Green Beans with Olives + Almonds

I have a go to method for making green bean sides:  blanche, shock, dry and saute in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes.  Season with s + p.  It's simple and goes with a lot of main courses.  

I decided to shake things up a bit and try something new.  This follows the same method but with new, more unusual ingredients.  Enjoy!

Castelvetrano olives are sicilian olives with a beautiful green color, mildly brined, buttery flavor.  I have had a hard time finding them pitted, so you'll probably have to remove the pits yourself.  The flesh on these likes to hold onto the pit so you're best bet is to just slice it off on each side.  

Serves 2-3.

Green Beans with Olives + Almonds

3/4 lb green beans, trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

10 castelvetrano olives, pits removed

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

s + p

Boil a pot of water, add a pinch of salt to season.  Add green beans, blanch about 60 to 90 seconds, until crisp tender.  Transfer green beans to ice bath to shock.  Once cold, dry green beans.  

Heat a 10" pan over medium heat.  Once hot, add olive oil, when oil is hot, add beans.  Cook until hot, stirring and moving beans around pan.  Remove from heat and toss with sherry vinegar.  Set aside. Salt lightly and pepper.  

Return pan to medium heat, adding a small amount of oil if needed.  Add almonds and olives, cook, stirring until warm, about 2 minutes.  Toss with green beans.  

 

 

AM Breakfast Smoothie

Another quick breakfast.  The flax and almond meal make this smoothie a bit more substantial.  I use whatever fruit looks good and ripe.  The more ripe the fruit, the naturally sweeter the smoothie.  Peaches, nectarines, plums, blueberries, strawberries, melons, raspberries and bananas are all great for this. I like to mix it up.  The pictured smoothie has peaches and raspberries.  

A note on the flax seeds.  I store mine whole and always grind freshly to order in a clean coffee grinder.  This extends their shelf life and grinding makes them digestible.  

Feel free to adjust this one as you see fit.  Use any type of yogurt and milk.  Easily made dairy free.  And any sweetener you prefer:  sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, brown rice syrup... do you have a sweetener you like?  I'm still hooked on agave.  

Makes 1 smoothie.

AM Breakfast Shake

1/2 teaspoon whole flax seeds

2 teaspoons almond meal

1/2 cup plain yogurt  (any kind)

1/2 cup chopped fruit (peeled, pitted as necessary) 

sweetener, to taste

splash of milk, to taste (any type of milk)

Grind the flax seeds to a powder.  Blend with almond meal, yogurt and fruit.  Adjust sweetness and consistency as needed with the sweetener and milk of your choice.  

 

 

Vegetable Chili

We make this about once a month.  It's flavorful, satisfying and healthy.  Cam likes it over brown rice with a pile of kale sautéed with garlic and lemon juice.  I'll eat it over anything.  

I posted a veggie chili a couple years ago but after making it so many times the recipe has been tweaked a bit.  Here's the newer, improved version.  

Serves 6.

Vegetable Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, small dice

2 small carrots, peeled, small dice

kernels from 1 ear of fresh corn

3 cloves garlic, minced

28 oz tin crushed tomatoes

20 oz water

2 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons chile powder

1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 1/2 tablespoons paprika

3/4 cup chopped green beans

1 zucchini, small dice

1 yellow squash, small dice

1 red bell pepper, seeded, stemmed, small dice

14 oz tin black beans, rinsed, drained

14 oz tin kidney beans, rinsed drained

lime juice, to taste

s + p

In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and carrots, cooking until onions are soft and clear.  Add corn and garlic, cook, stirring so garlic doesn't burn, 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, water and spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.  Add green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, black beans and kidney beans.  cook until green beans are crisp tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.  

 

Chile Lime Noodle Salad

Noodles are one of my favorite foods.  This includes anything that could be described as noodles.  This weekend, I was really wanting a noodle dish full of vegetables with a lean protein that we full of lime and spicy flavor that I could eat cold.  Here it is.  Toss this one all together, portion into servings and you have an easy takeaway lunch.  

Makes about 4 servings.

Chile Lime Noodle Salad

for the sauce

1/2 cup lime juice, about 4 limes

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 clove garlic, grated

almost 1 inch ginger, peeled, grated

chile flakes, to spicy taste

for the salad

2 boneless skinless chicken cutlets

1 teaspoon high heat oil

1 red bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced

3 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks

5oz rice vermicelli noodles

1/2 cup crushed peanuts

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine lime juice, brown sugar, tamari, fish sauce, oil, garlic and ginger.  Add chile flakes to taste.  Should be spicy.  Set aside and allow flavors to mingle while other components are prepared.  

Place chicken between two pieces of plastic and pound to very thin, even thickness.  Lightly oil a skillet and place over medium high heat.  When hot, add chicken.  Cook, flipping once.  Transfer to a plate to rest.  Rest 5 minutes and chop.  Set aside.  

While cooking chicken, prepare noodles as per package instructions.  Most rice vermicelli noodles will need to be covered with boiling water and left for 3 minutes, strained and lightly rinsed.  

Toss chicken with bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, noodles, peanuts, cilantro and sauce.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.  

 

 

 

 

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Hey there, vegetarians.  I have a stuffed red pepper recipe for you.  These are a healthy take on the classic with red quinoa for rice and lots of veggies.  

Serves 2 - 4.

Kale + Mushroom Stuffed Red Peppers

1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped

1/2 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

s + p

2 oz feta, chopped

5 basil leaves, chopped

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 tin diced tomatoes

2 red bell peppers, seeded, halved lengthwise

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a small pot, bring 1 cup water and quinoa to a boil, cover.  Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until water has evaporated.  Fluff with fork, set aside.  

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and mushrooms.  Sauté 3 minutes more.  Add kale and red pepper flakes.  Cook 1 minutes, stirring.  Remove from heat.  

Stir in quinoa, salt, pepper, feta, basil and lemon.  

Evenly spoon into red pepper halves.  Arrange on lined baking sheet and cover well with foil.  

Bake 30 minutes.  

 

Cauliflower 'Mac' + Cheese

There's no pasta, but it's a healthier alternative to the baked classic.  If you use a wheat free flour it's a gluten free dinner.  Be the most popular at your next potluck picnic!  

For this I prefer 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and a 1/2 cup of Monterey jack cheese.  When it comes to melting, there's strength in numbers.  

Serves 2-3

Cauliflower 'mac' + Cheese

1 head cauliflower, trimmed, chopped into bite sized pieces

2 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, diced

2 tablespoons flour of your choice, a.p. or chickpea, rice...

1/8 cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

s + p

1/4 cup fat free milk

splash white wine

1 cup grated melting cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a loaf pan.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add chopped cauliflower, blanche 4 minutes.  Drain, shock with cold water to stop cauliflower from cooking.  Drain and dry.  

Wipe out pot and return it to the stove top.  Heat butter oven medium heat.  Once butter is melted, add shallot, cook until clear and soft, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  

In a small bowl, stir flour, cayenne, mustard powder, salt and pepper.  Add to to the pot, stirring to coat the cooking shallot.  Slowly, whisk in the milk.  Stir until lump free and add the splash of white wine.  Cook until thick.  Add all but one tablespoon cheese and cauliflower.  Stir until cauliflower is well coated in thick cheesey goo.  

Transfer prepared loaf pan.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake 20 minutes.  

 

 

Lemon Miso Soup

A very satisfying soup.  A combination of a vegetable noodle and a miso soup.  

Substitute a quinoa pasta to make this a gluten free meal.  I think this would also be great with barley or farro.  

Serves 2.  

Lemon Miso Soup

1/2 cup uncooked pasta, small size like tubettini, ditalini or acini de pepe

olive oil

1 shallot, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

red chile flakes or long red pepper, seeded, sliced into rings

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 carrot, peeled, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

3/4 cup snow peas or green beans, chopped

4 cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon white miso

juice of half of a lemon juice

s + white pepper

Cook pasta al dente.  Drain, rinse, drain.  Set aside.

In a pot, heat a drizzle of oilve oil over medium heat.  Add shallot, cook 3 minutes.  Add garlic, chile flakes or slices, carrot and celery.  Cook 2 minutes, stirring.  Add stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, carrots and vegetables will be crisp tender.  Add mushrooms.  Cook 5 minutes.   Add snow peas or green beans and pasta.

 Stir miso paste with a ladleful of soup to make a slurry.   Stir into soup.  Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. 

 

Sesame Crusted Baked Tofu + Dipping Sauce

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Crispy and nutty bite size tofu snacks.  Best part is that they're baked, not fried.  Would be a great as part of a dim sum style dinner.  

makes 16 pieces.  

Sesame Crusted Baked Tofu + Dipping Sauce

1 block extra firm tofu

1 cup lite coconut milk

s + p

3/4 cup black and white sesame seeds

for the sauce

2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sambal oelek

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Drain tofu and place on a towel.  Place something heavy on top of tofu block, like a fry pan with a tin can of something in it, to press any water out of it.  This will help make it crispy.  While tofu is draining, heat oven to 500 degrees.  Line a pan with parchment paper, set aside.  

Place coconut milk in a shallow bowl, next to a shallow bowl of sesame seeds.  Slice tofu into 16 squares and season with salt and pepper.   One by one dip each square in coconut milk and then coat with sesame seeds.  Arrange on parchment paper lined pan and bake 6 minutes.  Flip tofu squares and bake 4 minutes more.  

Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sambal oelok and sesame oil together.  Serve on the side of squares.

French Onion Risotto

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You heard me.  Just when we thought risotto couldn't get any better.  

Serves 2 huge portions or 3 normal portions.

French Onion Risotto

6 cups beef stock

2 bay leaves

4 springs thyme

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 yellow onion, sliced

splash olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup aborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese

Heat stock, bay, 2 thyme sprigs, a couple slices of onion and peppercorns.  Keep warm without boiling or simmering. 

Add onion slices and 2 thyme sprigs to a saucepan over medium heat.  Stirring every minute or so, cook for 20 minutes.  Add a splash of olive oil, reduce heat,  cover and cook 20 minutes more.  Remove thyme sprigs.  

Strain stock.  

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter in splash of olive oil.  Add aborio rice, stir to coat, cook 1 minute.  Add white with, cook and stir until evaporated.  Spoon stock, half a cup at a time, into rice, stirring until absorbed into rice.  Repeat until almost all stock is gone and rice is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Stir in caramelized onions and cheese.  Spoon onto dinner plates, garnish with a pinch of onions, cheese and stock.  

 

 

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers + Pickled Jalapeno Poppers

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Vegetarian burgers with a mexican vibe.  Great chopped up over  a salad, or in a wrap or served as a burger.  Pickling the jalapenos mellows their spiciness, so does stuffing them with cheese.  Worth making even on their own as snacks or working into a grilled cheese sandwich.  Just a thought.  

makes about 8-10 burgers

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers + Cheese Stuffed Pickled Jalapenos

for the burgers

1 tin black beans, drained, rinsed

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 a red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

3 cilantro sprigs, chopped

1 tablespoon flaw seeds, ground

1 egg

juice of 1/2 a lime

for the jalapenos

6 jalapenos

1/2 cup water

1 cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

monterey jack cheese, about 2 ounces

Mash beans.  Set aside.  Cook quinoa, add to beans.

In a skillet, heat olive oil and cook shallots 2 minutes.  Add garlic, bell pepper and corn.  Cook 2 minutes more. Add to back beans.   Add cumin, paprika, oregano, cilantro, flax seeds, egg and lime juice.  Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.   Portion with a 1/4 cup.  Cook 5 minutes on each side in an oiled pan over medium heat.  

We served as burgers with cheese stuffed pickled jalapenos.  Slice a capital T shape in each jalapeno and remove seeds.  Place in a small pot with water, vinegar, salt, sugar and peppercorns.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Set aside and let cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes.  When ready to use, remove from pickling liquid, stuff with a rectangular slice of cheese.  Heat a pan on the stove over medium heat.  Cook jalapenos in pan, flipping as needed.  They will be a toasty color and the cheese will be melted.  

 

Vegetarian Split Pea

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I know, I know, I know.  I just made a split pea soup about a month ago.  That one wasn't vegetarian.  Although I'm not a vegetarian, I eat like one most of the week.  

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large carrot, peeled, diced

2 cups dried green peas (or yellow) 

8 cups vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika  

2 potatoes, peeled, chopped

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar  

s + p

In a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil.  Sauté onion, garlic, celery and carrot 5 minutes.  Add dried peas and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.  

Add stock, majoram, thyme, cumin and paprika.  Boil, reduce heat, simmer 30 minutes.  Add potatoes, simmer 30 to 45 minutes more, mostly covered.  When it's done, the peas will be very tender and with a good stirring will fall apart. 

Add cider vinegar.  Season with s + p.  

 

 

Grilled Portobellos + Creole Tomato Sauce

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There's a restaurant in Ithaca, New York called Maxie's Supper Club that I am obsessed with.  Their margaritas come in pint glasses and there are things like tasso gravy and mighty mighty gumbo on the menu.  They also have chicken fried tuesdays.  (And who doesn't need a little fried chicken on a tuesday?)  

I'm getting carried away.  The reason I bring up my beloved Maxie's is that they have something on the menu that is grilled portobellos with creole tomato sauce.  While I've never seen or ordered it I've haven't stopped thinking how good it sounds.  Cam and I decided to give it a go.

We had sauce leftover and ate it over roasted spaghetti squash.   

(If you are vegetarian, omit worcestershire sauce.  It contains anchovies.)

Serves 4. 

Grilled Portobellos + Creole Tomato Sauce

splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

2 green onions, diced, white and green separated  

1 28 oz tin tomatoes

3 bay leaves

4 thyme sprigs, stems discarded

s + p

splash worcestershire sauce 

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

pinch sugar

8 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned, stems removed

In a medium pot, on medium high heat, cook onion in splash of oil until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add bell pepper, celery, garlic, green onion whites and thyme, cook, stirring, 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, bay, thyme leaves, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir in parsley.  

While sauce is simmering, cook mushrooms on medium high heat in a grill pan on the stove.  About 5 minutes on each side.  Mushrooms can also be roasted in 425 degree oven, loosely covered with foil for 35 minutes.  

Once mushrooms are done, top with warm tomato sauce.  Garnish with green onion greens.  We served ours with kale sauted with garlic.  yum. 

Simple Root Vegetable Side

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I'm new to baby turnips.  They are delicious and now I can;t get enough of them.  This root vegetable medley is easy and full of flavor and pleasing textures.  And it satisfies my new turnip needs.  

Makes 1 large pan.

Simple Root Vegetable Side

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 lb baby turnips, chopped

2 potatoes, chopped

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, chopped

3 thyme sprigs, stems discarded

splash olive oil

s + p

Heat oven to 375.  Toss carrots, red onion, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes and thyme in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread over large baking sheet.  Roast in oven 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  

Turkey Breakfast Sausage

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My lovely friend Miranda from Hundred Mile Table gave me a jar of home made breakfast sausage seasoning that is so good, I went into panic mode wondering what I would do when it was gone.  

Luckily, I figured something out.  

Makes 6 servings.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 lb ground turkey breast

In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, sage, thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and marjoram together until well combined.  Sprinkle over ground turkey and mix in with a knife or your hands.  Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to portion and mold into patties.  

Heat a lightly greased skillet over medium heat and cook turkey patties about 8 minutes on each side.  

 

Detox Brownies

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I wasn't sure if I wanted to call these natural brownies, gluten free brownies, detox brownies, food cleanse brownies or paleo brownies.  I'm going with 'detox' because they are made with natural, minimally processed ingredients.  I've been making an effort recently to eat better but I still need a sweet treat every now and again.   

These are moist, almost cake like brownies that have a mild coconut flavor.  There's no added sugar, the medjool dates and dark chocolate provide enough sweetness.  

Almond meal/flour is made from almonds and can be found in most natural food and well stocked grocery stores.  Bob's Red Mill is probably the most easy to find brand and Trader Joe's carries one of their own as well.  

Makes 16 squares.  (117 calories each)

Detox Brownies

7 mendjool dates, pitted

pinch baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 oz dark chocolate, 85% of higher

2 eggs

1/3 cup coconut oil, warmed

3/4 cup almond meal/flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8" x 8" baking pan.  I like to line mine with lightly greased parchemnt paper for easy clean up.  

Place dates in small bowl and sprinkle with the pinch of baking soda.  Pour in hot water and let dates soak for 2 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  

Melt chocolate and process with softened dates in a food processor 1 to 2 minutes.  Add eggs, process 1 minute.  Add coconut oil, process 1 minute.  Add almond meal/flour, salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, process 2 minutes.  

Pour into prepared pan and spread around with a spatula to even out surface.  Place in oven and bake about 16 minutes.  A toothpick poked into the center will come out clean.  Cool about 1 hour.  

A Classic Lentil Soup

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Aka Cam's favorite lentil soup.  (It's so easy having a food blog when your husband is a brilliant cook.)  Our weekend routine includes plenty of of time in the kitchen.  Part of it is developing and shooting recipes for Meats + Sweets and the other part Cameron making delicious soups and salads for us to eat during the week.  They are always excellent and healthy, and I'm pleased to share this one.  It is one of our personal favorites.  

For a heartier meal, serve over rice, grains or whole grain pasta.  We usually eat it over a pile of farro.  (Have you tried Kamut pasta? I have a box of it in the pantry that I'm pondering what to do with.)

Makes 8 servings. 

Cameron's Favorite Lentil Soup

splash olive oil

3 medium carrots, peeled, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 quarts vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups french green lentils

4 sprigs thyme

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons cumin 

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon red chile flakes

2 bay leaves

2 cups cremini or shitake mushrooms, chopped

s + p

lime juice or red wine vinegar (optional + to taste)

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large soup pot and add carrots, onion, celery, poblano and garlic.  Stew over medium high heat, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  

Add stock, lentils, thyme, cumin, coriander, curry, chile flakes and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and add mushrooms.  Let simmer until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.  

Season with salt, pepper and lime juice/vinegar.  

Kale + Potato Salad

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A new salad from Cameron.  It's delicious and makes great use of seasonal ingredients.   Also, how often do you eat potatoes and pomegranate seeds together?  Probably not enough, right?

Kale + Potato Salad

1 large sweet potato, chopped

2 white potatoes, chopped

olive oil

1 bunch kale leaves, stems discarded

juice of 1/2 lemon

s + p

seeds from 1 small pomegranate

1 cup pecans

splash basalmic vinegar

Heat oven to 425.  Toss sweet potato and white potatoes in a splash of olive oil.  Place onto a baking sheet and roast 45 minutes until done, tossing once. 

While the potatoes are roasting, saute kale in a splash of olive oil, for 5 minutes until wilted.  Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  

Toss roasted potatoes, kale, pomegranate seeds and pecans together in a large bowl and drizzle with a tiny amount of basalmic vinegar.

 

Veggie Burgers

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I love a veggie burger.  These are very healthy and full of plant based protein from the beans and quinoa.  They are vegetarian, gluten free and vegan if you omit the egg.  (I made these without the egg and they are lighter but tend to fall apart a little bit which is why I consider it optional.)  

Serves 6. 

Veggie Burgers

1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa

1 large portobello mushroom

splash of olive oil

1 red fresno chile, seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 large shallot, diced

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tin kidney beans, drained, rinsed

1 carrot, peeled, grated

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

several turns fresh black pepper

4 sprigs fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon siracha

juice of 1/2 a lime

1 egg, optional

Cook quinoa in small pot with 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Water will have evaporated and quinoa will be tender.  Remove from heat and set aside.   

Cut portobello into quarters and run through food processor until chopped.  Set aside.  

Heat a skillet with splash of olive oil to medium high heat and saute processed mushrooms, chile, garlic, shallot and ginger until tender, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to large bowl.  

Run kidney beans, quinoa and carrots through food processor until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add to bowl with mushroom mix.  Add mustard powder, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, fresh cilantro, siracha, lime juice and egg, if using.  Stir to combine.   

Chill mixture in fridge 20 minutes.  Remove from fridge, form into patties and cook in  oiled skillet 3 minutes on each side,   Serve with red onions, pickled anything, lettuce, mayo, siracha, fresh cilantro leaves, tomatoes and carrot matchsticks.  

Smoky Minestrone Soup

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This is another one of Cameron's brilliant soups.  He made it for dinner one night and as soon I tasted it I knew I had to share it here.  We've also been calling this one mexican minestrone but I'm not sure exactly how mexican it is.  Either way, It's smoky and peppery with great texture from all the different vegetables.  I love having a super healthy soups like this that are full of vegetables and flavor.  So very satisfying.  

Serves 6-8.  

Smoky Minestrone Soup

1 cup farro (or barley would be good too)

dash olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

1 bulb fennel, diced

1 leak, halved & thinly sliced

3 medium tomatoes, seeded, peeled, and diced

4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 sprigs fresh oregano 

2 bay leaves

1 cup fresh cranberry beans (or use a can of navy beans, rinsed - just add them at the very end) 

2 quarts veggie stock  

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1 ancho pepper (dried & smoked Poblano)

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp pimenton (smoked paprika) 

1 small zucchini, diced

1 yellow squash, diced

2 cups green beans, chopped

juice of 1/2 a lime

splash Champagne vinegar

S + P

In a small pot, cover farro with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer 40 minutes or until tender and not squeaky.  Drain off excess water.  While farro is cooking, prep the veggies and get the soup going.  
 

In a pot, warm some olive oil and add onion, carrots and fennel.  Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are clear, about 5 minutes.  Add the leek, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, bay and cranberry beans, cooking another 5 minutes more.   

Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Add mushrooms, the dried pepper, cumin and paprika.  Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the beans are creamy and no longer mealy.  Add remaining ingredients and cook until green beans are blanched, bright green and crisp tender.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve over farro and garnish with some cilantro leaves, if you have any around.  

 

Cam's Corn Succotash

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I heart this.  It's so summery and demands a picnic.  For me, no outdoor summer meal is complete without a corn dish and this one, made by Cameron, my husband,  is great.  It can be easily adapted to suit different tastes by changing the lime to lemon and swapping the cilantro for basil.   

Cam has a nice little trick to neatly getting the kernels of corn off the cob and into a bowl with minimal mess.  As shown in the picture, place a cup upside down in the bottom of a large bowl, stand the corn cob on the cup, slice the kernels off and they will fall into the bowl.  When done, remove cup.   

Serves 4. 

Corn Succotash 

olive oil

kernels of 4 ears fresh corn

1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced

1 shallot, diced

1 red pepper, seeded, diced

cilantro leaves, chopped 

lime juice

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

s + p

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  Add shallot and poblano, cook 2 minutes.  Add corn, cook 2 minutes or until corn is glossy and less starchy.  Add red pepper, herbs, lime juice and tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve.