Tag Archives: vegetarian

Beet Arugula Salad with Cashews

cashew beet saladMy sister and I went out to lunch with our dad on father’s day.  Because we’re so broke he actually took us out.  We had this amazing beet salad.  We decided to make our own version of it at home.

Taras beet saladYou don’t need a recipe for this.  We steamed some cubed peeled beets.  We chopped up some lightly toasted cashews.  The salad we had at The Lark Creek Tavern had pistachios on it but those are expensive and we didn’t have any.  Easy sub to make.

cashew beet salad 3So you put a bed of arugula on each plate.  Put about a half a cup of beets.  Then crumble some feta over it.  Or not.  This salad is just as good without cheese.  Then you sprinkle chopped cashews over it.  Slice up an avocado and put about a quarter of one on each plate.  Unless the avocado is tiny.  Then use half.  Or not.  Then dress with vinaigrette.  Or whatever you like.  We used my standard mustard vinaigrette.

My sister plated this and I think she did an awesome job!

If you need a portable recipe for the End Times I’ve got you covered!  I just posted the first recipe on The Post Apocalyptic Kitchen —> Check it out!

Sautéed King Trumpet Mushrooms Over Polenta Recipe

I found these local king trumpet mushrooms at a little market near Sebastopol.  I tried to walk away from them but I kept going back because they were so fresh and pristine and beautiful.  A worthy splurge.  I wanted to prepare them very simply so that the mushrooms could really shine.  I didn’t salt or pepper the sauté and I made the polenta plain.  Because of this I think it’s really important to finish the dish with a drizzle of olive oil – it adds just the right amount of richness without taking anything away from the mushrooms.

Here is a dish that doesn’t want cheese on it.  As I ate it I had no desire to add any Parmesan curls* or feta.  It was perfect as it was.  For my vegan friends – if you don’t already prepare mushrooms this way – please try it!

Sautéed King Trumpet Mushrooms over Polenta Recipe

4 servings

Sautéed King Trumpet Mushrooms over Polenta Recipe


    For the polenta:
  • 1 cup fine polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • For the saute:
  • 1 lb King Trumpet mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp parsley, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine or pressed
  • olive oil for finishing


    Prepare the Polenta:
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium sauce pan and add the salt to the water.
  2. Once boiling turn the heat to low.
  3. Whisk the polenta into the water.
  4. Cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Prepare the Mushroom Saute:
  6. Clean the mushrooms.
  7. Trim off the ends of the stems and slice mushrooms lengthwise. (Small ones in half and large ones in three slices.)
  8. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on med/high. When hot toss the mushrooms in the oil and sauté until they are cooked all the way through and are golden at the edges.
  9. Turn the heat down to med/low and add the parsley and garlic and cook for a couple more minutes stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't burn.
  10. To serve:
  11. Ladel the polenta into bowls.
  12. Top each bowl of polenta with the mushrooms.
  13. Drizzle olive oil over each serving.


If you use a medium or coarse grind of polenta you'll need to give it more time to cook. I prefer the finely ground polenta both for its smoother texture and speed of cooking.

You can substitute the king trumpets with any other mushroom but I hope you can find these because they're really wonderful.

This dish is vegan and gluten free (provided your polenta was not processed in a plant that also processes gluten products).


*Like I ever actually make Parmesan curls?  Right.  I’m the girl who dumps piles of grated Parmesan on everything.

Pan Roasted Mushrooms With Thyme Recipe

I can’t get enough mushrooms right now.  I haven’t been seeing the wild ones at the farmer’s market yet but I’ve been buying a whole lot of cultivated white button and Crimini mushrooms.  I love them almost any way except for raw.  I love to roast them on the grill, sautee them thinly sliced with onion to put in omelets, and of course I love to make tofu stroganoff.  But this is by far my current favorite way to eat mushrooms: pan roasting them with onions and thyme in olive oil and then finishing them off with some red wine vinegar.  I’d use wine but I never happen to have any sitting around.  When they’re still warm but not hot I put them on a bed of lettuce with some feta cheese and dress with vinaigrette.  It’s a simple but satisfying salad.

Pan Roasted Mushrooms With Thyme

Pan Roasted Mushrooms With Thyme


  • 2 lbs button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large saute pan and add the mushrooms and onions.
  2. With the heat on high saute the mushrooms and onions until they start to brown, stirring frequently to prevent them from sticking to the pan or burning.
  3. Add the thyme and salt and turn the heat down to medium-high.
  4. Add the vinegar and cook with a lid on for about five minutes to get the mushrooms to release their juices.
  5. Remove the lid and continue cooking until all the juices have cooked down, stirring frequently.
  6. Grind fresh pepper over them and serve.


You can serve these mushrooms as a side dish, add to a salad, or add them to eggs. These are just the ways we've enjoyed them - I'm confident there are many other ways to enjoy this dish. If you have some red wine on hand I suggest using that in place of the red wine vinegar. This recipe can be easily halved. I do a big batch because we can't get enough of them.


Asparagus and Fresh Fava Couscous Recipe

I am seeing fresh favas show up at more and more markets both in my own area and across food blogs.  This is a happy circumstance and if you haven’t found them at your local farmer’s market start pummeling your local farmers to grow them.  I dislike dried favas a great deal but eaten fresh they are nutty and a little sweet (much like peas) and versatile.

I can’t get enough of them which is why I usually grow at least one bed of them in my own garden.  I missed out this year which is really cramping my style because their season is super short and once you see them at the farmer’s market you may only have two weeks to take advantage of them.  They don’t keep well in storage.  (Take note when buying them and putting them in the fridge:  you have a maximum of two days to get those suckers shucked and blanched before they will go off).

I usually try to get people to try favas in my grilled polenta recipe but right now, I want you to try this recipe and play with it while you have the chance.  There are so many ways you could alter what I offer here to suit your personal tastes and to expand it.  This is simple and pretty fast to make.

Asparagus and Fresh Fava Couscous

serves 8


1 1/2 cups couscous

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 cups water

1/3 cup olive oil

1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1″-2″ pieces

1 cup fresh shelled favas (a good sized produce bag of unshelled), skin removed

6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

1/2 bunch basil, julienned

8 oz feta, crumbled

2/3 cup mustard vinaigrette to dress it with


Make the couscous according the directions HERE.

In a large saute pan heat 1/3 cup olive oil on med/high heat.  Add the asparagus and the shelled beans.  Do not walk away.  You need to stir this frequently or the beans will stick to the bottom of the pan.  When the asparagus and beans start to brown, add the garlic and saute just until they start to brown.  Turn the heat off and add the basil.

Add the couscous to the vegetables and toss really well.  Add the feta and the dressing and toss really well again.  Eat.

Recipe Notes: About trimming the asparagus- I cut a good 2 to 3 inches off the bottoms and that’s not always enough.  I cut the stems into 1″ pieces and then left the tops a little longer.  About preparing favas- yeah, they’re a little work but they’re worth it.  Be sure to blanch the beans and then remove the outer skin.  I failed to weigh the unshelled bag of favas I bought but did measure the shelled beans.  I don’t think you need to get your knickers in a twist over this one.  Just get a good sized bag of favas and it will be perfect.

I added no salt or pepper to this recipe because I used a vinaigrette to dress it which already has seasonings in it.  If you don’t like vinaigrette I suggest you use plain olive oil instead but use only 1/3 cup of it and then salt and pepper the dish.  Be careful though, because the feta adds quite a bit of salt on its own.

If you are vegan I would ditch the feta and use one cup of green olives very rougly chopped if they’re large, or left whole if they’re small.  You could use kalamatas instead but I really think green here would be the best.  While this dish will still be good without either feta or olives, I think it makes the dish much more exciting.

This makes a lot.  I don’t cook in small amounts.  If you want to halve the recipe it’s not at all difficult.  Halve everything and make only 3/4 cup couscous to 1 1/2 cups water.

I had to give you one more picture.  To convince you to try this dish.