Kristy Parker Profile - (10186796)

cook's profile

Kristy Parker

Kristy Parker
Home Town: La Porte City, Iowa, USA
Living In: Waterloo, Iowa, USA
Member Since: Jul. 2007
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Healthy, Vegetarian
Hobbies: Hiking/Camping, Camping, Walking, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Painting/Drawing
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About this Cook
I'm currently a college student at the University of Northern Iowa. I study Painting in the excellent art program there and I hope to someday be able to make a living off of my artwork. Until then, I'm working as a waitress at Perkins. I get tired of being around fatty, fried foods all day, so when I come home I like to use lots of whole foods in what I make. I'm also a vegetarian, so I use my creativity as an artist to come up with delicious substitutes for meat.
My favorite things to cook
I adore exotic cuisines and I'm anything but a meat and potato kind of girl (even though I'm from Iowa). I love to cook anything Indian, especially curried chickpeas (Chana Masala). I also love Thai, Asian, Italian, and Mediterranean cooking. I love to broil vegetables (it brings out their deliciousness without soaking them in oils). I also work with lots of different spices, which comes from my experience with Indian cooking. My favorite spices to use are: basil, ginger, cayenne, garlic, curry powder, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandmother was renowend for her baking skills and even had an article in the paper calling her the 'doughnut lady.' I'm not quite as proficient in baking, but I would like to be because I do have quite the sweet-tooth. I inherited my mother's spaghetti recipe and I always add carrots to my sauce (which some people find kind of weird.) I must say that being a vegetarian makes it difficult for me to use any of my family's more traditional recipes, so I've paved my own way as far as my cooking style is concerned.
My cooking triumphs
I'm getting quite good at using spices, especially in various Indian dishes I make. I also have a good sense of how to make a recipes taste better if its lacking in I mostly use the recipes I find here as a guideline to work from. The meals I get the most compliments on are: Suki's Feta Cheese and Spinach Pasta, Chana Masala, Black Bean Burgers, Enchiladas, Eggplant Paramasan, and I'm good at working with zucchini and squash.
My cooking tragedies
I once made fish pasta (before I became a vegetarian). It was quite disgusting. I also have a bad habit of not putting enough salt in my foods, but I am getting better about that. Also, once I was baking at my mom's house and I didn't know her oven was 50 degrees off its normal calibration. So, needless to say, my cookies were hard as a rock and didn't rise at all...and I was baking them to impress my boyfriend's parents. It was pretty sad, especially since I'm usually really good at making chocolate chip cookies.
Recipe Reviews 17 reviews
Apricot Lentil Soup
This is such a versatile, tasty recipe. I couldn't find dried apricots, so I used dried mangos turned out great! I also wanted to use up some leftover pinto beans, so I subbed 2 cups of those for the lentils. I made mine a bit more asian, so I used a 1/2 cup OJ, mandarian seasoning, ginger, and added some extra garlic. I used 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes instead of fresh, and added in some leftover wheat rotini that I had to make it a bit more hearty. I also added 1 tsp crushed red pepper to spice things up a bit. Thanks for the idea to use dried fruit in a soup!

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Oct. 2, 2010
Vegetarian White Bean 'Alfredo' with Linguine
My husband likes this. This is a great, healthy alternative to Alfredo, and it's vegan if you use soy milk & vegan margarine (I use Blue Bonnet Light Spread). It does need a bit more seasoning though and less milk. I like to add lemon pepper, crushed red pepper and oregano. I also used zucchini & yellow squash instead of asparagus to cut down cost. Yummy!

11 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 30, 2010
Spicy Black Bean Cakes
amazing and versatile recipe. You don't need to microwave your sweet potatoes, they cook up nicely in the oven. I recommend adding green pepper and cilantro to the sour cream. I also added half the green pepper to the cakes. I would recommend making this cakes flat because they will crisp up better while broiling. I'm a lacto-vegetarian and I don't eat eggs...I just added a bit more bread crumbs and they held together just fine.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 14, 2010

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