Posted on

Mean, Green, Eating Machine

Author: Codi Hale

As I drove back down the coast this weekend, I stopped by the side of the road at a fruit and vegetable stand. I loaded up on locally grown and ridiculously cheap greens, which was awesome; but even more so, I bought some artichokes. You know, those funky leafy tear-drop shaped things you scrape with your teeth and (let’s be honest) use as an excuse to eat butter? Well, those are what inspires my blog post today!

First off, not many people know how to cook an artichoke to begin with so let’s learn the basics.

How to Cook an Artichoke

[taken from simplyrecipes.com]

1. [OPTIONAL] If the artichokes have little thorns on the end of the leaves, take a kitchen scissors and cut of the thorned tips of all of the leaves. This step is mostly for aesthetics as the thorns soften with cooking and pose no threat to the person eating the artichoke.

2. Slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke.

3. Pull off any smaller leaves towards the base and on the stem.

4. Cut excess stem, leaving up to an inch on the artichoke. The stems tend to be more bitter than the rest of the artichoke, but some people like to eat them. Alternatively you can cut off the stems and peel the outside layers which is more fibrous and bitter and cook the stems along with the artichokes.

5. Rinse the artichokes in running cold water.

6. In a large pot, put a couple inches of water, a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon, and a bay leaf (this adds wonderful flavor to the artichokes). Insert a steaming basket. Add the artichokes. Cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 25 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off. Note: artichokes can also be cooked in a pressure cooker (about 15-20 minutes cooking time). Cooking time depends on how large the artichoke is, the larger, the longer it takes to cook.

________________________________________________________________________________

Growing up, one of my favorite restaurants carried this delectable appetizer platter that included stuffed artichokes. Now, this is (sadly) not that exact recipe; but it looks good nonetheless! Try these Parmesan and Bread Crumb Stuffed Artichokes.

[taken form Martha Stewart, via yummly.com]

  • 5 large globe artichokes
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • 4 large onions, (2 1/2 pounds), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup nicoise olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 anchovy fillets, minced to a paste (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, cheese
  1. Trim artichokes; snap off tough outer leaves. Cut off about top third of artichoke. Snip any leaf tips remaining below the cut with scissors. Trim stem so artichoke will stand upright. Trim base. Spread leaves open to gain easier access to choke. Using a melon baller, scoop out choke. Squeeze some lemon juice directly onto heart; squeeze juice from lemons into bowl of ice water; add lemon halves and artichoke while preparing the rest.
  2. In a 12-inch saute pan, cook onions and garlic in oil over medium heat, until tender and lightly caramelized, about 1 hour; let cool. Take two-thirds of onions, and coarsely chop; place in a bowl, and add breadcrumbs, olives, parsley, anchovies, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper; mix well.
  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Drain artichokes upside down on a paper towel; gently open leaves. Fill centers of artichokes with mixture; place small amounts in crevices of leaves. Place a string around outside of artichoke; tie snugly. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Strew remaining onions on bottom of large Dutch oven. Fit in artichokes; add stock to bottom of pan. Sprinkle each artichoke with Parmesan. Cover; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until golden and crusty on top and hearts are tender when pierced, about 10 minutes.

___________________________________________________________________________

Also a classic appetizer, this Spinach Artichoke dip is a crowd pleaser. Fantastic when served with artisan bread, multi-grain crackers or even pita chips.

[taken from saveur.com]

  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 10 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 lb. thawed frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 2⁄3 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1⁄3 cup cream cheese
  • 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1⁄4 cup sour cream
  • 1⁄4 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1⁄4 tsp. dried mustard powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp. Tabasco
  • 1⁄8 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat oven to 375°. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil and 1 tbsp. of the butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach; cook, stirring, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer spinach to a colander; let cool briefly. (Wipe out and reserve skillet.) Squeeze excess liquid from spinach and roughly chop; transfer to a bowl.

2. Return skillet to medium-high heat and heat 3 tbsp. of the oil. Add artichoke hearts; cook, stirring, until browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer to bowl of spinach.

3. Wipe out skillet; place over medium heat; add remaining 1 tbsp. of the oil and remaining 1 tbsp. of the butter and heat. Add onions; cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 2 minutes more.

4. Transfer onion mixture to a food processor along with 3⁄4 cup of the parmesan, mozzarella, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon zest, mustard powder, Tabasco, and nutmeg. Process until smooth.

5. Fold cheese mixture into spinach and artichokes, season with salt and pepper to taste, and transfer to a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1⁄4 cup of parmesan; bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 30 minutes.

________________________________________________________________________________

For all you artichoke lovers out there, we know the big secret about these guys; we know where the good stuff is. Right in the heart! The tender and extraordinarily unique flavor of the middle of the artichoke is amazing, and goes great with other dishes or even by themselves.

NOTE: This recipe calls for canned, jarred or frozen artichoke hearts but I challenge you to take it fresh from the source with your very own hands!

Marinated Artichoke Hearts 

[taken from saveur.com]

1  9-oz. box frozen artichoke hearts,
thawed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1. Rinse artichoke hearts under cold water. Combine artichokes, oil, salt, thyme, oregano, and chile flakes in a 1-qt. saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld, 10 minutes.

2. Let cool to room temperature and stir in lemon juice. Serve or refrigerate in a covered container for up to 1 week.

________________________________________________________________________________

Lastly, let’s test a recipe that includes artichoke flavor as the main component of the dish. This Chicken Artichoke Pasta looks like a good place to start.

[taken from tasteofhome.com]

  • 6 ounces uncooked fettuccine
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup white wine or additional reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken in 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.
  2. In the same skillet, cook and stir broccoli in remaining oil for 2 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, tomatoes and garlic; cook 2 minutes longer. Add the artichokes, salt and oregano; heat through.
  3. Combine the flour with broth and wine or additional broth until smooth; stir into the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Add parsley and reserved chicken.
  4. Drain fettuccine; add to chicken mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

________________________________________________________________________________

Have a great week guys!

Remember:  “Health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other.”  – J. Addison

 

 

Posted on

Mean, Green, Eating Machine

Author: Codi Hale

My favorite color is purple. You know what else is purple? EGGPLANT!

Those funky vegetables that you may have been a little weary of. Super shiny, dark, and extra delicious.

They are also super healthy for you: rich in antioxidants, brain-cell supporting nutrients, and fiber.

 

Eggplant is a great substitution for meat. Try this recipe for Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini, a new take on Eggplant Parmesan…which can be a vegetarian substitute for Chicken Parmesan.

[taken from realsimple.com]

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large eggplants (about 3 pounds total ), sliced lengthwise (about 16 slices total)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella (8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Divide the oil between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Dividing evenly, arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheets and turn to coat in the oil; season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Bake the eggplant, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until soft and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool. Reduce heat to 400° F.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch or some other 3-quart baking dish, spread ½ cup of the marinara sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, oregano, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  4. Place about 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on one end of a slice of eggplant, roll it up, and transfer it to the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices and ricotta mixture.
  5. Top the eggplant rolls with the remaining cup of marinara sauce and the remaining cup of mozzarella. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  6. Bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

________________________________________________________________________________

If you’re looking to make the eggplant more of a main attraction, try making this Grilled Eggplant Provolone. It can be served as an starter course or as a main course, you choose!

[taken from realsimple.com]

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Whisk together the vinegar, oil, and oregano and brush on the cut sides of the eggplants. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat a gas grill to high; adjust the heat to medium after 15 minutes. (If cooking over charcoal, allow the coals to burn until they are covered with gray ash.) Grill the eggplants cut-side down until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the eggplants and top each half with a slice of provolone. Grill 3 minutes more or until the cheese is bubbly. Top with some Grilled Salsa.
  3. Rainy-day method: Prepare the eggplants as described above. Heat the broiler and cook the eggplants about 6 inches from the heat, cut-side down, for 5 minutes. Turn and broil cut-side up for about 3 minutes. Add the provolone and broil about 3 minutes more

 

________________________________________________________________________________

Despite these enticing recipes, what if someone in your life has decided that eggplants are absolutely horrid? Well, you could try this, which the creator of the recipe said has turned many frowns upside down. Give this “Summer Nights Eggplant” a try!

[taken from LIOTAKI at allrecipes.com]

 

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants

Directions

  1. Remove the leaves from the eggplants, and slice in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the centers of the eggplants, leaving a half-inch shell so they resemble ‘canoes’. Cut the center portion into small pieces, and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and saute for a few minutes, until tender. Add the eggplant pieces, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Then, stir in the tomato, green pepper, and parsley. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the bread crumbs until evenly blended. Divide the mixture evenly between the four eggplant shells. Sprinkle feta cheese over the top. Place the eggplant halves on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are browned and the cheese is melted. Serve hot or cold. I prefer them chilled.
________________________________________________________________________________
How about just an appetizer? This Roasted Eggplant and Feta Dip is sure to be a hit…I’d make two bowls.
[taken from eatingwell.com]
Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, preferably Greek
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small chile pepper, such as jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Position oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source; preheat broiler.
  2. Line a baking pan with foil. Place eggplant in the pan and poke a few holes all over it to vent steam. Broil the eggplant, turning with tongs every 5 minutes, until the skin is charred and a knife inserted into the dense flesh near the stem goes in easily, 14 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board until cool enough to handle.
  3. Put lemon juice in a medium bowl. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scrape the flesh into the bowl, tossing with the lemon juice to help prevent discoloring. Add oil and stir with a fork until the oil is absorbed. (It should be a little chunky.) Stir in feta, onion, bell pepper, chile pepper (if using), basil, parsley, cayenne and salt. Taste and add sugar if needed.
________________________________________________________________________________

Lastly, I will leave you with another one of my favorite things: sandwiches. Whether for a decadent lunch or a lighter dinner, this Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich is sure to hit that spot.

[taken from eatingwell.com]

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, (1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds), cut into 12 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • Canola or olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan, or Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 4 small pieces focaccia bread, or rustic Italian bread
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided

Preparation

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Place eggplant rounds on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Coat both sides lightly with cooking spray. Combine Parmesan (or Asiago) and mozzarella in a small bowl. Brush both sides of focaccia (or bread) with oil.
  3. Place spinach in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and punch several holes in the wrap. Microwave on High until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Combine tomatoes and 2 tablespoons basil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave until bubbling, about 2 minutes.
  4. Place all your ingredients on the baking sheet with the eggplant and take it to the grill. Grill the eggplant slices until brown and soft on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Grill the bread until toasted, about 1 minute per side. Return the eggplant and bread to the baking sheet. Reduce grill heat to medium.
  5. Place 1 eggplant round on top of each slice of bread. Layer 1 tablespoon tomatoes, 1 tablespoon wilted spinach and 1 tablespoon cheese on each slice of eggplant. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, sauce, spinach and cheese. Sprinkle each stack with some of the remaining basil. Place the baking sheet on the grill, close the lid and grill until the eggplant stack is hot and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Moral of this story? Eggplants rock.
Remember: “Health is a large word.  It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;…and not today’s pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man.” – J.H. West
Posted on

Mean, Green, Eating Machine

Author: Codi Hale 

Fairview Garden has just started to harvest their new crops for the winter!

Some of the new greens I am excited about are the spicy mixes and arugula. These leafy greens add a hint of variety to any salad or side dish.

Spicy mixed greens can take a bit to get used to, since they are a little more bitter. If you are just starting to work with these, try starting off with this simple Spicy Greens and Balsamic Dressing.

[taken from Rachael Ray of foodnetwork.com]

  • 1 bunch arugula, cleaned, trimmed and chopped 
  • 1 head radicchio, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped escarole, 1/2 head
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, cracked
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Arrange greens on a large platter. Heat oil and garlic in a small pan over moderate heat. Simmer garlic in oil to infuse the flavor. Remove the garlic from the oil and transfer it to a small bowl. Wipe the pan and return to heat. Add balsamic vinegar. Raise heat to high and reduce vinegar by 1/2, 30 seconds. Stream oil into saucepan and whisk to combine with vinegar. Drizzle dressing over the salad and season the greens with salt and pepper.

________________________________________________________________________________

To try a different variation of a simple spicy greens mix, change up the style! Add this Spicy Green Salad with Soy & Roasted Garlic Dressing.

[taken from eatingwell.com]

DRESSING

  • 1 head garlic
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

SALAD

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus pinch of salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 small clove garlic
  • 2 cups baby mizuna, baby kale or Asian salad mix
  • 2 cups baby red mustard greens, tatsoi or watercress, any tough stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (see Tip)
  1. To prepare dressing: Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Rub excess papery skin off garlic head without separating cloves. Slice the tip off, exposing the ends of the cloves. Place the garlic head on a piece of foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and wrap into a package. Put in a baking dish and bake until the garlic is very soft, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Unwrap and let cool slightly. Increase oven temperature to 450°F.
  3. Squeeze the garlic pulp into a blender or food processor (discard the skins). Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce; blend or process until smooth. Season with pepper.
  4. To prepare salad: Toss asparagus with 2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender and browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, season a wooden salad bowl by rubbing with 1/2 clove garlic and a pinch of salt. Chop the garlic and add to the bowl along with all the greens. (If leaves are large, tear them into bite-size pieces first.) Pour 1/4 cup of the dressing over the greens. (Cover and refrigerate the remaining 1/2 cup dressing for up to 3 days.) Sprinkle the salad with sesame seeds and the asparagus; toss and serve.

________________________________________________________________________________

Other than salads, spicy greens are delicious as a substitute for other greens. For example, try this Arugula Pesto recipe; it’s a nice way to change pace and flavor from what you’re used to!

[taken from simplyrecipes.com]

  • 2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

METHOD

1 Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.

2 Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.

3a Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, salt, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

3b Mortar and pestle method: Combine the nuts, salt and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add the cheese and olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.

________________________________________________________________________________

Have fun changing it up guys!

Remember: “To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

Posted on

Mean, Green, Eating Machine

Author: Codi Hale

Good morning! Let’s get right to it. Word from the farmer is that this week’s CSA share and farm stand will contain some new goodies: tongue of fire shelling beans. This may be a whole new way to cook beans for you, but its worth a try. Beans are very rich in fiber, protein, calcium and many other nutrients that really help your body out. Plus, there are lots of different ways to enjoy them, so let’s do this.

We can start off simple, and just work with a Braised “Tongue of Fire” Beans recipe. It can serve as the basis of your vegetarian meal, or can be made as a side dish; you choose!

[taken from chefnews.com]

  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • 4 Baby Leeks, cut into ½-inch rounds
  • 1 Qt “Tongue of Fire” shelling beans, shelled, cleaned and cooked
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 8 Early Girl tomatoes, roasted in oven until soft, strained  through fine mesh strainer, juice reserved and skins discarded.
  • 1 Sprig Rosemary, tied with butcher twine
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme, tied with butcher twine
  • 1 Quart Vegetable Stock, to cover
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Pinch of Chili Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

1. Begin by adding olive oil, garlic, and baby leeks to medium saucepan
with a pinch of salt. Sweat on medium heat.

2. When leeks are soft, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve hot.

4. Serve with grilled meats or alone with grilled bread.

________________________________________________________________________________

I don’t know about you but I think that if you add garlic to anything it will only make it better. So naturally, when I found this Tongue of Fire Beans with Parmesan & Garlic Vinaigrette recipe it had to be shared.

[taken from cedarcirclefarm.org]

  • 3 cups Tongue of Fire beans
  • carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • onion peeled and studded with 2-4 cloves
  • 1 bunch fresh herbs of choice tied together in a bouquet garni
  • salt to taste
  • parmesan cheese
  • parsley chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced to a paste
  • 2 Tb lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 Tb olive oil

Rinse the beans well and place them in a large bowl for soaking. Cover with 12 cups of cold water and soak for about 12 hours. Drain and rinse well.

Put the beans in a large stock pot; add the vegetables and herbs and 12 cups cold water. Bring to a simmer over high heat, and then reduce their heat so they are barely simmering. Cook until the beans are just tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on how you like them. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and let cool in the liquid with the vegetables.

Combine the garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your palette.

To serve, drain the beans and place in a large pan over low heat. Add the above vinaigrette and gently warm. Plate on a platter and top with shavings of Parmesan and chopped parsley.

_______________________________________________________________________________

How about some bean soups? I thought this Thai Coconut Tongue of Fire Soup looked like something different. Maybe a nice way to change up the flavors some of us might be used to. Also: it is soy-free, oil-free and gluten-free. Win, Win, Win!

[taken from healthyslowcooking.com]

  • 2 cups (470 ml) water
  • 1 can (14 ounces, or 400 ml) light coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste or 3 pieces lemongrass, smashed with the flat side of a knife (or substitute 1 teaspoon other lemony herbs such as verbena or lemon balm, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest)
  • 1 teaspoon galangal root paste or grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  • Two 1-inch-long (2.5-cm) slices ginger
  • 12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced or minced
  • 1 ½ cups (375 g) cooked Tongue of Fire or kidney beans or 1 can (15 ounces, or 420 g), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (164 g) corn kernels
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • zest of ½ lime
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro, plus more for serving
  • lime wedges, for serving

Put the water, coconut milk, garlic, lemon grass paste, galangal root paste, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, mushrooms,
beans, corn, and salt into a large saucepan or small stockpot. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes so the flavors can infuse into the broth.

Add the red pepper, lime zest, and cayenne and cook until the veggies are tender but still firm, about 15 more
minutes. Add the cilantro and taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
Serve with the lime wedges and extra cilantro.

________________________________________________________________________________

If you are looking to make an ultra hearty meal after a long day, I think that this last dish may be for you. It has the option of being gluten-free, dependent on the type of pasta you use, and it is also vegetarian. But as always, you’re the chef and you make the call. Alter this Pasta e Fagioli as you please!

[taken from wheatfreemeatfree.com]

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cups cooked tongues of fire beans
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 3 3/4 ounces uncooked pasta [gluten-free if needed] (1 1/2 cup)
  • shredded parmesan cheese, to garnish
  1. Heat a medium-large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and once heated add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Allow vegetables to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and cook about 5 minutes. Stir frequently so the paste doesn’t burn.
  2. Add the broth, beans and spices. Turn heat to high, until broth begins to boil, then reduce to medium.
  3. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, garnish and serve.
________________________________________________________________________________
Eat your beans, folks!
Remember: “The groundwork for all happiness is good health.” – L. Hunt
Posted on

Mean, Green, Eating Machine

Author: Codi Hale 

Well folks, Halloween is over. All the spirits have left, all the pumpkins have been carved, and the ghosts and goblins have begun to plan their scares for next year. That does not mean the fun is over though!

Fall is a fantastic time to eat rich, warm, yummy food. For me, that means pasta. So let’s explore some delicious veggie pasta ideas, shall we?

 

Nothing says warm and delicious like a creamy pasta sauce, so try out this Creamy Fettuccine withBrussels Sprouts and Mushrooms.

[taken from delish.com]

  • 12 ounce(s) whole-wheat fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cup(s) sliced mixed mushrooms, such as cremini oyster, and/or shiitake
  • 4 cup(s) thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon(s) minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup(s) dry sherry (see Tips & Techniques), or 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 cup(s) low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup(s) finely shredded Asiago cheese, plus more for garnish
  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, return to the pot and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms release their liquid, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sherry (or vinegar), scraping up any brown bits; bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until almost evaporated, 10 seconds (if using vinegar) or about 1 minute (if using sherry).
  3. Whisk milk and flour in a bowl; add to the skillet with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in Asiago until melted. Add the sauce to the pasta; gently toss. Serve with more cheese, if desired.
…Or you could go for a slight variation of the classic alfredo and change it up with different greens! This Alfredo with Sun-Dried Tomato and Veggies looks like a good start to me.
[taken from bhg.com]
  • 8 ounces  dried fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup  dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), chopped
  • 4 tablespoons  butter
  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 4 ounces  fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 4 ounces  fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups  fresh broccoli florets
  • 8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups  milk
  • 1/2 cup  finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups  milk
  • 1/2 cup  finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons  finely shredded lemon peel

1.Cook pasta according to package directions, adding dried tomatoes the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and return to saucepan; keep warm.

2.Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove vegetables from skillet; set aside.

3.In same skillet melt remaining butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Gently stir in pasta and vegetables. Stir in additional milk to reach desired consistency. Sprinkle with lemon peel and additional shredded Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 (1-1/2 cup) servings.

______________________________________________________________________________

If you are feeling like letting the oven do the work for you, try this Cavatappi with Fontina and Fall Veggies. It is similar to a Baked Ziti or lasagna; in other words, it’s delicious!
[taken from yummly.com]
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 medium zucchini, julienned
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1 1/2 pounds cavatappi or other tubular pasta
  • 6 cups bechamel sauce
  • 1/2 pound, plus 1/2 cup fontina, grated
  • 1/2 pound, plus 1/2 cup aged gruyere, grated
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tablespoon tabasco sauce
  • 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • kosher salt to taste
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the vegetables in the olive oil until just cooked through, about 3 minutes, and set aside.
  1. Cook pasta to al dente, drain and return to pot.
  2. While pasta is cooking, gradually whisk half a pound of grated fontina, half a pound of grated gruyere, half the thyme leaves and the tabasco sauce into bechamel in a large saucepan over low heat until smooth and creamy.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.
  4. Mix breadcrumbs, melted butter, remaining thyme and reserved 1/2 cups each of fontina and gruyere in a medium bowl.
  5. Pour bechamel over pasta, add vegetables and beaten egg and stir gently to thoroughly combine. Add salt to taste.
  6. Spread pasta evenly in a large casserole or baking dish, then sprinkle evenly with breadcrumb, herb and cheese mixture.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are browned and crisp.
  8. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving.
________________________________________________________________________________
This is more fresh take on a pasta dish, it’s a pasta mixed with green! Experiment with this lovely little Fall Orzo Salad, taken from yummly.com.
  • 2pounds butternut squash, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1/4pound orzo
  • 2ounces Maytag blue cheese
  • 1/4cup oil (scant)
  • 1bunch fresh sage leaves
  • Fresh cracked pepper and coarse kosher, sea, or alder salt
  • 1bunch watercress, arugula, or any microgreen
  • 1ounce roasted pepitas
  1. If you didn’t purchase the precut butternut squash, then peel and cube the squash. If you did purchase the precut squash, give it a good rinse and pat dry.
  2. Drizzle the butternut squash with a good quality oil. Salt and pepper to taste. If you have some smoked salt (like alder), you can substitute a pinch of it for regular kosher salt.
  3. Arrange clusters of sage on top of squash. Reserve 2 to 3 sage leaves. If you don’t have fresh sage, you can substitute some dried “rubbed sage” — sprinkle liberally like salt.
  4. Bake at 450 F for 30 to 40 minutes (depending on your cube size) or until golden caramelization and deliciousness occurs.
  5. Cook orzo according to package directions. At my farmer’s market there is a vendor that sells an “autumn blend” of tricolor orzo. Boil in approximately 4 cups salted water for 15-17 minutes (normal orzo will probably take much less time — check your package to be sure). Drain and chill.
  6. Combine cooked butternut squash, pepitas, and orzo and toss. (The leftover oil in the roasting pan will serve as your “dressing” — use leftover oil in pan to minimally coat orzo). Personally I don’t think you need any acid (like lemon or vinegar) because of the “tang” of the blue cheese — but if you are omitting the cheese, you may want to try a few splashes of a good balsamic vinegar.
  7. Add crumbled blue cheese (or feta or chevre or omit cheese) and choice of greens. Add a few chiffonaded strips of fresh sage as a garnish.
________________________________________________________________________________
I hope you enjoy this fresh take on classic pasta dishes. Maybe one looks like tonight’s dinner?
Remember: “Prevention is better than the cure.” – D. Erasmus

 

 

Posted on

Mean, Green, Eating Machine

Author: Codi Hale

What a blustery day we are having!

As I sit here writing this, I must admit that I am very hungry. Thus, the inspiration for today’s post shall be what I am craving: BREAD. We all know about “evil carbs”, but frankly, bread is awesome. Even more so, homemade bread is awesome. And who says you can’t throw some healthy things into your bread? I searched online for some healthier alternatives to your average dinner roll or slice of toast, and I must say I am quite pleased with what I found.

If you have never had Zucchini Bread, this recipe will change your life. Zucchini bread is absolutely delicious and makes for a great warm, comfort food.

[taken from yummly.com]

3 large eggs
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
2 cups grated zucchini (you’ll need one medium zucchini, about 10 ounces)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted (optional)
½ cup currants or raisins (optional)

*You can also add chocolate chips. When I’m baking this for the kids, I typically use between ¾ – 1 cup chocolate chips instead of nuts and currants. Whatever combination you use, just be sure total add-ins (nuts, currants, chips) do not exceed 1½ cups.


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and set rack in middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, mix eggs with sugar until combined. Add grated zucchini, melted butter and vanilla extract and stir to combine.

3. In another large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Use a whisk to mix well.

4. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix until just combined. Add nuts and currants or chocolate chips if using, then divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Set pans on wire rack and let cool about 10 minutes, then turn loaves out onto rack to cool completely.

________________________________________________________________________________

Sometimes you want savory, not sweet. This Roasted Red Pepper and Parmesan bread, from howsweetitis.com,  is sure to hit the spot!

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2/3 cup lowfat milk

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 large roasted red pepper, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a loaf pan liberally with nonstick spray.  In a large bowl, combine flours, salt, pepper, sugar and baking soda, whisking to combine. Fold in parmesan cheese. Measure out 2/3 cup of milk, then lightly beat in eggs. Add olive oil and milk/eggs to the flour mixture, using a large spoon to mix. Add in roasted red peppers and mix until fully combined. Batter will be pretty thick, but should be wet. If needed, add in an additional tablespoon of olive oil or milk. Spoon batter into loaf pan evenly. Bake for 32-35 minutes, or until bread is set and top is golden. Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting.

________________________________________________________________________________

Try this new twist on classic banana bread by adding some extras…. to make Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Banana Bread! A spiced treat just in time for Fall.

 

[taken from closetcooking.com]

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 large over-ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
  1. Mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a large bowl.
  2. Mix brown sugar, pumpkin puree, bananas, eggs and yogurt in another large bowl.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients followed by the pecans.
  4. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown and a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes.

________________________________________________________________________________

For the ultimate veggie bread, let’s finish off with this Gardener’s Bread from food.com.

 

  • 2 medium size fresh pears
  • 1/3 cup finely grated unpared zucchini
  • 1/3 cup finely grated carrot
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Grate pears to measure 1 1/2 cup.
  2. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder and ginger. Beat eggs in separate bowl then gradually beat in sugar and oil. Add vanilla and lemon peel. Blend into flour mixture. Add the pears, carrot, zucchini and nuts and mix well.
  3. Divide mixture into 2 greased loaf pans. Let stand 5 minutes then bake at 350 for 55 minutes.

________________________________________________________________________________

I don’t even think I have to convince you to try any of these delicious bread recipes. And an added bonus? The smell of bread in the oven.

¡Bellísima!

Remember:

“My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass”  -L. Grimutter

Posted on

Mean, Green, Eating Machine

Author: Codi Hale 

Cauliflower and kholrabi. Two funky greens that we often don’t know what to do with. Let’s change that today!

I have written about kholrabi here before, but very basically. I want to take it up a notch, get some more complex recipes that are delicious and nutritious.

How about this Creamy Carrot and Kholrabi soup for a cool Fall evening?

[taken from eatloveandbehappy.com]:

3 carrots
2 kohlrabies
half medium celery
2 medium potatoes
1 large onion
1 roasted garlic head
fresh rosemary, thyme, parsley
sunflower seeds
salt and pepper
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup heavy cream for cooking
grated Parmesan cheese

 

  1. Peel and boil vegetables in water and salt.
  2. Mix the boiled vegetables and the garlic. Saved some boiled vegetables, dice them and then add when the soup is done, for  a richer texture.
  3. Add the water in which vegetables were boiled until it has reached your preferred texture. You decide how thick or thin you want it to be.  Add spices and herbs, the heavy cream and the olive oil.
  4. Serve it with a generous tablespoon of grated Parmesan on top and some extra fresh rosemary.

 

Prepare these tasty Stuffed Kholrabi next time you have a big family dinner!

[taken from about.com]

  • 6 medium kohlrabis
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground leftover beef, veal, pork or lamb
  • 1 large finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 cups broth of choice
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Parboil kohlrabis for 20 minutes. Cool until they can be handled and peel away the tough, outer skin. Cut a bit off the root end so they will stand straight. Cut off the tops and reserve, and scoop out the flesh of the bottoms and chop it finely.
  2. In a medium skillet, saute onions and chopped kohlrabi in butter until tender. Transfer to a large bowl, and combine with meat, eggs, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray. Fill kohlrabi bottoms with meat mixture, place in dish and place kohlrabi tops on. Pour the broth over the kohlrabi. Bake 40-50 minutes or until tender.
  4. Remove kohlrabi to a serving platter and keep warm. Skim fat off pan juices. Fork blend sour cream with flour. Stirwith a few ladles of hot pan juices, whisking constantly. Pour tempered sour cream into pan juices and cook until thickened. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve stuffed kohlrabi with sauce on the side or ladled over.

If you are feeling really food-venturous, attempt these Kholrabi Pancakes. Everyone loves some breakfast for dinner! [taken from sustainabletable.org]

4 small purple or green kohlrabi, peeled and trimmed of woody bits
1 small onion, very finely chopped or grated on the large holes of a box grater
1 small green chili, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped or 14 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten
14 cup (or more) all-purpose flour
12 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Grate the peeled and trimmed kohlrabi on the large holes of a box grater. Wrap the grated kohlrabi in a clean dishtowel and squeeze until most of the excess moisture has been removed.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the shredded kohlrabi, chopped or grated onion, optional chilies or chili flakes, beaten egg, flour, coriander and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until just combined. Add additional flour by the teaspoon if batter seems too wet (mixture should be somewhat firm).
3. In a large, heavy frying pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil and the butter over medium-high heat until the butter stops foaming. Add ladlefuls of the pancake batter (about 13 of a cup at a time) to the pan, gently pressing down on the cakes with the back of a spatula. Cook kohlrabi pancakes until crispy and golden brown on each side.
4. Drain on paper towels and serve with sour cream, crème fraîche, yogurt or applesauce.
Note: The original recipe includes 12 teaspoon of ground ginger, which you might like to try in place of the coriander. Chopped cilantro or parsley would also be a nice addition.

________________________________________________________________________________

As a kid, we may have been a little iffy about cauliflower. Why is it white? What’s wrong with that broccoli?!

But now we know just how sweet and delicious it is, so let’s experiment with this yummy green (or white?).

Start off with something simple, try this simple cauliflower recipe. [taken from 101cookbooks.com]:

2 – 3 heads of small cauliflower (or 1/2 head large)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
a couple pinches of sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small bunch of chives, chopped
zest of one lemon
freshly grated Parmesan
a bit of flaky sea salt

 

 

 

To prep the cauliflower, remove any leaves at the base and trim the stem. Now cut it into tiny trees – and by tiny, I mean most florets aren’t much larger than a table grape. Make sure the pieces are relatively equal in size, so they cook in the same amount of time. Rinse under running water, and set aside.

Heat the olive oil and fine grain salt in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cauliflower and stir until the florets are coated. Wait until it gets a bit brown on the bottom, then toss the cauliflower with a spatula. Brown a bit more and continue to saute until the pieces are deeply golden – all told about six minutes. In the last 30 seconds stir in the garlic.

Remove from heat and stir in the chives, lemon zest, and dust with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a pinch of flaky sea salt (if you have it on hand). Serve immediately.

Watching your carbs? Use this recipe for Cauliflower Crust Mini Pizzas! [taken from theguardian.com]:

Crusts:

1 medium cauliflower, grated

100grams goat’s cream cheese

1 egg

Salt and pepper

Sauce:

Olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3-4 gloves of garlic, minced

400g can of chopped tomatoes

Fresh basil, chopped, to taste

Chili flakes, to taste

Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven too 400, line baking tray with parchment paper.

2. To make crust, add the cauliflower to a pot of boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain, then wrap in a towel and squeeze out excess water.

3. In a bowl, mix the grated cauliflower with the cream cheese and egg, season.

4. Divide the cauliflower mix into 4 portions and shape into pizza crusts. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until firm and golden.

5. While crusts are baking, heat oil in pan. Add onion and saute for a few minutes. Add garlic and stir, then add rest of topping ingredients. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. When the crust are done, spoon tomato sauce evenly over each. Add topping and cheese as desired.

7. Put back into oven for about 10 minutes, until cheese is golden.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Enjoy guys!

Remember: “The thousand mysteries around us would not trouble but interest us, if only we had cheerful, healthy hearts.” – F. Nietzsche

Posted on

Mean, Green, Eating Machine

Author: Codi Hale 

Morning! Hope that your day is getting off to a nice start.

Today I want to focus on legumes, a family of foods that include beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts.

Why are these good for you?

  • High in fiber and protein: This means you can eat less and feel more full, which is helpful if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight.
  • May aid in prevention of heart disease: Legumes are high in protein and therefore rule out having to eat as much red meat, which can be high in saturated fats.
  • High in vitamins and nutrients: Legumes are high in folate, iron, and magnesium.
  1. Folate aids in fetal development, preventing heart disease, reducing depression, developing red blood cells, and boosting the brain’s defenses against aging.
  2. Iron is central in the production of hemoglobin, carrying oxygen through cells, fortifying muscle and preventing anemia. magnesium
  3. Magnesium can prevent cardiovascular disease, regulate blood pressure, help fight diabetes, and even can reverse osteoporosis.

Overall, this food group is great for you. Let me show you how to make them taste delicious too!

________________________________________________________________________________

This simple White Beans and Peppers recipe is healthy and very easy to make [taken from allrecipes.com]:

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and sweet pepper, and cook until tender. Mix in beans. Season with oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until beans are heated through.
________________________________________________________________________________
Learn to love your lentils with this delicious Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry Stew. This requires a Crockpot, Dutch Oven, or some type of slow cooker.
[taken from thedailygreen.com]

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 12 ounces each), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 large stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion (12 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 package (16 ounces) dry lentils, rinsed and picked through
6 cups water
Yogurt, toasted coconut, lime wedges (optional)

PREPARATION
1. Melt butter over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes, celery, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, curry powder, ginger, cumin, coriander, salt, and ground red pepper; cook, stirring, 1 minute.

2. Add vegetables, add broth, lentils, and water; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Serve with yogurt, toasted coconut, and lime wedges, if you like.

________________________________________________________________________________

Change up how you think of peas with this recipe for Shiitake Mushrooms and Sugar Snap-Peas  [taken from wholeliving.com]. Try pairing it with grilled chicken or fish.

  • 2 teaspoons canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 2 teaspoons light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sake, dry sherry, or white wine
  • 2 tablespoons shoyu or other natural soy sauce
  • 1 pound sugar-snap peas or snow peas, strings removed
In a large skillet, heat the canola and sesame oils over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar over the mushrooms and then add the wine and soy sauce. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the sugar-snap peas, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the pea pods are just crisp-tender and bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

________________________________________________________________________________

Lastly, try infusing your dinner with a little Asian influence tonight with this classic Peanut and Vegetable Stir Fry [taken from eatingwell.com].

  • 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
Whisk peanut butter, 1/4 cup water, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and vinegar in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften and brown in spots, about 6 minutes.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon soy sauce to the pan along with bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pepper has softened and the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the reserved peanut sauce and season with crushed red pepper. Garnish with peanuts.
________________________________________________________________________________
I am sure going to try these tasty legume recipes, you should too!
Have a beautiful day.
Remember: “The people who give you their food, give you their heart”. – C. Chavez