last Minute Red Lasagna, Spicy Tahini Noodles with Roasted Vegetables, Quick Vegan Enchiladas with Sweet Potato Sauce, Double Broccoli Buddha Bowl, Golden Crusted Sesame Seeded Tofu, Garlic Lime Lettuce Wraps with Tempeh, and The Ultimate Vegan Nachos. I love all these recipes, and hope you’ll cook your way through them! (Sign up here)

Weeknight Express eBook

Weeknight Express eBook

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Seed Pâté

Make this seed pâté when you want something in your refrigerator that can easily assimilate into just about any snack or meal. It’s one of those things that can cozy up to chilaquiles, be slathered on a quesadilla, dolloped on a yoga bowl, enjoyed alongside (or in place of hummus), spread on a tartine…you get what I’m saying.
Seed Pate
The base is made of seeds that have been soaked for a stretch and then blended into a creamy, full-bodied puree. In this instance I’ve worked in fresh herbs and garlic, but it’s not hard to imagine many different ways to approach the base. I like to finish seed pate with a bit of miso – for flavor, seasoning, and easy nutritional boost.

Seed PateSeed Pate

It also satisfies by the spoonful – for example, as a seed-based alternative to almond butter.

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