A Vegetarian Dinner (Recipe: Leek & Mushroom Bake with Polenta Crust)

We tend to eat at least seventy-five percent vegetarian during the week, yet for some reason when I entertain on the weekends, I often feel obligated to serve up a big slab of meat. It might be a roast chicken, filet of salmon, or lamb curry, but seldom is it vegetarian fare.

As I was assembling this mushroom and polenta gratin, I wondered to myself why I always chose a protein as my main dish and why didn’t I indulge my friends in some of the healthier and more adventurous dishes that we eat day to day?

Whatever the reason – expectations, tastes or tradition – it became apparent as I dished up this gratin around our dinner table that I had created something well-worth sharing. Meat-lovers, or no meat-lovers.

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Unprocessed Week Recap (Recipe: Cream of Potato-Leek Soup)

To say that our week of eating only unprocessed foods went by without much ruffling of feathers would be a fair statement. If you remember, we had pledged to one week of ‘hard core’ unprocessed eating and the entire month of October as ‘soft core’, meaning we might indulge in chocolate chip cookies or hot cocoa once in a while.

Saturday wrapped our week of serious wholesome eating, and today I’ve brought you the highlights from that week, with a few recipes and tips for beating the cravings.

If you are smack in the middle of October Unprocessed and need a little inspiration for the week ahead, or just want to improve your diet in general, then hit the jump.

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fresh asparagus

Salute Spring! Asparagus (Recipe: Cream of Asparagus Soup)

Join us as we Salute Spring with a week-long series featuring the finest fruits and vegetables of the season. Written by Katie Goodman

Spring is here and so is one of my favorite vegetables – Asparagus!

Asparagus has been one of my favorite vegetables for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I recall times and the family dinner table where my siblings would sneak their stalks onto my plate as my mother’s back was turned.

I remember eating asparagus and loving it even before entering kindergarten, which is saying something because I’ve yet to get my kindergarten-er to try even a bite!

Before you go purchasing asparagus, there are a few things to consider: Asparagus Season; Selecting and Trimming; and Simple Ways to Enjoy Asparagus.

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Spotlight Ingredient: Leeks

By far the most underestimated of all winter vegetables is the leek. They usually get lost in the respectable, yet predictable Vichyssoise, but this cousin of the onion is capable of so much more.

From Humble Beginnings to Show Stoppers

Once dubbed “Poor-man’s Asparagus”, the leek needs only some slow braising or gentle grilling to bring out its sweet yet complex flavor. The leek should not be considered merely an add-in, because it can stand up very well on its own in a variety of side dishes. [Read more…]