Louisiana

Vegan Pumpkin Bread Pudding

November 20, 2013
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Well, it’s that time of year again, the time when I throw all caution to the wind and offer you something a little richer, a little more decadent, a little more sinfully delicious than my usual fare. I consider Thanksgiving to be a time to relax and enjoy cooking for and eating with family and […]

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Mushroom and Tempeh Gumbo

November 15, 2013
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Thanksgiving is about 2 weeks away, so I thought it was about time I posted an appropriate recipe. To me, this is “Thanksgiving Gumbo” because it contains mushrooms, sage, and thyme, all flavors that I associate with this time of year. Though it’s based on the Louisiana trinity of onion, peppers, and celery and it […]

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Easy Red Beans and Rice

November 4, 2012
Easy Red Beans and Rice

As a Louisiana girl, I consider slow-cooked red beans and rice part of my cultural heritage, as much a part of my childhood as climbing too high in the live oak trees and eating watermelon at the picnic table in the back yard. I know from experience that it takes all day to make good […]

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No-Bake Vegan Strawberry Pie

August 20, 2012
No-Bake Vegan Strawberry Pie

My mother’s strawberry pie is the one dish I remember from my childhood with so much love that I’ve never tried to veganize it for fear of messing it up. The recipe is simple–spread a layer of sweetened cream cheese in a pie crust and pour over it a layer of strawberries in a cornstarch […]

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Vegan Sausage and Mushroom Etoufee

February 20, 2012
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I’m writing this from a hotel on St. Charles Avenue after a night of revelry in the streets of New Orleans. If you’ve never been to Mardi Gras, you might assume that the partying is confined to Fat Tuesday itself, but Mardi Gras day is just the culmination of all the parties and parades that […]

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Ridiculously Easy Vegetable Gumbo and Cooking From Your Pantry and Freezer

January 16, 2012
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Near the end of the first week of my KISSS healthy-eating plan, calamity struck–or at least what passes for calamity when you are trying to cook and eat healthy soups every day. I went to the pantry and found that I had no onions. No onions! Take a look at almost any of my savory […]

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Gluten-Free King Cake Cookies (Cinnamon-Pecan Cookies)

January 20, 2011
Gluten-Free King Cake Cookies (Cinnamon-Pecan Cookies)

Mardi Gras season officially began on January 6, and though the parades don’t start to roll in New Orleans until mid-February, I already have Mardi Gras–or more specifically King Cake–on my mind.  I haven’t had a piece of King Cake in years, but that doesn’t stop me from craving the sugar-laden, gaudy confection.  Even more […]

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New Orleans’ Style White Beans

December 28, 2010
New Orleans' Style White Beans

Come on, tell me you’re tired of rich holiday food and are ready to settle down to some healthy–even homely–fare.  I know I am.  I never thought there could be such a thing as too much dessert, but after stuffing myself on pumpkin cheesecake, cherry-chocolate mousse pie, and the downright obscene rum- and margarine-soaked bread […]

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Saintly Black and Gold Salsa

February 7, 2010
Saintly Black and Gold Salsa

I don’t usually write about the Superbowl. Heck, I wouldn’t usually even know it’s going on, but this year it is a Very Big Deal around here. After 43 years, the Saints have made it into their first Superbowl, so there’s about 43 years worth of celebrating to do, and if there’s one thing New […]

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Creamy Creole Eggplant Casserole

December 28, 2009
Creamy Creole Eggplant Casserole

There are certain recipes that fall into a category I call “Louisiana Church Potluck Dishes.” These are dishes that I grew up eating regularly because they were staples at the monthly “Family Night Suppers” at the church of my youth. I remember sampling delicacies like baked cushaw, mirliton supreme, and eggplant casserole without knowing what […]

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Little Creatures

August 7, 2009

A quick trip to my parents’ house in the country means three things: a time to catch up on family gossip, an opportunity to feast on my mother’s vegan lasagna, and a chance to tour my Dad’s garden with my camera in hand. My father, a retired horticulturist, has two gardening passions, azaleas and cacti. […]

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Strawberry Snack Cake

March 19, 2009
Strawberrry Snack Cake

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Sherry Lucas, the food writer for our local newspaper, who asked if I’d like to be the subject of an article. Though naturally camera-shy (as well as people-shy), I agreed, and when she suggested that I cook a dish using something seasonal, my very first thought […]

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Happy 3rd Birthday, FFVK!

January 9, 2009
Birthday Grapefruit

Three years ago when I started this blog, I had no idea that it would gradually become not only my preoccupation but my occupation as well. Over these years, the subject of food–buying it, preparing it, photographing it, and writing about it–has infiltrated every part of my life and home. Our dining room is no […]

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Spicy Collards and Black-eyed Pea Soup

May 15, 2008
Spicy Collards and Black-eyed Pea Soup

I’ve had a package of pre-washed, pre-chopped collard greens in the fridge for a few days, and I was hoping to do something different with them. But as time went on and no new recipes came to mind, I started to get afraid that they’d go bad; at the very least, they were losing nutrients […]

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Creole Black-eyed Peas

January 8, 2008
Creole Black-eyed Peas

Last year, a cold made me feel so miserable that I didn’t even think of having my traditional New Year’s black-eyed peas until a few days into the new year. This year I was determined to have them on New Year’s Day, despite the fact that a sizzling, burning short in our breaker box had […]

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Chocolate-Orange Cake

December 3, 2007
Chocolate-Orange Cake

It’s citrus season in the Deep South. All along the highways of southern Louisiana and Mississippi, vendors are setting up stands selling local satsumas and oranges. I noticed them when D, E, and I were driving back from New Orleans at Thanksgiving, but I didn’t need to stop because we were already en route to […]

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Post-Thanksgiving Miscellaneous Edition

November 25, 2007

We had a good Thanksgiving visit with my husband’s family in New Orleans, but I’m glad to be back home. A couple of people wanted to know what Bryanna’s Soy and Seitan “Turkey” was like, so I thought I’d post our impressions along with a couple of photos. Here’s how it looked just after it […]

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Garden Gumbo

August 12, 2007
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Even the best cooks can’t work their magic without good ingredients. I like to think I know my way around a kitchen, but I can say with certainty that without fresh ingredients, my cooking would be pretty blah. In the summer, cooking becomes very simple for me: walk outside, see what’s ripe, and combine it […]

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New Orleans, Part Deux, and a Little Biloxi

May 31, 2007

[Click here for Part Une] For dinner on our second night in New Orleans, we decided to get in our car and leave the French Quarter for a little Chinese restaurant uptown, August Moon. The Chinese restaurants here in Jackson are sadly lacking in the vegan (and taste) departments, so D. and I were really […]

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New Orleans, Part Une

May 29, 2007

In my last post I mentioned that I was looking forward to taking a break, and this past weekend, I got one. To celebrate our 11th anniversary, D. and I dropped E. off at his mother’s house and headed across town to a hotel in the French Quarter: While E. was spending time with her […]

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Strawberry Shortcake

May 17, 2007

When my parents visited this past weekend, they came bearing a box full of the last Louisiana strawberries of the season. (My parents never visit anyone without bringing a sample of whatever fruit is in season. This makes them very welcome in my house.) I’m a little prejudiced about strawberries, but I think that late […]

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Seaside-Stuffed Mirlitons

April 13, 2007
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In Louisiana, we call them mirlitons (pronounced meela-tawns in certain parts of the state). In your grocery store, you’ll probably find them labeled chayote. There are over a dozen different names for this watery, squash-like vegetable, which is used all over the world. I’ve grilled it, stewed it, and added it to soups and casseroles, […]

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Weekend Country Photo Blogging

March 25, 2007

I spent most of the weekend at my parents’ house and came home with a few edible goodies in a cooler and a full Compact Flash card in my camera. Here are a few photos from southeast Louisiana, where the trees are bigger than the buildings: This is my parents house, dwarfed by the giant […]

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Home Again

March 16, 2007

Every Spring break, my parents, my sister’s family, and my family gather at a state park either in north Louisiana or in south Arkansas. My sister and brother-in-law and their three kids drive in from Austin, Texas, while our parents come up from southeastern Louisiana. We try to pick a location equidistant from all of […]

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Gumbo z’Herbes with Cajun Tempeh Bacon

February 28, 2007
Gumbo Z'herbes with Tempeh Bacon

Most people outside of my home state have never had this “Greens Gumbo,” but it’s an authentic Louisiana dish. Traditionally, it was made without meat to serve during Lent, but with Louisianians being the great seafood and meat lovers they are, ham and seafood eventually made their way into this naturally vegetarian soup. Well, now […]

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Happy Mardi Gras!

February 20, 2007

We had a great weekend in New Orleans. We drove in on Saturday morning and spent the rest of the day out on the street watching parades until about 9:30 that night. I didn’t want to risk breaking or losing my good camera, so I brought my old one and managed to get only a […]

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Black-eyed Pea Gumbo

August 8, 2006
Blackeyed-Pea Gumbo

Yesterday was the first day of school, and I don’t know who was more excited, my daughter or me. She’s in a new school and riding the bus for the first time, and, best of all, her best friend is in her class. She was so eager to start that yesterday she woke up at […]

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Stuffed Eggplants and Not-So-Dirty Rice

August 2, 2006
Stuffed Eggplants

I bought some baby eggplants last week and spent several days agonizing over what to do with them. I wanted to keep them whole because to me it totally defeats the point of having little eggplants if you chop them up into pieces that could be any old eggplant. If you’re not familiar with baby […]

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Eggplant Creole

July 18, 2006
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I needed a vegetable dish to go along with the Okara “Crab” Cakes, so Sunday’s dinner included this vegan version of the traditional Louisiana dish Shrimp Creole. I chose eggplant to replace the shrimp, not because it tastes anything like shrimp but because, unlike most vegetables, it holds its shape without becoming mushy and it […]

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Patty Pan Squash Stuffed with Cajun White Beans

July 13, 2006
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You would have thought I’d never seen fresh vegetables. My husband wanted to shop as men do: Get in, get something, and get out. But I dragged him from stall to stall at the farmer’s market, comparing the quality of the tomatoes and zucchini, sighing in disappointment that I’d gotten there too late to get […]

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Mirliton and White Bean Stew

March 22, 2006
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One of my favorite Louisiana ingredients is mirliton. If the name doesn’t sound familiar to you, perhaps you’ll recognize it as chayote, vegetable pear, chouchou, choko, vilati vanga, or one of the other many names it goes by. It’s a little hard to describe the flavor and texture because it really isn’t like anything else. […]

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Stewed Okra and Tomatoes

March 12, 2006
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A great okra dish starts with choosing okra that is fresh and young. Test it by bending the tip back. If it snaps off, the okra is fresh. If it doesn’t, don’t buy it. This is a fast, easy way to cook okra that preserves the fresh taste by not over-cooking it. The okra is […]

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Tofu Jambalaya

March 11, 2006
Tofu Jambalaya

I’m going to be away from the computer for a few days, but before I go, I’d like to share with you a couple of recipes from my native state, Louisiana. First up is a somewhat non-traditional jambalaya, based on a recipe for Chicken Jambalaya that I used to love in my omnivore days. It […]

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Real Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

February 25, 2006
Real Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

It’s Mardi Gras time again! I’ve been craving red beans and rice ever since last weekend, when my husband and daughter left me alone for some much needed quiet time while they went back to New Orleans for the first parades. They came home with loads of beads, doubloons, stuffed animals, and MORE beads, and […]

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Chickpea Gumbo Now Playing at a Blog Near You…

February 20, 2006
Chickpea Gumbo

Guess who’s doing a guest post over at A Veggie Venture? I am! Hop on over there to check out my Chickpea Gumbo! And thanks to AK for all her Veggie Evangelism!

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Cajun 15-Bean Soup

January 26, 2006
Cajun 15-Bean Soup

Last night, along with the collard greens, I served Cajun 15-Bean Soup. I made it a little differently than my usual recipe, so here’s my updated version. (The old version used Gimme Lean sausage, so if you’re into fake meats, you might want to check it out on the FFV website.

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