Savory Vegetable Kugel

A few months ago The Fella and I were visiting my Cousin and her family for dinner.  My Cousin served a vegetable and potato kugel as a side dish.  Unbelievably, I had never had kugel before.  I fell in L-O-V-E with this kugel.  My cousin was so nonchalant.  Kugel was nothing special, an everyday dish in her mind.  But to me, a new delight had been discovered!  She shared her recipe with me which is really a recipe for potato kugel with vegetables substituting some of the potatoes.  I adapted her recipe to use sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes, but I kept the basic structure of her recipe the same.  I also did a little research on kugel and found that savory is not the traditional vibe for kugel.  Most kugels seem to be made with noodles and fruit.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I may have to taste a noodle kugel before I try making it myself.

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Pasta Fagioli

My Grandma made this hearty pasta dish often when I was growing up.  Grandma Laciura was Dutch-American but she was raised in a poor Italian neighborhood in New Jersey and she married my Grandfather who was pure Sicilian.  Italian food was all that she knew how to make.  She was a great Italian cook! When I was a teenager I asked her to teach me how to make a few of her basics.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pineapple, Black Bean and Sweet Peppers

This dish is inspired by a recipe from The Complete Vegan Kitchen.  Of course, I’m posting my slightly different take on the recipe.  Mainly, I was out of coriander and had to work with ingredient amounts I had on hand rather than the exact ammounts called for in the original recipe.  Also, the original recipe merely suggests the addition of black beans whereas I feel the addition of black beans is key to making this not only a delicious side dish but a complete protein that could stand alone as a one dish meal.

I just love the way elements of sweet, savory and spicy play out in this dish.  The pineapple is not overpowering but just sweet enough.  I cannot wait to try this with the coriander and cayenne added in.  I think this would be a great side dish with grilled or roasted pork.

Roasted sweet potatoes, pineapple, peppers and onions with black beans

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