FoodArts is my guilty pleasure. I check the mail so often, surely the mail man thinks I’m stalking him! FoodArts is an industry magazine that has news, recipes, and the latest innovations in food and equipment happening now. Ok so maybe it’s not for everyone, but I really enjoy it. I usually pore over the pages and marvel at how quickly the industry changes, I try to find old classmates in the ” deep dish” section, and wish I could recreate the amazing recipes at home. Sigh.

Latest edition of FoodArts

Some of the recipes are simple and can be recreated; others have ingredients not available to the home cook like gum arabic and gellan gum; some use techniques like sous-vide cooking and pressure cooking that require special equipment; but mostly the recipes are just time consuming. The magazine is not geared to the home cook, so none of this should come as a surprise. I just can’t really justify spending 3 days on a dish when I know for sure that both the hubby and the munchkin would be happy with pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese. Oh wait! We’re not eating cheese right now so I guess just pasta and sauce.

Yes, we’re still doing the vegan thing, except for one day a week. The one day a week has really helped us to not get frustrated, and we usually try not to go overboard and pig out. With the exception of this week, when we ate at Trattoria Neapolis in Pasadena. The chef, Bryant Wigger, is a friend of ours and we couldn’t resist working our way through the menu. It has taken me the rest of the week to recover from my food coma.


Tagine cooking.

This recipe for Moroccan Vegetable Tagine is one of the best plant-based recipes we have tried yet. The flavors are intense and perfectly balanced. You can find the original recipe in the FoodArts issue of September 2012. It was created by Chef Laurence Jossel of Nopa in San Francisco. I have adapted it to fit my current needs and to make it more accessible to the home cook.

The Recipe: Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

moroccan vegetable tagine

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

4.41 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Dora Stone


Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp. Cumin, seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Fennel, Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp. Salt, kosher
  • 1/2 tbsp. Black Pepper, ground


  • 2 cups Chickpeas, canned, drained
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Tomatoes, diced, canned
  • 4 cups Vegetable broth
  • 1 Orange, zest removed in wide strips
  • 1 Lemon, zest removed in wide strips
  • 1 Bay leaf, dried
  • 5 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Red onion, sliced
  • 2 Fennel bulb, sliced thick
  • 1/8 tsp. Saffron
  • 4 Carrots, large, cut into ½ in. chunks
  • 2 Garlic, cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Thyme fresh, chopped
  • 1 lb. Yukon gold or fingerling potatoes halved
  • 1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 head Broccoli, cut into florets, blanched
  • 2 Zucchini, cut into ½ in. rounds
  • 1 cup Corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup Green beans, blanched


  • 2 cups Green olives
  • 1 cup Almonds, toasted, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Mint, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Harissa sauce,
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt. (Optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Combine vegetable broth, chickpeas, lemon and orange zests, can of tomatoes, and bay leaf in a large pot. Set aside.
  • Combine spice mix in a small sauté pan set over medium heat and toast. Remove spices from pan and set aside. Once cool, grind in spice grinder.
  • In a large bowl, combine red onion, fennel, 2 tbsp. of oil, half the spice mixture, saffron, and toss. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and roast in oven for 20 min. Remove from oven and place in the pot with the chickpeas.
  • In the same bowl, combine potatoes, thyme, 1 tbsp. of olive oil and second half of the spice mixture. Place on a sheet pan with parchment paper and roast in oven for 35 min. Add to pot with chickpeas.
  • In the same bowl, combine carrots, garlic cloves, and 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Place on a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place cut zucchini and cauliflower separately in the same sheet pan as the carrots, drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30 min. Add to pot with chickpeas.
  • Add blanched broccoli, blanched green beans, and corn to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring ingredients in the pot to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 min. or until vegetables are cooked through.
  • Serve in bowls with couscous and garnish with almonds, harissa, yogurt, olives, mint, and cilantro.


Serve with whole wheat or plain couscous or rice



This roasted romanesco with tarragon, olive and lemon is a healthy side dish to any meal. 

Romanesco is the ultimate confused vegetable. Is it broccoli or is it cauliflower? It is known as romanesco cauliflower, broccoli romanesco,  or roman broccoli. It is a variety of cauliflower, not a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, as is often thought. Its taste is very similar to cauliflower, but it is nuttier, sweeter, and with a softer texture when cooked. It is in season from late fall through winter. You can usually find them at your local farmer’s market, which is where I found mine. When selecting them be sure to look for a firm head with no signs of discoloring or yellow buds. To store them, cover in a damp paper towel, wrap loosely in plastic wrap, and place stem side up in the refirgerator. It will keep fresh for about a week. To prepare, wash and cut just as you would a cauliflower.

This roasted romanesco with tarragon, olive and lemon is a healthy side dish to any meal. It is nutty and sweet, similar to cauliflower.

I’m having a crisis, a food crisis. I’ve been avoiding the blog, because I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the truth. The hubby and I have decided to keep practicing the plant based diet after Lent is over. We plan on eating like normal human beings one day a week. One day a week!!! ” What about cheese? No more cheese!”, is all that keeps going through my head.

I have been having some health problems, in the last 3 years, that have caused me a lot of discomfort. Medicine hasn’t helped or any other doctor recommendation, and I have finally reached the point where I would try anything to make it better. Well, just in the first week of cutting out all animal products from my diet, most of my symptoms disappeared, thus our decision to stick to this plant-based “nonsense”. Surprisingly my hubby is on board with this, not only to be supportive towards me, but because he has seen an increase in energy and his day-to-day life, and because frankly he feels good.

This roasted romanesco with tarragon, olive and lemon is a healthy side dish to any meal. It is nutty and sweet, similar to cauliflower.

Don’t worry, I’m not making this a vegan or plant-based blog. I hate labels, what if I start calling this a vegan blog and one month later I change my mind? We’re hoping that by eating animal products one day a week we won’t feel too deprived and be able to keep this going for longer than 40 days. I don’t know, we’ll see how it goes.

The Recipe: Roasted Romanesco Tarragon and Olives

You can eat Romanesco raw, steamed, sautéed, roasted, and boiled. We like it roasted the best, but it is great in pasta, mashed with potatoes, in soups, or raw in salads. Enjoy!

This roasted romanesco with tarragon, olive and lemon is a healthy side dish to any meal. It is nutty and sweet, similar to cauliflower.

Roasted Romanesco Tarragon and Olives

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Dora Stone


  • 2 heads Romanesco cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Olives, green, manzanilla, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Tarragon, fresh, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. Lemon juice, fresh
  • ¼ tsp. Lemon zest


  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • In a large bowl combine romanesco, olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss to coat.
  • Place romanesco on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cover with foil. Roast for 30 min.
  • Uncover and raise oven temperature to 400F. Roast for 15 more minutes.
  • Remove romanesco from oven and combine with fresh tarragon, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olives. Adjust seasoning and serve.


This recipe will also work with cauliflower.

Here are some other ways to use romanesco:

Romanesco, celery root and Broccoli Soup –

Linguine with romanesco and scampi –

Romanesco and sweet potato gratin –

This recipe for vegan red lentil dahl has been adapted from an amazing book by Rebecca Katz called The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. It is the perfect combination of sour, sweet, and salty. It is one of those dishes that bring true comfort.

We are already half way through lent and I haven’t told you guys that the hubby and I decided to do the plant-based diet thing again. Just to recap, we’ve given up all animal products for 40 days. Not having cheese in my life has been hard, but manageable. Seriously though, this time around it has been much easier. The challenge, however, remains the same. Coming up with a variety of dished has been difficult, especially when you don’t have items like bacon, cheese, or eggs in your fridge.


This recipe for vegan red lentil dahl has been adapted from an amazing book by Rebecca Katz called The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen.

There are some great blogs and books out there with many, many recipes. I don’t know if it’s just me, but they all seem to be very similar. How many versions of veggie burgers can you make? They all seem to revolve around the same recipes, lentil loaf, quinoa (lots of quinoa), chili, marinated tofu, and of course some dish involving chickpeas. If you have any vegan or plant-based blogs to suggest I’m all ears. Instead we’ve been eating a lot of Korean, Indian, Thai or Chinese food.

This recipe for vegan red lentil dahl has been adapted from an amazing book by Rebecca Katz called The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen.

I’m planning on doing some research on cuisines around the world that were once plant heavy or remain so. Hopefully then I’ll be able to come up with recipes that are not poor versions of meat dishes, and let the vegetables and grains be the centerpiece. We’ll see how it goes.

This recipe for vegan red lentil dahl has been adapted from an amazing book by Rebecca Katz called The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen.

This recipe for vegan red lentil dahl has been adapted from an amazing book by Rebecca Katz called The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen.

The Recipe: Vegan Red Lentil Dahl

This recipe for lentil dahl is one of my favorites. You can serve it with basmati rice, a salad, and some kind of flatbread.

This recipe for vegan red lentil dahl has been adapted from an amazing book by Rebecca Katz called The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen.

Vegan Red Lentil Dahl

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Dora Stone


  • 1 tbsp. EVOO
  • 3/4 tsp. Cumin, seeds
  • 3/4 tsp. Mustard seed
  • 1/2 Onion, yellow, diced small .
  • 1/2 tbsp. Ginger, fresh, minced
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric, ground
  • 1 tsp. Cumin, ground
  • 1/2 can (7 oz.) Diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 1 cup Red lentils, rinsed well
  • 1/2 Cinnamon, stick
  • 1 tsp. Lime juice, fresh
  • Mint or Cilantro finely chopped 1/


  • Set a large pot to medium heat and add oil. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and saute until they begin to pop, then quickly add onion, ginger, turmeric, ground cumin, and a pinch of salt. Saute until onion begins to soften, about 3 min.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute for 2 more minutes. Pour in ½ cup of broth and reduce by half.
  • Add the red lentils and stir, then add remaining broth, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boíl, then turn heat down to a simmer, cover and let cook for 30 min. or until tender.
  • Add salt and let simmer for another 5 min. Remove the cinnamon stick and pour in lime juice.
  • In a blender, puree the soup until very smooth. Adjust consistency according to preference with more broth.
  • Return soup to pot and reheat. Serve with chopped cilantro.


To leave this soup a bit chunky, using a hand held blender, pulse several times to puree the soup slightly.
Recipe adapted from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz


I love tequila!! I really do, and I hate the negative reputation is has in this country. I’ve been drinking tequila since I was 15 yrs old, with adult supervision of course. My parents decided it was best to teach me how to drink tequila properly, before I turned 18 and went out into the world. I never got drunk off of it, at least not until college, which I totally blame on you eager American college kids. I’ll spare you the drunk college stories for fear of embarrassing myself and others involved. Needless to say, I almost gave up tequila. Thankfully my mom started sending me bottles of sangrita to chase my tequila with, which reminded me that tequila, good tequila, is meant to be sipped and enjoyed. Sangrita is the best tequila chaser you’ll find. It is a combination of hot chiles, orange juice, onion, tomato juice, and just a touch of sugar. You can buy it pre-made, I recommend Viuda de Sanchez, or you can make it yourself.

The best sangrita recipe is spicy, sweet, and savory. It is the best chaser to any tequila. A vegan recipe.

Now, let me introduce you to the many wonderful ways in which Mexicans drink their tequila. First there’s the “bandera” or flag, it consists of 3 shots, one of lime juice, one of tequila, and one of sangrita. It is meant to be sipped but can also be shot. It’s called a flag because of the colors reflect those of the Mexican flag: green, white, and red. The shot glasses are not your regular shot glasses either. They are known as “caballitos” or little horses. If you would like to know why, you can visit the Mexican Academy of Tequila for some interesting facts. All you really need to know is that while a regular shot glass fits one fluid ounce of liquor, the “caballito” fits one and a half. Another way to drink tequila is with lime and salt, lick the space between your thumb and your forefinger, add some salt, lick salt, take shot, and suck on a lime. Please don’t call it training wheels, it drives me crazy, yes it’s supposed to lessen the harshness of the alcohol, but tequila shouldn’t be harsh. Surprised? This leads me to the final way of drinking tequila, which is, served in a snifter and sipped.

The best sangrita recipe is spicy, sweet, and savory. It is the best chaser to any tequila. A vegan recipe.

All of these ways of drinking tequila would be greatly improved if you invest in a good tequila. Try Corralejo or Don Julio Blanco for margaritas, the “bandera”, and the salt-shot-lime version, or for any other mixed drink. Don Julio (my lover), also comes in Reposado, Anejo, and 1942. Don Julio 1942 is for sipping, and while quite expensive you should definitely try it t least once. If you’re looking for a surprisingly smooth tequila try Clase Azul, plus it comes in a really unique bottle. I hope this helps and maybe persuades you to try tequila one more time before vowing never to touch it again.

The Recipe: The Best Sangrita Recipe


5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 quart
Author: Dora Stone


  • 2 cups Tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 cups Orange juice, fresh
  • 1/2 cup Lime juice, fresh
  • 2 tsp, Onion white, large, minced
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce, vegan
  • 4 tsp. Valentina, Mexican hot sauce


  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, whisk them together, and season.
  • Refrigerate.


Serve cold. The quality of the sangrita depends on the quality of the tomato juice, so get a good one.



conos de cajeta

         I’m beginning to think maybe I should call this a Mexican food blog. It’s my last couple of days in Mexico and I’m sad to leave, but sooo looking forward to Cali. Everytime I come home I try to eat a little bit of everything, like the tacos al pastor they sell on the corner in front of Merco (a grocery store), the yukis (shaved ice) in front of the car wash on Hidalgo street, the mangonadas (mango and chile popsicles) at the Paleteria Aguirre (ice cream shop), and the elote en vaso (steamed mexican corn served with a chile mix, crema, butter, lime juice, and cheese), they sell outside of the Narvaez Hospital. Well, you get my point, I could go on and on. It’s not a coincidence that all the foods I just named are street foods, street food is king in Mexico. In fact, some of the best food in Mexico is street food. Of course there are nice restaurants, cafe’s, and taquerias (taco shops), but there’s just something about simple, hot, just made, delicious food, that’s hard to resist. It’s the ultimate non-processed fast food.

Mexican corn

Food truck assembling my corn deliciousness



Once I leave Mexico, it seems that I spend the rest of the year, in my kitchen, trying to recreate every Mexican dish possible. This week’s recipe is a simple salsa and a couple of cocktails. Chips and salsa in Mexico are not quite like chips and salsa in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like both versions, but they’re just different. You can make your own authentic chips and salsa in less than 20 min. or as they’re called in Mexico: totopos con salsa.

Fruit cups sold on the street.

Sweet potato candy


Man in crutches pushing and ice cream cart


Carnitas sold by the kilo

For the chips, buy a pack of corn tortillas, not the frozen ones please, and cut into quarters. Fry them in 350F oil until golden brown. Remove the chips from the oil and sprinkle them with salt.

chile de arbol salsa

The Recipe: Chile de Arbol Salsa

chile de arbol salsa

Chile de Arbol Salsa

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Dora Stone


  • 8 Tomatillo, husks removed
  • 3 Garlic, cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 oz (3/4 cup) Chile de Arbol
  • 1/2 Onion. white chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped


  • Heat cast iron pan or griddle to high heat. Place tomatillos and garlic cloves in pan. Let the tomatillo’s skin burn and blacken on all sides. The garlic needs to be only lightly toasted on each side, about 1 -2 min.
  • Remove garlic from pan, peel, and set aside.
  • Once the tomatillos are soft and mostly black, remove them from pan and place in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 min.
  • Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a small sauce pan.
  • Remove the stem and seeds from the chiles. Place them in the pot of boiling water and simmer from 5 to 7 minutes or until chiles are soft.
  • Drain the chiles from the water.
  • Place the tomatillos in the blender with the garlic, onion, cilantro, and chile de arbol. Blend, season, and add water is necessary to thin out sauce.


As an alternative you can place the tomatillos under the broiler in your oven for 15 to 20 min. until blackened and soft all over.