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feast magazine, april 2015: bitter greens salad with grape molasses-rosemary vinaigrette and grape molasses-candied walnuts.

Feast Magazine, April 2015: bitter greens salad with grape molasses-rosemary vinaigrette and grape molasses-candied walnuts.

Because making recipe titles a paragraph long is what I do, and I do it well.

 I really liked Elizabeth’s comment last round about locating ingredients; so much so that I thought I’d start formatting these a little differently to help out. It’s my mission in the column to unearth unusual ingredients and give you ideas for how to work with it, but I’d also like you to be able to find it. Some months are easy; I have one coming up that I see all the time – in small bins – at grocery stores everywhere, but others require more effort, an online order, or a special trip.

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feast magazine, march 2015: rainbow noodle bowl with amaranth leaves and spicy peanut dressing.

rainbow noodle salad with amaranth leaves and spicy peanut dressing.

No pig parts this month! In Feast Magazine’s March 2015 edition, I’m highlighting an ingredient which is both massively underused and phenomenally good for you: amaranth leaves. I celebrate them (because you should celebrate them) by throwing them into this Rainbow Noodle Bowl with Spicy Peanut Dressing. 

So, amaranth…sound familiar? We all know the grain by now, and you see it everywhere, happily parked next to the quinoa and farro and all the other oh-so-trendy grains, but what about the plant they came from? It deserves a little love…frankly, it deserves a LOT of love. And i’m not quite sure why it’s not getting it: amaranth leaves are a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals…total powerhouse greens. Their flavor is as smooth as spinach: mild, with a subtle earthiness, way more tame than kale or collards. Plus, they’re hearty and basically grow all year round. So what gives? Why no amaranth leaf love? Continue reading →

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charred bean sprout salad + marinated baked tofu (but you can use chicken, haters).

charred bean sprout salad with marinated baked tofu.

So, you remember when I was all, “New Year YEAH! Totally going to post more often” and you were all “YEAH can’t wait!” and then I was all

(crickets chirping)

(a lone tumbleweed drifts by)

YEAH! That was more than a week ago, people. I rock hard at New Year’s resolutions, do I not? Hopefully you’re doing just as swimmingly with yours. Continue reading →

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copycat Panera turkey-cranberry flatbread sandwich.

copycat panera turkey cranberry flatbread sandwich.

In about 48 hours, you’ll feel a rumbling under your feet. That rumble? It’ll be every food blogger based in the U.S. trashing their pumpkin stuff in favor of Thanksgiving recipes. Canadians and beyond tolerate this only because mostly of the recipes we crank out transcend Thanksgiving and manage to be useful for wintertime meals; thanks, Rest of the World. We’ll be back on the same page  on or about November 28th. Continue reading →

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mediterranean turkey + spinach mini burgers.

mediterranean turkey + spinach mini burgers.

Remember how I told you that I’d give you another thing you could use your Greek dressing with? It’s these very small turkey burgers.

And don’t worry, you’re not seeing things: those burgers are green, because they’re made with a combination of spinach and turkey. Does that sound weird? Maybe, but they’re really good and actually pretty healthy for you: they come from everyone’s favorite Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook, It’s All Good. You know I love this cookbook too, almost as much as I love cookies. Continue reading →

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feast magazine, february 2014 [part one]: black walnuts.

black walnuts.

So: black walnuts, otherwise known as the nut I was tasked with creating recipes around for this month’s Feast magazine: let’s talk about them. When I was asked to do a feature article on black walnuts, I was obviously elated: me? write a feature? Yes, please: I would love that. I am honored. I am utterly geeked out by your request yes I will do it. But then it dawned on me: black walnuts?

I know nothing about black walnuts.

Now, you could argue here that my entire columnist life is centered around ingredients I largely know nothing about until I work with them for the magazine, but that’s 1 recipe: this time, they were asking for a full writeup and 6-7 recipes. Add to that the direction to balance sweet to savory and make it all winter-centric, and you get one nervous writer.

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three-cheese asparagus pizza with lemon.

three-cheese asparagus pizza.

You want to make a 3-year-old’s (food) dreams come true? Okay, cupcakes, but also, let them make their own pizza and then eat it. I don’t know about other 3-year-olds, but the one I belong to loves it when she gets to assist in food preparation, especially when the outcome is one of the two things I mentioned above. And honestly, the same thing probably holds true for most of the adults among us as well. Continue reading →

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individual winter root vegetable souffles.

winter root vegetable souffles.

The one thing I’ve noticed since I started writing for Feast is that I look at the magazine from a different perspective than I used to. Unavoidable, perhaps, because now I know them and talk to them, and they’re real people to me, whereas before they existed only in the abstract. So the magazine, for me, has become a way to see what all the other kids’ assignments were for that month. When it comes out, I look through it to see what everyone did, and how it all came together into one finished piece. On one hand, it’s a cool perspective to have, because you get to see people’s work more as an extension of who they are, and as a way of getting to know them. The downside of this is that I don’t ever seem to just thumb through it like I used to, seeking out what I may like to make from the plethora of recipes showcased each month. I miss doing that. Continue reading →

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wintery kale salad (with roasted things.)

winter kale salad with roasted cauliflower, tomatoes, walnuts, and goat cheese.

Because who am I to hide the fact that I’m trying to eat better and turn over a new, less-sugary leaf just like most of you? Truthfully, I think that something flips a switch in me each January that makes me not only want to eat healthier, but rather demands it. My body basically shuts down if I don’t start inhaling greens and vegetables regularly by the first week of January, and thankfully, I enjoy eating like that, so it’s not too much of a thing aside from a minor habit adjustment.

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feast magazine, november 2013: lamb, kale, + sweet potato chili [with a vegetarian option.].

lamb, kale, + sweet potato chili.

Yes; I have been missing. Eerily absent from my normal activities, like posting things, or perusing blogs, hanging out with you on Facebook and Twitter, pinning things I want to make/do/buy all over your Pinterest, and so on. Daily life has fallen by the wayside, and why? Because we are all so ill right now. Not “ill” in a Beastie Boys way, either; ill in the gross mid-Autumn cold and sinus way. I’ve had a sinus infection kicking for about three weeks now, which I’ve been able to ignore in some ways and not in others; mostly it turns my kitchen and writing skills into that of a floating baby hedgehog. That’s me right now, people. To add to the fun, the Wee One had a middle-of-the-night trip to the ER because she woke up just as I was headed to bed with the croup. Since she’s a child who is never, ever sick, I have zero experience with this. It is hard. So we’re all on the mend, but I’m grossly behind on just about everything.

I know what you’re thinking: this is fun talk for food blog, Shannon; thank you ever so much. But this is good information, because I think this is how the zombies get us. It’s not glamorous enough for film and TV, but the reason we can’t outrun them? First, the infect us with colds. Then, we become so lethargic and grosstastic that we have zero speed or energy. Then, the world is theirs. Keep that in mind. On to the food talk. Continue reading →