Roasted Beets and Fennel on Pasta

Roasted Beets and Fennel on Pasta

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How an Accident Became a Favorite Dish
Sometimes it’s hard to find inspiration for meals when you’re cooking for yourself.  Why spend a lot of time to prepare a dish that you’re probably going to eat quickly?

Well, this past year I’ve made Roasted Beets and Fennel on Pasta several times.  It started off as an accident.  One day I wanted to make a meal that required little effort with the ingredients in my refrigerator.  And this dish was the happy result.

 
Red Beets
I usually have red beets in my refrigerator, as I love them prepared so many ways.  I’ll throw…

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Salmon Lasagna With A Butternut Squash Option

Salmon Lasagna With A Butternut Squash Option

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Salmon Lasagna for a Special Family Meal
Mother’s Day
Last Mother’s Day, I invited my family to my home for lunch.  I planned to make roasted baby back ribs, one of my mother’s favorite dishes, along with cole slaw, and baked beans.   Unfortunately, my father became hospitalized so we postponed our family lunch.

 
A Daughter’s Visit
Planning the Meal
Recently my daughter came to Los Angeles to visit my family and me for a month.  I therefore rescheduled our special family meal for her last Sunday here.  Since my daughter is also a food blogger, writing at Eat w…

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Tomato Fish Soup in 30 minutes

Tomato Fish Soup in 30 minutes

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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 thro…

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Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

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A Versatile Vegan Tomato Sauce
I usually try to feature here recipes for tasty healthy versions of otherwise ordinary dishes.  Or recipes for extraordinary dishes that will wow your family and guests.

Most people already know how to make an Italian-style tomato sauce to use on pasta.  However, here is a tasty healthy version of a tomato sauce that can be used in many of your favorite dishes.  Several friends have asked me to share this 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 as…

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Authentic Greek Pasticcio (Pastitsio)

Authentic Greek Pasticcio (Pastitsio)

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What makes this Pasticcio Recipe Authentic?
Greek restaurants all over the world prepare Pasticcio (also known as Pastitsio or Pastichio).  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.

I…

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Hungarian Goulash Soup Made at Home

Hungarian Goulash Soup Made at Home

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A Cooking Extravaganza with friends in Budapest
On my travel through Hungary at the start of my Journey to Greece, I spent three wonderful days with friends outside of Budapest.  My friends have twin five-year-old children so we planned to spend much of our time at home cooking traditional local dishes.

Little did I know how many dishes we would prepare on my second day there.  I say we but really all I did was watch, take notes, take photos and, of course, taste the final results.  You may think I did nothing, however, these elementary tasks constitute the main duties of…

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Belgian Beef Carbonnade (Belgian Beef Stew)

Belgian Beef Carbonnade (Belgian Beef Stew)

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Belgian Beef Carbonnade Made Easy
Belgian Beef Carbonnade is known by many names:  Flemish Carbonnade, Belgian Beef Stew, Beef and Beer Stew, are among the most common.
How to Make Beef Carbonnade
Although recipes for Belgian Beef Carbonnade generally include beef and beer, there are many variations.  Some families spread mustard on bread and add it to the pot for thickness and to reduce the sweetness of this dish.
Many use dark abbey beer to give a deeper flavor.  Depending on the beer used it may also add sweetness.  I prefer a blond Abbey (light ale) beer instead since i…

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Pumpkin Latke Waffles

Pumpkin Latke Waffles

Why make Pumpkin Latke Waffles?
This Hanukkah season I wanted to create a new kind of latke (potato pancake) with some leftover boiled potatoes and a wedge of fresh pumpkin.  As many of you know, I love using pumpkin, especially in savory dishes.  For more pumpkin recipes follow this link or this other link.

Autumn is also my favorite season of the year.  I adore the various hues of yellow, red, orange and brown everywhere as well as the abundance of harvested vegetables and fruit.  All kinds of squash, nuts, apples, and pears are among my top choices during autumn.  

Adding pumpkin to …

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Simple Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Simple Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Sometimes Simple Stuffing Recipes are Welcome on Thanksgiving
If you are like me on Thanksgiving Day, you somehow suddenly become a master multi-tasker.  Preparing several dishes at a time, making sure the oven is constantly filled with dishes being cooked in a pre-determined order, and decorating the table and dining room for the main event:  Thanksgiving dinner.  In all this chaotic order it’s welcoming to have some dishes that remain simple, without any extra fuss.

My Simple Stuffing recipe is exactly what is needed.  It has the all the main ingredients (bread, celery, sage, vegetable b…

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Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Garlic

Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Garlic

What makes this Pumpkin  Soup so Sublime?
Every autumn I make pumpkin soup so many different ways.  I prefer pumpkin soup with spices that give a little heat, such as cumin, cayenne, and turmeric.  When I make a spicier version of pumpkin soup, I usually add an apple to soften and round out the flavors.   Sometimes coconut milk serves the same purpose.

In Belgium, however, people generally prefer a creamy milder version of pumpkin soup.  They usually add a little cream, milk or butter in the last minutes to add richness.  This recipe for Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Garlic features more flavo…

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Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto

How do you make the Yummiest Pumpkin Risotto?
In the middle of pumpkin season I’m always on the lookout for new ways to include pumpkin in recipes.   A couple days ago I was having a friend over for a mid-week dinner and wanted to make something special without too much fuss.  I had been thinking of preparing Asian-inspired vegan pumpkin dumplings yet in the end opted for developing a new recipe for Pumpkin Risotto.

Risotto is a dish best made immediately before serving, which makes it a little complicated when entertaining guests.  I prefer not being busy in the kitchen when the guests ar…

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Pumpkin Tomato Lentil Soup

Pumpkin Tomato Lentil Soup

What are some ways to use pumpkin?
During the autumn months I tend to buy and use a lot of pumpkin.  Although a wide range of squash is available at the grocers and the farmers markets in Belgium, muscat pumpkins are my favorite.  Muscat pumpkins are different from the pumpkins generally sold in the US.  I now prefer their texture and taste over the US variety.  They also seem to have more flesh, making them a wonderful source for many recipes.

Once I start using a pumpkin, I try to find other ways to use the rest of the pumpkin during the week.  Chopped raw pumpkin added to my morning oat…

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Tomato Chickpea Soup

Tomato Chickpea Soup

How do you feed the soul along with the body?
Comfort foods somehow feed our bodies while making us feel protected and warm inside.  They feed our soul along with our body.  What is it about comfort foods that make them so satisfying at all levels?  For me it’s food that nourishes, teases my tongue and somehow reaches the child inside me, the child that wants to feel protected.

When my daughter was feeling ill with a lingering cold a few days ago, she asked me to make a soup that I had made about 6 months ago with tomatoes and chickpeas (garbanzo beans to some people).  I remembered the so…

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Tastiest Carnitas North of the Border

Tastiest Carnitas North of the Border

How can you make the Tastiest Carnitas?
Carnitas are the Latin American version of shredded or pulled pork. Cuts of fatty pork shoulder and layers of pork belly are braised together slowly over the stove to create delicious, juicy meat with a slightly smoked flavor. Most chefs use the fat from the pork to enhance the flavor of this yummy dish. I however remove as much fat as possible from the pork before putting it on the stove. Removing the fat makes this dish more healthy and no less tasty. Try for yourself!

I love that this whole carnitas dish can be prepared in a single Dutch oven, mak…

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Salade Liégeoise: Green Beans and Bacon

Salade Liégeoise: Green Beans and Bacon

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What is a Salade Liégeoise?

How do you make a Salade Liégeoise?

As every Belgian knows, a Salade Liégeoise is a very typical warm salad made with three basic ingredients: green beans (string beans), bacon and potatoes.   It comes from the city and region of Liège, near the German-Dutch borders with Belgium.

Often we add sautéed onions and then season it with a little vinegar or a combination of vinegars, such as Sherry, raspberry and red wine vinegars.  I usually use my homemade red wine vinegar with a mix of cranberry or raspberry vinegar to add a fruity touch.

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