An ode to the vegetarians this thanksgiving- with not a tofurkey in site

Remember that part of quarantine when everyone was buying beans? I feel like this is the kind of thing we will laughingly tell our children one day- that there were literal waitlists for dried beans. No, but really. Oh 2020. What a century long year you have felt like.



Luckily, beans are more available than they were in March, so it's game on in my kitchen. I've been experimenting more with cooking dried beans, and considering my many failed instant pot attempts (don't want to yuck anyone's yum but I'm still kind of scared of pressure cookers) I think I've finally landed on a method I'm happy with. And considering that Thanksgiving is next week, what better way to combine my two loves (beans and autumnal holidays in this case) than with this oddball love-child of a dish. Stay with me- the golden brown delicata pairs wonderfully with the aromatic broad bean purée, and pomegranate seeds/ pine nuts add just the right amount of crunch and textural contrast. I promise it's delicious! And very vegan/vegetarian friendly too.



The broad bean mash certainly has some similarities (texturally speaking at least) to mashed potatoes, but this is in no way meant to be a sub for the classic- I would never dare to disrespect America's favorite carb in this way.



I'm going to include both a recipe for cooking the dried beans as well as the dish, but if you wish to use canned go ahead and skip to the full recipe. If not, give it a go and let me know what you think!

Easy Cooked Broad Beans-

-1 lbs dry broad beans

-6 cups water for soaking

-6 cups water for cooking

-1/2 onion

-4 sprigs of rosemary

-1 tbsp salt


Add the dried beans to a large bowl and add the 6 cups of cold water. Cover and let soak overnight or up to 24 hours, optionally placing in the fridge. Drain the soaked beans and place in a medium sized pot. Add the additional 6 cups of water, cover with a lif and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, skim off the foamy residue from the top of the beans and discard. Lower to a medium heat and add the rosemary, onion, and salt. Keep the pot half covered and check on the beans every 30 minutes until they are cooked through and tender, about an 60-90 minutes in total (depending on how long the beans have soaked). Once finished, drain and let cool a bit, then portion for use in the purée or in soups.

Roasted Delicata with Aromatic Broad Beans


-2 delicata squash, chopped and seeds removed

-2 tbsp avocado oil

-2 tsp salt

-1 tsp honey

-1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

-1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

-1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

-seeds from ¼ of a pomegranate

-black pepper, to taste


-two cups cooked broad beans

-3/4 tsp salt

-zest of lemon

-1/4 cup olive oil


Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange squash on a sheet tray and toss with oil, salt, honey, red pepper flakes, and cracked black pepper. Place in oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until squash is cooked through and lightly golden brown. While the squash is cooking, place your cooked broad beans, salt, olive oil, and lemon zest in a blender and blitz until roughly smooth. Plate by adding a dollop of your purée to a plate or platter, add your roasted squash, and top with pine nuts, sesame seeds, and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!

Hereby starting a petition to make sautéed mushroom a requirement for dinnertime

I recently read a joke from someone online that said that they wanted to go back to precedented times. Because every sentence in 2020 seems to start with "In these unprecedented times"...haha-get it? Thanksgiving, just like every other moment this year, will undoubtedly look different. Gatherings will be smaller (if happening at all) and Zoom will likely make an appearance at our dinner table meals.The same grand turkeys and multitudes of pies that make up any other Thanksgiving holiday just...don't exactly make sense this year.





If that's your pride and joy, more power to you- but smaller portions will likely be needed as we avoid large gatherings. And while all of this is disappointing and a royal bummer, one could think of this time as an opportunity to try something new and different! And so this seared chicken was born.





It's far more moist than any turkey I've had or seen (sorry Dad) and the salty-umami mushrooms amplify the flavor even more. They're nature's gravy, if you will. Served with a silky broad bean mash (recipe coming soon) and some fresh greens, it's a dish that won't have you belly up on the floor after a particularly taxing battle with a turkey leg. Check it out and give it a go- you won't regret it!

Seared Chicken with Local Mushrooms~


-2 bone in chicken breasts

-2 tbsp avocado oil (or other neutral oil)

-2 tbsp salt

-1.5 cups shiitake, oyster, or cremini mushrooms

-1/4 cup white wine

-black pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove chicken from package and lightly pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub the mixture all over both sides. Place a large pan over medium high heat and let warm for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the oil, letting warm for an additional 1 minute. Place chicken skin side down and let sear for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Place the seared chicken breast on a sheet tray and place in oven for about 25-35 minutes, or until the thickest part of the meat reads 165°F. In the same pan that you seared the chicken, add the mushrooms and an additional 1-2 tsp of oil as needed as well as the white wine, scraping up the browned bits from the chicken. Let the mixture reduce down and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated but about a tablespoon remains. Remove the mushrooms from the heat and spoon over the top of the cooked chicken. Serve and enjoy!

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A great cozy treat inspired by one of my favorite coffee shops

A think my coping mechanism du jour is therapy baking.

If you, like me, are in need of a bit of sugary comfort, I've got you covered. Inspired by some of the baked goods at my favorite coffee shop, these muffins tick all of the boxes. They are light enough not to weigh you down, sweet but not too sweet, and complex due to the use of whole wheat flour. Plus, it's a welcome break from all things pumpkin in squash. Well, at least for today. Ok. Be well friends and please, please, be safe out there.

Onto the recipe :)

Carrot Chocolate Chip Muffins (Makes 6 muffins)~



-1 cup all-purpose flour

-1 cup whole wheat flour

-1 tsp baking soda

-1 tsp baking powder

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp ginger

-1/2 tsp nutmeg

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 cup walnuts

-1/2 cup chocolate chips


-1 cup shredded carrots

-3 eggs

-1/4 cup maple syrup

-1.4 cup almond milk

-1/2 cup neutral oil

-1/2 cup cane sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease or line a muffin tin. In a medium bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients (except for the walnuts and chocolate) together with a whisk or fork. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, sugar, and maple syrup and whisk until smooth and a bit frothy. Add the neutral oil, almond milk and carrots and again whisk to disperse. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and once smooth fold in the walnuts and chocolate until evenly dispersed. Spoon even amounts of batter into the muffin tin and optionally sprinkle the tops with extra cane sugar. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy as desired.

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© 2020 by Isabelle Namnoum. Proudly created with

Specializing in food photography, the balanced apron focuses on seasonal ingredients and thoughtful storytelling through evocative imagery found on our portfolio and food blog.

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