Sunday, June 6, 2021

Vegan Cream of Celery Soup

Bowl of Vegan Cream of Celery soup
Soup for Springtime, or Anytime

Recipe by Robin

It’s early June but it’s been pretty chilly for Santa Cruz. I’m NOT complaining! In fact, the cool spring gives me hope for a cool summer. Year-round soup days—YES! Recently we received 2 large bunches of celery in our food share. Celery is a basic ingredient that adds subtle flavor base to soups, stews, and casseroles. Cooked on its own its flavor is neither shy nor overpowering. Combined with a couple potatoes and homemade cashew cream, it becomes a satisfying first course, light lunch with crackers or toast, or late night snack. Also good chilled.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Vegan Cashew Cream

Bowl of Cashew Cream
Recipe by Robin

I love dairy products, but they don’t always love me. After replacing cow’s milk with almond and oat milk, I’m taking it to the next level. This cashew cream recipe will substitute for sour cream in most recipes. It’s thick and noticeably sour, yet also a bit sweet. I’m using it to create nondairy cream of celery soup. Try a dollop in any pureed soup. Or thin it out with a little olive or other oils and/or water as a base for dips. It’s extremely easy to make, versatile, and vegan.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Toasted Brown Rice and Carrot Pilaf

Casserole dish of Toasted Rice and Carrot Pilaf
Recipe Inspired by PPFA Cookbook

Receiving 4 lbs. of carrots in 2 weeks inspired me to peruse The Carrot Cookbook, a mini volume published to raise funds for Planned Parenthood Santa Cruz about 3 generations ago. I combined their idea of a layered, rose-scented white rice-carrot casserole with my latest experiment: toasted brown rice. The result tastes sweet and toasty, with toothsome contrast in textures. Toasting the brown rice reduces its cooking time, lightens its texture, and adds flavor.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Stir-Fried Kohlrabi and Peppers

Closeup of Stir Fried Kohlrabi
Recipe Adapted from Bergy

When I started Seasonal Eating in 2011, I contacted Bergy, food photography pioneer at for advice on kohlrabi. Back in 2001, no one considered food photography as art or craft. But at age 70+, Bergy inspired a new movement with her photographs of homestyle foods she cooked herself. Her food photo styling has become the industry standard, both in in print and online. Plus, her recipes rock! This kohlrabi recipe is no longer at, and is worth revisiting and republishing.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Colcannon with Bacon

Colcannon with Canadian Bacon Slices
Serve with Bacon, Ham, Canadian Bacon or Sausage

Recipe by Robin

Colcannon! I’ve never made it and wasn’t planning on it. But our weekly food shares have delivered cabbage and potatoes for weeks. I’m not keeping up cooking-wise. Plus, St. Paddy’s day is right around the corner. I’m usually way to busy to coordinate an Irish treat on this holiday, but colcannon can be as simple as the two main ingredients plus butter and a few scallions. Proportions are forgiving, depending on quantities on hand. And yes! It’s perfect comfort food for chilly winter into spring weather!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Sista Chrissa’s Vegetarian Chili

Recipe Adapted from BUNWC*

My sister claims not to cook, but don’t believe it. While raising her kids a generation or so ago, she made amazing meals every night. Everything that she makes is scrumptious. Including this amazing veggie chili recipe with its surprise ingredients: cashews, raisins, and red wine vinegar. The latter two impart a sweet-sour flair to the usual beans, tomatoes, and savories. The second surprise is allspice, most often tasted in apple pie. It’s counterintuitive to combine it with chili powder and cumin, and you might just have to try it to believe the delectable results.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Cherney’s Chili (Vegan)

Recipe adapted from R. Cherney

Way back when, I migrated from New England to California, with my worldly possessions and camping gear stuffed into an old Pinto station wagon. Along the way I stayed with a friend of a friend, a grad student at Champaign Urbana. He lived in a communal house and whipped up the most marvelous vegan chili for dinner, not that I knew anything about chili then. Many years and pots of chili later, I can say that what really sets R. Cherney’s recipe apart from the usual crowd is a goodly dose of red wine, enhancing both flavor and aroma.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Steamed Persimmon Pudding

Steamed Persimmon Pudding Decorated with California Holly
California Holly = Live Oak + Rose Hips

Recipe from Old Surrey, England

A few years ago I met a delightful woman at a winter solstice party. We both had studied art under the same professors at University, and both loved collecting historical recipes. Plus she had concocted my favorite dish of entire potluck using an old time recipe. As I raved over it, she insisted on sending me the details. Alas, I’ve lost touch with her over the years and have forgotten her name, but not her face. This year, for the first time, I made her traditional persimmon pudding recipe from Surrey, a charming rural county southeast of London.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Foil Wrapped Herbed Tiny Potatoes

Recipe by Robin

A couple of decades ago when I first starting cooking dinners with my not-quite-husband-yet, I frequently prepared small potatoes dotted with fresh herbs and garlic, wrapped in foil and roasted. I had forgotten all about this till I received a homegrown Yuletide herb mix from my neighbor Jennifer, the same week I got small yellow potatoes in my food share. Instant memory jog! Bonus: their easy prep doesn’t interfere with more complicated holiday cooking.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Deep Dish Turkey Pot Pie

Serving of Golden Brown Turkey Pot Pie
Post-Thanksgiving Comfort Food

Recipe by Robin

Seriously now, is there anyone who doesn’t like pot pies? When my friend Raven shared photos of her post-Thanksgiving turkey pot pies, I knew I had to give the concept a whirl with our leftover 12-pounder for 2. I eliminated the bottom crust to maximize the savory filling, and use more leftover turkey. To simplify further, I employed TJ’s all butter puff pastry rather than making my own. Any good crust will do, since it’s mostly about the filling.This batch o’ filling makes 2 round pies, which can be frozen. Since my freezer is packed, I made one giant pie in a 9” x 11” baking pan, the dimensions of my premade puff pastry.