Dana Slatkin

Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake (gluten-free; dairy-free or vegan)

Being a blogger, I am constantly reminded of what I’m good at and what I’m not. Coming up with new recipes to share each week? Pretty good. Giving you tips and techniques I’ve learned from experience? Not bad (I hope). Taking mouth-watering photos? Not so good. When it comes to photography, let’s just say I’m seriously challenged. It doesn’t help that I’m still stubbornly attached to my Blackberry (but I won’t blame it on my sorry phone camera). Luckily, my kids occasionally step in to help. Here’s another thing I’m not good at: following recipes. In fact, I’m such a tweaker that the other day I found myself blatantly rewriting a recipe…one of my own. While I was searching for the ultimate fall dessert for my … [Read more...]

Japanese Vegetable Pancake (Okonomiyaki お好み焼き)

During the week, family dinner is mandatory in my house. It’s the one hour in the day when we all slow down, stash our phones away, and tune into each other. There are no excuses: everyone shows up. It’s also the highlight of my day. But like anything worthwhile, weeknight meals take some effort to pull off. So when I recently served a tasty new vegetable dish that was devoured in seconds, I knew I had a keeper. Have you ever heard of Okonomiyaki? Neither had I. The crispy Japanese cabbage pancakes are a street food staple in Japan. Ever since they were rebranded by a couple of enterprising chefs as “Japanese pizza,” Okonomiyaki (which roughly translates to “as you like it, grilled”) have caught on with the gastropub set, appearing … [Read more...]

Farmgirl Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Photo Credit: Pat Illing

Everyone has a guilty pleasure, something that soothes after a long day or helps ease you into the night ahead. Mine is – er, was -- a certain diet soda with a “cherry” flavor and just enough caffeine to occasionally recharge my battery. But the other night, after seeing a screening of Fed Up, Laurie David’s and Katie Couric’s sobering documentary about our deadly national diet, I 86’d soda from my life for good. I was so moved by the film, I went on a pantry rampage as well, tossing every box of processed food that had found its way onto my shelves. The next day, three ravenous kids came wandering into the pantry looking for snacks. Gone were the breakfast cereals, power bars and chips they usually grabbed before attempting … [Read more...]

M Café’s Vegan Curried Lentil Soup

M Cafe Lentil Soup

When the folks at M Café first asked me to try their five-day RESET Cleanse, I have to admit, I was a little skeptical. As you probably know, I don’t take well to diets or anything that involves giving up my favorite foods. Relinquish my Manchego? Surrender my sprouted cinnamon toast? Ditch dark chocolate? No thanks. Besides, the word “cleanse” reminded me of my wannabe hippie days at Berkeley. But after getting sicker than I’d ever been last year, I knew I could use a reboot. Maybe I hadn’t been taking good care of my heath after all. Besides, I liked the idea of someone cooking for me for a change. So I signed on, agreeing to a personal consultation with holistic nutritionist Elissa Goodman and five days of macrobiotic … [Read more...]

Dirty Chai Coffee Crème Brûlées (Dairy-free)

I’ve noticed as I get older, my tastes have evolved from bland to bold. The apple sauce and mashed potatoes that I loved as a child just don’t do it for me any more. I crave flavor with a capital F…which is why my cooking class this week is called Flavor-Up!. It turns out our taste buds do, in fact, dull as we age. That’s why food manufacturers, constantly competing for our appetites, load up processed foods with salt, sugar and fat, trying to seduce us ever so synthetically. But spend a week away from packaged foods, eating nothing but fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based proteins, and you can take back your taste buds. Believe me, after five days on the M Café RESET Cleanse, my tongue is like a toddler’s! You’ll … [Read more...]

Cashew Cheese with Chipotle

Here’s a lovely serving suggestion from chezbettay.com

...adapted from Heirloom Catering. Spring 2013 is sure to be a defining moment in our country’s history. As our Supreme Court grapples with the legal boundaries of marriage, I find myself thinking about my own margins of acceptance. When I was a kid, I gravitated to the familiar. It was comforting to eat the same foods every day, to be with friends who had similar backgrounds and personalities, to cling to routine. But as I get older, I find myself wanting to try the untried. I crave new tastes, new ideas, anyone and anything that’s out of the box. Maybe that explains one of my new infatuations. It’s rich and creamy, part cheese, part spread, with a smoky pep. And it’s just a little unconventional. This quirky vegan recipe … [Read more...]

Vegan (or vegetarian) Kale Caesar Salad with Miso Almond Crumble

kale caesar salad with miso almond crumble

Since we’re in the midst of the month of love, the age of Aquarius, and my birthday, I thought I’d give a shout out to someone I really love. My heart. Yes, my tireless little blood sausage of life deserves some appreciation this week. Did you know that neglected hearts account for more deaths in women than all of the cancers combined? I’m making sure to give mine plenty of love. In fact, I’ve been cooking just what it wants lately, thanks to the trove of new tips I learned from Ashley Koff, the renowned dietician that Dr. Oz and Dr. Weil turn to when they need answers. Last week, Ashley and I teamed up for the third time to teach a Heart-Healthy class aimed at teaching my students how their hearts like to be fed. With her … [Read more...]

Quinoa Vegetable Latkes (gluten-free)


Makes 12 3-inch latkes Pull out that cast iron pan, stockpile your potatoes and onions, arm yourself with oil. It’s latke time. This month I’m knee-deep in them. After pouring through shelves of Jewish cookbooks over the years, testing countless recipes and swimming in oil every December, I think I’ve finally managed to master the perfect latke. For the past decade or so, I’ve stuck with what works, a failproof formula that somehow manages to get raves every time. I have gradually made some minor tweaks to the recipe, adjusting the potato to onion ratio, adding zucchini, and honing the process down to a few steps. For you traditionalists, here is the recipe. But if you’re willing to stretch a little this year, I have a … [Read more...]