Author: H. Weal

Vegetarian Bean Chili

I whip out this dish when I crave Chili Con Carne, but am all out of ground meat. And since this version is just as hearty, I don’t miss it. The beans are the star here and I use whichever I have on hand—kidney, pinto, black, or a combination of these—it doesn’t matter. (Kidney beans

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Shakshuka (Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce)

closeup photo of shakshouka in a skillet

My first taste of this classic Middle Eastern dish was at an entirely inauthentic location—a fast casual tea shop near my job. Nevertheless, it was an amazing experience. I’m no stranger to tomato sauces, but I’d never had one in quite this way—zesty and seasoned with earthy spices like paprika and cumin. Paired with a

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Agua de Fresa con Limón (Strawberry Water with Lemon)

glass of agua de fresa (aguas frescas) garnished with mint and a strawberry on a wooden surface

Lying somewhere in the middle ground between flavored water and juice, the classic Mexican drink aguas frescas (lit. “fresh waters”) comes in many different varieties, often featuring fresh fruit. I use frozen strawberries in my version because they are already a staple ingredient in my kitchen and come conveniently pre-hulled. Garnish with a sprig of

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Tomato Avocado Toast with Eggs

photo of tomato avocado toast with eggs on a turquoise IKEA FÄRGRIK 8-inch side plate on a wooden surface

I will admit, avocado is an acquired taste. I didn’t become a fan of the fruit–yes, it’s a fruit; a berry to be exact–until recently. For me, it’s best used for its creamy texture than for its taste. More specifically, I treat it almost like a soft, melty cheese. This open-faced sandwich is a perfect

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Spiced Tea Cakes

close-up photo of a pyramid of spiced tea cakes cookies surrounded by powdered sugar on a turquoise IKEA FÄRGRIK 8-inch side plate on a wooden surface

Usually called Russian Tea Cakes, these crumbly cookie balls are a delightful little bite to enjoy with tea. My favorite tea is masala chai, so I couldn’t resist replacing the customary vanilla extract with chai spice in these late afternoon treats. Their small size and resemblance to snowballs also make them ideal to serve as

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Hot Chocolate

close-up photo of hot chocolate in white mug on wooden surface

I’m not sure why packets of hot chocolate mix contain so many ingredients, when a rich and creamy hot chocolate can be easily made at home with just three. Leave that Alpine lady up in the slopes and warm up against winter’s chill using my no-measure method. [Don’t worry, I’ve included precise measurements as well,

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Tuna Salad Sandwiches

close-up photo of sliced whole wheat tuna salad sandwich on small cobalt blue plate on wooden surface

This is the unsung hero of my cookbook. Since the recipe consists entirely of pantry staples, it’s one I never really have to shop for and therefore often overlook. But I’m always delighted when I come across a long-forgotten can of tuna in the back of my cupboard because I know immediately that I can

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