Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cauliflower Soup with Kale Crumbles

Do you ever wonder where your mind finds ideas????   I certainly wonder where mine comes up with ideas.....especially ones that turn out this superb!  I had some cauliflower that needed to be used and some already chopped onions, and some kale.  And a need for something easy.  Thus, a soup is born!  Even Tom thought it was excellent.  

If you are wondering about "kale crumbles",  it's my version of  "roasted kale chips".  You think I'm kidding, don't you!!!   Get over your need for unhealthy potato chips!   I mean it!   Try these for a healthy and satisfying alternative. Simply chop a bunch of kale into large pieces. Use whatever variety of kale you find at the store or better yet at a local farmers market (or if you are lucky like I am, find in your garden).  Then put them in a bowl and spray with olive oil cooking spray and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Stir to distribute the olive oil spray and then spread them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.   Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 8 - 10 minutes, until crispy. Crumble and use as a garnish for soup. Pzazz!  Of course, if you can tolerate olive oil, just drizzle about 1 - 2 teaspoons on the chopped kale in a bowl and proceed as above.  
Roasted kale "chips"

My next post will be of how I turned this soup into  potato-cauliflower soup for another meal.

    1 Tablespoon coconut oil
    1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
    1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
    2 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used Swansons Chicken broth, not the reduced sodium type)
    About 1/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning

Melt oil in a deep soup pot. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent. Meanwhile, cut cauliflower florets into smaller pieces. When the onions are translucent, add the cauliflower florets, the chicken broth, and the seasoning. Cover and simmer on low until the cauliflower pieces are very tender. Puree with an immersion stick or other device of your choice. 

Nutrition per serving:
Servings per recipe: 4
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 79
Total Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Sodium: 643 mg (could easily be reduced if a low-sodium variety of broth was used)
Total Carbs: 10 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 4 g

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Curried Red Lentil and Winter Squash Soup

This is my adaptation of a recipe from Epicurious.  The original recipe cubed butternut squash and cooked it with the other vegetables in a soup pot.  But because Tom had cooked one of his monster pink banana squash  (see photo below) and I had that in the refrigerator, I used that instead.  And of course, I used coconut oil rather than the combination of vegetable oil and butter that the original recipe used.  The mix of earthy red lentils and squash with curry was superb!  Madras curry is simply one type of ground curry that is a bit more intense than the typical curry powder.  I often have it in my spice cupboard, but didn't have it when I made this soup, so I am eager to try this again using Madras curry.  

The original recipe also made a cilantro oil to put on the soup, but it used vegetable oil and cilantro and I knew that would never work for me.  So I played around with the idea, and made an incredibly tasty sauce using goat yogurt and cilantro.   I used about 4 teaspoons yogurt with about about 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, and put it in the Magic Bullet.  The flavor was a great accompaniment to the soup.  Of course, any type of plain yogurt would work.  I am realizing for me, however, goat products are much more easily digested than cow products.  

I am definitely a better cook than photographer.  I think I took about 50 photos and none did this soup justice. Just believe me when I say it is tastier than it looks.  

The abundance of winter squash is Pzazz this year!  Tom planted several varieties of winter squash, and all performed heartily.   The great thing about winter squash is that they are nearly indestructible.  If kept in a cool place, they will keep for months before needing to be used. Or I often bake them in the oven, and then freeze the flesh, or make it immediately into soup, which can also be frozen.  For those days and weeks when I have minimal energy, there is nothing better than being able to take out soup from the freezer and simply warm it up.  

1 Tablespoon coconut oil
2 1/2 cups cooked winter squash (any variety)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons minced peeled ginger
1 Tablespoon curry (preferably Madras)
8 cups water
1 cup dried red lentils, picked over and rinsed
fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in deep soup pot.  Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic,and ginger with the salt.  Saute until the vegetables are tender. Add the cooked winter squash, freshly ground pepper and curry powder and simmer about 10 more minutes.  Let cool. Add the water, and puree with an immersion blender in the pot, being careful for hot splatters.  Add the lentils to the pot, and simmer, covered, for about 30- 40 minutes until the lentils are soft.  Ladle into bowls with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. A garnish of crumbled feta cheese or crumbled goat cheese is also tasty with it.

Nutrition per serving:
Servings per recipe: 10                        
Serving size:  1 cup
Calories:  118

Total Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol:0   mg
Sodium: 226 mg
Total Carbs: 20 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 6 g

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Caleb's Savory Garbanzo Flour Pancakes

Our son, Caleb, created these pancakes and they are delicious. Of course, being the great cook that he is, he doesn't measure ingredients.  So it took me a few tries to get the right consistency. His original recipe uses whole kernel corn, with sauteed sweet green peppers and onions.  I pureed cream style corn and used onion powder and finely minced sweet green pepper. 

Use this recipe as a template for trying other seasoning combinations. Coriander and cumin would likely be great compliments to the garbanzo flavor.  I served the pancakes with goat yogurt and because they are savory rather than sweet, I felt no desire for a sweet syrup. These are Pzazz as snacks, too!

    1 cup cream style corn
    6 Tablespoons liquid egg whites
    2/3 cup Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Bean (chickpea) flour
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon curry powder
    dash of onion powder
    2 teaspoons finely minced green pepper
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    freshly ground black pepper

Put the cream style corn into the Magic Bullet or similar device and puree to a smooth consistency. Add the liquid egg whites and stir thoroughly. Add the garbanzo bean flour, baking powder, curry powder, and dash of onion powder. and minced green pepper, if using. Melt coconut oil onto a griddle.  Ladle twelve pancakes and fry. These need to be cooked at a bit lower temperature and a bit longer than normal pancakes. Full of Pzazz when served with goat yogurt! 

Nutrition per pancake :
Servings per recipe: 12
Serving Size: 1 pancake  (I ate three of them for breakfast.)
Calories: 45
Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium:  95 mg
Total Carbs: 8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 3 g

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Spicy Pureed Vegetable Salsa

This is a recipe that I picked up at the Duluth Farmers Market several years ago.  And the recipe really does puree the final product.  I used onions, hot peppers, carrots, and tomatoes from Tom's vegetable garden.  The pepper I used was much hotter than I realized, so this pureed salsa was full of Pzazz! But it is fabulous used as a dip for mild corn chips, and I even put it on my scrambled egg whites one morning. And one day I mixed it with some baked winter squash.  Pzazz in so many ways.

The tomato crop this year was unbelievable!  We harvested more than 200 tomatoes and Tom made a roasted tomato salsa for himself that was great, too.  I also cooked tomatoes with garden onions and peppers, then pureed them and stuck them in the freezer to use for a variety of soups this winter.  I'm thinking a pureed black bean and tomato soup might be delish!  I'll experiment on that and get back to you.  As you can see from the photos below, we had an abundance of tomatoes.  Tom chose all heirloom seeds and had about 10 varieties. Nope, they aren't as pretty as store-purchased tomatoes, but the flavor can't be beat!   And remember the information I posted by Barry Estabrook about "Tomatoland".  Disgusting on many levels.  

Yellow tomatoes

Black tomatoes

Harvest from Sept 29 alone!

1 Tablespoon coconut oil
    1/2 cup diced onions
    1/2 cup diced celery
    1/2 cup diced carrots
    1 large clove garlic, minced
    1/4 cup chopped seeded hot pepper (more or less depending on the level of Pzazz you want!)
    1 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 
    1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
    3 cups finely chopped fresh tomatoes (I used a mixed variety of types)
    1/4 cup wine vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon sugar

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onions celery, carrots, garlic and peppers. Saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add parsley, cilantro, tomatoes, vinegar, salt and sugar. Simmer for 45 minutes.Allow to cool slightly. Then blend to a smooth puree in a food processor or blender or use an immersion stick if the pan is deep enough. Return to saucepan and simmer for another 30 minutes. 

Nutrition  per serving:
Golden Tomato
Servings per recipe: 16
Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Calories: 24
Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 76 mg
Total Carbs: 3 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 1 g

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Snappy Summer Squash Soup

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found on Veginista.  The original recipe used olive oil, for which I substituted coconut oil.  It also used saffron, which is far too pricey for my pantry.  And it used 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. I like a good "kick" in my soup, but I knew it would be "bad ass kick" if I used that much, so I reduced it to barely 1/8 teaspoon and it still had "snap".  Thus, the title for my modified version.

Yellow summer squash and eight-ball squash

I used a combination of eight-ball summer squash and yellow summer squash.   If you haven't seen eight-ball squash, you might not know what it is when you first see it.  It is a new variety of zucchini, so it can be used for any recipe using zucchini.  It has an attractive shiny green speckled skin that is tender. It is named eight-ball because of its resemblance to a billiard ball.  Of course, if it grows big like the second one in our garden, maybe it should be called a bowling-ball zucchini.

What you see below is the bounty Tom harvested on September 22 from the summer squash patch and the pepper plants.  Since then, he has gathered more each day.  And then there are the tomatoes....more about that on another post.    Stay tuned.......

    2 Tablespoons coconut oil
    1 large onion, sliced fine
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon sweet paprika
    1/4 teaspoon turmeric
    Sprinkle of cayenne pepper or 1/8 teaspoon, depending on how much snappy Pzazz you want!
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
    6 cups sliced (3/4 inch slices) summer squash (I used yellow & green eight -ball squash) 
    3 cups vegetable broth 

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Over medium heat, add the onion, garlic and spices. Stir frequently & cook until soft but not browned. When the onions are soft, add the squash & cook for about two minutes. 

Pour in the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer & cook until the squash is tender (15-20 minutes).

Puree the soup in a blender until it is very smooth. I used my immersion stick blender. The soup can be gently reheated when you’re ready to serve. If it seems very thick, you may wish to thin it with some additional stock. Add salt to taste.  

For garnish, top with paprika, freshly ground pepper, fresh finely chopped basil & a squeeze of lemon. Or top with crumbled goat cheese. 


Nutrition per serving:
Servings per recipe: 6
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 85
Total Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol:  0 mg
Sodium: 76 mg
Total Carbs: 11 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 2 g

If you like zucchini soup, don't forget about the one I posted last year for Charred Zucchini Soup by Anna Thomas. The wedding of charred zucchini with mint is divine!  I made it several times again this year and when my friend, Tahirih, tasted it, she immediately asked for the link to it on this blog so she could make some.  Other summer squash soups I have posted are:
Zucchini and Basil Soup by Anna Thomas
Patty Pan Summer Squash Soup
Asparagus Zucchini Soup
Crookneck Squash Soup with Curry and Ginger
Simple Summer Squash Soup
Italian Summer Squash Soup
Lemon Basil Summer Squash Soup
Curried Zucchini Soup