All posts in “Supper”

Spring Vegetable Ragout with Goat Cheese Polenta

Spring Vegetable Ragout with Goat Cheese Polenta, Rosemary and Smoked Sea Salt

Well hello mushroom. Would you like to come with me? I think you would love to play with my other friends like asparagus and carrots. And silky polenta. You know them, they are my springtime friends. You will get along very well with them.

Morel season is just beginning in the mid south. Somewhere near the majestic oak, strewn in along in the small depressions where moisture collects, maybe on a north-facing slope. I try to explain why I find them where I find them. I don’t think I can. They are a mystery. They are an amazing gift of springtime.

This recipe comes in anticipation of finding the beautiful morels around where I live in mid-appalachia in April. I decided it would be perfect with the meaty portabello, too. With either,  this mushroom dish holds the celebration of spring vegetables together with strength and substance, and they all have a chance to shine.

There’s a video for some visual fun. I hope you enjoy!




Spring Vegetable Ragout over Polenta with Goat Cheese, Smoked Sea Salt and Rosemary
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Polenta with Goat Cheese, Rosemary and Smoked Sea Salt Recipe Type : Entree Author: Maria Baldwin Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 25 mins Serves: 4-6 servings
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup medium to coarse ground cornmeal
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • ½ tsp. smoked salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary or ¼ tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 portabello mushroom
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 large-ish shallot
  • ½ lb. asparagus
  • ½ c. sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes.
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1½ cups vegetable demi-glace (recipe from ChefSteps - or - Better Than Boullion Sauce
  • ½ cup red wine
  1. Cook the polenta by adding 1 cup polenta to 4 cups of simmering salted vegetable stock, stirring as you add the polenta. Continue to stir until it becomes somewhat thick. Add the goat cheese, sea salt and rosemary for a fabulous thick and silky polenta. Set aside to keep warm an
  2. Prepare recipe "mise en place" by assembling the vegetables, slicing them, and gathering the other ingredients together.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in the medium saute pan over medium to low heat on the burner.
  4. Saute shallot until tender and beginning to turn translucent.
  5. Add the other vegetables to the pan, beginning with the carrots, then the mushroom and then the sun-dried tomato and asparagus. Saute for about 5 minutes, or just until tender, then remove vegetables from the pan.
  6. Add ½ cup red wine to the pan and stir to deglaze and loosen bits from the surface for flavor.
  7. Add the brown vegetable demi-glace. Stir in a slurry of 2 tsp cornstarch with ¼ cup of water to the sauce. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes to start to thicken. When the sauce has become silky and slightly thickened, and the remaining sundried tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes more.
  8. Add vegetables back to the pan and bring to a simmer for just a few minutes. Serve the silky mushroom and spring vegetable ragout over the goat cheese polenta.
  9. Ciao!
This is a quantity for 2 generous portions. Double the recipe if need be.

vegan cauliflower steaks with romesco sauce

Vegan Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

romesco sauce ingredients are pulsed in the food processor.

Romesco sauce is pureed until smooth.

Cauliflower steaks are cut 1 inch thick.

vegan cauliflower steaks with romesco sauce

Vegan Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce is a hearty, yet light. complete vegan entree that can be partially prepared in advance. Elegant and delicious and simple to make. Serve alongside a simple caesar or arugula salad for a beautiful presentation.


Vegan Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 4 servings
  • ⅓ Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • ¼ Cup Blanched Almonds
  • 1 Slice Good Quality Bread, cubed
  • 1 Medium Tomato - roasted
  • 1 Medium Red Pepper, roasted and peeled
  • 1 Dried Ancho Chili - toasted and soaked
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Water
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, cut into 4 1inch thick steaks
  1. Place the tomato and red pepper into the oven in a heavy baking dish and roast under the broiler until the skin is dark and blistering - about 10 minutes. When adequately toasted, remove both from the oven and peel and chop the tomato. Add to the bowl of your food processor.
  2. Sweat the roasted pepper in a paper bag or a covered bowl to loosen the skin and then peel and discard seeds and membranes. Add the roasted red pepper meat to the food processor.
  3. Simmer the dried ancho chili in the olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium until tender and brightly colored. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Discard the seeds and stem. Add the bread cubes, almonds and garlic to the warm oil and simmer until bread is lightly colored.
  4. Add all ingredients to the food processor bowl and pulse together to form a slurry-like sauce. Add the water and red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, continuing to process until the smooth consistency of the sauce is reached. It can be served slightly chunky or processed to very smooth.
  5. Slather the cauliflower steaks with olive oil and grill on a griddle or heavy bottomed cast iron type skillet - about 5 minutes on each side until tender and browned. Season with salt and white pepper as you remove from the pan and serve atop the romesco sauce. Cauliflower steaks can be held in a warm oven until it is time to serve your entree.
  6. Enjoy!
This recipe is low in saturated fats and offers a healthy portion of omega 3's and 6's AND it is delicious with no cholesterol! Simple to prepare with a smoky depth of flavor from the roasted peppers in the sauce. A fabulous seasonal meal for the cool months.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 167 g Calories: 320 Fat: 26.2 g Saturated fat: 3.4 g Unsaturated fat: 21.9 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 18 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 449 mg Fiber: 4 g Protein: 6.3 g Cholesterol: 0 mg
Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

Butternut and Black Bean Tacos with Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw

Simply and practically – keeping it H-E-A-L-T-H-Y!! These tacos aren’t just any old tacos. The black bean, dried chile and winter squash filling is doused with my adobo sauce, then the crunchy kale and red cabbage topping is over the top with a greek yogurt and lime crema. Prepared and ready to eat in 30 minutes!!

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

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Butternut and Black Bean Tacos with Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3-4
Taco Filling
  • 2 cup Butternut Squash
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • ½ medium Sweet Onion
  • 2 Dried Red Chilies
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • ⅔ cup Adobo Sauce
Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw
  • 1 cup Red Cabbage
  • 1 cup Lacinato Kale
Lime Crema
  • ½ cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • ½ Lime
Taco Shells
  • Corn Tortillas
Adobo Sauce
  • 2 - 3 Dried Red Chilies
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • ¾ cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 2 Limes
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Agave Syrup
Taco Filling
  1. Saute onion and squash in warm olive oil until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the black beans and garlic cook over medium-low heat until mixture is bubbly and thickens a bit to combine flavors - about 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and add the adobo sauce.
Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw
  1. For the topping, simply mix the cabbage and kale and spritz with fresh lime juice and salt.
Lime Crema
  1. Make the lime crema by mixing the plain greek yogurt with fresh lime juice.
Adobo Sauce
  1. Toast the red chilies on a cast iron skillet then soak the chilies in ¾ cup boiling water. Remove the stems and seeds, reserving the liquid for the blender.
  2. Add the chilies and all other ingredients to a blender and blend until the sauce is silky and smooth.

Vegan tuscan white bean stew

Butternut Squash and Sage Tuscan White Bean Stew

Tuscan white bean stew


I’ve had a bit of a time getting myself organized to actually share recipes the past few weeks. Sometimes the world gets squarely and firmly planted between me and my camera. So annoying! BUT this does not mean I haven’t been cooking and eating, of course, and I am super focused on eating healthy. I am not in the midst of a cleanse or anything right now, but I know that I feel SO MUCH BETTER when my meals revolve around veggies with lots of colors! I know many of you are the same way and you may be actually committed to a cleanse diet right now.  If you are, this recipe will make you forget you are on a cleanse! It is totally in line with what you should be eating and it is amazing, if I do humbly say so myself!

There is a short list of ingredients here and the whole dish comes together in less than 45 minutes! One of the things I loved about this recipe is that it is truly “one-pot”.


Tuscan white bean stew with sun-dried tomatoes


The veggies – onion, carrot, celery, and sun-dried tomato – are simply chopped and sauteed in olive oil for about 5 minutes. I like to add the seasonings next – sage, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.

Seasonings are added into the saute pan before adding the liquid.

Add the cannellini beans and butternut squash and broth. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Vegan Tuscan White Bean Stew

Add the chopped swiss chard near the end to retain it’s color.

Add the swiss chard at the very end of cooking.


I adjusted the seasonings and added a sprig of fresh thyme to the stew pot and then it was like magic as the flavors came together and a beautifully complex dish was ready to enjoy. The earthy and smokiness of the sun-dried tomatoes adds an amazing depth to the flavors. It’s scrumptious.



Perfect when it’s cold outside…




Butternut Squash and Sage Tuscan White Bean Stew
  • 2 cup Butternut Squash
  • ½ cup Sweet Onion
  • ½ cup Celery
  • ½ cup Carrot
  • ½ cup Sun-Dried Tomato
  • 1 can Cannelini Beans
  • 4 cup Vegetable Stock
  • 2 cup Swiss Chard
  • 2 teaspoon Rubbed Sage
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon White Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 small Sprig of Fresh Thyme
  1. Saute mirepoix (onion, celery and carrot) and sund-dried tomatoes in olive oil over medium-low heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add sage, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes and stir to coat.
  3. Add the cannellini beans, butternut squash and vegetable stock and allow to simmer until squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add swiss chard and a small sprig of fresh thyme to the pot and continue to simmer for about 10 -15 more minutes.
  5. Adjust the seasonings and serve.
Asian noodle salad with carrot ginger soup

Carrot Ginger Soup with Soba Noodle Salad

It seems I have a bit of a ying/yang situation going on with my food cravings during this time of year. I really look forward to the season that draws us close in to comfort foods and foods that are a celebration in and of themselves.  Thanksgiving with the roast bird, creamed vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie. We love these foods so much.

But to set them apart, it’s nice to balance the celebration with foods that nourish.

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Delicata Squash with Cranberry Bean Cassoulet



This fall has been a beautiful season of appreciation for me – in the kitchen, out in nature and in my personal life. As Thanksgiving approaches, I am almost overwhelmed with gratitude this year. My husband and I were able to move to the mountains of North Carolina, back to my family home, to spend a dedicated time with family through the illness and passing of my father. I owe him a huge debt of thanks for the many profound life lessons he shared with me and for the very heightened appreciation of nature and the outdoors.

My emphasis on seasonal eating is very much wrapped up in how I was raised and the rhythm of life that was instilled in me through the way my family lived in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. Our garden was a focal point of everyday life, and so it is for me still. What is in season is the predominant question I ask myself when thinking of food and nourishment.

This delicata squash and bean cassoulet, another dish from my love affair with the Rhubarb Restaurant of Asheville, NC, highlights the seasonality of the late summer and autumn garden. Having a stock pile of winter squashes in the pantry and jars of dried beans leads to endless possibilities in the kitchen.


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