Category Archives: healthyfoodrecipes

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.

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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).

Fried Rice with Vegetables

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This is SO easy to make, and yet savory and delicious. I cooked the jasmine rice (one cup rice, two cups water) ahead of time and let it cool. Meanwhile, I had leftover julienned zucchini, sweet onions, carrots, and chopped deseeded fresh tomatoes. I coated a large, heavy frying pan with olive oil (about 2 tbsp) and brought it up to medium-high heat before adding these vegetables. I sautéed for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. I then added the rice, soy sauce, and three cloves of minced garlic. I stirred it all up before letting it steam (covered) for just a few minutes before removing from the stove. I topped it with some chopped chives and basil from my garden when I was ready to serve.

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.”