Roasted Carrot Rosemary Garlic Soup

Roasted Carrot Rosemary Garlic Soup

What to do with Fresh Rosemary?
A good friend brought me several branches of fresh rosemary from her garden when she came to dinner last week.  Immediately my home smelled more outdoorsy and clean.   All week I enjoyed the hint of rosemary in the air.

For some reason I cannot leave all this fresh rosemary around without trying to find some way to use it all.  It’s impossible for me to let good rosemary go to waste.  I therefore started to remove the rosemary pines off the stems to put the pines out to dry.  After about forty minutes, I had removed only a third of the rosemary.  So much mor…

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French Onion Soup in 45 Minutes

French Onion Soup in 45 Minutes

Memories of French Onion Soup Past
I tasted my first real French Onion Soup at Cafe Figaro on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood as a teen.  My friends and I thought Cafe Figaro with its French bistro-style cuisine was so cool.  It had a good menu, reasonable prices and a European atmosphere.  Taking a date here helped gave me an air of sophistication.  Or at least I thought.

I must have tried French Onion Soup before hanging out at Cafe Figaro with my friends, yet do not have any earlier memory.   Unfortunately Cafe Figaro disappeared almost 20 years ago.  Its French Onion Soup, however, re…

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Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna

Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna

Vegan vs. Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna
Recently I prepared two eggplant lasagnas side by side.  A Vegan Eggplant Lasagna and a Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna, as I wanted to compare their tastes.

In both eggplant lasagnas I used my Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions as well as a single large eggplant sliced thinly.  You can of course use your own tomato sauce if you prefer.  The only difference between the two lasagnas was the type of cheese used.

In order to avoid duplication, I recommend your reading my post on Vegan Eggplant Lasagna.  You will learn there more about the process of maki…

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Tomato Fish Soup in 30 minutes

Tomato Fish Soup in 30 minutes

How to make a Quick Tasty Tomato Fish Soup
Tomato Fish Soup is one of my favorite soups at home and in restaurants.  There are so many ways to make fish soup, some simple, others a little more complicated.  This recipe is super easy to make in less than an hour.

You can make this Tomato Fish Soup in a single pot, making your clean up afterwards much easier.   All you need to do is put a casserole on the stove over a medium heat.  Add an onion, a few garlic cloves and spices.  Then pour in a can of whole tomatoes, mix and let simmer until tomatoes break down.  Finally throw in a mixture of …

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Vegan Eggplant Lasagna without Pasta

Vegan Eggplant Lasagna without Pasta

The Vegan Eggplant Lasagna Challenge
I have made vegetarian lasagne countless times.  Yet, I’ve always added cheese to each layer.  Sometimes I reduce the amount of cheese I use by mixing ricotta cheese with eggplant puree together.  I’ll have to share my vegetarian lasagna some time, as it’s my son’s favorite.

 
What is Vegan Eggplant Lasagna?
Last week I seemed destined to make Vegan Eggplant Lasagna.  Well, eggplant lasagna is perhaps a misnomer because it had absolutely no pasta of any kind inside.  Yet, the term lasagna seems to fit because three layers of thinly sliced eggplan…

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Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

A Versatile Vegan Tomato Sauce
I usually try to feature here recipes for tasty healthy versions of otherwise ordinary dishes or for extraordinary dishes that will wow your family and guests.  Although most people already know how to make an Italian-style tomato sauce to use on pasta, I’ve been asked several times to share my recipe for Vegan Tomato Sauce as it is as yummy as it is nourishing.

I often use this Vegan Tomato Sauce in my vegetarian lasagna or other pasta dishes that I bake in the oven. The tofu in this recipe makes it easier to reduce the amount of cheese used in my lasagna as…

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Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto

Why make Dandelion Pesto?
Dandelion pesto has brightened up many springtime dishes in past years.  In Belgium, I sometimes gathered the leaves of this wildflower from my backyard lawn to add to salads, soups and other dishes.

 
Dandelion greens grow wild
Picking dandelion greens are an annual tradition that marks the arrival of spring.  Although you can find dandelions all year long, the peak of their growth is during springtime.  Most dandelion greens go unnoticed, except to gardeners who get annoyed by the stubborn growth of this weed as it spreads across their lawn.  As quick as …

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Vegan Banana Oat Muffins

Vegan Banana Oat Muffins

How to Turn Banana Muffins Vegan?
I have made banana muffins many times and many ways.  Often, the recipes included some kind of dairy products, such as butter, milk, buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream.

Several months ago I shared my recipe for Banana Muffin Bliss which included a single egg.  In my post I suggested how to make the muffins vegan by replacing the egg.

Yesterday I was in the mood for banana muffins and decided to make a vegan version.  Of course, it was easy and quick.  In less than an hour I had a dozen yummy Vegan Banana Oat Muffins.

Although the recipe for these Vegan…

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Flavorful Foods for Babies and Toddlers

Flavorful Foods for Babies and Toddlers

What a Good Eater! Cookbook
It may be a few years since my kids were infants or toddlers, yet believe it or not I’m already starting to look ahead to being someday a grandfather.  No rush, but when it happens I want to be prepared.

So a couple weeks ago when Amy Godiwalla and Alessandra (Ali) Macaluso invited me to try out some recipes from their new book What a Good Eater!, I jumped at the opportunity. What a Good Eater! is a cookbook full of nutritious recipes for babies and toddlers.  Many of the recipes feature healthy herbs and spices which add flavor while broadening your baby’s pala…

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Fresh Red Beet Pasta

Fresh Red Beet Pasta

Why Bother Making Fresh Red Beet Pasta?
Recently I developed a recipe for Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese, which was absolutely yummy.  Of course, I may be a bit biased.  So don’t rely on my word, try it yourself and see how delicious is this ravioli dish!

The red beets in the pasta make the dough a vibrant purple color, which will certainly make any plate look more attractive.  The red beets also add dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients that will help you and your family remain healthy.  Contrary to common belief, red beets are not high in sugar; sugar makes up on…

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Pumpkin Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Pumpkin Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Why Not a Pumpkin Variation for a New Family Favorite?
During a stay in Kosice, Slovakia at the end of my Journey to Greece, I fell in love with a vegetarian red beet pirohy (pierogi) dish served with fresh spinach and goat cheese.  To discover more about my love story with this delicious wholesome dish, read my recipe for Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese.

While I was testing out recipes for Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese with one of my Belgian sisters, she started harvesting pumpkins from her vegetable garden.

 

 

As I love pumpkin, espec…

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Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

What Inspired this Soul-Fulfilling Red Beet Ravioli Dish?
Towards the end of my Journey to Greece, I spent a few days in Kosice, Slovakia, near the Hungarian, Polish and Ukrainian borders.   I initially planned on spending one night in Kosice, yet immediately fell in love with its old town.  I ended up staying three nights so I could leisurely visit the town, hang out in its cafes and restaurants, and spy on the hordes of people strolling on the main street, Hlavná ulica.

Hlavná ulica is such a vibrant street with a park, musical fountains, and loads of statues dividing the broad street in…

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Papoutsakia – Greek Stuffed Eggplants

Papoutsakia – Greek Stuffed Eggplants

How do you Make Papoutsakia?
The Greek dish called Papoutsakia can be translated from Greek as the Little Shoes or the Little Slippers.  As charming the name may be in Greek, Papoutsakia are eggplants stuffed with seasoned ground veal and tomatoes.  Sounds simple, right? Well, they are!

 

My friend, Thomais, has kindly provided me with this recipe for Papoutsakia.  As you may remember, she has also taught me how to make Authentic Greek Pasticcio and Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes.  Click on the names of those dishes to find the corresponding recipe.  I appreciate so much her sh…

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Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

What Makes this Recipe for Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes Genuine?
Months ago before I started planning my Journey to Greece, my friend, Diamantis, described how his wife, Thomais, made the absolute best Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes (in Greek known as Gemista).  In fact, his accolades of his wife’s wonderful cooking and his invitation for me to come learn at her side first gave me the idea about this trip.  Why not spend time in Greece learning local and family recipes from such a good cook?  I’d be able to enjoy some long-deserved vacation while gathering materials for my blog.  Ok, twis…

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Authentic Greek Pasticcio

Authentic Greek Pasticcio

What makes this Pasticcio Recipe Authentic?
Greek restaurants all over the world prepare Pasticcio.  Not surprisingly, families and taverns all over Greece also make it.  Most families follow a recipe passed on to them by a dear family member and then adjusted over time to satisfy personal taste.

 
What is Pasticcio?
Those unfamiliar with Pasticcio may wonder what is this romantic-sounding dish.  The easiest way to describe it would be as a Greek version of lasagna bolognese.   This is not entirely fair as a comparison.

In Greece Pasticcio is customarily prepared with a special l…

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