Friday, February 17, 2012

A Hill of Beans

Photo Credit
Blessed with the luxury of my own office, I have the freedom to jazz up my sometimes boring work day with some spicy Pandora or NPR fun. You can imagine my excitement when, yesterday, I heard that Tom Ashbrook would be spending an entire hour talk about beans on On Point. Seriously. I was pumped.

I totally heart beans. I love their many colors and flavors. The fact that they are a comparitively planet friendly source of protein. The nutritional punch that they pack at such a low cost. My husband? Not a fan. He does love hummus, and he will happily eat a sprinkling of cheese-smothered pinto beans hiding out in a quesadilla, but beyond that he begrudgingly chokes down any legume-based dish. For years (seriously) I just stopped cooking with beans. It was too much effort for such a depressing response. Lately, as I think more and more about nutrition for my growing 15 month old, I've been reacquainting myself with the bulk goods aisle at the local market, experimenting with lentils and soups, the message to said husband being: I think you can tough it out. He has, on occasion, remarked that a bowl of lentils was actually enjoyable. Progress! Encouraged, I've been wishing for a source of been information/inspiration, in hopes of drumming up more yummy recipes that can become regular EcoFoodie family fare.

Enter Crescent Dragonwagon, whose new cookbook looks as amazing as her name: Bean by Bean: A Cookbook: More than 200 Recipes for Fresh Beans, Dried Beans, Cool Beans, Hot Beans, Savory Beans...Even Sweet Beans! Seriously, Crescent? How did you read my mind? I just ordered a copy for a mere $9.95 and am already planning a pantry shelf stocked with a beautiful bean display. (Bonus: weekend trip the Container Store for some lovely glass jars!)

Bean-hating husband, watch out. I am going to convert you yet. And EcoFoodie readers, be on the look out for some new recipes and pictures of the beautiful bean station. What are your favorite bean recipes? Tips for working with dried beans?

Click here to listen to the On Point program with Dragonwagon. Happy Weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Winter Warmers

So, the predicted snow never came last weekend...and most afternoons this month have been warm enough for lengthy outings at the park...a reality that is both lovely (having a fifteen month old gives you a whole new perspective on cabin fever) and disturbing (it is Boston). It has definitely not been a typical winter (insert global warming debate here), but that doesn't mean that the nights aren't plenty chilly, leaving us all with cravings for hot, hearty suppers and steaming beverages.

While I've been doing plenty of cooking with my winter farmers market hauls, I've been a little lacking in the inspiration department--I continue to be obsessed with this quinoa dish, which I made a few weeks ago. So, I went searching for ideas and found these seasonal treats from Mark Bittman and Martha Rose Shulman, whose Recipes for Health are both gorgeous and easily adaptable. And, just for good measure, I've included a hot toddy recipe that a dear friend sent my way a while back.

Hope these help to warm your kitchen, your belly, and your heart. Happy eating!

Sauteed Shredded Winter Squash and Cabbage and a Winter Vegetable Gratin

Simmered Beet Greens with Roasted Beets, Lemon, and Yogurt

Root Veggie Recipes (and a lovely ode to some of the season's most under appreciated tubers)

Rock and Rye Toddy

and one from the EcoFoodie archives,

Savory Kale and Sweet Potato Pasta with Prosciutto

Friday, February 10, 2012

Reading for a Snowy Weekend

The weather people are all abuzz with talk of snow in Boston tomorrow, uncertain as to whether we'll get a little or a lot. Regardless of the inches, or of the weather wherever you are, the most recent issue of Kinfolk magazine makes for perfect weekend reading. It is new. It is gorgeous. It speaks to the countless joys and riches to be found in small, simple gatherings. And, as you might imagine, that most often centers around food. Both the photography and the writing are luxurious. Even my rather non-literary husband remarked on the loveliness of the images. As stated by the editors in their manifesto, "Every element of Kinfolk--the features, photography, and general aesthetics--are consistent with the way that we feel entertaining should be: simple, uncomplicated, and less contrived." Amen to that.

If you can't find a copy in your local bookstore, it's worth ordering one on line, which is what I did. Pair with a hot cup of coffee and a still warm bakery goody. Happy weekend!

Friday, February 3, 2012

That Friday Feeling

Hello, friends. Hope you've all had a fabulous week. After a whirlwind (amazing) trip to Hoboken last weekend and an appallingly busy week at work, I woke up this morning in search of that Friday feeling. You know the one. Your step is a little lighter on the way to the train. Your shoulders unscrunch and get loose. The buzz and hum of workaday worries begin to fade as your mind turns easily toward the weekend.

With the week I'm having, that Friday feeling probably won't show up until Saturday. But, in hopes that some of you can indulge in a few minutes of pre-weekend downtime today, I give you Edible Selby. A new collaboration between Todd Selby and the New York Times T Magazine, it might just be the most gorgeous food website I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot. From world famous chefs, to urban farmers, to ice cream makers, Selby has captured food artisans both at work and at home, and the result is lovely.

So here's a tiny sampler to get you started. And when you find yourself with a few free Friday minutes, go grab your coffee, your tea, your hot toddy (if only). Exhale. Enjoy.