beet, carrot & ginger hot summer salad with ricotta & radicchio


IMG_4062I was standing looking over the beautiful produce and thinking about the weather forecast for the hot summer days ahead. What to make? “I want pasta”, the man next to me said to his companion. “Again?”, she asked. I’m not a big pasta fan- I don’t really ever do noodles. But the classic cheeses, olives, Italian spices…yum. And the ambiance created by those simple little red checkered table clothes, the good wine, yes. So there I stood, thinking of simple, red, and ricotta, and the need to make a hot summer salad. Here’s what I came up with– not Italian, but so good!

ingredients:

  • 2 red and 2 yellow beets
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
  • fresh ginger root, finely minced
  • 3/4c low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 small head radicchio
  • walnut pieces as garnish

instructions:

Cut off beet roots and tops (setting aside greens), then cut into 4ths. Place in pot with lid and just enough water to cover, bring to boil then turn down heat to simmer covered for about 15 minutes- until beets pass the fork test. When beets pass the fork test, remove from heat, drain, and rinse in cold water to arrest cooking. Use a sharp knife to peel away the beet skins, then chop into medium bite sized pieces. Return chopped beets to pan, then mix in ricotta while beets are still warm. Stir to mix well. Add chopped red onion, coarsely grated carrots, and finely minced fresh ginger root. I like the heat of the ginger, so I used 2 1/2 generous T of minced ginger (about 5 slim slices of peeled fresh ginger root.) Mix all together well, then transfer to glass serving dish with air tight lid (or cover tightly with plastic wrap). This gets even better after sitting and chilling for an hour, or next day; keeps in airtight container in refrigerator for 3 days. Serve cold- or warm- over radicchio with walnut garnish.

summer picnic salad- fava bean, carrot & yellow peppers with garlic & cooling mint


IMG_3984My most favorite time of day is early morning, especially cool early mornings on hot
summer days when the sky is soft blue, and the leaves are gently swaying on the willow tree beyond my back deck. I love enjoying my coffee as the sun stretches its morning reach. Knowing it was going to be a hot day yesterday, while I made coffee I also essentially made dinner, simply by turning on the stovetop burner for 5 minutes– no residual heat in the house for me! Another favorite time of day for me is enjoying a homemade picnic outdoors, which is so easy to do with a recipe like this.

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup peeled fava beans
  • 2 medium size carrots, julienned
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • fresh mint sprigs, diced
  • 1 lemon, juice and pulp
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • plain European style yogurt topping or feta cheese, if desired to add more protein.

instructions:

Place 3/4 bulgur in large glass bowl with lid, pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over it, stir well, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain any excess water. Using a small pan with lid, bring 1/2 cup water to boil, then reduce heat and steam fava beans for 4-5 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Drain, rinse in cool water, drain and set aside. Chop, dice and mince all remaining ingredients, using more garlic and mint as desired to add more heat and cool sweetness, respectively. Dress with squeezed lemon, and a little olive oil if desired. Stir all together well in airtight container with lid, then refrigerate. Tastes even better several hours after made as flavors meld.

 

hot summer salad with quinoa, tempeh, plumbs, mint, lime & pistachios


ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 package tempeh, cubed and sauted in 2 T olive oil
  • 3-4 large dark plumbs, coarsely hopped
  • 1 small bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • fresh mint sprigs, chopped
  • 1 lime, juice and pulp
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts, as garnish immediately before serving.

IMG_2287instructions: Rinse quinoa very well. Bring quinoa just to a boil in 2 cups of water with a pinch of salt, then simmer on low heat for about 25 minutes until all fluid absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, allow to cool uncovered. Saute chopped tempeh, allow to cool, then add to cooked quinoa. Chop all remaining ingredients, stir all together. Dress with juice and pulp of lime. This is naturally sweet, so I served it with tofu baked in a spicy ginger peanut sauce. Or if desired, press or finely mince 2-3 slices of fresh ginger root, add to 1/8 cup olive oil for dressing. Refrigerate in air tight container.

tempeh & garbanzo bean summer salad with kale


Potlucks with BBQ and great local brews are a summer tradition… What to bring that would be simple to make, light fare for the hot weather but also substantial protein for vegetarians passing on the meats on the grill? Here’s what I brought on the 4th, and it disappeared fast!

summer potluck salad

summer potluck salad

ingredients:

  • 1 pkg tempeh
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, well rinsed
  • 3/4 cup bulgur (or quinoa to serve gluten free folks too)
  • 2-3 yellow medium-small summer squash (pattypan or crookneck), chopped
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, chopped into ribbons
  • 3-4 medium shallots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • fresh lemon thyme, a few sprigs
  • 1/4t salt
  • lemon pepper to taste

instructions:

Place bulgur in a large serving bowl with lid. Bring just a little more than 1 3/4 cup fresh water to a boil, pour over bulgur and stir well, then cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Drain off any residual water. Chop tempeh, then saute in large frying pan in 2T olive oil over medium heat stirring well for 2-3 minutes; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook til lightly browned- stirring frequently to prevent burning- about 5 more minutes. Rinse garbanzo beans well. After bulgur and tempeh have each been cooked, stir these three ingredients together in serving bowl.

Using same frying pan, add 2T olive oil and saute shallots for 2 min. Then add minced garlic, fresh lemon thyme and summer squash, stir well and saute for 2 min over medium heat, then add 2T water, reduce heat and cover to simmer for about 2-3 minutes, until squash is bright in color and soft but not mushy. Add this to serving dish. Reusing same frying pan, saute chopped kale for 2 min, add 1-2T water, and cover to simmer for about 3 min, until kale is bright in color and wilted but not mushy. Add this to serving dish. Season with 1/4t salt and lemon pepper to taste. Stir all together well, cover and refrigerate– keeps well for 3-4 days. It is great served warm, room temp, or cold.

veggie frittata- revisited


ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized yam, choppedphoto_2
  • 1 teaspoon each sage and thyme
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • green onions, small bunch chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch mustard greens or
  • several stalks broccoli
  • 1 can white kidney beans, well rinsed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1T plain nonfat yogurt
  • scant 1/8 c milk
  • 4 oz grated Gruyere or crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese

instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. Slice yam into rounds, pare away skin then chop into bite sized pieces. Saute chopped yam in 2 T olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes, adding minced garlic and 1 teaspoon sage and thyme, stirring well to coat yams. Add 2-3 tablespoons water, then cover with lid and reduce heat to medium-low to simmer until yam is soft, checking and stirring every couple minutes. While yam steams, cut away tough outer edges of broccoli, then slice inner stalks into bite sized pieces, also flowerettes. When yam is almost but not yet soft enough, add chopped broccoli stems to steam covered for 3 minutes, then add yellow peppers and broccoli flowerettes to steam covered for 2-3 minutes until peppers and broccoli are bright and just slightly soft. (Or add chopped mustard greens and 1-2 T water, cover and steam for 3-4 minutes until greens are bright green and slightly soft.) Do not overcook veggies. Remove from heat, keep lid off pan.

While greens are steaming, place large deep dish pie pan or 9×9 baking dish into preheating oven for a few minutes to heat pan. Also start preparing egg mixture: crack eggs into bowl, add yogurt, milk, pepper and 1/4 t salt. Whisk well with fork. Remove baking dish from oven, thoroughly wipe a little olive oil over bottom and sides of pan (being careful not to burn yourself), then transfer half of yam/yellow pepper/onions/greens mixture into hot baking dish, half of beans, half of cheese, then repeat layers. Pour well-mixed egg mixture over top of veggies, tilting pan to spread egg mixture evenly under veggies too. Last sprinkle half of cheeses generously over top. Bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes, then do toothpick test for doneness, (depending upon the oven and weather, cover with foil for another 5-10 min or so) baking until edges and top have browned slightly and toothpick comes out clean. I find there may be a little extra water at the edges of the baking dish after cooking, which I just tip slightly to run off into the sink so the frittata isn’t soggy when served.

Using 4 eggs, 1 can beans, and 4 oz grated cheese plus Parmesan, this makes 4 dinner size servings each with about 19-20 grams protein.

Another combination for a ‘south of the border’ frittata: red potato, yellow or red onion, garlic, red pepper, black beans, tomato and Swiss cheese. Or try mixed red and yellow roasted beats, orange pepper, onion, garlic, the beet greens, walnuts and 4 oz Havarti cheese.

carrot ginger soup- revisited with cashew cream


A close friend has a spring head cold– and I’m thinking of making soup, so of course I started thinking of making something healing that I could share with her. The last recipe she shared with me was for yummy cashew cream (more on that later); this made me think to revisit my carrot ginger soup recipe. I tried adding soaked cashews to provide protein and rich mouth feel. In this version, I added 3/4 cup of soaked then drained cashews pureed into smoothness before being stirred into the soup, omitted the celery (because the pureed cashews provide the soup with texture), and added a chopped yellow pepper for additional vitamin C and brightness of flavor. Yum!

ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 7-8 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 small jewel yam, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1 t finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 2 t marjoram
  • 2 t basil
  • 1 28 oz can organic diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cube Celifibr brand vegetable bullion dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  • 5 additional cups water
  • 1/2 t sea salt and black pepper to taste

instructions:
Using large soup pot with lid, saute chopped onions in 2-3 T olive oil. Add chopped carrots, yam, celery, pressed garlic, finely chopped ginger, and spices. Stir well to coat veggies in spices. Add tomatoes. Add dissolved vegetable bullion and additional water. Stir well. Partially cover and bring up to simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer covered for 30-60 minutes (depending on size of chopped carrots and yams), checking carrots and yam for softness. Soup is done cooking when carrots and yam are fully soft. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Remove from heat and allow to cool before carefully pureeing in small batches in blender (fill blender less than half full to avoid it exploding with too hot soup). Return pureed soup to soup pot: add up to a cup of additional water as necessary to achieve desired consistency. Heat then serve topped with roasted pumpkin seeds. High in Vitamin A and zinc, great choice for those with a winter head cold/sinus infection. Makes 8-10 full bowl servings. Freezes well.

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.