Friday, July 18, 2008


I decided to end this blog. From now on, I will post Bittman's recipe on my other cooking blog: Mango & Tomato.

Monday, June 30, 2008


I don't really make pancakes, but Misha is visiting again, so I thought of making chocolate chip pancakes: good thing I made only 1/2 a recipe: it would have been too much food. Great and simple recipe.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I love hummus! I've made hummus multiple times adding in roasted peppers or sun-dried tomatoes or other little interesting ingredients.

This recipe, however, was pretty straight forward: puree in a food processor chickpeas, tahini, garlic, cumin powder, lemon juice, oil, salt & pepper, and liquid from chickpeas if necessary.

Thoughts: this was a great recipe! I think after it has time to sit in the fridge, it will taste even better!

Corn Salad

After eating out several times over the weekend, I was excited to make this relatively healthy corn salad.

Ingredients and Directions

1) Take off the kernels from the corn and saute in oil for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat, add chopped red onion and chili powder

2) Meanwhile combine seeded and chopped tomato, cubed avocado, chopped cilantro, lime juice and chopped pepper (Bittman said to use a red pepper, but at $2.60/red pepper, I decided to be a bit more money conscious and chose a green pepper)

3) Once the corn has cooled, combine with the rest of ingredients. Season with salt & pepper and serve

Thoughts: At first I was really excited about this recipe because I love tomatoes and avocados. Once I made it, I thought it was a bit mediocre. However, after it sat for a bit, the flavors be-friended each other, and the taste improved.

P.S. I'll admit I'm not crazy about the photo. It is what it is.

P.P.S. I had this salad for lunch today: it was good, but the avocados have turned brown. Unless you are planning to eat the salad directly after you make it, add avocados only directly before serving.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Huevos Rancheros

Misha (my brother) is visiting me, so I wanted to make a fun breakfast and settled on Huevos Rancheros recipe. I did not really follow the recipes exactly amount-wise, but followed the steps and the ingredients details (although I could not find any corn tortillas in the store and used flour tortillas instead).

1) preheat the oven to 350

2) make 4 eggs over-easy and season with salt & pepper (the picture is not of finished eggs)

3) cook tortillas in oil for a 5 seconds on each side and smear with refried beans

5) top with an egg over-easy

6) top with salsa and cheddar cheese

7) bake in the oven about 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts; top with cilantro and serve immediately

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Simplest Bean Burger

I'm not a fan of veggie burgers and thought maybe if I made one myself, I'd like it better.

Ingredients and Directions

1) In a food processor pulse cooked or canned beans (I used kidney beans), oats, chili powder, an onion, an egg, and salt & pepper (do not let the mixture get to the pureed state)
2) Let the mixture rest for a bit
3) Form the mixture into patties and let rest
4) Cook the patties in oil for 5 minutes on the first side, turn, and cook for a few more minutes on the second side

Thoughts: the flavor was pretty good, but the patties did not really hold together too well. Not sure I'll make this exact recipe again. Sorry, Mark. If you happen to read this, I'd love to hear your suggestions for improvement :)

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Red Pepper Vinaigrette

I haven't cooked Bittman's recipes in a week! Today I spent quite a bit of time deciding which recipe to make and randomly chose Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Red Pepper Vinaigrette.

Ingredients and Directions:

1) Roast peeled and cubed sweet potatoes coated in a bit of oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
2) Puree a red pepper, cumin powder, orange zest, olive oil and red wine vinegar to make a vinaigrette
3) Combine roasted potatoes with the vinaigrette, minced parsley, sliced green onions and minced jalapeno. (Optional: add raisins; I did not)


The Salad

Thoughts: good thing I like sweet potatoes and that this recipe turned out awesome, because there is a lot of it! I think next time it would be beneficial to roast the red pepper before pureeing it in the vinaigrette.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Raw Beet Salad with Carrots and Ginger

After going to the Dupont Farmers' Market and buying beets, I decided to make Raw Beet Salad with Carrots and Ginger.

I love beets, but have never tried them raw.
Ingredients & Directions: In a food processor grate an equal amount of peeled beets and carrots, and a shallot (I did not have shallots, and used red onion instead). I a bowl combine minced ginger, lime juice, peanut oil (I used walnut oil), salt & pepper and chopped cilantro. Combine with beets, carrots, and shallots and enjoy.

Thoughts: the flavor was superb! Fresh, sweet, slightly sour because of the lime juice, and a bit spicy because of the ginger. This would be a great salad to bring for a picnic.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Chickpeas and Arugula salad

To go with the Curried Potatoes, I decided to make Chickpeas and Arugula salad, because both of them have Indian flavors.

Directions: in olive oil cook minced ginger, garlic and cumin seeds. Add chickpeas and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add honey, a bit of water and rice wine vinegar. Stir everything with a fork, making sure to mash some of the chickpeas to make the vinaigrette thicker.

Add the chickpea mixture to arugula and thinly sliced red onion. Season with salt & pepper. Serve immediately (warm!)

Thoughts: absolutely delicious! I typically don't cook with honey, but this was just a nice touch of sweetness and did a great job of offsetting the sharpness of arugula.

Curried Potatoes

I decided to be slightly more adventurous tonight and made Curried Potatoes. They were absolutely delicious!

Directions: Cook cumin seeds in oil, add 1/2 of a finely chopped red onion, grated Yukon potatoes, garam masala and a pinch of cayenne. Season with salt & pepper and cook for about 10 minutes. Add fresh cilantro, take off the heat and serve with a garnish of raw chopped red onion.

I added a bit of homemade yogurt to cut the heat.

Thoughts: I think this will be a fun way to make mashed potatoes with an Indian influence: instead of adding butter, add cumin seeds, garam masala and cilantro. Or use the original recipe and pour eggs over it for a quick omelet.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bulgur and Tomato Salad

As I was turning the pages of How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, I noticed a recipe for Bulgur and Tomato Salad. The miracle of miracles: I had all ingredients on hand! In fact, I've had a bag of bulgur for quite a while, but haven't had a chance to use it. In fact, I've never cooked bulgur before and it was fun learning that you cook it the same way as cous-cous: soak it in hot water and it's done!

The salad was ridiculously easy to put together: tomatoes, red onions, feta, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper, oregano and of course bulgur. This is something I make quite often with cous-cous and a variety of vegetables, but I would never have put oregano in as well (it addde a really nice flavor).

Confession: the recipe called for red pepper flakes, but I was out of them and was too lazy to walk over to World Market.

Thoughts: I think I'll start using bulgur instead of cous-cous from now on. Why? Because bulgur is actually wheat and has more of a bite and texture than cous-cous.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lemony Lentil Salad

Mark Bittman's book arrived yesterday and I was eager to start cooking. The book is huge. I was instantaneously overwhelmed by the number of recipes, tips and suggestions. Luckily, I turned a page to Lemony Lentil Salad and knew right away that's what I will be making because I have been looking for a simple recipe to use up a bag of green split peas (...are they the same as lentils? no clue...I'm sure the book will be able to answer this question though).

The recipe was very simple. Cook lentils in water with a bay leaf and a few garlic cloves (I smashed mine to release more flavor). Then drain and combine with the vinaigrette prepared from lemon juice, lemon segments, minced red onion (or chives or shallots), capers, olive oil, and salt & pepper. The warm lentils soak up the vinaigrette right away.

vinaigrette ingredients

final product

Thoughts: good combination of flavors. Not sure if I overcooked my peas slightly or whether I'll make this again, but a good first try nonetheless.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Welcome to my new blog!

I decided to start a new blog to document my experience cooking recipes from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.

Why another blog?

1) I LOVE Mark Bittman (I read his Minimalist columns in New York Times, watch his videos, and enjoy his shows on PBS)
2) I never use cookbooks and instead make up my own recipes. This will be a fun and new way to answer "what's for dinner?"
3) This will be a theme-specific blog: nothing about shopping, jewelry, flowers, etc, but don't be afraid! You'll still be able to read about these topics in my original blog.
4) No, I'm not going to be a vegetarian: I love meat and fish too much. But with the prices of food going up, it would not hurt to learn a few new vegetarian dishes.

I ordered the cookbook today and will start posting as soon as it comes! Check back soon :)