January 2009

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Vol. 8, No. 1

Featured Recipes

Butternut Squash and Bean Soup

At this time of year I usually have 1 or 2 butternut squash in my pantry to add to a wide variety of winter soups.  It cooks quite quickly when chopped and adds a delicious flavor to soups. 

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  4-6

 

1 onion, chopped
5 cups water
4 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
2  15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1  14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon  basil
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the onion in a large pot with 2 tablespoons of the water.  Cook, stirring frequently until onion softens.  Add the remaining water, the squash, beans, tomatoes, soy sauce and basil.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until squash is tender.  Add the spinach and cook about 5 minutes longer until spinach has wilted.  Season with freshly ground pepper to taste.

Corn Chowder

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  40 minutes
Servings:  6-8 

1 large onion, chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
5 cups frozen corn
1 red pepper, chopped
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Place cup of the vegetable broth in a large pot.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until onion softens slightly, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the corn and continue to cook until corn softens slightly about 5 minutes.  Add 3 cups of the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.  Transfer about half of the corn mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.  Return to pan.  Add the remaining vegetable broth as well as the remaining ingredients.  Bring back to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes longer.

Kim Chi Noodle Soup

We enjoyed a bowl of this soup at a local restaurant and the next day I was in the kitchen trying out my own adaptation.  We like this one much better than the restaurant version.  It can be quite spicy, so cut down on the amount of hot sauce for a bit less heat.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  12 minutes
Servings:  4

1  8.8 ounce package of thin rice noodles or bean thread noodles
8 cups vegetable broth
1  15 ounce jar fresh Kim Chi
1 bunch green onions, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 cup sliced oyster mushrooms
1 cup cut snow peas
1 cup cubed firm tofu (optional)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek (chili paste)
Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the rice or bean thread noodles, turn off heat and let rest for 8-10 minutes until noodles are soft, but still firm.  Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the vegetable broth in another large pot.  Add the remaining ingredients (except cilantro) and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the softened noodles, heat for about 2 minutes, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

Hints: Kim Chi is a Korean pickled napa cabbage that is usually sold in the refrigerated section of markets.  Instead of the Sambal Oelek chili paste, try some Tongarashi, a Japanese red pepper condiment.  This reheats well so its great for lunch the next day. 

One Pot Pasta Jumble

This is a quick and easy dinner that the whole family will enjoy.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Servings:  4

8 ounces whole wheat or brown rice spaghetti
3 cups broccoli florets
1 cup red or orange bell pepper strips
1  14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained
1  15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Dash sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste 

Place a large pot of water on to boil.  Cook spaghetti according to package directions adding the broccoli and peppers for the last 4 minutes of cooking time.  Drain and return to pan.  Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Ribollita

A delicious and hearty Italian-style tomato, bean and bread soup. 

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  50 minutes
Servings:  6 

6 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1  15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 cups chopped Swiss chard
1 cup chunked potatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dash sea salt
3-4 cups coarsely chopped stale bread 

Put about   cup of the vegetable broth in a large pot.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until fairly soft, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.  Add carrots and celery and continue to cook, stirring frequently for another 5 minutes.  Add the remaining broth, the beans and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add chard and potatoes, and simmer for another 15 minutes.  Season with basil, parsley or cilantro, pepper, and salt just before serving.  To serve, place some of the bread cubes in the bottom of each bowl and ladle the soup over the bread.

Potato and Broccoli Soup

This recipe came from the McDougall Discussion Board a while ago and it is so good and easy that I wanted to share it with all of you. 

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Servings:  2-3

2 cups frozen hash brown potato chunks
3 cups vegetable broth or water
1  15 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups small broccoli florets 

Place the potatoes and broth in a large pot.  Cook for about 10 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Place in a blender jar with all the remaining ingredients except the broccoli.  Blend until smooth.  Return to pan, add the broccoli and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Hints:  Fresh potatoes that have been peeled and cut into chunks may also be used, but since I usually have the frozen chunks in my freezer, I saved time by using those.  Frozen broccoli florets may also be used in place of the fresh broccoli.

Spanish Beans and Greens

I still have some Dinosaur kale growing in my garden, so for lunch today we had this healthy and flavorful Spanish-style soup.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 minutes
Servings:  6-8

6 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon Spanish paprika
teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon ground coriander
teaspoon powdered saffron
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
2  15 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1  14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
4 cups packed, chopped Dinosaur kale 

Place about cup of the vegetable broth in a large pot.  Add the onion, carrots and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until onion and carrots soften slightly.  Stir in all the seasonings, then add the beans and mix well.  Add the remaining vegetable broth and the tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the kale, mix in well and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes until kale is tender.

Hints:  Regular kale may be used in place of the Dinosaur kale, just be sure to strip the leaves from the stalks before chopping.  Add about 5 minutes to the final cooking time.

Squash and Peanut Soup

Here is another recipe using butternut squash.  This is a bit richer because of the peanut butter. 

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Servings:  4-6

cup water
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
4 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground coriander
4 cups vegetable broth
cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
teaspoon crushed red pepper
cup chopped fresh cilantro 

Place the water in a large pot.  Add the onion and garlic, and cook stirring frequently for about 2 minutes.  Add the squash, cumin and coriander.  Cook stirring frequently for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the cilantro.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until squash is tender, stirring occasionally to make sure ingredients are well combined.  Garnish with cilantro before serving.

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