This week on Food52 I shared my favorite way to cook dried beans and how to stretch a pot of humble beans into a week of family dinners.
I was always intimidated by cooking dried beans. I would either forget to soak them ahead of time (ahhhh!) or keep them simmering in a pot, only to find them undercooked at the end of the day. After a while, I began to shy away from recipes that suggested I try it again.
Discovering the simplicity of preparing dried beans in the slow cooker has thrown my trepidation out the window. You just combine a few ingredients and turn on the machine! A few hours later you have a perfect pot of beans. Life-changing. (But if you don’t have a slow cooker, fear not: I recommend the method outlined in this recipe.)
Click here to read the full story and get four recipes from Feeding a Family including: Slow Cooker Black Beans, Buckwheat Crepes with Delicata Squash, Black Beans & Avocado, Kale & Sweet Potato Tacos on Homemade Corn Tortillas, and Black Bean Quinoa Burgers.
All photography by Elizabeth Cecil.
I wrote The Beginner’s Guide to Juice Making for Food52. Check it out!
Whether you received a juicer over the holidays, are in the midst of a New Year’s resolution kick, or simply want to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet (who doesn’t?), you may be curious about juicing…click here to read the full article and get the recipes.
Photography by Elizabeth Cecil
I made this warm vegetable salad the other day when I wanted to eat something filling yet nutritious, warm and comforting yet light. In the season of salads, juice cleanses, and bunny rabbit diets, food like this (flavorful, unique, satisfying) is welcomed. Miso-Curry Winter Squash with Tofu, Kale & Cilantro packs up perfectly for lunch but also makes a delicious light dinner or side dish. The original recipe calls for pepitas to be sprinkled atop the veggies. I didn’t have any handy but I’m sure any nut or seed would make a nice crunchy topping. This dish also holds up well in the fridge making it a perfect make ahead dish.
Miso-Curry Winter Squash: Tofu, Kale, Cilantro adapted from Super Natural Every Day
12 ounces delicata or acorn squash
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white miso
1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
14-ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
6 baby red potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups chopped kale leaves
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat the oven to 400F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to clear out all the seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch thick half-moons.
In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, miso, and curry paste. Combine the tofu, potatoes, and squash in a large bowl with 1/3 cup of the miso-curry paste. Use your hands to toss well, then turn the vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.
Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until everything is tender and browned. Keep a close watch as the vegetables can go from browned to burned in a flash.
In the meantime, whisk the lemon juice into the remaining miso-curry paste, then stir in the kale until coated.
Toss the roasted vegetables gently with the kale and cilantro. Serve family style in a large bowl or on a platter.
As you may have gathered from my instagram I am thoroughly enjoying Genius Recipe’s Kale Salad this fall. The recipe originates from Northern Spy Food Co., a little NYC cafe that is now closed, and is the perfect thing to make at the beginning of the week, stored in the fridge for last minute lunches or snacks.
I’ve eaten this salad warm, at room temperatures, topped with a friend egg, and pressed onto avocado slathered toast – all are good.
Here is the salad’s recipe introduction in Genius Recipes “Raw kale is like any other green we’ve ever put to dressing-just a little more resilient. And that’s a very helpful trait, making it an ideal leafy salad to make ahead for company or tomorrow’s lunch. This particular kale salad is at once substantial and spry. It’s dressed with just lemon and olive oil, making it a bit like a raw version at a health store salad bar-but filled out with roasted kabocha squash, almonds, and two kinds of cheese. Depending on the season, Northern Spy trades out the kabocha for fresh apricots, kohlrabi, or pattypan squash. I sometimes go with slices of apple or persimmon. Kale’s amendable.”
Kale Salad from Genius Recipes
1/2 cup peeled, cubed kabocha, butternut, or other winter squash
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch kale (preferably laminator or dinosaur kale), ribs removed and leaves finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups
1/4 cup almonds, cut roughly in half
1/4 cup crumbled or finely chopped Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar-if you can’t find aged cheddar, use Parmesan)
Fresh lemon juice
Pecorino or other hard cheese, for shaving (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Toss the squash cubes in just enough oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet, leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10 to 15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, cheddar, and squash. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (using about 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Divide the salad between two plates or shallow bowls. Garnish with shaved Pecorino cheese and serve.
In the November issue of Bon Appetite, Anna Jones shares a few “healthy-ish holiday survival” recipes. If you’re not familiar with Anna Jones this is what the magazine has to say about her: “The former food stylist to Jamie Oliver, Jones has a refreshing food sensibility that we can’t get enough of. Her recipes are practical yet creative, and they’re packed with feel-good ingredients that make the finished dishes more-not less-delicious. And guess what? They’re all vegetarian.”
Anna suggests making this Skillet Phyllo Pie with Butternut Squash, Kale & Goat Cheese for dinner on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. That’s some good advice although we enjoyed it very much as a Sunday dinner last weekend. The recipe is highly adaptable. Try it with Swiss chard or spinach in place of kale. Any squash or root vegetable will work in place of the butternut.
We also made a tray of her Seedy Oat Crackers or “the guiltless cracker” which can be made ahead of the holiday craziness (they’ll keep for up to ten days). Seedy Oat Crackers are gluten-free, and have very little fat. Packed with nutrient-dense seeds and oats, these special crackers leave you feeling satisfied.
Skillet Phyllo Pie with Butternut Squash, Kale & Goat Cheese from Bon Appetite November 2016
Serves 4 to 6
3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
1/2 small butternut squash (about 1 lb.) peeled, cut into 3/4″ pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, thinly sliced crosswise
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
3 ounces Parmesan, grated
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
8 ounces frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
4 ounces fresh goat cheese or feta, crumbled
Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400 F. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 6-8 minutes. Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, 8-10 minutes. Mix in thyme and red pepper flakes and transfer to a medium bowl; let cool. Wipe out and reserve skillet.
Add kale, eggs, Parmesan, and lemon zest to squash mixture and gently mix to combine; season with salt and pepper. Layer phyllo sheets inside reserved skillet. Spoon kale-and-squash mixture into phyllo and dot top with goat cheese. Brush edges of phyllo lightly with oil and fold over filling, overlapping slightly, leaving center exposed.
Cook pie over medium heat until bottom of pastry is just golden (carefully lift up on side with a heatproof rubber spatula so that you can take a peek), about 3 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake pie until kale is wilted and tender and phyllo is golden brown and crispy, 20-25 minutes. Let pie cool in skillet at least 15 minutes before slicing into wedges.
Do Ahead: Pie can be baked 6 hours ahead. Let cool; store uncovered at room temperature.
Seedy Oat Crackers “the guiltless cracker” from Bon Appetite November 2016
Makes 8 servings
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
3 tablespoons chia seeds
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, poppy seeds, and salt in a large bowl to combine. In a separate bowl, stir oil, maple syrup, and 3/4 cup room-temperature water together. Pour over oat mixture; toss until soaked. Let sit 10 minutes to allow mixture to thicken. From into a ball. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, press another sheet of parchment on top, and roll out to 1/8″ thick (the shape doesn’t matter). Remove top layer of parchment. Bake cracker until golden brown around the edges, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn over cracker; remove parchment. Bake cracker on same sheet until firm and the other side is golden brown around the edges, 15-20 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet, then break into pieces.