next gen boyfriend’s one pot roasted brussels sprouts with maple syrup pecans & tempeh


As I grew up, every dinner my mother prepared included a side serving of vegetables– and that was what we had to eat to get dessert. A small pile of mushy green peas, corn, or carrots from the freezer, string or baked beans from a can were the norm. When my mother and I were a little older, she would occasionally serve fresh asparagus (steamed to mushy) or an artichoke (served with mayonnaise, another horror). Given that my mother truly didn’t like vegetables, I’m sure now she never chose to serve brussels sprouts, which is probably good fortune…  Sometime in my young adulthood I tried cooking brussels sprouts in my own kitchen, but my results weren’t great, so …. yea, brussels sprouts. Nobody I knew liked them.

A generation later, one of my daughter’s friends self identified as a brussels sprouts lover. Really? “Just roast them in a little olive oil and maple syrup.” So I thought I’d give it another try. Here’s what I came up with– and enjoyed! Easy prep and satisfying. With the brussels, broccoli, and yellow pepper, this is very high in vitamins K & C. By including the tempeh, it becomes a great ‘one pot’ main dish that is great for leftovers to take on-the-go for lunch.

ingredients:

  • 1 12 oz package tempeh, cut into cubes IMG_3331_2
  • 18 Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 2T olive oil
  • 2T maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup or more pecans, toasted
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 good sized stalks of broccoli, chopped
  • 1t thyme
  • 2t fresh ginger root, minced
  • champagne vinegar
  • black pepper to taste

instructions:

Turn on oven to 375F. Remove ends of brussels sprouts and any yellowed or browned leaves, then cut in half or quarters depending upon size. Pour 2T olive oil and 2T maple syrup into large frying pan, then add chopped brussels sprouts and stir to coat well. Wipe roasting pan with a little additional olive oil, then spread brussels sprouts onto roasting pan, also yellow pepper cut into 1/4 inch slices, and peeled garlic cloves. Roast for about 20 minutes, checking several ties to flip yellow peppers and stir brussels sprouts. The peppers will finish roasting first…roast brussels sprouts until lightly browned but still moist inside. When done roasting, transfer to casserole dish, and press the roasted garlic.

While the brussels sprouts roast, use that same frying pan which is now coated in olive oil and maple syrup to toast the roughly chopped pecans over medium heat, stirring constantly. Toast until lightly browned and fragrant. Set pecans aside in serving dish.

Using the same frying pan with an additional 2 T of olive oil, saute the chopped tempeh over medium heat, stirring for 3-4 minutes, then reducing the heat to medium low and covering to continue to cook. Check frequently every couple minutes to stir to prevent burning. Continue to cook until tempeh is nicely browned and cooked well inside without becoming dried out. Transfer to the casserole dish.

While tempeh cooks, cut away the tough outer stem of the broccoli, then chop the broccoli stems into large bite sized pieces. Then transfer broccoli stems to that same frying pan to saute — add 2-3T of water as necessary. Add minced ginger and thyme, continue to stir for 2-3 minutes, then add 2-3 T of champagne vinegar to pan, stir, cover, reduce heat and simmer for another 2 minutes before adding chopped broccoli flowerettes. Cover and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, until broccoli is bright green and tender but still has plenty of body. Transfer to the casserole dish, stir all together well. Add ground black pepper to taste. Serve garnished with toasted pecans.

Tahini Sauce with Nut Pesto and Pomegranate Seeds


Jill:

I just stumbled over The Cook Sisters blog for the first time and spotted this recipe. The combination of ingredients and photo are appealing (showing it served on what appears to be Food for Life’s Ezekiel pocket bread.) The only thing I think I’d delete is the word ‘only’ in “great over grilled or sauteed fish, grilled chicken or roasted or grilled lamb and even over grilled tofu.” Yes! This sounds like it would be great over baked tofu…

Originally posted on The Cook Sisters:

tahini

This combination has it all – tart lemon, crunchy nuts, sweet pomegranate seeds. It’s also chock full of nutrition and it’s versatile. Great over grilled or sauteed fish, grilled chicken or roasted or grilled lamb and even over grilled tofu.  You can also toss the tahini sauce in linguini and garnish it with the pesto and pomegranate seed topping. You could even serve it as a dip.  Pomegranate molasses is a staple of Middle eastern cuisine and can be found in specialty food stores or on line.  There’s nothing quite like it, but you can substitute balsamic syrup, made by boiling down balsamic vinegar until it becomes slightly syrupy.  Adrienne demoed this at Brookside Gardens January 22 2014 and served the sauce over sauteed chicken breasts.  The next day, January 23 2014, it was on the US Botanic Garden agenda, this time scooped onto pita chips. Adapted from Fine Cooking.

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red lentil, yam & spinach dal


The weather forecast was my muse to look in my cupboards and get creative… IMG_3232

Thinking warm and moist would be a healthy choice on such a cold and windy day, I thought of dal… and saw I had on hand everything I’d want to make it except for cumin. That’s okay, I could readily work around that with the ingredients and spices I have on hand now.  #warmingfood #letitsnow

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3t chile powder
  • 1 scant T tumeric
  • 2-3t curry powder
  • 2-3 t fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 large jewel yam, cut into 1/4″rounds then large rectangle chunks
  • 6 oz coconut milk
  • 1 cup cauliflower flowerettes
  • 5 cups fresh spinach, cut into thick ribbons
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed

instructions:

Cull through and rinse lentils, then cover with 2 1/2 c fresh water. Add a dash of salt, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until fully softened. Using a dutch oven to accommodate the bulk of spinach, saute chopped onion in 3T or so of olive oil until they start to turn translucent, then add minced garlic, chile powder, tumeric and curry powder and continue to saute for another 2 minutes until spices are fragrant. Add chopped yam and several tablespoons of the coconut milk, continue to stir for 2-3 minutes. Then add a little water, cover and reduce heat to steam yam for about 20 minutes until softened (but not dissolved into mush). Add cooked lentils including remaining cooking water, coconut milk, stir to combine well, then add spinach to pot. Cover and steam for about 3-4 minutes until spinach turns bright green and begins to soften. Squeeze lime over dal, remove from heat with lid on to continue spinach cooking gently without significantly reducing moisture of the dal. Serve over brown Basmati rice for a heartier meal.

celery root gruyere au gratin


Having just explored making celery root soup, then raw celery root salad, it’s time to round out my exploration by turning on the oven to bake! It’s cold, and I’m thinking comfort food…so I envisioned a celery root gruyere au gratin. Here’s what I came up with: IMG_3219_2ingredients:

  • 1 medium celery root, cut into 1/8″ quarter rounds
  • 1 small turnip, cut into 1/8″ quarter rounds
  • 1/2 small cauliflower, flowerettes
  • arugula, about 1 generous cup
  • 1 can white kidney beans, well rinsed
  • 6 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c milk (I used 1% and wasn’t disappointed)
  • 1 T butter
  • freshly ground black or green pepper to taste

instructions:

Lightly butter 2 quart casserole dish, and preheat oven to 365F. Chop ends off of celery root, then cut away outer tough skin to reveal white root. Cut in half, then cut into 1/8″ quarter round slices. Also cut turnip into 1/8″ quarter round slices. Layer half of celery root around bottom of casserole dish as you would potatoes when making potato au gratin. Next layer half of turnip, half of arugula, half of white kidney beans, half of cheeses; then repeat with layers of celery root, turnip, arugula, beans, all of cauliflower, cheeses. Pour scant 1/4 c milk over all, and top with dots of chopped butter, freshly ground black or green pepper to taste. Bake in center of oven, covered for first 15-20 minutes, then uncovered for about 45, until nicely browned top crust (but not dried out inside).

This is not your grandmother’s super rich potato au gratin– if that is what you’re craving, then use more Gruyere, cream instead of 1% fat milk, and 2-4T butter. That said, I thought it was totally satisfying– light yet sustaining with the beans adding protein, and the great flavor of the turnip and arugula complementing the Gruyere. What do you think?

I think if there’s any leftovers, I’d like this for breakfast…

celery root, yellow pepper, kale & garbanzo bean salad


Continuing my exploration of preparing celery root, I thought I’d make a sunny winter hearty salad. I wanted something bright, and with some protein. Something that tasted light yet was sustaining. Here’s what I put together:

IMG_3064ingredients:

  • 1 medium-small celery root, peeled & julienne cut (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, well rinsed
  • 2-3 medium sized shallots, chopped
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, cut into thin ribbons (2 cups or so)
  • 3 T plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T champagne vinegar

instructions:

Chop both ends off of celery root, then place root solidly on largest flat end to stabilize. Use sharp knife to then slice away outer rough skin, cutting from top to bottom as you work your way around the root to expose the inner white lovely vegetable.

Slice celery root into rounds then julienne cut into thin strips. Chop yellow pepper. Rinse garbanzo beans well. Mix all together in large salad bowl with lid. Cut center ribs out of kale, then cut into thin ribbons and set aside. Chop shallots, and saute in larger pan in a couple tablespoons olive oil for 2 minutes until just starting to become translucent. Add those to the celery root mixture, and reuse the flavored pan to saute the kale for 2 minutes stirring constantly, until turns bright green and just begins to soften but not wilt completely. Add to celery root mixture and stir all together well. Combine Greek yogurt, olive oil, and champagne vinegar in glass measuring cup or jar, then whisk or fork stir together well. Dress salad, stirring to cover all well, and refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

Celery root & cauliflower soup with arugula & maple syrup roasted hazelnuts


As I was standing in the produce section without a grocery list, stopped by chance with my shopping cart in front of the cauliflower and celery root, thinking about what kind of soup I’d like to make, a woman saw me and asked, “How do you cook celery root?” Before I answered her, I had this funny thought: celery root is likely the only common vegetable in this part of the country that I’ve never prepared. Of course I’ve seen celery root soup on restaurant menus… So I answered her with something along those lines, and picked up the following ingredients to try creating something entirely new to me.

IMG_3052 I made the soup with no additional seasonings, thinking I’d taste it after it was pureed, perhaps then complement the flavor with nutmeg and coriander? or perhaps ground mustard and lemon? I found it wonderfully flavorful just as it was, no additional spices needed. The arugula gives it spicy peppery notes (as well as calcium, vitamins A, C, & K, and minerals too including iron), and the maple syrup toasted hazelnuts give it a complementary sweetness and crunch. I think this may be my best soup recipe yet!

IMG_3032

ingredients:

  • 1 medium celery root, peeled & chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 medium cauliflower, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium red potato, chopped
  • 1 medium sized leek, white & light green portions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cube Celifibr brand organic vegetable bouillion
  • 5-6 cups fresh water
  • 1 cup milk (optional if you want thicker & whiter soup)
  • 1/2 t sea salt, black pepper
  • 4 cups or so arugula
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped or crushed, for garnish
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

instructions:

Chop both ends off of celery root, then place root solidly on largest flat end to stabilize. Use sharp knife to then slice away outer rough skin, cutting from top to bottom as you work your way around the root to expose the inner white lovely vegetable. Slice into rounds then cube and set aside.

Bring one cup water to a boil then dissolve 1/2 cube of Celifibr vegetable bouillon, and set aside. Using large soup pot and a couple tablespoons olive oil, saute the chopped red potato and leeks for 3 minutes until leeks are fragrant and potatoes slightly browned. Add minced garlic and continue stirring for 2 minutes before adding chopped celery root and dissolved bouillon plus 5 cups fresh water. Bring just to boil then turn down heat to simmer covered for 15-20 minutes or so, until celery root is getting soft but not yet done– then add chopped cauliflower for last 5-10 minutes of simmering until everything is soft. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat to cool some before pureeing in batches in blender. Return to soup pot. Using heavy skillet over medium heat, stir roughly chopped or crushed hazelnuts. When they’ve begun to brown, add minced garlic and maple syrup and continue to stir until toasty and fragrant. Transfer to glass container. Using same skillet, saute arugula just until wilted. Stir into pureed soup. Serve garnished with hazelnuts.