The crusts of a p&j. The butt of a burrito. The shards of Cleo’s egg that she ALWAYS asks for in the morning and barely eats. I hate wasting food, nor do I like making different meals at one time, so I often end up being the garbage disposal to the ends of my kids’ meals. Not dinner, but throughout the day, guilty. I went in to solve my own problem by taking my own advice. If I want to eat well through the day, I need to set myself up for success.
I have been using the same Pyrex containers for years. Maybe ten years? The glass is durable and, does not stain. I have a variety of sizes for all sorts of circumstances. So when they asked me to write a post about how I use them? No question, because it’s a product I am already using daily. When I am taking good care of myself and thinking ahead, and not wanting to eat butts of burritos, I meal prep. If I have food ready, or pieces that get me halfway towards a meal, I am much more likely to eat something well-rounded and filling than a bunch of snacks that still leave me wanting a meal.
These glass Pyrex containers have snap, air tight lids, so I can pop them in the freezer or fridge and not worry about things leaking. It keeps the food fresh longer, and also allows for an easy reheat. I can simply remove the lid and place the dish in my preheated toaster oven. You should not be putting plastic in the microwave – bad for the plastic, bad for the food, bad for you. If my leftovers are something I am not able to reheat on the stove-top, I lay a paper towel over the top and warm it in the microwave. The non-porous glass containers do not stain or smell from acidic products, are better on the environment and while they may be heavy to take on the go, it is a fair trade for how long they last and the whole fridge-to-oven reheat option.
On Sunday afternoon, I dedicated one hour to prep a few things that I knew would make for quicker meals during the week. This may look like a lot, but much of it is hands off. You layer the work. The squash roasts in the oven while you whiz up the pesto. I start the rice and lentils then shake up the vinaigrette and pull out pom seeds while they cook. My plan:
– prepared salad greens (kinds that can be eaten raw or cooked, such as kale and cabbage)
– chili maple delicata squash (recipe below)
– pomegranate seeds
– steamed brown rice + lentil mixture
This leaves me with two meal options that will take under 5 minutes to prepare from here: a big green salad with squash and pom seeds and nuts with the vinaigrette, or rice and lentil bowls, again with more squash, I can sauté some of the greens if I’d like, top with the pesto and then I can easily throw on a little cheese or avocado. The pasta dish that is linked for the cilantro pesto is also amazing and you are 80% of the way to that recipe with these prep pieces too! Use the delicata in place of the butternut and you just need to cook some noodles. The greens I packed are ones I like both in salads, and are not compromised when heated, so they can be either sautéed or dressed for the salad. Tender greens (like butter lettuce, spring mix, arugula) don’t keep as well for me after being washed and stored.
These prepared pieces lasted me the better part of the week for lunches and parts of dinner thanks to my Pyrex glass storage. I also started making a big batch of oats that can easily be reheated with a splash of almond milk, and these pumpkin muffins for breakfast and snack. I’m reminded that I always want to keep my fridge stocked!
This post was sponsored by Pyrex. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting me in working with brands, so that we may continue to create content for you.
Chili Maple Delicata Squash
The beautiful thing about delicata squash is that you can eat the thin skin, so it makes prep so much faster. I cut them in half, seed them, then cut into half moons, or just into coins, and spoon away the seeds from the center circle.
2 medium delicata squash
1 Tbsp. avocado or extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Preheat the oven to 425’ and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the squash into 1/2” half moons or rings, and remove the seeds. Place all the squash on the prepared sheet and drizzle on the oil, maple, salt and chili powder. Toss everything to coat and spread them in an even layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender and browned in parts.
Remove to cool before storing.
They will keep for a week, stored in a covered container in the fridge.
Hello dear friends!
Welcome to this fine day – I hope you’re well!
This week I had a sweet visit from my friend Ashley Rodriguez from Not Without Salt. She came to New Orleans to promote her latest book Let’s Stay In, and really just cook a bunch of food at The Bakehouse. Sometimes we get to make our own dreams come true, and this week was one of those weeks. Ashley has the most effortless way of cooking and feeding people that being in the kitchen with her feels like gliding on air.
At first we wanted to do a classic Lady and the Tramp Spaghetti and Meatball dish with this recipe. But it felt too expected. So here is instead another spin on our one makes three-series. We really love this series because it reflect so much how we eat. It’s not always an entirely new meal every day but more of a flow where the same components come back with new pairings. These polpette or vegan meatballs are perfect for this. They are good on their own – tender and very flavorful – just like we prefer. And they are also insanely versatile, rolled into a wrap, tangled into pasta, paired with a spicy tomato sauce and hummus or tossed in a crunchy vegan take on a caesar salad.
Vegan Aubergine Polpette
Makes around 40 balls
2 medium sized aubergines
2 red onions
4 tbsp olive oil
100 g / 1 cup almond flour
120 g / 1 cup cooked lentils
4 tbsp pickled capers, drained and finely chopped
2 tbsp raisins
zest from 1 lemon
15 leaves basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.
Peel and chop the onion finely and chop the aubergine into small dices. Stir fry both in a large skillet with the oil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft. When soft, add to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse a few times to mix everything together. You want a very chunky sticky texture but don’t pulse too much or you’ll end up with a mushy mixture. Remove the knife blades and shape 30-40 small balls with your hands. Place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake for 25 minutes. Store in the fridge or freeze them.
Scroll down for three ways to serve them.
Hummus with spicy tomato sauce, polpette and cucumber salad
1 batch vegan aubergine polpette (see recipe above)
1 batch Hummus, see this recipe or store-bought hummus
Spicy tomato sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
1 garlic clove
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp harissa paste (or 1 red chili)
2 x 400 g tins tomatoes
1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste
Heat the oil in a large sauce pan on medium heat. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and add them to the sauce pan together with the spices. Let sauté for a few minutes until soft not browned and then add the tomatoes and salt. Let cook for at least 20 minutes, until rich and fragrant. It will become sweeter and rounder in flavour the longer you leave it on. Store the sauce you are not using tonight in glass bottles in the fridge.
2 tsp olive oil
½ lemon, juice + zest
1 pinch sea salt
1 small handful fresh dill
Finely dice the cucumber and place in a bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt and dill and toss to combine.
Arrange the hummus in shallow bowls and make a well in the middle. Place a couple of spoonfuls tomato sauce in the well, add a few aubergine polpette and a few spoonfuls cucumber sallad.
Vegan Wrap with Polpette, Ajvar and Krauts
4 wrap breads / tortilla breads, gluten free or whole grain
4 lettuce leaves
4 cavalo nero or kale, stems removed
1 cup cooked white quinoa
4 tbsp ajvar dressing
1/2 cucumber, cut into sticks
4 tbsp sauerkraut (see recipe here)
1 batch aubergine polpette (see recipe above)
Place one lettuce leave and one kale leave on each tortilla bread, then place 2-3 tbsp quinoa in the middle, a dollop ajvar, cucumber slices, sauerkraut and top with a couple of aubergine polpette.
Fold the top and bottom edges over the filling. Roll the whole tortilla from left to right to wrap in the filling. Roll some parchment paper around them and tie with a string to hold them together.
Vegan Ceasar Salad with Polpette
1 head Cosmopolitan lettuce
1 batch aubergine polpette (see recipe above)
2 avocados, stone/peel removed and sliced
2 small apples, cored and sliced
2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted
1/2 cup / 125 ml cold pressed neutral oil (organic rapeseed)
1/2 cup / 125 ml soy milk, unsweetened
2-3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp pickled capers, drained
1 large pinch salt
Add all dressing ingredients to a tall glas or blender cup. Mix with a stick blender on high speed for about 15 seconds or until you have a creamy white dressing. Taste and adjust the flavours to your preference. Add more oil and blend again if you like it thicker.
Tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Add 2 tbsp vegan mayo dressing and toss to cover. Then transfer to a serving platter and arrange avocado slices, apple slices and aubergine polpette and last, scatter over toasted sunflower seeds.
We’re changing the tone of things in the kitchen. Can you feel it? It feels like we need a different kind of nourishment. Warming and routine. Roasted and rooted.
I find myself gravitating towards Golden Milk every autumn and winter. It’s the drink I stir together when I’ve dimmed the lights in my kitchen to just one – that thing I do to signal to my body that we get to rest soon. Golden Milk has a lullaby quality while also feeling almost as indulgent as ice cream. It’s settling.
There isn’t quite a word for “pie” in French. Tourte describes a double-crusted, enclosed pastry of some sort, but isn’t quite the same as pies in the States are. Like dishes from other nationalities and cultures, pie represents a tradition to Americans. Pies are a dessert we looking forward to baking when fruit and berries come into season, and they are an essential part of our holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, as they represent something greater than two pieces of dough with fruit baked between them.
While classic pies will never be out of favor, a new generation of pie makers are mixing things up. There are my pals at Butter & Scotch, mixing booze and butter, The Art of Pie is a guidebook to making the basics, and I just got a preview of The New Pie by two non-professional piemakers that are shaking up the pie world.
So I was intrigued by Sister Pie, which sort of blew me away when I opened it. This pie book is different. What’s new about pie? Plenty, it seems.
Continue Reading Peanut Butter Paprika Cookies…
Hand-painted cookies are incredibly special. The care and attention that goes into them, remarkable. I keep a running folder of inspiration for when I have a quiet Sunday for baking. And lately, I tend to love the cookies that have a watercolor vibe. I’m linking to a bunch here. Illustration isn’t my strongest suit, so graphic designs and patterns are typically where I land. Hope some of these inspire you as much as they have me!
1. Calendula Shortbread with Saffron Stripes
I do variations on these quite a lot. Made with shortbread dough (a nut-free version of this) The icing is made by mixing 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 egg whites, and enough water to thin to desired translucency. Divide the icing into separate bowls, and add color from there. The yellow was created using by infusing 1 teaspoon of vodka with a pinch of saffron and allowing it to sit for a couple of minutes. Strain the saffron liquid into the icing base a bit at a time, more or less depending on how saturated you’d like it.
2. Ayako Kurokawa – (Burrow)
Ayako Kurokawa of Burrow patisserie in Brooklyn is the master. I love her work on so many fronts. Look at the detailed handwriting, the cat whiskers, and stripes. Ayako’s work is as personal as a signature, and I love seeing her talent expressed in the most beautiful charming treats. Have you seen her paint Julia? Or, look at these if air-brush is more your thing. Follow Ayako on Instagram.
5. Albion x Sweet Marie Watercolor Cookie Tutorial – (Albion)
So pretty – I’d use natural coloring from ingredients like beets, dragonfruit, berries, and the like, but the general concept is perfect for a treat plate or dessert spread. See the process shots here.
Tools: Some of my cookie tools: A range of brushes, cutters, and ruler. See that little salt cellar on the left? It has a pretty texture on the outside, I sometimes use textures like that as a bit of a template for designs. Simply roll it across the dough, and bake the cookies. It will leave a hint of the design, and you can use that as a guide for your patterns. For example, I rolled some striped pottery across the dough in the lead photo and used that as the template for the irregular stripes! Play around!
– Make your own Natural Food Dyes or, I tend to be a bit lazy * last-minute, so I like to keep a collection of powdered fruit/vegetable powders on hand. For example, I have blueberry, hibiscus, raspberry, saffron, cacao, charcoal (good for pencil effect). Play around!