Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fail-Proof Banana Walnut Muffins

I have to admit, I'm feeling a little hypocritical with this post.  It was only a year ago that I was eating vegan and blabbing about how important miso is to your immune system.  The thing is, I have always loved sweets.  Make me choose between the most incredible creamy artichoke dip and a chocolate chip cookie and I will always choose the cookie.  But I also believe that food heals.  No, I'm not talking about how that chocolate chip cookie will fill an emotional void that will then make me feel complete.  I'm talking about the healthy stuff!  The miso, the dark leafy greens, the brown rice.  Eat that stuff!  It's good for you.

Banana Walnut Muffins:
Makes 12 medium-size muffins

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened
1 egg
1 cup plain or flavored yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups ripened banana, mashed
1/2 cup crushed walnuts

Heat oven to 350F degrees.  Fill a muffin tin with paper liners.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugars, butter, egg, yogurt and vanilla.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.  Fold flour mixture into butter mixture.  Stir in banana and walnuts until just incorporated.  I use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin tin.  Fill to top of paper liner.  Bake 35 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes, then move to wire rack.  Eat for dessert.  And breakfast.  And between meals throughout the day.

My mom gave me this recipe right after I got married.  It's fail-proof.  You can use the basic recipe with any fruit you like.  It's great with apples and cinnamon, sprinkled with raw sugar on top.  You can also make this in a 9x13" pan.  I usual prefer that because I hate washing the muffin tin.  Plus, it's much more difficult to calculate how much you've eaten.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Getting Healthy

Not me.  My husband. The poor guy.  Ever since I got pregnant he's pretty much been on my diet, which has consisted of whatever is in the pastry display at the cafe around the corner.  And then there's Pinterest.  Is that another Pumpkin Spiced Carmel Crumb Cobbler Strudel with a Cream Cheese Cinnamon Maple Frosting recipe?  REPIN?  Don't mind if I do.  Did you say Nutella?  PINNED.  (They're also obsessed with Mason jars and Tortilla Soup...?)  So I'm trying to be supportive of my man and prepare some healthy snacks for him to grab as he runs out the door.  Go me!

First, I found this in Health magazine:

click the picture for a larger view

Sorry, this got crumpled in my back pocket when I went to pick everything up at the store.  Basically, it's snack ideas: apple slices + peanut butter, berries + cottage cheese, crackers + black bean dip, bell peppers + hummus, broccoli + cheese (?).  When I got home with all my goodies, I cut up the fruit and veggies and put the dips in mini tupperware so it would be easy to grab and go.  Having everything precut helps me too since I don't have a lot of time to prep healthy meals while I'm taking care of the baby.  Plus, I can alternate between healthy snacks and pie and not feel as guilty as I would if I'd just eaten pie all day.  Which almost happened yesterday.

I also put these together:

Baby greens, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, sunflower seeds and dressing.  You can buy these mini ziplock bags in the beading department of Michael's.  Because the dressing and seeds are in ziplocks, you can make a few for the week and store in the fridge.

I find it's much easier to eat pie while blogging about salad.  Man, my husband's going to be super healthy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Don't Eat Average Food

My brother-in-law says I won't eat just anything.  My food has to be scrumptious.  He used that word.  Scrumptious.  It totally made me laugh.  He's right though!  Last week I made Creamy Butternut Squash Soup for dinner but didn't have any bread for dipping or making grilled cheese.  The only carb-ish thing I had was tortillas.  With squash soup?  Eh, maybe.  But remember, my food has to be scrumptious!  So I used the tortillas to make a Mexican Tuna Melt.  It was faaaabulouuus (annoying sing-song-y voice)!

Mexican Tuna Melt:
Serves 2

2 flour tortillas
1 can tuna
1-2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
10 cherry tomatoes
freshly ground black pepper
2 slices swiss cheese
2 tsp feta cheese
2 tsp shredded parmesan cheese
sliced avocado (optional) 

Mix tuna with mayonnaise, dill, tomatoes, and pepper.  Put pan over medium-low heat.  Lay tortilla on pan.  On one half of the tortilla place 1 slice swiss, half the tuna mixture, 1 tsp feta, 1 tsp parmesan and avocado slices, if using.  Fold tortilla in half and cook until browned and crisp.  Repeat with remaining tortilla. 

You can use any cheese combo, but try this one sometime because it was money.  I added the avocado as optional because I made it again the next day with the avocado and it was, dare I say it, scrumptious.

Monday, October 1, 2012

You're Probably Wondering What I've Been Up To

I blog for fun.  Oh yes, there was a day, a long time ago, when I'd dreamt of my little blog becoming something grand.  But being the pessimist (realist!) that I am, I accepted the fact that it would only be something browsed over by my good friends.  All 12 of them.  Well, as it turns out, those good friends are actually great friends.  They've been kind enough to read my silly blog, find other things to distract themselves with during my extended absences, and then encourage me to sit my booty back down at the computer and start blogging again after - what has it been?  A year and a half now?  Shoooot.

But I have a good excuse!

Meet B, my precious little boy:

photo courtesy of Tawny de Rue
My diet has gone to pot ever since being pregnant, and while I may go vegan/macro again someday in the future, for now I'm enjoying how fast nursing can burn calories.  So my future posts will include vegan, vegetarian and, uh, normal (?) recipes to keep everyone (me) happy.  The only bad news is that, since I'm nursing, I have to avoid certain foods that make B's tiny tummy hurt.  Like chocolate.  I KNOW. :( But, dude, this little man's cheeks are like mochi, which kind of makes up for the lack of chocolate in my diet right now.

So that's the latest with me anyway.  I now shop at Baby Gap.  It's very sad.  But I'm a mom now.  Quite possibly the happiest mom alive.

I just got spit up on.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quick Fix Cabbage

When I'm not cooking for my husband, I don't care much what I eat.  It's usually just nibbling food - cucumbers and hummus, chips and salsa, apples and peanut butter.  Super healthy, right?  But I'm just being real with you, because that's what I promised to do here.  Every once in a while, though, I feel like cooking something healthy for myself, like when my body starts yelling for some nutrition.  But it can't be just anything.  It has to take under 15 minutes to make and have only 2 main ingredients (or less!) or it won't happen.

Today it was:

Cabbage & Squash with Flax Seed Oil and Plum Vinegar
Serves 6 as a side dish

2 Tbs olive oil
1 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 small squash (yellow or green), diced
flax seed oil
ume (plum) vinegar (available at most grocery stores)
soy sauce
sesame oil
black sesame seeds

Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add cabbage and squash and saute for 5 minutes.  Lower heat, cover, and let simmer for 10 more minutes.  Turn off heat and drizzle generously with flax seed oil (4 or 5 tablespooons?  Taste and adjust) and ume vinegar.  Add a few splashes of soy sauce and sesame oil and toss gently to coat vegetables.  Top with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds and enjoy!  This is great both hot and cold.

Sprinkle flax seed oil and ume vinegar on almost any vegetable and it will make it taste like butter!  Alicia got me into this.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fresh & Easy Asian Pasta Salad + A Little Soul-Bearing

I'm a perfectionist.  There.  I said it.  That took me about 10 minutes to write because I had to make sure I said it perfectly...


Okay, now that that's off my chest, I wanted to let you know that I'm making changes.  That's right.  I'm no longer going to worry about writing the "perfect blog" or posting the "perfect recipe" or taking the "perfect picture".  Okay, maybe I will a little, but my goal is to just do something I enjoy and hope that you all like it.  Otherwise I'll be missing for weeks (Months?  Yes, months....) on end again, and that would be lame, right?

I was reading a book today about why people procrastinate, and it said something really interesting about Action and Motivation.  Which comes first?  "If you said motivation, you made an excellent , logical choice.  Unfortunately, you're wrong."  (Oops!)  "Motivation does not come first, action does!  If you wait until you're in the mood to do something, you may wait forever!"

Amen.  Hence, my absence as of late.

So, thanks for being patient.  I'm back to cooking, inventing and experimenting again, and it feels good.

And you thought you just came here to read a recipe for Asian Pasta Salad!  Ha!  Poor things.. Thanks for letting me spill my guts.  I feel better now :)

Fresh & Easy Asian Pasta Salad
Serves 6

1-16 oz. package brown rice noodles (penne or spiral)
1-15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
1-15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
2 cucumbers, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 green onions, both green and white part, sliced thinly
1/4 cup red onion, minced
5 green olives (preferably marinated in hot oil), minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Cook pasta according to directions on package.  Rinse and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine both beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, both onions, olives and cilantro.  Add pasta and toss with dressing (recipe below).  Serve over lettuce for extra nutrition.

*Note:  Brown rice noodles, strangely enough, tend to turn al dente when refrigerated (I didn't mind it, it just surprised me), so you may want to either eat it all in one sitting or try a different type of noodle if you want to eat it as leftovers.  The flavors marinate well though, and everything keeps its crunch.

Asian Dressing
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs dried basil
2 Tbs agave nectar
2 Tbs real maple syrup
2 Tbs soy sauce

Combine all ingredients and whisk until everything is incorporated and consistency thickens a bit.

This dressing is so mild, making it very versatile.  You can use it on plain lettuce salads, 3 bean salads, or even as a sauce over cooked veggies.  I almost always prefer to use fresh herbs when cooking, but in this case I usually have all these ingredients on hand so it makes for a very quick dinner.  Feel free to substitute if you'd like.

This salad is perfect for summertime.   Hope you like it!

Food Truck Revolution - Vegan Style

If you, like me, have been envying the Truck Food craze but are disappointed that most don't offer a veggie option, there's no need to whine any longer (unless you enjoy whining)!  The newest Vegetarian Times mag has an awesome article called Munching on the Move, and in it you'll find mobile veggie food options from Portland, OR to Providence, RI.  I was bummed to find that there aren't any in San Diego, but then there's Seabirds in Irvine, CA (and other parts of Orange County when mobile)...and I'm up there often enough visiting with my Bestie that I'm sure we'll be hitting it up soon.  Check out their menu!  This place is perfect for gluten-free, soy-free and raw foodies as well.

***UPDATE:  After doing some research, I found that Green Truck has a location in San Diego!  Their menu is not 100% veggie, but they do offer a tasty looking Vegan Burger for only $6.  Check their website for locations around San Diego, Los Angeles and New York.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spring Onion Soup

This soup needs no introduction (...except to tell you that it was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe).

Spring Onion Soup
Serves 4

2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds spring onions (and I'm thinking Martha meant to add 'just the bulbs', since her soup doesn't have the slightest hint of green in it...)
5 sprigs asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
chopped fresh dill

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent but not brown, about 15 minutes.  Add asparagus, salt, broth and water.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Using an immersion blender, carefully puree until smooth, 1 or 2 minutes.  Ladle into bowls and top with dill.

The dill really adds a nice, fresh flavor to the soup and it complements the deep onion flavor so well.  Try not to leave it out if you can help it!

Next on the list:  Curried Lentil Soup ~ Coming Soon!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Soup Spoons

I've been washing a lot of spoons lately.  That's probably because I've been making a lot of soup lately.  It must be the weather.

Since my last soup entry (Zucchini-Asparagus Soup with Basil), I've made several more.  The first was Spring Onion Soup, mostly because I'd gotten almost a dozen of these in my weekly box:

It's hard to make green soup look appetizing!  In fact, I'm wondering now if this was actually supposed to be made with only the bulbs of the red spring onions... Either way this was surprisingly delightful.  I was sure that anything prepared with that many onions, and not a lot of other ingredients, was bound to overwhelm even my taste buds!  Why I imagined it would taste like biting into a raw onion, I don't know.  Instead I found the taste of the onions to be subtle and almost sweet, even creamy.  

The next night I made a Curried Lentil Soup that seemed to get better with each reheating.  

The same could be said of this Lentil Barley Soup...

We had leftovers today and the flavors had fused together perfectly.  Pictures with no recipes...am I evil or what??  Here's one, with more to follow very soon (I promise!).

Lentil Barley Soup
Serves 8

2 Tbs olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp cumin
10 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup barley
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
3/4 cup lentils
1 bunch kale, cute into 1" thick strips
chopped fresh dill, for garnish

Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot and add carrots, onion, parsnip and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about 7 minutes.  Add cumin and cook 1 minute.  Then add vegetable broth and barley and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and cook, partially covered for 25 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes with their juices and lentils.  Continue to simmer another 30 minutes, or until barley and lentils are tender.  Add kale and simmer 10 minutes.  Garnish with dill and serve.

*If you're eating macro and avoiding tomatoes, they can easily be left out of the recipe, but you'll need to add another cup or so of vegetable broth so the soup doesn't get too thick.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Love, Books, Photos and FOOD!

Hi, I'm back!  Now where was I...?

My husband and I celebrated our 9th anniversary last month at the Hard Rock Hotel.  Look how happy we are after 9 years...

It was fabulous!  The weather was gorgeous and we ate so many delicious things.  We decided to ditch the car and walk everywhere, which felt great.  We even partied like rock stars one night at Hard Rock's 207.  We're old, though, so we just danced, had a drink, and left after 30 minutes...

Let's see...what else?  I photographed my first wedding!

Wow, was that crazy or what?  I would have never survived if it weren't for the gorgeous and talented Tawny de Rue (who is also a major foodie, by the way).  We've been best friends for 30 years, and now we get to work together!  The wedding party was a ton of fun and so easy-going, they made our job easy.  Now I'm looking forward to the next one!

I bought a fabulous book today.  It's called The Foodie Handbook and it is full of fun and amazing pictures as well as recipes.  Granted, they're not vegan recipes but I don't mind taking the time to convert them and share them with you.  Check it out if you have time, though, because the pics will make you drool.  My favorite part starts on page 173 -  'Fifty Things Every Foodie Should Do, Or At Least Try, Once In Her (His) Life.'  How fun will that be?

Now that we're on the subject of food (FINALLY, right?), I want to tell you about the soup I made yesterday.  This pureed soup has not an ounce of dairy in it, but it is unbelievably creamy and delicious!  The best part is that it takes around 30 minutes to make.  No, no...that's not true.  The best part is that it tastes incredible!  Plus, it's a great way to use your spring veggies.

Zucchini-Asparagus Soup with Basil
Serves 3-4

2 Tbsp olive oil
6 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Cups low-sodium vegetable broth
10 sprigs of asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1" pieces
1/3 Cup packed fresh basil leaves

Cook garlic and onion in oil in a medium soup pot over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add chopped zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.  Add broth and asparagus to pot and simmer, partially covered, until tender, 15 minutes.  Add basil and carefully puree soup with an immersion blender until creamy, about 2 minutes.

*The major player here is the basil so make sure it's very fresh and fragrant as this makes up a lot of the soup's final flavor.

The ingredients of this soup may sound simple and the cooking method very basic, but don't let that fool you.  I plan on serving this soup as a first course at my next French dinner party!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Quinoa + Coconut Milk = Genius

When you write a food blog, you tend to view every meal, every sauce, every seasoning, as an experiment.  I have to say, lately it has not been going so well in this test kitchen.  I mean, I was happy with how the kimchi stew turned out, for sure, but some other things have kind of...how should I say it...taken a wrong turn?  For instance, I recently made a salad of seaweed (the green, rubbery kind you get at the Japanese restaurant), lettuce, and a dressing mixture I swore would be bottled and sold at Whole Foods by next month.  Blah, it was awful!  The dressing was super bland, and the seaweed turned out so mushy that the texture made me gag.  Even The Boy, who would eat cardboard if it was covered in hot sauce, said it was kind of gross (but still ate it).  I did a few other stupid things like that this week but can't seem to remember the details.  Better for you, I guess.  

But every once in a while an idea comes along that just saves the day.  Today it came from my friend Kate, who posted a photo of her quinoa salad genius, along with the recipe, on facebook.  Bless your little healthy self, Kate!  I've seriously been racking my brain for a good quinoa recipe recently so I was thrilled to be able to post this.  And get this:  The quinoa is cooked in coconut milk.  Brilliant, I tell you!  I ran to the store a few minutes after seeing her post and picked up everything I needed.  I couldn't find any blood oranges so I threw in a little avocado instead.  I'd love to try it with the oranges next time though, for that extra zing and nice burst of color!

Thai Coconut Quinoa Salad
Serves 6 as a side dish

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 english cucumber, cubed
1/2 poblano chili, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 mango, diced
7 basil leaves, cut into ribbons
10 mint leaves, but into ribbons
zest of 1 lime
2 limes

To prepare quinoa:  Put quinoa and coconut milk into a medium pot and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Turn heat off and let sit for 5 minutes.  Then fluff with a fork.
While quinoa is cooking, in a large bowl combine cucumber, chili, avocado, mango, basil, mint and zest of limes.  Then squeeze juice from limes over the mixture.  Toss gently to combine.  After quinoa has cooled for a few minutes, add to mixture and toss gently.  Garnish with mint leaves, or just eat directly from the serving bowl...with the large serving spoon.

What I love about this salad, aside from the delicious, refreshing taste, is the fact that it refrigerates well so you can pack it for lunch the next day.  I have a feeling I'll be making it a lot this summer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kimchi! ...dedicated to Susanne, for being so patient...

You open the fridge and you get a whiff... Mmm...fermented cabbage...

That's right.  You bought a jar of kimchi last month and now it's on the brink of turning sour.  All the other food in your fridge is starting to taste like kimchi too, so you have to use it up.  By now the cabbage is probably turning clear which means that it's the perfect time to make Kimchi Jjigae.  This is a delicious, spicy Korean stew that is typically made with pork belly, but of course the version I made is vegan.

My sister-in-law is Korean and her dad owns a restaurant in Orange County.  Recently, he sent down a big jar of his house-made kimchi with her for The Boy and I.  Let me tell you, I have never tasted better kimchi than the stuff he whips up at his restaurant.  Holy Moly.  Anyway, I've been dying to make kimchi jjigae for months now, but I have to be honest.  I'm totally intimidated by Korean cooking!  It's completely different from anything I've ever done so I was sure I was going to completely screw it up.  So I texted my sister-in-law for her recipe, and I decided to use what she gave me mixed with a few other goodies, and this is what I came up with:

Vegan Kimchi Jjigae
Serves 4

sesame oil, 2 Tbsp, plus a little extra for garnish
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 an onion, sliced into half moons, about 1/2 inch thick
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 a small head of cabbage, chopped
2 1/2 cups kimchi, coarsely chopped
kimchi juices
1 tsp brown rice syrup (or more, to taste)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp mirin or sake
1 package tofu, cubed
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat sesame oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute.  Add onion and saute 3 to 4 minutes.  Add carrots, cabbage, kimchi and kimchi juices and stir to combine.  (If there's not a lot of kimchi juice in the jar, squeeze the kimchi to get more juices out.)  Add enough water to just cover kimchi mixture.  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.  Add syrup, soy sauce, mirin and tofu and simmer 5 minutes longer.  Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with a little sesame oil and top with green onions.  Serve piping hot with a side of rice.

Tip:  If you really like it spicy, add red chili flakes, red chili paste, jalapeƱo peppers or spicy green chilies.

Macro Eaters:  If you like to include fish in your diet every now and then, try adding a few chunks of mild, white fish to the broth for added flavor and texture.  You'll want to add it during the last 15 minutes of cooking so that it doesn't cook too long and turn to rubber.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm Gonna Knock the Bitter Out of Those Greens

Mustard greens were one of the items in my weekly produce box from last week.  So for an entire week, those greens have been sitting in the bottom drawer of my refrigerator as every night I would push them aside to reach other, less bitter and less intimidating vegetables.  Today, another bunch of mustard greens showed up in my box and I sighed, almost wishing that the other batch had gone bad by now so that I could throw it away.  Terrible, I know, but when I'd tried to add them to my morning miso or stir fry they left such a bitter aftertaste in my mouth!  So tonight I was bound and determined to knock the bitter out of those greens.  This is how I did it.  I thank my mom for the idea.

Japanese-Style Mustard Greens
Serves 2 to 3

1 large bunch mustard greens, stems trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown rice syrup
1 tsp mirin (a sweet sake for cooking - occasionally used in macro cooking)
1/4 block of medium-firm tofu, patted dry with paper towels
crushed sesame seeds for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add greens and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Strain in a strainer and push out as much water from the greens as you can without burning your hands.  Set aside to cool for a few minutes.  Once greens have cooled, squeeze out any excess water from greens and set aside.  In a medium pan, heat sesame oil over medium heat.  Once oil is fragrant, using your fingers, separate greens as you add them to the pan.  Cook, stirring gently for about 1 minute.  Add soy sauce, syrup, and mirin to greens; stir gently until combined.  Crumble tofu with your fingers as you add it to the mustard greens.  Toss with greens and cook on low for another minute to warm tofu.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with brown rice, sauteed cabbage and adzuki beans with squash.  Oishii!

This is so good, I wish I'd made a double batch..

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Back to Macro and Feeling Good

I admit it.  I've been a bit off track with my eating lately.  Yes, there has been a lot of eating out...there have been some sweets...even...coffee (gasp).  I know, I know!  So for the last three days I've been focusing mostly on macro again, and it feels so good!  My cheeks are rosy, my energy is up, and I'm just feeling more balanced overall.  Here's a sample menu, to give you an idea of how I kept my meals mostly macro:


  • Breakfast - Oatmeal with a small teaspoon of maple syrup
  • Lunch - half a sweet potato (I had a late breakfast that day...I made up for it with dinner though)
  • Dinner - brown rice, arame with carrots & onions, sauteed shredded cabbage drizzled with flax seed oil, ume vinegar and gomashio, and seasoned mixed beets (recipe below)
  • Breakfast - miso soup with bok choy and dark greens, leftover rice pilaf (added some sauteed cabbage to freshen it up), natto and toasted nori
  • Lunch - stir-fried soba noodles with veggies
  • Dinner - I'm planning veggie soup with a side of whole grain bread
I was so tempted to make coffee this morning, but instead I brewed some kukicha tea and tried to forget about the taste of rich, creamy espresso...(single teardrop)...

After finishing dinner on Monday, The Boy told me he was so glad to have me as his wife because I cook healthy meals that he likes, and needs, to eat.  Awwwww :)

Seasoned Mixed Beets:
Serves 4 as a small side dish

12 small golden and chioggia beets, peeled and quartered
1 Tbs brown rice syrup
4 Tbs apple cider vinegar

In a large pot with a lid, steam beets in 1/2 cup of water until tender, about 20 minutes.  Strain and toss gently with brown rice syrup and vinegar.  Serve warm or chilled.

Monday, March 7, 2011

...promises you don't intend to keep...

Okay, so I keep promising things and then not delivering.  That's just not right!  Especially when it has to do with FOOD!  So, as promised.....

Yellow Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup
Serves 8

8 1/2 Cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbs finely grated ginger
2 Cups dried yellow split peas
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 Cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Bring 1/2 cup water to simmer in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook about 5 minutes or until translucent.  Stir in ginger and cook 1 minute, stirring.  Add remaining 8 cups water, peas and sweet potato cubes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Uncover and continue to simmer 15 minutes.  Carefully puree soup with a hand held processor until smooth and creamy.  Garnish with pumpkin seeds.  Enjoy with a French baguette.

Recipe courtesy of Whole Foods