My favorite way to cook vegetables is also the most underrated

Whole Food Cooking is a column by our Resident Vegetarian-at-Large, Amy Chaplin. Each month, Amy will show us a different way to love fruits and vegetables just a little bit more.

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I am a big fan of food prepared simply — and a bowl of steamed vegetables is my ideal simple meal. It requires minimal prep and can come together quickly at any time of year using the vegetables you have on hand. No need to heat the oven, peel onions or carrots or anything else, or wait for a pot of water to boil. You don’t even need to be good with a knife. And, the best part is that steamed veggies serve as a canvas that you can dress up in limitless ways depending on your mood.

Steaming is the most frequently used method of cooking in my kitchen and for three seasons of

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Widespread power outages, icy conditions hobble food supply

A series of winter storms and widespread power outages gripping Texas and other states not used to such extreme low temperatures are creating big challenges in the nation’s food supply networks.

Grocery chains like Walmart and Publix have been forced to close some stores either because of lack of power or lack of workers. And at locations that remain open, customers complain of long lines outside and then empty shelves once brimming with water, bread and milk when they get inside. Texas grocery chain H-E-B, for example, closed some stores and is limiting customer purchases of items like brisket and propane tanks.

The power outages have caught plenty of people unprepared, like Jon Reilly, who says he always keeps a month’s supply of canned food on hand for hurricanes. But on Wednesday, his daughter and wife waited 20 minutes in line outside of a grocery store in Corpus Christi, Texas,

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At Brooklyn’s BUKA, Nigerian Authenticity Is On the Menu

a bunch of different types of food on a table: At Brooklyn's BUKA, Nigerian Authenticity Is On the Menu

© Joy Nnenna/Shutterstock
At Brooklyn’s BUKA, Nigerian Authenticity Is On the Menu

This story is part of an ongoing series in honor of Black History Month on the diversity, roots and evolution of Black cooking and cuisine in America.

If ever there was evidence that West African food is hitting the mainstream in America, it’s the fact that fufu videos are blowing up on Tik Tok. A staple throughout countries like Ghana and Nigeria, fufu — which means mash or mix — is a stretchy, doughy food made from boiled and pounded starch like yam, plantains or cassava.

But for Lookman Afolayan, chef and owner of BUKA in Brooklyn, New York, West African cuisine isn’t some trend to be chased. The 53-year-old Nigeria-born chef opened his restaurant in 2009, well before there was Tik Tok. For him, the food of his homeland is like music.

“Do you see the

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