December 2006

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    Vol. 5, No. 12

Featured Recipes

Tomatillo Chili

This is a very unusual white bean chili that uses tomatillos instead of tomatoes for flavor.  I first made this many years ago for a chili potluck at our youngest son’s school.  It is still one of my favorite chilies.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  4 hours
Servings:  6-8

1 pound dried Great Northern beans
8 cups vegetable broth
2 onions, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2  12 ounce cans tomatillos, drained and chopped
2  4 ounce cans chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 bunches green onions, chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
hot sauce to taste (optional) 

Place the first nine ingredients (through the oregano) into a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 3 hours until beans are fairly tender.  Add the green onions and cilantro, then cook uncovered for another hour until the chili is very thick.  Stir in the lime juice and add salt and hot sauce to taste, if desired.

Hints:  This may also be made in a slow cooker, although it will not thicken up as well as it does on the stovetop.  If you do cook it in a slow cooker, start out with a bit less of the vegetable broth, cook it for 8 hours on high, then remove the cover, add the green onions and cilantro and continue to cook uncovered for the rest of the cooking time.  (Or transfer to a pot on the stove and finish the cooking time there.)

Thai Green Curry Rice

This rice dish is made with a Thai green curry paste that is sold in Asian markets, natural food stores and some supermarkets.  To vary this recipe, try making it with red curry paste instead of the green curry paste. 

Preparation Time:  20 minutes (cooked rice needed)
Cooking Time:  12 minutes
Servings:  4

1/3 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons green curry paste
2 cups chopped Napa cabbage
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup snap peas
½ cup soy sauce
4 cups cooked long grain brown rice
1 tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Thai basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Place the broth in a large pot along with the onion, bell peppers and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Stir in the curry paste.  Add the cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peas and soy sauce.  Mix well, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and cook until heated through, about 2-3 minutes.

Hint:  Curry pastes are quite spicy so you may want to start out with the smaller amount and add more to taste.  If you can’t find fresh Thai basil, just use the fresh basil found in the produce department of your supermarket.

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup

This is a spicy variation of a delicious pumpkin soup with black beans that I have been making for years.  This tastes great and is easy to make too!

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  15 minutes
Servings:  4

4 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
⅛ teaspoon chipotle powder
1  15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1  15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
¾ cup salsa, mild, medium or hot

Place 1/3 cup of the broth in a large pot.  Add the onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes, then add the chili powder, cumin and chipotle powder.  Cook and stir for 1 minute.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the pumpkin is well mixed into the broth. 

Hint:  This is wonderful with a scoop of hot brown rice added to each individual serving bowl.

Mexican Bean and Rice Soup

Our grandson, Jaysen, loves beans and rice, so I turned one of our favorite simple bean soup recipes into a bean and rice soup. 

Preparation Time:  5 minutes (cooked rice needed)
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  4

2  16 ounce cans non-fat refried beans
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup mild salsa

Place the beans and broth into a pot and stir well to mix.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add remaining ingredients, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Hints:  Add more vegetable broth for a thinner soup, if desired.  Omit the rice and stir in some fat free tortilla chips, or just omit the rice for a delicious bean and corn soup.

Tofu Vegetable Patties with Mushroom Sauce

Serve these on whole wheat toast with Mushroom Sauce over the top.  These are wonderful with some roasted asparagus on the side.

Preparation Time:  40 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 minutes
Servings:  6 

1/4 cup water
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped cauliflower pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli pieces
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound firm tofu (not silken)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the water, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, broccoli and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce into a saucepan and saute until vegetables are crisp tender and liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the tofu, remaining soy sauce and turmeric in a food processor and process until fairly smooth.  Remove from processor and place in bowl.  Add the flour and baking powder to the tofu mixture.  Mix well, then add the vegetables.  Mix again and form into 6 patties, 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.  Place on a non-stick baking sheet. 

Bake 30 minutes, turn over and bake for 15 minutes longer.

Mushroom Sauce

1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 ¾  cups water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
freshly ground pepper
dash sesame oil

Place mushrooms in a saucepan with ¼ cup of the water.  Add the soy sauce, garlic and ginger.  Saute until mushrooms are softened slightly, about 4 minutes.  Add the remaining water and the cornstarch mixture.  Cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens.  Season with fresh ground pepper and a dash of sesame oil.

 

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