Category Archives: healthy

Coconut and Curried Lentil Dahl

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I modified this recipe VERY little from that of “The Happy Pear” recipe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1G3J-nvAUI).  It is so easy to make, and very filling. You could use any number of greens in place of the bok choy (i.e., baby spinach, arugula, chard).  Also, if you wanted to speed up the cooking process, you could use yellow lentils as they cook much faster than green lentils.

I started off with a few tablespoons of EVOO in a stockpot, and added one whole chopped purple onion, two medium-sized chopped zucchinis, a grated carrot, and about 2 tsp. sea salt.  I stirred that over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes, while I chopped up the sweet potato.  It was organic, so I washed it well, but I did not peel it.  A lot of the nutrients from root vegetables are found in the skin (only use if organic, though).  Then, I added about 2 heaping tbsp. of a high-quality yellow curry, 1 heaping tbsp. each ground cumin, coriander, sweet paprika.  I continued to stir constantly over medium-high heat for another 5 minutes before adding the chopped sweet potato.  I stirred and mixed all ingredients very well so all vegetables were well coated with the spices.  At that point, I added one carton of Pomi strained tomatoes (26 oz.), and one 13 oz. Thai Kitchen unsweetened coconut milk.  Stirred all very well, then added one 16-oz package of dried green lentils that I had washed and drained thoroughly.  I mixed all this together, then added about 1.5 liters of water (enough to make it soup-like because the lentils and the sweet potato need a lot of water to absorb).  I also added a heaping tsp. of organic dried vegetable bouillon for extra flavor since I was going to add a very large bok choy later on after the vegetables and lentils had cooked for about 40 minutes.

After 40 to 45 minutes on simmer, stirring regularly and keeping an eye on the liquid level to be sure it was adequate, I added about a tbsp. of soy sauce, and one whole fresh-squeezed lime.  Then, I added the roughly chopped bok choy.  Stirred and simmer for another 10 minutes, or so before serving with some garnish of fresh cilantro.  On the side, I served couscous, but the dahl was plenty enough on its own.  It made a huge pot of dahl, so I’ll be freezing a lot of it today.

Thanks to “The Happy Pear” for their usual inspiration.  They’re on Instagram and other social media sites (I follow them on Instagram, and then watch their great YouTube videos.).

Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup

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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.

Veggie Patties from Slow-Cooked Beans

I’d made a large batch of my slow-cooked beans (recipe on this site), and I thought it might be interesting to use some of them to make some veggie patties.  I’d just received a new CSA shipment that included some sweet potatoes, and the flavor of the beans mixed with the sweet potatoes seemed like it might be tasty.  It was, and here’s the recipe:

2 cups slow-cooked beans (from my recipe on here), 3 medium-sized baked/skinned/mashed sweet potatoes, 2 tbsp. Tahini, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1 cup each flax/Chia seeds, 1/2 cup #coachsoats 3 cloves crushed garlic, 1 finely chopped sweet onion, 1 tbsp. Westpoint Naturals vegetized sea salt, extra cumin/smoked paprika/pepper to taste (they’re in the slow-cooked beans, but you may want to add more). Mix well, shape into patties. Bake in a 400F oven on a baking sheet lightly coated with olive oil for about 15 minutes on each side.

I made the guacamole from my recipe on here as well.  The snap peas and strawberries were from my CSA shipment, too, and I had the English cucumber on hand.  I just served all of it platter-style.  The leftovers are great for snacking and/or more meals.
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Curried Cauliflower Soup

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The absolutely most savory and tasty soup ever! It was so simple to make, that I am just going to describe how I made it because I didn’t use a recipe, and it was a taste-as-you-go kind of effort.

I had a whole cauliflower that I washed and broke into small florets. Meanwhile, I sautéed over medium heat in a heavy soup pot about 3 tbsp. EVOO, one large yellow chopped onion, three chopped celery stalks, three finely chopped carrots, a fresh and finely chopped large tomato, about 5 finely chopped garlic cloves. After a few minutes, I added a generous amount of high quality yellow curry (about 3 tbsp), about 1 tbsp each of sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and ground cumin. Stirred, and then grated about 3 tbsp each of fresh turmeric and ginger, and added that to the mix, along with the cauliflower florets. I stirred all ingredients well, and let sauté for a few more minutes before adding about 6 cups of fresh filtered water. Brought it all to a boil, then simmered until the cauliflower was tender (about 25 minutes). Before serving, I added some baby bok choy, chopped, and some chopped cilantro. I garnished each dish with a little whole baby bok choy, and some fresh parsley and cilantro, as well as some freshly-squeezed lime and a little Tamari.

All of this can (and should) be modified to your own taste. The main thing is to use the different ingredients, all organic, and maybe modify the measurements according to what you really like. It’s all about experimentation. This one turned out very well, and I just loved it (and still have leftovers).

Curried Cauliflower with Garbanzo Beans

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I posted this recipe last week when I made it. It appears to be one of the favorite Instagram food photos on my new account, so it deserves some recognition here! I love cauliflower, and I’m always looking for new and creative ways of preparing it. This dish was hearty enough to stand on its own; I added garbanzo beans to it, and of course a host of other ingredients that made the flavor of the dish pop like a weasel. So, here it is!

INGREDIENTS

1 large head of cauliflower, washed and cut into bite-sized florets
1 16-oz can garbanzo beans, washed and drained well
1 medium-sized tomato, deseeded and finely chopped
1 handful of fresh cilantro, washed and finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of finely chopped garlic (or less, if you’re worried about your breath)
2 tbsp yellow curry
1 tsp Garam Masala (an Indian spice for those of you unfamiliar with it)
1/2 cup water (or vegetable broth)
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of half a lime, plus a wedge for the plate

METHOD

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy skillet. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and turn the heat down to low. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the curry powder and Garam Masala, and mix well. Continue cooking over low heat to let all the flavors blend for another 3-5 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and mix well so that they are coated with the curry mixture. Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir-fry for about a minute or two before adding the water (or vegetable broth). Add the garbanzo beans, stir well, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover and let cook for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid to test the cauliflower for doneness. Depending on how well you like your cauliflower cooked, you can cook a few minutes longer with the lid on. Remove the lid, and if there is still liquid, let it evaporate by cooking a few minutes longer. When all liquid has evaporated, add the tomato and the cilantro, stir well and cover. Turn the heat off and let it sit for a few minutes. Test for salt and pepper. Plate into bowls, squeeze a little lime juice over each bowl, and garnish with a wedge of lime on the side.

Smoked Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fettuccine “Alfredo”

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This is a slight departure from my typical vegan recipes, but it was a special occasion in that my sister had sent me some smoked salmon from Canada for my birthday. I am, as I have mentioned on here before, 99 percent vegan/1 percent salmon. 😉 I couldn’t wait to have some, so I decided to concoct a vegan version of Fettuccine Alfredo, and then add the smoked salmon to the sauce. The classic Fettuccine Alfredo would include dairy (cheese, cream, butter), but I replaced those ingredients with unsweetened, organic soy milk, Knorr Leek Recipe Soup Mix (1.8 oz Packet), and organic ground flaxseed. It was a delectable dairy-free, low-fat dish packed full of protein and other nutrients. I’ll definitely make it again.

INGREDIENTS

Smoked salmon (about 8 oz)
16 oz fettuccine pasta
1.8 oz pkg Knorr Leek Recipe Soup mix
Organic ground flaxseed (about 2 tbsp…depending on thickness desired)
Unsweetened organic soy milk (I used 1 cup less than in the soup mix recipe)
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp EVOO
Sea salt, and pepper to taste (best to add salt at the end because the Knorr mix and the smoked salmon are both salty)
Garnish of basil and/or rosemary

METHOD

Bring a large pot of salted water over high heat to a boil. Add the 16 oz of fettuccine, and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick pan. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes until they’re golden brown. Turn heat down to low, and then stir in the Knorr Leek Recipe Soup mix. Gradually add the soy milk, stirring constantly, and turn heat up to medium-high while stirring. The mixture will thicken, but not enough to make an Alfredo sauce. Add the desired amount of ground flaxseed, continue stirring. Once the mixture is of the right consistency, turn the heat off. Mix in the smoked salmon (broken into small pieces). Taste for seasonings, and adjust. Drain the cooked fettuccine, and add to the sauce; mix well. Garnish with rosemary and basil.

Whole-wheat Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

1 24-oz bottle of Rega Italian strained tomatoes (Passata Di Pomodoro)
1 26-oz carton of Pomi strained tomatoes
2 carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried sweet basil
Himalayan pink salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD:

Add about 2 tbsp olive oil to a heavy skillet and heat over medium. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the fresh basil and parsley, reserving a few leaves of each for garnish. Continue to cook for a few minutes, then add the strained tomatoes (both the Rega and the Pomi). The Pomi strained tomatoes are thicker than the Rega, and no tomato paste needed to be added to this sauce. Simmer on low with the lid tilted on top, stirring frequently. Taste after about 25 or 30 minutes, then taste before adding salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti. When it is al dente, drain and return to pot. Add enough sauce to the pasta to coat all of it lightly. Serve each plate with additional sauce on the side, and garnish with fresh basil and parsley.

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