Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Brazen Kitchen Manifesto

Expand your palate, one vegetable at a time.



The Brazen Kitchen was spurred by Tom Philpott -- one of my favorite food policy writers. I was reading an article that he wrote on one of his best meals on the road: “It tasted healthy, but not in the way of banal “health food,” full of sprouts and Bragg’s amino acids…”

Then it hit me. Bam! An unexpected Emeril moment.

That’s it! Exactly. I hate that! The perception that the spectrum of plant-based, “health food” spans grilled vegetables with hummus on one end and on the other,­ Bragg’s-laced brown rice topped with tofu and sprouts. Neither of those are entirely objectionable but (1) its not what “we” eat every single day and (2) that is definitely not the gamut of gastronomic options we have.

So let me show you how vegetable epicuria can have as powerful pleasurable moan-inducing potential as the meat-centric kind. Let’s not forget that we are here on earth because Adam could not resist an apple. ;) An apple! Not a Baconator.

My passion for food is also informed by its role in our health and in environmental sustainability. As told in the gospels of Bittman and Pollan. So YES, good food and good health are not mutually exclusive! While I will leave it up to you to decide what way of life contributes best to optimum health, one thing is inarguable: decreasing our current rate of animal product and processed food consumption and increasing our consumption of plants will only contribute to better health. Read: I am not saying “jump on the veganwagon”. I am saying, “Eat more kale.”

Small steps. Eat more kale. It is delicious. Let’s start there.

It’s really not that hard. Have you ever tried one of Bryant Terry’s recipes? Cooking to a soundtrack? Get out! Or one of Babycakes’ desserts? Seal the deal. Talk about sexy.

So here I am. With my humble manifesto on what guides me.

1. Form + Function.
Modern, post-modern. The definition is fuzzy. I will echo though that we eat with all our senses. Design. Form. I will strive to feed all of yours. And surprise you at the same time that what you just had the pleasure of eating was actually…yep, good for you! Function.

2. Time is of the essence.
In two ways, actually. I know time is at a premium and I am not just saying that (read: I have a day job, two kids, a husband, and a house that refuses to clean itself) so most of the recipes here consider that and have been tested (well, because if I was able to make it… :) But, corollary to that — to make an impact in your life — I ask you to consider that food and cooking deserve time. See: Slow Food.

3. No frankenfood.
All the ingredients that I use are “real” – that is, I do not use “soy protein isolates” or any other chemically processed meat or cheese substitutes. Let’s eat plants in their whole, natural glory.

4. Flavor. Must. Have. Flavor.
I favor strong spices – my favorite mixes are garam masala, berebere, adobo, anything with chillies – fuego! — and even when I cook macrobiotic-style, I tend to amp up one dimension so that it stands out.

5. Monogamy has no place on the dining room table.
I encourage you to put as much variety as possible in everything you eat. For example, we all love wheat. But did you know about spelt, millet, quinoa, amaranth and teff? You don’t have to be gluten-sensitive to enjoy them. They are delicious and you’re missing out if you don’t try them. How about vegetables? Have you tried celeriac, daikon, sunchokes or even those dandelions in your yard? I will even introduce you to new sweeteners such as coconut palm sugar and brown rice syrup. There are already many great cookbooks out there that tackle the usual suspects. My recipes focus on broadening your pantry possibilities and introducing you to new and exciting tastes.

For sure, this blog is not meant to be a soapbox for veganism (or any -isms!) as the only way to go. I hesitate to claim such categorization myself. I would say, at best, I am a lapsed omnivore.

My hope is to inspire you to expand your palate, one vegetable at a time.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Brazen Kitchen:

5 Great Reasons You Won't Want to Miss Picklesburgh

5 Great Reasons You Won't Want to Miss Picklesburgh

The inaugural fest will afford opportunities to chug pickle juice, sample offbeat fare and take a bunch of selfies with an inflatable pickle. What more could you want?
The Best Way to Get Rid of Weeds: Cook 'Em

The Best Way to Get Rid of Weeds: Cook 'Em

A few ways to use early-spring weeds in the kitchen.
Reimagining the Perfect Childhood Breakfast

Reimagining the Perfect Childhood Breakfast

This Mothers' Day, impress mum with a cereal milk panna cotta with caramelized cornflakes and strawberry puree.
Top 7 Ways to Eat Your Way Through Pittsburgh Restaurant Week 2014

Top 7 Ways to Eat Your Way Through Pittsburgh Restaurant Week 2014

Brazen Kitchen recommends one restaurant for each day of the week — because #PRW2014 is the best excuse to eat out again and again and again.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Dig In: The Next Wave of Pizza in Pittsburgh

Dig In: The Next Wave of Pizza in Pittsburgh

Now is the time to be eating pizza in Pittsburgh. Pizza makers are crafting pies in a variety of styles from New York to Old World. We round up our nine favorite destinations.
Can Anthony Hamlet Fix Pittsburgh Public Schools?

Can Anthony Hamlet Fix Pittsburgh Public Schools?

The superintendent, and former NFL player, is using a new school of thought to change legacy problems.
5 Pittsburgh Craft Distilleries Earning a Place on the Shelf

5 Pittsburgh Craft Distilleries Earning a Place on the Shelf

Uncovering the hidden gems of western Pennsylvania’s craft spirit world.
Pittsburgh's Most Popular Employee is Furry and Four-Footed

Pittsburgh's Most Popular Employee is Furry and Four-Footed

River O'Malley may not be making any major policy decisions, but his presence in the Pittsburgh City-County Building as the city's official canine ambassador is a delight to those who do.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Five Fun Facts about Pittsburgh Bridges

Five Fun Facts about Pittsburgh Bridges

With more than 440 bridges in the city to choose from, VisitPITTSBURGH shows off the most interesting bridges within the city in its new Official Visitors Guide.

Comments

WQED Event to Celebrate Mister Rogers Forever Stamp

WQED Event to Celebrate Mister Rogers Forever Stamp

USPS will dedicate a new forever stamp to Fred Rogers and celebrate with a party in March.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
First Look: Poulet Bleu in Lawrenceville

First Look: Poulet Bleu in Lawrenceville

PM dining critic Hal B. Klein takes a look at the new Richard DeShantz restaurant ... and he has the scoop on what's next from the energetic restaurateur.

Comments

Avenue B is Closing

Avenue B is Closing

The Shadyside restaurant ends its 8-plus year run in a few weeks.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

A coffee shop, an iconic landmark, an airport and beyond — these are the best places to practice the art of people watching.

Comments

Sweet Ideas: Our Favorites for Valentine's Day

Sweet Ideas: Our Favorites for Valentine's Day

Where to eat, where to go, what to buy –– some of our favorites to make your Valentine's celebration memorable.

Comments


Add Some Culture to Your Life with Swan Lake

Add Some Culture to Your Life with Swan Lake

If you play your cards right, the beautiful production from Pittsburgh Ballet Theater will dazzle even novices.

Comments

After Dark Hall of Fame: Stage AE

After Dark Hall of Fame: Stage AE

The North Shore concert hotspot is the latest inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Trade Now, Sign Later Approach Could Work Again for Penguins

Trade Now, Sign Later Approach Could Work Again for Penguins

With the NHL trade deadline looming, the Penguins are increasingly employing more forward-thinking approaches to the acquisition of future stars.

Comments

The Quest is No Less Recognizable Even if Team USA Is Not

The Quest is No Less Recognizable Even if Team USA Is Not

They’re still playing hockey at the Winter Olympics, but without NHL players. Which means the guys doing the playing are relative nobodies. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Black Panther is Marvel's Best Film

Black Panther is Marvel's Best Film

Reviews of "Black Panther" and "Early Man," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments

At Last, We're Freed from Fifty Shades

At Last, We're Freed from Fifty Shades

Reviews of "Fifty Shades Freed" and "The Cloverfield Paradox," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Mothers Know Best for This Pittsburgh Couple

Mothers Know Best for This Pittsburgh Couple

For Cady Walter and Jared Henigin, happily ever after may never have happened if their mothers hadn’t acted as matchmakers.

Comments

Cookie Table Contest: And the Winner Is ...

Cookie Table Contest: And the Winner Is ...

We introduce the winner and the runners up for our biannual cookie table contest.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Our Dream Penthouse Used to be a Carpet Warehouse

Our Dream Penthouse Used to be a Carpet Warehouse

The building that now houses a $1.05 million dollar penthouse was first used for a much less exciting purpose.

Comments

HGTV Renews ‘Restored by the Fords’ Starring Pittsburgh Siblings

HGTV Renews ‘Restored by the Fords’ Starring Pittsburgh Siblings

The finale showcasing Leanne and Steve Ford airs Tuesday, and the duo already are looking for more local houses to restore for the show’s second season.

Comments

Edit Module