Category Archives: herbs

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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Thai-Style Quinoa Salad

This savory and sweet salad is perfect as a main dish or served with greens and fruit or vegetables.  I served it with a mix of greens and some fresh mango that I’d just gotten from the local farmer’s market.  There’s a variety of fresh vegetables you could use in this salad besides carrot, cucumber, and onion.  I would just use the freshest vegetables you have from the farmer’s market.  If you use tomatoes, they should be deseeded, just as the cucumber was.  And I would stick with cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe, if you decide on using them.  The dressing is really what makes this salad super delicious, and tweaking that to suit your own tastebuds is what’s important.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooled and cooked quinoa

3 grated carrots

4 large pickling cucumbers (my favorite, but you could use English), peeled and deseeded

6 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp coarse-grind pepper

4 limes, squeezed

3 tsp tamari or soy sauce

1 tbsp EVOO

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice vinegar

about 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (less or more, to taste)

METHOD

Mix the quinoa with all the ingredients up to an including the salt and pepper.  If you want to add other fresh, crunchy chopped vegetables, I would choose bell peppers, corn, fresh peas, or snap peas.   It’s a matter of choice, but the ones I listed are the ones I used.  For the dressing, mix the squeezed lime juice (should yield about 1/4 cup), and add the remaining ingredients.  Taste it to see if you need to add more acid (rice vinegar or lime), or more sesame oil.  If you want it more sweet and sour, adjust the tamari or soy sauce to suit your taste.  I absolutely loved the dressing by the time I was done tweaking it to my taste. Add it to your quinoa mixture, a little at a time as you mix.  You may not want to use it all, and instead serve some on the side to pour over the quinoa salad and whatever else you are serving it with.  I garnished it with a little mint from my garden.ThaiQuinoaSalad

Curried Millet Salad with Baked Sockeye Salmon

Protein-rich millet is not as popular in the U.S. as quinoa, but it ought to be. The millet plant is drought-tolerant, and nutritionally it competes with quinoa. It is gluten-free and non-allergenic, with lots of fiber and other beneficial qualities. To learn more about millet, see: “12 Health Benefits of Millet” at http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-health-benefits-of-millet.html.

I cooked the millet per package directions, then set it aside to cool. Meanwhile, I sautéed some garlic and onion in some EVOO. I added the millet and stirred it well as I sprinkled a generous amount of both turmeric and curry powder to the mixture. I served it with some fresh parsley and basil alongside my baked sockeye salmon. Not one of my vegan dishes, but high in protein and very nutritious. I had leftover millet the next day. It is the perfect main dish for a vegan meal, served with some fresh veggies or fruit on the side (which is what I did with the leftovers).

MilletAndSalmon

Curry Vegetable Soup

I know it seems as though I have been making a lot of tomato-based vegetable soups lately. Well, I have. I try varying the ingredients each time, though, and in this recipe I added both curry and turmeric. I started out with less, and at the end I added even more. These two spices give the soup a great flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow cooking onion, chopped
6 stalks celery with leaves, diced
2 large carrots. diced
1 tomato, chopped
6 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 c dried peas, washed and rinsed
1 c dried lentils, washed and rinsed
4 large green zucchinis, julienned
a large handful of fresh arugula, whole
a handful of fresh basil and parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp curry
1 tbsp turmeric
2 32-oz cartons of organic vegetable broth
2 1/2 c Pace Picante mild salsa
1/4 c Stelline pasta
1/4 c whole-grain elbow pasta
2 c water (filtered)

METHOD:

Heat the olive oil on medium high heat in a soup pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, zucchini, peas and lentils and stir for about 5 or 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic, tomato, basil and parsley mixture, and the curry and turmeric. Stir well and often for the next 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and the salsa. Stir and bring to a boil, add the pastas and reduce heat. Gently boil for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 2 cups water, stirring every five minutes or so while simmering for another 20-30 minutes. Add the arugula about five minutes before serving.

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Fried Rice with Vegetables

FriedRice

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.

Main-Dish Vegetable Soup

VegetableSoupTwo

This is a meal in itself. It’s more like a vegetable stew than a soup because it’s so thick. I added lots of vegetables to this vegetable broth- and V8 Original juice-based soup. I used mild chunky salsa and V8 juice in last week’s vegetable soup only because I didn’t have enough pureed tomatoes. I liked it so much, though, that I decided to use it again. It gives the soup a really pleasant tangy flavor. I didn’t measure anything; I’ll list the ingredients below, and approximate amounts.

INGREDIENTS:

Extra-virgin olive oil to coat the soup pot
4 zucchinis julienned (used mandolin wide-julienne setting)
4 carrots julienned (same as above)
2 medium onions julienned (same as above)
6 cloves minced garlic
4 cups V8 Original juice
4 cups (one carton) organic vegetable broth
1 26-oz carton of strained tomatoes (Pomi)
1 cup mild chunky salsa
Handful of a mix of fresh basil and Italian parsley
1 cup each frozen baby corn and peas
1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
3 big handfuls of roughly chopped fresh organic kale (washed, stems removed)
1 cup tiny alphabet pasta

METHOD:

Saute the zucchinis, carrots, and onions over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and herbs, lower the heat to medium. Stir and continue sautéing for another 10 minutes. Add the V8 juice, vegetable broth, strained tomatoes, salsa, corn and peas. Bring to a boil, and add the pasta. Stir and lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the black beans and the kale. Stir well. Simmer for another 10 minutes, or so.

Organic Black Bean and Corn Salad with Vegetables

LentilsBeanCornSalad

This is a filling and nutritious salad that could be used as a main dish. It’s complete with protein from the black beans, complex carbs from the veggies, and healthy fats from the olive oil in the dressing, and the avocado. I served it on a platter with some lentils on the side, and I dished the salad over some lentils on my plate. It’s refreshing, with lots of tang and texture.

INGREDIENTS:

1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup organic petite sweet corn drained and rinsed (from frozen), or use fresh when it’s in season
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 Haas Avocado, diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup of mixed fresh cilantro, basil, and Italian parsley, chopped finely
Few extra basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp Galloway’s Lemon pepper

METHOD:

Mix the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, sea salt and pepper in a small mason jar. Cover tightly with the lid and shake well. Set aside.

Mix the black beans, corn, bell pepper, red onion, and the finely chopped herbs. Drizzle with a little of the dressing and mix all together. Last, gently mix in the avocado. Add a few basil leaves to the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes before serving.