September 2009

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Vol. 8 Issue 9

Featured Recipes

Bountiful Autumn Stew 

This vibrant stew takes advantage of many of the garden fresh vegetables available at this time of year. 

Preparation Time:  20 minutes (need cooked rice)
Cooking Time:  45 minutes
Servings:  6-8

1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups peeled and diced yams
2 cups tightly packed chopped kale
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1  15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 large chopped fresh tomatoes
2 zucchini, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a large pot with a tablespoon or 2 of the broth.  Cook, stirring frequently, until onion softens and turns translucent.  Add the remaining broth, the yams, kale, soy sauce, mustard and crushed pepper.  Mix well, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes.  Add the beans, tomatoes and zucchini, return to a simmer and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.  Stir in the rice, vinegar and pepper.  Cook for another 10 minutes or so until flavors are well blended.

Hints:  Since I usually have dinosaur (lacinato) kale growing in my garden, that’s what I use in this recipe.  I usually remove the tough inner stem from any kale that I use, then chop into bite-sized pieces.  To easily remove the inner stem, just grab the bottom of the stem with one hand and pull the other hand firmly along the stem of the kale.  The leafy part should easily separate from the stem.  Substitute 1 ½ cups cooked beans for the canned beans, if desired.

Hearty Garbanzo Soup

I always seem to focus on soups at the beginning of fall and this year is no exception.  They are easy to prepare and serve and very satisfying to eat.  Clean up is also easy! This year I also have a large assortment of fresh herbs growing in my garden which I have taken advantage of in this soup.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Servings:  4-6 

1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
4 cups vegetable broth
1 pound sliced cremini mushrooms
1 ½ cups shredded green cabbage
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
2  15 ounce cans garbanzo beans (see directions)
2 tablespoons tahini
1 large roasted red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1-2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
¼ cup chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Dash sea salt

Place the onion and garlic in a large soup pot with about 1 tablespoon of the vegetable broth.  Cook, stirring frequently, until onion softens and turns translucent.  Add the remaining vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Add the mushrooms, cabbage, cumin and coriander.  Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour 1 can of the garbanzos with its juice into a blender jar.  Add the tahini and process until smooth.  Drain and rinse the other can of garbanzo beans.  Add the processed beans and the whole beans to the soup pot, as well as the roasted red pepper and the chili-garlic sauce.  Slowly bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.  Add the fresh herbs and lemon juice and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.  Season with a bit of sea salt before serving, if desired.

Hints:  Bottled roasted red peppers work well in this dish.  You should have about ¾ cup sliced from 1 large roasted pepper.

Thai Rice Noodle Soup

This resembles a creamy coconut-based Thai soup, but it is made with almond milk and coconut extract instead of coconut milk so it is a much healthier choice.  The hotness can be adjusted to suit your tastes by using more or less curry paste and Sambal Oelek.  This does make a large amount but it keeps well in the refrigerator.  (It was so good that last week I ate this for lunch 5 days in a row.)

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Resting Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  8

8 ounces thin rice noodles or pad Thai noodles
¼ cup shallots, diced
6 cups vegetable broth
1 ½ teaspoons red curry paste
1 ½ teaspoons oriental curry powder
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 pieces lemongrass (1 ½ inches each)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ -1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek
1 bunch green onions, sliced 1 inch
2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1 cup baked tofu (optional)
1 cup chopped oyster mushrooms
1 cup snow peas, cut in half if large
3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract 

Cook rice noodles according to package directions, rinse in cold water and set aside.  (Cover with plastic wrap to retain softness.)

Place the shallots and ¼ cup of the vegetable broth in a large soup pot.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots soften slightly.  Add the curry paste, curry powder, ginger and garlic.  Cook and stir until well combined.  Add the remaining vegetable broth, the lemongrass, soy sauce and Sambal Oelek.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then add the green onions, cabbage, tofu and oyster mushrooms.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the snow peas, spinach, almond milk and coconut extract.  Heat through.  Remove lemongrass.  Add the cooked rice noodles, remove from heat and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Hints:  The thin rice noodles cook up with more volume than the pad thai-type noodles so there will be more noodles in the soup with the thin noodles.  The flavors do intensify as the soup rests and I like it even better the next day.  If you choose not to use the tofu, add a few extra oyster mushrooms, if desired.  If you like cilantro, add some to the soup before serving.


Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup specialty of rice noodles, tofu, fresh herbs and bean sprouts.  The rice noodles are kept separate from the broth so they do not overcook and get mushy.  This soup is made in several steps so it does take some time to prepare.  The broth may be made a day or two ahead of time and reheated with the tofu, herbs and bean sprouts before ladling over the noodles.  An interesting note about this soup:  while the broth was simmering on the stove John made a comment about how whatever I was cooking didn’t smell very good, so I worried all afternoon about dinner not being well-received that evening. Not to worry, he loved the finished product and even ate more the next day for lunch.  So the smells may be unfamiliar to you or your family, but the taste is fantastic!

Pho Broth

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Servings:  makes 8 cups

8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, cut in half
2 cinnamon sticks
2 pods star anise
1 teaspoon brown sugar
4 cilantro stems (leaves reserved for soup)
3 basil stems (leaves reserved for soup)

Place all ingredients into a large soup pot.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 60 minutes.  Strain broth and discard solids.  Broth may be refrigerated at this point for later use.  Or return to pan and continue with recipe.

Hints:  This broth is also delicious for other Vietnamese or Asian style soups, rather than just plain vegetable broth.  Try adding some frozen carrots and peas to the broth along with some chopped green onions.  Bring to a boil, add some vegetable pot stickers and simmer until pot stickers are tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Baked Tofu

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Marinating Time:  10 minutes
Baking Time:  25-30 minutes

20 ounces extra firm tofu
¼ cup soy sauce
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Dash sesame oil (optional)

Drain tofu and slice into ¼ inch pieces.  Place in a large flat baking dish.  Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the tofu slices.  Allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.  (Or place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Remove from marinade and place on a non-stick baking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once halfway through the baking time.  It should be brown and crispy on the outside.  Remove from oven and cool.  Slice into strips or cubes for use in recipes calling for baked tofu.

Hints:  This tastes much better (and is less expensive and healthier) than the baked tofu  found in packages in many markets and natural food stores.  Other seasonings may be added as desired, such as garlic, ginger, balsamic vinegar, or rosemary to change the flavor of the tofu.  It’s also delicious just marinated in plain soy sauce.  The marinade may be saved in a covered jar in the refrigerator for later use. It will keep for several days. The tofu may also be cubed before baking with slightly crispier results.

Pho Soup

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  6-8

1  8.8 ounce package thin rice noodles
8 cups Pho Broth (see recipe above)
10 ounces baked sliced tofu (see recipe above)
1 cup mung bean sprouts
4 green onions, cut into 1 inch strips, then sliced
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime cut into wedges
Hoisin Sauce or hot chile sauce (optional) 

Soak the rice noodles in boiling water for 8-10 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water.  Set aside.  (Cover with plastic wrap to retain softness.)

Meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat and add the tofu.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the bean sprouts, green onions, spinach and basil.  Cook 2 minutes longer.  Remove from heat and add the cilantro. 

Place a portion of the noodles into individual soup bowls and ladle the broth mixture over the noodles, including some of the tofu and vegetables in each bowl.  Serve with lime wedges and either Hoisin sauce or hot chile sauce (such as Sriracha), if desired.

Hints:  If you have leftover portions of this soup, store the noodles separately from the broth, so they don’t get mushy.  Heat the broth on the stovetop or in the microwave.  Submerge the noodles into hot water while the broth is heating, then drain and place into individual soup bowls and ladle the broth over the noodles.

Puttanesca Sauce

This flavorful sauce should be cooked for at least an hour before serving.  The longer it simmers the thicker it will get.  Serve over polenta, pasta or gnocchi.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Servings:  6-8

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
3  14.5 ounce cans fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1  14.5 ounce can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1  14.5 ounce can hearts of palm, drained, halved, and sliced
½ cup quartered and pitted kalamata olives
½ cup quartered and pitted green olives
2 tablespoons small capers, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Place the garlic and vegetable broth in a large pot.  Cook and stir for about 1 minute until garlic softens slightly.  Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil and oregano.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the parsley, and simmer for at least another 30 minutes (longer is better).  Stir in the fresh parsley before serving.

Lima Bean Surprise

This is one of my favorite fast, and delicious, meals that can be put together, cooked and served in only 15 minutes. John has been talking about this meal in many of his lectures lately and so I have gotten many requests for the recipe.  I have added some fresh tomatoes to the recipe because they are so abundant in our garden this year.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes (cooked rice needed)
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  3-4

¼ cup vegetable broth
½ tablespoon soy sauce
2 ½ cups frozen lima beans (16 ounce bag)
2 ½ cups shredded cabbage
1-2 teaspoons seasoning mixture (see hints below)
½  - 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek
1 ½ cups frozen corn, thawed slightly
2 ½ to 3 cups cooked brown rice
1 large chopped tomato 

Place broth, soy sauce, lima beans and shredded cabbage in a large non-stick sauté pan and cook stirring frequently for about 2 minutes.  Add the seasoning mixture of your choice and Sambal Oelek.  Continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally for another 2 minutes.  Add rice and continue to cook and stir until rice is heated through and all vegetables are tender. Stir in tomatoes.  Serve at once.

Hints:  Bags of shredded cabbage are available in many supermarkets, or shred your own cabbage in a food processor. To thaw the corn slightly, place in a colander and rinse with cool water. If you don’t have leftover cooked rice in your refrigerator, use a package of frozen brown rice and heat it in the microwave. There are many delicious seasoning mixtures on the market.  Try Mrs. Dash, or a lemon dill mixture.  I often use Lemony Dill Zest by Vegetarian Express. We like to top this with Sriracha Hot Sauce and it is wonderful rolled up in a soft corn tortilla.

Thai Chilli Dressing
By Joyce Everett

This dressing is always a favorite during the 10-day live-in program.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Servings:  makes 2 cups

1 cup Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce
1 cup water
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
Pinch of cilantro
1 teaspoon Bob’s Red Mill Xanthan Gum

Place all ingredients in a blender jar and process until blended.  Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.  Will keep for at least 2 weeks.

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