Appetizer/Side

Garlic Eggplant Hummus

This is a simpler variation on Marcus Samuelson’s Chickpea-Eggplant Dip in Soul of a New Cuisine.  It’s by far the best hummus I’ve ever had, so smooth, almost silky with that deep eggplant taste.  Love love love it. Ingredients: 3 cans chickpeas, drained 1 carrot, sliced 1 large Spanish onion, chopped 2 t garlic, chopped ½ c olive oil 2 large eggplants, cut lengthwise in half 2 […]

Mexican VegBeef Tamales

I love tamales, and wish vegetarian versions were more commonly available.  Below is Tyler Florence’s recipe adapted for our vegetarian diet.  Takes a while to make, but is totally worth it.  Has that perfect blend of chilies, vegetarian beef, and sweet corn.  This version is very mild, with just a touch of heat. Ingredients: 1 bag dried corn husks, about 24 Meat Filling: 14 Morningstar Original […]

Toasted Orzo with Grilled Vegetables

This is one of our go-to recipes when get a hankering for grilling.  It’s adapted from Bobby Flay’s Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad with Grilled Summer Vegetables recipe.  Just the right balance of tart with charred veggies and savory toasted orzo.  It’s usually the first dish to go after we make it.  Can’t eat just one bowl! Ingredients: Veggies: 2 tomatoes, halved 1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded 1 […]

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup (酸辣湯)

I’ve made this delicious soup in various versions over the years, thanks to Wei-Chuan’s cookbook guidance.  It’s got that perfect balance of sour and savory with a tinge of heat.  I don’t miss the meat at all in this vegetarian version.  Here’s our most recent variation, chock full of veggie goodness.  Most of the veggies are optional, feel free to add or subtract as your pantry allows. […]

Fusion Chipolte Lentil Soup

Deniz and I have always loved lentil soup.  Before we met, each of us made it in our own way, me with Taiwanese seasoning (soy sauce and vegetables), Deniz with Turkish seasoning (tomato paste and onions).  When we started cooking together, we found a way to marry our two recipes, and the result was better than either of our original recipes.  It’s now become one of our old standby […]

Turkish Spinach Yogurt Dip (Ispanaklı Yoğurt Meze)

This is another of my favorite vegetarian Turkish meze dishes.  Had it once in a Turkish restaurant in Tokyo and insisted that Deniz ask his mom how to make it.  It’s similar to the American spinach dip, but much more flavorful and healthy.  We’ve made it several times since.  We adapted this recipe from Deniz’ mom’s recipe and the Sultan’s Kitchen a Turkish Cookbook.  So delicious […]

Turkish Ezogelin Soup

When I was in college back in Turkey, it was common for us students to eat cheap fixed menus at nearby restaurants which usually consists of soup, rice, a meat dish, and a dessert. My soup of choice (if there was any choice) was always Ezogelin. Tasty mixture of lentils and bulgur in a tomato-based soup, accompanied with a slice of fresh bread. That’s why I was […]

Turkish Yogurt Soup (Yayla)

This is one of my favorite dishes from my childhood. I remember asking my mom if she could make that ‘soup with dots’ since tiny chopped mints pieces looked like little dots on this white soup. Once in a while I make this dish using soup packets by Knorr or Piyale, but this is the first time I made it with fresh ingredients. If I knew […]

Indian Grilled Eggplant Pâté (Baingan Bharta)

If you like mashed eggplant dishes like Baba Ganoosh, this dish is for you. It’s a tart Indian dish, packing in lots of spices and flavor. If you have the ingredients, making it is very easy. Either eat as a side dish, or make it a dip for your chips. Ingredients 2lbs of eggplant ¼ c cilantro ½ c finely chopped onion 1 t garam masala 1 t cumin seed 2 […]

Fusion Black Velvet Hummus Dip

One day we were staring at our pantry after a fun but tiresome trip. We did not have the energy to go grocery shopping, but we had to make something to feed ourselves! We had all the ingredients for a hummus dip, but Delphine’s suggestion about adding the black bean turned out to be an awesome decision. We used pepper paste to add a unique zing. […]

Chinese Stir-Fried Choi Sum with Brown Sauce

As a little girl, I always dreaded dinner when my parents made stir-fried Chinese vegetables (except for kong shin tsai which is the bomb).  They’re so bitter.  What kid wants to eat bitter greens.  Who cares how good they are for you?!  Well, I now know that with the right brown sauce, Chinese vegetables can taste great!  So what’s the secret brown sauce recipe?  Well look no further (okay, […]

Taiwanese Stir-fried Ong Choi (空心菜)

Ong Choi, or Kong Shin Tsai as it’s called in Taiwanese, is by far Deniz and my favorite vegetable.  We suffered terribly living in Japan with sparse access to it.  We’d desperately search for it and only found it once or twice a year in the grocery store at highway robbery prices.  Thai restaurants would serve it, but we never could figure out where they were […]

Taiwanese Radish Cake (蘿蔔糕 – Gwei)

Gwei… Taiwanese radish cakes made of rice and daikon.  Mmmmm… Every time I hear that name, fond memories of savory and succulent Taiwanese dim sum treats from my childhood come rushing back.  I still remember those lazy weekend trips to Chinatown for dim sum in Philadelphia.  I’d watch steaming mini bamboo baskets of gwei passing by on carts and desperately point with my tiny fingers to […]