I love my mom to death… we disagree on many things, we argue, but we also have tons in common. We both love to travel, to shop, to decorate, work on home projects, and we have also a mutual love for yoga, meditation and the spiritual lifestyle.
And what do you do to honor and celebrate someone who has giving you everything but also has everything she needs?? You cook for them… because everyone is bound to get hungry sometime and especially if they ask you for something in specific.
Sometimes, when my mom and I go to The Boys Farmer’s Market in Florida, she will see products/ingredients and tell me, “Madelyn… Why don’t you make this tonight?”
So to honor all my mom’s cravings I want to share some of her favorite recipes in KarmaFree Cooking. The ones she requests over and over and over again. Maybe YOUR Mom will enjoy them as well.
Cottage Cheese Dip
Tofu with Snow Peas and Bean Sprouts
Quinoa Pasta with Fresh Baby Spinach and Lemon
White Lasagna with Spinach
Whole Wheat Bread Budín
Pumpkin Cuatro Leches
This is a list of 11… but the cottage cheese can’t be called a recipe, but believe me, If I have cottage cheese and chips and my mom passes by, she will undoubtedly stand guard in front of me and eat my stuff until I tell her to stop.
I should have posted this a few days back… but now that we have a few extra days free on our weekend in when I am ready to share some grilling tips with you all.
Judging by the amount of grills and BBQs on the beach, you would believe July 4th is National Grill Day more so than Independence Day. I am headed myself to a pool party/BBQ party hosted by my good friend Annie Mariel. She mentioned she will have vegetarian treats for us all… but particularly me.
This reminds me of a few years back when my good friends Ana and Rafa invited me to a backyard BBQ/pool party and they set up a separate grill just for the vegetarian fare – vegetable kebabs, corn on the cob and asparagus.
I am planning ahead this time just in case and I am bringing a few of my favorite grilling foods to make sure there’s plenty of veggie-full celebrations this year:
To me, the best veggie burger alternative there is. Season heavily and no one will miss the meat.
Veggie Hot Dogs
I serve them open faced and split in half so they get a blistered and charred exterior.
These are more fried than grilled, but a soy-albóndiga sandwich will make a great addition to your vegeterian BBQ spread.
Veggie Party Dip
Never arrive empty-handed to any BBQ you’re invited to… bring along this great dip with some crackers or totrilla chips and everyone will ask you for the recipe.
Even though I am not currently dating someone special… I still like to cook something nice, even if it’s just for myself.
After all, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate LOVE and there are many ways to express and celebrate love – love towards your parents, love towards your kids, love towards your siblings, love towards your pets, love towards your partner, love towards your neighbors, your family in general, your co-workers, your friends and most of all, LOVE TOWARDS YOURSELF. Because, if you don’t love yourself, how do you expect others to love you too???
Here are a few ideas I have cooked in the past to impress a few loved ones… hope you choose to make one to impress YOURSELF!!!
Cheese, Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti
Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes over Pasta
Eggplant and Goat Cheese Bake
Korean Seasoned Tofu
Chame’s Spinach Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese
Poached Pears with Blue Cheese and Almond Praline
It might seem weird to you that I am posting an asparagus recipe in the Fall… but I had these pictures taken for a few months now, but never got around to write a post about it. And given I have noticed how many readers we have from the Southern Hemisphere, then it should be just as appropriate to post something that goes with their Spring season starting just now.
The asparagus I grew up with were canned and I usually ate them almost exclusively in a party sandwich like these…
But I have come to develop a great love for asparagus, especially when they’re abundant and fresh in season in every farmer’s market near you. This is an easy delicious recipe to snack on or as a side dish…
½ a bunch of asparagus
Salt and Pepper to taste
The juice of ½ lemon or lime
I like to use a grill pan for this… and I like pencil-thin asparagus.
- Clean the asparagus by trimming the end where the asparagus breaks on its own when you bend the stalk. That end will be stringy and not pleasant to eat anyway. You can keep it to flavor some vegetable stock if you want. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper and massage the asparagus to make sure they’re all coated and seasoned.
- Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Place your asparagus as flat as possible on top of grill pan. Allow them to cook for a few minutes. Turn them around by rolling them on their side so they get grill marks on various sides.
- When they turn bright green, about 4-5 minutes, they’re most probably done. Turn off the stove and squirt some lemon juice on top. Take them off the grill pan and serve, sprinkling some grated parmesan cheese on top to season.
Some of us love and enjoy cooking… Some of us just like to eat and would very willingly skip the cooking part because they find no joy in it at all. Or they just believe they do not have the skills necessary to cook delicious and healthy meals.
Such is the case of my friend Alison, the executive director of KarmaNYC’s Karma Life & Style Magazine. Alison loves to eat and she actually wants to follow a more healthful diet but feels her skills in the kitchen are an obstacle to her goal. She does not feel comfortable in the kitchen, AT ALL… not even her own kitchen. She doesn’t even know what kitchen appliances she owns!!!
She came to me for help… “Madelyn… I can’t cook to save my life!!! Where do I start??” Alison is not alone… I get this same question all the time from friends, family, even people I meet randomly. And what I suggest all of them do is start SMALL.
I now love cooking… but this wasn’t always that way. I remember there was a time when all I knew was to make things in the microwave. But it’s all a matter of exposure… exposure to flavors and techniques and ingredients that make your life easy and delicious.
I went to Alison’s home recently and created a whole dinner party menu ANYONE can put together, even kitchen-challenged Alison!!!! This menu is all about ASSEMBLY – mixing, layering, pureeing, tossing together ingredients which in the end all look and taste delicious. And on the best thing… it’s all good for you. Look at the directions of each of these recipes… lots of assembly, very little tending over a stove.
Here was our menu:
Baked Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce
Mesclun Greens, Figs and Blue Cheese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
I hope Alison and some of you “eaters-not-cookers” find the confidence to make at least one of these recipes at home. You don’t have to make them all for a dinner party… start small. Pick one and start building your self-confidence. You’ll see that in very little time you’ll slowly start enjoying cooking, or at least “assembling” a whole lot more.
Stay positive… I am rooting for all of you. Right, Alison???