Tag Archives: fall

Wild Mushroom Wild Rice with Caramelized Onions


Wild Mushroom Wild Rice | Spoonwithme.com-19

Rice, gone wild!  Double wild!  Mushroom madness!  All this Thanksgiving recipe testing and eating has put me into a food-induced euphoria.  Wild two times in one title is two too many wilds for one recipe, young lady!  Bring your torches.  Ban.  This.  Site.  Hide your childrens’ eyes!  With all this fungus among-us, it’s gettin’ crazy up in here.

Wild Mushroom Wild Rice | Spoonwithme.com-25Wild Mushroom Wild Rice | Spoonwithme.com-48

I bought a gigantic bag of assorted dried local Colorado mushrooms at the farmers market this summer.  We’re talking two freezer bags worth.  There will not be a mushroom shortage for the foreseeable future in the Spoon With Me house, in case anybody was wondering. What does one do with so many dried mushrooms, you ask?  You know that mouth-coating savory depth that can be hard to achieve in plant-based recipes?  Think of them as a way to boost the umami factor, especially in vegetarian and vegan dishes.  I love to grind them into powder to add savoriness to sauces gravies, and soups.  In this recipe, I used the broth from rehydrating them as part of the cooking liquid for the rice. If you’re a full or part- time vegan or vegetarian, you need dried mushrooms in your arsenal if you want to up the ooooh mommy!

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Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetarian and Vegan

Spiced Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Apples and Butternuts with Caramelized Pepitas

Spiced Glazed Butternuts|Spoonwithme.com-34

The way we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving throughout history has both changed and stayed the same.  What if, instead of the venison and freshly harvested vegetables the Native Americans and the pilgrims shared to celebrate the harvest, this happened:

Once upon a time, back on the first documented Thanksgiving in 1621, the pilgrims that had arrived on the Mayflower shared a feast with the local Native Americans.  

“Thank you for welcoming us to this bounteous land.  I offer unto you this can of cream of mushroom soup as a gesture of peace.  Please prepare it with your freshly harvested green beans and crispy fried onions.”

 “Why thank you, kind pilgrim.  Please, take this gift of congealed cranberries as a symbol of this shared celebration.  And as an extra special bonus offering, this bowl of mashed potatoes, from a tuber that will not actually make its way to ‘America’ until many years from now.”

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Filed under Uncategorized

Tomatillo-Veggie (or Chicken) Posole


I broke out my fall garb this week, and taught my students a valuable lesson while wearing a cozy wrap/scarf that the mister got for me in Amsterdam.  A scarf is just a socially acceptable way to wear a blanket to work or school.  You’ll see me wearing a lot of “scarves” in the coming days.  The Dutch have a specific word for all things cozy, inviting, friendly and warm: gezellig.  It’s one of those words that has no English translation.  Picture a cool misty fall day.  Gezellig is arriving home from work and snuggling up in a cozy knit blanket with a cup of tea, a book, and your favorite furry companion (canine, feline, or hey, even human).  It’s huddling around a fire with friends, steaming mugs of soup in hand. The leaves are swirling around, and it’s hinting at frost.  It’s gezellig time, so I thought I’d share my favorite after-work gezellig I meal to spread a bit o’ the cozy.  If everyone were just a bit more gezellig, the world would be a happier place.

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Filed under Main Dishes, Soups and Stews

Lemony Steam-Roasted Artichokes with Garlic and Cherry Tomatoes



I first saw an artichoke plant while wandering through a botanical garden in Spain.  Have you ever seen one?  Quite a prickly beast, and I do mean beast!  Since then, I’ve become obsessed with the idea of growing my own, even though Colorado isn’t exactly known for artichokes.  I’m cornering off a little–okay–sizable corner of my garden for the beast to expand.  I dream of little shop of horrors style plants, arms reaching out, prickly mouths open wide.

Steam Roasted Artichokes|Spoonwithme-com

Steam Roasted Artichokes|Spoonwithme-com (1)

Eating an artichoke is a religious experience.  Don’t talk to me, and don’t give me a napkin.  Just let me pluck and dip and scrape and savor.  They make me so food-protective that I have to make more than anyone in my household could ever eat in a night.  Here’s your artichoke (if you don’t eat it all, I’ll finish it off), and here are my artichokes.  You may have all the aioli you would like (I made an inhuman amount so that you would not eat my share.

Steam Roasted Artichokes|Spoonwithme-com (2)

Back in the day, I started making artichokes the way most do, by boiling them in salted water (play disappointing music here).  Why would I want to infuse my artichoke with nothing?  Then, I steamed them in water with lemons and garlic.  Meh.  The first time I roasted an artichoke, I thought, Now we’re talking!.  

Steam Roasted Artichokes|Spoonwithme-com (3)

My newest method involves roasting the artichokes face down with a garlicky olive oil mixture, and then pouring enough white wine or vermouth into the bottom of the pan to steam the artichokes at the same time.  The artichokes become more tender, and in the end, that means more artichoke to eat!  I hope you enjoy luxuriously plucking, dipping, scraping, and savoring as much as I do.



 White Wine Steam-Roasted Artichokes With Garlic and Cherry Tomatoes

  • 2 large artichokes
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and minced
  • 3 lemons
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (about a cup), halved if large
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine (or dry vermouth, or broth)
  • 1/3 cup additional water or broth
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried italian herb mixture
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Prepare the artichokes:

Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the juice of one of the lemons, about 2 tablespoons.  Cut off the top inch of one artichoke, and the bottom of the stem, leaving an inch or so of the stem intact.  Using kitchen scissors, cut off the tips of the leaves.  Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise.  Place one half in the acidulated water while you work with the remaining artichoke.

On a cutting board, smash the garlic and  one teaspoon of the salt into a paste using the side of a chefs knife.  Put the garlic paste into a small bowl.  Juice one of the remaining lemons into the bowl.  Cut off the peel of the remaining lemon (top and bottom first, then cut off the sides in sheets, making sure to remove the white pith).  Chop the peeled lemon, discarding the seeds, and add to the bowl.  Add the olive oil, dried herbs, crushed red pepper, and a few grindings of black pepper.  Whisk everything together.

Rub every surface of each artichoke half with the garlic oil mixture, making sure to push some of it in between the leaves.  Arrange the artichokes face down in a dutch oven (a roasting pan or casserole dish will work too).  Scatter the cherry tomatoes over top, and use your fingers to toss them around, trying to coat them with some of the oil mixture that has settled in the pan.  Pour the white wine or vermouth into the bottom of the pan along with the additional 1/3 cup broth or water.

Roast, covered, in the oven at 375˚F for 35-45 minutes, or until the outside leaves easily pull away from the artichoke.

Serve with lemon-garlic aioli or your other favorite dipping sauce.

Lemon-Garlic (Cheater’s) Aioli

Sometimes (okay, rarely), I go through the extra effort to make real aioli.  Most of the time, I start with a good quality mayo and go from there.  This is just one of my go-to combinations for artichokes.  If you like spicy aioli,  chile-garlic paste.   If you just want a little spice, garnish the top with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper.

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise (use vegan mayo if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced and smashed into a paste (or finely grated, or pushed through a garlic press)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1-3 teaspoons Sambal Oelek (chile garlic paste)*, or 1/8 tsp-1/2 tsp ground cayenne

Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with cayenne if desired.

*Sambal Oelek can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores


Filed under Appetizers, Condiments, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian and Vegan

Lucky Black-Eyed Pea, Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup (with a vegan variation)

Vegan Black Eyed Pea and Kale Soup 

Welcome to the first week of the new year.  I don’t know about you, but the mister and I ate well these past couple months!  This time, I don’t mean well in the nutritional sense, I mean well in the tasty carb-laden sense.  January is the time I like to bring myself back into balance.  In these winter months, I’m usually looking for something to fill me up, warm me up, and satisfy my craving for food that comforts, without using heavier meats, carbs and creamy dairy.  That’s where knowing how to coax and prod ingredients together is key.

Dried Black Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas (1)

Today’s soup is the definition of slow food.  It’s meant for one of those days where you can give the ingredients time to transform–roast and caramelize, lazily simmer… It’s best to be made while you laze or work around the house, breathing in the smells, taking momentary breaks to chop or saute.  Roasted vegetable stock is a secret weapon that every full- or part-time vegetarian should have in their arsenal.  I make the stock whenever I’m looking for caramelized fullness, adding a layer of depth to soup or sauce.


Roasted Vegetables

You can choose between two different variations of this soup: the vegan version or the turkey sausage version.  I use the turkey sausage when I’m looking for a more filling soup with an added layer of savoriness, and the vegan version when I’m just in the mood for vegetables.  Either variation will satisfy your craving for healthy comfort food during these chilly winter months.

Soup with Turkey Sausage

I hope the new year brings you everything the ingredients in this soup represent;  peas for prosperity, greens for money, and healthy ingredients married together to satisfy your belly and make your body happy!

Lucky Black Eyed Pea, Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup

Although this is slow food, be sure to read through the steps first in order to avoid making it slow-er food!  The black eyed peas will need to soak overnight (or quick soak for 2-3 hours).  While the half the vegetables are being roasted for the stock, the other half can be simmering while the beans are cooking.  

  • 1 1/2 cups dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight or quick-soaked (see note)
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey sausage (optional)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (I use Muir Glenn brand)
  • 6-8 cups roasted root vegetable stock (recipe follows)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or 3/4 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional to taste
  • 1 bunch dino kale (aka: Lacinato), torn into 1 1/2 inch pieces (discard the thickest parts of the stem)
  • 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or to taste

1. Make the roasted root vegetable stock (recipe follows)

2. Drain and rinse the soaked beans (this step can be done while the broth simmers). Place them in a medium saucepan and cover with 2-inches cold water.  Bring to a boil, then cook at a simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half, until beans are tender but not mushy.  Drain and set aside.

3. For the turkey sausage version only (otherwise, skip to step two): heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large dutch oven or saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the turkey sausage to the pan, breaking it into smaller pieces with a spatula.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes, or until the sausage is cooked through and browned.  Remove the sausage to a plate and set aside.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a large dutch oven or saucepan until shimmering.  Add the diced onion, carrot, parsnip and celery.  Saute for 8-10 minutes until the root vegetables are crisp tender and onion is softened.  Add the garlic and saute, stirring constantly, for an additional minute.  Add the tomatoes, cooked black eyed peas, cooked turkey sausage, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, thyme, bay leaves, and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt.  Add 6-8 cups broth (you may need more if using turkey sausage).

5. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for an hour.

6. Add the torn kale and simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the kale is cooked but still holds its shape.

7. Add the red wine vinegar, and season to taste with additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Roasted Root Vegetable Stock

Adapted from The Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley

Makes about 6-8 cups

  • 2 pounds carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 head garlic, separated into cloves (unpeeled)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 quarts cold water
  • 1 pound parsnips, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small turnip, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 celery rib with its leaves, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, cut into 1/8-inch thick rounds
  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together half the carrots, parsnips, onions, and garlic cloves with the oil, and spread them across one or two baking sheets.  Roast for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are well caramelized.
  3. In the meantime, put the remaining vegetables, along with 2 quarts of the water in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the other half of the vegetables are finished roasting.
  4. Add the roasted vegetables and an additional 6 cups water to the saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Strain the stock and discard the solids.


Filed under Main Dishes, Soups and Stews