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The Rancho Gordo Blog — Vegetarian>Vegan

Emily Nunn on Beans and Health

In the kitchen Misc Vegetarian>Vegan

Emily Nunn is one of my favorite writers. Her Comfort Food Diaries is a classic and her Twitter feed is essential reading. I asked her what she's thinking about beans and health for the new year. - Steve According to the food world, beans are having “a moment.” Well, pardon us, but beans—which are the world’s second most important food source, after grains/grasses— have been a mainstay in the Americas for centuries (and the Old World began cultivating and eating them about 10,000 years ago). There’s a very good reason for their longevity, too. Beans make the human body happy—and...

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Flageolet Salad with Lemon, Radishes, and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes.

Holiday at Rancho Gordo Holiday Cooking In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

A vegan salad to be enjoyed on its own or served with traditional Easter dishes. I don't think of Easter as an inspirtational meal but that's changing. I grew up with industrial hams in cans and lots of bad chocolate. I was invited to my friends' Easter celebration and when I heard that there'd be both ham and lamb, a lemony vegan side dish seemed in order. Raw, they have almost no taste. Roasted in a low oven, they become delicious jewels. It's clearly too early for good tomatoes but I've been craving them after the long winter, which seemed...

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Pepitas are Everything

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Misc Vegetarian>Vegan

I've always liked roasted pumpkin seeds, but I've mostly enjoyed them when they've "stayed in their lane," with dishes like pipian and Sikil Pak. Lately, I've been putting them on everything, and they add gravitas to the most boring dish that is remarkable. Buy the raw, shelled variety and then briefly pan roast them. A salad is an obvious new home but keep experimenting. I had some wild arugula from my CSA box. I added some cassoulet beans and olive oil and then topped the whole thing off with some pepitas. I couldn't have been happier. You need to be...

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Guest Post: Julia's Preserved Meyer Lemon Relish

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Misc Vegetarian>Vegan

The two Meyer lemon trees in our backyard went crazy this winter. My family has been enjoying the harvest in every way that we can, and handing them out to friends by the bushel. (Okay, I don't actually know what a bushel is, but thought it sounded cool and homestead-y.) When we are rich in Meyer lemons, I usually make a batch of preserved lemons using a method that a friend shared with me, which came from her Persian family recipe vault. They are super secretive about the recipe—she's one of my best friends and I had to pry it...

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Experiments with Garbanzos, Spinach and Smoked Paprika

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

There was about a cup of garbanzos and a cup of their broth sitting in the refrigerator. I was starving. Well, quite hungry. I added some frozen spinach, olive oil and a teaspoon of our new Smoked Spanish Pimenton Paprika. Once heated through, a drizzle of my best olive oil and a scant squeeze of lemon. Holy cow. There was a moment when I thought to add some rendered pancetta for body and substance but I didn't feel like dirtying another pan. Hush! I'm confessing. I will say there was no need to worry. The pimenton adds a little smokiness...

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Welcome Back, Lila. I Love You.

In the Press Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

Welcome Back, Lila. I Love You.

Sometimes you don't need a lot of words. That's how it is with me and Lila.

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Hummus to Start the Meal

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

I've said this over and over but when you have something out for your guests to eat and drink, you can mostly take your time with the rest of the food. My favorite hummus recipe is easy and lately I've been topping it with ground lamb and pine nuts, but a few olives on the edge of the plate and a good drizzle of olive oil are just as good. I've been getting my tahini online from Soom Foods and it's so much easier to work with than a bottle or can from the grocery store that has been sitting...

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White Bean, Kale and Tahini Dip

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

Leftovers are my best friends. I had made white beans and kale the previous night, and there was about a cup left. Before you ask me for the recipe, it's beans and cooked kale. That's it. I added some tahini and lemon juice and pureed it with an immersion blender, and then I had this wonderful dip, but not before adding a healthy dose of really good extra virgin olive oil. I would have called this White Bean Hummus, but I don't know if there is such a thing and I know how offended I am by creative martini drinks...

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It's Time for the Great Summer Salads

In the kitchen Vegetarian>Vegan

This one: Cooked cactus paddles (nopales) radishes corn off the cob Yellow Indian Woman beans oven roasted tomatoes Rancho Gordo wild rice Banana vinegar extra virgin olive oil thyme The best tomatoes are "in season" but if you're in a bind, take romas and cut them in half. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and fresh thyme over them and slowly cook them in a low oven, about 275F for an hour or two. Need some help with the nopales after foraging?

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My Favorite Green Just Might Be Dandelions (Especially With Beans)

Clay pot cooking In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

There's not much original about loving beans and greens. They're a natural combination. The greens are fresh and healthy, and if I have my way, a little bitter. They are offset by the creamy, indulgent beans. My grocery store carries them in their organic section. I hope yours does, too. You can always ask the produce manager to bring them in if they don't already. I don't tend to see them at the farmers markets. They are considered a weed. I normally just saute a little onion and garlic in olive oil to start but I had a fennel bulb...

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Easy Beans in a Slow Cooker

In the kitchen Misc Vegetarian>Vegan

Two relatively recent books on slow cookers have inspired me to dust mine off. I go through periods where I am enchanted but often the results are a murky mess. Both Hugh Acheson's The Chef and the Slow Cooker and Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker are solid and deserving of your attention. In the end, I think you can justify buying a slow cooker just for making beans. These books take it one step further. You put in the beans, unsoaked if they are Rancho Gordo, a little onion, some garlic and maybe a spoonful of olive oil. That's it. You...

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Herb-Steamed Potatoes and New Olive Oil

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

By chance, I discovered that steaming new potatoes gave them a superior texture. They weren't water-logged and since I have a big steaming pot, this technique was easier. I've also steamed russets and the jackets come off with no effort. As an aside, steamed hard-cooked eggs are done in 14 minutes and much easier to peel. David Tanis has a recipe in his book One Good Dish. The potatoes aren't cooked in a separate steamer but the idea is similar. I copied his idea of using fresh herbs but I put them right in the water and then placed the...

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