The season is changing– I feel it when I tuck into bed at night, and when I watch sunrise these mornings. “Seasons changing I can smell it in the air I can see it in their paintings And I can hear it in the wind, hear it rise and descend Through the many colored trees, forms a many colored breeze Made of many colored leaves, departing ever so gracefully” (Elephant Revival, Ring Around the Moon)… The Autumnal Equinox is next week, reminding me of work to be done timely, and of the need for balance. My thoughts turn to experimenting making chutney with a friend’s fresh figs (more on that in another post) and to making soup… for an Equinox Party! Thus this experiment with a new fall root soup that fits into a darkness and light/black and white color palette. Yum.
4 medium turnips, peeled and chopped
1 medium-large parship, peeled and chopped
1 medium-large red potato, peeled and chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1-2t dried rosemary
1/4t salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2-3 sprigs of fresh lemon thyme from my garden (or 1/2t or so dried)
1/2 cube Celfibr brand vegetable bouillon dissolved in 1c hot water
3-4 additional c water
1/2-1 c milk if desire creaminess
Saute onion in large soup pot in 1-2T butter or olive oil for 2 min or so, then add red potato and saute for another 3-4 minutes before adding peeled and chopped turnips and parsnip, rosemary and lemon thyme. Stir well, then add 1c vegetable bouillon broth and 2c fresh water, cover and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Check for full softness, then remove from heat, add salt and black pepper. Allow to cool enough to then puree in blender. Adjust consistency with milk unless you’re serving this vegan so use fresh water or additional fresh vegetable broth if you happen to have some on hand. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds. Yum!
Delicious Bajiya patties made by the Horn of Africa restaurant that we ate at the Oregon Brewers Festival recently were my inspiration for this recipe. I saw from their menu that theirs were made of ground garbanzos and split peas, lightly fried. I had some things I wanted to use up in my refrigerator, also some good cold beer, and a friend coming over… and came up with this, which we enjoyed.
1 can garbanzo beans, mostly lightly mashed
1 stock celery, finely chopped, about 1/2 c
3 leaves Lacinato kale, finely chopped, about 1 c
8-10 large leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, including seeds, finely chopped
1 1/2 c cooked quinoa
scant 1/4 c oat flour
1/4 c parmesan cheese, or to make vegan use roughy ground walnuts
2 eggs, or to make vegan use 3T ground flax seeds mixed with water to same consistency as eggs
dash or two balsamic vinegar
1/8-1/4 t salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375F, and lightly wipe baking sheet with 1-2 T of olive oil. Rinse canned beans very well, drain, then mostly lightly mash in a large mixing bowl: leave just enough partial bean chunks to provide for an interesting texture, but not so large chunks as to cause the patties to fall apart when baked. Chop and dice and mix all veggies, then add to the mashed garbanzos with the cooked quinoa and flour, parmesan, salt and pepper. Break and stir the eggs, or in lieu of eggs the ground flax seed, then stir the balsamic vinegar and eggs into the bean mixture. Batter will be very sticky and heavy. Use a 1/4 c scoop, then your palm to form lightly flattened round patties. Bake about 18 minutes, then check the bottoms; flip carefully and bake for another 10 minutes or so, until lightly browned both bottom and top, and a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 12-14. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. These store well in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple days, also freeze well when separated by wax paper.
“There’s mosquitoes on the river Fish are rising up like birds It’s been hot for seven weeks now, Too hot to even speak now, Did you hear what I just heard?”
Well maybe not yet seven weeks, but it has been many weeks now of daily temps over 90F, and with the 4th of July and Fare Thee Well concert streaming potluck dinners to attend, it’s been a time to come up with easy to make and cooling, protein rich main dish salads…
3/4 c quinoa
1 can organic black beans, well rinsed
2-3 medium cucumbers, thick sliced into half rounds or quarters
1 yellow pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, diced, including seeds
10-12 leaves spearmint, diced
1 lime, squeezed for dressing
organic nonfat yogurt or feta cheese for garnish
Rinse quinoa well, then place in 1 1/2 c fresh water with a dash of salt, bring to boil then turn heat down to simmer covered for 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Rinse beans well, chop and dice all vegetables and combine all. Dress with squeezed lime, and store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish with organic nonfat yogurt or feta cheese for additional protein.
Blazing hot sunny days therefore time for easy light salads with some protein too!
1 medium fennel bulb, cut into thin slices
3 medium celery stocks, chopped
1-2 c of snap peas, cut into chunks
5 green onions, chopped
1 serrano pepper, including seeds, chopped
1 can organic black beans, well rinsed
1 c or so of cooked quinoa
1 avocado, sliced
1 lime, squeezed, as dressing
Chop all the vegetables except the avocado, rinse the beans, and mix all together well in a glass container with airtight lid. Dress with fresh lime and refrigerate until ready to serve. I’ll add the avocado right before serving… perhaps with a cold IPA at a picnic dinner.
Dinner and dessert at my friend Sharon’s house led to my discovery of the Living Candida Free cookbook by Ricki Heller, PhD, RHN…. and thus to this, my first attempt making my own modified version of her Carrot Balls recipe. Yum! My guests and I devoured these fast, and I think even my hardcore chocolate loving, non-vegan, non-gluten free, unabashedly desert centered sister would like these. A lot.
3/4t fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1 c raw unsalted sunflower seeds
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t cardamon
2 t ground flaxseeds
2 T coconut for balls, plus additional 6-8 T coconut for rolling balls in.
1 T plus 1t lemon zest
2 t lemon juice
2 t blackstrap molasses. Or 1 t blackstrap molasses plus 1 t maple syrup
1-2 t water, as necessary or skip the water and increase the lemon juice
6-7 T fresh finely grated carrot
Using a food processor, finely chop fresh ginger root, then add sunflower seeds, spices, ground flaxseeds, and coconut. Process until medium fine. Then add finely grated lemon zest, lemon juice, and molasses until it just comes together as dough– it will be rather heavy. Add carrot and pulse to mix evenly. Don’t be frightened by its dense texture! Form into small balls, then roll each ball in a small bowl of the additional coconut to coat well. Refrigerate in an airtight tupperware type container until firm and chilled. Makes 18-20 balls, with 2-4 balls being a perfect dessert serving.
I made these using 1t molasses plus 1t maple syrup, and thought they were just a little too sweet when I tasted the dough after the second step, so I threw the 2 lemonquats I happened to have on hand into the food processor too! Next time I’ll try using just molasses and more lemon juice but no water to make them with a bit more zing. My guests and I all thought these were a great dessert. I think they’d be wonderful too for a light breakfast snack if I need a little energy before going to an early morning yoga class.
A phone call this morning with invitation to a Seder celebration makes me think to look up this recipe from long ago, from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts, which I modified a bit many Passovers ago. Some of my favorite childhood memories at the beach include the best ever chocolate macaroon cookies from Seaside Bakery. I was so sad they quit using the same fabulous recipe when the bakery was sold years ago. The magic of those macaroons was that they were made without either flour or sugar, were instead sweetened and moistened by chopped dates… as are these macaroons too.
5 oz Trader Joe’s 72% dark chocolate plus 1T butter. (She calls for 4 oz Baker’s German’s Sweet chocolate plus1 oz unsweetened chocolate)
3 egg whites, from grade large or extra large, at room temperature
pinch of salt
10-12 dates, chopped very fine (use food processor to turn to paste, a generous 1/4 cup of date paste (she calls for 1/2 c granulated sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract- or 2 if needed to adjust moisture. Or plus
1 teaspoon almond extract
7 oz (or about 2 to 2 and 1/4 cups, loosely packed) shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350F with two racks adjusted to divide oven into thirds for even baking. Break up chocolate and melt it with 1T butter in top of double boiler over moderate heat, covering until partially melted. Then uncover and stir until completely melted and smooth– but do not overcook. Remove the top of the double boiler and set aside uncovered to cool to room temp.
In a small bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until they hold a firm peak when the beaters are raised. Add the vanilla and finely chopped dates, beat until the meringue is stiff but only just so. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and efficiently beat in the cooled chocolate, softly only until mixed. Then using only the spatula, gently mix or fold in the coconut. Batter will be rather crumbly, a little dry as you are mixing all together well. But it shouldn’t be too dry, so add the coconut judiciously.
Using a moderately rounded teaspoonful of the mixture for each cookie, form 12-16 small ball cookies on each parchment covered cookie sheet. This is when you could top each with a single almond sliver if you’re so inclined. Bake for about 10-12 min, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back once mid-way to ensure even baking. When the macaroons are done they should look just-edge-of-dry on the outsides, but remain soft in the centers! With a wide spatula transfer the macaroons to raised racks to cool so the bottoms will cool to be firm and dry, but the cookies will be still moist inside.
Indeed I’ve got a wee bit of Irish heritage. Of course cooking a big pot of food to share is a fine thing to do, for a gathering of friends at St Patrick’s Day or any other time…
4-5 medium sized red potatoes, cut into chunky cubes
1/2-1 head green cabbage, chopped into 1/4″ ribbons
1 yellow pepper, chopped
12 oz tempeh, cubed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 t black mustard seeds
1 c walnuts
1 c or so fresh cranberries
Saute cubed tempeh in a large heavy bottom frying pan in 2 T olive oil until lightly browned and crispy outside but still moist inside. Set aside in a large serving bowl with lid. Add another 1-2 T olive oil to the pan, add the mustard seeds, then as they begin popping add the red potatoes, onion and garlic to saute until lightly browned; then add 1-2 T water, cover and steam on reduced heat until the red potatoes are soft but not mushy. Set aside with the tempeh. In the same frying pan over medium heat, saute the chopped green cabbage and yellow pepper for about 3 minutes, only until it brightens and softens just a wee bit. Add these to the other ingredients in the serving dish, mix all together well. When ready to serve, heat the 1 c fresh cranberries in just a little water in the microwave briefly or over low heat on the stovetop, only until they brighten and soften just a bit, slightly warmed. Serve these and walnuts generously as garnish. This will keep covered in the refrigerator well for a day or two, although likely there will be no leftovers.
Cooking the cabbage a bit reduces its goitrogenic factor when serving this to those who have low thyroid function. The tempeh and walnuts increase the protein sufficiently for vegetarians making this a “one pot” meal. I buy and freeze cranberries when they are plentiful and on sale during the holidays, then pull them out of the freezer for recipes such as this, to add a pop of tangy flavor and vitamin C.