this week’s lovely meals!

Every week I send a little email to clients who don’t have a standing order to tell them about this week’s menu. If you’d like to be put on this mailing list, check here on Fridays, or just email me and I’ll add you to my list. Here’s this week’s email.

Hello everyone!

Local produce is really starting to come in! This week I’ve secured some great stuff, all organic and super fresh, from Taliaferro Farms in New Paltz: beautiful asparagus, tasty greens, scallions, spring onions, and salad mix! Finally!

And: more ramps, slightly bigger this week since they’ve had a full week to grow up!

If you’d like the Kira’s Mix* salad deal this week (One cup of homemade salad dressing plus 4 packed cups (5 oz.) of Kira’s Mix for $12 [save $2]), I finally have it (though, please note that there is already a salad on the menu). I should have lovely prewashed salad mix every week starting in about 2 weeks, I can’t wait.

Speaking of, can I just vent about something? I really, really can’t stand those sad little boxes of prewashed organic salad mix from California. They are so tasteless, so watery, such a weird, not-right texture….ick! And they are also super old and have God-knows-what kind of preservatives injected into their plastic boxes to give them the appearance of being fresh. So during the winter I either eat salads made with out-of-season head lettuce, or, usually, just miss salad. Once you’ve had gorgeous local salad mix, you really can’t go back, you know?

Here’s the menu for this week, let me know if you’d like to order. Yum, phyllo triangles! These freeze super well and are so perfect for a busy lunch–just pop them in the oven, toaster oven, or microwave, and they are all ready to go.

April 27

  • Sweet and sour tempeh with vegetables and red quinoa with housemade kimchi
  • Ginger curried green bean and tofu salad
  • Mixed vegetable korma (almond cardamom sauce) with tofu and basmati rice
  • Mustard green saag
  • Vegetable phyllo triangles with Dijon mustard-lentil sauce
  • Baby greens salad with spiced walnuts and strawberry dressing
  • Soup: Okra gumbo
  • Salad dressing: Balsamic vinaigrette with fresh herbs

*Hey, do you want to hear some lettucey gossip? Here you go!

lovely clients

My clients are really, truly amazing people. One of the aspects of the meal delivery I’m most proud of is how most of my clients have been with me for years, and that so many of them are friends or relatives of each other. It’s so nourishing (a pun!) to cook for people who really get what I’m doing. One of my most longstanding clients is Pam Spritzer,* who has been getting the meals since way back when I used to do the deliveries myself, 6 or so years ago. She’s been so kind as I’ve made so, so many mistakes both on the cooking and business ends.

I remember her doorman as the bright spot to those very difficult Tuesdays spent navigating Manhattan traffic in the dark days before I had such great delivery people. He always had last week’s cooler bag in one hand and a huge smile on his face, making the tricky delivery on a very busy avenue super easy. That reminds me: I should remember to tuck some treats into the cooler bags for the amazing doorman all around NYC who help us make the deliveries so great. (Except for you, Mr. 91st Street. You know who you are, you who will not let us leave the bag with you because “it might be a bomb” even though we’ve been delivering there for years and years. You won’t even call the client for us! I don’t understand you.)

Anyway, Pam just emailed me this about this week’s meals:

Dear Lagusta,
I just want to report that the artichokes are sublime, and the fiddleheads are a beautiful touch. The feijoada is as wonderfully robust as I remembered it, and naturally I love the hot sauce.
Full of appreciative admiration,

Twelve hours ago I was making meals for everyone (I work late, yes), and now it’s so nice to be sitting here at home, thinking about everyone tucking into their lunches and hopefully loving what they’re eating.

*When I asked if I could post this online, not using her name, she said: “It would be my pleasure. I don’t even mind if you use my name, as I am happy to be identified as an enthusiastic fan of your food and philosophy.” Aww!

chickpea tempeh

Here’s what the homemade tempeh in this week’s Shepherd’s Pie looked like before it was minced and sauteed and combined with the many other ingredients in the pie. How pretty is it, all virginal and white and fresh from the incubator?

I almost never make tempeh with soybeans anymore. Chickpeas are my current favorite bean, because they make such a delicate, fresh, non-bitter tempeh.

Let me know what you think!

of ramps and other deliciousnesses to come

Every week I send a little email to clients who don’t have a standing order to tell them about this week’s menu. If you’d like to be put on this mailing list, check here on Fridays, or just email me and I’ll add you to my list. Here’s this week’s email.

Hello everyone!

Lots of excitement this week!

My forager pal, whose ramps I’ve been buying since he was in high school and who will be going to law school next year (!!!!) stopped by with some wonderful baby ramps. Ramps are wild onions, but their flavor is multi-layered and sharp and wonderful, sort of a garlic/scallion/chive/onion combo. They are not cultivated, so the only way to eat them is to find a trusted forager—mine has been ramp hunting with his mom in the Catskills since he was a toddler. They are only available for a few weeks a year, and are a wonderful way to wake up the palate after a long winter of more hearty meals. They will be popping up in a few guises this week.

Also, it’s tamale week! It only comes around three times a year, because tamales are so incredibly labor-intensive. Even still, I love making them. I usually put on a movie and get my banana leaves and filling and masa dough arranged just so, then settle in for a long night of folding and steaming. It’s very calming and quiet and lovely, and the end result is always a dish I’m proud of.

Here’s the full menu for this week, just email me if you’d like to place an order:

  • Tempeh shepherd’s pie
  • Braised baby artichokes with garlic and parsley
  • Feijoada (Brazilian rice and beans) with seasonal vegetables and homemade lemon-pepper hot sauce
  • Kale and roasted potato salad
  • Fresh corn tamales with chiles, beans and salsa
  • Black bean salad with lime and cilantro
  • Soup: Thai hot and sour soup with woodear mushrooms
  • Salad dressing: Tahini-ginger dressing

snapshots from last week’s meals

Israeli couscous and red rice pilaf–look at those gorgeous chives!

And parsnip chips with freshly-dug parsnips from Second Wind CSA right down the street from me. You read that right, farmers Erin and Sam dug planted those parsnips last summer and just dug them up last week!

Scallions from Second Wind too.

So fresh!


Adding parsnip puree to the sweet potato and bourbon and apple soup.


Adding the walnut sauce to the chopped beets.

The first asparagus of the year!!!!!!!!

Hello everyone!

I thought I’d create a quickie blog to share info that doesn’t usually fit onto the weekly menu sheet, plus tidbits of information that are useful to people thinking about trying the service, not to mention people (like my mom in Chicago) who just want to follow the lives of Lagusta’s Luscious clients vicariously!

To start us off, please note that as mentioned in last week’s menu sheet, I have changed the beet side dish that was on the schedule for this coming week because of the huge amount of beet-yness that has been on the menus lately. I’ve changed it to: braised baby artichokes with garlic and parsley. Baby artichokes! YUM!

Also, if you haven’t already eaten the refried beans and rice from this week, can I recommend making lovely burritos from them? Just add some high-quality tortillas (in Mexican markets you can often find handmade super fresh corn tortillas, which are divine.), avocado, and chopped lettuce and tomato, if you can find decent specimens of either at this time of year. With the refried beans, Spanish rice, and salsa from your meal delivery, you have a lovely lovely meal. If you want to get fancy, pan-fry the burritos to make chimichangas!

In other news, we should have Kira’s Mix salad mix hopefully as soon as next week! Finally!

OK, off to meet with my ramps forager!