I've made minestrone a bunch of times but was never incredibly happy with it. I had dinner at a friend's house a few weeks ago and they'd made a really great vegetarian minestrone from Moosewood. I'm actually not sure if this is the exact same recipe (there are so many different Moosewood cookbooks) but I was pretty happy with the way this came out. Putting green peppers in was a new thing for me, so that may have helped. Here's roughly what I did, which is a variation on what's listed in the link. (I made this last week so my memory's not perfect.)


  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 5 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 cup celery -- minced
  • 1 cup carrot -- cubed
  • 1 cup zucchini, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley -- chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1 potato, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 3 cups tomato puree (~42 oz canned tomatoes blended in Cuisinart)
  • 3 1/2 cups water or less - to cover (use water from cooking garbanzos if possible)
Saute garlic and onions in oil until they are soft and translucent.
Add 1 tsp. salt, carrot, celery.
Mix well.
Add oregano, black pepper and basil.
Cover and cook over low heat 5-8 minutes.
Add green pepper, zucchini, stock, puree, and cooked beans.
Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Add tomatoes and remaining salt.
Keep at lowest heat until 10 minutes before you plan to serve. Add parsley for the last ~20 minutes of cooking.

Dal Makhani / Madras Lentils

I want to try my hand at Dal Makhani--I really like Trader Joe's Madras Lentils which seem to be a version of it. I have no idea if the TJ's stuff is authentic or not, but it's tasty. And I have some black lentils sitting around that I want to use up.

The TJ's stuff contains tomatoes, lentils (pretty sure they are black lentils--they are unlike any red or green or brown lentil I've used), kidney beans, onion, cream, salt, butter, oil, ginger, red chiles, and cumin.

I'm going to play around with this recipe (but without a pressure cooker since I don't have one.) Kasoori methi seems to be fenugreek, but I think I'll leave it out the first time.

pumpkin bread

From  http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/2010/09/pumpkin-bread/ with modifications:

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup water
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1  teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon allspice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, butter, water, sugars and vanilla until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, pumpkin spice and walnuts. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Keep pumpkin bread tightly wrapped in plastic wrap to retain freshness.

This time I substituted about 1 1/4 cups of oat flour (whole grain) for 1 1/2 cups of flour because I wanted to use up the oat flour.

Baking in 1 glass 9x5  and 1 glass 8x8 pan, greased with flour+butter spray.

Verdict: tasty, and it comes right out of the pan. Win.