January 2010
Vol. 9 Issue 1

Featured Recipes

Lentil Curry Soup

There are thousands of lentil curry recipes online, all using different ingredients and various techniques. I am always looking for ways to add more greens to my soups and lately green beans and leafy greens are some of my favorites. This delicious soup uses both of them. I found a variation of this recipe online from Madhur Jaffrey and adapted it to leave out the oil and simplify the cooking method. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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

1 ½ cups Umbrian (or green) lentils
6 cups water
1 ½ cups green beans, sliced in 1 inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut in half and sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cups Swiss chard
½ cup chopped cilantro

Place the lentils and water in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the green beans, carrots, tomato paste, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes.

Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a small non-stick sauté pan. Sauté in a dry pan, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Add the cumin seeds and continue to cook and stir for another 2 minutes, or so. Set aside.

Add the chard and cilantro to the soup. Mix in well, then add the onion mixture. Cover and simmer for 10 more minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Serve in a bowl with either rice or pita bread.

Hearty Minestrone Soup

This is a quicker version of our favorite Minestrone Soup using canned beans instead of the dried kidney beans. All of the delicious flavor is still here though, and it makes a hearty meal for several people with a loaf of fresh bread.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6-8

1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
6 cups vegetable broth
½ cup chopped green beans
1 ½ cups chunked potatoes
1 ½ cups shredded cabbage
1 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup parsley flakes
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
Several twists of freshly ground pepper
½ cup uncooked whole wheat or brown rice pasta

Place the onion, celery, carrots and garlic in a large pot with ¼ cup of the vegetable broth. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables soften slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining broth and all of the ingredients except the pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Add the pasta, mix in well and continue to cook for another 15 minutes until pasta is tender.

Quick Black Beans

Serve this over rice, or in a bowl to soak up the flavorful juices. This tastes like it cooked much longer than only 15 minutes.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6

1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½ teaspoon crushed garlic
2 14.5 ounce cans fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
2 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped green chilies
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Place the onion, bell pepper and garlic in a non-stick sauté pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion softens slightly and turns a slight golden color. Add the remaining ingredients, except the cilantro, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the optional cilantro before serving, if desired.

Beans and Greens

This is another flavorful, yet simple dish. It makes a delicious topping for whole grains.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6

1 onion, chopped
½ teaspoon crushed garlic
1 cup vegetable broth
½ teaspoon red chili paste (see hint below)
2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4-6 cups chopped dinosaur kale

Place the onion and garlic in a large pot with about 1/8 cup of the broth. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion softens slightly. Add the remaining broth, the chili paste and the beans, bring to a boil, then add the kale. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until kale is tender.

Hints: Dinosaur kale, also called Lacinato Blue, is a bit more tender than regular curly kale. The stems may be left in the kale and will not be tough after cooking. If you can’t find it, use regular curly kale instead, but remove the stems before chopping. Red chili paste is found in jars in the Asian section of most supermarkets. It is also called Sambal Oelek. Sriracha hot chili sauce may be substituted, if desired. This may also be made with small white beans, or pintos, if desired.

Spicy Garbanzos

This is a quick variation of my Chana Masala from the May 2009 newsletter. Another 15 minute surprise! Serve over brown rice or other whole grains.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6

1 onion, chopped
½ teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 15 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Place the onion, garlic, ginger and vegetable broth in a large pot. Cook, stirring frequently until onion softens slightly. Stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne and cinnamon. Continue to cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and garbanzo beans. Mix well. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes, until flavors are well blended. Stir in cilantro before serving, if desired.

Hints: Lundberg Family Farms makes a delicious Brown Rice Couscous that cooks in only 15 minutes. Only the Plain Original is oil-free, so read the labels carefully. These spicy garbanzos are wonderful over this unique couscous.

 

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