Friday, October 28, 2011

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Where have I been, you might ask, or at least I hope you are asking that.  Well, I have had shoulder/neck pain that is made worse by using the computer too much.  I needed to rest for awhile.  But I kept cooking and taking photos, so here is what I have been up to.  

Blessed tomatoes....they keep ripening out in the garage.  I love the bright yellow ones for their beauty as much as for their taste.   I hesitate to cut into each one because it will destroy the splendid sight. And.. I think I just don't want them to ever end this year.  Fortunately, I found a new recipe to override my reluctance.  I had saved this recipe for Roasted Tomato Sauce that I had cut from the July/August 2010 issue of Natural Home, and only needed to modify it a bit by reducing the amount of olive oil. I used fresh onions from the garden, as well as fresh basil and oregano from the herb garden.  Ah, it was delightful served over a bit of pasta and even tastier when served over spaghetti squash. 

Healthy bite info:   Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant found to lower cancer risk and they are also an excellent source of vitamins C, A, and K, as well as magnesium and iron.

Heirloom tomatoes are ideal for making sauce, because they have a thin skin so there is no need to blanch and peel the tomatoes first.  Even though I love to cook, I also love quick and easy!


1/4 cup olive oil
3 1/4 pounds fresh heirloom tomatoes, seeded and chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) yellow onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Use a little oil to coat a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Spread tomatoes evenly across dish.  Mix garlic, onion, oregano, basil and 2 Tablespoons olive oil and spread evenly over tomatoes.  Drizzle with remaining olive oil and toss.  Bake in a 375-degree oven for about an hour.  Let cool, then blend tomatoes to a rich puree in a food processor or blender.  Add salt and pepper.  

Servings per recipe: 8 
Serving Size: 1/2  cup
Calories: 107
Total Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 118 mg
Total Carbs: 10 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 2 g

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

Tom pulled more carrots from the garden, so I made this quick pureed carrot soup.  I have no recollection of where I obtained this recipe, as it is one that I have been making for several years.  The original recipe used cilantro for seasoning, but I substituted garam masala, an Indian spice, and liked it much better. This soup combines carrots with sweet potatoes, resulting in a megadose of potassium (295 mg per cup serving) and Vitamin A (316% of the recommended daily minimum).    Carrots are also an excellent source of the antioxidant beta-carotene.  Additionally,  the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in carrots support liver, digestive, and kidney function, according to nutritionist Rebecca Katz, in her excellent cookbook, One Bite at a Time.  I'll make a separate post about this outstanding cookbook another time.   Until then, enjoy this soup simply for its superb taste and ease of preparation.

I garnished the soup with a sprinkle of finely ground hazelnuts

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes (about 3 cups)
2 lbs. carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1" chunks (about 3 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 cups Pacific Organic Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup water
1 small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 3 tsp)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garam masala seasoning

Simmer sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic and lemon zest in broth till tender (about 15 - 20 minutes).  Remove from heat.  Add lemon juice, water, ginger and garam masala and cook another 5 minutes.  Puree in a blender or with an immersion stick.  Season with salt and pepper if desired. 


Simmering Soup
Servings per recipe: 8                                           
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 89
Total Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 75 mg
Total Carbs: 20 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 3 g

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Moroccan Carrot Spread

I tasted a Moroccan Carrot Spread at the Duluth Whole Foods Co-op and loved the creamy texture and sweet carrot taste with spices.  So I looked for a similar recipe on-line and found this one from Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, and author of 10 cookbooks, including her 15-Minute Gourmet cookbook series.  The list of ingredients was nearly identical to the one at the Co-op, but her recipe did not include parsley, so I added it to this recipe.   The key to the creamy texture is cooking the carrots until they are very tender.  I had never tried cooking carrots in the microwave before, and I have to admit that it was much quicker than my usual stove-top method. 

1 pound carrots (about 8), cut into 1" chunks              
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Put the carrots in a medium microwave-proof dish; add about 1/4 cup water.  Cover tightly and microwave on high for about 8 minutes, or until very tender.  (Or cook the carrots in a stovetop steamer.)  Drain well.

Transfer the carrots to a food processor; process until mashed.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Bring to room temperature for serving.

Servings per recipe: 5

Food processing  the ingredients
Serving Size: 1/4 cup cup
Calories: 89
Total Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 64 mg
Total Carbs: 9 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 1 g

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gingered Carrot Soup Again

I posted the recipe for this soup in May, but I made it again today and used carrots from my husband's vegetable garden.  Oh, I love this soup!  Here is a photo of the finished soup to inspire you to try it.  I added the photos I took while I made it today to the original post with the recipe, too. 
Here is the link for the recipe:

Gingered Carrot Soup!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pureed White Beans-Tomatoes with Halibut

Before I had the need to puree my food, one of my favorite recipes was Halibut with White Beans in Tomato-Rosemary Broth.   So I experimented with this recipe and pureed the tomatoes and beans after they were cooked, and was delighted with the taste, the texture, and the vibrant color!  (Nice to have a change from my usual green soups.)  The tomatoes were a mix of golden and plum heirloom tomatoes from Tom's vegetable garden. The golden tomatoes are lower in acidity than usual tomatoes and are YUMMY!  


Tomatoes, beans, broth and rosemary

1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 (6 oz) halibut fillets
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper                                                 

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped plum tomatoes 
1 cup chopped golden tomatoes        
1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 (16 oz.) can cannelini  beans, or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.   Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper.  Add fish to the pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. 

Remove fish from pan; keep warm in a large casserole dish.  Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Stir in tomato, broth, beans, and rosemary.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Puree to desired consistency.  Ladle into bowls and add halibut.  Serve immediately.

Beautiful finished soup!
Servings per recipe: 6
Serving Size: 1 halibut fillet plus approx. 1 1/4 cup puree
Calories: 293                                                                             
Total Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 46 mg
Sodium: 203 mg
Total Carbs: 21 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 37 g

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Curried Zucchini Soup

I previously posted a recipe for Chilled Curried Zucchini Soup, that I had adapted from the Soup Bible (2007, Penguin Books).   Two nights ago, I modified it again by omitting the buttermilk and serving it warm.  I liked it even better this way, though that might have been partly because the cold weather influenced my desire for a warm soup.  If you like curry and other Indian spices, this soup is for you.  It  was incredibly simple and quick to make. 

Ingredients for the Curried Zucchini Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon shredded fresh ginger root               
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups Pacific Natural Foods Organic Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

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

Blend contents of pan until smooth.  Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt.  (Yogurt is not included in nutritional analysis.)

Servings per recipe: 4
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories:  68
Total Fat: 4 g                                                              
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 40  mg
Total Carbs: 8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 2 g