Basic Bean Recipe

Basic Bean Recipe

For the longest time, I didn't bother to cook my own beans (and still often end up reaching for a can at times) despite people telling me how far superior home cooked beans are. I'm not great at planning meals ahead, and was always bound to have last minute plans come up the day after setting beans to soak on my counter. The notion that I had to remember to soak beans and then be sure I was home to cook them was more than I could deal with. And yet, everyone really was right. Home cooked beans are outrageously good.

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Spicy Cauliflower Soup

Spicy Cauliflower Soup

Somehow through the magic of soup alchemy, a few veggies, chopped onion and herbs turn into something so deeply delicious. I sautéed onion, carrot and lots of spices, then added a head of cauliflower, water and broth. After just 10 minutes of prep my dinner was simmering on the stove and I was advocating for our programs to a funder. After 40 minutes or so, dinner was ready - warm and satisfying. Cheap and easy. It was the perfect weeknight meal, with lots of leftover for lunches.

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Chicken Soup with an Egg

Chicken Soup with an Egg

One of my favorite food bloggers posted this non-recipe that I would not have normally given a second thought, except  I was desperate for something quick and satisfying. The short ingredient list was truly underwhelming, until I realized it made me something so deeply satisfying. This is now my go-to quick lunch or dinner, perfect when you're sick or feel like you have nothing in the house to eat.

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Burnt Eggplant with Tahini

Burnt Eggplant with Tahini

A friend of the garden, Caroline, dared me to eat eggplant every day on my trip, a challenge I gladly accepted. The eggplant in both countries was staggeringly good and it tasted like something, like its own beautiful eggplant flavor, rather than the bland sponge it is often relegated to here. There, the eggplant is king, treated with respect, coaxed from its shiny skin into super stardom. We ate it rolled around chunks of feta and lightly braised in tomato sauce. In Tel Aviv they would split it down the middle, leaving the stem in tact to hold it together, and drizzled with a nutty tahini sauce.

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Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

I heard something recently about the emotional memory wrapped up in smell, and how through cooking we can bring emotions to the table simply through scent (this was in a recent episode of the excellent Netflix documentary Chef's Table). For me, basil immediately jogs memories of summer - grilled corn, deep joy, and warm lazy breezes. Even as gloomy Bay Area summer is upon us, sniffing a fresh bunch of basil transports me away from thick fog to somewhere warmer where the pace is slower.

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Cookbooks for Gardeners

Cookbooks for Gardeners

This time of year I pull a few of my favorite cookbooks off the shelf and read them before bed, dreaming of what I'll grow this year. Every chef writes, "a dish is only as good as its ingredients", and plucking something from your ground into your kitchen is the freshest and best ingredient you can find. 

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Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Along making spring rolls I made a fairly traditional noodle salad, but added some grilled eggplant to give it more heft. The sauce is similar to a spring roll dipping sauce - very tangy and bright, with lots of lime juice and fish sauce. The chopped, fresh herbs (and many of them) make this salad so flavorful and complex. I look forward to making this in the weeks and months to come, changing up things here and there, and making plenty of leftovers for a great lunch.

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Brussels Sprouts + Squash with Dried Cranberries and Dijon Vinaigrette

Brussels Sprouts + Squash with Dried Cranberries and Dijon Vinaigrette

It was one of those perfect moments - a crisp fall day when the light is just right. That day, Get Up! student Leia brought this delicious roasted veggie dish that is the perfect embodiment of fall food. This would be a great addition to your holiday table, work lunches, or weeknight dinners. Enjoy and feel grateful for the bounty our gardens provide.

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Seasonal Grain Salads

Seasonal Grain Salads

This is the best kind of picnic food, hearty and easy to transport. It's what I made when I took Get Up! and needed a healthy and satisfying lunch for a group. It's great for dinner at home with leftovers for lunch. It could even be a great side at Thanksgiving, especially if for whatever reason you had to, gasp, forgo the stuffing.

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Green Beans with Almond Pesto

Green Beans with Almond Pesto

The GFE garden is bursting with our own summer crops - the classic lettuces, radishes and squash, but also basil (in the inner sunset! - we're pretty proud). Our bush & pole bean production is in overdrive and we have to harvest them diligently to encourage the plant to keep producing. I brought home a bag one day and found a recipe for blanched green beans with an almond pesto. 

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Hibiscus Iced Tea

Hibiscus Iced Tea

While it almost looks like rose petals, this tea is cultivated from the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower, and is popular all over the world. I've been steeping some of the dried flowers in cold water, overnight in the fridge. What results is a deep red tea, the most beautiful color, that is slightly tart and really delicious. You can sweeten it to your taste, and I like to add some sparking water to make it extra refreshing.

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