Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chilled Asparagus Soup

Inspired by: The Cook's Encyclopedia of Soup

2 pounds fresh asparagus
4 T olive oil or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks or scallions
3 T rice flour
6 cups water or vegetable stock
1 (16 oz) can of coconut milk
2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (any combination of: cilantro, mint, basil, oregano, chives....)
Fresh tomatoes and or cucumber chopped for garnish

1.  Cut the top 2 inches off of each asparagus spear and blanch the tips in boiling water for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
2.  Trim the stalks, remove brown or woody parts. Chop remaining stalks in to 1/2 inch pieces.
3.  Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the slices leeks or scallions and cook over low heat till soft, but not brown. (5 or 6 minutes.) Add garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chopped asparagus stalks, cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes longer till stalks are tender.
4.  Add flour and stir well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes uncovered and stir occasionally.
5.  Add water or stock. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add coconut milk, lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
6.  Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Stir in asparagus tips and fresh herbs. Chill well. Check seasoning before serving. Add fresh, chopped tomatoes and cucumber if desired.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lemon Garlic Dressing

Inspired by Real Simple, June 2012.

Whisk together:
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp kosher or celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Red Wine Mustard Vinaigrette

One of our favorite dressing recipes. 
Inspiration from Real Simple Magazine, June 2012.

Whisk together:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard or 1 T whole grain mustard
1 tsp honey or maple syrup
Juice from half of one lemon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Roasted Summer Salad

(For Roasted Veggies)
5-6 sweet potatoes, cleaned and chopped into 1 inch cubes
4-5 beets, peeled, chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and chopped into chunky pieces
1 zucchini, cleaned and sliced, half inch wide slices
1/2 or 1 whole bell pepper (green, red or yellow), cleaned and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Italian Seasoning Mix (1/4 tsp of each: dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried rosemary)
salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T whole grain mustard *Use more or less mustard depending on your preference. Start with 1 T if you think 2 might be too much.
Juice fron half of one lemon
1 tsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh chopped herbs (combine whatever you have, I had a little: basil, mint, oregano, and chives)

1/2 to 1 cup red cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup apple, grated (I did not do this, but I think it would be good)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread veggies to be roasted over two cookie sheets or roasting pans. Drizzle with olive oil, garlic, Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for 30-45 minutes. Roast till veggies are soft, but still firm enough to hold their shape.
3. Mix together dressing while veggies are roasting. Once veggies are done to your liking put them into a large bowl or dutch oven. Pour dressing over the veggies and add garnish of cabbage and/or apple.
4.  Enjoy warm or as a cold salad.

If you want to serve as a cold salad, make it the night before. The flavors intensify in the refrigerator overnight.

optional additions: pistachios, feta or goat cheese, fresh arugula...use your imagination!

Serving Suggestions: Serve cold over a bed of spinach and arugula.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tex Mex Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef *local, grass-fed if possible 
2 T ground flax seed *grind it in a coffee or spice grinder
1 carrot, shredded or grated * or throw in the food processor
1/2 zucchini, shredded or grated  * or throw in the food processor
1/2 yellow onion, finley chopped  * or throw in the food processor
1 garlic clove, crushed or mince
1/4 - 1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, chopped *depending on your spice preference/ use glove to chop if you are not use to working with spicy peppers
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped  * or throw in the food processor
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Place meat combination in preferred baking dish.
Bake for 30-40 minutes till beef is cooked to your liking.

Options: Make into meatballs or burgers instead.

Serve with salsa and guacamole in a large leaf of lettuce or cabbage. Yum!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Coconut Creamed Potato Soup

2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
olive oil to saute
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
4 or 5 sweet potatoes, cleaned, chopped
2 or 3 regular potatoes, cleaned and chopped
2 cans of coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions in olive oil till they begin to soften. Add garlic and seasonings and cook for 2 minutes to increase flavor of spices.
Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
Add coconut milk and about 3 cups of water.
Bring to boil then simmer till potatoes are soft. Puree in batches in the blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mom's Black Bean Burgers

1 -15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups dry Black Bean mix + 1 1/2 cups water)
1 egg (2 eggs if using egg replacer)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

hot sauce to taste
1 T oil for cooking


Mash beans in a bowl. Add egg, onion, rolled oats, and seasoning. Mix well to combine and then shape into 6 patties. 
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange patties in a single layer and cook, flipping once until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. 

Serve on a bun or in a lettuce or cabbage leaf. Top with your favorite fresh veggies, guacamole or even fermented and fresh salsa

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fermented and Fresh Salsa


1 jar of fermented tomatillos
1/2 medium red onion
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 - 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper

Chop fresh ingredients or through them together in your food processor.
Mix together fresh and fermented ingredients.

*This last time, I strained the juice off of the fermented tomatillos, then I pureed two or three fresh tomatillos and mixed that into the salsa. Still experimenting with texture and flavor!

Enjoy this salsa as you would any other salsa.

Fermented Tomatillos

6-8 tomatillos (enough to fill a mason jar 3/4 full when chopped)
1 cup filtered water
1 T salt

Mash one tomatillo with a vegetable stomper/pounder or potato masher.
Dice the remaining tomatillos and put in a clean mason jar. Dissolve salt into water and stir together with mashed tomatillo. Pour the liquid over the diced tomatillos. Add more filtered water if needed to cover vegetables. Allow to ferment in a sealed jar for 3 to 5 days. I started with 4 days and liked the results.

*Length of fermenting depends on the temperature of the room. You may need longer in a cool room. If your jar is not bubbly or your veggies still taste salty then you need more time.

Use your tomatillos to make Fresh and Fermented Salsa or just eat them plain. They are delicious and an excellent probiotic!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Cortido - Latin American Kraut

Latin American Sauerkraut (Cortido) – adapted slightly from Nourishing Traditions
Makes 2 quarts
1 large cabbage, cored and shredded (keep some chunkier if you like a bigger texture)
1 cup carrots, grated or thinly sliced
2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh oregano (or about 1 tsp dried oregano) 
½ - 1 t red pepper flakes (more if you really like spice)
2 T salt
1 cup water

Mix grated veggies together in a large metal bowl or even a large pot would work. Don't use glass or ceramic or you may crack your bowl. Add red pepper flakes and Oregano

In a blender, combine water, salt and about 1 cup of the veggie mixture. Puree till smooth.

Mix liquid and veggies together. Stomp with a vegetable stomper for about 5 minutes. (use a potato masher, meat pounder or other kitchen gadget if you do not have a stomper) Divide mixture between 2 - quart mason jars or use a larger half gallon jar. Press veggies down with veggie stomper and make sure the veggies are covered with liquid. I often put a small (4oz) mason jar inside a wide-mouth mason jar to weigh the veggies down so that they are always covered with liquid. (glass baby food jars are the perfect size too)

Put the lids on your jars. Allow jars to sit in room temperature for 3-5 days. Bubbles should be forming and the mixture should not taste salty when it is fermented. Once fermented to your liking, move to cold storage (basement cellar) or refrigerator.
*The length of fermenting will vary depending on the temperature of your room. Experiment and figure out what you like. The kraut should not really taste salty, but more sour "like vinegar." Also you should see bubbles in the jar and when you open the jar there will be a release of pressure like when you open a carbonated drink.
*If you are getting into vegetable fermenting/culturing this is a nice quality "pounder."