Here, the blogs you should be reading right now with recipes and tips from their creators.
The Blog: Kate Taylor of Cookie and Kate creates fresh vegetarian recipes (like this Spring Carrot, Radish and Quinoa Salad with Herbed Avocado). While she also posts the occasional dessert recipe, the “Cookie” in her blog name is her adorable dog.
I saw that you’re newly excited about hemp seeds. In addition to that great-looking pesto, how else are you using them?
I was totally uninterested in hemp seeds until I read that they actually taste good! The seeds have a mild, nutty flavor, so you can sprinkle them on all sorts of savory foods. So far, pesto has been my favorite vehicle for hemp seeds. I’ve also sprinkled them on salads and on avocado smashed on toast for a little extra protein. I tried adding hemp seeds to my smoothie the other day, but it made the final texture kind of grainy. I don’t think I’ll do that again.
I’ve noticed that you like to turn a lot of vegetables into ribbons? Why?
That’s funny, I’d never thought about it before. I love finding fun ways to serve vegetables and ribbons are one of my favorite preparation methods, partly because they’re just plain pretty. They’re also fun to twirl around my fork. I’m very texture aware, and since the ribbons are shavings rather than slices, they’re crisp instead of crunchy. They can lend a surprisingly different texture to familiar vegetables like carrots and asparagus. Last but not least, vegetable ribbons are really easy to make with a vegetable peeler and almost everyone owns one. No food processor, mandoline or julienne peeler required!
What are some of your go-to recipes when you want something insanely healthy?
I tend to crave kale and/or quinoa when I’m in the mood for a redeeming meal. My recently published kale and spinach soup, which is flavored with caramelized onions, lemon and cayenne pepper, helped me reset after a week of overindulging. This hearty, spicy curried coconut quinoa dish with roasted cauliflower and greens is filling and full of flavor. My default crazy-healthy meal is kale salad, though. This kale and brussels sprouts salad with tahini-maple dressing might be my favorite. I should mention that these recipes are healthy but they’re all seriously tasty and satisfying, too. I am always trying to dispel the notion that healthy food can’t taste great.
What are some of your go-tos for indulgence?
If I’m in the mood for a savory indulgence, I’ll probably opt for something cheesy, like pizza or quesadillas; or something creamy, like this pumpkin fettuccine Alfredo. My dark cocoa and brown butter brownies have been my treat of choice lately. I’ll never get tired of my chai–spiced coconut milk ice cream. Lastly, I’m a big fan of unique cocktails that include spicy or herbal ingredients, like this serrano Paloma.
What are you loving about Kansas City? Any favorite spots to eat?
Kansas City is such a gem! It offers big-city features like an incredible art museum and symphony without the perpetual hustle and bustle. The art and food scenes are very much alive and growing around here. Kansas City is called the City of Fountains for good reason—there are beautiful fountains at every corner. Cookie and I really love walking around the green public parks, like Loose Park.
I’ve lived here for more than a year and a half and still have a long list of local restaurants to visit. I love Bluestem for brunch, Gram and Dun for upscale patio dining, Beer Kitchen for creative American food, Westport Cafe and Manifesto for fancy cocktails, The Mixx for inspiring salads and Glacé for incredible artisan ice cream.
What food blogs are you newly excited about right now?
Tough question! I have so many favorites and I’m overwhelmed by all of the new talent I discover on Pinterest. Laura of the First Mess is just brilliant. Jeanine of Love and Lemons is always doing something creative with vegetables. Ashlae of Oh, Ladycakes cracks me up and makes me want to eat vegan pancakes. Kristin of Pastry Affair creates really tempting, totally not-vegan desserts. I could go on forever!
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.