De Ma Cuisine



March 2015



Roasted Carrots with Honey and Almonds

Written by , Posted in Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Lunch, Nuts, One Dish Dinners, Quick and Easy, Roasting, Salads, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian


If these carrots had a story, I’d imagine that it would go something like this, “My grandmother used to tell us about life in the old country. Her father was a carrot farmer. They had good years, but there were the lean years too.


Her mother made the best ricotta. It was a favorite in their town. During those harder times they would trade their carrots and that ricotta for the almonds grown on the farm right next to theirs.


At the end of the summer, they would shake the trees and there was always so much dust in the air. But, it was worth it. When they tasted those almonds, combined with the sweet carrots, grown by her father’s hand, topped with the cool, silky ricotta, it felt like everything would be alright. There was a promise of better times in those simple ingredients.


As she tossed the carrots with some olive oil, salt and pepper, a far away look would come over her.


As she took her first bite, I knew that the taste was taking her back to a different time. Memories long forgotten were brought back with the sweet roasted flavor. It tasted like home.”


 Yes, I think that’s the kind of story these carrots would tell.

Happy Eating!

Roasted Carrots with Honey and Almonds

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 17 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes

Yield: 2-4 as a side dish, 2 as a light main dish

Roasted Carrots with Honey and Almonds


  • 3 carrots, sliced into rounds (1/4" thick)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/4 C (heaping) almonds, diced
  • 1/4 C ricotta cheese
  • lemon slices, for serving


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  2. Toss the carrots with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
  3. Toss partially roasted carrots with garlic, honey, and almonds. Spread out on the baking sheet and return to the oven and roast for 5-7 minutes more.
  4. Serve topped with a scoop of ricotta and a squeeze of lemon.



March 2015



Mac and Cheese with Veggies and Beans

Written by , Posted in Beans, Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Legumes, Main Dishes, Pasta, Vegetables, Vegetarian


Some nights I need something super simple for dinner. Mac and cheese is one of those meals that really hits the spot. It’s comforting, easy to make, and can be packed with veggies and protein.


Today I had a ton of broccoli on hand. I made “pasta” out of the stems yesterday, but the florets needed to be used up.


They’re tossed in the skillet, with some olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne for a hint of spice.


While the broccoli cooks, the sauce comes together (and the pasta boils away). My mission was gluten-free, so I used some ground up flax seeds soaked in milk, and blended chickpeas to thicken. The sauce wasn’t as smooth as I’ve ever had, but it tasted really good.




Added to the nicely thickened sauce is tons of grated gouda. This cheese is seriously good. I could have eaten that whole block on my own, if I had had crackers on hand. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t.


I had bow tie pasta on hand. I’m a use what’s in the house kinda cook. But, if I was making this a second time, I might consider using fusilli or penne pasta (there are some delicious rice pastas out there).


Everything gets combined then sprinkled with a touch more paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Just for fun. I like to let it stand for 5-10 minutes so everything can get good and set before serving. But, if you can’t wait, I understand.


This dish would work no matter what veggies are in season. In spring you could use asparagus or snap peas. In the summer you could try summer squash or bell peppers. When fall and winter come back around again, butternut squash, cauliflower, or kohlrabi would be nice. No matter what the veggies are, it’s great on its own. But, I also think that it would be great topped with a fried egg (isn’t everything?!) or with some cooked and chopped meat mixed in (ham, bacon, chicken, turkey, beef… pretty much anything would be tasty).

Happy Eating!

Mac and Cheese with Veggies and Beans

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Mac and Cheese with Veggies and Beans


  • 1 T flax seeds, ground
  • 2 C milk (divided 3 T, then 1 3/4 C plus 1 T)
  • 1/2 C chickpeas (blended) or hummus
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • 4 oz. pasta (any kind - rice pasta is great)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 4 C broccoli (or cauliflower, carrots, kohlrabi, asparagus, snap peas, summer squash, bell peppers, or butternut squash)
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/4 C reserved pasta water
  • 2 C gouda, grated
  • 1/2 C parmesan cheese, grated
  • paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper for sprinkling
  • lemon slices for serving


  1. Mix ground flax seeds with milk. Let it stand for 15 minutes (it will get kinda gelatinous).
  2. Heat remaining milk and milk-flax mixture in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add chickpeas/hummus and dijon, stir to combine, and cook for about 5 minutes more.
  3. Cook pasta.
  4. Heat skillet, add olive oil, broccoli salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika. Cook over medium or medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add pasta water to sauce. Remove from heat. Whisk in cheeses. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Stir in pasta and broccoli. Top with a sprinkle of paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  6. Let stand for about 5-10 minutes. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.


Prep and cooking time includes active and inactive components.



February 2015



How to Feed Picky Eaters

Written by , Posted in How To, Kid-Friendly


I usually add as many veggies as I can, no matter what I’m cooking. I will often consult The Vegetarian Flavor Bible if I’m not sure about a paring. But, the more I cook and eat, the better I am at knowing what works and what doesn’t (except when I tried to make a puréed beet soup a few weeks ago with far too many turnips). Sometimes I grate them into a sauce, or blend them along with a soup. I find that, especially in things like soups, chilis, stews, sauces, and smoothies, you can hide many an un-loved food.


Of all of the ingredients to hide, I think squash is one of the easier ones. In the summer the thin skinned, more delicate summer squash will be available, like zucchini and crooknecks. When it’s colder, we will have the denser winter squashes like butternut and spaghetti squash. My mom used to grate zucchini into “Zoo Bread”. We loved it and had no idea what we were eating.


Second to squash, I’d say that greens are a good one to hide. They’re packed with nutrients and most are mild in flavor, so they will be easily hidden (maybe work your way up to stronger flavored mustard greens and arugula). Their color is a bit more noticeable, but they can go in just about anything… even a smoothie.

Two of my very favorite places to hide veggies are in soups and pasta sauces. They offending parties can be blended up and added to a tomato sauce, or to the broth of the soup. They can also be grated, diced, or chopped, depending on the level of pickiness.


Some of my favorite dishes for hiding squash include:

Rotini Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Vegetarian Lasagne

Summer Chili and Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

Three Cheese Corn Chowder and Spaghetti Soup

They also work well in things like Basil and Summer Squash RisottoBeef and Bean Enchiladas and could almost pass for hash browns in Squash au Gratin.

Winner winner squash for dinner.


Some of my favorite dishes for hiding greens include:

Summer Pizza and Kale Pesto

Ham and Greens Chowder and Loaded Chicken and Rice Soup

Deconstructed Lasagne and Shepherd’s Pie of the South

In any of these, the greens could be blended up beforehand and added to the pizza or pasta sauce, soups, or shepherd’s pie, if there are those who prefer smaller pieces of green.


Another thing that I’ve heard is great to do with kids is to plant a garden (it doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly large – a potted basil plant on the balcony will do just fine). Let them help with the entire process from seed to table. When the plants have matured, let them select some for a dish, and, keeping with the basil idea, they could tear the leaves up and sprinkle them on some pasta. They may be more inclined to eat something that they’ve had a hand in not just preparing, but growing.

Happy Eating!



February 2015



Broccoli and Cauliflower Stem “Pasta”

Written by , Posted in Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Nuts, Pasta, Roasting, Vegetables, Vegetarian


You ever have one of those nights when you’re all ready to make dinner and then you realize that you’re missing one of the key ingredients? I know I have. Just today I realized that I don’t have enough beans to make the Enchilada Casserole and the Mac and Cheese with Pinto Beans that I have planned for tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch. So, I’ll improvise. The mac and cheese will likely end up with garbonzo beans. It may even end up as a better dish.

This happens to me with pasta sometimes. For all of the planning and organizing that I do, I still miss things. Or, something changes and I need an easy dish. Pasta’s a great one for that. But, when I’m out? Well, now that doesn’t matter so much. I have a solution.


Veggie scraps and stems don’t usually go to waste in our home, because I use them to make stock and then they’re composted. But, what if they could be used for eating?! I mean, there’s a ton of goodness that is being wasted, even if it is going towards the garden.


I sliced off the tough outer peel. Then, with a vegetable peeler (a mandolin would work here too), I sliced, or peeled them super thin.


Then they steamed for about 10 minutes. And, much to my delight, had the consistency and texture of fresh homemade cooked pasta.



The stems cooked up while some brussels sprouts roasted. I know that some don’t think they like brussels. I didn’t until a few years ago either. I suspect because I’d never had them roasted. For me, pretty much any veggie roasted will be a hit.


I tossed them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Super simple.


I thought that, rather than getting a baking sheet dirty, I might as well use an oven proof skillet and roast them in there. They turned out just perfect!


And then it all came together. A bit of butter, some olive oil, dijon mustard, and some seasonings were added to the pan. They didn’t have long to cook.


I took it off the heat, added those cooked “pasta” stems, and a good squeeze of lemon.


A handful of fresh parsley from the garden completed things.



It would be great topped with a fried egg, alongside a freshly baked baguette, or, as I ate it, just on it’s own, topped with parmesan and crunchy almonds.

I ate my portion and then picked out the rest of the brussels sprouts and ate them. Sometimes I have a hard time sharing.

Happy Eating!

Broccoli and Cauliflower Stem “Pasta”

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 21 minutes

Total Time: 46 minutes

Yield: 2

Broccoli and Cauliflower Stem “Pasta”


  • 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 t olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 2 1/2 - 3 C broccoli and cauliflower stems, thinly sliced or shaved (a veggie peeler works great)
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t fresh rosemary (or 1/2 t dried), chopped
  • 1/4 t dried thyme (or 1/2 t fresh)
  • pinch cayenne
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • pinch ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • 1-2 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1-2 T parmesan, shaved
  • 2-4 T almonds, chopped


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F. Toss brussels sprouts with 1 t olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in an oven proof skillet cut side down. Roast for 10 minutes, flip carefully to the other cut side, and roast for 7-10 minutes more.
  2. Bring 1" water to a boil in a pot with a steamer basket and lid. Place shaved stems in the steamer basket and cover. Steam for 5-10 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Remove skillet with brussels sprouts from the oven. Place on the stove top (being careful of the handle which will be very hot). Add butter through dijon, and cook over medium-low heat for about a minute, stirring often. Remove from heat. Add parsley, lemon juice, and steamed stems. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Serve topped with parmesan and almonds.



February 2015



Sweet and Spicy Roasted Beet and Carrot Soup

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Roasting, Soups, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


If you are into time travel and happen to meet up with my younger self, please don’t tell her that she will grow to love beets. She will surely not believe you and may even laugh in your face.

I am not a believer in time travel, if you were wondering. But, we just watched the Back to the Future trilogy, and being married to Tim, we discuss time travel way more than I ever thought I would. So it’s on my mind more often than I would have ever thought it would be… But then again, I never thought I’d like beets, sooooooo…

If I could time travel, I think I’d go to a point in history when Julia Child was alive, so I could meet her, preferably in Paris, at a dinner party at her house, after we’d become best friends during one of her L’école des trois gourmandes classes. Maybe we’d even enjoy beets together, since I would be taking my love of beets with me wherever I time traveled to.

Yes, beets. I love them. I am sad when they’re gone. It’s a pretty good life lesson, if I stop and think about it. There are so many things that I think I don’t like. Maybe I really and truly don’t like them. But, with the right additions, with the right complimentary flavors, after trying and failing a few times, maybe they will become not just not as bad as I’d thought, but a favorite.


For this soup, beets are most certainly the star. They bring a sweet, earthy depth to it that’s like nothing else. Combined with (also sweet) carrots, it’s just a fabulous combination. They stained my hands red when I was peeling them (making me wonder how they’d do as an Easter egg dye) (if that would bother you, you could wear gloves), but it washed off with a good scrubbing.


The cauliflower in this dish adds a bit of crunch and, well technically a lack of color, that looks kinda awesome with the red soup. I cooked it separately and added it at the end so that it wouldn’t turn pink. If you don’t care as much, you can add it to the soup with the beets and carrots.


The base of the soup is basically (ha, no pun intended) olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and vegetable stock. There’s a bit of salt and pepper, and some heat from cayenne. That’s it. It’s a simple one.


The carrots and beets take a while longer to roast than the cauliflower, so they get a head start.


Don’t worry, the cauliflower will catch up.

Roasted cauliflower and broccoli are one of my favorite sides. Probably ever. I can’t get enough of how crispy and nutty they get in the oven.


The beets and carrots are added to the boiling stock. They’ll all simmer away for a few minutes. Then it’s ladled into a bowl, topped with some cauliflower, lemon juice, and dill. I haven’t decided if I like it better with or without the dill. I mean, I like it both ways, so I’d say add it if you want to.


I made a very different beet soup a few weeks ago that was not yummy. I added a few too many bitter root veggies that threw off the taste. So, my expectations for this soup were admittedly not very high. This soup pleasantly surprised me with how flavorful it was. I liked it so much that I put my spoon down and slurped the last of the broth out of the bowl.

The real test will be if Tim likes it. He doesn’t yet know that he loves beets like I do. ;)

Happy Eating!

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Beet and Carrot Soup

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Beet and Carrot Soup


  • 1 large beet (about 2 C), peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 3 t olive oil, divided
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 3 carrots (about 1 1/2 C), cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 1/4 head of cauliflower (about 2 C), cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 4 C vegetable stock
  • 2 C water
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • good sprinkle cayenne
  • lemon slices, for serving
  • 1/2 t dill (optional), finely chopped, for topping


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  2. Toss beets with 1 t olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake on the top rack for 15 minutes.
  3. Toss carrots with 1 t olive oil, some salt and pepper. Stir beets and add carrots, cook for 15 minutes more.
  4. Toss cauliflower with 1 t olive oil, place on a baking sheet. Stir beets and carrots and move to a rack in the lower portion of the oven. Place cauliflower on the upper rack. Roast for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove beets and carrots from the oven. Flip cauliflower, and roast 10 minutes more.
  6. Heat soup pot over medium-low. Add 1 T olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 30 seconds more. Add stock through cayenne. Bring to a boil, add beets and carrots* and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  7. Spoon into bowls, topping the soup with cauliflower, lemon, and a tiny bit of dill.