May: Vegan Pho Broth

Outside of Vietnam, Seattle is one of the best places to find authentic pho noodle soup. In fact, the world’s largest bowl of pho can be found in the city’s International District! Dating back to the early 1900’s, pho is traditionally made with beef broth and rice noodles, and filled with a combination of vegetables, tofu, meat and garnishes. This savory veggie pho broth is filled with aromatic spices, and can be frozen to use as soup stock for any number of vegetarian recipes.

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January: Lentil Soup with Cumin and Lemon

I have a huge 3-ring binder filled with recipes that I collect: magazine pages from the doctor’s waiting room, labels torn from a can of beans, online articles and printed for inspiration or written down on scraps of paper. Some I have already tried and loved, but the rest I keep “just in case” of… what? The next time someone asks me, “Can you please bring this very specific dish that you’ve never made before?” That’s never going to happen. So in 2019, I’m going to dig through my binder and finally try all the recipes that I’ve been saving up.

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November: Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna

I don’t have a love affair with cheese. I use it in cooking sometimes and I love cheese pizza, but up until a few years ago, you would never see me add more than one kind to a dish. I’ve only recently started exploring blending cheeses and using them more frequently, so I figured it’s about time for me to dive in and use all the cheese as I can get my hands on to make this hearty lasagna!

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August: Tofu Pad Thai

This pad thai doesn’t come from a proper cookbook, but it comes from my notebook where I keep recipes that I’ve torn out of magazines and newspapers, photocopies, printed out and written notes on, or jotted down on the back of receipts. The notebook has no order or theme, it’s just a jumble of flavors that looked good to me. It’s my favorite cookbook, and after many years, it’s fairly hefty with some favorite dishes. But there are a lot of dishes that I still haven’t tried yet.

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August: Chai-Spiced Yam Bruschetta with Crunchy Kale

I first encountered Plum when I was volunteering at KEXP 90.3 FM: before the radio station’s new home was built at Seattle Center, the major giving offices were located upstairs in the Armory, where the food court is. I stopped by Plum Pantry for pre-made salads and sandwiches on my way to my other job, but at the time I didn’t know it was part of a larger group of restaurants owned by Makini Howell. Today, the Plum brand encompasses a vegan bistro, bakery, food truck, pantry, catering and a cookbook. Although the Plum Pantry food is delicious, I’m excited to try something more elaborate.

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July: White Wine Risotto with Mushrooms

I love risotto, but I’ve never needed to make it because my roommate makes several incredible variations. My favorite kind that she makes is a gorgeous pink beet risotto with an expert blend of cheeses mixed in and on top. I know there’s absolutely no way I can top her recipes, so I’ve found my own in a cookbook that’s filled with easy recipes that all take 30 minutes or less to make!

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June: Homespun Pot Pie

It can be tough to find vegetarian savory pies because meat has been the filling of choice for several thousand years. Pies were eaten by nobles and commoners alike: live birds baked into pies topped with elaborate decorations showed that you could afford skilled cooks and host large feasts. Laborers enjoyed pies because it could be made with a few scraps of whatever ingredients were available, and they could be cooked over open flames instead of in a stone oven. Savory pies are found all over the world, and I wanted to try making my own!

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April: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers

I have been a vegetarian since 2005, with the exception of deliciously fresh Pacific Northwest seafood. When I go to a new restaurant that has a veggie burger on the menu, it’s usually what I’ll end up getting. Ordering something simple and universal at a variety of places makes it easier to find new twists that each chef has added to make it their own. Are the patties made in-house from scratch? What kind of bread is it served on, and what garnishes and sauces come with it? But despite sampling nearly every veggie burger that crosses my path, I’ve never tried to make my own – until now!

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