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Author Archive: "Terry Hope Romero"

Friday’s Flan Farewell

I'll wager that many of us could use a little extra sweetness to wrap up the events of this intense week. With Thanksgiving a few weeks away (on my blog, Vegan Latina, I'll be gathering together a few of my go-to recipes plus a few unconventional new favorites soon), the daily enjoyment of pumpkin sweets is practically a ritual. I've been making vegan flan for years, so practicing pumpkin vegan flan has been on my mind.

Practicing flan? Indeed. Both traditional and vegan flan radiate elegance and sophistication that clouds the simplicity behind the caramel curtain. Simmer an easy caramel and the flan; pour and chill for a few hours or overnight. But flan may require a little practice. Once you've done it a few times, however, it's so easy to prepare, it can be made while house guests are napping (as I made mine). Or you can get up a little early, simmer, and pour before leaving for work to have flan later that night.

This recipe can be made even richer by replacing a cup of almond milk with more coconut milk or made very light ...


Vegan Cuisine beyond U.S. Borders

It's been quite the week in post-hurricane NYC: at my place we've played halfway home to many stranded out-of-town friends, and we've watched local friends twist in the wind over 2½-hour-long commutes into the city. But before all this mayhem, I had a grand blogging plan surrounding my latest trip: less than a week ago I was in Amsterdam as an American vegan ambassador on a five-day food-centric trip coordinated by the amazing American Book Center, the stylish Hotel V, and the Dutch Cookbook Awards featured as part of Dutch Design Week.

This is the second time in two years I've had the immense pleasure of stepping beyond U.S. boarders to get a taste of veganism outside of North America. Ethnic cooking at home is my specialty, but it's another thing entirely when I get the chance to see what's cooking in the rest of the world. While I believe we have the widest options here in the States, we have much to learn looking beyond our borders and across the oceans.

The first vegetarian restaurant I ever went to was in Venezuela in the mid-80s, ...


Forget Tricks — Choose Treats

On day two of Hurricane Sandy's aftermath, I'm awash with strange feelings of sadness and hope, weariness from reading too much news, and some confusion that it's also Halloween today. Trick or treat? The sun and a little blue sky peek through fluffy clouds. It's easy to feel a little better and forget about yesterday's mayhem looking out the window, sipping my pumpkin-spice coffee.

In my little corner of Queens we got off easy. The power held through the night (only a few flickers, usually reserved for the dog days of August), and the next day left me with a productive day of cooking, reading, cleaning, and playing games. Both nights I couldn't help but think of friends less fortunate: those sent to evacuation centers whose basements and apartment lobbies flooded, and, by far the most horrifying of all, friends who lost their homes to the raging fires that engulfed Breezy Point near Rockaway. By the time this post goes live, surely this post-apocalyptic image of Breezy Point will be a familiar sight to many of us keeping tabs on the aftermath these next few days and weeks. ...


Down with Bacon, Up with Pumpkin and Marrow (Beans)

I'm a fan of marrow beans — an intriguingly named, old-fashioned bean I found on a recent trip to Kalustyan's and couldn't pass up. Some say marrow beans taste like bacon or even fatty bone marrow. In a world where pumpkin may just overthrow the gastric tyranny of bacon worship, these beans could be the tipping point toward regaining some sanity.

These little, round white beans add creamy richness and thicken up (without a touch of dairy) pumpkin bisque, the little black dress of cool-weather soups. I wouldn't call the flavor "meaty," but it's soothing and just the thing for rapidly cooling fall nights. Leeks add further body, and a touch of smoked salt (found mine at Trader Joe's — it's that trendy) brings home the almost-bacon. No smoked salt in your pantry? Try adding ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke.

This is a lazy soup because I didn't feel like browning the vegetables before adding the liquid; I just threw (almost) everything into the pot and let it go to town. I'm crazy about the aroma of simmering beans with plenty of garlic and bay leaves, the ideal ...


Shutting Down and Powering Up

I'm writing this, my first guest post for Powell's, on the eve of NYC's first "Frankenstorm," courtesy of hurricane Sandy. I trundled to my home at 7 p.m. on perhaps one of the last trains to Queens on Sunday night, picked up a few cartons of almond milk, and lamented that I didn't get there sooner to grab the last loaf of bread.

As the city prepares to batten down in the face of a storm, I prepare to shut down myself after a long summer and fall of travel and work. This Friday I flew home after nearly a week in Amsterdam, each day an opportunity to meet remarkable people making an impact on their food culture in diverse ways. If my planning had stretched a day or two longer, I would still be there. Or perhaps I'd just be homesick for my own home cooking? As I sit here in my cozy leggings with a pot of pumpkin rooibos tea, it's fun to imagine being hundreds of miles away from the city that inspires my food for another few days. But after a long summer and a ...


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