Category Archives: Holidays

The Two Little Bakers Web Series Kicks Off with a Halloween Special and Special Guest Appearance by Jacques Torres

We had  a blast celebrating Halloween this year. From the chocolate-chocolate tea party, to getting a chocolate making tutorial from Master Chef Jacques Torres. You can read about how Alex and Daniel made the Chocolate Pumpkins and get the recipes here.

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The boys went trick or treating after a delicious Halloween themed tea party.

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Daniel meets the electrified ghost.

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This dude had three heads and made us laugh.

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A great candy alternative is offering popcorn to the trick or treaters.

The Two Little Bakers Halloween

Our evening ended with this. Back at home, Daniel was being Daniel…and he looks like the cutest Emo Vampire! We hope you had fun with yours! I hope you’re ready for the next big holiday….Thanksgiving here we come!

Get your assortment of chocolate delights at the Jacques Torres Flagship Store on Hudson Street:

Jacques Torres is located 350 Hudson at King Street (1 block South of Houston), New York, NY 10014.

Store hours are:
Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 7 pm

Saturday 9:00 am – 7 pm

Sunday 10:30 am – 6:30 pm

Phone: (212) 414-2462

http://www.mrchocolate.com

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Filed under Dining with Outlaws, Favorite Moments, Food for Kids, Halloween, Holidays, October 2013, The Two Little Bakers, Uncategorized

Food for Kids: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Kale and Avocado Ice Pops

Kale and avocado ice pops

Kale and Avocado Ice pop

I’ve been waiting to deliver the official recipe for my healthy take on ice pops via the cookbook I’m authoring however given it’s St. Patrick’s Day today and some parents recently asked me for this recipe- I’ve decided to let everyone take a shot at making their own before the book comes out. Don’t worry- you’ll still get plenty of recipes in the actual cookbook and a few comical illustrations accompanying it.

My four year old is the star of my culinary dreams. He eats just about everything. Whether it’s spicy, creamy, fermented, raw, cooked, hot or cold- there isn’t a thing he’s not willing to try- at least once that is. Nothing can be too dangerous or ethnic enough. Discovering new vegetables are always welcomed by Daniel. Alex, his older six year old brother on the other hand- won’t even look at a vegetable, unless it’s part of a lesson plan in school. He’ll look at them, with oohs and aahs- but it ends there. They never eat any digestive play.

As a parent, and being named chef mommy by my kids- how do I explain to other parents about my battle with their veggie intake? I blame it partly to the American food culture, adding the endless commercials for unhealthy snacks and their father’s bad habit of eating junk food and drinking soda in front of them. I had to smarten up and figure out alternative ways to feed them the healthier things in life.

Zoku Quick Pop Maker

The Zoku Quick Pop Maker: make ice pops in 7 minutes

So last year, I figured out how to incorporate the greens into Alex’s diet by blending them into other familiar flavors- delivered into instant ice pops thanks to the Zoku Quick Pop Maker. Within minutes, he devoured not one but three ice pops that I made with Kale, avocado, yogurt and honey.

We haven’t made these in a little while- but promise to get back into them before Memorial Day weekend. Until then…here ‘s my recipe for healthy kale and avocado ice pops you can try at home! You can also use the conventional ice pop molds.

Kale and Avocado Yogurt Ice Pops

Yields 6 Servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 avocado, peeled with seed removed

1 bunch of kale, stems removed

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup whole greek yogurt

Directions

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place kale leaves and blanche until leaves are very tender (about 8 minutes). Remove kale from water and place in an ice bath. Remove kale from ice bath after about a minute and place inside a food processor or blender. Pulse for about a minute on low, then blend with the avocado, honey and yogurt until it’s smooth and creamy (about 1 minute).

Spoon mixture into ice pop molds, place wooden sticks (if you’re using conventional molds) in the center and freeze overnight uncovered on a flat surface. Unmold and serve!

 

 

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Filed under Food for Kids, Holidays, Hot on the Blog, March 2013, Recipes

How to Gear Up for the Holidays

Let the festivities begin and Happy Holidays to you! If you’re not feeling festive yet- may I entice you in gearing up for the upcoming month of December? You don’t have to be religious to celebrate Christmas, after all it’s based on a pagan Nordic tradition from the folklore elves to the festive drinks.

Nothing better than celebrating the darkest days of the year with some lights, fairy dust, and gift giving and I can’t think of a better reason to throw another big festive food shindig…can you? I did pretty good this year and got a Canadian Fraser Fir the day after Thanksgiving. Nothing beats a black Friday Christmas tree deal, over six feet tall for under thirty bucks.

I decided to turn myself into the anti-Scrooge this year. Normally I’ld cringe and hiss before family members manage to get me into the holiday mood- occurring sometime towards Christmas Day (the day before to be exact). I just always believed religion and obsessive spending/ indulging in food, drink, and buying excessive unnecessary stuff was just unnecessary and therefore a bit sinful.

But there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the darkest days with lots of light, elves, festive food and drink to warm your soul. Since that’s a strictly unreligious practice- I’m glad to announce I’ve been converted, yay! To gear up for the holidays I’ve managed to prepare: 

1. Christmas tree decorated by the kids. All I had to do was drive them there, let the kids pick their tree and pay (cash only) the man who tied the tree to my car. Don’t forget to tip the person who carries the tree to your car. They work under extreme conditions standing outdoors all day long, often times till midnight- encountering festive little brats with their parents pick out a tree several hundred times a day yet always manage to cheer a smile for you when you’re there buying your pick of the forest.
2. I prepared 15 gallons liters of kimchi for my annual kimchi giveaway. This practice wasn’t inspired merely for the holidays, it just so happens to be cabbage season and kimchi making practices normally occur at this time of the year. So why not get some brownie points for sharing with my beloved friends and family? I tried it last year and got a bunch of hoorays and they’ve been waiting all year to get some more…so here it is!
3. The first kimchi takers of 2012. The Insatiable-Critic Gael Greene was the first person I handed a jar to (not pictured since I promised not to publish the photo- can I publish it later Gael? How about if I drew a nice hat into the photo?)
4. I have to give some kudos to the Red Farm Chef Joe Ng pictured above, who managed to make some amazing little sculptures out of Dim Sum dough. We’re planning on taking some Dim Sum classes hopefully very soon. Kimchi for Dim Sum lessons, not a bad barter eh?
5. I decided to go for it and build the candy covered edible Christmas tree this year for the kids (shhhh- they don’t know about it yet)….
6. For inspiration, I dug up this old (very bad hair day photo) of a peacock I sculpted using edible foodstuffs. The armature was made of rabbit carcass and a roasted turkey breast before I laid a vinegar based dough over it and fire torched the thing, then molding it to look like this. It originally sat on top of aspic neatly decorated with flower petal designs before somebody decided to move my piece in the walk in and I discovered an ugly pile of liquid crapped on my perfectly ruined aspic the following day. Thanks anonymous person who ruined my aspic two years ago…I don’t know who you are- but you should be getting one of these bottles coming in your direction very soon. Karma’s a Bitch. See bottle below.

7. Last but not least. If you get one of these bottles gifted to you this holiday season, you know you’ve been a little naughty this year. P.S. They’re sold at big chain liquor stores and Whole Foods Market nationwide.

That’s about it for today! I hope ya’ll are ready for Christmas! The one thing I didn’t get a chance to get is a furry red sweater with reindeer and snowflakes. Still shopping for one of those cooky sweaters. Where to buy a Cooky Christmas Sweater Guide coming very soon! Happy December Everyone!!

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Filed under Dining with Outlaws, Holidays, Hot on the Blog

Favorite Moments: How to Eat Your Favorite Thanksgiving Pie

May I introduce my little pumpkin pie, the ultimate fan favorite Thanksgiving dessert?! Some lifetime memories were made late last night after we devoured two rounds of turkey and glazed ham married with my new kimchi sofrito recipe. Afterwards- we were greeted by the inevitable delectable pumpkin pie, who sat next to a perfect pecan pie. They were both pinched long before dessert time of course. But who can blame a room full of overstuffed adults and children? Not me….and I certainly couldn’t say no to anyone asking for more whipped cream…Hope you had fun with yours, because we certainly did!

Hello Pumpkin Pie

Hello Pecan Pie.

Hello Gorgeous!

Me: Show everyone how to eat pie Daniel, Mommy’s taking pictures with my iPhone!

Daniel: Ok….

Daniel takes his FIRST bite of pumpkin pie, EVER.

Daniel: How was that Mommy?

Me: You didn’t smile. :( Can you smile for me?

Daniel: Ok, take another picture…CHEESE!!!!!!

Me: That’s such a fake smile Daniel! Ugh- just eat your pie then.

Daniel: Ok.

Daniel: (silent thoughts) This pie sucks. I’m bored. Thanksgiving sucks.

Daniel: (silent thoughts) I’m sooooo bored……

Daniel: (silent thoughts) At least it’s better than more turkey and veggies!

Daniel: (silent thoughts) I wonder if it tastes any different if I cut it into pieces?

Daniel: (silent thoughts) One more piece to go and then I’ll know. Nothing better than pie with whipped cream…yay!

Daniel: Oh no! I’m out of whipped cream!!!!!!!! MOMMY!!!!!! There’s no more whipped cream! :(

Me: You mean this? You want more?

Daniel: Yay! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Me: Here you go gorgeous! On second thought- do you want to try a big bite of whipped cream?

Daniel: Huh? On my fork?

Me: No. Just open wide!!

Daniel: Um, ok.

Daniel: AH.

Alex: (in the background) Hey what are you doing to Daniel?

Me: You want some too Alex?

Alex: Hey- what are you doing with that thing in my face!!!

Me: Just say Ah- look! It’s really yummy…

Alex: (giggles)

Me: Ok- who’s next? Mozie!!!!

Mozie: I don’t think so. Get that device away from my furry face! (jumps off the couch and hides)

And Daniel takes the last big bite before we’re off to sweet dreams….

Daniel: Mommy, can I tell you something? I had so much fun today! I love you very very much Mommy.

Me: I love you more my little black beauty.

Fireworks sparked off somewhere in the distant sky before we were gently swept away into a dreamy landscape with magical unicorns and fairies…

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Filed under Favorite Moments, Holidays, Hot on the Blog, November 2012, Uncategorized

Patjuk, a vegan Winter Solstice Food

 

On Donjinal (December 22): Patjuk, a red bean porridge is cooked and eaten throughout Korea. It’s popularity stems from the seasonal scarcity of fresh meat and vegetables as a mid-winter food which eventually sustained as an entire meal minus all the side dishes one would normally consume during other seasons.

A popular mysterious belief is that the food drives evil spirits away, brings good harvest in the coming months, and of course good luck. It is typically served with glutinous rice flour cakes formed into small balls that resemble a quail’s egg.

I tweaked my recipe from the traditional method by incorporating cooked rice instead of using raw grain rice to cook the porridge. After all- tis the holidays and less work means more time for other things!

Ingredients

1 cup dry red beans

1 cup cooked medium grain glutinous rice

100 grams glutinous rice flour

6 tablespoons boiling water

1 teaspoons salt

6-8 cups water

Directions

Soak red beans overnight in a medium bowl with water (about 3-4 cups) to cover. Drain water before use.

Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Add red beans and allow to cook for about an hour uncovered on a simmer.

Stir in cooked rice, season with salt and pepper and cook for an additional 45 minutes to an hour on a simmer. Mash with a potato masher and stir in steamed rice cakes.

The beauty of this dish is that you can buy your rice cakes instead of making them yourself (which is a labor of love in itself). If you’re like me, you’ve made the rice cakes a few weeks in advance and stored them in the freezer. They’re actually very easy to make, and shouldn’t take longer than 15-20 minutes total prep and cooking time.

Combine salt and flour.

Have your boiling water handy and stir in one tablespoon at a time. Your dough shouldn’t be too mushy or too dry.

Knead your dough for about 5 minutes. Form into small quail size balls and steam them for about 15 minutes until they are completely cooked through. The center should be moist, not dry.

Transfer rice cakes into red bean porridge and serve with kimchi or other banchan on the side. You can also enjoy this on its own!

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Filed under December 2011, Holidays, Hot on the Blog, Korean Food at Home, Red Bean Porridge

Feast of the Seven Veggies: Celebrating One Year of Meatless Monday!

Being Korean born and growing up in the US was aberrant when the timely holidays rolled in. Korean holidays are virtually desolate here. My initial Thanksgiving culinary traditions began at fourteen years of age, with the help of a Betty Crocker cookbook purchased at Woolworth’s in Flushing, Queens.

I cooked my first holiday dinner for my parents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. The dishes served were mashed potatoes with gravy, buttermilk biscuits, and stuffed turkey.

Here’s my grownup version of mashed potatoes: Potato gratin. Looking back, I can’t recall serving any green vegetables that year. The tradition continued well into my twenties, where I explored traditional American holiday foods married with my Korean heritage which translated as kimchi on the side.

Patjuk is typically served as a Winter solstice food in Korea (one of very few major Korean holidays).

When I eventually married an Italian American, an entire continent of food emerged and I finally discovered how to enjoy seasonal dishes which included lots of fresh local tomatoes, fresh herbs, and really good cheese. I learned how to adjust my salt in salads according to the season, and pasta went far beyond spaghetti and meatballs. I became versed in fixing up marinara sauce discerning contrasting characteristics between marinara and Sunday sauce. Lasagna had been discovered long before the marriage of two cultures- (I have to credit myself for having perfected it thanks to a handy old copy of a NY Times cookbook I picked up from the Piermont library when I was a teen). In short, I spent the last six years exploring this new and exciting cuisine, discovering porcini mushrooms, risotto, cavetelli, pesto, and an endless repertoire of recipes from family members and cookbooks. I finally began cooking the green vegetables during this time. Our typical holidays included a marriage (literal) of Koreans and Italians. Whether it was Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. It was Italian food with kimchi as its co-star.

Kimchi & soy pajeon, zucchini pajeon.

Cooking Korean food at home meant, there was much tweaking which led to the creation of newly adapted dishes for my big Italian family. I eventually became so involved in cooking that spending six hours in the kitchen seemed conventional and acceptable. To outsiders, it may have looked like I was absolutely manic about food- that’s because I was! I loved food so much that I enrolled into culinary school to really hone my kitchen skills and became a professional chef.

Roasted beets with red onion and champagne vinaigrette.

Last year, I discovered Meatless Monday and when I was asked to submit a holiday post for Food2.com, I ventured into my old handy Betty Crocker cookbook for advise and cooked up American classics with a twist. It was the beginning of a year-long relationship with seasonal vegetables. Here’s a seasonal roasted root vegetables dish: (purple potatoes, heirloom sweet potato, chippolini onions, garlic) below:

This holiday season celebrates my one-year anniversary with going Meatless one day a week! I cooked up a Christmas dinner starring Korean food served up as the Feast of the Seven Veggies! It’s my Korean version of the classic Italian Christmas Eve supper. Christmas for Koreans has become more popularized in recent years and they have a special name for it (seongtanjeol). I made seven main dishes, with matching seven side dishes (banchan) for this special occasion. Some traditional recipes originated from the Royal kitchens of the Joseon Dynasty in Korea. It was a labor of love- the nine delicacies in Gujeolpan were  a tad bit time consuming.

I suggest if you’re going to try this at home, give yourself a few days to make the dinner. Start with Gujeolpan, use the leftover veggies to make japchae, cook your vegetables ahead of time and marinade and dress them right before consumption.  When the feast is finished, you can have the leftover banchan in a mixed rice bowl (bibimbap) the following day.

No dinner is ever complete without a hot spicy soup at the end! Spicy tofu soups and stews are an absolute food staple made with gochugaru, tofu, and garlic, this version includes kimchi.

Here are the seven Korean style side dishes I made!

Acorn Starch Jelly…looks like jello, sort of tastes like jello- except it’s 100% vegan!

Assorted mushrooms with crushed sesame seeds…

Baby Bok Choy with perilla seeds and sesame oil…

Mung bean sprouts…

Braised Korean peppers with garlic…

Marinated spinach…

What kind of Korean meal is complete without kimchi?! None!

For dessert, I made Songpyeon. A sweet and savory rice cake. It’s typically served up during Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving according to the Lunar calendar). I’m currently working on finishing up a round up of all the dishes I’ve conjured up this past year for a vegetarian cookbook! Recipes are coming shortly, stay tuned…

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Filed under December 2011, Holidays, Hot on the Blog, Korean Food at Home, Meatless Mondays

Meatless Monday: Thanksgiving Dinner Edition

If you’re not in the mood to chow down on a turkey this year, or simply want to, well, trim down a bit on all the trimmings, try going Meatless on Thanksgiving. Worried you’ll miss the meat? I put together a menu replete with super easy, super fast and super delicious vegetarian recipes that won’t have you missing that holiday bird one bit.
Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Herbed Aioli Vegetable Platter 
Serves 4-6 persons as an appetizer

Ingredients
Vegetables:
1 bunch small California carrots, peeled, sliced and blanched
2 cups cauliflower florets, blanched
1 large fennel, trimmed and cut into batons and blanched
1 cup fingerling potatoes, boiled until tender, and peeled
½ cup pickled vegetables (I used pickled peppers)
1 cup white asparagus, peeled, trimmed and blanched
1 cup fresh radish, quartered

Herbed Aioli:
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of water
1 cup canola oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoons fresh dill
salt

Directions
Make your basic mayonnaise combining egg yolks and lemon juice with a whisk in a large bowl. When the egg yolk emulsifies (turns into a nice pale yellow color), drizzle in canola oil, very slowly. Adjust thickness with a drop of water and stir in garlic and fresh dill. Serve with cooked and fresh vegetables!

TIP: Use the aioli vegetable scraps to cook yourself a nice vegetable stock instead of buying one from the store for the next recipe!

Stuffed Cabbage
Yields 6 Servings 

Ingredients
1 medium head of Savoy cabbage, about 10-12 leaves peeled and trimmed
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup oats soaked in water for 8-10 hours
1 cup adzuki beans soaked in water for 8-10 hours
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt

Directions
In a medium saucepot, place oil and shallots and allow to cook in a low simmer until translucent. Add vegetable stock, oats and beans. Cook uncovered stirring often for about 45 minutes in medium to low heat.
Place two tablespoons of oats and beans mixture inside a cabbage leaf, and fold into an envelope so it looks like an egg roll. Repeat steps for the remainder of cabbage.

Place inside a bamboo steamer and steam until cabbage is tender for about 12-15 minutes.

Creamy White Asparagus with Porcini Mushrooms 
Yields 4-6 servings as a side dish

Ingredients
½ cup dried porcini mushrooms, hydrated in water for an hour
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups white asparagus, trimmed, sliced and blanched
½ cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
In a medium skillet, melt butter and add porcini mushrooms and asparagus. Saute for about two minutes in medium heat. Deglaze with heavy cream and allow liquid to reduce by half (about 5 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Grape Tomato and Fava Bean Salad
Yields 4-6 servings as a side dish

Ingredients
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup fava beans, blanched and peeled
1 medium avocado, chopped
½ small red onion, finely chopped
juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Combine vegetables in a medium bowl. Stir in lemon and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. You can make a lemon vinaigrette or just spoon in the juice and oil.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
Yields 4-6 servings as a side dish

Ingredients
2 cups brussels sprouts, outer leaves peeled and center halved
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Blanche halved brussels sprouts in boiling water and cool in an ice bath. In a medium skillet, place 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brussels sprout leaves. Allow leaves to slightly caramelize, cooking for about two minutes on high heat. Remove, set aside and repeat steps for the halved brussels sprouts.

Mustard Greens and Gruyere Cheese Casserole
Yields 6 servings

Ingredients
2 bunches of mustard greens, blanched
2 cups grated gruyere cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped

Directions
Place cooked mustard greens in a casserole dish lined with two tablespoons of heavy cream. Layer in mustard greens, top with grated cheese forming about 4-5 layers of vegetable and cheese. Pour in heavy cream.

Mix bread crumbs with olive oil and stir in dill. Top casserole with bread crumb mixture and sprinkle a little more cheese. Place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

 Rina Oh is an artist, writer and chef and a Meatless Monday advocate. For the last year these Meatless Mondays recipes have appeared on Food2.com, a website that is owned and operated by Scripps Networks. These posts are copyrighted material and any photographs, illustrations or written material are forbidden to be used or reposted anywhere without permission. For more information on Meatless Monday, please visit meatlessmonday.com

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Filed under Holidays, Hot on the Blog, Meatless Mondays, November 2011, Rina's Food2 recipes

Meatless Monday: 3 Seasonal Vegetarian Sides

Food2 is jumping on board with Meatless Monday, an initiative to help reduce meat consumption for personal health and the health of the planet by going vegetarian for one day each week.

If you’re looking to squeeze some more vegetables into your life, try one of these easy, healthy sides featuring the best of winter produce.

Winter Vegetable Medley
Serves 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

8 cippolini onions, peeled
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 pound rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 head of fennel, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices lengthwise
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Toss vegetables with oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet, making sure not to overcrowd, and roast until tender and caramelized, 45 minutes to one hour.

Asian Mushrooms with Scallions
Serves 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions:

1. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add mushrooms, salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

2. Add soy sauce and scallions, and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove from heat and serve.

Silky Almond Mashed Potatoes
Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

3 large potatoes, washed, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dairy-free cheese (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place potatoes in a pot, and cover with water by two inches. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Strain potatoes, and transfer to a mixing bowl.

3. Add olive oil and salt, and mash until smooth. Slowly add almond milk and continue mashing to desired consistency.

4. Transfer to a casserole dish and spread dairy-free cheese on top, if using. Bake for 20 minutes, and serve immediately.

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Filed under Food2, Holidays, January 2011, Meatless Mondays, Rina's Food2 recipes

Meatless Monday: Lemony Potato Salad with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

Food2 is jumping on board with Meatless Monday, an initiative to help reduce meat consumption for personal health and the health of the planet by going vegetarian for one day each week.

Looking for an easy, portable lunch idea for the office? Try a main-dish salad. Served warm or cold, this budget-friendly meal is hearty enough to fill you up in the winter months, and requires only 15 minutes of hands-on time.

Lemony Potato Salad with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
Serves 6 as a main course

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

6 medium Idaho Potatoes, washed, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon fresh dill, coarsely chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 cup cooked or canned chick peas, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Toss potatoes with vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and dill.

3. Place potatoes on lined baking sheet, and roast in oven for 15 minutes, or until fork-tender. Remove potatoes from oven, transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.

4. Make vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, balsamic vinegar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

5. Add tomatoes and chickpeas to the bowl with the potatoes. Toss with vinaigrette, and serve.

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Filed under December 2010, Food2, Holidays, Hot on the Blog, Meatless Mondays, Rina's Food2 recipes

Meatless Monday: A Vegetarian Holiday Entree

Food2 is jumping on board with Meatless Monday, an initiative to help reduce meat consumption for personal health and the health of the planet by going vegetarian for one day each week.

Got a vegetarian on your holiday dinner guest list? Try a meatless meatloaf. This budget-friendly main dish only requires 30 minutes of hands-on time, so it could double as an easy weeknight dinner.

Meatless Meatloaf
Yields 4-6 servings

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

Meatloaf:
2 14-ounce packages firm tofu
4 slices bread, cut into 1/2- inch cubes
1 1/2 cups almond milk
Vegetable oil, for sautéing
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery powder
1 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Vegetable oil cooking spray

Topping:
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a loaf pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.

2. Strain tofu, and crumble with hands. Set in a sieve or colander for 15 minutes to allow excess water to run off. Soak bread in almond milk for 15 minutes.

3. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until they are translucent, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Add carrots and celery, and continue cooking until they are tender but still firm, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

4. Return skillet to stovetop. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat and add tofu. Cook until all liquid is evaporated. Add salt, soy sauce, garlic powder, celery powder and paprika. Remove from heat and add to mixing bowl with cooked vegetables. Add bread and almond milk mixture, paprika, ketchup, sesame oil, garlic, black pepper and parsley to bowl as well.

5. For the topping: In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients until sugar is dissolved.

6. Add meatloaf mixture to loaf pan, and press down firmly. Bake for 30 minutes, and then remove from oven and brush with topping. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Rina Oh is an artist, writer and chef and a Meatless Monday advocate. For the last year these Meatless Mondays recipes have appeared on Food2.com, a website that is owned and operated by Scripps Networks. These posts are copyrighted material and any photographs, illustrations or written material are forbidden to be used or reposted anywhere without permission. For more information on Meatless Monday, please visit meatlessmonday.com

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Filed under December 2010, Food2, Holidays, Hot on the Blog, Meatless Mondays, Rina's Food2 recipes