Category Archives: protein

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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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).

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Veggie Patties

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These veggie patties outdo any others I’ve made thus far.  I’ve been trying for a few years to come up with a hearty, healthy, protein-packed, flavorful veggie patty, and this one is as close as it gets.  The beautiful thing about this is that you can tweak and change up the ingredients to flavor it to your palate’s delight.  I don’t like heat, so I omit chilis and spicy pepper.  But I do love garlic, onion, and Indian spices A LOT.  I didn’t add any garlic to these patties this time, but next time I will add some.  I made one batch, and froze a batch of two patties per baggie.  They are very firm, and the texture is much like that of a regular meat patty, so they hold up very well in a bun like a regular meat hamburger.  These would be great done on a grill, too, atop a grill pan.  So, here we go.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup precooked and cooled red quinoa

2 cups mashed baked sweet potatoes (skins removed)

1 cup black beans (homemade or canned/drained/rinsed)

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped very finely

1 cup finely diced green onion

3 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. coarse-grind pepper

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350. Wash and bake the sweet potato on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 45 minutes (or until soft).  Remove and set aside to cool before pulling the skin off.  Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the package directions.  Be sure to rinse the quinoa in water a few times before cooking to remove the residue.  The water should come out clean before you begin cooking them.  Chop up your green onions, and walnuts (if you care to add some garlic, chop that up, too), set all aside in a small bowl.  Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes once they’re cool enough, and mash them into a large mixing bowl.  Mash the rinsed and well-drained beans into to the sweet potato mix, leaving some whole.  Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix all very well.  Lightly grease a baking sheet with EVOO, and shape the patties into rounds (about 1/4 cup each), and place them on the sheet.  When done with all of them, turn them over and flatten them to your desired thickness (adjust baking time according to thickness).  By taking this extra step to turn them over, both the bottom and the top of the patties will have some light oil coating that will produce a nice brown crispness to the outside.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, then turn.  Bake another 20-25 minutes, depending on how thick you’ve made your patties.  They should be firm and nicely browned before you remove them from the oven.  Let cool, and serve in a bun or with vegetables, or just with fruit.

I made some of my homemade guacamole, and then used the patties as the “bun” for the guacamole.  Along with that, I had some vegetables and fruit.  Really worth making, and as I said earlier, you can freeze them in singles or doubles.  This recipe made about 20 patties.

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).

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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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Protein-packed Vegan patty with Salad and Dijon Dressing

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I adapted this recipe from Dana McIntyre’s “Veggie-packed Veggie Burger” (found in the Vegan category on her web site at http://thecrushingcancerkitchen.com).  She has a beautiful web site with awesomely healthy recipes; it’s well worth a visit.  I modified this recipe because I did not have all the ingredients she’d listed, and there were some others I wanted to add to mine.  One of the ingredients in this patty is turmeric (she used raw, but you can use dried).  For an overview of the health benefits attributed to turmeric, check out: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-662-turmeric.aspx?activeingredientid=662&activeingredientname=turmeric.  I didn’t have nuts, but I did have sunflower, chia, and hemp seeds.  Her recipe calls for 2 cups of nuts and/or seeds; I used 2.5 cups (1 cup each chia and hemp, and .5 cup ground sunflower seeds).  I did not have fresh beets, dulse (a red seaweed that grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans) or flax, either.  I have had dulse many times before; I think it’s more commonly used in Canada.  Whole Foods provides a little overview of it, and some other sea vegetables on their web site: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/food-guides/sea-veggies?__federated=1.

So, some modifications to Dana McIntyre’s original recipe are what you see here.  I think the omission of dulse and beets definitely made a difference in the color, taste and texture of my rendition.  Nonetheless, it really was delicious.  Next time, I will make it using all the ingredients in her original recipe, and then make a more informed comparison.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c rolled oats

3/4 c rolled oats, ground roughly into flour-like consistency (I used my Vitamix)

1 c Chia seeds

1 c Hemp seeds

1/2 c sunflower seeds (ground in Vitamix)

1 tbsp cumin

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 grated carrots

1 bunch of green onions, finely sliced

Large handful of cilantro, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 c peas, roughly pureed (I pureed half of them in Vitamix, and left the other half whole)

1 lemon, juice and zest

3 tbsp fresh dried turmeric

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

3/4 – 2 c water (depending on the consistency of the mixture at the end; add the water gradually, mix, and add more if necessary)

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 325F.  Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  When the consistency allows them to be formed into patties, use a plastic 1/2 cup-size dry measuring cup to pack in the mixture.  Turn it over and drop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, lightly coated with either olive oil or coconut oil.  When all the mixture has been formed and dropped onto the sheet, moisten the bottom of the cup with a little water, and press down on each one to flatten them evenly all over.  The patties should all be the same size and thickness for best results.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning half way through the baking process.

(For the dressing, I just mixed equal parts fresh-squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.  Then I added Dijon mustard to taste.  If it’s too acidic after adding the mustard, add a little more olive oil.)