Below are a few dishes I’ve made recently out of Amy Chaplin’s At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen. I was making the curry powder shown below while Winter Storm Juno raged outside, so I’ve included a photo of the snowy view outside my kitchen window as well. I’m especially in love with this curry, in part because I finally bought a spice grinder and have so much fun grinding spices now. I can say goodbye to the days spent grinding away with my mortar and pestle!
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.
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. I 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.
Recipe #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.
Recipe #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.
Recipe #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.
Recipe #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.
Recipe #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.
Recipe #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.