Amy Chaplin’s At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen

I am in love with my new cookbook: Amy Chaplin’s At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well (2014). This is the sort of food that forms a large part of my day-to-day diet, and I am excited to make that part even larger. Pictured is our first meal: An eggless sweet corn tofu “frittata” with roasted cherry tomato compote.  IMG_5748

IMG_5745 And meal #2) spicy chickpea stew and quinoa pilaf with golden raisins and pistachios. It’s been a while since I’ve had quinoa. I always will love my brown basmati rice, but quinoa is a great substitute. I’m determined to use a larger variety of grains in the coming year.IMG_5770 IMG_5753I believe our third dish from Chaplin’s wonderful book was our best yet: spicy black bean stew with crispy sweet corn polenta and tomatillo avocado salsa. We loved everything about this meal, from the bean stew to the salsa to the polenta. Like the previous meal, this one reminds me also of the necessity to up the variety of foods I use—in this case, beans. I’m so used to eating chickpeas and lentils that I often forget to incorporate other legumes into my day-to-day diet. But these black beans are superb.


IMG_5812And last but certainly not least: one more from Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s Jerusalem. I finally cooked a leg of lamb. Exciting (And so good!).

Recipes #21-#23, Jerusalem

Below are three festive dishes from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem. They represent my 21st-23rd completed dishes from this cookbook. IMG_5634Recipe #21) Roasted chicken with artichoke and lemon. A fairly solid dish, although the lemon peel was a bit overwhelming — seemed a bit bitter. A very pretty presentation!


IMG_5637Recipe #22) Spicy beet, leek & walnut salad – This is my kind of food. An all-around beautiful dish. The pomegranate is extra good in this salad. 
IMG_5663Recipe #23) Tahini cookies – Here is the requisite holiday cookie. These are great little cookies and very easy to make. The tahini flavor is great – a little something unique but not too overwhelming.



The start of winter break, 2014-2015

IMG_5557Recipe #18) Swiss chard with tahini, yogurt, and buttered pine nuts – I’m back in Wisconsin for winter break, so expect some serious cooking. This swiss chard dish was our first dish (and my 18th out of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem). Greens are wonderful. Everyone should eat them. Every day.

IMG_5581Recipe #19) Poached chicken with sweet spiced cracked wheat – Unless I’m making a soup, I don’t usually think of poaching chicken. The technique used here of using the stock to cook the grain, however, is brilliant. The recipe called for freekeh, but we substituted cracked wheat.

IMG_5597Recipe #20) Burnt eggplant and couscous soup – We substituted regular whole-wheat couscous for the mograbieh (a giant type of couscous), and the result was a bit more porridge-like than we may have desired. But eggplant is eggplant, and eggplant is wonderful.



3-Course Dinner (Jerusalem-Themed)

IMG_5530 IMG_5531Recipe #15) Pureed beets with yogurt – This first-course dish is my 15th dish out of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook. This dish combines beets, garlic, red chile, Greek yogurt, date syrup (I substituted maple syrup), and olive oil. It’s topped with green onions, hazelnuts, and goat cheese. Such a beautiful presentation, I think.

IMG_5544 IMG_5547Recipe #16) Braised chicken thighs with apricots and currants – I’m becoming more and more adept at cooking meat. And the chicken thigh is quickly becoming my favorite piece of chicken (How could I have once favored the breast?!). The sweet fruit and the fennel are, for me, the stars of this main dish.

IMG_5526Recipe #17) Muhallabieh – This sweet milky dessert finished off this three-course meal. It also was the first dessert I attempted out of the Jerusalem cookbook. It was good but perhaps slightly too sweet for my tastes.



More from Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s Jerusalem: Shakshuka and Harissa


Recipe #13) Shakshuka – a wonderful way to cook eggs. This particular shakshuka is made of familiar flavors — tomatoes, red pepper, cumin, chili — but they seem deeper somehow, more concentrated.

IMG_5477Recipe #14) Harissa – I made this recipe, found in the “condiments” section of the book, for the shakshuka above, but I’m convinced it needs to be a staple in my diet.  According to the authors, harissa is a basic part of Tunisian cooking. It’s a wonderful hot chili paste, with red pepper, coriander, cumin, caraway, red onion, garlic, and, of course, chilies. The caraway is a brilliant addition.