Category Archives: Holiday Recipes

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Some Much-Needed Luck for 2021

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Today I offer you a different twist on a must-have traditional dish for January 1: Curried Black-Eyed Peas. In the Southern United States, to eat black-eyed peas with greens on New Year’s Day is considered a culinary talisman to bring good luck and good fortune in the coming year. Sadly, the dish is thought to have been brought to the US from West Africa through the slave trade, but it survives today as a symbol of hoped-for fortune and abundance to come—and because it’s delicious.

Although my previous black-eyed pea recipes reflect Southern cooking, I decided to add a new twist to this celebratory dish and offer you a version that reflects traditional Ayurvedic cooking through a mélange of spices. You can decide whether the dish packs a hot punch or is simply flavorful with the artful use of spices.

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Thanksgiving Sides Your Guests Will Never Forget!

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For vegetarians and vegans, Thanksgiving is all about the traditional mouth-watering side dishes, and of course, I’m all about making them as healthy as they are delicious!

Today I’ll point to all of my favorite holiday sides and introduce you to a new recipe: Reimagined Green Bean Casserole.

When I was young, in the ’50s and ’60s, cooking for convenience was all the rage, and there was no cornucopia of fresh vegetables readily available in grocery stores. I can’t fault my mother for her frozen spinach with canned mushroom soup—though just the thought of it now makes me cringe! Even then, I had no taste for such food. I learned to love vegetables only when I began cooking with my college roommate, Ellen Brock, who grew up picking fresh veggies out of her mother’s garden.

But there was nothing wrong with the idea behind my in-laws’ green bean casserole with canned mushroom soup and canned onion rings. The potential is there for a great dish. I invite you to expand your culinary imagination with this recipe.

This Reimagined Green Bean Casserole is a vegan and gluten-free dish made with fresh ingredients: green beans, caramelized onions, fresh almond milk (if available), fresh ginger, and shiitake mushrooms

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All Things Pumpkin…continued!

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Have I told you that I love fresh pumpkin  (see Spiced Pumpkin Pound Cake)? As the holiday season moves toward its peak, what can be better than a fresh Puréed Pumpkin Soup. The markets are still filled with sugar pumpkins, the sweet edible pumpkins used for pumpkin pies and all things pumpkin.

Pumpkin, like squash, is one of the favored foods of Ayurveda because it is so easy to digest. It’s ideal for vata and pitta. For watery kapha, it’s still fine if balanced with warming spices. I’ve chosen cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and fresh ginger—

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Auspicious New Beginnings with Black-Eyed Peas!

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Ask any Southerner how to start the new year in the most auspicious way, and they won’t even blink before naming a bowl of Hoppin’ John or some other version of peas and greens—like this vegetarian Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collards! Serving such a dish on New Year’s Day is thought to bring good luck because long ago black-eyed peas reminded someone of coins. The greens are said to bring prosperity because greens are associated with green cash. If you enjoy food history, you can read more about this legend at Southern Living  and Epicurious.

My Black-Eyed Pea Soup is filling because of the generous proportion of peas, and it is made even more satisfying by the addition of butternut squash, a favorite winter vegetable. If you serve this soup over rice, like a traditional Hoppin’ John, you will need little (if anything!) else at your New Year’s Day table.

How can you make your New Year’s Day even more auspicious?

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