Once a week, Verily Table subscribers receive a tidy roundup of recipes and podcast episodes that we’ve curated from around the web. But behind the scenes, it’s a little more complicated. Sometimes we listen to a podcast episode only to discover that it’s not as interesting or informative as we hoped. Sometimes a recipe just flat-out flops. And sometimes, we do like a recipe or podcast episode—but not quite enough to recommend.
So, to offer some insight into our process, the following are recipes and podcasts that didn’t make the cut—and why.
Cauliflower Walnut Vegetarian Taco Meat
I’m not a vegetarian, but this recipe struck me as interesting and creative—roasted cauliflower and walnuts as a taco meat substitute?! It actually was delicious (and surprisingly satisfying), but it didn’t quite fit into any of the categories we feature: it didn’t yield enough to qualify as a “Batch” recipe; it wasn’t quick enough to be “Quick and Easy.” I don’t usually have fresh cauliflower on hand, so it wasn’t “Already Stocked”; and as something you roast in the oven, it wasn’t a “Slow Cooker” recipe, either. The only one I considered using it for was “Hosting Ready,” but truth be told, my “meat” looked far less appetizing than the recipe photo (think liver pâté instead of crumbly ground meat), and I’m not sure I’d be comfortable serving it to anyone other than close friends and family. (That said, given current world events, we won’t be hosting anyone for a while, anyway.) – Laura Loker
Pantry Pasta for Two
I usually LOVE everything I try from Ree Drummond (aka the Pioneer Woman), and I should start by acknowledging that my husband really liked this meal! But it wasn’t something I would make again, and by extension, it’s not something I’d recommend to readers. I had never thought of putting olives in my pasta sauce before, and it sounded like it would provide a unique flavor and a sophisticated twist. It proved to be a little too unique for my taste, as the olives overpowered everything else. That being said, if you really like olives, you may find it delightful! – Kellie Moore
Eater’s Digest: “Inside the World of a Cookbook Ghostwriter”
The interview portion of this episode was fun: I’d never imagined that someone’s job is ghostwriting cookbooks for celebrity chefs, but turns out it is, and it was an interesting corner of the publishing world to learn about. The end portion of the episode features food stories of the week. I enjoyed some of them, but others dragged on, and still others veered into politics (which I tend to avoid in podcasts, as I generally end up feeling stressed rather than relaxed after listening). So listen if the interview piques your interest, but know that you’re not missing anything if you choose to turn it off after that portion is over. – LL
The Minimalists: “Interior Design”
We’ve been featuring The Minimalists semi-regularly at Verily Table lately, but this episode missed the mark for me. I listened in hopes of hearing some interior design ideas, and was particularly interested in “how to have a minimalist home that’s not boring,” which the description promised. But it started off with too much back-and-forth joking and chatter—a little bit is typical of them (and fun!), but this time, I felt like an outsider. One listener asked about what to do with too much space, and the response came across as rather condescending in tone, as if the listener should have thought of it herself. There was some good discussion about whether it’s worth it to invest money in staging one’s home before selling it, but the episode as a whole didn’t have as much substance as others usually do, so I ended up turning it off around the 20-minute mark. – KM
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