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sandwich

Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Seed Butter

Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Seed Butter

I prefer pumpkin spice in my nut butter, not my coffee.

I’ve been using this batch of the creamy spread to slather on bread, spoon into oatmeal, and drizzle on breakfast sweet potatoes.

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Pumpkin Seed Butter

The recipe is simple, but you’ll need a solid food processor. And a little patience. As you watch the butter swirl round and round, achieving a creamy butter may at first seem impossible. But eventually, the seeds begin to slowly release their oils. This turns the consistency of the butter from chalky to velvety smooth.

Feel free to adjust the spices to your liking. You can also play around with toasting the seeds. Sometimes I’ll also add a few walnuts to the food processor, too.

Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Seed Butter

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Baked Herbed Chickpea Bites

Baked Herbed Chickpea Bites

This is essentially a recipe for baked falafel. But to me, if the batter isn’t crisped up in the deep-fryer, it’s not falafel.

So I present you instead with “baked herbed chickpea bites”. The name, I know, could use a little work. But they’re delicious, I promise.

Baked Herbed Chickpea Bites

These are best served aside a creamy dip. Pick the tahini-based sauce of your choice. Hummus, baba ganoush, or even just a simple sesame-garlic-lemon sauce will all serve you well.

To make the latter, finely mince a small clove of garlic and whisk it into several large spoonfuls of tahini. Add a pinch of salt. Squeeze in a wedge or two of lemon. Then add warm water, as needed, to thin it out.

Baked Herbed Chickpea Bites

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Tofu Banh Mi

Tofu Banh Mi

I love a good banh mi sandwich. And there are plenty of places to get one in Philadelphia. Each, I enjoy for different reasons, and each I’ve taken away elements for designing my own.

Tofu Banh Mi

The key to a memorable vegetarian version isn’t complicated. You need flavorful tofu — i.e., a marinade before it hits the pan. A sauce or spread to lather the bun. And quality, crusty bread. Pickled veggies are an essential, too, but that can go pretty much unsaid.

Tofu Banh Mi

I’ve given my best attempt to take all of this and wrap it into my own tofu banh mi recipe. It’s fun and incredibly easy to make your own picked daikon, and I’d recommend giving it a try. Feel free to throw some other veggies into the brine, too, like jalapeños or carrots. Also, be generous with the curry mayo spread on your bread. It’ll add that hint of creaminess that goes so well with the fresh veg.

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Spicy Spinach Hummus

Spicy Spinach Hummus

Hummus-making used to be a weekly occurrence in my kitchen. It’s just so fantastically easy and delicious. I’m not sure how I let the ritual run away from me.

I’m happy to say hummus and I have reunited with this green-laced recipe, which I hope will entice you to unite with garbanzos and your food processor as well.

Spicy Spinach Hummus

Hot peppers are a beautiful thing.

Here, they take hummus to the next notch, adding a nice subtle flavor and spice that will make your spread unique in an elegant way. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to make your eyes water. (That is, unless you take your contacts out after handling the peppers…still waiting for the day when I’ll remember not to do that.)

The spice here is moderately mild, and in fact, you may even want to keep the Sriracha on hand if you looking for a little extra fire. Again, it’s the hints of flavor that you’ll note from the peppers that make them special in this spread.

Spicy Spinach Hummus

With just a simple whiz in the food processor, this recipe comes together fast. No roasting, toasting, or fancy stuff is needed to make it complete. But of course, feel free to experiment. That is the beauty of cooking. Want to try roasting those hot peppers? Toasting the cumin seeds? Adding other greens?

Do it, and share with me how it turns out. Cheers.

Spicy Spinach Hummus

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Slow Cooked Garlic and Greens Tapenade

Slow Cooked Garlic and Greens TapenadeKristen Miglore and Merrill Stubbs of the Food52 crew swung through Philadelphia a couple weeks ago to promote their newest book, Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook. 

My friend and fellow Philly food blogger, Emily, and I jumped at the opportunity, of course, to go hear them speak. And afterwards, we gushed over the ten trillion genius recipes we had to recreate from the book.

Slow Cooked Garlic and Greens Tapenade

This was spun off of one of those recipes, the famous Food52 posted “Broccoli Cooked Forever” from Chef Roy Finamore. It was a strange-sounding idea that involved cooking broccoli for, well, forever (2 hours) and adding in a bunch of olive oil and anchovies. Sounds…errr…kinda gross, right? Yeah, that was my thought, too.

Yet, the ladies from Food52, a food site I absolutely adore, were raving about this creation. So much so that they’ve bestowed it with the title of “genius”. The commenters on the online version of the recipe, (it can be found in the cookbook as well), were raving about it too. Naturally, I was intrigued and had to try it for myself.

Slow Cooked Garlic and Greens Tapenade

Intrigued — but with no available broccoli in my house. Yet, vested with a TON of tough summer greens growing in my garden. And so began the birth of this recipe, which I might have to label as an unforeseen amazement…if not downright ingenious.

Slow Cooked Garlic and Greens Tapenade

What better way to beat late season toughness out of greens than to cook them forever? Okay, so in my version, I only make you sit through 60 minutes of cooking time because, let’s be real, while broccoli might reach the consistency of butter, collard greens aren’t ever going to get there. They will, however, reach a buttery, super tender texture, which can be achieved within just an hour of simmer time. Voila.

Placed on top of crusty bread with a grating of fresh Parm and a few chopped tomatoes to cut the richness of the olive oil, I think this may have become my new greens go-to. I’ll definitely be making this dish again soon.

Trust me, it may sound a little strange,but I promise, it’s…brilliant!(?)

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