split pea + white bean chili

split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking

I am so excited to be back in this space, giving it some love after a little break to work on a super fun project that I will be sharing all the details on next week.

Because my workload has been full-force, I’ve being hygee-ing hard these past couple of deep winter weeks …..  if you’re not yet hip on hygee, it’s a Danish word that is used to describe all things cozy and comforting. A couple of months ago, when Michael and I went to Copenhagen, we decided to take a day trip to a quaint, lovely Danish city, Arhaus, a little over two hours from Copenhagen to visit my dear food friend, Sif. When we were there, Sif was so kind to give Michael and I a book that she loved and said was a great representation of Danish culture, and how they get through the very dark and cold winters, with a cheerful dispositions and big smiles on their faces. On the train ride back to Copenhagen, Michael and I thumbed through our gift, The Little Book of Hygee, and being the big-time homebodies that we are, we loved how this Danish word perfectly summed up living your best homebound winter life. It’s all about embracing those little comforts of home, the fireplace, the cozy blankets, the big mugs of warm tea, and the comfy stretchy pants.

Of course, for us especially, a big part about winter hygee is making food at home. Big bowls of simple, warming, delicious, comfort food. We also like to do this while taking minimal trips to the grocery store, which means keeping the pantry well-stocked with nutritious pulses such as lentils and beans. Recently I picked up some split peas to add to the pantry, and I was so excited to use them and make something beyond the typical split pea soup with ham. Split peas actually have a really wonderful texture similar to lentils when cooked, so I wanted to make something that emphasized that, instead of puréeing them like so many recipes do.

I have made chili with lentils before, I have also made it with white beans, but spilt peas I knew were going to be a refreshing way to make an easy, comforting bowl of this spicy goodness. Plus, why do darker beans get to have all the fun when it comes to chili? One of my favorite things about this chili is the contrast in texture between the spilt pea and the white bean, and with a little bit of spice and kick, it is the best kind of food to make when you are in full-on hygee mode.  

 

*This post is sponsed by sponsored by USA Pulses + Pulse Canada. Visit PulsePledge.com for more recipes and information. Thanks for supporting the brands that support what’s cooking good looking!

split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking
split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking
split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking
split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking
split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking

SPLIT PEA + WHITE BEAN CHILI

SERVES
4

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons of ghee or olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 poblanos, de-seeded and diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
14.5oz can of organic canned cannellini beans, drained
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
½ teaspoon of chili powder
¼ teaspoon of ground cumin
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of dried green split peas
4 cups of vegetable, chicken, or bone broth
sea salt

for the cilantro yogurt (optional):
1 cup of plain greek yogurt (cashew or almond milk yogurt if you prefer)
2 green onions, white parts minced (green parts reserved as a garnish for the soup)
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of lime juice (or lemon)
a handful of cilantro, coarsely chopped

additional toppings: sliced avocado and the reserved green scallions

 

METHOD

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the ghee or oil over medium heat and add the onions, and poblanos. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the poblanos are soft. Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes. Add the cannellini beans, coriander, cumin, and cook while stirring for about 1 minute. Then add the spilt peas, vegetable broth. Give it a good stir, bring it to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cook partially covered for about 30-40 minutes. The chili should start to reduce and thicken, and the spilt peas will become tender. Taste and add salt if needed (this will depend on how salty your broth is, and it might not be necessary).

While the chili is cooking, make the cilantro yogurt by stirring together all the ingredients for the yogurt in a small bowl. 

Divide the chili amongst bowls and add a spoonful of the cilantro yogurt and any other toppings you like. 

salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce

salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking

If you've come over to my place for dinner in the past few months, it is likely that I've made this for you. It's been one of my favorite recipes for both small and large dinner parties, mainly because this is something you can make for eight people as easily as you can for one. But also because it has a fancy feel to it with out of control flavors. Actually, I will let you in on a little secret. What I really do is make this for myself, and make a double batch of the caraway paste (which is the base of the sauce) while in my comfy pants binge watching netflix. Then, when I make this for a dinner party, it's that much easier to throw it all together. 

I stumbled on this recipe several months ago when I had an unusual craving for salmon + spicy tomato sauce ..... so, of course, I did what you do when a specific craving comes on ...... I googled salmon and spicy tomato sauce. I came across a recipe on bon appétite that was exactly what I was looking for. After carefully reading through the instructions, I noticed that it was an Ottolenghi recipe. Of course it is. That is why it looked so flavorful and so delicious. I have so many internet recipes bookmarked, some I come back to more than once, but there are very few that I revisit over and over. This is one of those recipes. 

The thing that is great about this dish, is that this spicy tomato sauce can be paired with ANYthing. If you don't like salmon, or it's not in season, you can use a white fish. If you are a vegetarian, you can make this with cauliflower or broccoli. I cannot think of a fish/veg/meat that this would not go well with. You can make the caraway/garlic flavor bomb paste in advance, or, do what I do and make a double batch each time you make this, store it in the fridge, and then you can quickly throw this together in under 30 minutes. One more bonus is that this uses tomato paste, and only tomato paste to make the tomato sauce. I was kind of skeptical, since I do not really understand or love tomato paste. Mostly because when a recipe calls for a tablespoon of it, I put the rest in the fridge and find it months later, way in the back, moldy, and into the trash it goes. I bet that you've throw out a jar or two of half-used tomato paste too. This is a recipe that you can make to use up that half-filled jar of tomato paste, or if you're opening a new jar to make this, I bet it won't be long before you make this again and use up the rest. 

salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking

salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce 

This recipe is adapted from THIS recipe on Bon Appétit by Ottolenghi. If you do not like salmon, or it is not available, you can use a white fish. A thicker version would be best, such as halibut. If you are a vegetarian, you can switch out the fish for cauliflower or broccoli. The method for cooking the vegetable would be pretty much the same as described here for the fish. Lastly, you can make the caraway/garlic paste in advance, and store it in the fridge until you're ready to use. 

SERVES
2-4

INGREDIENTS

for the caraway / garlic paste:
1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons of paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
about 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil

2-4 8oz pieces of wild salmon
sea salt + pepper
about 3 tablespoons of sunflower (high-heat, neutral) oil


2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 cup of filtered water
a pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of sugar

optional toppings: a couple of minced scallions, a handful of chopped cilantro, a handful of microgreens

NOTES on serving: I always serve this with quinoa or rice on the side, since it asborbs the sauce nicely. 

METHOD

First, make the caraway / garlic paste:

  • Toast the caraway seeds for a couple of minutes on low heat in a dry frying pan. Grind the seeds using a mortal and pestle or a spice grinder, until FINELY ground (if using a mortal and pestle, this takes a bit of elbow grease).  
  • Add the ground caraway to a food processor,  along with the garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon, and pulse a few times until combined. Add in the sunflower oil and run continuously until a thick paste has formed. Set aside until you're ready to use. You can make this paste ahead of time and keep it in the fridge in an air-tight container for at least a week (maybe two). 

Sear the salmon:

  • Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large cast iron over medium high heat (the pan should be hot enough so that the salmon sizzles when it hits the pan).  Add the salmon, skin side up, and cook for two minutes, flip, and then cook for about three minutes. Transfer the salmon to a plate while you cook the tomato sauce. 

Make the sauce, and finish cooking the salmon:

  • Using the same pan and oil you just cooked the salmon in, add another tablespoon of the oil and lower the heat to medium low. Add the caraway garlic paste and cook for about two minutes, while stirring, until fragrant. 
  • Add the tomato paste and water and stir until everything is combined. Add the salt, lemon juice, and sugar, and stir again. Lastly, add the salmon back to the pan. Cover, and cook for 4 minutes (for medium rare) or 8 minutes (for medium well). Serve immediately with any of the suggested toppings. 

 

raspberry chipotle chocolate truffles

chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking

 

The holiday season is already in full swing here in nyc. There are christmas trees for sale on many of the street corners in my neighborhood, holiday music is playing everywhere, and there are several parties to attend every week. We picked out and decorated our tree this past weekend, we have the harry connnick jr holiday pandora station on continuously, I dusted off my pine tree scented candles, and I feel like I am living in a state of overindulgent exhaustion.

I don't necessarily mind the overindulgence this time of year, as long as I can balance it out with healthy indulgence in the form of warm salads, soups, and smoothies. Oh, and maybe a health-ish dessert thrown in there too. 

Dessert feels like the first and best place to make a healthier switch during the holidays, and each year I try to come up with a couple of recipes that I can make for us or bring to a party to lessen the dairy, gluten, and sugar load just a little. Last year I made THIS pie which I cannot wait to make again. This year, I am adding in these very easy to make 3-ish ingredient truffles, with Tabasco's raspberry chipotle hot sauce to give them a sweet little zing. I have always been into making super easy truffles, and I love it when chocolate-y things have a spicy kick to them, so this seems like the perfect treat to add to my repertoire this winter. 

This really delicious raspberry chipotle hot sauce by Tabasco is a must-have for your fridge! Especially if you're like me and you love when sweet gets together with spicy. This would go so well with so many things (I am thinking dessert, swirled into some vanilla ice cream), and would also make a great stocking stuffer. You can only find it online, but you can easily order a bottle of your own HERE.

**This post is sponsored by TABASCO, in conjunction with the #TABACSOtastemakers trip. All thoughts are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who support WCGL! 

chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking

raspberry chipotle chocolate truffles 

If you want to make these truffles and you do not have the raspberry chipotle sauce handy, you can simply omit it, and add a couple of extra pinches of cayenne (if you still want a spicy kick). 

MAKES
about 2 dozen truffles

INGREDIENTS

12oz of 70-80% dark chocolate, cut into chunks
1 cup of canned full-fat coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
a dash of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of Tabasco raspberry chipotle hot sauce
a pinch or two of chipotle or cayenne (optional, if you want an extra kick)

toppings: 
2 tablespoons of cacao powder
a tablespoon of gogi or pomegranate powder (optional)


METHOD

  • In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk over low heat and add the chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate has completely melted. Add the salt, cinnamon, and raspberry chipotle sauce and stir to incorporate. 
  • Remove from the heat and immediately transfer to small baking dish (I like to use a loaf pan). Refrigerate for a minimum of three hours, over overnight, until the mixture has solidified. 
  • Place the cacao powder, and any of the additional toppings (if you choose), onto a flat plate. Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop the chocolate to form the truffles, roll them between the palm of your hands to make a smooth ball shape, and place them on the plate with the cacao and roll it in the cacao until covered. Do this until all of the truffles have been formed. 
  • Place them back into the fridge for another 3 hours, minimum, or until you're ready to enjoy. Keep refrigerated in an air-tight container.

 

harissa + coconut milk baked delicata squash with lentils + toasted almonds

roasted squash + lentil coconut curry | what's cooking good looking

This recipe has a funny little story behind it. Last week, in the midst of writing and cooking for thanksgiving, I was in need of a quick, pantry staple kind of lunch. I had recently seen a recipe in Donny Hay magazine for a pumpkin, lentil, korma curry that was all baked together in one pan. I loved the idea of baking a curry-type dish the oven, while only dirtying one pan, so I thought, maybe I’ll give something like that a try. I had some delicata squash, lentils and coconut milk. I also had a red onion, some almonds and herbs. I did not have any curry paste, so I decided to add harissa for flavor and for a kick. I threw these ingredients into a baking dish and crossed my fingers. I had no idea how it would turn out, and I was so surprised, that out came a delicious, fancy-ish, healthy meal, loaded with flavor and texture, and filled with some of my favorite ingredients.

The next day I met up with my good friend Hetty for coffee and a pre-thanksgiving union square greenmarket run. As we sipped coffee and chatted about what we were going to make for t-day, she surprised me with a jar of harissa from her friends NYShuk. I laughed and told her about my semi-accidental, one-pan, pantry recipe success where the harissa was the star ingredient … and that I couldn’t wait to test it again with my new harissa (which is also now my new favorite now, btw).

Being the delicata squash lover that I am (it’s all about that delicious, edible skin) I am always looking for new ways (besides the classic, roasting with olive oil, salt and pepper) to enjoy my favorite fall veggie. I have also been looking to create more one-pot/dish/pan meals, because who doesn’t want less hassle and less dishes to wash. I have a feeling this recipe will become a new all-time favorite of mine for both a quick lunch, or a dinner party side dish. 

harissa + coconut milk baked delicata squash with lentils and toasted almonds

This recipe was inspired by a recipe I spotted in the most recent Donna Hay magazine for tray-roasted pumpkin and lentil korma curry. Feel free to use a curry paste instead of the harissa if you prefer. 

SERVES
4-6

INGREDIETNS

2 medium sized delicata squashes, seeds scooped and sliced into half moons
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
¼ cup of harissa (my favorite is NYSHUK )

13.5oz can of full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of lentils

1/3 cup of toasted almonds
A handful of chopped herbs of your choice such as: cilantro, basil, parsley

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425º.
  • In a medium sized, deep baking dish, toss the squash and onion with the harissa, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  • Remove from the oven, sprinkle the lentils evenly over the vegetables and pour the coconut milk and water over the top, making sure the lentils are submerged. Return to the oven and cook for another 30-35 minutes, until the lentils are cooked.
  • Top with the toasted almonds and herbs, and serve warm. 

deviled brussels sprout salad

deviled brussel sprout salad | what's cooking good looking
deviled brussel sprout salad | what's cooking good looking

This will be the first Thanksgiving in a while where I am doing the cooking. Our family has an atypical tradition of eating out for Thanksgiving that we have very much enjoyed over the past several years, however this year we decided to switch it up again and go back to a more traditional celebration ...... I could not be more excited for it. I think that this year, and especially after a rough couple of weeks, sitting around a table with family and friends to a big home-cooked meal is especially needed. 

The thing that I get most excited for, and I am sure you are the same too, is to plan the menu. This year I decided to go a simple as possible .... for a fews reason. Simple is always better, I don't want to be eating leftovers for a week, and I am working with a reallllllly really small oven. Plus, I would rather not be over-stuffed, or over-stuff my guests .... I would rather end the day feeling satisfied, nourished, content ..... with a good wine buzz. 

So far, my menu is shaping out to look something like this:

A brined + spatchcocked turkey
..... with THIS mustard seed gravy

THIS cauliflower, leek, and potato gratin with hazelnut milk béchamel

maybe some sort of variation of THIS stuffing fried rice  

one (okay, maybe two) of THESE pies from my favorite pie cookbook, Four and Twenty Blackbirds

OH .... and these brussels sprouts I am sharing today. 

I wasn't quiet sure what to call this dish. They are pretty much a hybrid of a deviled egg and a crispy brussels sprout salad. By taking hardboiled egg and mixing it up with the same kinda of ingredients that would make up a spicy deviled egg filling, it makes for an incredibly rich and extremely tasty sauce to coat those crispy sprouts in. So, if you like both deviled eggs and crispy brussels sprouts as much as I do, then this side dish is a t-day (or any-day) must! 

**This post is sponsored by TABASCO, in conjunction with the #TABACSOtastemakers trip. All thoughts are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who support WCGL! 

deviled brussel sprout salad | what's cooking good looking
deviled brussel sprout salad | what's cooking good looking
deviled-brussel-sprouts-WCGL-05.jpg
deviled brussel sprout salad | what's cooking good looking
deviled brussel sprout salad | what's cooking good looking
deviled brussel sprout salad | what's cooking good looking
deviled brussel sprout salad | what's cooking good looking

deviled brussels sprout salad 

SERVES | 4

INGREDIENTS

3 hardboiled eggs
2 tablespoons of mayo
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of tabasco
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
5 green onions, thinly sliced

4 cups (about 30) brussels sprouts, sliced in half
a couple tablespoons of sunflower (or another neutral high heat oil)
kosher salt + pepper

METHOD

  • Mash up the hardboiled eggs with the mayo, mustard, tabasco, salt and green onion. Keep in the fridge until you're ready to serve. 
  • Cook the sprouts. Heat the oil (enough to coat the pan) in a large cast iron over medium-high heat. Add the sprouts to the pan, flat side down. Cook, undisturbed for about 5 minutes, until the sprouts are brown/charred on that one side. Give it a stir and continue cook for for another 2-4 minutes, until the sprouts are fork-tender. Transfer them to a serving bowl and allow them to cool slightly. 
  • Pour the egg sauce over the sprouts and toss to combine, and serve. 

twice baked delicata squash + crispy za'atar roasted chickpeas

twice baked delicata squash + crispy za'atar roasted chickpeas | what's cooking good looking
twice baked delicata squash + crispy za'atar roasted chickpeas | what's cooking good looking

I have found it a little difficult to move forward after this highly emotional week. I have found it hard to post pictures of food and everyday life and pretend like everything is ok. I have so many thoughts racing through my mind , I am having a hard time putting pen to paper and making sense of it all. I had another post saved for this week that had such a different tone, of excitement and hope ..... it's amazing how that tone has changed so quickly and so drastically. 

I have so many things I want to say, so many feeling I wanted to get out. I wanted to say them here, but if you're anything like me, you've been reading wayyyy to much the past few days, or even the past few months. I don't want to do that to you or to me. So, today I want to keep it short and positive. No matter what you're thoughts are on the state of the world right now, there is one thing that we can agree on, and that is that we can all use a little extra love right now. 

Sometimes during tough times, posting recipes can seem a bit trivial. Another pumpkin pie recipe, or another thanksgiving side dish seems a bit silly when there are much bigger problems happening all around. I have spent the past few days walking around in  daze, spending too much time on social media or reading the news, and too little time in the kitchen. I've been eating out every single meal and I feel disoriented, not like myself. This morning I realized (as I knew all along) that cooking food is actually incredibly important right now.  It's grounding, it's nourishing ..... and that is everything. 

Life goes on. We need to keep sharing the love in the ways we know best, for me that is cooking, feeding people, and sharing recipes. Spreading the love in every way we know how, and taking care of ourselves and one another. 

twice baked delicata squash + crispy za'atar roasted chickpeas | what's cooking good looking
twice baked delicata squash + crispy za'atar roasted chickpeas | what's cooking good looking
twice baked delicata squash + crispy za'atar roasted chickpeas | what's cooking good looking
twice baked delicata squash + crispy za'atar roasted chickpeas | what's cooking good looking

twice baked delicata squash + crispy za'atar roasted chickpeas


The skin of the delicata squash is edible (and really tasty) making it the perfect vehicle for twice baking and topping with these super flavorful za'atar roasted chickpeas. The tahini drizzle is optional, but highly recommended. This dish would make a great holiday side dish, but also works great as a filling veggie main.  


MAKES | 5-6 stuffed squashes

INGREDIENTS

3 medium sized delicata squashes
a couple tablespoons of olive oil
salt + pepper

for the mashed squash insides:
2 tablespoons of butter, ghee or olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
pepper

for the za'atar chickpeas:
1 tablespoon of za'atar
3 tablespoons of sunflower (or another neutral oil) 
1 can of chickpeas, drained

for the (optional) tahini drizzle:
1/4 cup of tahini
3 tablespoons of water
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
pepper

METHOD

Roast the squash

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400º
  • Place the squashes onto a baking sheet, rub all over with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the outer skin is very tender. Remove, and allow to cool. 

Roast the chickpeas:

  • While the squash is roasting, prep the chickpeas. Wish together the za'atar and the oil. Place the chickpeas onto a baking sheet, and toss with the za'atar oil. Roast for 15 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy. Set aside until you're ready to assemble. 

Make the tahini drizzle (if using):

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredient for the tahini drizzle. Set aside until you're ready to serve. 

Scoop and re-stuff the squash, assemble, and serve:

  • Once the squash is cool enough to handle, cut it down the center lengthwise, and then carefully scoop out the seeds and discard (or save if you have a good use for them). Then, carefully scoop out the insides (leaving the skins in tact), place them into a mixing bowl, and add the butter (or oil), salt and pepper. Mash, and mix it all together using the back of a fork. 
  • Transfer the mashed squash back to the skins. I found that I did not quite have enough squash for all six skins, so I did not stuff the last one (and just cut up and ate the skin on it's own).
  • Distribute the chickpeas over top of the stuffed squashes. Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes to re-heat and crisp the top. 
  • Remove, and finish with the tahini drizzle and serve immediately. 

homemade cereal: matcha cocoa sesame clusters + macadamia milk

homemade cereal: matcha cocoa sesame clusters + macadamia milk | what's cooking good looking
matcha-sesame-cereal-WCGL-02.jpg

I have a thing for cereal. Actually, I guess I should say I recently rediscovered my thing for cereal. Back in my office working days, I used to keep a box of cereal in the office kitchen, and some milk in the office fridge. I ate corn flakes with sliced banana every single morning and it was a breakfast that I loved and fully satisfied me until lunchtime.

When I left my office job, I also left behind a lot of not-so-great food habits such as dairy at every single meal, and many processed foods. I found that I no longer needed  the convenience so much, but I also learned that processed stuff (like certain breakfast cereals) can be fine once in a while, but less so as a daily habit. I exchanged my cereal for things like oatmeal and smoothies, and started making my own nuts milks, and never looked back. Well, that is until recently when I got a craving for my old friend cereal and milk.

In a quest to satisfy this craving, I wanted to experiement with a homemade cereal. I have experimented with homemade cereal before, last year, when I made homemade puffed rice (which is basically like homemade rice crispies). I love homemade puffed rice cereal so much, but I do not love how much time it takes to make. So, this time around I wanted to make a delicious homemade cereal that didn’t require as much time and patience. Something that I could make and keep around, even if I were hypothetically still in an office job and convenience was more of a priority.

I am happy to say, I found my new favorite cereal, and it checks all the boxes. A crunchy, satisfying breakfast with lots of healthy ingredients, and even a mini matcha caffeine jolt .... if that’s how you’d like to roll. It can basically can be made with 2, or 1, dirty dishes, about 5 minutes of prep, and 30 minutes of cook time. You can even make a double or triple batch, store it in an airtight container, and munch on it all week long.  

 

This cereal was also made to celebrate a very special arrival ….. Cynthia of Two Red Bowls is expecting a third bowl, and we are throwing her a virtual baby shower to celebrate their arrival! Cynthia is one of the most talented photographers and recipe creators, and her new little one is so lucky to have Cynthia as mom. Congrats to you both! So happy for you! To check out the all of the other delicious recipes to celebrate Cynthia's arrival, head to Steph's (i am a food blog) or Alan's (fix feast flair) for a full list! 

homemade cereal: matcha cocoa sesame clusters + macadamia milk | what's cooking good looking
matcha-sesame-cereal-WCGL-06.jpg
homemade cereal: matcha cocoa sesame clusters + macadamia milk | what's cooking good looking
homemade cereal: matcha cocoa sesame clusters + macadamia milk | what's cooking good looking
homemade cereal: matcha cocoa sesame clusters + macadamia milk | what's cooking good looking
homemade cereal: matcha cocoa sesame clusters + macadamia milk | what's cooking good looking

homemade cereal: matcha cocoa sesame clusters + macadamia milk 

MAKES | about 2-4 servings 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup of oat flour
1/4 cup of white sesame seeds
1/4 cup of black sesame seeds
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of matcha powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

1 egg white, beaten until fluffy
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil (or another neutral oil) 
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

METHOD

For the homemade macadamia nut milk, follow these instructions using macadamia nuts. It will keep for about 3 days, in an air-tight container in the fridge. 

For the homemade cereal:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 300ºF.  
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl (or directly onto a baking sheet if you want one less bowl to clean). Combine the wet ingredients in a separate, small, bowl. Add the wet ingredient to the dry and stir until combined. 
  • Spread the mixture out to an even layer small the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, until everything is crisp and toasted. 
  • Wait until it has completely cooled (this is important if you want to get larger clusters!) and then gently break apart the mixture into clusters using your hands. Enjoy immediately with a splash of nut milk, and any other fruit or toppings that you like, or transfer to an airtight jar/container to store to enjoy later. It should keep for about a week. 

apple + sage buckwheat galette | salted honey labneh

apple + sage buckwheat galette with salted honey labneh | what's cooking good looking
apple + sage buckwheat galette with salted honey labneh | what's cooking good looking

I am pretty certain that apple pie is the first food I had a crush on. This time of year when I was around 8 years old and we would go visit my grandparents, my grandmother would always makes two apple pies. One for me, and one for everyone else. She took quick notice of my love for apple pie. My grandmother loved that I loved to eat, and that I could eat a lot. She was 100% Italian, and I am convicend that Italians have it in their blood to feed people massive quantities of good homemade food. In her eyes, the more I ate, the healthier I was, even if that meant eating three bologna sandwiches for lunch. I definitely inherited her Italian need to feed people, and do I love a table filled with food, and people who love to eat. 

My apple pie crush followed me through college until today. A couple times during the school year, my mom would drive 5 hours to my university in upstate NY to drop off homemade food and groceries for me and my roommates. She too had that Italian need to feed people, and was always so worried that we weren't eating enough homemade meals, so much so that she would drive all that way just to deliver food. Every time she made that trip, you know that there was always an apple pie there. My mom knew that apple pie was the key to my heart. 

Despite my long time love for apple pie, I have never posted an apple pie recipe here. I think mostly because when I make apple pie, I like to go as traditional as possible and use all of the gluten and butter, and my blog  is a place where I like to creatively use healthier ingredients in lieu of the gluten and dairy. So, this recipe is my compromise. I used buckwheat flour, in addition to regular white flour, which enhances the apple flavor and ups the nutritional value a little. I left the butter in, because, I believe crust is the exception to my minimal butter use. You can always use a vegan butter if you want to make this dairy free, and a gluten-free flour blend works well here in place of white flour. I did use a less refined coconut palm sugar in this recipe, which in my opinion, worked even better for sweetening up the apples. Studded with sage and pistachios, this to me will always be what October and November are all about.

apple + sage buckwheat galette with salted honey labneh | what's cooking good looking
apple + sage buckwheat galette with salted honey labneh | what's cooking good looking
apple + sage buckwheat galette with salted honey labneh | what's cooking good looking
apple + sage buckwheat galette with salted honey labneh | what's cooking good looking

apple + sage buckwheat galette | salted honey labneh

Labneh (a thick, strained yogurt) is optional for serving with this galette. I would highly recommend it because it is so delicious, but it does take about a day of advanced planning. A day or two before you are going to serve the galette, you will want to start straining the yogurt. You also need to make sure you have cheesecloth on hand for the straining. If you don't have time or cheesecloth, you can also just make a salted honey yogurt (by skipping the straining and just adding the salt and honey to plain, greek yogurt). Alternatively, you can skip yogurt all-together and serve with your favorite ice cream. 

MAKES
8 slices

INGREDIENTS

for the labneh:
1 cup of 2% pain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon of maldon sea salt or kosher salt

for the crust:
1 cup of all-purpose white flour (plus a couple of tablespoons to roll out the dough)
1/2 cup of buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup (typically one stick) of very cold sliced butter
1/2 cup of water with ice

for the apple filling:
3 apples, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of coconut palm sugar (or regular white sugar)
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of pistachios, roughly chopped
5-6 sage leaves, roughly chopped

METHOD

A day or two before serving, prepare the labneh:

  • Place a colander over a bowl, and drape a large piece of cheesecloth over the colander. Place the yogurt on top of the cheesecloth, and gather the edges to cover the yogurt. 
  • Place in the fridge for 24-48 hours. Remove, and squeeze the cheesecloth tightly to strain any excess liquid from the yogurt. Stir in the salt and honey, and place in fridge, covered, until you're ready to serve. 

Make the dough, and chill for an hour:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. 
    Place the white flour, buckwheat flour and salt into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter to the flour mixture, and incorporate the butter into the mixture by pressing the butter between you thumb and forefingers. I like this method because it creates long, flat butter pieces which makes for a flaky crust. Be sure not to handle the butter too much, and work quickly to incorporate the butter so it stays cold. When you're done, the butter should be evenly incorporated, but you will still see butter chunks in the flour. 
  • Add a 1/3 cup of the ice water to the flour mixture, and work the dough into a ball. If it is not holding together, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, just until it sticks together. Again, try to handle the dough as little as possible. 
  • Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for no less than 1 hour. You can also do this a couple of days in advance. 

While the dough is done chilling, prepare the apples:

  • Place the sliced apples, sugar, salt, and cinnamon into a bowl and toss gently to coat the apples evenly with the mixture. 

Roll out the dough, assemble the galette and bake:

  • Place a piece of parchment paper onto a flat surface, and dust with about a tablespoon of flour. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap, and place it onto the parchment and roll into about a 12" circle. 
  • Arrange the apples however you like, starting from the center of the dough and work your way out reserving a few inches around the edges. Fold the sides in by taking a section of dough and folding it over halfway, and then folding over again to touch the edge of the apples, creating about a 2" border. Sprinkle the pistachios and sage all over. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the dough is cooked, and the edges are browned. Carefully cut into slices, and serve warm with a spoonful of the labneh on the side. 

 

turmeric roasted carrot soup + carrot top harissa

turmeric roasted carrot soup + carrot top harissa | what's cooking good looking
turmeric roasted carrot soup + carrot top harissa | what's cooking good looking

This past weekend was our photography + styling workshop in NYC. Just like when any other workshop is over, I am left feeling recharged and re-inspired by the students and the experience. This was the first time we hosted a workshop in my home city, and it was also the first time where I cooked most of the food we were eating. Both made me so happy. Feeding people + NYC are two of my favorite things and I loved sharing them both with our eager students. 

For lunch on Saturday, we indulged on LOTS of veggies. All veggies to be exact. Delicata squash, romano beans, tomato confit .....so many veggies piled high on plates with some greens mixed in.  My favorite kind of lunch, and I think a lot of others feel the same. For Sunday, we brunched on a beet and horseradish cured salmon. I served it along side some pumpernickel bread, watercress greens, radishes, and a herbed tofu spread. The process of curing salmon is not difficult, it just take a few days of advance planning, but the outcome is soooo gorgeous, it feels special. If you want to see some pictures from our workshop (and some shots of the gorgeous salmon) .... you can check them out using THIS LINK to our instagam hashtag.  

We lucked out with the weather last weekend, but last week was the first week the temperature change was noticeable. One day you needed a coat, and the next day you were fine with layering a sweater. This change in season is also reflected in the food that we saw during out visit to the  greenmarket, and the way we will be preparing our veggies from now until the weather gets warmer again. It's soup season, and that makes me so happy because I love soup. 

So to kick off soup season, I am sharing this simple soup with flavors that I crave this time of year. Carrots get rubbed with a super-flavorful and super-immunes boosting turmeric and garlic spice mixture, and the roasted until soft and caramelized. Into the blender it goes with nothing else but a little water or broth. When choosing your carrots, make sure to look for ones with good-looking green tops. You'll need them to make this carrot top harissa, and you'll be so happy you did because it goes so well with so many things ....... but first, drizzle it all over this soup. 

turmeric roasted carrot soup + carrot top harissa | what's cooking good looking
turmeric roasted carrot soup + carrot top harissa | what's cooking good looking
turmeric roasted carrot soup + carrot top harissa | what's cooking good looking
turmeric roasted carrot soup + carrot top harissa | what's cooking good looking

turmeric roasted carrot soup + carrot top harissa

MAKES 4 

INGREDIENTS

for the carrot top harissa:
1 cup of green carrot tops, chopped
1/2 cup of cilantro
5 mint leaves
1 small garlic clove, sliced
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of salt
about 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

for the turmeric spiced carrots:
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
a pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup of olive oil

about 10 carrots, trimmed
1 large yellow onion, sliced into thick chunks
5 cups of water (or a chicken or vegetable broth) 
*If you're using water, you will likely need additional salt, about 1/4-1/2 a teaspoon
juice from 1/2 a lemon

additional/optional toppings: a drizzle of coconut cream or olive oil, a handful of toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds 

METHOD

Make the spice rub, and roast the carrots:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400º. 
  • Make the turmeric spice rub by placing all of the ingredient for the rub into a food processor and pulse until you have a consistent mixture. 
  • Place the onions and carrots onto a parchment lined baking sheet and rub them with the spice mixture. Roast for about 30 minutes, until the carrots are very soft/fork tender. 

While the carrots are roasting, make the carrot top harissa:

  • Place all of the ingredients for the carrot top harissa into a food processor (except for the oil). Pulse a few times, and then drizzle in the oil in a slow stream while the food processor is running, until you have a consistent mixture. Set aside until you're ready to serve. 

Blend the carrots, assemble and serve:

  • Place the roasted carrots and onions into a high-powered blender with the water (or broth) and the lemon juice. Blend on high until smooth. Taste and add any additional seasoning you feel necessary. If your broth was cold, or you do not have a blender such as a vitamix (which can heat the soup while blending), you might want to heat it up a little in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat. 
  • Distribute the soup amongst bowls, and drizzle with a spoonful of the harissa and any other additional topping you like. 

grilled sweet potato stuffed with BBQ baked beans + cilantro yogurt

grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking
grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking

This really is the best time, isn't in? Right now. The days that are still warm but the nights get a little chilly. The markets are bursting with end of summer/  beginning of fall produce. You can still make yourself a juicy tomato sandwich for lunch, but then can roast up some squash or sweet potatoes for dinner. 

It's still grilling season, and some might argue it's the best time to grill, when the sun is not beating down on you.  I personally love to hang by the grill with a glass of red wine on a chilly night. It's also around this time that I start to crave more warming foods ..... things like soups, stews, and stuffed sweet potatoes. I think sweet potatoes are one of the best vehicles for a full-on, hearty, vegggie entree. It's so easy to just throw a potato on a grill or in the oven, cook it until it's tender, and then (over)fill it with whatever your mood strikes, or whatever you have in your fridge. 

This time of year also has me trying to work through my pantry, get rid of some of the stuff I accumulated over the spring and summer ..... like, for example, that fancy bbq sauce I picked up at some speciality store, or the heirloom beans that I seem to be collecting (ahem, hoarding). A recipe like this is great for working through those random pantry bits, to make more room for some winter hibernation pantry foods. 

 

*This recipe is in partnership with Reynolds Kitchens. All views are my own. Head on over to the Endless Table for more easy recipe inspiration. Thank you for supporting the brands that support what's cooking good looking!

grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking
grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking
grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking
grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking
grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking

grilled sweet potato stuffed with BBQ baked beans + cilantro yogurt 

Prep Time:  10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 2 servings (as an entrée)

INGREDIENTS 

2 large sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil (or any neutral high-heat oil)
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of black beans, drained
1 cup of (your favorite) bbq sauce (store bought, or homemade) 

6oz of plain greek yogurt (coconut yogurt to make this dairy-free)
2 tablespoons of minced shallots
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
½ cup of cilantro leaves (plus more for garnish)

 METHOD

  • Pre-heat the grill to medium heat.  
  • Wrap the sweet potatoes in Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil individually, so they are completely covered. Place them onto the grill, cover, and cook for 45minutes - 1 hour. You want the potatoes to feel very soft inside the foil. When they are done, remove them from the grill and keep them in the foil until you‘re ready to assemble and serve.
  • Make the beans while the potatoes are baking. Heat the oil in a medium sized pan over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook for 7-10 minutes until soft and starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes. Then, add the beans and bbq sauce. Stir to combine the ingredients, bring the heat to low and continue cooking for another couple of minutes to heat all of the ingredients.
  • Make the cilantro cream. Place the yogurt, shallots, salt, and lemon juice into a food processor and pulse several times until smooth. Add in the cilantro leaves and pulse just a couple of times until they are chopped and incorporated.
  • Assemble the the potatoes. Cut a slit down the center (lengthwise) of the potato and gently pull the sides apart just enough to create a well for the beans. Then add a couple spoonfuls of the bbq beans, and finish with a drizzle of the cilantro cream. Garnish with some roughly chopped cilantro leaves.

** Reynolds Kitchens Tip: Using Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil to cook the potatoes allows the caramelized juiced to stay close to the potato, which keeps it moist and flavorful.

 

NYC workshop schedule + A GIVEAWAY!

Hi! My friends, Joann + Gabriel and I are hosting a photography + styling workshop in NYC on Oct 1 & 2nd and we want you to come! We have a great schedule lined up, and we are opening up a couple of spots because we want to you be there, especially if you're looking to improve your photography skills, learn master techniques for lighting and styling, and gain valuable photographs for your portfolio ..... and maybe even make some new friends and great memories along the way! We recently finalized our schedule, and our two days would look something like this:

Meet at the Greenmarket (NYC's largest farmer's market), for a bagel picnic (from my favorite bagels in NYC!) and a walk through the market to gather ingredients for the day. We then will head to a location where we will spend some time talking in-debth about lighting and styling, and you'll also get to practice styling and taking your own photos. For lunch, I will be cooking us a feast with goodies from the greenmarket, which we will enjoy outside. We will then take a walk through the west village (my neighborhood) and get a little time practicing city-scape photography. The day will end with rooftop cocktails overlooking the Manhattan skyline, and dinner at Roberta's, in Brooklyn ...... one of my all-time farvorite restaurants. 

The next day, we are spending entirely in Brooklyn, starting at a studio where we will be teaching more photography, lighting, and styling skills. We will spend the afternoon exploring a couple different areas of Brooklyn, and tasting some really delicious food along the way before we send you off!

*******THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED ..... THANKS TO THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED!

 

GOOD LUCK, and we hope to meet you soon!xoxo

cherry tomato + shallot confit

tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking
tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking

As a lover of summer, the transition from warm beaches and sundresses to crisp mornings and sweaters can be a tough one .... but I also love that Fall bring about such great things .... magical in-between weather, scarves, and that rejuvenated feeling that comes with the change of season. I look forward to welcoming squash and warms soup back into the mix, even though I am a little reluctant to say goodbye to tomatoes, cucumbers, and farm stands bursting with produce. 

This tomato and shallot confit is what I make as soon as the tomatoes hit the farm stands, and it is what I will continue to make until the tomatoes are no more. It is one of my favorite ways to enjoy my favorite fruit, and it is also my favorite way to preserve and hold onto them just a little longer. Confit, which is just a fancy way to say slow cooked in olive oil as a means to preserve, goes so well with so many things.  You can spoon this over your avocado toast in the morning, or into a bowl of pasta or veggie noodles at night. It would make a killer pizza topping, or can be served simply over salad greens or over a piece of grilled fish. One of my favorite ways to serve this is before dinner, in a bowl with a spoon, and some crispy bread to smother them with. 

I don't know about you, but for me Fall also is one of the busiest times of year. Even as an adult, it has a back-to-school feel, it's as though everyone (myself included) enters into Fall refreshed and ready to work. This Fall has been no exception, and in fact, it has been one of the busiest I can remember. With that, I have a few things I am planning that I want to share with you! 

In a couple of weeks (Oct 1&2) I am hosting a photography and styling wokshop in my home city (NYC) with my friends, Joann (@sliceofpai) and Gabriel (@theartfuldesperado). I am really excited about this one, because I get to show our participants around my city and get to take you to some of my favorite spots and eat some of my favorite foods. If you live near NYC or want to come visit NYC, be sure to check this one out! It's going to be so much fun and you'll also gain some valuable skills and portfolio pieces.

I added a new page to my site called WORKSHOPS + EVENTS where you can find information on the upcoming NYC workshop and the other workshops I have in the works (----> at the top of the sidebar), so go check it out, and I hope to see you at one soon! 

tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking
tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking
tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking
tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking
tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking

cherry tomato + shallot confit

MAKES
about 4 cups of confit

INGREDIENTS

1 pint of red cherry tomatoes
1 pint of sungold tomatoes
8 small shallots, peeled and sliced in half
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
about 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350º.
  • Place the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, thyme, and salt into a small, deep baking dish (I use a 9x5 loaf pan), and cover with the olive oil. Make sure the tomatoes, shallots, and garlic are completely submerged. 
  • Cover tightly with foil, and bake for about 45 minutes. You want the tomatoes, shallots and garlic to be tender, but not completely falling apart. 
  • Allow to cool, and then transfer to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid (a large mason jar works great), and serve however you like! This will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.