December 10, 2014

Holiday Giveaway: Food Rules Print from Holstee

The prize for this Holiday Giveaway is generously provided by Holstee

Photo Credit: Holstee


Am I the only one who can't believe it's already December? Another holiday season has snuck up on me, and before I get too deep into the craziness of my to-do list (decorating the apartment, shopping for gifts, attending holiday parties, baking, cooking, flying home to Michigan…), I just want to say one thing:

Thank you.

Thanks for reading, for commenting, for cooking my recipes in your kitchens. Thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet. I'm so incredibly grateful to have you here. To show my thanks, I'd like to share a holiday gift with one lucky reader.

This giveaway is made possible by Holstee, a small Brooklyn company whose unique and thoughtful Manifesto went viral a few years back. Holstee's message of mindfulness and community really resonates with me, especially since they believe in approaching food with those same goals in mind. Holstee hosts vegetarian potlucks in Brooklyn and is working to build a global movement of community potlucks, donating $25 to FoodCorps for each and every potluck hosted (Interested in hosting a potluck? Sign up here!). It's not surprising, then, that their Food Rules Collection emphasizes an intentional and community-focused approach to how we eat.

Photo Credit: Holstee


The Food Rules Collection is centered around a vintage poster published by the U.S. Food Administration in 1917, beautifully reproduced by Holstee as a 12x16 letterpress print. Originally intended to familiarize Americans with the guidelines of wartime consumption, the poster displays 6 simple steps of mindful eating that are as relevant today as they were nearly 100 years ago. 

1. Buy it with thought
2. Cook it with care
3. Use less wheat & meat
4. Buy local foods
5. Serve just enough
6. Use what is left

Photo Credit: Holstee

Do these tenants of mindful eating resonate with you? Would you like to display a beautiful print of this thoroughly-modern vintage poster in your own home? I thought you might! Holstee is offering one free 12x16 Food Rules Letterpress Print to a reader of Braisen Woman. Here's how to enter the giveaway:

1. Leave a comment on this blog post sharing your thoughts on mindful consumption. For example: Do you approach cooking and eating with the Food Rules in mind? Which rules come naturally to you? Which feel challenging?. Please note that anonymous comments will not qualify for an entry. 

2. Follow the entry instructions in the Rafflecopter window below! You can log in via facebook or email - be sure to use an account whose email you check regularly. Once you've logged in, click the green "I commented!" button to enter the giveaway. 

Each reader who leaves a comment and submits an entry by 11:59PM on Saturday, December 13th, will be entered into the Giveaway. The winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter. I'll notify the winner by email on Sunday, December 14th. 

Happy Holidays!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 19, 2014

Recipe: Plum Poppy Seed Cake


I've been busy lately, as you might have surmised from the pin-drop silence here on the blog. As penance for my blogging absence, I made you a cake. It just felt like the right thing to do. It became a plum cake when I remembered a handful of plums sitting in my fridge, stowaways from an autumn season that is all-too-quickly turning to winter here on the East Coast. Once plums were involved, it only seemed natural that almond extract - a great friend to plums - should be included. This led me to create a cake batter inspired by my one of my favorite breakfast treats: Almond Poppy Seed Muffins. And with that, Plum Poppy Seed Cake was born.

Plum Poppy Seed Cake is a cross between Almond Poppy Seed Muffins and a Fruit Buckle (an old-fashioned cake with fruit baked into the top). The cake is tender but wholesome, thanks to a winning combination of coconut oil and whole wheat flour. Poppy seeds add a welcome crunch, and almond extract (backed up by the coconut oil) infuses the cake with a heady fragrance and rich flavor. Slices of plums are the cake's crowning glory, forming dimples of jewel-pink fruit as the cake rises up around them.

Much like my Peach Polenta Upside Down Cake, this cake is an "anytime cake" - a just-sweet-enough treat that can be served for breakfast, as a light dessert, or alongside a cup of tea or coffee when your afternoon could use a pick-me-up. I mean, come on. Cake you're allowed to eat whenever you'd like? SOLD.



Plum Poppy Seed Cake
serves 8-10

4 medium plums
1 cup plain non-dairy milk (soymilk recommended)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons poppyseeds
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round springform pan with cooking spray. Halve the plums and remove their pits, then slice into 1/2-inch thick wedges and set aside. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, add the milk and vinegar, stir, and set aside to sour for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until evenly combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soured milk, coconut oil, applesauce, 1/2 cup sugar, and almond extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients and gently stir until a smooth batter forms.

Pour batter into greased pan and smooth out top with a spatula. Arrange the sliced plums on top of cake in whatever pattern you'd like, then sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Transfer skillet to oven and bake cake for 38-42 minutes, or until the center tests clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Once cake has cooled, run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the springform portion. Run a knife under the bottom of the cake to loosen it before carefully transferring to a plate for serving.

September 8, 2014

Recipe: Kimchi Noodle Soup



As a long-time nanny, I'm used to battling several rounds of colds each year. It's inevitable when you spend much of your time in the various germ-ridden hangouts of the toddler set - the children's corner of the library with books touched by a million little hands; the playground whose sandboxes may as well be over-sized petri dishes. It was an occupational hazard far-outweighed by the general awesomeness of my job.

My life in New York is presently child-free, so I was unpleasantly surprised when I started feeling under the weather last Sunday. Within 24 hours, both Daniel and I had been attacked by some kind of hideous cold/flu hybrid, a virus so evil I am convinced it was birthed in the depths of hell. The only slightly more likely source? Some unwashed crevice of New York (I'm thinking the subway was involved). Of course, knowing where this beast of a cold came from won't make me feel better. What will make me feel better? Kimchi Noodle Soup.

Think of Kimchi Noodle Soup as turbo-charged Chicken Noodle Soup… minus the chicken. Kimchi's spice and ferment-y funk permeate the broth with a sinus-clearing blast of heat that's as effective as it is delicious. Kimchi Noodle Soup will punch your cold in the face and then laugh at it. Each spoonful is a pleasant little fire that wafts into your sinuses, locates the congestion, and SMOKES IT OUT.

Honestly, I'd love this soup even if it didn't have cold-punching powers. It's an exceptionally full-flavored and umami-rich soup, simple to make and satisfying to eat. It's also a great introduction to kimchi for the uninitiated, since its pungency is mellowed by the broth and balanced with a bit of sweetness from carrots, shallots, and a splash of mirin (sweet rice wine). To sum it up: Have a cold? Make this soup. Perfectly healthy? MAKE THIS SOUP.

Kimchi Noodle Soup
Serves 4

Kimchi is a spicy Korean side dish/condiment of fermented cabbage and various other vegetables. When shopping for vegan kimchi, you'll want to avoid brands that include fish sauce in the ingredient list. My favorite vegan kimchi brands are Mother In Law's Vegan Napa Cabbage Kimchi and Britt's Pickles Market Kimchi.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large carrots, chopped
2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
1 heaping cup vegan napa cabbage kimchi, drained and chopped, plus 2 tablespoons kimchi liquid
2 tablespoons mirin
4 cups vegetable broth (I use 4 cups water plus 2 teaspoons "No Chicken" Better Than Bouillon paste)
2 cups water
4 ounces eggless wide ribbon noodles*
Salt, to taste

*Eggless Wide Ribbon Noodles are an egg-free version of classic Egg Noodles, and can be found in many supermarkets. Alternatively, rotini or fusilli pasta will work well.

Bring a large pot over medium heat and saute carrots and shallots in oil for 5 minutes, then add chopped kimchi and saute 5 minutes more. Add mirin and 2 tablespoons kimchi liquid and cook for a couple minutes before adding broth and water. Cover and bring to a boil, then add pasta. Partially cover, reduce heat to maintain a low boil (around medium), and cook until noodles are done and carrots are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Season as needed with salt and serve steaming hot. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a few days, though the texture of the noodles is best the day the soup is made (the noodles continue to soak up the broth during their time in the fridge). When reheating, you might want to add a bit of extra water to offset the broth absorbed by the noodles.

August 8, 2014

Recipe: Savory Tomato & Sausage Cobbler


I'd like to say the transition from Seattlite to New Yorker has been a seamless one, but that would be a lie. I'm a creature of habit who finds comfort in well-worn routines, so you can imagine that a near-spontaneous move across the country is a challenging endeavor for me. One of the biggest challenges so far? Getting comfortable in our apartment's bite-sized kitchen.

I should clarify that I really love our apartment. I love the location, the 1920s character, the exceedingly wonderful doormen who bring you Venezuelan corn flour from Queens when you can't find it anywhere. I love that my sectional sofa fit through the door without having to saw it in half (PIVOT!!!). But 550 square feet only goes so far. Our apartment's layout gives the vast majority of that square footage to its generously-sized living room and bedroom… leaving a measly 30 square feet for the kitchen.

To be fair, the kitchen fits a lot into those 30 square feet. My favorite feature? A small-but-mighty 17-inch-wide dishwasher. It is magnificent and saves my sanity. The very sanity that is continually tested by my least favorite kitchen feature: the 20-inch electric stove. Fun fact about me: I've never had a gas range. Always wanted one, never had one. So the electric-ness of the stove is not the unbearable portion of the appliance. I can deal with that. What I can't deal with is burners that technically work - they turn on - but provide no consistency in temperature whatsoever. Level 2 can either burn your food to a crisp or leave it woefully pale, depending on the day. Recipe testing has become a comedy of errors; cooking dinner is fraught with profanity and frequently ends with takeout. I've become more fond of baking than ever, as the oven itself is blissfully accurate (save for a non-functioning broiler). It's been a journey, to say the least.

I trust that with time, I'll master cooking out of my new kitchen. Until then, I'm relying on forgiving, simple recipes, like this Savory Tomato & Sausage Cobbler. A savory cobbler is essentially a twist on pot pie, with a saucy, vegetable-laden base tucked under a golden crust. This version, which I developed for Field Roast, features vegetarian Italian sausage, juicy pops of tiny summer tomatoes, and sweet caramelized onions. Taking inspiration from the Italian-style filling, slices of store-bought prepared polenta are a simple stand-in for cobbler's traditional biscuit topping. It's summer comfort food perfect for the height of tomato season.

Savory Tomato & Sausage Cobbler
Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion,  halved and thinly sliced
1 package FieldRoast Italian Sausages, crumbled into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/4 cups water
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, well-rinsed
1 (18 ounce) package of prepared polenta, cut into 12 round slices

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large skillet over medium/just-above-medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once oil is hot, add sliced onions and a pinch of salt. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in tomato paste until onions are coated evenly, then stir in the crumbled sausage. Stir in water, scraping bottom of pan to loosen all of the caramelized brown bits. Cook briefly until filling is slightly reduced and saucy, then remove from heat. Add salt and/or pepper to taste, then fold in tomatoes and transfer filling to an 8-inch square baking dish.

Cover dish loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and discard foil. Arrange polenta slices on top of filling (slight overlapping is fine) and brush slices with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Return cobbler to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until filling is bubbling and polenta slices are golden (If a deeper golden crust is desired, you can broil the cobbler for the final few minutes). Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.


I am thrilled to be working with Field Roast as a "Cooks in the Field" recipe developer, but this post is NOT sponsored or commissioned in any way. In accordance with FTC guidelines, any and all sponsored content will be clearly disclosed as such.

May 22, 2014

Recipe: Edamame Jalapeno Soup



Moving across the country presents a number of challenges. One of the biggest (at least for cooks like myself) is realizing you have just a few weeks to use up your perishable food. The well-stocked refrigerator and freezer you've so carefully maintained suddenly go from wonderfully convenient to huge pain in the tuchus. I suppose you could just make peace with things and toss a bunch of food, but the wastefulness of that prospect just kills me.

Instead, I've been dutifully cooking my way through as much food as possible. It's kind of fun, really - like my very own game of Chopped. I imagine Ted Allen saying, "What can you make with frozen edamame, cashews, limes, and a bunch of slightly-shriveled jalapenos?". Well, Ted, I will be making a delicious pureed soup. And no, Scott, it will not involve raw red onions.

I was a little concerned that the firm texture of edamame (young green soybeans) wouldn't blend into a perfectly smooth soup, but a quick Google search turned up a number of examples proving otherwise. Heidi Swanson suggests straining this edamame soup, but I didn't find straining necessary with mine. Simmering the beans in the soup broth softened them nicely, and after that all it took was a couple minutes in my trusty KitchenAid blender to turn out a velvety-smooth soup.

Despite being a spur-of-the-moment recipe, this Edamame Jalapeno Soup is great. The edamame packs 16 grams of protein into each serving, making this an excellent high-protein vegan lunch or dinner. Removing the ribs and seeds from the jalapenos takes the heat level down to a gentle warmth and really lets the flavor of the pepper shine through. A handful of cashews adds richness, a dash of cumin lends a smoky note, and a bit of lime juice wakes up all the flavors. Move or no move, this recipe's a keeper.

Edamame Jalapeno Soup
Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces jalapeno peppers (about 4 peppers)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound shelled edamame beans (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 quart vegetable broth (I used 4 cups water plus 2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon paste)
1 tablespoon lime juice

Cut the stems from the peppers, then slice peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and ribs from the interiors. Finely chop the peppers.

In a large pot over medium heat, cook the peppers and onions in oil for 5-7 minutes until beginning to soften, then add the garlic and cumin and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the beans, cashews, and vegetable broth. Cover with lid and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until beans are very tender.

Transfer half of soup to blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth (remember to remove the center portion of the lid and cover with a towel to allow steam from the hot soup to escape); transfer from blender. Blend remaining half of soup. Return blended soup to pot over low heat and add lime juice. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary. Serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream or plain yogurt if desired. Soup will keep in fridge for 1 week.