One Step Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup

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The weather has been so nice out lately and a green healthy chilled soup was exactly what I needed to finish off the weekend! This recipe is incredibly easy and is the perfect amount of cool, fresh and crisp. It’s a nice way to end a warm day (or start the day!)…It even becomes a nice healthy portable lunch if you put it in a mason jar and top with some nuts & beans. So basically you can have breakfast, lunch or dinner in 5 minutes, really?!… 

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Costa Rican Inspired Cabbage Cups

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I was so excited to head to the farmer’s market last Sunday! With the holidays and our trip to Costa Rica, it has been a long time since I was there and I couldn’t wait to see what was fresh and new. I always go to the farmer’s market looking to get my veggies to roast for the week but I generally also go knowing that lunch is on the horizon so I look for inspiration from what is available to create a new meal. I’ve made recipes like my Pea Salad and Green Panzanella this way.

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Chickpea and Root Vegetable Tagine

Root Vegetable Tagine

I made this dish for Scott and I a few weeks back and we loved it. This week we were bringing dinner to a friend and his wife and I had to come up with something I could cook earlier in the day and then reheat as I was coming straight from the studio and this was the first thing that popped into my mind. This dish can easily be made earlier or even the night before and then just reheated prior to serving as it allows the flavors to really soak in. A few of the comments I got that night included: “This is exactly what they serve in Morocco” & “This might be the best dinner ever”, so I would say it was a success. I got this from the fabulous Kris Carr and her amazing book Crazy, Sexy Kitchen, but modified a bit to fit my tastes.

For new and improved recipes, please visit my new site The Simple Kitchen!

Chickpea and Root Vegetable Tagine
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ⅔ tsp ground cumin
  • ⅔ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes [adjust based on desired spiciness]
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I prefer red or yellow)
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 6 ounces artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered
  • 1½ cups peas
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp chopped mint
  • Sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large heavy-bottom shallow pot or deep skillet [cast iron works best] on medium heat, add oil, onions, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and golden, stirring continuously for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the spices, tomato paste, vegetable stock, carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnip. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender. Cooking time may vary based on the thickness of chopped veggies.
  3. When the root veggies are tender, add the bell pepper, chickpeas, artichokes, and raisins. Continue simmering for about 5 to 8 minutes. Liquid should be reduced and thicker at this point.
  4. Add parsley, cilantro, mint and sea salt, folding in all of the herbs. Cover and remove from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  5. Garnish with lemon zest, red sliced chili and any leftover parsley, cilantro or mint if desired.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over cauliflower mash, quinoa or grain of choice.

Tofu Lime Ceviche

Tofu CevicheThe weather here is SF has just been fabulous lately and there is nothing more refreshing that a crisp cool meal or snack when the weather is nice. I loved this idea of a vegetarian ceviche when I saw this recipe on the Whole Foods website and I have recently started to get avocados and tomatoes in my CSA box, so I thought it was the perfect time to try it out… and this will be a great addition to your cinco de mayo menu (don’t forget to serve with some yummy Guacamole as well). I love the fresh flavor combo’s of the avocado, lime, cilantro, coconut and ginger.

Tofu Lime Ceviche
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat tofu dry with paper towels, then transfer to a bowl and toss gently with Worcestershire sauce. Spread tofu out evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, turning once, for 30 minutes. Set aside to let cool to room temperature.
  2. Put tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, onions, avocado, ginger, garlic and coconut milk into a large bowl. Add tofu and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight, before serving. *If marinating for a long time or overnight, you can add avocado in prior to serving in order to avoid browning.

Photo Credit: Whole Foods

Miso- Curry Delicata Squash

Miso-Curry Delicata Squash

Yet another thanks to Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks (I am obviously blowing through this book)! I do have to be honest though… as I was making this, I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to taste as it just seemed too simple. But it turned out to be delightful. And it was even better as leftovers the next day, so be sure to make extra!

Miso- Curry Delicata Squash
 
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Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 12 oz delicata squash (or about 2 small ones) – can use butternut as a replacement
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white miso
  • 1 Tbsp red Thai curry paste
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ cups chopped kale, tough stems removed
  • ⅓ cup pepitas, toasted
  • ⅔ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to clear out all the seeds. Cut into ½ inch thick half-moons.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, miso, and curry paste. Combine the tofu, potatoes, and squash in a large bowl with ⅓ cup of the miso-curry paste. Use your hands to toss well, then turn the vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet, and arrange in a single layer.
  4. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until everything is tender and browned. Toss once or twice along the way, after things start to brown a bit. Keep a close watch, though; the vegetables can go from browned to burned in a flash.
  5. In the meantime, whisk the lemon juice into the remaining miso-curry paste, then stir in the kale until coated. You can also choose to saute the kale first if you prefer.
  6. Toss the roasted vegetables gently with the kale, pepitas, and cilantro. Serve family style in a large bowl or on a platter.

 

Holy Guacamole!

GuacamoleAvocados are incredibly healthy but if you are like me when it comes to guacamole, it is pretty easy to eat the equivalent of four avocados in one sitting… That’s where this recipe comes in handy (and just in time for Cinco de Mayo)! Not only does adding green vegetables to the avocado reduce the fat content but it also boosts the nutritional value of the guacamole. Grab some homemade chips and enjoy!

Holy Guacamole!
 
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Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium red or sweet onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a blender or in the bowl of a food processor, process the peas until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher. Add the juice, tomato, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Add the peas and mix well.
  3. If the guacamole won’t be served immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent browning.

Variation: Instead of peas, use 1 cup well-cooked broccoli, edamame, or cooked asparagus tips.

Photo Credit: Simply Recipes

Sweet Potato Curry

Potato Roti Curry

I made this tonight and it was divine. It is a soupy curry dish that is quite easy to prepare. While roti is traditional thing to serve with this, whole wheat tortillas or pitas are great accompaniments for sopping up the liquid. You can also saute up beans and spinach and serve over that too for a gluten free version.

Sweet Potato Curry
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 1½ pounds)
  • 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled acorn squash (about ¾ pound)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14oz) light coconut milk
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Combine first 6 ingredients; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Add spice mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add potato, squash, and bell pepper, stirring to coat with spice mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in water and coconut milk, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil.
  3. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potato is tender. Season to taste (I added a little curry powder at the end). Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Photo Credit: Cooking Light

Squash, Chickpea and Kidney Bean Soup

Red Lentil and Squash Soup

It’s getting to be that time of year where nothing is more satisfying than a nice warm bowl of soup. I love this recipe because it is loaded with vegetables but also packed with protein because of the two types of beans. I enjoy this soup with some kale chips on top! Photo and recipe courtesy of Eating Well.

Squash, Chickpea and Kidney Bean Soup
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas, or ¾ cup dried and overnight or quick soaked
  • 2½ lbs butternut squash, cut into 1 in cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15oz) red kidney beans, or ¾ cup dried and overnight or quick soaked
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp hot paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  • ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine the chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, red beans, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, paprika and pepper in a slow cooker.
  2. Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the beans have begun to break down, 5 to 6½ hours.
  3. Put about half of the cooked soup into a food processor and pulse until beans are mashed. Add this mixture back into the soup and mix well.
  4. Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.

 

Black Bean, Chile and Quinoa Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

I had made an attempt at veggie burgers in the past and ended up with a crumbly mess. These ones turned out quite different. They were a hit among both vegetarians and non vegetarians. The chilies give it some good flavor while the beans and quinoa make it nice and hearty.

Black Bean, Chile and Quinoa Veggie Burger
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (14 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers
  • 1 can (7 oz) diced green chilies
  • ⅓ cup cooked corn
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, plus extra
  • 2 eggs/egg whites (only needed if burgers do not seem to be staying together)
Instructions
  1. Combine the quinoa and broth in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered until the quinoa is tender.
  2. In a bowl, slightly mash the black beans. Mix with remaining ingredients except eggs. Chill the mixture. I chilled for about 5 hours to let the flavors absorb.
  3. Just before cooking, mix the eggs into the mixture and stir evenly. Shape mixture into patties and brown and heat in a frying pan with a little oil.
  4. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings.

 

Cilantro and Lemon Flax Vinaigrette

Cilantro Vinaigrette

What to do when a recipe calls for 2 Tbsp of a fresh herb but you have to buy the entire bunch? Make a salad dressing with it of course! I’ve made my own salad dressings for a long time because I prefer to use flax oil but it wasn’t until I received my hand blender off of my registry that I really understood the ease and goodness of homemade salad dressings. We are talking 5 minutes, literally, for a dressing that has no added preservatives and lasts a long time!

Average time: 5 minutes

Yields: 8 oz

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped

1 cup flax oil

1 tsp crushed garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth.