Vegan Hungarian Goulash

I am about to share one of the most delicious recipes in the world with you.

I went to Hungary 3 summers ago on a backpacking trip with my best friend. It was about three weeks into our trip and we both had just come down with this nasty stuffy cold. After trying to search the pharmacies for a good decongestant (and failing) we spent our time taking short walks, drinking lots of juice and relaxing and rejuvenating in the famous Budapest Széchenyi Baths, and finding ourselves underground in these weird caves under Buda Castle (seriously though, what were those things?!).

Continue reading


Mini-Deep Dish Pizzas With Giardiniera

Last week, I made these mini-deep dish pizzas for a chicago-themed dinner party. In the chicago deep dish tradition, these little guys were stuffed with cheese and filling and topped with a layer of tomato sauce. They were a huge hit, with people trying to take more than their share, getting into epic battles over the last ones… Okay, I exaggerate, but they really were popular! And I can see why. We had stuffed them with a homemade giardiniera, which is a very popular condiment in Chicago.

These were super easy to make, though I guess a little more work than just making one large pizza, but as an added bonus, they are extremely cute! They make perfect appetizers, side dishes, or snacks. The mini pizzas were so tasty that I had to share them (that is to say, they were so good I had to make them again immediately). Continue reading

Gnocchi alla Romana

Hey there–I’ve missed you all!  Sorry for the long hiatus, and many thanks to Miss Eva for holding down the fort. Where have I been? Criss-crossing the country on a job hunt, and finishing my dissertation. I’m starting to get my feet back on the ground after all of that though, and I have something I’d like to share.

Up today is a semolina dumpling called gnocchi alla romana. I made it for my husband this week, in celebration of our anniversary. It tastes absolutely sinful, and if I hadn’t made it myself, I would never have believed it was vegan. The dish gets its twinkle from the contrast of textures: crisp edges, chewy crust, and ultra-creamy interior. This is the best comfort food you’ve never tasted.

Continue reading

Rainbow Chard Veggie Burger

It goes without saying that it’s a cold, windy, blizzardy day in Chicago. Most of us are stranded at home, or at least pretended that we were to avoid the trek to work. And Leila, my beautiful sister and fellow blog writer, came for a visit. As it wasn’t the best day to venture out into the city, we stayed at home and made burgers to remind us of warm summer nights spent out in the backyard. Actually growing up we didn’t grill outside that frequently, but burgers make a great summer backyard meal, and so it’s close enough.

Continue reading

Winter Squash Kibbeh

You might have thought I was all done with the winter squash. But then you must not have peeked into my pantry lately. If you were to take a look, you would have spied 4 giant butternut squash, 2 sugar pumpkins, 1 acorn squash, 1 delicata squash, and a splendid blue hubbard.  That is how our lovely CSA ends with an October bounty that will last us until January, if I manage to store them correctly. So forgive me for continuing the squash journey.  I brought you a warming Tex-Mex inspired butternut soup, and that Pumpkin Maple Spice ice cream that detoured through China.  Today, we’re heading to Lebanon.

Continue reading

Vegan Swedish Meatballs

It’s been a little quiet on Strawberry Pepper lately, as we’ve been busy with graduate school and things (I know, right?), but I promise you the wait was well worth it for these delicious meat-free balls. This recipe is adapted from a non-vegan version, courtesy of one of a good friends: my Swedish friend Emil. When I told him that I had started a vegan cooking blog with my sister he said, “make swedish meatballs! …oh wait, those aren’t vegan.” I told him to send me a recipe and I’d make a vegan version. But folks, it wasn’t so easy to just change the ground beef to ground seitan. I had to decode the Swedish recipe, including figuring out what a msk is, that zanzibar red head is clove, what a ‘gul’ onion meant, and so on… My detective skills (*cough cough* the internet) prevailed, and a scrumptious americanized and veganized adjusted recipe resulted.

Continue reading