I avoid making resolutions, but the new year is a always good time to “reset.” After the holidays, and all the excess of excess, it feels right to return to a healthy baseline normal. This is a roundabout way of advocating “manageable expectations” if you’re the goal setting-type. Find the healthy habits that work for you and bump them up a notch: eat the foods that taste best and make you feel best, look for the kinds of exercise that you actually enjoy. For example, as much as I’d love to have the physique, Crossfit just isn’t ever going to be my thing so I’ll spare myself the disappointment of that not working out. Instead, I’ll get back into my soup game, beginning with this bright green, spicy, clean spinach soup, and stick to the forms of exercise I have less difficulty keeping up with.
Looking ahead to 2016, there’s a lot of exciting stuff on the immediate horizon. You might have noticed that new book cover on the top left corner of this home screen: My next cookbook Bowl comes out in March! I’ll be announcing a very cool preorder giveaway in the next couple days, and then have been brainstorming some events around it. And my Made by Lukas burgers are now shipping direct, all across the country! And we’ll have a new issue of Jarry out in the spring! The most current place for these kinds of announcements is my Instagram—I hope you’ll follow along if you don’t already. Continue reading
Two things, and I’ll try make them quick. First off, that, above, is a magazine that I’m incredibly excited to share. Ever since I read Jessica Pressler’s hilarious send-up of the (straight) male foodie, which she calls a “doodie,” I wondered about what might make gay men’s approach to food unique. It seemed like a good idea for a magazine, and I left it on the back burner of my brain until I met Alex Kristofcak, and then Steve Viksjo, and we decided to go ahead and make it happen. What would it look like? What kinds of articles would it contain? We didn’t really know, but we wanted to see it, and we wanted to read them.
So it’s with great, great pride and joy to share Jarry, Issue 1, with you. In 128 pages, we explore the issue’s theme, “What Is Jarry?“: Jarry is James Beard Award-winning writer John Birdsall’s investigation into why there aren’t more publicly out chefs in restaurant kitchens. It’s artist Levi Hasting’s short comic about the peculiar relationship he has with his mother-in-law, via the kitchen. It’s recipes by popular writers and photographers Nik Sharma, Beau Ciolino, Adrian Harris, and Jonathan Melendez, as well as a night spent with Diego Moya, Miguel de Leon, and Zach Ligas of Brooklyn’s Cure Supper Club. It’s a long interview with Anjelica Huston’s personal chef, cover guy Blake Bashoff, as well as an A+ recipe for his fruit galette. It’s cabaret artist-turned-private chef Daniel Isengart and his longtime friend, international icon Joey Arias, spending an afternoon in the kitchen. And so much more. In short, what it is, is super exciting. Check out the website for article previews and more information, and to order or subscribe.
Martha Rose Shulman, the prolific author of some of my very favorite, whole foods-oriented, weeknight friendly, never boring recipes, has written a few times about her habit of using up the lingering odds and ends of her dry goods—beans, pulses, grains—before the end of the year. This makes for a clean slate in January, and prevents any of those items from going bad while hidden up in the corner of a top shelf for a few years. It’s always seemed like a good idea to me, but I’ve never really made a point of doing it. But this December, we’re on. I began with this perfect, post-Thanksgiving meal.
This recipe is really more of an idea. I thought about going the soup route with my lingering black beans and farro, but instead I landed on something like “dry soup,” or a “black bean and farro soup bowl,” or—bingo—”deconstructed soup.” The idea is to take the elements of the soup I might have made, strip it of its broth, and amp up the garnishes. Furthermore, when I combine beans and grains in a soup, one or the other often turns to waterlogged mush as the leftovers sit, and this method eliminates that.
Wherever you stand on the cold soup spectrum—do you think they’re silly and have no reason to exist? Or do you just think we ought to call them smoothies, rather than soup? Didn’t we discuss this last year?—today’s recipe is one I was excited about well before I found time to make it. I wanted a simple edamame soup that would provide a good base for some fun garnishes. It turned out to be rich and hearty whether you serve it hot or cold, and easy and cheap, too.
I just had a long holiday vacation where I visited friends and family in Reno, San Francisco, and South Lake Tahoe, and when I arrived home last night, it seemed ever clear that 2012 is going to be spelled b-u-d-g-e-t. This soup—which ought to get me through a couple meals—is one of the first things I made.
Last weekend the Eatizens dinner party took place. I tipped my bed up against the wall of my studio apartment, pushed my bookshelves, sofa, and coffee table out of the way, and nine of us gathered around my new (collapsible!) banquet table and a whole smattering of borrowed silverware, plates, and glasses to eat some veggie grub. Everything I served was from Vegetarian Entrees that Won’t Leave You Hungry, which of course was the purpose of the dinner. But in my excitement to get the whole thing going, I didn’t think much about the menu, not until the date drew close. And did you know? Organizing a dinner-party-worthy menu around a book focused entirely on entrees was a bit of a challenge. Vegetarian Entrees is all about variety and heartiness—those two things were at the tip of my brain as I wrote the book—and with a dinner party, of course, you can’t just set out three filling dishes that don’t relate (this would be called a “pot luck”). There needs to be finesse, some sense of direction with the food, some theme or through line.
Well, it’s soup weather! Fall entered New York in earnest last week and I’m pretty happy about it, because this is my absolute most favorite time of the year to cook. Late summer is great for eating fruit and veg out of hand while you walk home from the farmer’s market, but fall gets the balance right in terms of there being both good produce, and just enough chill in the air that standing over the stove is the best spot in the house.
This past weekend, after an afternoon strutting around my neighborhood wearing my favorite hoodie, I got very eager to make soup. And that could be any kind of soup I please, not just cold soup. A long time ago my friend Bob spoke—gChatted—rhapsodically about the Quinoa Chowder with Feta, Spinach, and Scallions in my favorite vegetarian tome, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I still hadn’t made it, but it was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to usher in the new season. The only problem is that I didn’t have very many of the ingredients. Continue reading