Health, Hedonism & All the Delicious Things In Between
Category Archives: Meatless Monday
Occasionally when I’m feeling stuck, uninspired or in a kitchen rut, a little food angel arrives on my doorstep with a little dose of inspiration. This can happen in the form of a new cookbook (thank you, Love and Lemons) or a delicious restaurant dish (thank you, Los Angeles). But like many crumbs from the universe these days, the idea for this mujadara recipe came via facebook (thank you, Zuck). I’ve had the entire country of Lebanon on my culinary to-do list for some time now. And like kohlrabi and gluten-free donuts, I’m talking 4+ years. Enter my college friend Christen.
It’s #SpringPantryPurge month, friends! And if you thought I was going to quit at just a few creations from the deep depths of my kitchen cabinets, well, you were wrong. Today I’m showing some shelf-stable love to one of my favorite humble ingredients: beans. Ah, beans. So often maligned in children’s rhymes, and yet such a healthy weeknight staple. I’ve long relied on dried and canned beans as a budget crutch. But in the last year, since starting The Wellness Project, I’ve come to realize how central beans and legumes are to a healthy diet. They are one of the world’s oldest superfoods, and were the strongest constant in the diets of every centenarian population studied in Dan Buettner’s The Blue Zones Solution. And it’s no surprise that all of these fiber- and complex-carb-rich foods are also favorites of your industrious … Continue reading
By far the most stressful part of my move last month was packing up my kitchen. And the processed confirmed a sad fact: I am a pantry hoarder. I think Marie Kondo would have had a heart attack if she saw the row of condiments in my fridge that had been developing their own special patina for four years. Needless to say, the pre-move purge was necessary and productive. But three garbage bags later, it also made me feel extremely wasteful.
Compared to many people, my autoimmune story was fairly tame and straight forward. There were no epic climaxes in the form of bodily collapses, misdiagnoses, or hospitalizations. My body’s unraveling contained subtler warning signs—the kinds that didn’t always capture my attention. But eventually they added together into the same narrative through line that all of us with chronic illness experience: what the hell is wrong with me? My friend Amie Valpone’s story was on the other side of side of the spectrum. It contained traumas I can’t possibly fathom—a bone marrow biopsy, a cancer scare, and a laundry list of medical practitioners that could fill two corporate softball teams. She tells it beautifully, and with a dash of humor, in her new cookbook and detox manifesto, Eating Clean.
This weekend we got a little premature taste of Spring in New York. And the day I spent frolicking around my new neighborhood in 60-degree sunshine was almost enough to erase the memories of the frigid winds coming off the East river, which had my nose in permanent Rudolph mode for the first few days of my new living situation–and made this warming vegan broccoli soup very necessary for emotional and physical survival. A few weeks ago, when the weather was even less peach-y, I was charged with the task of bringing my friend Anna some homemade food to carry her through the week. She had just given birth to her first child at the end of December, and given the number of amazing meals she’d cooked for friends over the years, a group rallied together to return the favor.
The last few weeks have been marked by the impending excitement and doom of my inter-borough move. On the one hand, I wanted to cook my way through my whole pantry so I would have one less box to pack. But on the other—that is, the lazy, exhausted hand that walked the entire length of Brooklyn looking for an apartment with a dishwasher—all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and have Charlie spoon feed me meals. The compromise was this easy breakfast pizza recipe. It kept my hanger at bay during long afternoons of walking up and down unpromising walkups. And it disposed of some of the usual pantry suspects without my having to exert much effort in the kitchen.
I’m aware that there are many people who do not share my love of the white stuff. Mayo, that is. And for those who think that it is, indeed, Satan’s sandwich spread, I have good news for you: this healthy French onion dip recipe doesn’t require even a dollop. Everyone has a different interpretation of what it means to eat “healthy.” (I know this thanks to the many snarky remarks I’ve received in the comments section). As I mentioned last week, my definition used to be a lot looser–meaning, pretty much anything that came out of my kitchen, even if it had an absurd amount of cheese involved.
It’s no secret that my biggest guilty pleasure (of many guilty pleasures) is a parchment paper cone of crispy French fries. I talk about it so often that several of you have actually asked whether my twitter profile occupation “competitive French fry eater” is actually legit. Bless your hearts! Though a girl can dream, my French fry eating has yet to win me any professional accolades. Mainly, it wins me disgruntled dinner mates who are less than pleased when the “share” plate of fries somehow goes missing halfway through their entrees.