Berenjena al Escabeche (Marinated Eggplant)


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There are a lot of people who can actually grow stuff in my office. Well, they don’t grow stuff right in the office, of course.

My point is that they are talented at gardening, and they are extremely generous with their bounty. There are usually a variety of vegetables, sitting in the break room, that are free for the taking. Lately, there has a large selection of cucumbers, tomatoes, and eggplants.

For some reason, no one seemed interested in the eggplants.

“SAY WHAT?” It’s one of my favorite vegetables! You know that joke when you offer someone food and they decline, so you go, “Oh well, more for me!”? In this case, I totally did that.

I even asked around, and most people said they either didn’t like it, or they didn’t know how to cook it. 

I grew up eating eggplant. In Argentina, we serve up eggplant in so many different ways, that not knowing what to do with it sounds like a foreign language to me. Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that is packed with flavor and totally delicious.

My mother would get super excited when the “escabeche man” would come to our house; there was this guy who made the best pickled-eggplant and he would sell it door to door. “Escabeche” is pickled eggplant.

The recipe that I’m sharing with you today is the one that my mother uses. As with many recipes, you can find hundreds of different alternatives. There are 2 key ingredients -apart from the eggplants: Bay leaves and Oregano.

My mother never liked food that was too oily or too acidic. So, this recipe uses less vinegar and oil that most that you would find online.

I also added green onions and basil because those are my personal favorites! Give this recipe a try. It works more like a side dish, and will add a perfect intense flavor to any main dish. 



  • 2 large eggplants
  • 6 cups of water
  • 4 cups of vinegar (I used apple cider but you can use any kind you want)
  • 1-cup oil (again, any kind, feel free to experiment)
  • 1 large white onion
  • Many bay leaves (at least 10-15 , dried is fine)
  • Oregano (fresh is better)
  • Basil leaves  (fresh is better)
  • Green onions
  • Salt
  • green onions and sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Peel the eggplants. It’s ok if some skin is left, it won’t affect the flavor. Cut off the ends of the eggplant and then cut the eggplant into slices.
  2. Place the slices in single layers on a colander and sprinkle salt between layers. Let it “sweat” for 2-3 hours. They don’t need to be covered, but it’s a good idea to place the colander in the sink, or place a plate under it to catch the juices.
  3. After 2-3 hours, rinse the eggplant and set it aside.
  4. Cut the onion into slices and set them aside.
  5. In a large pot, bring the water, vinegar, oil, onion, oregano, bay leaves, basil and sliced green onions to a boil.  Slice the green onions as big as you please, this is totally up to personal preference.
  6. Once it’s boiling, add the eggplant and reduce the heat.
  7. Cover, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. (Until you notice that the eggplant is soft and mushy.)
  8. Remove the pot from the heat, and let it cool off completely.
    Transfer the “escabeche” to sanitized jars, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating.

Chimichurri Chickpeas

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Chimichurri Chickpeas! Chimichurri Chickpeas! Chimichurri Chickpeas! Isn’t that fun to say?

 I won’t deny, (nor confirm) that I gave this recipe a whirl just to be able to say chimichurri chickpeas out loud. Chimichurri is a classic Argentine condiment. Every Argentine owns a secret recipe (with a little twist); so, it’s impossible to find one, single, main, recipe for chimichurri sauce.

There are a few ingredients, that the sauce must contain, to make it authentic chimichurri sauce.

• Olive oil

• Vinegar

• Garlic

• Tons of fresh Italian parsley and oregano 

After those basic ingredients, people add whatever they feel goes best with their prepared dish, and their personal taste. In Argentina, chimichurri is used primarily as a condiment for meat. It is also often mixed with other dressings and condiments, such as mayonnaise or ketchup. I’m going to show you how to roast chickpeas with chimichurri sauce.

This is almost unusual way to use chimichurri sauce- (my Argentine father would most likely groan and roll his eyes). But, nonetheless, you’ll have yourself a healthy, savory, (and a little salty), delicious snack.

I love adding roasted chickpeas to salads to make them heartier.

Here is your ingredients list:

  • 1-cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-cup packed with fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (you can add more if you like)
  • 1/4 cup packed with fresh oregano leaves (or half that amount if you are using dried oregano)
  • 6 tablespoons vinegar (your choice of what type of vinegar can affect the flavor)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • A few drops of Siracha sauce (this isn’t absolutely necessary- but I like the extra punch)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas


1- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Drain and dry the chickpeas. To dry them, just place them between sheets of paper towels. Set the chickpeas aside.

2- Do not throw the chickpeas brine away! Save it in a container and refrigerate. (We’ll do something awesome with it later.)

3- Place all of the dry ingredients -minus the chickpeas- into a food processor and chop away.

4- When the mixture turns into a pasty thick sauce, (that still has some of the chunky leaves and garlic), add the oil, vinegar and lemon. Continue to mix.

5- When fully mixed, your chimichurri sauce is ready.

6- Place the chickpeas into a bowl. Slowly, begin to add the chimichurri sauce.

7- Mix the chickpeas into the sauce until they are completely coated with the sauce. (You’ll probably have quite a bit of sauce left, which you can use for other dishes.)

8- Place your chickpea mix into an oven safe casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.

9- After the first 20 minutes, give the chickpeas a quick stir every 5 minutes until done.

10- Let them cool, and enjoy!

Soy Milk

Even though I don’t drink soy milk -I prefer nut milks-, I was very excited about making my own tofu. Making it yourself was healthier, cheaper and the consistency and flavor are better. 

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In order to make tofu at home, you have to make the milk first. Store-bought soy milk is not a choice  for two reasons:

1- They have so many extra ingredients to improve flavor and shelf life. You don’t really need them.

2- Because of all these additives, store-bought soy milk doesn’t curdle.

And the great thing about making soy milk at home – other than being way cheaper!- is the fact that nothing goes to waste, since you get a byproduct named “okara”. This is the remaining pulp you get after making the milk and it’s full of protein, calcium and fiber.

Okara can be used fresh or dehydrated. If using fresh, it must be used fairly quickly since it has a short life 

I like to dehydrate it and make “parmesan” cheese. 

Now, I got a little excited and made a whole gallon. But, that ended up being for the best, since making the milk was the easy part, and my first attempt at making tofu did not work out too well…

I was too excited and didn’t let the tofu rest long enough to settle, ending up with a crumbly mess – Although perfect for sprinkling on a salad or making vegan “feta” cheese-

You can use two types of coagulant: an acidic medium such as lemon juice or vinegar or magnesium chloride aka Nigari

On my first -failed- attempt I used lemon. To be honest, I’m pretty sure that the reason it failed was because I had no patience. I only let it drain for less than 10 minutes.

You can leave the tofu rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The longer you leave it, the firmer it gets. 

For the second batch I used apple cider vinegar, but this time I let it sit for a whole hour. 

Honestly, I think the flavor was better. A little more acidic than lemon but I love vinegar so there’s that.

Then, I used Nigari which is what the original recipe calls for -bought it online since I couldn’t find it anywhere near the area where I live- .

It’s just as easy to use as the lemon or vinegar and the flavor is milder, but it curdles more and the end result is a much more compact and easy to handle block of tofu.

Let’s get to it!

To make 1 quart / 1 liter soy milk:

1-  Soak 4 cups of soy beans in a glass jar, overnight or longer.

2- Drain the soybeans. At this point you will notice they had double and even tripled in size.

3- Place the soy beans in a bowl and cover them with more water. Using your hands, stir the beans so the skin that covers the beans get loose. Remove as much of the skin as you can.

4- In a blender place the beans with more water and blend until smooth. You can do this in batches, the ratio is 3 cups of water for each cup of soaked beans.

5- Stray the soy milk using a nut milk bag of a double layer of muslin. Squeeze as much as you can.

6- If you plan to use the okra save it in a container for now.

7- Heat the milk over medium heat, stirring often, for about 20 minutes. Heating the milk will make it foamy, and it has a tendency to form a thin harder layer that sticks to the bottom of the pan, so keep an eye on it.

8- Let it cool and transfer to a container. If you plan on drinking the milk, you can add sweetener of choice at this point.

To make Okara Parmessan Cheese:

1- Dehydrate the remaining okara, for about 6-8 hours. 

2- In a food processor add the dehydrated okara, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.

3- Process until getting a parmesan-like sandy texture.

NOTE: okara is usually discarded, since it has a short shelf-life, so don’t feel bad if you just throw it away.

To make tofu:

1- Mix 2 tbsp lemon jiuce / 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar  in a cup of water. If using nigari, follow interactions in the package.

1- Bring soy milk to a boil and remove from the heat. Let it cool to 165-175 F / 70-80 C

2- Add the coagulant of voice and cover the pot. Let it sit for 10 minutes, until the milk curdles.

3- Cover a strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth, and place it on top of a bowl or large pot, to collect the drained water.

4- Collect the curds with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the strainer to drain the water.

5- Keeping the tofu in the cheesecloth-covered strainer, cover the tofu with more cheesecloth and shape it into a block. Add something heavy, to put some weight on the tofu block and help it drain as much water as possible and keep the shape.

6- Let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

7- Once ready, take the block and place in a bowl with ice cold water for 10 minutes. This will settle the cheese completely.

Quibebe – Vegan Cheesy Pumpkin Soup

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It’s not secret that I love pumpkin. I absolutely love it.

And this recipe was always top of my list. It’s actually healthy comfort food. I would beg my mother to make it every other day. Good thing it was a family favorite!

You can make it from scratch or be a little lazy bug like I am, and just pop a pumpkin puree can opened. Truth is, pumpkin isn’t always in season and even at that it can be a little time consuming to cut it, clean it and cook it. And if you love it as much as I do (did I mention my love for it already?) you’ll be in need of pumpkin at any time, any season…

Now, to clarify: If you decide to go the easy round, you have to use pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie stuffing. I almost made that mistake several times. The stuffing is sweet with sweet spices.

This creamy soup is perfect to stuff your belly and feel mega full without the guilt. 

Originally, this dish comes from Brazil. The main ingredientes are onions, butter and cheese. Everything that is right in the world is there buddy.

If you are vegan, you can use a vegan buttery spread -such as Earth Balance- or olive oil. 

Oh! And the cheese? We’ll make it ourselves!


-For roughly 2 cups of vegan cheese-

  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews -soaked overnight-
  • 1 Cup non-dairy milk (soy, almond, cashew)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons Tapioca Starch (Tapioca Flour)
  • 4 Tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice 
  • Salt / Pepper and Garlic powder

-For the Soup

1 Can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (almond, soy, cashew)

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 large onion

3-4 tbsp vegan cheese

1/2 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil

Salt and Pepper


Soak the cashews overnight, rinse and pour in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. 

Process until you get a smooth creamy consistence. Depending on the power of your processor it can take a few minutes. Stop to scrape the sides as much as you have to. The smoother the cream is the better.

Transfer to a pan and set the heat to medium-low. Whisk constantly until the cream starts to thicken. Make sure that it’s not sticking to the bottom. If it is lower the heat. It takes between 6-8 minutes to thicken. 

Once it’s done, set aside. It will harden a little more as it cools down but will melt again if heated. You can save the cheese in a container in the refrigerator and spoon it out every time you need. It will last about 3-4 days.


– Dice the onion very small. In a deep pan -low heat- add onions and butter or oil.  Let it cook, stirring once in a while to make sure that the onions don’t stick to the bottom. Cook it until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. 

– Add the milk and stir. Let it cook for a few minutes and add the broth and pumpkin puree. 

– Using a whisk, mix all the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste, and turn the heat to medium-low.

– Let it cook, stirring every so ofter to make sure that the soup doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.

– Once it starts to get bubbly, turn the heat of and add the vegan cheese.

– Serve with a little more cheese on top.

Faina (Garbanzo bean Flatbread)

In Argentina, whenever you order pizza you might see something unusual on the menu… that is if you’re not Argentinian. This pizza delicacy is called: fainá.


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Argentina has a huge Italian influence, not only in its culture, but also in its cuisine. Fainá is a local version of the Italian Farinata, a mild nutty-tasting flatbread made with garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour.

The way Argentines eat it is to by top a slice pizza with a piece of fainá, and often times, people will top the fainá itself with tomato sauce and cheese. Even though the original base recipe only calls for flour and water, it’s very common to also add spices and cheese. I’m not sure about the origin for this tradition, but it’s so common, that if you order a pizza, they will just add a couple of slices of fainá without even asking. When pizza and fainá are paired this way it’s called pizza a caballo (horseback pizza). 

You can find garbanzo bean flour in most health food stores. However, you can also make it yourself with dried garbanzo beans. The latter is my preferred method since it’s cheaper, and it takes relatively no time. I don’t cook a lot with garbanzo bean -chickpea- flour, so by making it myself I can make the exact amount that I’m going to use. I have a grain mill that I use to make the flour, but you can also use a coffee grinder, or high-speed blender.

You can find the dried beans at grocery stores or health food stores. If you decide to make the flour, make sure you sift it before using. 

The ratio when making the flour is 1 cup of dried garbanzo beans = 1 1/2 cup garbanzo flour. Also, the batter tends to stick to the pan so it’s very important that you oil the pan and that it’s hot at the time to pour the batter.



Yields a 9-inch pie

• 1 cup garbanzo bean -chickpea- flour

• 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

• 1 1/2 cups water

• Salt and pepper

• 3 tbsp. olive oil 



– Pre-heat oven to 350 F / 180 C

– In a bowl, mix the flour and nutritional yeast. Slowly add the water while whisking. Make sure it is completely blended, and without any lumps. Add salt and pepper (not too much, it’s meant to be a mild-tasting flatbread). Once it’s well blended set the mixture aside. It will be a liquid batter.

– Cover the pan with the olive oil, and put in the oven for 5-7 minutes. 

– Carefully take the pan out of the oven and pour in the batter.

– Place in the lower shelf of the oven for 10 minutes. After that, move it to the top shelf for another 10 minutes. 

You’ll notice that the borders detach from the pan, and that the top of the flatbread cracks a little. That means it’s done.

– Let it cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan. You can top it with your favorite toppings or spreads. Or, you can serve it plain. Warm, or cold, it’s delicious!