Sunday, December 5, 2010

| pumpkin soup |

If you don't already "deal with" your Halloween pumpkins after Halloween, you really should. You can get so much pumpkiny goodness from just one big jack o' lantern. Just cut that bad boy into wedges, heat in the microwave with a couple tablespoons of water, peel, and then puree in your blender or food processor. Freeze it in baggies in your freezer and you're set. Some ideas:

- pumpkin breads and muffins
- add to chili or soups for additional nutrients and thickness
- add to risotto
- use in a healthy mac n "cheese" (make a sauce using 2 cups pureed pumpkin, 1 cup of shredded cheese, and 1 can of evaporated skim milk)

And, if all that's not enough, try this recipe. I started with a Martha Stewart recipe, but didn't want to bake my soup in another pumpkin (too lazy) and I wanted to add some other seasonings and protein. So here it is.

PUMPKIN WHITE BEAN SOUP
Ingredients

o 6 cups veggie stock
o 2 -3 cups pared pumpkin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (or already pureed and frozen)
o 1 can (or 2 cups) drained white kidney beans (cannellini)
o 1 cup thinly sliced onions
o 1 clove garlic, minced
o 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
o 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
o dash of nutmeg, pepper, and all spice
o 1/2 cup whole milk or cream

Directions

1. In a covered saucepan, heat the stock, cubed/pureed pumpkin, beans, onion, garlic, salt, thyme, nutmeg, pepper, and all spice to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes.
2. Let cool. Puree in a blender in batches or with a hand blender.
3. Add tempered milk. Heat through and serve. Bean casings may remain – so if you want to get rid of those, strain the soup first for a nicer presentation.

Monday, August 23, 2010

| love some boboli |

One of my favorite quick and easy pizzas that seems fancier than it is involves a whole-wheat Boboli crust, goat cheese, and the olive bar at the grocery store. I go to the olive bar and get a variety of things (black and green olives, red peppers, roasted garlic, and sun dried tomatoes being favorites). I only need about 1/2-3/4 cup to make this work. I also pick up a small log of goat cheese (4 ounces, I think) and a Boboli crust.


At home, I drizzle olive oil on the crust, then smoosh on the goat cheese (just pull it off into little chunks, drop on the pizza and smoosh a bit). Then I put on the chopped up stuff from the olive bar (and sometimes add some fresh basil from the garden and maybe a chopped tomato). Crack on some pepper, then stick in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 450. Delicioso.

| hidden veggies |

I'm not usually a huge fan of hiding my veggies because I like them up-front and featured. And yet, I know that some people like to hide them...especially if they're trying to get kids to eat them. Here's a quick, easy, healthy way to hide some veggies in a tex-mexy mac n' cheese. I stole this recipe from Weight Watchers once upon a time and then changed it over the years.


Macaroni and Cheese and Squash - Serves 4

1) Boil about 8-10 ounces of macaroni (I use whole wheat).

2) In a saucepan, combine squash, ½ a can of evaporated milk, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. For the squash you can use a can of pumpkin, two large jars of baby food squash, or a container of frozen butternut squash that’s pureed.

3) After the cheese mixture melts, combine it with the drained pasta and a drained can of Rotel. I also like to add in a can of drained black beans.

Monday, July 5, 2010

| so easy spinach soup |

I cannot claim to understand the magic of this recipe. You put almost nothing into it, but the flavor is so amazing. Also, it takes almost no work. Thanks to my friend Lynn for passing along this recipe!


Spinach and Rice Soup:
10 oz pkg of frozen spinach
1 C basmati rice
8 cups of vegetable broth (or 8 C water and 4 cubes vegetable stock)
1 small onion (chopped)
pepper to taste
1/2 t garlic powder
1 carton lemon or plain yogurt

Simmer while doing other things for about 30 minutes to an hour

Notes from 12/27/11:
- I had some sliced mushrooms on hand today, so I added them. It was a happy addition.
- I also had some long grain black rice (wild rice?) so I used 1/2 cup of it and 1/2 cup of brown rice instead of the basmati. Super tasty. 
- I never have lemon yogurt, so I always use plain yogurt and add some lemon juice. Seems to taste just the same.
- No, you really don't have to saute the onions. It's great even if you start with them raw. I do often add about a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to the pot because I like the taste.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

| what to do with those greens |

Sometimes you get tired of just sauteeing greens with vinegar and onions and garlic. Or I do, at least. A friend of mine made an awesome meal for us involving peanut butter and pineapple and greens. So delicious. I'm posting it below. I wanted to make something similar, but didn't have any pineapple on hand, so I played around with some coconut milk. Here are both the recipes...


AFRICAN PINEAPPLE PEANUT STEW

4-6 strips of bacon (optional)

1 c chopped onions

2 garlic cloves minced

1 T. olive oil

1 bunch of kale or chard (4 c. sliced)

2 c undrained pineapple crushed/canned (20 oz)

1/2 c peanut butter (or sunflower, etc.)

1 T. Tabasco or other hot sauce (more to taste)

1/2 c. chopped cilantro

S/P to taste

1 can black beans (optional)

Top with crushed peanuts, green onions and bacon (optional)

1. Saute onion, garlic for 10 min., low heat (use bacon fat or olive oil) 2. Discard stems of kale or chard, chop into 1 in. ribbons 3. Add pineapple/juice, simmer 1-2 min.

4. Stir in kale, cover & simmer for 5 min.

5. Mix peanut butter, tabasco, cilantro in and simmer 5 min.

6. Drain beans and add, heat through, add s/p to taste.

Serve over rice, quinoa, or couscous.


GREENS, PEANUT, AND COCONUT MILK SAUTÉ

1. Sauté some onions and garlic in olive oil. Add some spices (I used turmeric, cumin, and nutmeg).

2. Chop up some bitter greens (I used chard, beet and radish tops). Throw them in and add about 1/2 can of light coconut milk. Turn the heat down and add a couple tablespoons of chunky peanut butter. Let the PB melt and the greens get as soft as you like them.

3. Throw in some protein, if you'd like. I used black beans.

4. Garnish with some hot sauce (I used some Thai sweet chili sauce and some Siracha). Add salt and pepper. Serve over rice or another grain.