Category Archives: Brussels sprouts

Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup

IMG_2600

Well, I received my CSA shipment from Farm Fresh To You (farmfreshtoyou.com) a few days ago, and I’d customized my box to include some fresh dill.  I love fresh dill.  It reminds me of the cabbage borscht my grandfather used to make when I was growing up; there was always lots of dill in his soups, and they were always so savory and delicious.

I also added rainbow carrots, zucchini, spring onions, chard, and sweet potato to my  delivery.  As I customized my box, I had in mind to make a really hearty soup that reminded me of the old days (minus the beef).  If you flavor your dishes, whatever they may be, I doubt you’ll miss beef or chicken.  But, if you want to include those, you can still use this basic recipe, and add the meat of your choice.

So, I’ll just describe how I made this, because I rarely write a recipe down, and it’s often trial and error, tasting as I go to adjust the flavor to my liking.

I prepped 4 sweet potatoes by scrubbing and chopping in equal-sized small pieces (not peeling, because a lot of the nutritional value is in the skin); 2 rainbow carrots, unpeeled, scrubbed and chopped; 1 large chopped zucchini; 4 spring onions, chopped (including stem); small bunch of chard, washed well, stem removed, then finely chopped and reserving about half cup for serving bowl; about 6-7 stems of fresh dill, washed and just torn, including stems; about 2 cups of previously fresh-frozen Brussels sprouts leaves; 1 16-oz can each of black beans and cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained; 1 container of Pomi chopped tomatoes; about 2 cups of V8 juice; about 64 oz. filtered water; vegetized sea salt to taste; pepper to taste; about 2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar; a few bay leaves; about 1 tbsp dried basil; about a tsp. each of freshly grated turmeric and ginger; bee pollen to sprinkle over each serving, some extra spring onion bulb chopped for garnish, as well as the extra chopped chard.

Once all the vegetables were prepped, I heated the stockpot with EVOO on medium.  I added the sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, spring onions, chard, dill, Brussels sprouts leaves, bay leaves, basil, turmeric, and ginger.  I stirred it all well and let it cook down for about 20 minutes. Then, I added the Pomi crushed tomatoes, V8, rinsed beans, water, salt and pepper, and apple cider vinegar.  I let it all cook on a simmer with a tilted lid until the vegetables were tender, and the flavor was robust, probably about 40 minutes.  I like to cook soups slowly, so all the flavors marry.  Add more water, salt and pepper to your taste before you serve.

I added the extra chard to the serving bowls, and I topped each bowl with some spring onion (from the bulb), and then sprinkled some bee pollen on each one.

Advertisements

Brussels Sprouts with Shiitake Mushrooms

Brussels Sprouts with Shiitake Mushrooms

I know most people hate Brussels sprouts. Well, I grew up eating them — A LOT; they were quite regularly a part of our menu, and they were always included in holiday dinners (along with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberries, bread, etc.). I loved them, even though my Mom cooked (boiled) them “to death.” 🙂

I introduced my version of Brussels sprouts to my kids early on. All but one of them loves them to this day. (The only dissenter is my daughter, lol.) Anyway, I don’t boil them, and I don’t just steam them. I usually sauté them in olive oil with garlic, onion, and basil (fresh or dried), and sometimes I’ll add other vegetables that I have on hand (mushrooms, in this case).

Brussels sprouts, like most cruciferous vegetables are incredibly healthy. But, don’t take my word for it: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=10

Since eating a strict Vegan diet since January, I’ve become far more interested in mushrooms. It’s no secret that Shiitake, among many other mushrooms, have several health benefits (http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/8-types-of-mushrooms-and-their-health-benefits.html#b):

Shiitake Can Fight Tumors -– These flavorful, meaty mushrooms contain lentinan which is a natural anti-tumor compound. It has been developed by the Japanese into a beneficial anti-cancer treatment. In turn, it is an excellent source of vitamin D and fighting infection. Four to five ounces per day is recommended.

I was inspired to make this dish based on my love of Brussels sprouts, my interest in the healthy benefits of mushrooms, and in making healthy AND tasty Vegan meals.

INGREDIENTS

Extra-virgin olive oil (enough to evenly cover the bottom of your pan)
Brussels sprouts, washed and sliced lengthwise
1 whole yellow onion, chopped
1 cup fresh chopped, or 1 tbsp. dried basil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
one small package of dried (and reconstituted) shiitake mushrooms (or 5 fresh)
vegetable broth
Himalayan pink salt
coarse-ground pepper

METHOD

Heat oil in non-stick large frying pan on medium to high heat. Add Brussels sprouts and sauté until they’re brown (turning) on both sides. Reduce heat and add onions, garlic, basil, mushrooms, and stir continuously for a few minutes. Add some vegetable broth, partly cover for a minute, or so. Remove cover and stir. Season with salt and pepper.

Brussels sprouts should be bright green; mushrooms should be fully cooked; broth should be absorbed.

This dish is even better as a “leftover.”

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds and “Pesto” Drizzle

I’ve been on the lookout for variations of the Brussels sprouts dish I usually make. I found three or four recipes that looked really good, so I melded them all together to make my own version. It’s full of different flavors and textures. A lot of people shy away from Brussels sprouts, but often it’s because they’re overcooked. If you cook them just until they’re slightly firm, they taste fantastic.

INGREDIENTS

Extra-virgin olive oil
About 20 Brussels sprouts, washed and cut in half lengthwise from the stem
1 large clove of garlic
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh oregano
1 cup sliced almonds
Sea salt
Pepper

METHOD

After washing and cutting the Brussels sprouts, place in a large bowl and drizzle enough olive oil over them to coat them all, tossing gently. Set them aside.

In a food processor (I used my Vitamix), add 1 cup olive oil, and the parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, and about a tsp. of salt. Begin pulsing or blending until the mixture is fairly smooth, but still has flecks of the parsley, basil, and oregano. Add more salt to taste, if need be. Set aside while you cook the Brussels sprouts.

Coat a large heavy frying pan with about a tbsp. of olive oil and heat to medium-medium high. Place the Brussels sprouts flat side down in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Let them roast for a few minutes, making sure the heat is not too high that they’ll burn. When they have darkened, turn them over and continue cooking till they’re browned a little more. Add about half a cup of water (or vegetable broth) to the pan, cover for a few minutes to let them cook through, then remove lid and let the water (broth) evaporate. Don’t overcook; when you can easily put a fork through them, but there is still firmness, they’re done.

Plate them onto a platter or plate, sprinkle with the sliced almonds (toasted for a few minutes in a dry frying pan on medium high heat). Drizzle the olive oil/basil/parsley/oregano/garlic mixture over them (as much or little as per your taste). Serve either as a main, or a side dish.