Garlic and Chives

Make the official transition from winter to spring with Roasted Garlic Soup and Savory Herb Scones. Get spring recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
The official transition from winter to spring has arrived. At my house, that means both waiting for snow to melt and reveal my garden’s buried herbs and digging deeper into the freezer and dry-storage boxes to use up what’s left from last year’s harvest. So this week’s recipe pairing seemed apt: a light soup using the last stored garlic to offset still chilly evenings and savory scones using frozen herbs—or if you’re in a warmer zone than mine, the first spring cutting of herbs.

I start making garlic soup as soon as crisp fall nights arrive and continue throughout winter to the end of my stored stash in spring. It’s joined my arsenal of comforting soups, along with Hot and Sour Soup and 30-Minute Cherry Tomato Soup. I make these when I have a cold bug, because they help bring me back to health. I make these soups when I’m busy, because they’re easy and use ingredients I keep on hand. But mostly I make them because they taste so good.
Learn to make Roasted Garlic Soup and Savory Herb Scones

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Caring for Cravings

By finding the root of your craving, you can prepare a solution high in satisfaction and low on guilt. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
When I wrote about redefining comfort foods and shared some of my favorite “new comfort food” recipes this time last year, I quickly discovered I couldn’t have picked a better topic for March. Spring officially arrives late in the month, but for a few more weeks many of us are still bogged down by winter weather and yearning for warmer, brighter days. Seed catalogs and fairs arrive to tempt us with garden dreams, but at my house, feet of snow still blanket the beds and the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts a “cooler than normal” spring for these mountains.

No wonder food cravings have set in. Solutions for dealing with the intense desire to eat high-fat, energy-dense, sweet, and/or salty foods—in other words, typical comfort foods—range from mind tricks to improving overall health. But what if you simply give in to your craving by making a recipe from scratch that uses real ingredients and includes the component you crave?
Read more about caring for your cravings

Bean Snacks

Homemade bean snacks shine as both party treats and everyday munchies. Get healthy snack recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
We often think of beans in two stages: rock-hard dried beans and soft cooked or canned legumes. But there’s a third stage that will have you reaching for beans instead of potato chips or cheese puffs: the crunchy stage. If you’re a fan of healthy snack substitutes, you’ve probably bought bags of chips, crisps, crackers, or other snacks made from legumes. But there are plenty of advantages to making your own.

Commercial brands likely have more salt, sugar, and other additives than you expect, and some versions rely on deep-frying for crispness. By making your own, you control all of those factors; and let’s face it—if you’re eating a snack because you think it’s healthier, it really should be healthier. Even the healthiest commercial bean snacks tend to come in single-use packaging that’s unhealthy for our planet. You’ll pay a pretty penny for them too.

I started experimenting with homemade bean snacks for Twice as Tasty Live events, and they’ve become favorite everyday munchies. Larger beans, like chickpeas, we eat out of hand, but smaller ones, like lentils, are best spooned onto other dishes.
Learn to make Baked Chickpea Snacks and Crunchy Baked Lentils

Bean Soups

Soups fill our winter evenings, and the most filling ones start with beans. Get bean soup recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Soups fill our winter evenings, and the most filling ones start with beans. I love cooking with dried beans and tend to store many types in quart jars—which means I often have jars with just a scoop of beans left that I want to use up before I restock. Mixed-Bean Soup is the perfect option. You can use just about any bean in it, including lentils and split peas; the more variety, the more color and texture in the final soup. I often start by emptying as many jars as I can and then adding whatever beans I have in larger quantities, 1/2 cup at a time. Sometimes I even toss in leftover pearl barley.

In many ways, a soup with many types of beans resembles the bean soup mixes you can buy prebagged and tied with a pretty ribbon. But you’ll spend a lot less money if you buy the beans separately in bulk. You’ll also save money and have more control over the salt content and other additives if you started with dried instead of canned beans. And once you start cooking with dried beans, you’ll discover plenty of other uses for them, including—on this blog—pinto or kidney beans in Red Beans and Rice, black beans in veggie burgers, and chickpeas in falafel and this week’s other recipe, a Moroccan bean soup.

Learn to make Mixed-Bean Soup and Harira