Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lemongrass Summer Squash Soup

Crookneck squash is my favorite summer squash because  it is much creamier and less watery than the typical zucchini summer squash. There is no need to remove the bumpy peeling since it is so tender, and most of the nutrients reside in this covering, so it is best not to remove it.  I created this soup from one of the larger 15 crookneck squash Tom harvested from the garden.  I like to look in my refrigerator and the herbs on my deck pots and create from what is available.  I had a tube of lemongrass paste and decided to try it.  I loved the zing it gave to this creation.  For the broth, I used the vegetable broth from the Swiss chard and kale stems I had cooked earlier in the week.  Last summer I froze crookneck squash soup and it was great to have this available for days when I didn't feel well enough to cook. 

Crookneck summer squash and zucchini
1 large or 3 small crookneck summer squash, diced
1 small onion, chopped

Kale and chard stems for broth
3/4 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Lemongrass paste      
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups vegetable broth
(I used stock I made from cooking
Swiss Chard and kale stems)
freshly ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients, except for the pepper, in a large cooking pan.  You may need to add more water to have enough liquid to cover the vegetables.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the squash and onions are tender.  Puree.  Add freshly ground pepper, and salt if needed.  Garnish with fresh parsley or basil, if desired. 

Lemongrass Summer Squash Soup
Servings per recipe: 5
Serving Size: About 1 cup                        
Calories: 23
Total Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 398 mg
Total Carbs: 5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 1 g

Note:  Sodium calculation used a commercially prepared vegetable broth, rather than my own homemade broth. 

Chilled Beet and Blueberry Soup

My mother loved me.  Not only because I was her child, but because I gladly ate vegetables and actually liked them, including beets.  So mom and I shared an affinity for beets prepared numerous ways. Well, I can no longer tolerate a beet sandwich (sliced, cooked beets on sourdough bread slathered with mayonnaise)  or a beet salad.  But my love for beets hasn't changed one bit.  So Tom harvested the beets from our garden; I boiled them in their skins and then placed them in cold water to make the skins slip off easily. (Mom taught me so well!) Then I contemplated what I would do with these beautiful jewels.  I started with a puree of beets and kefir and discovered it was delicious.  Then I turned around and saw the last of the garden blueberries sitting on the table.  Hmmmm....blueberries and beets?   Why not?   Wow!  Not only was it beautiful; it was tangy, tasty and nutritious.  Try it and be surprised.  And thank your mother for making you eat your vegetables.  And for loving you even when you don't.

1/4 cup low-fat plain kefir
1 cup sliced, cooked beets, chilled   
1/4 cup fresh blueberries

Puree all ingredients in a blender.  If the ingredients are chilled prior to blending them, just eat and enjoy.  Otherwise, I suggest chilling it for about 30 minutes. 

Servings per recipe: 1
Serving Size: Approximately 1 cup
Calories: 122
Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Sodium: 139 mg
Total Carbs: 24 g
Dietary Fiber: 6 g
Protein: 7 g

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Misha's Indian Spinach Soup

This recipe came from my son's friend, Misha, who is from India. I have discovered that all of her recipes are superb!

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped                    
1 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon crushed red cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 lb. frozen chopped spinach, thawed  (or use about 3 large bunches of fresh spinach, washed with stems removed)

Heat oil over medium heat.  Add cumin seeds and fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.   Add onion, ginger, and tomato.   Saute' about 5 minutes on medium heat.  Add turmeric, red cayenne flakes, and salt.  Saute' 1 minute.  Add spinach and cook for 5 - 8 minutes.  Remove soup from heat.  Puree contents till smooth. 

Servings per recipe: 4
Serving Size: 1 1/2  cups (approx)                                    
Calories: 88
Total Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol:0 mg
Sodium: 294 mg
Total Carbs: 12 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 4 g

Creamy Tomato Soup

I adapted this recipe from one in The Soup Bible, which I purchased from Barnes and Nobles' bargain table last winter.   This recipe is a creamy and delicious comfort soup.  

1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 potato,peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound tomatoes, roughly chopped                                              
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup Fage Greek Yogurt (0% fat)
Sprigs of fresh parsley for garnish

In a saucepan, melt coconut oil and add onion and garlic.  Cook over gently heat until soft.  Add potato, tomatoes, bay leaf, tomato paste and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes until potato is tender.

Blend contents of pan until smooth.  Return to the saucepan and gently reheat.  Stir in the Fage Greek yogurt.  Ladle into bowls and garnish parsley.

Servings per recipe: 6
Serving Size: 1 cup (approx.)
Calories: 144
Total Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 291 mg
Total Carbs: 19 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 7 g

Avocado Cilantro Dip

This was a creation devised from my desire to use the delicious smelling cilantro growing in the deck container.  Avocado is a source of healthy fat, but I can't tolerate too much of it, so I need to use self-control when this dip is available.  

1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped red onion
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves                                         
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Puree all ingredients until smooth.

Servings per recipe: 4
Serving Size: 2 - 3 Tablespoons, depending on the size of the avocado
Calories: 79
Total Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 149 mg
Total Carbs: 6 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 1 g

Creamy Blueberry Yogurt Smoothie

Blueberries are ripe in our garden!  Tom has tried to keep ahead of the chipmunks in harvesting them.  Fortunately, he picked about 2 quarts yesterday.  So I made this smoothie for breakfast today.  In addition to the regular plain yogurt, I like to use Fage Greek yogurt to give a creamy texture and it adds additional protein without many carbohydrates. 

1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1/2 cup Fage Greek yogurt (0% fat)

Puree all ingredients in a blender.

Servings per recipe: 2
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 105
Total Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg
Sodium: 73 mg
Total Carbs: 17 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 9 g

Chilled Curried Zucchini Soup

This is an adaptation of a recipe from The Soup Bible.  This chilled soup is another way to savor zucchini before you give away the excess to neighbors...if they don't duck into their garage when they see you carrying one more in their direction. Honestly, when you taste how good this soup is, you will want to keep the zucchini all to yourself.

1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped                               
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound zucchini, roughly chopped                      
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
sprigs of fresh cilantro for garnish

Heat oil in a large saucepan, add onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, coriander and cumin and cook over gentle heat for 3-4 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for 5 minutes, covered, until zucchini begins to soften.  Pour in stock and simmer for another 10 minutes or so, until zucchini are cooked.  Remove from heat and cool a little.

Blend contents of pan until smooth.  Chill.  When cold, stir in buttermilk.  Keep cool until ready to serve.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro sprigs. 


Tom discovered more summer squash!

Servings per recipe: 6
Serving Size: 1 cup  (approx)                       
Calories: 55
Total Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg
Sodium: 48 mg
Total Carbs: 7 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 2 g

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kale-Cottage Cheese Bake

I adapted this recipe from one in North Country Cabin Cooking.  I substituted kale for the spinach, egg whites for the whole eggs, and non-fat cottage cheese for the full-fat variety.  It was a great way to use up the abundance of kale in the garden, and get a mega-dose of nutrients in a tasty way.   I even ate this for breakfast one morning. 

Garden Kale

10 oz. cooked kale
1 cup non-fat cottage cheese
3 egg whites or equivalent amount of egg substitute      
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Sprinkle of nutmeg
Sprinkle of paprika

Puree all ingredients, except for the paprika, in a blender.  Pour into a lightly oiled 9" pie plate.  Sprinkle with paprika on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Servings per recipe: 4
Serving Size: About 3/4 cup
Calories: 131
Total Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 15 mg
Sodium: 619 mg
Total Carbs:  6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g  
Protein: 18

Kale and Eggs

Can there ever be too much kale in a garden?   Only if my imagination runs dry.  This morning for breakfast, I put some cooked, pureed, and well-drained kale into my egg whites.  Green Eggs Without the Ham!

Garden In a Glass

I juiced a variety of greens and other vegetables for my birthday meal with my family.  My 23 year old son, Caleb, sampled the juice and expressed his delight with its taste when he declared "It tastes like garden in a glass!"  I loved his description and decided I would adopt his name for it. 

2 large cucumbers                                                                        
5 stalks celery
1 Granny Smith apple
3 slices ginger root (1" slices)
6 - 7 kale leaves (about 3 cups roughly chopped)
6 - 7 Tyfon greens leaves  (about 3 cups roughly chopped)
1 cup loosely packed parsley

Put it all through the juicer to extract the fiber.  Sip with delight and taste that garden!

Servings per recipe: 6
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 74
Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 84 mg
Total Carbs: 16 g
Dietary Fiber: 0   Sugars:  6 g
Protein: 4 g

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Purple Night Out Duluth

Thursday, September 1, 2001,
5 - 7 pm
Clyde Ironworks
2920 West Michigan Street
Duluth, MN

In nearly four decades, one statistic hasn't changed:  Just 6% of pancreatic cancer patients will survive five years.  There is no cure, but with your help, there is hope.
Join us for a fun evening and raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.  Come enjoy appetizers and mingling, and learn how you can help support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  http://www.pancan.org/.

Free admission, free appetizers, great door prizes from local merchants and artists, and a
memory/honor table for lighting a candle.
Brief slide presentation at 5:45. 

 A special thanks to Alex Guilianni at Clyde Ironworks, Barb Payette at Stewart-Taylor Printing, and local merchants and artists for their donations for this event.  We sincerely appreciate it. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sweet Potato-Kale Bake

This recipe was inspired by one I found on my favorite blog, 365 Days of Kale.  This blog is written by Diana Dyer, a registered dietician who is also a multiple-time cancer survivor.  The blog is filled with accurate nutritional information, inspiration, and practical advice.  She provides numerous recipes for kale and other types of vegetables in the brassica rapa family.  My dietary needs don't allow me to eat most of them without modifications, but it has been definitely worth my time to adjust them to my situation.  This recipe is a great example of what I did with her recipe for Sweet Potato Kale Patties, which contained too many small pieces of vegetables that would likely create intestinal blockages for me.  

2 cups cooked and drained kale
2 cups cooked sweet potato cubes
1/4 sweet red pepper, steamed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/2 cup Egg Beaters or equivalent amount of egg whites
1 cup cooked quinoa

Puree the kale, sweet potato, red pepper, garlic powder, and onion flakes in a blender with the egg whites.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cooked quinoa.  Place the mixture in a lightly oiled baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Alternatively, the mixture can be fried in a small amount of coconut oil in a fry pan on the stove. 

Servings per recipe: 4
Serving Size: About 2/3 cup
Calories: 148
Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 178 mg
Total Carbs: 31 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 5 g