The Local Ladle

Vegan Corn Chowder

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I will definitely not take credit for the carved pumpkin soup bowls.  This is a Shirley (my mom) staple for sure!  One of my favorite High School memories was having all of my friends over to my house for dinner before the big Homecoming Dance in the fall.   My mom served up Wild Rice Soup in carved out pumpkins (keep in mind there were about 16 of us…).

Ever since then, I want to eat my soup out of nothing other than a pumpkin!  Warm up in this chilly weather and enjoy this delicious, yet simple Vegan Corn Chowder!  In a pumpkin bowl of course…  Read more

Grilled Watermelon with Chili & Lime

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Anyone who knows me knows that I have a crazy addiction to watermelon. A watermelon a day keeps the doctor away?  Well… I wish that was true!

So it’s absolutely not weird that I would be the person to put watermelon on the grill!  This recipe below is the perfect dessert or side dish to any grilled meat and BBQ.  It’s refreshing, yet caramelized flavor, pairs perfectly with the fattiness and juiciness of any meat.

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4 Healthy Summer Salads Recipes

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Summer means Famers Markets and beautiful fresh produce, so why not celebrate with a few of my favorite healthy salad recipes! Check out these 4 quick and simple recipes below and feel free to get a little creative with your own favorite ingredients! Read more

Miso Soup with Bok Choy & Tofu

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I work with a restaurant group in Chicago, that has an amazing Asian restaurant called Sunda with a “Build Your Own Ramen” option for lunch.  I’m telling you I eat it about twice a week it’s so delicious and perfect for the chilly weather!

These beautiful ramen dishes really inspired me to dive into Asian flavors and fusion.  Not only was the ramen in general addicting, but to me it was the miso broth that really stole the show.

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Coffee Roasted Carrots

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The talented Daniel Patterson, Chef owner of Coi, in San Francisco’s North Beach brought to life the idea of “Carrots/Coffee.”  Daniel’s “Coffee Roated Carrots with Chicory Granola” dish has meat lovers even leaving his restaurant saying that the carrot course was the standout favorite.  Experimenting with these two unique ingredients brought together a genius combination of sweet, smoky, and earthy flavors.

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Citrus Ricotta Toast

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Artisanal toast… a trend that has taken off like crazy and even as much as I roll my eyes at the trend, I do admit I have a hard time passing up avocado toast on any brunch menu. The toast below uses ricotta, which is similar the creaminess of the traditional avocado. The creaminess pairs well with the citrus punch and earthiness of the pistachios and pine nuts!

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Grilled Mediterranean Romaine

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This salad is a fun healthy twist on a Cesar salad. Rather than a heavy cream dressing, I have tied in one of my favorite yogurt dressings and substituted a meat protein for chickpeas and pine nuts!

Grilling romaine is actually something I learned from my mom. One of her favorite summer dinners is a large plate of grilled romaine with a light dressing. After picking up romaine at the grocery store today, my plan was to make a fulfilling winter version of her salad!

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Balsamic Fig & Blackberry Avocado Toast

Balsamic Fig & Blackberry Avocado Toast

I am going on my 3rd week of sticking to a vegan diet and I must say these past few days have been the hardest for me! Being vegan is easy…. until your faced with the challenge of saying no to every egg dish on that glorious brunch menu or it’s your moms birthday at a restaurant known for their succulent and mouthwatering duck. Going out to eat hands down brings out every vegans little devil on their shoulder. That guy doesn’t seem to shut up until the menus are gone!

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