Recipe: Tuscan Soup

Originally I was supposed to use white beans in this soup but I only had chickpeas on hand and those worked just fine. When I made this a second time I did use the white beans which were just as good but I also chopped the chard much finer which is my best suggestion otherwise this absolutely delicious soup is not to be missed. I wouldn’t skimp on the heavy cream it is what takes the soup over the top. I found this soup to be too filling for extras but no one would complain if you made a nice bread with it I’m sure.

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Recipe: Spicy Cheesy Rolls

The recipe so nice I made it two weeks in a row. This is a really super simple tear and share style bread which is basically savory cinnamon rolls. If you weren’t in the mood to make your own roll dough you could probably substitute ready made pizza dough as well. The original recipe called for a spicy masala paste but all I had on hand was harissa, I imagine any fairly dry sauce or paste like pesto would do but even a savory jam would probably be nice.

Spicy Cheese Rolls

Recipe: Bean “Meat”balls

I was looking for a beanball (or a “meatless meatball” if you prefer) and found this recipe could be baked and that’s just about my favorite way to make things because you don’t have to fuss too much. What I will say is that you should be careful about how much bread/flour/filler you add because these can get a little heavy if you add too much binder but otherwise they’re really pleasant especially when served on top of pasta with some tasty red sauce.

Bean "Meat"balls

Recipe: Squash-Carrot Soup

Technically you don’t have to roasted the squash before you make this soup but the flavor is much richer if you do and it’s easier to cut squash up if you roast it first. You can absolutely used pre-cut squash and roast that also. This soup is a real warm winter treat and can be topped off with crushed nuts, breadcrumbs, or grated cheese. Paired with a nice roll or a salad it can easily be a full meal.

Squash-Carrot Soup

Recipe: Miso Mushroom Pasta

Creamy, salty, umami bomb which makes a really exciting dinner in about 15 minutes. I made my own udon for this dish but you can easily use store bought udon or any pasta noodle (fettuccine would work just as well honestly). You can use a variety of mushrooms or just regular white ones if that’s all you have on hand. My only suggestion would be to start light with the miso so that the dish doesn’t get overly salty.

Miso Mushroom Pasta

Recipe: Butter Chickpeas

Despite the title this is actually really easy to make a vegan recipe by replacing the butter with coconut oil instead. You can finish it with some almond milk if you like also. I like to mush half of the chickpeas with a potato masher to get a bunch of different textures and also I think it thickens the recipe without cornstarch. I might try adding more vegetables to this recipe in the future but I really liked its simplicity.

Butter Chickpeas

Recipe: Manicotti

I recently learned that the food I thought was manicotti (back in New York) was actually just cannelloni. The difference is subtle but cannelloni is cylinders of pasta stuffed with soft cheese and other things and manicotti is actually soft crepes stuffed with soft cheese and other things. I was a little intimidated to make crepes but actually the process is quite easy and while I haven’t mastered the single hand flip, it isn’t too bad. The crepes and filling can both be made a day ahead if you need to space out the work but this is a great weekend / special occasion dinner that can easily be made in bulk despite being quite complex and is a crowd pleaser.

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Recipe: Onigirazu

I know every website will tell you that onigirazu are like making sushi but easier but it still takes SOME effort to get the hang of making these stacked rice sandwiches. That being said they’re perfect for lunch and you can fill them with whatever you want in my variation they’re packed with lots of vegetables and a spicy-chili olive oil mayo but these are good with canned tuna, breakfast fixings, leftover cooked ground meat or anything you can think of.

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Recipe: Grilled Halloumi Bowl

I’ve come to really appreciate halloumi during my time in Estonia because I can’t usually get paneer in stores and halloumi has the same quality of not melting when heated through which allows for great and delicious ideas like grilled the slices of cheese and putting in on top of a big bowl of couscous, hummus, and vegetables. This 10 minute lunch (or low effort dinner) is loaded with deliciousness.

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