Ridiculously Easy Recipes

If you like recipes that come together in around 30 minutes and use convenience items like canned and frozen vegetables, these recipes are for you!

MiracleNaise: Soy-free Mayo plus Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

September 28, 2014

I’ve been trying to cut down on the amount of soy I use–not that there’s anything wrong with it–and completely get rid of soy isolates, which I do think are unhealthy. Unfortunately, the silken tofu I always use, Mori-Nu Organic, contains “organic soy protein,” which is just another way of saying “isolated soy protein.” I […]

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Oil-Free Waffle Iron Hash Browns

August 18, 2014
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For years, my daughter’s favorite after-school snack was Ore-Ida hash brown potato patties. They were made of shredded potatoes with no oil added, and it was a tight squeeze, but two of them fit in our little Foreman grill (they often came out fused together in one mega-patty). They were a healthy treat for a […]

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Walnut and Kidney Bean Spread

June 30, 2014
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I like hummus as much as or more than the next vegan. After all, I have between ten and twelve hummus recipes on this blog, depending on what you count as hummus. But lately I’ve been thinking that I eat too many chickpeas and need a little variety in my bean dips, so I’ve been […]

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Vegan German Potato Salad

June 16, 2014
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I clearly remember the first time I ever made potato salad. I was in grad school far away from home, in a land called “Illinois,” where I was invited to a potluck picnic and asked to make potato salad. I loved potato salad but had never made it before, so I did what any self-respecting […]

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Black and Red Lentil Chili

March 11, 2014
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This is probably the fastest chili I’ve ever made without using canned beans. The secret is black beluga lentils, which cook quickly and keep their shapes, giving this chili a very hearty texture. I combined them with split red lentils, which cook just as quickly but break down to create a thicker broth. Together they […]

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Simple Chopped Salad

February 15, 2014
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A minor miracle occurred at my house on Thursday night when my teenager went back for a third helping of salad. And not just any salad–a salad that contained radishes, which she “hates.” We were having the salad with two of her favorites dishes, mac and cheese and roasted asparagus, and it was no surprise […]

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Clementine Dressing with Wasabi and Ginger

January 17, 2014
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For a long time I’ve been stuck on apples in my lunchtime salad, but yesterday my eyes fell on the bowl of clementines on the counter, and I just couldn’t resist adding them to not only the salad but the dressing as well. I’ve been wanting to try one of Dr. Fuhrman’s many orange and […]

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Ridiculously Easy Cream of Broccoli Soup

December 17, 2013
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For someone who has such definite opinions about all sorts of things–politics, football, sensible shoes–I can be so indecisive in the kitchen that it’s a wonder my family doesn’t starve. I’ll often have an idea for a recipe brewing in my head for days before I actually go and cook it because I can’t quite […]

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Jalapeño-Orange Cranberry Sauce

December 9, 2013
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I’ve learned over the years not to tamper with a family favorite recipe if I want our daughter to eat it. She wants her lasagna to taste like lasagna not spaghetti squash lasagna and her green bean casserole to be covered with those evil fried onions, not caramelized onions and bread crumbs. But I never […]

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Warm Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Pesto Vinaigrette

August 19, 2013
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I think we all make “clean out the fridge” dishes from time to time. Maybe you just got home from a long day at work without having had time to shop, so you make a gourmet dish out of the still-viable carrots, apples, and celery at the bottom of your crisper drawer. Or maybe you’re […]

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Marinated Zucchini and Chickpea Salad

July 11, 2013
Marinated Zucchini and Chickpea Salad

This summer I may have to start a new blog, one devoted to one-pot meals that require little to no cooking. Because I’m just not feeling it–the desire to cook, that is. I still have the desire to eat, of course, but even that has been slightly withered by the crushing heat and humidity of […]

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Broccoli Slaw with Pineapple Curry Dressing

June 20, 2013
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This salad isn’t for everyone. In fact, two out of three of my household “taste testers” didn’t like it, but the one that mattered (at least when it comes to this blog) loved it. I’m getting used to the picky palate of my teenager, but I had begun to think that my husband D likes […]

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3-Minute Chickpea Salad

May 15, 2013
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A quick search of this blog will prove that I adore chickpea salad. As of today, I’ve posted six of them. I love being able to take a can of chickpeas, mash it up and have a quick sandwich filling or salad topping. And as my days get more and more hectic, my chickpea salads […]

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Superfoods Soup

April 24, 2013
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Here’s a soup for those times when you want something light in calories but filling and nutritious and quick. You wouldn’t think that such a simple soup could taste so delicious, but superfoods are “super” in more ways than one! I’ve called this “Superfoods Soup” because it contains 4 of the 6 foods that Dr. […]

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Zucchini “Noodles” with Sesame-Peanut Sauce

April 19, 2013
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April 19, 2013. It’s been a week full of tragedy and fear. My heart aches for the families of everyone hurt or killed in Boston and Texas, and my reaction to everything that’s happened (and continues to happen) is to plant myself in front of the news in search of the answers to “What?” and […]

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Roasted Asparagus Salad with Chickpeas and Potatoes

March 25, 2013
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To the lady in the red blouse shopping at The Fresh Market last Thursday: Please forgive me for scaring you. I was that crazy woman with the rain-frizzled hair who startled you by yelling “Yes!” over your shoulder as you were bagging your asparagus. I’m really not that dangerous. Ask anybody (well, maybe not the […]

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Minty Raw Pea and Spinach Soup

March 20, 2013
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As you can see, I’m ready for spring, so ready that I made this almost florescently green soup and ate it cold. If it’s possible to will a spring into springing by eating springtime foods, this minty soup should do the trick. With sweet green peas and fragrant mint, it just tastes like spring. I […]

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Hummus-Crusted Cauliflower Steaks

February 21, 2013
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Let me say right off the bat that this is more of an idea than a recipe. Lately, cauliflower steaks are everywhere. I can’t seem to pick up a food magazine or check out a blog without running into them. They’re the new “other white meat.” So I figured I needed to try them. And […]

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Two Healthy Vegan Nogs: Chia Nog and Banana Nog

December 9, 2012
Chia Nog

I’m certain that if we didn’t have a kid in the house, my husband and I would never put up a Christmas tree or take the time to stake out the herd of electric reindeer that blazes across our front yard every December. But when you’re a small family, the youngest member sets the traditions, […]

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Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

October 20, 2012
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Welcome to Weekend Quickies–quick recipes that won’t cut into your weekend relaxation time. Today’s ridiculously easy recipe is brought to you courtesy of my last recipe, Mary’s Pumpkin Walnut Muffins, and more particularly by the half cup of pumpkin that is left over from a 15-ounce can after you make that recipe. Here’s a delicious […]

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Broccoli Slaw Stir-Fry with Tofu

October 12, 2012
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Packaged broccoli slaw is a healthy convenience food. Packed with fiber and vitamins, it can be used instead of cabbage to make a great slaw or tossed into green salads for added crunch. But did you know you can cook it? You can, and it makes the fastest stir-fry you’ve ever had.

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Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

September 24, 2012
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Black-eyed peas have such a distinctive flavor that they may seem like an odd base for hummus, but I was so intrigued by a recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Hummus in our local paper that I decided to give it a whirl. I totally ignored the recipe, of course (it contained 2 cups of olive oil […]

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Layered Salad with Black Beans and Mango-Cucumber Salsa

July 24, 2012
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Ever since I was a child, one of the highlights of summer is the arrival of fresh mangoes. When I was growing up in the 60′s and 70′s, mangoes weren’t available in the local A&P or Piggly Wiggly. They were a rare treat that we enjoyed only after a visit to or from our Florida […]

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Old Fashioned (Tofu) Chicken Salad

June 6, 2012
Tofu Chicken Salad

It’s chicken salad the way my mom used to make it–but with no chicken, mayo, or hard-boiled eggs. So maybe it’s not exactly my mom’s chicken salad, but it’s close enough to satisfy my craving for something savory and crunchy to put between two slices of bread.

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Spicy Apple-Walnut Salad with Fat-Free Balsamic-Raisin Dressing

March 28, 2012
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There’s an unwritten rule of food blogging that says, “When you don’t have anything else to write about, blog your lunch.” Or at least that’s been my formerly unwritten rule, and it’s served me well because it’s led me to create some of my favorite lunches: Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens, Hot Skillet Salad, and […]

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Pasta and Vegetables with White Sauce

March 21, 2012
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Welcome to another installment of My Family’s Favorite Recipes! If my daughter had her way, we’d eat pasta at every meal. Lasagna, mac and cheese, chili mac–she’s not picky, she’ll devour any of them. About once a week I give in to her demands, and the dish I most often make is this one, which […]

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Hummus in the Blender

March 12, 2012
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Always travel with hummus. That’s my advice to new vegans and to anyone trying to eat healthy on the road. Having hummus in a small cooler saved us last month when my family went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. With the streets and streetcars closed for parades, we were limited to restaurants we could […]

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Burritos with Spanish Rice and Black Beans

March 5, 2012
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A Facebook friend asked me recently if I had a list of my favorite recipes, and I was sorry to say that I didn’t. But what a good idea! Or so I thought, until I started to name all the recipes I considered favorites and found that the list would be so long that it […]

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Chocolate Chia Pudding and Other Sugar-Free, Flour-Free Desserts

January 23, 2012
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I come from a long line of dessert lovers. When I was growing up, my family ate dessert every night after dinner, and my parents still end each day with a bowl of ice cream (though my mother opts for an artificially sweetened one now). It’s a hard habit to break and one I’m afraid […]

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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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Ginger-Orange Glazed Carrots

December 5, 2011
Ginger-Orange Glazed Carrots

As a lazy cook who values one-pot meals, I don’t cook many side dishes. If a meal lacks a vegetable, I’ll usually toss together a salad and call it a day. The only time I find I need true side dishes is when dinner centers around a protein-heavy dish, like mini tofu quiches, quinoa cutlets, […]

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Kale Mallung (Sri Lankan Kale with Coconut)

August 17, 2011
Kale Mallung

On vacation this summer, my family and I had the pleasure of eating at Source, a vegetarian restaurant that opened in San Francisco earlier this year. The entire meal was delicious: E had the lasagna, of course, and I had a chickpea-stuffed rice pastry called Borek. But the the stand-out was the special of the […]

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Cashew Carrot Salad

July 31, 2011
Cashew Carrot Salad

I’ve discovered a salad that my daughter will gobble up like candy. In fact, she eats so much of it that she’s almost in danger of turning orange! I’m talking, of course, about good, old-fashioned carrot salad–but with a few updates and improvements.

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Ridiculously Easy Southwestern Coleslaw

June 23, 2011
Ridiculously Easy Southwestern Coleslaw

I like odd coleslaws, and this one is odd but interesting. Light yet spicy, this lime and cumin-infused salad is the perfect accompaniment to burritos, tacos, enchiladas, or pupusas. In fact, it’s similar to curtido, the cabbage salad that traditionally accompanies pupusas.

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Ridiculously Easy Curry-Scrambled Tofu

May 19, 2011
Ridiculously Easy Curry-Scrambled Tofu

For years, the only scrambled tofu I ever made required a seasoning packet called Tofu Scrambler. I loved that product. It had just the right blend of seasonings and thickeners to conjure some magical response out of the blandness that is bean curd and turn it into what I considered the perfect breakfast. The idea […]

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Simple Cabbage and Chickpea Soup with Fresh Basil

April 21, 2011
Cabbage Chickpea Soup

The day after her 14th birthday, my daughter E leaned against the door to my office and said, “Let’s go on a diet together.” I was stunned into babbling: “You do not need to go on a diet. You’re a size 0. If you get any smaller, you’ll cease to exist.” “I know. I don’t […]

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Ridiculously Easy Lentil and Vegetable Stew

October 28, 2010
Ridiculously Easy Lentil and Vegetable Stew

I’d hoped to be sharing a Halloween recipe with you, but life has been getting in the way of cooking lately.  The other night I went into the kitchen to make a last-minute dinner of my Dirty Little Secret Soup but wound up making so many changes that it took on an entirely new character.  […]

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Ridiculously Easy Vegan Buttermilk Salad Dressing

October 5, 2010
Ridiculously Easy Vegan Buttermilk Salad Dressing

The question I get asked most by people who are just beginning to follow an oil-free diet is “If you don’t use oil, what do you put on your salad?”  Frankly, getting used to salads without olive oil can be difficult, though I do believe you can train your taste buds to enjoy salads without […]

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Cucumber Hummus

August 12, 2010
Cucumber Hummus Recipe

Monday afternoon I got back from vacation with a suitcase full of dirty laundry, four camera cards full of photos, and an injured hand and rib.  The short story on the injuries is that after tiptoeing around for a week on Maine’s rocky shorelines and mountainsides, terrified I’d either break an ankle or wind up […]

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Roasted Asparagus Soup

May 11, 2010
Roasted Asparagus Soup

My VitaMix* is making me a lazy cook.  When I have extra produce that I need to use up, do I scour the internet (aka “my favorite cookbook”) for a novel way to cook it?  No, I just toss it into my turbo-charged blender and process it until it’s as creamy as, well, cream, as […]

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Ridiculously Easy Curried Chickpeas and Quinoa

April 27, 2010
Ridiculously Easy Curried Chickpeas and Quinoa

Chickpeas again!  I apologize to any chickpea haters for following one chickpea recipe with another, but in my opinion, there are few foods in the vegan diet as versatile as the chickpea.  Think about it: You can smash them, roast them, stew them, and make endless varieties of salad with them; they’re used in cuisines […]

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Ridiculously Easy Southern Succotash Stew

March 22, 2010
Ridiculously Easy Southern Succotash Stew

From a nutrition standpoint, I’ve never felt bad about using frozen vegetables; I’ve always believed (and new studies back me up) that vegetables that are frozen just after harvest actually retain more nutrients than fresh vegetables that have been shipped long distances. In the winter months, when the only fresh, local produce I can get […]

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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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Microwave Baked Apples Two Ways

January 27, 2010
Microwave Baked Apple

In the winter, I suddenly find all of my favorite fruit desserts—smoothies, sorbets, frozen yogurts—completely unappealing; just the thought makes my teeth hurt and makes me want to curl up in a blanket. So besides just eating fruit as nature intended, well-rinsed and with a napkin to catch all the juices, I rely on a […]

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Almost Instant Frozen Fruit Yogurt

September 1, 2009
Almost Instant Frozen Fruit Yogurt

It’s not often I get to have dessert for breakfast and consider it a healthy meal, but that’s exactly what I did yesterday. A sudden craving for something frozen and sweet got me thinking: Why are some foods considered breakfast and others dessert? What’s the difference, really, between muffins and cupcakes, pancakes and dessert crepes, […]

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Ridiculously Easy Roasted Yellow Squash and Onions

August 10, 2009
Ridiculously Easy Roasted Yellow Squash and Onions

When I was growing up, my mother probably made some variant of this dish and I probably ate it, dutifully and without really tasting it. That all changed a couple of years ago when I sat down to eat the Southern-style meal my mom prepared during one of my brief visits. I took the first […]

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Raw Corn and Black Bean Salad with Avocado

July 17, 2009
Raw Corn and Black Bean Salad with Avocado

Ever had corn so fresh that you were tempted to take a bite out of it, raw, and see what it tasted like? Recently I brought home some fresh, organically-grown corn and decided to do just that. I took a little nibble and it tasted good, a little starchier than I expected, but sweet and […]

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Oven-Roasted Corn-on-the-Cob

May 28, 2009
Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob

This “recipe” goes beyond Ridiculously Easy. I may have to create a new category called Outrageously Ridiculously Easy just for this one. At the risk of hearing a great collective “Duh” from my readers, I shall now impart unto you my new favorite way to cook corn-on-the-cob: Stick it in the oven. There you go. […]

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Ridiculously Easy Lentil Soup

May 21, 2009
Ridiculously Easy Lentil Soup

May is the month when I generally give up on opening our screened windows and settle into the reality of air conditioning. While not as hot as the sauna that is June or the pressure cooker that is July and August, the end of May usually gives us Mississippians a good taste of the summer […]

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Artichoke Tapenade

April 22, 2009
Artichoke Tapendae

When D and I got married, 13 years ago next month, we did the catering for our wedding ourselves. Now before you go and get all impressed, I have to point out that it was a small wedding, around 45 close friends and family members, and the menu consisted of finger foods and pasta salad. […]

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Wasabi-Roasted Asparagus

April 16, 2009
Wasabi Roasted Asparagus

You know that feeling you get when you accidentally gulp down too much wasabi, that white-hot fire blazing through your mouth and up your nose? Well, I like that feeling. Now, I don’t coat everything with wasabi, and when I do use it, I try to use moderate amounts, but when I accidentally over-smear a […]

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Quick and Easy Potato Soup

February 24, 2009
Potato Soup

Alert: Check out the sale on reconditioned Vitamixes going on all this month (October, 2014)! When I first wrote about my new love, my VitaMix blender, and mentioned that my daughter was making herself a batch of potato soup every day after school, I figured it wouldn’t be long before I posted the recipe. To […]

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Red Cabbage and Peas with Cumin and Mustard Seeds

January 24, 2009
Red Cabbage and Peas

In the middle of January, the pickings get mighty slim if you’re trying to live only on fruits and vegetables that are in season. Though I’m far from being a locavore, I do try to focus my cooking around produce that’s naturally in season, not shipped from another hemisphere where the weather is the opposite […]

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Ridiculously Easy Grilled Romaine Salad

January 13, 2009
Ridiculously Easy Grilled Romaine Salad

Call me picky but I just don’t like romaine lettuce. Something about its crunchiness (I like iceberg even less) and bitter taste just turns me off. I’ll use it in a salad if I can hide it among a lot of loose salad greens and spinach, but I just can’t eat it on its own. […]

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Chili Mac

August 2, 2008
Chili Mac

I’ve always known that labeling recipes as Kid-Friendly is somewhat misleading; children, like adults, all have different tastes, so predicting what other children might like based on my own child’s taste (which seems to change as often as her clothes lately) is kind of presumptuous as well as silly. Still, the error of my ways […]

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Blackberry-Lime Tartlets

July 26, 2008
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Can we talk about the weather? I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in central Mississippi it’s officially sweltering. I was just out watering the garden and between the heat and the clouds of hungry mosquitoes, I couldn’t get inside fast enough. In this heat, I don’t really feel like doing […]

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Ridiculously Easy Pineapple Sorbet

June 26, 2008
Pineapple Sorbet

Please stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A can of pineapple walks into a freezer…. Sound familiar? If so, I apologize for wasting your time on an oldie but goodie. But, if you haven’t tried this ridiculously easy summer treat, you might want to stay tuned because it’s a delicious way to beat […]

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Pistachio Crusted Tofu

May 19, 2008
Pistachio-Crusted Tofu

After looking for them for months, I finally managed to find a 1-pound bag of shelled, unroasted pistachios at the Indian grocery. Of course, after all that time I’d forgotten what it was I planned to do with them, so they’ve been languishing in my fridge for a couple of weeks, tempting me to open […]

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Cherry-Chocolate Mousse Pie

April 16, 2008
Cherry-Chocolate Mousse Pie

E had a wonderful birthday yesterday and appreciated all of your comments. She spent the afternoon playing with her new basketball goal, the present that she asked for and got early because it took D and me two weekends to put it together. After eating the dinner she requested (Mac and Cheese), she opened her […]

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Smoky Refried Bean Soup

March 4, 2008
Smoky Refried Bean Soup

Thanks to everyone who emailed and left comments identifying my mystery birds. The robins and cedar waxwings are still hanging around, even after last night’s storms. I’ve discovered that they’ve finished the hackberries and are now eating our holly berries, so I’m hoping there’s enough food for them to stick around a while. Since I’ve […]

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Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic and Seasonal Herbs

February 27, 2008
Tomato Soup

I have a new love, and his name is Tomato Soup. Yes, good old humble Tomato Soup has turned out to be a real friend to me during these long, cold February days. First we were getting together on weekends, when my husband was around to share a meal with us. But soon, we were […]

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Ridiculously Easy Lunchbox Enchilada Casserole

February 24, 2008
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All cooked out, all blogged out: That’s how I’ve been feeling lately, which explains my unprecedented 6 day absence from blogging–even longer since posting one of my own recipes. Though I’ve been spending lots of time reading cookbooks and finding recipes that give me plenty of inspiration, when it comes time to actually go into […]

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Watching Your Weight? Eat Soup! (Dirty Little Secret Soup Recipe)

January 27, 2008
Dirty Little Secret Soup

Green on Green Soup I love soup, especially during cold weather. In the winter, about every other meal I make centers around soup. I tend to favor thick, chunky, meal-in-a-bowl soups, primarily because I’m too lazy to make lots of different courses. But if I had all the time and energy in the world, I […]

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Fresh Cranberry Sorbet

November 8, 2007
Fresh Cranberry Sorbet

I have an addiction. It affects me during only one season of the year, but still it’s a problem because I spend way more money than I should on it and then wind up stuffing my stash in the freezer and hoping that it will last me the rest of the year. I’m talking about […]

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Caribbean Beans and Quinoa

April 26, 2007
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File this under “Tastes Better Than It Looks”: It’s Caribbean-style beans and rice, only I was running short on time, as usual, so I opted to use quick-cooking quinoa instead of brown rice. As a result, dinner was on the table in about a half hour. The allspice gives this dish its distinctive Caribbean taste […]

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Stormy Black Bean Soup

October 17, 2006
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Whew! I can’t believe I’m actually online, able to update this blog. It rained all day yesterday and most of last night, the first real rain we’ve had in months. I was ecstatic to see it…right up until the time the weather knocked out my internet connection. It went out around 8:00 last night, and […]

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Easy Apple Pie Wontons and Peach Chutney

September 27, 2006
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I was finally going to do it. I was going to follow someone else’s recipe, this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Wontons, exactly as written and see how it came out. Then I noticed that it called for pumpkin pie spice, but I figured I could use my own seasonings and it would still be the […]

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Roasted Okra

August 24, 2006
Roasted Okra

My new favorite way to eat okra is so simple and easy that it almost can’t be called a recipe. All you have to do is wash the okra, put it in an oiled baking dish, sprinkle it with seasonings, and bake it. The beauty of this is that no cutting is involved, so you […]

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Spiced Lentils and Rice

July 27, 2006
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This is a “throw it all into your rice cooker and walk away” recipe. I’ve recently started experimenting with putting foods other than rice into the rice cooker, and I love not having to watch over it as it cooks. The one I own is a super-cheapie Black & Decker with two settings, Cook and […]

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Two Easy Dishes

May 14, 2006
Brown and Wild Rice with Asparagus

Mother’s Day 2006 Happy day to all you mothers! I’m having a good one myself. First, my wonderful family gave me a copy of The Candle Cafe Cookbook, which looks like it will be a great source of inspiration, the newest Pearl Jam CD, which is playing as I type, and a cute card that […]

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Chocolate a l’Orange Mousse Pie

May 12, 2006
Chocolate-Orange Mousse Pie

Special Mothers’ Day Fat-Full Edition! Even vegans watching their diets deserve some chocolate decadence every now and then–and this goes doubly for mothers. Most of us watch not only our own diets but also our children’s and significant others’. So I say, give your mom or your children’s mom or your partner’s mom or your […]

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Garden Vegetable and Bean Soup

February 3, 2006
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I tend to find a recipe I like and stick with it, so I’ve fallen into a vegetable soup rut lately. I’ve been making the same Bean and Vegetable Soup for a long time–it’s easy and we all like it–but sometimes I have to remind myself that there are other options out there, and some […]

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Hash Browns and Black Bean Burgers

January 21, 2006
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Our meal time keeps getting later and later. Last night it was closing in on 7:30, and I still didn’t have a clue what I was going to fix. I just knew that it was Friday night, and I did not want to be in the kitchen all night. (My husband, who does the dishes, […]

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