Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cheesy Broccoli and Greens Soup

Makes about 6 cups
3 cups chopped broccoli
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
8 cups of torn dark leafy, hearty greens (about 2 bunches) like kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, collards or turnip greens
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese (like cheddar, Monterey Jack or Colby)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss broccoli with 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spread on a roasting tray coated with cooking spray. Roast for about 10 minutes, stirring a few times during cooking process. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and smoked paprika, saute 1 minute. Add greens by the handfuls (cook for a minute or two and then add more until all greens are in the skillet) and saute until completely wilted - this will range from 2 - 6 minutes depending on how hearty the greens are. Season with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt and remove from heat. In a large pot over medium heat, add roasted broccoli, cooked greens, vegetable broth and milk. Cook for about 15 -20 minutes and then using immersion blender, stand blender or food processor, puree until smooth. Add back to pot (unless you used immersion blender) and stir in cheese until it melts (1 -2 minutes.) Serve warm.

Pumpkin Enchiladas

The Filling:

4 cup black beans (measured after soaking)  This also equals about 2 cans.
2 cup pureed cooked pumpkin
1 sweet potato chopped
6-8 vine ripened tomatoes chopped
2 cups corn (please try to buy this organic)
1/2 cup veggie broth
2 tsp garlic powder (or 3 to 4 cloves minced)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
optional: 1 jalapeno diced, seeds and all
I soaked the black beans the night before. I also roasted my own pumpkin and pureed it myself, but pureed pumpkin in a can would also work. Add everything to the crock pot. Turn on high and walk away for 6-8 hours or so. A tip, I did this part at night. I woke up to the most amazing smelling house. For some real heat, you can throw in a jalapeno to really give this filling some kick.  Melissa doesn’t like much spice, so I left that out of my recipe.
The Enchilada:
(Per each one)
1 tortilla
3 heaping spoonfuls of filling
Cheese sauce
1 T pistachio dust per enchilada (pistachios that have been processed into a course consistency)
1-2 T diced raw red onions
Now you have the filling, not to mention an awesome pumpkin chili to gorge on. First thing is first, the pistachio dust is essential to this recipe. You can just buy pistachios and food process them until they are course. Real simple. To put together the enchilada, pick a tortilla of your choice, lay it flat, and put three good sized spoon fulls of the filling slightly off-center in a line.  We used Food for Life tortillas. Next add the cheese sauce. I didn’t put an amount because really this is personal taste. Add as much to your heart’s cheese-loving content. We used our cashew cheese sauce, but you could also melt your own cheese in some milk and butter for you omnivores out there. Lastly, add the red onion. Wrap the filling in the tortilla like you would a burrito or a sandwich wrap. Next, add some more cheese sauce on top. Finally, add your pistachio dust on top of the cheese sauce. I did several at once in an 8X8 baking dish and put it in the oven for five minutes or so. Remove and you are done.

Pumpkin Everything Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin (or fresh)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground cloves
And the "everything" part:
1 cup chips - -chocolate, white, mini, peanut butter, etc.
1 cup crunch - - oats, granola
1 cup nuts - - slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, pecans
1 cup dried fruit - - cranberries, golden raisins, raisins, etc.
In a large bowl, mix butter and sugars. Beat in egg and pumpkin. In another bowl, combine flours, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves. Gradually add this to the pumpkin mixture. Stir in the "everything" ingredients. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet. They don't really spread out when you bake them, so about 2 inches apart is good. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Cool on wire racks. These cookies also freeze very well!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed Lentils, Garlic, and Thyme

Serves 4
1 large spaghetti squash
1 c dried green lentils (or brown or beluga)
4 c water
1 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4-6 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
A healthy dose of umeboshi plum vinegar
Preheat oven to 400. Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and poke several times with a sharp knife. Fill a casserole dish with a 1/2" of water. Place squash cut side down in dish. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife. Remove from heat, allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes, then use a fork to scoop out the squash tendrils. While the squash is cooking, bring water to a boil in a medium pot. Add lentils, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and strain lentils. Using the same pot over medium heat, saute garlic and thyme in olive oil until lightly golden. Add lentils, and continue to saute for about 3-5 minutes (or until everything is evenly mixed). To plate: Place desired amount of spaghetti squash on a plate, add the lentil mixture, and top with a few shakes of umeboshi plum vinegar. Enjoy!

Winter Squash and Gruyere Gratin

Serves 4
2 medium butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds each), or other winter squash such as pumpkin!
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 medium leek, white part only, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock or canned broth
One 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk or 1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
2 ounces of a baguette (thinly cut into 8 small slices) or 2 slices peasant bread (cut into 4 equal pieces), toasted
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
8 basil leaves, shredded
Preheat the oven to 400°. Halve the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place the squash, cut side up, in a baking pan. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and cover tightly with foil. Bake for about 1 hour, until the squash are tender but not mushy. Let cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the leek, olive oil and 2 teaspoons of water. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the leek is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the wine. Increase the heat to high and boil until the liquid is reduced to approximately 3 tablespoons, about 3 minutes. Stir in the stock, milk, sugar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Using a big spoon, scoop the flesh from the squash in large pieces. Place in a medium bowl. To assemble the gratin, preheat the oven to 400°. Bring the leek mixture to a boil. Spoon half of the squash into a 6- to 8-cup casserole. Ladle half of the leek mixture over the top and cover with half of the toast and half of the Gruyère. Repeat the layers with the remaining squash, leek mixture, toast and Gruyère. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake the gratin for 30 minutes, or until the top is browned and bubbly. Garnish with the basil and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The recipe can be prepared through Step Three up to 3 hours ahead. Set aside at room temperature.

Simple Basil Butter

1/4 cup basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 pinch white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
Place basil leaves and garlic in food processor or blender; pulse until chopped. Add lemon, salt, sugar--pulse to combine. Place butter in mixture and process until smooth. Good luck not eating it all at once!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sweet Corn Fritters

Serves 4-6
1 cup of cooked corn kernels
1 small zucchini peeled and grated
50 grams plain flour
generous pinch salt
2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
1 egg whisked
generous pinch whole celery seeds (optional)
30 ml of water
oil for frying
Add all of the ingredients to a bowl – adding the water last, a little at a time until the mixture is the consistency of a thick paste. You may not need to use it all. Mix the ingredients with a spoon to combine. Heat a pan with oil and add scoops of the mixture to the hot oil to fry. Turn each fritter once. Remove from the oil when golden brown on both sides and drain on paper towel. Serve with dipping sauce of choice and a salad, or serve as a side dish
Test if the oil is hot enough to commence cooking the fritters by placing the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If tiny bubbles rise from around the end of the immersed handle the oil is hot enough. Take extra care when cooking with hot oil and ensure children are not in the immediate vicinity and that the oil is not left unattended for any length of time.
If you do not have fresh chives available substitute with any herbs – the recipe works well with sage and thyme also

Spicy Oven-Roasted Okra

Serves 3
1 lb okra (stems removed and sliced into halves)
2 jalapenos (sliced thinly)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. chipotle pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup millet flour
Preheat oven to 450º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash and prepare okra and jalapenos as directed above. In a large bowl combine chili powder, chipotle pepper, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and millet flour. Add okra and jalapenos and toss until coated with seasoning. Place on parchment lined pan and bake for 17-20 minutes.

Kopanisti Dip (Whipped Feta and Red Pepper Spread)

Serves 2-4
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2-3 TBS Olive Oil, you might want to add more
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 TBS fresh mint (optional)
red pepper flakes (optional)
1 roasted red pepper, skin peeled
pepper to taste
cumin, to taste, very optional (my addition, liked it better, actually)
a pinch of sugar, in case your dip is a bit on the sour side(I think my peppers were a bit on the sour side)
Combine all the ingredients(except the oil) into a food processor and blend together. Drizzle olive oil until it becomes smooth. You might need to add more than the 2-3 TBS. I just limit the amount of oil I use....though it does bring it together quite nicely. It also tastes better with more oil.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pumpkin Beer Bread with Maple Spice Creme Fraiche

Makes 1 loaf
½ cup pumpkin beer
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed pumpkin (canned or roasted and mashed)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup pecans, pulverized
¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup Maple Spice Crème Fraîche (recipe follows)
Pour the beer into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream the butter and the sugar together using an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until fully incorporated. Add the pumpkin, baking soda, salt, flour, nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and beer and mix until fully incorporated. Use a spatula to transfer the mixture to a greased loaf pan. Place in the oven and bake until a long toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Yields 1 cup
If you can't find crème fraîche, sour cream is a fine substitute. You may want to bump up the maple syrup a bit since sour cream is more tart than crème fraîche.
1 cup crème fraîche
1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
¼ teaspoon clove, ground
Mix all of the ingredients together until they are completely incorporated. Chill or serve at room temperature.

Vegan Green Posole

Serves 6-8
For posole:
1 pound dried white hominy
1 large white onion, chopped or sliced thin lengthwise
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed
1-3 serrano chiles
1 big bunch fresh cilantro
1/2 cup pepitas (optional)
For serving:
Iceberg lettuce or green cabbage, shredded
Avocado chunks
Thinly sliced radishes
Fresh cilantro
Dried Mexican oregano
Lime wedges
Rinse hominy, removing any foreign matter. Cover with water and let soak overnight. The next day, drain and rinse posole and add to a slow cooker with the onion, garlic, oil, oregano, and 64 ounces of water. In a blender or food processor, process the tomatillos with serranos, pepitas (if using) and cilantro (stems and all) until smooth, adding just enough water for it to blend. Add this green sauce to the slow cooker as well and cook on low for 6 hours or so, until posole kernels are tender and have flowered into popcorn shapes. Salt to taste and serve with garnishes.

Breakfast Spaghetti Squash Egg Nests

Serves 2

2 cups cooked spaghetti squash (about ½ of a baked spaghetti squash)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 green onions, diced
½ egg
1 tablespoon fresh basil finely chopped
½-1 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 tablespoons almond flour (depending on the wateriness of the squash)
4 eggs (1 per nest)
1-2 tablespoons oil
Turn oven on broil. In a bowl combine the squash, garlic,green onions, egg, basil salt and almond flour. Mix. Heat a large cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add a mound of the spaghetti squash mixture to the pan. Using a spoon push into the center of the mound, making about a 1 inch round opening at the center. Crack an egg into the center of each spaghetti squash mound, widening the circle as needed to get the egg to fit. Assemble one nest at a time, fitting about 2-4 nests into a cast iron pan. Continue to cook the nests until the bottom becomes crisp (but not burned). Place the cast iron pan under the broiler. Broil for for 3-4 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs cooked. Remove from the oven, plate and serve.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Apples

Serves 6, as a side
One medium spaghetti squash (2.5-3 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 apple, cored and chopped (I'm in love with Pink Lady, but any other sweet-tart apple would work)
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (You could substitute sunflower seeds or any roasted, salted nut you wanted for the pumpkin seeds if you don't have any on hand.)
Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place each cut half face down on a microwave-safe dish with 1-2 tablespoons water in the bottom of the dish. Microwave on full power 6-8 minutes or until squash is tender and easily shreds with a fork. (Or bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your squash.) While squash is cooking, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and salt. Shred cooked squash with a fork into a medium bowl. Toss with Dijon dressing and apple, cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Season to taste with salt, and serve. 

Green Chili and Black Bean Tacos

Serves: 2 (3 tacos each)
Chopped romaine or leafy green lettuce
1 tomato chopped
1 cup corn
1 diced cucumber
1 can black beans
4 roasted chilies
1 1/2 cup brown rice
3/4 cup favorite red salsa
1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
Pinch of garlic powder
Chop and dice veggies and pour a generous serving of red salsa into a side cup. Grill corn tortillas in a non-stick pan using a slight spray of canola oil, if needed. In your food processor place black beans (rinsed, drained, and pat dry), chilies, garlic powder and tomatillo sauce — blend till smooth. Mix in brown rice and add a little black pepper to taste, heat. Arrange food on a plate and sit and share with some great company (for me it’s my 2 year-old) while you eat to good health. NOTE: For this recipe you may use any toppings, the above were what I had on hand. I also like to put chopped, cooked potatoes from leftovers, or sautéed green peppers and onions, and shredded purple cabbage for a crunch — possibilities are endless.

Roasted Turnips with Parmesan

Serves 4
2 pounds turnips (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1/2 ounce)
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, combine turnips, cayenne, nutmeg, and oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan and toss gently to combine. Arrange turnips in a single layer and roast until golden on both sides, 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.