madeweekly

Several years ago, I had the (mostly joke) idea of starting a company of vegetable hummuses called “Hummus Among Us.” Since then, I’ve seen an actual company called “Fungus Among Us” so I guess I’m not the only one who loves a silly rhyme. 

For a 15-oz. can of chickpeas, I use a few tablespoons of tahini (start with fewer and add more – it’s bitter and can throw off the balance of your hummus if you are overzealous), the juice of ½ - 1 lemon, 1 large clove of garlic, and enough olive oil to reach the texture you want. If you use dried chickpeas, save a bit of the cooking liquid to use before you add oil.

You can also boil the carrots until tender if you’re in a hurry, I just like the extra caramel flavor roasting gives the dip.  

And a trick that I read on Smitten Kitchen is to peel off the skins of your chickpeas. It’s a fussy step that’s not really necessary, but will give you smoother, lighter hummus. 

With all the hundreds of fabulous recipe blogs out there, almost none of them have a stated animal welfare policy or suggestions for shoppers. I get that bloggers try to keep recipes approachable and financially accessible. They also don’t want to be endorsing products, and nobody wants their 30-minute pot roast flavored with ethical superiority. But as influencers they have an opportunity to note that any-old-chicken will not be as good as one that was raised outdoors, could support its own weight, ate a decent diet and didn’t die in severe stress. Not just because it’s “right” but because it tastes better, and that’s going to make their recipes more reliable. SO i’ll be asking a bunch of my favorite bloggers where they stand on the issue and publishing their responses with permission.

Made Weekly is a gorgeous blog that focuses on one ingredient each week, highlighting five recipes with that ingredient that never require more than a few steps. Everything i’ve made has turned out beautifully and i love the idea of delving into an ingredient both because it’s educational and because i always end up with extra of an ingredient- so it just makes sense to do a few things in a row.

While it’s not a vegan or vegetarian blog, Rachel, the blogger, happens to utilize about the proportion of animal products i do in my cooking- a sparing amount- and she also integrates meat and dairy substitutes so seamlessly you can’t imagine the recipe any other way.

Above you’ll see Rachel’s great response to my question. Head over to Made Weekly to find her White Bean, Bok Choi and Sausage Soup recipe that looks like what i’ll be having for dinner.

The inspiration and technique for this one come straight from Tumblr’s own food & drink evangelist, Jen. Thanks, Jen!

Chia seeds are new to my repertoire, but just 1T. is packed with 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. This pudding is the perfect breakfast, and I make it barely sweetened – the strawberries add so much flavor and sweetness. I also just came across this super cool refrigerator jam recipe from Bob’s Red Mill – the gel that chia seeds form when in liquid replaces the need for pectin! 

The almond milk I use is unsweetened vanilla flavor, so adjust the maple syrup if yours is already sweetened. You can also substitute any other liquid for the almond milk, like regular milk, soy milk, or coconut milk (I bet that would be delicious).

Ready, Steady, Cook

Because I’ve come to accept it with self-deprecating acquiescence, none of my friends in Canada think I can cook.

To be honest, I couldn’t cook. Since coming to Canada, being spoilt all summer with three meals a day plus staff snack at camp, and then having been looked after regally at Michael’s house, I’d seemingly lost any culinary ability I’d possessed at home in England. When I moved into my various sublets, I’d eat at a restaurant, or eat noodles, or occasionally conjure an omelette. I was a gastronomic dunce.

Fast forward to last night’s dinner party with Zannah, Preet and Sheena. On the menu (mainly gathered from recipes on madeweekly.tumblr.com);

Sautéed cauliflower with capers

Cumin roasted carrots and chestnuts

Posh macaroni cheese with spinach and tomatoes

Quinoa with kale and beets in a balsamic dressing

I was pretty pleased with myself. Sure, the day before I’d spent half an hour peeling an avocado for a salad, only for it to be so under ripe I couldn’t even chew it. Sure, I didn’t prepare the quinoa properly and I’ve had crippling stomach pains for the last 12 hours. As far as I’m aware, everyone else is OK, and we all make mistakes. Right?

The point is, I’m cooking again, and enjoying it, and getting creative in the kitchen. A skill I thought had left me when I moved here is beginning come back, and that’s a pretty delicious prospect. 

So I made this awesome dish from Madeweekly. I just tweaked it a little. I had this yummy bacon leftover from breakfast for supper yesterday, and I was like “self what goes well with bacon?” The answer is everything. So I cooked the bacon and sautéed the cauliflower and etc in the bacon grease. And added smoked paprika (I don’t have dried red pepper), plus everything else on the recipe. This was SO GOOD. And super filling. I am a stuffed mushroom.

This is a take on the classic cauliflower and cheese sauce that I grew up eating, but baked for a nice crunchy topping. I threw in some kale so I could feel a little better about it, but make no mistake, this is a rich dish! 

Here’s a nice tutorial on making béchamel from The Kitchn, if you’re not sure of the process. For a whole head of cauliflower you might need 1/3 - ½ of the amount this recipe calls for, but it’s all based on proportions so it’s easy to modify! I used 1T. butter and 1T. flour with about 1 cup of milk for half a head of cauliflower…it’s pretty forgiving though. 

I use this blend of flavors a lot in a sautéed cauliflower dish, but fritters are a bit more fun. I use Sir Kensington’s spiced ketchup – you can substitute with a bit of tomato sauce, but traditional ketchup will be too sweet so otherwise just leave it out. 

With any battered or eggy mixture, I try to taste for seasoning before adding the egg, because once you cook them it’s too late to add salt! I used about half a head of cauliflower, one egg, about ¼ c. flour, and everything else should just be to taste. Don’t use too much ketchup or your fritters will be too watery – you just want that bit of tomatoey flavor in there. 

*an astute reader noted that coriander and cilantro are in fact the same thing, and should be named the same. I am using the US standard here, where dried cilantro is known as coriander, and fresh cilantro is cilantro – in the UK fresh would also be called coriander. Apologies for any confusion, but there’s your answer if you were confused! 

It’s not common to find scotch bonnet peppers in the northeast, so when I saw these beauties I jumped on them. Scotch bonnets are commonly used in Caribbean cuisine, specifically in a true Jamaican jerk seasoning. 

Habañeros are easier to find and have a similar shape, spice level, and flavor, which is quite fruity and hot. 

Their heat makes these peppers a fantastic combo with sweet and tangy fruits like blueberries and nectarines. If you’re looking for something more interesting to take to a Labor Day BBQ, this is the stuff!

I made this over the weekend, so I had no ingredients to photograph. But it was the partial inspiration for egg week, so I had to post it anyway.

Ingredients
1 28-oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
½ - 1 jalapeño (to taste, depending on how spicy they are)
1 t. cumin
4 - 6 eggs
parsley, mint, or cilantro
pita
olive oil
salt & pepper
feta cheese (optional)
labneh or greek yogurt (optional)

Instructions
Finely chop the onions and jalapeño, and slice the garlic. In a large saute pan, sweat the vegetables over medium heat with a bit of oil until soft. Add cumin and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, lower heat, and cook with the lid on for 10 minutes or so. Taste and adjust seasoning / spice level.

Crack your eggs on the surface of the sauce (you can dig a spoon in to create a bit of a divot if you want). Cover and cook for 4 minutes or so, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still a bit runny. 

Top with cheese, herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with pita and yogurt or labneh on the side. 

7

My entry into the Great Tumblr Book Search, sponsored by Chronicle! To demonstrate my concept, I’m recapping Grapefruit Week in one gallery. 

Synopsis
Ingredient by ingredient, season by season, teaching the art of home cooking through simple, visual recipes. Instead of prescribing every spice down to the quarter teaspoon, these recipes encourage readers to experiment and taste as they go – the best way for any cook to learn. And with basic preparation notes for each featured ingredient, home cooks should have all they need to experiment with new dishes, make the most of what they find in the fridge, and learn to love the kitchen. 

I was kind of thinking of this as a twist on cacio e pepe, the simple Italian pasta with pepper and cheese. But then I thought, what about carbonara? With that egg swirled in? Instead of making the egg part of the sauce, I decided to poach it instead, because I’m a sucker for a poached egg on top of stuff. 

You could increase the veggie quotient with some wilted spinach or arugula, but I love how simple this dish is, and how much it puts the focus on that delicious garlic flavor.

Making ravioli with wonton wrappers is incredibly easy and a totally fun group project. I cheated and cut my wontons into circles using a cookie cutter – you could just fold them into triangles or use 2 squares to avoid scraps. I plan on frying the scraps and eating them with powdered sugar, though, so there’s always that.

You really only need a teaspoon or two of filling for each ravioli. Don’t overstuff or they’ll break open, and be sure to push out any air when you seal them. After cooking, drizzle with oil to avoid sticking. 

For the cream sauce, I used 2 T. butter, 1 c. cream, 1 t. chopped rosemary, and a small chunk of blue cheese. 

Since wonton wrappers come in such big packages, you can always make way more ravioli than you need and freeze the extras in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen. Then transfer them to a ziplock bag and just pop them in boiling water whenever you need to! 

Cilantro rice is a nice accompaniment to any Mexican meal, or combined with vegetables, tofu, or beans, it makes a great one-dish meal. 

For 1 cup of brown rice, I used about ½ an onion, 2 garlic cloves, and 1 seeded jalapeño. Add that to a cup or more of packed cilantro and use a few tablespoons of olive oil. Always test the spice of your chili before using it! 

Tomato, mozzarella, and bread. It can’t get much simpler than that. I considered just posting a tomato, sliced in half, with salt & pepper on it as my recipe today. It is, after all, one of the most enjoyable ways to eat such flavorful tomatoes. But I figured that was a cop-out, and this is nearly as simple but more satisfying as a European-style lunch. 

Substitute with any other favorite cheese, and add some basil if you’re feeling frisky.