Author: Natalie Bergman, Screenwriter, Mom, Wife, Foodie, Home Cook

Vegan Beef Chili

Sometimes you watch a documentary about the horrendous ways in which animals are factory farmed, and it makes you want to be a vegetarian for a bit – but you love the taste of meat and still craaaave it. So, with that in mind, I decided to taste-test the “Beyond Beef” ground “beef” which comes in a 16 ounce package that looks like a pack of ground round. Here is the recipe and frankly it’s delicious: I went beanless for this one per my wife’s request, but you can increase liquids/seasonings and add beans to make this a vegan ground beef/bean chili. Here are the ingredients for a recipe to serve 2-3 people: INGREDIENTS 2 teaspoons of coconut oil 1/2 onion, diced 1 teaspoon oregano 2 teaspoons cumin 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 16 ounces of ‘Beyond Beef’ ground vegan beef protein 1/2 cup of pureed tomato sauce 1/2 cup of veggie stock or water 1 tablespoon of soy sauce or similar 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder (unsweetened) salt and black pepper to taste 1/2 teaspoon …

Homey Red Lentil & Barley Soup

Fall is finally arriving – having just been in NYC where it was really getting cold, I have started craving fall foods and flavors. This lentil barley soup is comforting and a meal in a bowl. Make enough for leftovers as it reheats beautifully. The prep is not hard and the soup comes together within an hour – although if you make it a little earlier and let it sit for a bit after cooking, the flavors continue to marry. Here are the ingredients: 10 ounces red lentils (I prefer red as they soften up more than the green do for this soup) 10 ounces barley (I used Trader Joes 10-minute barley but you can use regular barley as the soup does need to cook for a while). You can also sub another chewy grain like farro if you prefer. 1 cup diced onion 1  cup diced carrot 1 cup diced celery 4 tablespoons oil or fat (can use butter, vegetable oil, olive oil, or ghee) 8 cups of chicken stock or for vegetarians, a …

A Classic Chocolate Mousse

Sometimes, going retro is best – especially for the gluten-free folks who love dessert but can’t (or won’t) consume anything with flour in it. This decadent chocolate mousse fits the bill and will not leave anyone feeling deprived. For decoration you can pipe a little freshly whipped vanilla scented cream and a perfect raspberry on top – or shave some chocolate…but frankly it is perfection as is. And this dessert is perfect after a delicious steak and salad (which is what we enjoyed for dinner last night!) Ingredients: 8 ounces best quality bittersweet chocolate either finely chopped or in callets (I highly recommend Callebaut Chocolate. I use their semi-sweet callets which melt quickly and are absolutely delicious.) 1/2 cup whole milk 2 large egg yolks (room temperature) 5 large egg whites (chilled for better beating) 3 tablespoons sugar 1 pinch salt 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (best quality possible) Directions: Melt the chocolate gently over a pot of boiling water. Meanwhile, heat up the milk in either the microwave or stovetop until scalding hot. Once the …

Sublime Pork Ragu

As someone raised Jewishly, cooking pork did not come with the upbringing. However, I love pork’s delicate qualities and versatility as a protein. This dish is a big family favorite, and no matter how many pounds I make, it disappears rapidly. I use the combination of the Instant Pot to quickly cook the pork with all the flavors under pressure which helps this denser piece of meat to melt its connective fibers into a tender ragu. For serving purposes, this can be served over a bed of perfectly cooked pasta, or over brown rice, or over polenta, or for the paleo types, over cauliflower rice. Ingredients: 3-4 lb pork butt (the butt is actually the shoulder) 8 cups of chicken stock (preferably homemade) 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (preferably san marzano) 3 bay leaves 1 teaspoon of kosher salt 1.5 cups of chopped onion 6-8 cloves of crushed/minced garlic 1-2 carrots, diced 1-2 stalks of celery, diced 1 teaspoon sugar 1 parmesan rind 1-2 teaspoons dry oregano 1 teaspoon dry thyme 1/4-1/2 cup of …