Combine a cold day with a pot of chili, and you have the perfect meal. Even though it is a vegetarian recipe, this black bean chili is filling, warm, and spicy enough to warm up the coldest kitchen. Double it and you can have leftovers for a couple of days. It is a snap to put together, and all of the ingredients are easy to keep on hand.
This week, I found some local turnip greens at a produce market—they were grown right in town. They were fresh-looking and tender, and I got over the fact that I have never cooked turnip greens before. I packed some in a bag and brought them home. For this recipe, make sure none of the stems are thicker than one-quarter inch, and choose the freshest greens you can find. Clean them carefully, as dirt can hide in the leaves.
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Nothing is more comforting than a pot of soup simmering on the stove on a cold day. When my old roommate came for a visit, I had white beans ready to go for a homemade soup. While we caught up, I chopped up a leek, some carrots, and an onion. Everything went into a pot, and we snacked on a baguette and brie while we let the soup simmer.
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Baked potatoes are a humble dinner. They are also dirt-cheap (no pun intended) and take little active work time, which make them an ideal ingredient for a quick, healthy dinner. This vegetarian recipe is wonderful for vegetarians or people trying to reduce their meat intake. A recent movement called Meatless Monday encourages Americans to eliminate eating meat—but just for one day a week. I encourage you to try it with some of the recipes from this blog; you might find that it isn’t so hard to do. Try to substitute meat for flavor and fiber–in this case, cayenne and cumin combined with beans and potatoes.
During a weekend in Gulf Shores, Alabama, my husband Ira and I enjoyed some fresh fish tacos at Lulu’s Restaurant. They were so good that Ira was inspired to get in the kitchen and try it himself. He had been acting as my sous-chef for a while, in charge of the chopping and dishwashing, but for the first time, he took the lead and made up his own dish—and it was good. It has been a couple of years since that meal, but tilapia tacos have found their way into a regular rotation at our house.