Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What do I do with this? - Kohlrabi Edition

Every so often, my CSA share hands me some vegetable that I have no idea what to do with. Usually, I scout a few cookbooks, find some new recipes to love, and soon I'll be complaining about not having enough of the previously odd veggie.

Then I met Kohlrabi.

Over the past few years I tried to make a number of things with it: "kohl"-slaw, jicama-kohlrabi salad, steamed mashed kohlrabi and potatoes. At best, I thought the dish would be better without the kohlrabi; at worst, I swore never to make a particular dish again.

I was on the verge of giving up and accepting that kohlrabi was one of those rare vegetables I just. don't. like.

Then the stars aligned....... or at least, CSA delivery coincided with a recent issue of Bon Appetit. And I discovered a wonderful new layered salad: A bed of baby spinach, a layer of couscous, a heaping of red lentils, a scattering of diced kohlrabi, all covered with a curry-vinnegarette.

This salad makes a delicious warm-weather meal with a nice balance of flavors and textures. Crunchy Kohlrabi meets creamy lentils; crisp spinach and chewy couscous; warm and cool elements.

Now I'm looking forward to my next kohlrabi.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

I read cookbooks like novels. And Anna Thomas's Love Soup is like a favorite story I read over and over again. I've even been known to tuck it into my bag on icy mornings to read on the on the long dark commute to work. The Big Kahuna sees this as further proof that I'm nuts, but sometimes even the idea of a big steaming pot of soup at the end of the day is enough to warm me a bit.

I bought Love Soup last winter, but I cooked only a handful of recipes from it since pregnancy-food-aversions kept me far from the kitchen. So this year I've decided to cook my way through some of the pages I dog-eared in my repeated readings - one soup a week. When my CSA share yielded both leeks and russet potatoes, Potato Leek soup was a no brainer.

So on a chilly Sunday afternoon, I poured a glass of red wine, got out the veggies, and started chopping....

.....and 45 minutes later, I had soup! In only one respect, I was disappointed -- I had planned to spend a leisurely whole afternoon in the kitchen, and I was already done! But this is one great soup. Hearty, and flavorful thanks to generous helpings of fresh herbs. The recipe calls for a couple tablespoons of cream, but I subbed in about a third of a cup of soy milk, and it was delicious.

And since it's so quick to put together, I accidentally stumbled on a wonderful weeknight dinner soup. I can see myself making this soup again and again this winter..... now I'll have more than just the idea of soup to keep me warm on the train ride home. This soup is easily a whole meal with the addition of a crusty bread, like Ciabatta.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Blink of an Eye

Last I posted it was the end of August, 2008. Summer was winding down, and I was looking forward to cooking up and writing about all the delicious foods fall brings with it. But fall brought big changes as well. I got a new job -- a real, actual, career job that ate up just about all of my time and energy. And then the changes just kept on coming.......

March 2009 found the Big Kahuna and I moving out of the tiny apartment in the big city. We bought our first house - a small home in a small town, with a glorious new kitchen.

And then this past May, we welcomed a Baby Kahuna into our family.

And so two whole years flew by with very little thought given to blogging, or even really to the foods I was cooking and eating. But now fall is upon us again and I feel that pull, stronger than ever amidst the daily chaos, back to the kitchen. To spend an hour in the zen state of chopping, simmering, stirring. To create something warm and nourishing for my family.

So I've decided to dive back in, and what better way to start then a month of intense cooking and blogging with Vegan MoFo? I'm looking forward to a month of inspiration both in my own kitchen, and from my fellow bloggers...... So here goes!