This has probably happened to you also recently… you are scrolling through your phone, and you get a notification with a photo saying “This time last year/ two years ago/ five years ago.” It makes my heart sink into my belly to see the photos of sandcastles and sandwich picnics on Block Island, the special anniversary dinner at our favorite Brooklyn restaurant, the lingering lunch in a small French village. It was all just so close, so near. We didn’t know how good we had it.
I wonder now about the chances that my favorite restaurants will be around for future celebrations. I was excited to purchase Family Meal. It is an online compilation of 50 recipes that are easy to cook at home written by some of our favorite chefs and food writers: Ina Garten, Ruth Reichl, Dominique Crenn, and Eric Ripert just to name a few. All proceeds from Family Meal go directly to the Restaurant Workers’ Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund. You can download a copy for $5.99 which is less than you would pay for a grocery store checkout aisle magazine! I can’t wait to try the recipes.
So much creativity is born out of crisis. Some of us make banana bread and hook up to Netflix, while others get about making some change. My 17 year old stepdaughter, Zoe, is a very creative cat. She helped her friend, Alice, cook up a website called Homeroom that connects students to peers who tutor them in their distance learning free of charge. They are available to students K-12 in all subjects, and are multilingual. I know James is tired of my homeschool tactics, so it will be great for him to try this out with a fresh face who is closer in age to his sisters.
We have been making an effort to eat more plant based meals at our house. So this week, I thought I would go full on vegan and share some recipes that may entice you to get a little veggie too.
This recipe calls for the zest of 2 lemons, but I went with only one, and it was plenty. I had some snap peas that I sliced on the diagonal and added in which was delish. I will make this every spring!
Beetballs with Red Pepper Crema
Mark Bittman is my go to guy for great vegetarian ideas. This one is totally vegan, and totally delicious. The recipe is from his book Dinner for Everyone, where a third of the recipes are vegan. I highly recommend.
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups red quinoa, rinsed
1/2 pound beets, peeled
1, 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained
4 scallions, chopped
6 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 roasted red peppers, peeled and seeded (I used jarred)
1/4 cup almond milk
Heat oven to 375. Use 2 Tablespoons of the oil to grease a large, rimmed baking sheet.
Put the quinoa in a medium saucepan along with 4 cups of water and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and adjust heat so the water bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is thick, like mashed potatoes (about 30-40 minutes). As it cooks, adjust the heat and add small amounts of water to keep the bottom from burning. Cover, remove from heat, and let it sit for 5-15 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl.
Grate beets with the shredding disk on a food processor or with a box grater. Transfer them to the bowl with the quinoa and then fit food processor with metal blade.
Add the beans and scallions , 5 teaspoons garlic, the cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and paprika, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pulse until coarsely chopped but not pureed. Add to the quinoa mixture and stir to combine.
Roll about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a ball in your hands, and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture. Brush the meatballs with remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Bake the meatballs, shaking the pans halfway through, until they are browned all over, 25-30 minutes total.
Make the crema: Clean the food processor and fit it with the metal blade again. Put the remaining teaspoon of garlic in the food processor with the red peppers and almond milk and season with salt and pepper. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil Stop to scrape down the sides, then run again until a smooth sauce forms.
Serve the meatballs hot, drizzled with the sauce. I like a green salad, or fresh sprouts on the plate.
I really have searched for vegan desert recipes that catch my attention, but it’s tough! I welcome you to share some with me. Also, baking ingredients are really limited at the market right now, so I did my best to find a recipe that my cupboard could accomodate. This recipe may not be vegan (eggs), but it is dairy and gluten free!
I hope all of you mothers out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day. My favorite part of the day was going on a walk with James at a local nature center. I stopped for a moment and noticed how the light was hitting his hair, and felt a minute of peace.
It can be a tough day for many, so here are some stories from around the web that may cheer or interest you…
I loved The Perspective that comes with Motherhood as told by Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the Atlantic website.
I am enjoying this Processing Podcast interview with Jenny Indig on how bittersweet Mother’s Day can be when you have lost your mom. I participated in this podcast back in December and truly adore the kind and exuberant hosts.
In case you ever wondered where they make the bane of every mother’s existence, take a look inside a glitter factory. Spoiler alert: it’s all made in New Jersey!
Wishing you all a glittering week.
Older posts can be found HERE.