Author Archives: Beth @ Culinary Correspondence

Creamy butternut squash faux-risotto

Milos, Greece

Hello Ladies,

The Man and I have been busy bees here in Milos. Lots of wedding planning to do ūüôā

I haven’t been cooking as much as I’d like, but that’s only because the restaurants on the island are so hard to resist!

A couple of days ago I spotted beautiful, first-of-the-season butternut squash. As you know, I’ve tussled with the local squash before¬†but I decided to give it another go. This time, I was inspired by a risotto-like seafood dish the Man and I had in Sifnos¬†that used orzo instead of rice. I choose to make it into a whole food plant-based meal¬†by using butternut squash instead of seafood broth.

Creamy butternut squash faux risotto recipe with orzo - vegan

The result was an ultra-creamy, hearty and fine¬†dish that the Man rated as “restaurant grade” – the highest praise he ever gives out. The recipe isn’t complicated at all, although you may want to get a head start by roasting the butternut squash ahead of time.

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Chickpea salad sandwiches

Herblay, France

My dearest Ladies,

Summer is in full swing and the heat is on… even in Paris! I’m here on my own for a few days to visit with my good friends Brechtje, Gwen and Renate, who are all in town. It’s wonderful being able to catch up with my girlfriends. It’s like no time has passed at all, you know? Even though we all live in different countries, the conversation picks up right where it left off. The mark of true friendship if you ask me.

When I’m not in Paris yapping away with the girls over too many glasses of wine, I’m working from home in Herblay. It’s very quiet here as mom, dad and Lucy are in Milos (lucky devils!). I don’t know about you but I find it harder to get excited about cooking for 1, so my meals here have tended to be simple and quick to prepare. Case in point, a couple of days ago I whipped up some of my tasty chickpea salad sandwiches. They were bursting with flavor and healthy to boot. I¬†thought you might enjoy the recipe, so here it is.

Chickpea salad sandwiches - easy recipe

This type of recipe is generally touted as a vegan substitute for tuna salad sandwiches, but I think that’s doing it a disservice. ¬†In my opinion, chickpea salad sandwiches stand on their own two feet and are absolutely delicious in their own right. The possibilities for mix-ins are endless. Experiment and see what you like best and let me know what you think.

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Everyone’s favorite miso dressing

Barcelona, Spain

Hello Ladies,

The sun has come out to play in Barcelona! Nothing beats sitting in the parc, vino in hand, basking in the warmth of vitamin D-packed rays while¬†enjoying the company of good friends. It’s official, Summer has made its debut!

This shift of season is a welcome one, and I’m thrilled the see the produce aisle brimming with new technicolor¬†fruits and vegetables. With the temperature going up, I’ve been lightening up our lunch fare. Translation: we’re eating a lot of salad.

One recipe I’m using a lot these days is my miso dressing, which never fails to elicit compliments from friends and family. It’s the Man’s favorite – by far. One time when I was away he even asked for the recipe so he could make it for his Dad! Mom and Hanin, you’ve both asked me for this recipe, so I thought I would share it on the blog.

Miso dressing recipe

The dressing has a silky texture and works well in green salads, bean salads, to dip steamed artichokes in… lots of options. What I love here is the delectable umami taste. There’s something so comforting about it.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, it’s simple to make and I have no doubt it will become a staple in your homes too.

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Vegan carbonara

Barcelona, Spain

Hello Ladies,

As you know, growing up, one of the family’s favorite dishes was Dad’s carbonara (or Nigel’s Cardiac Carbonara as Mom once called it!). It’s hard to resist creamy spaghetti peppered with salty bacon bits and the hint of dry white wine. Nevertheless, I haven’t made Dad’s recipe since I abandoned cow dairy and meat… and I’ve missed it. I promised myself that one day I would veganize his carbonara, and ladies, that day has come.

Vegan carbonara recipe

I’ve been working on perfecting this recipe for some time, the trickiest part was finding an adequate bacon substitute. In the end, I found that tempeh does a fine job. This pasta doesn’t taste exactly like the original (how could it?) but it has most of the same taste markers. I confess to having a Proustian moment when I ate my first bite.

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Power Toast for a quick and healthy breakfast

Carlsbad, California

Hello Ladies,

The Man and I are enjoying our last few days in California, it’s hard to believe we’ve been here for almost two months already.¬†There are many things I’ll miss: bike rides¬†down the Pacific Coast, the view of the lagoon from the apartment, technicolor sunsets… and the Carlsbad Farmers’ Market.

I’ll miss the stands bursting with colorful locally grown produce, the incredible selection of hummus at the Baba Foods¬†stand and the wonderful variety of other foods on offer. A few weeks ago I just about gave the Man an ulcer when I bought a small pot of local honey for $10. But let me tell you, it was worth every penny.

Power toast - breakfast recipe

The recipe for Power Toast I want to share with you makes very good use of this top shelf honey. I created the recipe a few months ago in Barcelona when I couldn’t find anything to ¬†put on my morning toast. After scouring the pantry for odds and ends I came up with this filling, nutritious and delicious recipe. The nuts and seeds deliver great texture, while the honey offers a welcome sweet touch. A dusting of cinnamon takes it over the top. You can easily veganize this recipe by substituting agave nectar or maple syrup for the honey.

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Tuscan bean burgers with roasted red pepper sauce

Carlsbad, California

Hello Ladies,

The Man and I have been devouring the golden California sunshine since we arrived about two weeks ago. Gorgeous, hot, brilliant, caliente sun!

It’s weird not being in my Barcelona kitchen though, and it’s taken me some time to get used to my new digs. At home my pantry is stocked with all my go-to plant-based staples, not the case over here. I also caved¬†and bought¬†a food processor… I just couldn’t live without one. I’ve been putting my new purchase to good use by making super-duper healthy whole food plant-based meals like the tuscan bean burgers I want to share with you today. This new concoction boasts a toasted focaccia enclosing a hearty cannellini bean patty, topped with a roasted red pepper sauce, slow roasted cherry tomatoes and tangy arugula. Drooling yet?

Tuscan white bean burger on focaccia

I’ll admit it, they’re a bit of work but TOTALLY worth it.

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Your favorite recipe posts in 2015

Herblay, France / Barcelona, Spain / Vancouver, Canada

CC collage - 2

Hello dear readers,

We started this blog two and a half years ago as a way to share recipes with one another and to connect through food, even though we’re a family that’s scattered across the globe. It’s been such good fun and we just love hearing from readers who try out our recipes! There’s something special about feeding others and we’re honored that so many have chosen to share our¬†food with¬†their friends and families.

2015 was a year of evolution for all of us. Hanin blossomed as a mother, Beth embraced a whole food plant-based diet, Emily started taking her professional future into her own hands and Mom has put herself out there as a budding children’s author. We’ll be lucky if 2016 is as good to us as this past year has been. In any case we hope you’ll stick with us, we have some changes planned (shhhh it’s a surprise!) and lots more drool-worthy recipes coming your way.

We’d like to kick off the new year by taking a minute to look back at the most popular posts in 2015. Enjoy ūüôā

Thanks for your readership and support, we wish all of you a very happy new year with lots of food, fun and family.

xoxo

The Ladies

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