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What if Recipes Were Written for Everyone?

Recipes that take into consideration things like time, class, income, and sustainability may be few and far between. But they are, we believe, representative of how recipes should start to look. Our partner in this story, the ​Economic Hardship Reporting Project,​ supports independent journalists as they forward fresh narratives about inequality. EHRP’s journalism is then co-published with mainstream media outlets, to help readers understand and address systemic hardship. This piece also appears on Mother Jones.

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Is Cabbage Really the Best of All Vegetables?

The cruciferous spotlight has previously been reserved for cabbage’s glory-hogging cousins — svelte and sexy ​Brussels sprouts​, ​cauliflower that can be roasted whole​ and served as a star, ​broccoli​ that is, like the movie, everything everywhere all at once, and ​Savoy​ and ​Napa​, with their interesting textures and shapes. And that doesn’t even touch on the Asian branch of the family, like ​Bok Choy​ and ​Tatsoi​. Plain green cabbage, however, “appeals to a deeper, more primal corner of my psyche than any of its kin,” Adam Ried writes.

“Soft Scrambled” Breakfast Potatoes: How to Make Them Yours

Hash browns and home fries and Spanish tortilla are all incredible, but why aren’t there more mashed, smooth, or soupy varieties of potatoes on breakfast menus or brunch spreads? These are underrated and underutilized opportunities to get potatoes on the breakfast plate in ways that incorporate the same warming qualities as soft scrambled eggs. Here, three of your new favorite ways to eat potatoes.

Raise Your Hand if You Hate to Cook

I was fifteen and unkempt in 1983, a boy unburdened by the challenges of childbearing and taxes and flounder-grasping. As for cooking, the jury was still out. And although Peg Bracken’s book, The I Hate to Cook Book, had been a cultural juggernaut for nearly a quarter century, I’d never heard of it. But I was hungry, so I kept reading.

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Your Favorite Foods Are Often Just Those Made by Your Favorite People

What makes a food special, what turns a simple dish into a memory? Why do some dishes stand out so much more than others? (Aside from how good or bad they are, of course.) In many cases, it’s because there are certain meals, ingredients even, that we always associate with another person.

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For Real: Lentils Deserve Your Full Attention

Now is the perfect time to lift lentils from their winter stews and soups and bring them into the light. The recipes here feature the three most common types of lentils — French green, red, and brown — so that they shine as mains, sides, or components in meals and snacks. As in: a salad that works with or without salmon; a creamy and versatile vegan twist on refried beans; and a stir-fry loaded with sprouts you grow in a jar.

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To Get Intimate With Your Food, You Gotta Taste It

Beyond the reading, the cooking classes, the careful adherence to recipes, the most important way to build knowledge in the kitchen is to put food in your mouth. To taste. Taste the stew as it cooks; taste the sauce as it reduces; the pasta as it boils, the fish as it poaches, the stock as it simmers. Pay close attention, to how your body and mind react. Sense it, feel it, name it, remember.

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The Stew That I Ate for Three Days Straight

I had never in my life eaten the same thing three nights in a row — until this particular night. But it wasn’t a bad thing.

Beans and Pasta Were Made for Each Other

To my parents, eating, say, pasta and potatoes would have been unhealthy in some undefined way and frowned upon as “starch on starch.” Yet pasta with potatoes is a great dish—especially on a chilly evening. And so is the better-known pasta e fagioli. Here, I want to talk about our new favorite: pasta with lentils.

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This (Vegetarian) Sandwich is Delicious Beyond Its Years

It’s succulent broccoli raab, yuba (sometimes called soy skins), mashed chickpeas, and more, on a soft, short hero roll with a light, crisp exterior. After the first chomp, my whole body relaxed, as if my system had shut down to upload a new program. I wish I could eat the Yuba Verde all the time; in the meantime, I’ve experimented with making it at home.

Stop Worrying About the Temperature of Your Food

At home, where our thermostat typically reads around 74° F, I’ve been thinking more about food that comes together at a rate that matches the given mood or moment. In an attempt to protect a sense of peace in the kitchen—less pressure, more pleasure—what I’ve found most appealing are meals with no fuss around the degree range at which they’re consumed. Things that can be done ahead while still existing as an expression of care and attention to detail.

When You Mash Your Chickpeas, Magic Happens

When you mash chickpeas, they disappear. In a good way. Imagine what this stir-fry would be like if instead of a hearty sauce to coat crisp-cooked vegetables, you end up with a handful of errant beans bobbing in a watery pool at the bottom of the pan. No one wants that.

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Cooking Is Not an Exercise in Fantasy

The goal isn’t perfection, it’s lunch, and good enough is good enough. Cooking, at root, is not an exercise in fantasy. It is a task, quotidian and necessary. If you wanna eat, you gotta cook. (Unless you’re rich, but that’s a topic for a different writer.)

Brown Rice Cereal, Minus the Cereal

It’s been head-exploding to discover a new alternative to traditional hot cereal grains like oats and cornmeal: ​brown rice cereal​. It’s like broken rice with benefits. Whole-grain goodness for one; quick-cooking for another. This cereal has got use rethinking techniques, using it instead of white rice, and adding it to places that brown rice has never been before.

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This “Condiment” Is Wildly Good — And Wildy Underused

What got me started on my roasted garlic journey was Mark’s recommendation that people spread roasted garlic onto any pizza before adding toppings. What genius is this? Evidence here, along with a ton of other ways to use this alluring allium.

Do You Have a Sweet Tooth?

The need for sweet pounces at night, and no simple piece of fresh fruit beats it back (though grapes and pineapple stand the strongest chance). Then I upped the ante by grinding dried fruit in the food processor, adding complimentary flavors, and rolling them into “truffles.” These have passed the test of time.

Read This Before You Salt Your Vegetables

The word salad comes from the Latin word for salt, so it’s no surprise that the two go hand in hand: salting vegetables (and not just greens), even briefly, can maximize their crispness and flavor by causing them to release their water. But when, exactly, should you add salt?

Move Over, Sourdough Starter. There’s a New Sheriff In Town

Creating and maintaining your own personal stock takes doing, but it’s not much doing, simple enough to become a habit. And having a steady supply of flavorful, multifaceted stock on hand is a huge boost to anything you use it for.