Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chili Chickpea Mash

I have been having more intestinal tract blockages recently and an abdominal ct scan last week showed the reason for this is because the pancreatic tumor has shifted position is now pressing on my duodenum, though it hasn't grown in size. But it requires that I eat more soluble fiber and less insoluble fiber.  This recipe for chickpea mash is a good example of the type of soluble fiber that works well for me.  Most importantly, it is delicious!  Hummus is another good example of a dip that has the type of soluble fiber that works well for me, but variety in my diet is important for taste, fun and nutrition. 

1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small fresh red chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup boiling water                                                                             
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired

Put the chickpeas in a food processor with the chili pepper slices, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil.  Puree to preferred consistency, adding just enough of the boiling water to make a smooth, creamy texture.  Season with salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper, if desired. 

Servings per recipe: 6
Serving Size: 3.3 Tablespoons
Calories: 110
Total Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 240 mg
Total Carbs: 19 g
Dietary Fiber:  4 g
Protein: 4 g

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Tomatoland" by Barry Estabrook

More tomatoes from Tom's vegetable garden in our yard

In a previous post for a tomato soup recipe, I commented on an interview with Barry Estabrook I heard on National Public Radio a few weeks ago.  Here is a link to that interview.

Tomatoland: How Modern Industrialized Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit is the title of the book by Barry Estabrook that exposes the agricultural practices used in Florida to produce tomatoes.  He documents the use of nearly 110 pesticides, fungicides and insecticides to produce the tomatoes, and how the durability of a tomato for cross-country transport is the top priority rather than taste.  He also exposes the abject slavery of workers used in the tomato industry in Florida.   

I look at the tomatoes my husband lovingly grew from heirloom seeds and admire their lack of uniformity, along with their lack of pesticides and insecticides and chemicals.  I will savor each one as I puree them into delicious soup!  We have several more ripening in paper bags that will soon be ready to use. 

Heirloom tomatoes and an onion

Monday, September 26, 2011

Spinach and Yogurt Soup

This recipe is from the Joslin Diabetes Healthy Carbohydrate Cookbook, with slight modifications.  I made it for the first time in March, 2011, and loved it. Swiss chard can easily be substituted for the spinach. 

Olive oil cooking spray
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 10-oz. package frozen leaf spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup water
3/4 cup canned low-fat, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth             
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried
2 cups plain non-fat yogurt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Thyme sprigs for garnish

Lightly coat a nonstick pot with cooking spray and add the onion.  Cook over medium heat until soft, about 4 minutes.  Add the spinach and water.  Raise the heat to high and cook until the water has evaporated.  Remove from the heat  Puree the mixture to desired consistency.  Stir in the yogurt, and heat gently but do not allow the soup to boil. (Boiling would cause the yogurt to curdle.)  Season the soup with pepper.  Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with thyme sprigs. 

Servings per recipe: 4
Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup                                                            
Calories: 93
Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Sodium: 152 mg
Total Carbs: 16 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 9 g

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dilled Carrot Tomato Soup

Tom grew heirloom tomatoes this year and they are gorgeous!  They aren't uniform in size or shape, which is the way "real" tomatoes grow as opposed to ones that are mass produced with slave labor in Florida.  (Ugh..I recently heard a report on Minnesota Public Radio about tomato growing operations in Florida and their abuse of migrant workers and other horticultural practices that convinced me to never buy a commerically produced tomato again!)  Anyway, this soup is an exquisite way to enjoy those tomatoes from the garden.  We had a hard freeze a couple of weeks ago, so Tom had to pull all of the green tomatoes off  the vines.  But tomatoes quickly ripen if placed in a brown paper bag with an apple. 

Golden and red heirloom tomatoes

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
3/4 lb. carrots, peeled and finely diced         
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1 bay leaf
5 sprigs fresh dill, to taste

Heat the oil in a soup pot.  Add the onions and saute over medium-low heat until golden.
Add the broth, water, carrots and tomatoes.  Stir in the bay leaves.  Bring to a rapid simmer, and then lower the heat.  Cover and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add the fresh dill.  Puree to desired consistency.  Add salt as desired (not included in nutritional analysis).  Garnish with a drizzle of kefir.

Servings per recipe: 4
Serving Size: 1 cup                                           
Calories: 94
Total Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 134 mg
Total Carbs: 15 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 2 g

Monday, September 19, 2011

Favorite Green Soup

The kale and Swiss chard are still abundant in my garden and I haven't grown tired of them yet.  So here is another of my favorite "green soups".  This recipe was given to me by my good friend, Tahirih. Yes, many of the soups start to look alike, which is why I almost named this blog "UGH - Ugly, Great Taste, and Healthy".  But I didn't think it would attract many people. Because the appearance of many of my green soups is similar, it has become a priority for me to make up for the loss in appearance with zesty taste.  I am also learning to be more creative with garnishing soups with a swirl of kefir, yogurt, or similar. 

Garden Kale

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
7 cups chopped fresh kale, Swiss chard, or other greens such as mustard greens, collards, or spinach
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Saute onion in oil.  Add potatoes and water.  Cook until potatoes are tender.  Add greens and the broth, salt and pepper and simmer until tender.  Puree to desired consistency. 

Servings per recipe: 6

Swiss Chard
 Serving Size: 1 cup                                   
Calories: 97
Total Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 2 mg
Sodium: 544 mg
Total Carbs: 16 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 4 g

Friday, September 16, 2011

Curried Squash Soup

I made this soup in 2010 for the bridal shower for my now "daughter-in-love", Kiara.  (We like to use that term rather than "daughter-in-law" since we love her dearly!) Several people asked for the recipe.  This year this soup will be made with the Pink Banana Squash from our garden, which is gigantic!  Tom's grand sense of fun is seen in this photo of him with one of these winter squash.  It really is supposed to be this big and on Sunday he roasted the first of about 10 such squash from our garden.  It was exquisite!
3 cups peeled and cubed winter squash (butternut or pink banana or similar)
1 cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
4 cups chicken stock
1/8 teaspoon ground thyme

Roast the peeled, cubed squash in the oven by placing it in a  9 x 13" baking pan, cover it with foil, and let it bake for about 30 - 45 minutes at 375 degrees, until tender.  When the squash is finished cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan.  Add the onions, and saute them until translucent.  Add the curry powder and cook about 2 more minutes.  Add the roasted squash cubes, chicken stock, and thyme.  Simmer on medium-low for about 30 minutes.  Puree to desired consistency.  If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a bit more chicken broth or water.  Decorate with a swirl of kefir and a sprinkle of paprika, if desired.

Nutrition: (using purchased low-sodium chicken broth)

Servings per recipe: 8
Serving Size: 1 cup  (approximate)                                  
Calories: 75
Total Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol:  3 mg                  
Sodium: 484 mg
Total Carbs: 11 g         
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 2 g

Summer Squash and Leek Soup

The leeks are ready to use in Tom's vegetable garden, and....we have more crookneck summer squash.   This recipe is an adaptation of one from the Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Soup and Stew, by Diane Rossen Worthington, 2004.  It is creamy and delicious!  The original recipe used whole milk, but I omitted that and it was still great.

Leeks and onions from garden

3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and finely chopped
6 small crookneck summer squash, about 1 1/2 pounds
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a soup pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil.  Add the leeks and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes more.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the stock and cook, partially covered, until the squash is very tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the basil, chives and the lemon juice. Puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Gently reheat the soup over medium-high heat.  Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with extra chives or basil, if desired.  Serve immediately. 


Soup is cooking

Servings per recipe: 10                              
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 64
Total Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 34 mg
Total Carbs: 5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 2 g

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Zucchini and Green Bean Soup

I was hospitalized last week with complications of the tumor, so I am just getting back to posting recipes today.  Fortunately, when I came home from the hospital, I had several  varieties of soup in my freezer from which to choose.  While the hospital dietitian had done a fabulous job of trying to accommodate my needs, my homemade soups nourished my body and soul in the ways I needed.  Here's one of the soups I had waiting for me in the freezer.  I don't recall the original source of this recipe, unfortunately. But it combined zucchini and green beans and I was skeptical. I had an abundance of both of these vegetables (including both purple and green beans) in the garden a few weeks ago, so decided to give it a try, and I loved it.  It was especially good after the flavors had melded.   

Purple and green beans.  Purple beans turn green when cooked.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 small cloves garlic, minced
3 medium zucchini, diced

Green zucchini and yellow crookneck squash
4 cups fresh green beans, chopped into 1" slices                   
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon or more chopped cilantro
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth,
(or homemade vegetable stock)
About 4 cups water (enough to cover vegetables)    
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat.  Saute onions and garlic.  Add zucchini and beans, and cover with enough broth and water to cover vegetables.  Add salt and apper and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and let simmer about 10  minutes until vegetables are very tender.  Add the chopped parsley and cilantro and stir in.  Using an immersion blender, puree soup to desired consistency.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Garnish with a little chopped parsley or cilantro to serve, and if you like, add a little grated Parmesan on top. 

Servings per recipe: 8                                   
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 55
Total Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol:  0 mg
Sodium: 104 mg
Total Carbs: 12 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 2