Green Your Stuffing

Traditional stuffing is another reason I can’t stand Thanksgiving foods. The onion and celery are just too overpowering for me, and it’s basically soggy, stale bread with nasty innards. Ironically, this classic side has grown on me ever since I became a vegetarian and started experimenting with stuffings/dressings like soyrizo cornbread dressing, which I need to revisit soon.

This year, I wanted to incorporate local ingredients from our farmers markets and harvest box programs, like El Paso True Food Buying Club. I found what I was for looking on the Epicurious site from the November 2009 Bon Appetit issue. The original recipe is Rustic Bread Stuffing with Red Mustard Greens, Currants, and Pine Nuts, but I’ve adapted it to make it easier, regional, and veg-friendly.

The following recipe utilizes mustard greens from La Semilla community farm over in Anthony and bread from local bakery, Belle Sucre who just opened a second location on the eastside. If you weren’t able to make it out to the farmers market this weekend or can’t find mustard greens at the store, any green like kale or collards will do. Stuffing recipes typically call for chicken or turkey stock, but if you use mushroom or vegetable broth, your vegetarian friends will be ever so grateful.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Mustard greens from Sol y Tierra farms

Mustard greens from La Semilla community farm in Anthony, Texas

Mustard greens 2

Not the prettiest

Not the prettiest, but hey it’s yummy! No wonder BA called it “rustic”

Stuffing with Mustard Greens and Pecans

Makes 6-8 servings

1 1-pound loaf rustic country-style bread, ie. anything from Belle Sucre Bakery (about 6 cups of cubed bread)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
1/3 cup pecans
1 large shallot, minced
1 bunch, coarsely chopped stemmed mustard greens
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (I sprinkled a little bit of dried thyme, but dried equivalent would be 1 teaspoon)
1½ cups your choice of broth (I used half a not-beef bouillon cube)
1/3 cup dried currants or cranberries (optional)
freshly ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut bread into ¾-inch cubes or desired size (I would’ve opted for smaller); place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil to coat. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until slightly golden and crunchy, stirring occasionally every 5-10 minutes (about 15 minutes for total cooking time). Set aside to cool.

You can either generously butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish or if you use a dutch oven to saute everything else, you can pop that straight into the oven; only problem is that you may have some stickage at the bottom since it won’t be greased.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy-bottomed large pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Saute shallots for a few minutes, add garlic and pecans; stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard greens and thyme; sauté until greens are wilted and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the stock bring to a simmer if the stock isn’t already hot. Stir in bread cubes and berries (if using). Sprinkle a bit of freshly ground nutmeg if desired, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer directly to oven or transfer stuffing to the prepared baking dish.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake stuffing uncovered until heated through and starting to brown on top, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes and serve.

EP Veg News, November 2015

Thinking that it’s hard to be a vegetarian in El Paso is so ten years ago! Yet, I still get people asking me this same question. It’s a great time to be vegetarian/vegan in El Paso and Las Cruces! For some reason November has brought a flurry of vegetarian activity. Don’t miss out!

Best Vegetarian Food of El Paso Awards

Vote for your favorite vegetarian food and restaurants in town by this Sunday, November 8 (we extended the deadline!). This is the third year that the Vegetarian Society of El Paso and I are running these awards, and this will give you an idea of all the great local options there are in town. We have not included any chains or franchises, but you are free to include them if you feel they are the better veg option. So, go vote at 

BV 2015 corrected

VSEP Annual Compassionate Thanksgiving Dinner: Saturday, November 14

Every year the Vegetarian Society of El Paso hosts a vegan dinner with a special guest speaker. This year’s menu sounds really good, and the speaker is Lisa Levinson, director of the Sustainable Activist Campaign for the national organization In Defense of Animals and founder of Vegan Spirituality. Here are the details:

  • The Summit Ballroom & Conference Center, 120 N. Festival
  • 6 pm meet and greet, eat at 6:30 pm
  • Cost: $22 members; $15 students w/ID; $25 nonmembers; $10 children under 12 years of age.
  • Paid reservations are due Tuesday, November 10.
  • Reserve your space & pay online with a credit card or PayPal
  • OR email OR text/call 915-877-3030. Then, make check or money orders payable to VSEP & mail to: VSEP, 6757 Gato Rd., El Paso, TX 79932
  • Menu:
  • Fall Harvest Salad
    Seitan en Croute
    Garlic Mashed Potatoes w/ Maderia Sauce
    Green Bean Casserole
    Candied Yams
    Pumpkin Pie
    Rosemary Foccacia Bread

7th Annual Chili Cook Off @ Hope & Anchor: Sunday, November 15

This is a really fun event where proceeds benefit the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence. They even have a vegetarian category! I haven’t been to this event in a couple of years because of conflicting events, and once again, I will have to forego defending my title. I’m attending an event in the evening, so hopefully I’ll get to attend early on to taste your chili creations. I really hope that you’ll either be competing or attending this annual chili cook off.


Vegan Beer Dinner @ Eloise, featuring Real Ale Brewing Co.: Tuesday, November 17

This is the second vegan beer dinner that Eloise hosts! Hurry and get your tickets, because the last one sold out. I didn’t get to attend, but I heard from both vegans and meateaters that the food was excellent. The cost is a little steep at $50, but you do get 5 courses with 5 beers. Check out the details, menu, and pairings here.

Also, Eloise has a new fall menu and a happy hour menu. As always, they’ve got plenty of vegan options!

The High Five Bowl at Eloise available on both the regular and happy hour menu!

The High Five Bowl at Eloise available on both the regular and happy hour menu! basmati rice, black rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, long green chile, artichoke hearts and assorted root vegetables

Ramen Popup Beer Dinner @ TradeCraft: November 18

Last month, after tickets sold out quickly for TradeCraft’s first popup beer dinner, a second one for November was immediately promised. Well, the date was released tonight folks, so snag your tickets now. Chef Enrique Lozano will make both the ramen noodles and broth from scratch. Once again, there’ll be a vegan option! Three courses and three beers for $30!ramen

Other Vegetarian Food News:

  • Le Green Gourmet is new food truck that’s serving up a couple of veg options, including a housemade black bean burger. Find them on social media to find out their next location and latest menu offerings.
  • Ode Brewing added a decadent grilled cheese to their menu that comes with beet chips. The Grilled Queso has manchego, gruyere, triple cream, asadero, and chanterelle mushrooms. It’s really yummy & the balsamic reduction drizzle really ties it together.

    Grilled Queso @ Ode Brewing with La Gringa Blonde Ale

    Grilled Queso @ Ode Brewing with La Gringa Blonde Ale

  • Tacoholics inside Funkmeyer’s Rec Room has added new menu items! Three different chicharrones including flour ones are perfect for snacking. Best of all, they’ve paid tribute to Chico’s Tacos with tacos ahogados in a delicious green chile sauce. You get to choose the filling, including tofu!

    Tofu tacos ahogados at Tacoholics

    Tofu tacos ahogados at Tacoholics

Thai Restaurant Roundup

Once again, I have fallen way behind in updating this blog, which is a huge shame because I’ve been cooking up a storm and eating at a bunch of delicious new (and old) spots in El Paso that I need to tell y’all about! So, to make up for it I’ve rounded up some Thai curry spots around town into one post! Please tell me about your favorite places, as well as your experiences at Thai joints.

Thai curry is one of my absolute favorite dishes because it is so flavorful and complex. I love and hate that you get options; I can never choose between red, green, or yellow and I never know whether to go hot or Thai hot, but I always choose tofu as my protein! It’s also one of those dishes that is hard to replicate at home due to the laundry list of ingredients that are at times hard to find.

I was first introduced to green curry in Denver at Tommy’s Thai Restaurant over on Colfax. My cousin has an adventurous palate and she takes me to all the good spots when I visit. Unfortunately, no other Thai place has lived up to Tommy’s for me, but we do have some pretty good options in El Paso now. As you’ll notice in the following pics, I’ve since moved onto red curries. One thing I’ve noticed about El Paso Thai restaurants is that they are expensive and servings can be small. They also don’t seem to be very stringent with vegetarian options; either I’m paranoid or they are not omitting the fish sauce/ingredients.

5 Local Thai Restaurants:

  1. Tara Thai (UTEP area)
  2. Thai Chef Cafe (northeast)
  3. Mekong Thai (eastside)
  4. Thai Delight (Mesilla, NM)
  5. Renoo’s Thai Restaurant (Las Cruces & the only one I haven’t tried)
Honestly can't remember if this is red or green curry. Looks like green, but I could've sworn I ordered red.

Red Curry tofu at Thai Chef Cafe. Looks like green curry.

Thai Chef Cafe

This review was originally published in What’s Up Weekly on June 11, 2014, and can be found here.

What used to be the Siam Chit Chat Club on Lower Dyer is now Thai Chef Cafe. Fans of Tara Thai will rejoice in the similarity between the two restaurants, most likely due to familial owners. You’ll find the same popular green, yellow and red curries, but in a casual setting with slightly lower prices.

Meals at Thai Chef begin with a small, complimentary lettuce salad dressed in a sesame-ginger dressing. You can also start your meal with cream cheese and crab wontons, peanut chicken satay, wings and fried chicken gizzards with sweet chili sauce. Most will have a hard time deciding between the curry menu and the noodle bar menu. Further indecision is driven by four enticing soups, three fresh salads and over ten dishes, including classics like larb (ground pork or chicken served on romaine) and Prik Khing (similar to red curry, but dry). Customer favorites include Thai Beef Salad and Panang Curry.

Curries are made from spice and herb pastes mixed with coconut milk, simmered with vegetables, your choice of chicken, beef or pork and steamed jasmine rice. Not noted on the menu is the vegan option for most dishes, where tofu is subbed for meat and fish sauce omitted. The curries pack a huge amount of flavor with a perfect balance of sweet and savory and your choice of heat – mild, medium or Thai spicy.

The noodle bar menu contains both soups and entrees that contain rice, egg or glass (bean thread) noodles. The quintessential Pad Thai is available, but other favorites are chicken and shrimp noodle soup and Pad Kee Mow (rice noodles, protein, chili, mint leaves, onion and tomatoes over romaine lettuce).

Besides fountain drinks, the restaurant serves Singha beer and Thai iced tea, as well as a mango sticky rice dessert. Although portion sizes tend to be small, this two-year-old spot has its customers touting it as the best Thai in town.

Additional Veg Snob Notes: I tried the Red Curry and liked it better than Tara Thai, which I swear always has a fishy taste even though I specify veg and no fish sauce. My only complaint is that the portion size of the curries are ridiculously small for the price they’re charging; although, the noodle soup bowls that I saw other customers ordering looked very large.

Thai Chef Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
4800 Dyer St. • 915-566-8050 Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m Saturday 12-9 p.m. Closed Sundays $5.95-8.95 • Vegan friendly

Red Curry Tofu at Mekong Thai

Red Curry Tofu at Mekong Thai

Mekong Thai

This review was originally published in What’s Up Weekly on December 10, 2014, and can be found here.

The eastside has the answer to anyone who has ever had a craving for sushi, Thai curries and pho all at the same time. Mekong Thai is a tiny 12-table restaurant in the busy Zaragosa area near Saul Kleinfeld. What’s not tiny is their spiral-bound booklet of a menu as well as the serving sizes.

Besides egg rolls and spring rolls, you’ll find papaya salad, Thai beef jerky, deep-fried pork ribs in a spicy paste and more on their appetizer menu. The usual Thai standards are served here, like Pad Thai, larb (a spicy ground beef salad), as well as red, green and panang coconut milk-based curries. Pad Kea Mao is a popular dish that has wide rice noodles stir-fried with bell peppers, onions, carrots, basil leaves and your choice of chicken, beef, pork or tofu.

Over forty sushi rolls are on the menu, as well as nigiri, sashimi and the ability to order combinations of the three. Customers recommend the chef tempura roll, which combines smoked salmon, cream cheese and avocado into a tempura-battered and fried roll. Diners also love the July 4 roll with its combination of crab meat, cucumber and avocado topped with shrimp tempura and spicy crab roe.

The Vietnamese menu is the smallest of the offerings, but still has plenty to choose from including various rice noodle dishes and a Banh Mi sandwich with liver sausage. Pho soup with beef and meatballs can be ordered as a small or large serving. The most popular dish is the BBQ pork, which comes with veggies, rice noodles and an egg roll.

Mango sticky rice, fried banana ice cream and Asian sweet corn are just a few of the many desserts served here. They also serve red or green cream soda with basil seeds and boba pearls.

Prices might seem a bit steep for a tiny casual spot, but servings are enough for two or saved as tomorrow’s leftovers. Note that the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.

Additional Veg Snob Notes: Same issue with fishy taste. I also wasn’t a fan of their tofu preparation and texture. Good serving size though.

Mekong Thai Vietnamese and Sushi Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
1816 N. Zaragoza, Suite 106; 915-856-0299; Monday, Wednesday & Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday & Saturday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Closed Tuesdays; $3.99-19.99; Vegan friendly

Salad served before your meal with choice of dressing. Carrot ginger or ranch is the way to go.

Salad served before your meal at Thai Delight with choice of dressing. Carrot ginger or ranch is the way to go.

Red Curry at Thai Delight.

Red Curry at Thai Delight.

Thai Delight

My last visits to Las Cruces have been for the sole purposes of visiting Mountain View Market Co-op, Spotted Dog Brewery and/or Bosque Tap Room. Spotted Dog is located in Mesilla, and Thai Delight is probably only a couple of blocks up the street from Spotted Dog. I had been wanting to check it out, because the Yelp and Zomato (formerly Urbanspoon) reviews were good. Thai Delight has by far the quirkiest menu I’ve ever seen at a Thai place, and apparently Renoo’s is very similar. Besides the Thai standards, they offer American-style sandwiches (like Clubs and patty melts) and German stuff like yeager schnitzel. Weird right? Well, even weirder is that their onion rings are pretty delicious. So, you might not want to snub the other non-Thai options.

All of the Thai dishes are $10.29, served with miso soup or salad (try their house ginger carrot dressing), a good-sized portion, and can be ordered with chicken, beef, pork or tofu (shrimp costs extra). I tried the red curry with tofu my first time here, and thought it was pretty good, but I could taste a hint of fishiness even though I specified vegetarian, no fish sauce. The second time, I ordered the green curry and it was much better although it looked red (I asked for it hot, so I guess the chile made it red). My partner had the panang curry both times and highly recommends it. This place is a must when in Las Cruces, and they’ve got great hours, as most most restaurants in Mesilla close early.

Bonus: You can bring your picky children here; they have a kid’s menu. Try not to steal all of your child’s onion rings.

Thai Delight de Mesilla Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
2148 Avenida de Mesilla, Mesilla, NM; 575-525-1900; Daily, 11 am-9 pm; $4.05-15.29; vegan friendly

Season’s Eatings! Green Chile Time!

August through September is the most wonderful time of the year! It means that summer reading club at the library is over, kids go back to school, it starts cooling down, Oktoberfest beers roll out, and GREEN CHILE time.

My intent every year is to post a bunch of green chile recipes. This never happens because I don’t do anything with green chile but roast it and add it to everything. I’ve been making a simple, go-to salsa verde recipe that’s perfect for enchiladas and stews. I’ve tested it a few times and it’s now blogworthy.

salsa verde

Basic Salsa Verde
Makes about 2 cups

4-6 green chiles, roasted and peeled*
3-4 tomatillos, peeled and rinsed
white onion (I slice off about a quarter to half-inch end of an onion)
1-2 garlic cloves
small handful of cilantro, about ¼ cup (optional)

Place the tomatillos and onion in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Reserve the liquid.

In a blender, toss the green chile, tomatillos, onion, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ cup of the cooking liquid and blend until smooth. Add more cooking liquid until it reaches the consistency you want. Add cilantro and season with salt and pepper if needed, and blend once more until combined.

*If you’re chile isn’t already roasted, do so by placing on the grill or on the open flame of a burner until blackened on all sides. If you don’t have either, place them on a hot dry comal or cast iron skillet until blistered and blackened. Set them aside in a covered bowl for about 15 minutes to steam the skin and cool down. Peel, cut off stems, remove seeds and rinse.

salsa verde calabacitas

Calabacitas in creamy salsa verde

I am obsessed with Silk’s unsweetened cashew milk. It’s great for savory cooking. For the calabacitas dish pictured above, all I did was saute diced onion and squash for a few minutes. Then, added a bit of cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and paprika and sautéed a few more minutes. I added some of the salsa verde and unsweetened cashew milk, and simmered for about 15 minutes.

green enchiladas

The walnut cream on top is simply 1/2 cup of raw walnuts blended with 1/2 cup of water. No soaking required.

I threw these enchiladas together real quick, so I don’t really have a set recipe. They’re totally vegan; instead of cheese they are stuffed with shredded zucchini. For the filling, I sauteed onion and garlic, added diced fresh tomato and shredded zucchini seasoned with salt and pepper. I cooked it until most of the water evaporated. Have your salsa verde simmering on the stove in the meantime.

It’s tough to find blue corn tortillas in El Paso, but now you can buy freshly made ones from Chuy’s Tex Mex Restaurant. You can buy half a dozen for $1.50 or the full dozen for $3. I heated the tortillas directly on a burner, dipped them in the simmering sauce, stuffed them with the filling, and rolled them. You can either serve them right up topped with sauce and walnut cream or bake them. To bake them, spread a bit of sauce on the bottom of a casserole pan, roll your enchiladas, spread sauce evenly over them, cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes in a 350° oven. Serve with sour cream or walnut cream (1/2 cup of raw walnuts blended with 1/2 cup of water) and cilantro.

squash enchilada filling squash enchiladassquash enchiladas side

El Taco Tote Introduces New Tacos!

Juarez often conjures up fantastic nights of revelry for many of my peers. The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18, so many El Paso teens had (have?) fake IDs that got (get?) them into bars and clubs where drink-and-drown specials were the norm, meaning $5-10 got you bottomless drinks. Not me. My standout memories of Juarez go back to my childhood when we visited my dad’s cousin, but not necessarily for familial reasons. My name might as well be Lisa Simpson, because I had a massive overbite. Fortunately for us, my dad’s cousin was an orthodontist.

Worry not folks, there is a silver lining to the Saturday mornings in the dental chair and nights of headgear. Not only did I have less of an overbite to look forward to, but there was also El Taco Tote. Yup, there once was a time when The Tote solely existed in Juarez. Even though I ate meat back then, my fondest food memories were of their salsa bar, quesadillas, and papotas (translation: awesome baked potatoes). Fast forward to the 2000’s, a world where 20 El Taco Tote locations are scattered throughout Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. At one point, Denver was graced with a location. As much as I love Denver, I don’t know what’s wrong with those people. They also used to have Taco Cabanas! Those people don’t know when they’ve got a good thing.

The legendary salsa bar. Taco Cabana needs to step up their game & offer complimentary chips.

Well, the point of this post is not to reminisce about my geektastic childhood, nor to berate Denver’s bad taco decisions (they’re not all bad. Hooray for Chipotle!). The point is to announce once more that The Tote now has a vegetarian (possibly vegan. I didn’t ask as I was already being annoying by asking too many questions) taco option!!! Last month, they added two new tacos and there was a whole teaser campaign on social media as to what they were gonna be. I commented on Instagram about about how it should be a veg option, and then the time came to announce the newcomers, and by golly it was a veg option! So, then I got to thanking them and they invited me to try them. :D 
The new mushroom veggie taco is currently only available at El Paso locations (score!). At $2.99 a taco, you get a taco loaded with sliced  mushrooms and chopped onions and peppers sauteed in Maggi seasoning. Maggi liquid seasoning, also known as Jugo de Maggi is popular in Europe and also Mexico, where it’s usually used in Micheladas and soups. It tastes kinda like if soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce had a vegetarian baby. It gives everything a nice “meaty” umami flavor without any animal products. Anyways, I liked the taco and thought it was a good size for three bucks, although it had way too much onion and was a little on the salty side (probably due to the Maggi). Fortunately, the onion was well-cooked and didn’t dominate everything. If you’re vegetarian, be sure to order it on a corn tortilla, the flour ones are made with lard (refried beans also have lard).

I recommend ordering one or two tacos, one papota and trying every salsa on the complimentary chips and salsa bar! There’s even cucumbers and radishes! If you’re one of those salsa-squeamish people, by all means do yourself a favor and try the avocado salsa. It’s like liquid guacamole, but way better than I just made that sound. You’ll want to drink it and no one will judge you. People here bypass the little condiment cups to load up the paper boats. Other vegetarian options would be a cheese quesadilla on corn tortillas. They also have red cheese enchiladas, but the rice and beans that they come with contain chicken stock and lard.

For more info, visit or follow them on Instagram @tacotote.


I love each salsa equally. That’s a lie. I won’t even touch the pico (ew to raw onions) & guacamole is everyone’s favorite. The rest are loved equally.

My Instagram post.

Disclaimer: El Taco Tote asked me to come in to one of their locations to try three of the mushroom veggie tacos free of charge. They did not ask me to review or promote their new tacos. All opinions are my own.

El Paso True Food Buying Club

Update: Some good & bad news, but mostly good! True Food is growing, and has added an eastside location at Just Fit Foods. The library is no longer a pickup location (sad face); Belle Sucre is the new westside pickup.  The $10 and $20 bag options have been discontinued, but actually they have merged into one $30 box. Be sure to visit the website ( to see all the changes and most importantly, to get your orders in!

ep true food 1

We have another CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) option in El Paso! Unfortunately, it is another west and downtown option, but at least Skarsgard Farms has added eastside pick-up at The Herb Garden, and a Sprouts is slated to open on Zaragoza in 2016.

Through blogging and Instagram, I’ve met sisters, Vanessa and Adriana. They are awesome people who are also library advocates, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence! ;) Vanessa has this amazing blog that should have won the Best of Best Blogger award every single year, but it hasn’t because it looks so fancy and professional, I don’t think anyone has figured out that she’s local! Go check it out, it’s called Tried & True: Anyways, we were able to form a partnership, making the Dorris Van Doren Library a pick-up location.

True Food Buying Club is affordable and best of all, the produce is local and organically-grown. Visit their website, for all of the details and to place an order. You pay online by Wednesday (midnight is the cutoff time to order) and then pick up your bag at either Belle Sucre Bakery (7500 N.Mesa), Dorris Van Doren Library (551 Redd Rd.), downtown at Mom’s Fresh Juice (518 W. San Antonio), or east at Just Fit Foods (12115 Montwood) on Saturdays from either 11 am-1 pm or 12-2 pm (check the site for exact times). Unlike Skarsgard, you don’t get to choose the contents, but the contents have varied enough to keep me ordering each week. I’m not a fan of chard, so that was the only thing I disliked getting, but I just tossed it in a smoothie and I was good to go! You can order a $10 bag of produce that comes from Sol y Tierra Farms over in Anthony or a $20 bag that comes with a bit more items and is from Preferred Produce (certified organic) in Deming. The $30 box has produce from these two farms along with Mountain View Co-op in Las Cruces. There is also now the option to add a loaf of bread from Belle Sucre Bakery, which will also change weekly! This week’s option is cranberry walnut loaf.

Here are some of the previous $10 brown bags:

Adriana has been reaching out to local chefs to showcase their talents in the form of a monthly recipe card. The Chef of the Month creates and shares a recipe using in-season and/or the bag’s items. Past chefs have included Chef Rulis of Rulis’ International Kitchen, Chef Lawrence of Tom’s and Dark Horse, and Chef Rudy of the Pan y Agua Group (Crave & TI:ME restaurants at Montecillo).

These were the sweetest, yummiest strawberries I’ve ever had! So tiny, too!

ep true food 2

Sometimes you get fresh herbs like mint, oregano, thyme, or sage!

ep true food belle sucre

Add a loaf of Belle Sucre bread for $4! I was lucky enough to be one of the first to order this basket and win this loaf :D


spinach pasta nests

There are a lot of classic dishes like beef stroganov that I’ve never tried because they sounded gross to me. So, why was I even looking for a similar recipe? Because, I had a bare fridge containing sour cream and mushrooms. Laziness and thriftiness have spawned a recipe that is now in my regular rotation! A quick, creamy pasta is the stuff I need to get through a rough work week, and this adaptation from the Whole Foods site does the trick every time. You can of course get creative and add other spices and veggies, but this is one of those dishes that I keep simple. I think this would work with vegan sour cream, but I’m not completely sure if the sauce would separate.

stroganov side

I am obsessed with these spinach nests I found at Sprouts. The brand is Delverde.

I am obsessed with these spinach nests I found at Sprouts. The brand is Delverde.

The original recipe is called Sour Cream Chicken and Mushroom Pasta and can be found here.

Here’s my take:


Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon butter or oil
1½ cups sliced or chopped mushrooms
1 cup sour cream
1 cup no-beef broth, mushroom broth, or your favorite broth (I use half of an Edward & Sons Not-Beef bouillon cube diluted in 1 cup hot water)
Paprika (optional)
½ pound dried fettuccine or your favorite pasta

Melt butter or oil in a skillet. Add mushrooms and cook a few minutes or until softened. Stir in sour cream, broth, and paprika (I like to sprinkle a few shakes of smoked paprika). Cover and simmer on low until slightly thickened or when pasta is ready. Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Drain well, and toss with sauce. Garnish if you like with cheese or fresh herbs.

stroganov top