celery root, turnip & black bean salad over kale


Some know it as celeriac, others call it celery root, and some have no idea what it is or what to do with it. Whether it’s seen as funny looking, ugly, or intimidating, it’s a delicious vitamin packed tuber. Some claim it was cultivated in Italy during the 1600’s, and it’s common in Europe today if not in all parts of the USA. It’s high in fiber and vitamins B, C, and K. It’s also a good source of phosphorus and potassium. Best of all, it’s a crunchy and tasty winter vegetable available in the Pacific Northwest that can be paired with many yummy companion flavors.

I wanted to make a winter salad with lightly steamed winter white celery root and turnip paired with black beans and black Forbidden Rice to serve over fresh Italian kale. My celery root was good sized so I made quite a bit– and it disappeared fast! so I’ll make it again before the season for it passes.

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In case you’re uncertain about how to best cut into a large celery root: chop off the bottom and then the top to make flat edges. Then with the celery root placed securely on its flat base, using a sharp knife cut/pare away the rough and knoty outer surface working at an angle from the top, cutting downwards several inches each time as you work your way around and down the root. When you get about half way to the bottom, flip it so the bottom becomes the top, and keep cutting downwards several inches each time as you work your way around and down. It cuts easily. Once you’ve cut away the outer surface, slice it into 1/4 inch or so rounds, then chop to your desired shape and size.

ingredients:

  • 1 medium celery root, chopped
  • 1 medium turnip, chopped
  • 4 or so good sized shallots, diced
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 t sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c dry Forbidden Black rice
  • 1 can organic black beans, well rinsed
  • 1 bunch Italian kale

instructions:

Bring scant 1 cup water to a boil with a pinch of salt, add well-rinsed black rice, then simmer covered for 25-30 minutes until water absorbed and rice has nice texture. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, set aside.

Saute diced shallots in 1 T olive oil until translucent and just beginning to turn brown. Set aside in large casserole dish with airtight lid. Using same skillet and a little more olive oil if necessary, saute chopped celery root and turnip over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then add 1/8 c fresh water, cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes until celery root and turnip are fragrant and softened a bit, but not mushy. Drain off any residual water, then add shallots and well rinsed black beans, stir all together well. Transfer to your large casserole dish with airtight lid, and dress with 1 T fresh lemon juice. When ready to serve, rip kale into bite sized pieces (discard the thick center spine), then place some cooked black rice and celery root mixture on top. This microwaves nicely for leftovers, or for the first serving if you like the texture of lightly cooked kale, as I do.

 

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yam & black bean enchiladas with cilantro & sunflower seed pesto


Making my grocery list I was thinking about my adult daughter coming home soon for Christmas– Hallelujah! Her favorite childhood meal was always my tofu enchiladas, and long past her graduation from college “tofu enchiladas” was still her answer when I’d ask what she’d like me to make for her first meal at home. She’s had her own kitchen now for many years, and she texts or calls me sometimes when that’s what she’s cooking.

So that’s how I came to be thinking about making enchiladas. I was also thinking I craved a good pesto, but not a basil pesto, not on classic Italian pasta. I wanted cilantro, and black beans, maybe salmon? Then the thoughts blended together and I contemplated making a New Enchilada recipe. Would she think that sacrilege? I considered new growth…  Having “tested” it, I can say I think they’re tasty! When my daughter arrives home in time for dinner tonight I have New Enchilada left overs for us.  (And, while grocery shopping I also bought beer, tofu and Ezekiel tortillas, so if she answers “tofu enchiladas”  I will smile knowing “mom’s enchiladas are best”. I’ll hand her a cold beer and enjoy her updates while I easily put those together, knowing the recipe by heart.

 

enchilada ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jewel yam, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1/4 t sea salt, fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2-2 c cooked black beans, or 1 can, well rinsed
  • 1-2 T fresh lime juice
  • 6 organic corn tortillas, softened

enchilada instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Saute chopped yam in 1-2 T olive oil  in large skillet, adding cumin after a minute or two. Continue stirring until yam is just starting to brown, then add a couple T fresh water, reduce heat and simmer covered for 3-4 minutes, until yam just beginning to soften. Add chopped red pepper and continue to steam for 2 minutes. Test for doneness, cooking until yam and red pepper are just soft but still bright, not mushy. Add black beans, salt and black pepper to taste, and mix all together well. Prepare 9×9 baking dish with a little olive oil. Soften corn tortillas (in fry pan or pre-heating oven), spoon yam and bean mixture into tortillas, roll and place into baking pan. Top with pesto (recipe follows.) Pour lime juice over top, then bake covered for about 20 minutes. Serve garnished with reserved toasted sunflower seeds.

pesto ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, about 2 cups
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon drop hot pepper
  • 1/2 c raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c pecorino or parmesan grated cheese
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 -1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 T fresh lime juice

pesto instructions:

Using dry cast iron or ceramic skillet, toast raw sunflower seeds over medium heat stirring constantly. Set aside. Place garlic in food processor, mince finely, then add hot pepper to running food processor. Add 1/4 cup of toasted sunflower seeds, the cilantro, grated cheese, salt and pepper, process until all chopped finely and well mixed. With food processor running, add lime juice then olive oil slowly– until mixture reaches your desired consistency. Store in a glass jar with tight lid in refrigerator for 3-5 days, or place large “dollops” into center of squares cut of plastic wrap, twist wrap tightly around each dollop of pesto, then place dollops into tightly sealed plastic bag in freezer. Will store in freezer for several months.

 

 

asparagus and black beans salad with ginger and lemon


It’s Spring! yet after a few days of lovely warm sunshine, it’s now gray out, cool and wet again. Sigh. Cooking with the seasons– and in sync with my internal energy levels based on my personal local environment and activity level– is harder when the temperatures whiplash up and down. With this in mind, for this meal I chose warming and grounding black beans with ginger and brown rice, paired with bright lemon and Spring asparagus. The peppery arugula was a perfect complement, and a nice stimulant to the liver for “Spring cleaning” too.

ingredients:

  • 1 lb asparagus, woody ends removed then cut into 2 inch lengths
  • 1 16oz can organic black beans, well rinsed
  • 2/3 cup brown Basmati rice
  • 1 lb firm tofu, rinsed and cubed
  • green onions, chopped
  • 2 T fresh ginger root, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • black and red pepper, sea salt to taste
  • 1 lemon
  • mix of baby spinach and arugula

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instructions:

Rinse rice, cover with 1 1/2 c fresh water and a dash of salt, bring to boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer until water is absorbed, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with fork. While the rice cooks, saute the tofu and chopped green onions in 2 T olive oil until the tofu is lightly browned. Set aside in a covered casserole dish together with the rinsed black beans and cooked rice. Melt 2 T butter (or olive oil for vegans) and saute the minced garlic and ginger for just 1 minute, then add asparagus and cook for 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the stems, turning continually until asparagus is just al dente– slightly browned on the outside and still a bit crunchy inside.  Add cooked asparagus to the casserole dish and mix all together well. This will hold well if covered and refrigerated for 1-2 days. I served this over a bed of baby spinach and arugula, dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh lemon.

Quinoa cucumber mint salad with black beans and serrano pepper


“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…

ingredients:

  • 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

instructions:

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.

cauliflower & arugula quinoa winter salad


This simple winter white salad is high in protein given the quinoa and black beans, warming with the shallots, garlic and peppery arugula, and beautiful too.

ingredients:photo

  • 3/4 c quinoa
  • 2-3 medium shallots, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large or 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 can black beans, well rinsed
  • 1 large bunch arugula greens
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese

instructions:

Rinse quinoa very well, then bring 1 1/2 cups fresh water, pinch salt, and well rinsed quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20-22 minutes, cooking until water is absorbed. Remove from heat, stir with fork to fluff, and set aside. Rinse beans well, then add to cooked quinoa. Dice shallots and cut cauliflower into bite sized flowerettes (throw out tough ends, include inner stems.) Melt 2-3 Tablespoons butter over medium heat, then saute shallots, cauliflower and garlic stirring constantly until cauliflower is slightly soft. Add black pepper to taste, then mix well with quinoa and beans. Serve hot over a generous bed of arugula leaves (rip leaves from any tough inner stems). Serve dressed with a little olive oil (to enhance vitamin K absorption from arugula) and topped with Parmesan cheese.

two hot weather salads: cucumber, mint & lemon salad with jalapeno black bean salad


Cuc & Black Bean Saladingredients:

  • 2 medium cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 lemon, juice and pulp
  • 1/8- 1/4 cup plain yogurt, greek yogurt, or milk
  • 1 T fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 cans black beans, well rinsed
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, diced
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
  • feta cheese

instructions: Too hot to even think about turning on any heat source to cook? Refresh with these simple cooling main dish salads. Chop and grate first 5 ingredients. Measure yogurt or milk, squeeze lemon, and stir in chopped mint, add pepper to taste. Dress cucumber salad and refrigerate in air tight container.  Rinse canned black beans well, add next 4 chopped and diced ingredients.  Lightly dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, top with crumbled feta cheese.  If you’re so inclined, toast some Ezekiel pocket bread or chapati with Parmesan to use as bread crumbs on cuc salad. Serve with cold local IPA, refresh and relax.

black bean soup


ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dried black beans
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced, with seeds for some heat
  • 1 t fresh ginger, diced
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 t cardamon
  • 1 jewel yam, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2-3 T cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cube Celifbr brand vegetable bouillon dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 t salt (added only after beans have cooked) and black pepper to taste
  • cilantro and fresh lime juice as garnish

instructions:

Inspect and rinse beans well, then soak in fresh water 4+ hours or overnight. Drain and rinse well. Using large soup pot, saute onion in 2-3 T olive oil for 2-3 minutes, then add diced yam, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, spices, carrots and celery as continue to stir over medium heat. Add tomatoes and soaked then rinsed beans. Lastly add cider vinegar, dissolved bouillon and water. Bring pot to simmer, then reduce heat, and simmer partially covered until beans are soft, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste only after beans have cooked soft. Blend using immersion blender, or cool first then blend in Cuisinart or traditional blender. Serve topped with fresh squeezed lime juice and cilantro. This is a hearty warming soup high in carotene for a cold day, will make your kitchen smell fabulous. Makes 8 dinner sized servings, freezes well.