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Archive for the ‘Vegetable’ Category

One of my favorite Indian dishes is daal.  There are so many variants of daal that this “dish” could fill a cookbook.  I made this version after picking up a jar of tamarind paste and daydreaming about what to do with it.  The tartness of the tamarind is a wonderful surprise that is mellowed and smoothed by the canela.  Though black beans are traditionally used in latin dishes, they worked really well with these Asian flavors.

Tamarind Daal

Ingredients:

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced

2 cups dried black beans

1-1/2 cup yellow split peas

1-15 oz can sweet potato purée

1-15 oz can coconut milk

1-2 T tamarind paste [I used Neera’s]

1 large cinnamon stick [I used a stick of Mexican cinnamon called canela]

2 star anise pods

~ 2 quarts vegetable stock [to cook the black beans]

Coconut oil for sautéing the onions and garlic

Optional garnishes:  fresh cilantro, non-dairy yogurt [So Delicious plain yogurt is our choice], cinnamon nibs, shredded coconut.

Directions:

Soak beans overnight.  Drain and rinse.  Place in a large pot and cover with vegetable stock by a couple inches.  Add the star anise and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.  Add the split peas and continue cooking until the beans and peas are tender.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Sauté the onions, ginger and garlic in a spoonful of coconut oil until softened.  Using a whisk, mix the sweet potato purée, coconut milk and tamarind together until the mixture is homogenous.  Add into the pan with the onions.  Cook covered on a low simmer for ten minutes.  [Taste for seasoning and if you want to add more tamarind to make the sauce tarter, now is the time to add it in.]

Once tender, drain the beans and remove the star anise and cinnamon.

Transfer the beans to an oven-safe dish and stir in the sauce mixture.  [If you need to extend the sauce, add in some vegetable stock or water.]

Bake at 350°F until bubbly.

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Hummus is a true comfort food in our house.  We love to make wraps with it or use it as a healthy and filling vegetable dip.  This version is sweeter than traditional hummus because of the roasted carrots, but it’s fabulous, especially for youngsters who tend to have a sweeter tooth.  It’s also a great way to tuck the goodness of a vegetable into a dish where you’d least expect one to be lurking!

 

Roasted Carrot Hummus

[Makes ~4 cups]

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans

3 cups carrots, roasted [Cut into large chunks and toss with olive oil.  Roast at 400°F for 45 minutes.]

½ cup roasted tahini

¼ cup olive oil

juice of two large lemons, zest of one

1 ½ T cumin

½ tsp coriander

½ tsp sweet paprika

4 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth.  [You can adjust the thickness of the hummus by adding in water to thin it out if desired.]

Serve garnished with sesame seeds and a dusting of paprika.

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To my mind, kale is the rock star of all greens.  I integrate it into at least one meal a day and sometimes it’s as easy as simply stuffing a handful of it into our morning green smoothies.  Most times though I try and keep it intact in shape and form and celebrate its texture and flavor through both raw and cooked means.  I think it’s important to incorporate an abundance of raw foods into our diets, along with the cooked,  in order to provide the widest possible variety of nutrients so that we may not simply live but that we may thrive.    

 

Mediterranean Kale Salad

Ingredients:

1 bunch Lacinato/dinosaur kale, sliced into thin ribbons

¼ cup pine nuts [toasting optional]

¼ cup Kalamata olives, sliced

6 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated and cut into slivers

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

¼ cup olive oil [I actually use an omega 3-6-9 blend  for most raw dishes and/or salads that contains olive oil]

2 T fresh lemon juice and zest of one lemon

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Sea salt

Directions:

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl or plastic bag and marinate at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.  The longer it’s allowed to marinate, the softer the texture of the kale will be.

Bring to room temperature before serving.

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Outside of Asian markets, I think that the daikon radish is under-appreciated as a vegetable.  This radish is fabulous!  It’s hot and spicy, wonderfully textured and drop-dead gorgeous plated out against the dark green of its own cooked tops.    I’ve found that the tops of vegetables meld really nicely with their roots when cooked together so when I’m presented with a choice, I’ll always grab the vegetable with their tops intact.  [If you do this, remember to use them very soon because the tops are still drawing nutrients out of the roots as long as they remain attached.]

 

Agave-Glazed Daikon with Walnuts

Ingredients:

4 cups daikon radish, cut into bite-sized pieces

Daikon radish tops, chopped [If you are unable to find any daikon with the tops attached, a couple cups of kale or mustard greens would substitute well.]

1 T light miso

1 T agave syrup

Coconut oil

1/3 cup raw walnuts

Directions:

[The radishes can either be sautéed in coconut oil, or in some water depending upon how you feel about added fats.  I chose to sauté them in a couple teaspoons of coconut oil in order to get some browned sides for textural and flavor reasons.]

Sauté the radish pieces over medium heat until slightly softened.  While they are cooking, mix the agave and miso together in a small bowl.  Add to the radishes along with the walnuts and toss well to coat.  Spread the radish tops around the pan evenly and cover.  Take off the heat and set aside for a few minutes to let the greens wilt. 

When you remove the lid, make sure that the condensed steam that’s collected on the lid drips back down into the pan because the greens will have given off some liquid.  Mix well and serve.

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This was a “I’m in the mood for curry, what do I have in the pantry” kinda dish.  More specifically, I was in the mood for a rich tomato-based curry flush with lycopene and lutein and…yes, I really do think this way.  Colorful foods make me feel good in so many different ways and I try to include the entire spectrum into each day’s food choices.  This curry turned out to be a great way to use up leftover baked squash as well!

 

Tomato and Squash Curry with Yellow Split Peas

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

10 oz squash, cubed @ 2 cup’s worth  [Mine was already cooked, but raw squash could be used]

16.5 oz chopped  tomatoes [I used a box of Pomi]

1/2 cup split yellow peas

4-6 T red curry paste

2 cups vegetable stock

1 – 15 oz can lite coconut milk

red pepper flakes, to taste

coconut oil, for sautéing the onions

* Optional – freshly shredded herbs, for garnish [basil, cilantro and parsley are all good options]

Directions:

Sauté the onion in coconut oil over medium heat until softened.  Add in the curry paste and red pepper flakes and cook for a couple of minutes, spreading the paste evenly over the pan so that it’s all exposed to the heat.  Add the coconut milk and whisk the paste into it.  Add the peas,  tomatoes, squash and vegetable stock.  Cook at a low simmer until the peas [and squash, if added raw] are soft.

If the curry becomes too thick, you can easily thin it out with some additional stock.

 

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We love greens and eat several varieties each day either raw in salads and smoothies or lightly sautéed or steamed.  Greens are an amazing food that provide a healthful abundance of macro- and micronutrients.  Their variety is staggering and we celebrate them all.  That said, it’s easy to fall into a rut and shop on autopilot at times, grabbing the tried and true romaine, spinach and kale rather than the watercress, stinging nettles, amaranth or mustard greens.  Mix it up as often as you can and you’ll be blown away at the bounty of nature’s variety and the amazing gift our senses get to experience.

 

Lima Bean and Mustard Green Soup

This soup has very few ingredients, yet is an incredibly flavorful meal.  The Lima beans and mustard greens combine to surprising perfection.

Ingredients:

2 cups large lima beans, soaked overnight [I used an heirloom “Christmas” variety but any will do nicely]

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, sliced [I like to cut the carrot lengthwise and then cut into half-moon slices.]

3 stalks celery, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch mustard greens, chopped [10 oz greens after trimming]

8 cups vegetable stock

1 T olive oil

Directions:

Place a soup pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil.  Sauté the onions and celery until softened.  Add the garlic and carrots and sauté for a few minutes, until you can smell the garlic cooking.  Add the lima beans and stock.  Bring to a low simmer and cook for about an hour or until the Lima beans have softened.  Add the mustard greens and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

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Rainbow Soup

 

At the end of this rainbow lies a pot of soup!  This gorgeous vegetable soup will flood your senses with vibrant natural colors and deliciously fresh flavors.  It’ll also nourish your body through diversity of root, stem, leaf,  flower and fruit, and help protect your cells with a broad-spectrum influx of antioxidants and other phytonutrients.  I even snuck in a cruciferous vegetable to help the liver detoxify the body from daily adventures through urban landscapes and just plain old living.

This recipe makes a very large pot of soup.  I kept the numbers even or whole so that you could easily divide the recipe in half if you wanted to make a smaller volume.  I like to make a big pot and freeze some for a rainy day.  You can also add some cooked lentils to your soup bowl to make it a heartier meal.   [Another thing to consider is that if you do not like a particular vegetable, such as yellow bell pepper, substitute in another yellow vegetable such as squash or corn in order to keep the benefit of that particular color vegetable’s antioxidant profile.]

 

Rainbow Soup

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, diced

4 stalks celery, sliced

1 large yellow bell pepper, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

2 cups Peruvian [purple] potatoes, diced

4 medium carrots, sliced

2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 cups chopped cabbage [Kale would work really well as a substitute]

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1-28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, broken into pieces by hand with juice reserved

12 cups vegetable stock [I prefer Kitchen Basics unsalted vegetable stock]

1 T olive oil

Fresh herbs for garnish [Parsley, oregano and basil are my favorites]

Directions:

Place a stockpot on the stove and turn the heat to medium.  Once hot, add the olive oil.  Add the onion, celery and garlic.  Sauté until softened.  Add the carrots, bell pepper, potatoes.  Cook with periodic stirring for about 10 minutes.  Add in the cauliflower and zucchini.  Add the tomatoes with their juice and the stock.  Bring to a low simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender.  This should take about 30 minutes.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.  Garnish with fresh herbs, if you wish.

 

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