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About to go Vegan - need cookbook advice!

Thanks everyone! I had veganomicon on my "maybe" list, so I'll definitely buy it now. And, I'll check out the others you suggested.

I'm not so worried about the baked goods - I rarely bake, and it's only my husband that needs to be 100% vegan -- I'll definitely sneak a cookie while I'm at work! Though the almond quinoa muffins sound pretty good to me, too.

Dec 29, 2011
amymon in Home Cooking

About to go Vegan - need cookbook advice!

My husband just signed up for a 4-month medical study that requires him (i.e. the family) to go vegan. We've been mostly vegetarian for a few years, but cooking without cheese, butter, and eggs seems pretty daunting. I'm imagining a life of beans, pasta, and "veggie ragouts" over couscous. bleh.

When I became vegetarian, the cookbooks that really helped were the ones that helped me understand how to make a meal without meat as the central focus. Peter Berley's were the best - I'm pretty sure I would've given up without these. The popular ones like Deborah Madison or Mark Bittman just read like a giant list of side dishes, and I spend forever trying to meal plan for my family.

Are there any vegan cookbooks out there that help you with meal planning? I'm an adventurous cook, but need to get dinner on the table in 45 mins every night for a hungry family. Thanks!

Dec 27, 2011
amymon in Home Cooking

40th Bday - Estadio, Eola, or Bibianna?

I left DC about 18mo ago, and will be back for my 40th birthday in two weeks. I'm planning a dinner with 6 friends, and would like to go to a new restaurant (for me). I want something fun (but not too crazy - I'm 40 after all) with good cocktails and great food, and ideally good vegetarian options.

So far, after reading the board, I'm thinking Estadio, Eola, or Bibianna. Any thoughts?

Help me use up my parsnips!

I made parsnip and pear latkes this year - they were amazing!

Dec 10, 2010
amymon in Home Cooking

Delicious Autumn Turnips

Turnips are spicier than rutabagas, sort of like a cross between a potato and a radish, while rutabagas are sweeter and earthier. I love them both!

Nov 05, 2010
amymon in Features

Jury Duty--Where to get a sandwich??

I spent quite a while on jury duty last year, and I routinely went to the fabulous cafeteria at the National Museum of the American Indian. It's a pretty short walk, just be sure to leave the courthouse asap to have enough time. There is usually no wait at the museum during the weekday.

Cape May Seafood Markets?

Thought I'd report back about the seafood market. I went to the Lobster House and was a bit disappointed. My biggest surprise was that all the fish is filleted -- no whole fish options. I've never been to a seafood market where I could get a whole, cleaned fish. The selection was heavily weighted toward the big fish (swordfish, tuna, mackerel, etc), which I try not to eat since it's mostly endangered and also high in mercury. Also, the wait was unbelievable - you weren't kidding care11. We waited about 50 minutes just to have our order taken (this is a market counter) -- though we did show up at 5pm on a Saturday. Finally, they insisted on calling cherrystone clams "littlenecks". Having grown up on Cape Cod, I assured them that littlenecks were soft shell white clams with "little necks" sticking out.

We did go to the Seaside Cheese company (which was also packed), and got some good Stilton and blue. They also had homemade bread crumbs, which I used to bread some of the fish fillets.

Jun 09, 2009
amymon in New Jersey

Cape May Seafood Markets?

Thanks so much for the responses! We're getting there on Friday afternoon, so I'll be sure to go to the Lobster House asap to try and avoid the holiday rush. And, thanks, striver for all the advice on other places, too!

May 20, 2009
amymon in New Jersey

Cape May Seafood Markets?

I'm heading to Cape May this weekend, and renting a big house (with a big kitchen) with two other couples. Can anyone point me the direction of good seafood markets (or other food markets) in town? The only thing I've found is the Acme supermarket, and I'm sure there must be local markets along the waterfront. thanks!

May 19, 2009
amymon in New Jersey

Bebo - Bad Experience

I work across the street and have eaten lunch at Bebo's maybe 6 times this year. The service has gotten *slightly* better (from a really low bar), but maybe it's just because the place is empty. I went last week, ordered a mushroom pasta, received a squid ink pasta and got attitude when I sent it back. Then, my mushroom pasta came out barely cooked (and I know what al dente tastes like). I didn't bother to send it back again, but this was my final lunch at Bebo's. I really don't understand how it stays in business.

Nice, Fresh Chicken DC

Go to the Dupont Farmers Market on Sunday. The second stand on the right is Eco-Foods (or something like that). They have chicken from several organic local sources, including Polyface Farms (of Omnivore's Dilemma fame). They are usually relatively small and more expensive than supermarket chickens, though. But, they are also much tastier!

Where can I get my hands on some raw milk?

I belong to a raw milk co-op (one of several in the area). They get their milk from PA farmers. It is technically illegal, but seriously... it's milk. I grew up drinking raw milk, and it tastes SO much better than store-bought milk. It is also much healthier than pasteurized milk -- see The co-ops are all word-of-mouth. You need to find someone who is already in the co-op to join. The Weston Price Foundation might be able to hook you up. Lots of folks in the co-op follow their diet.

Flexitarian Table - cookbook report

I made this dish the other night exactly as written -- with the syrup -- and it was the surprise hit of the dinner party. Absolutely fabulous, but it does need the syrup.

Mar 21, 2009
amymon in Home Cooking


This winter, my new favorite is lamb barley soup. I purchased a fall lamb from a local farm and had two gigantic bags of meaty lamb bones. I roasted them for a couple hours, then boiled the bones with thyme, bay leaves, parsley, onion, carrot, celery for several hours. I picked the meat off the bones, and strained the broth, added new veggies and barley. I've made this five times this winter, and it is fantastic every time.

Mar 21, 2009
amymon in Home Cooking

Vegetarian Mains?

As a former daily meat-eater and recent vegetarian convert, the hardest part of the change was figuring out what constituted a "main course" in the vegetarian world. I cook every night and my husband likes meat - a lot. I find that cooking vegetarian usually means I have two relatively equal dishes per meal, like a stuffed tomato and a bean salad, as opposed to a "main" and "side" in the meat-based world.

I agree with the ideas above of a roasted veggie lasagna (Peter Berley's version in Flexitarian Table is the best I've ever eaten), a pasta dish with mushrooms and tomatoes, a soup and salad, or an egg-based dinner like frittata or quiche. Stuffed veggies are always good, too, with quinoa or couscous based stuffings. I HIGHLY recommend Peter Berley's books -- Flexitarian Table and, even better, Fresh Food Fast. They have saved me.

Mar 06, 2009
amymon in Home Cooking

Looking for really good hamentashen recipe

I second the addition of zest to the dough. We always add orange zest to the fruit filled dough, and lemon zest to the poppy filled dough.

Mar 06, 2009
amymon in Home Cooking

Buck's Fishing & Camping

I went to Buck's last night with three friends, and thought the food was ok, but not worth the price. We asked the waitress about the decor, and she told us that the restaurant had a depression-era theme -- hence the carnations and checked tablecloths and the waitstaff that seemed to have stepped out of a diner. But, with $25 entrees, it seemed a bit offensive as a theme.

In addition, we asked where the shrimp and fish were sourced from and the waitress had no idea and didn't offer to find out. For a restaurant with six menu items and that seems to pride itself on its ingredients, I found it unacceptable that they couldn't tell me where their food came from.

We ordered the fish (branzino), lobster, and duck dishes. All were very good (and the portions were fine), and like many others have said, the wine list was fabulous. The deviled eggs and apple pie were nothing special.

What's worth it in Adams Morgan?

I lived in AM for years. I agree with Little Fountain (though a little pricey) and Regent (the best Thai in the district, imo). New Orleans Cafe has great brunch, and I love the mole at Mixtec. Also, the Reef has very good local, mostly organic food -- try the roofdeck in summer. L'Enfent has good brunch, too. I've always had bad experiences at Grill from Impanema (over-priced and over-cooked fish), and I've never understood the obsession with Pasta Mia (it's fine, but why wait in line for 30 mins?).

Fun place along U St for dinner?

I ate at Ulah recently, and was not impressed. The mojito chicken was dry and tasted nothing like rum or mint. My husband liked the salmon burger, and the ahi tuna dinner looked good. Also, the crowd was a bit young (I assume they were 21 since they were drinking) and loud. And, finally, after a full meal the manager came by about 3 minutes after we paid our bill to ask if everything was ok. We were clearly being asked to leave to make room for new diners. We hadn't even finished our wine!

Skip Ulah and go to Marvin, St Ex, or Busboys and Poets (though this one can get seriously crowded).

Ulah's Bistro

Four of us went to dinner here last week. We had a table upstairs, and the meal started off well. But, after a short while a group of what looked like 18-year-olds took over the couch area under the windows, drank a lot, and the scene began to look like spring break. The food was just ok (my chicken dish was the worst of the bunch). The worst was yet to come, though. After we finished our meal (appetizers, dinners, and dessert -- with wine and beer) and had just paid our tab, a "manager" in a tie came over and very pointedly asked us if everything was ok. We nodded yes, and without smiling or saying anything else, he turned around and went downstairs. It was clear that he was asking us to leave to make room for other diners. I was appalled. Since we were with relatives, I chose not to speak to the manager, but I will likely not go back.