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Fall & Winter Recipes

Tumeric Tea

This is my new favorite warm drink. I came across this recipe in the NY Times a few weeks ago. It is sweet, warming, and a great winter tea to heal what ails! I have sometimes made it with black tea, sometimes with Rooibos Chai. Enjoy!

Autumn Vegetable Stew

This is a sweet, warming vegetarian stew. You can make it with either tofu or tempeh, whichever appeals more to your tastes. You may not be familiar with all of the ingredients but please take a chance with this recipe. The addition of miso, tahini and umeboshi adds a complexity to the flavors that is very satisfying.

For the stew:

2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 cups peeled cubed winter squash
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups cubed yams
4 cups of vegetable stock or water
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups small cauliflower florets
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons white miso diluted in 1/4 cup warm water
3 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
3/4 cup celery, finely sliced

For the tofu marinade:

2 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound extra-firm tofu, rinsed, drained, cubed

If adding tempeh INSTEAD of tofu:

1 pound tempeh, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and sauté the onions for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add the squash, carrots, yams, and stock and bring to a boil. Add the salt. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

While the vegetables cook, in a small bowl, mix together the tofu marinade. Place the tofu on a rimmed baking sheet and coat with the tamari mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the tofu begins to turn slightly brown.

If adding tempeh instead of tofu see tempeh notes below.

Add the baked tofu and cauliflower to the pot. Stir in diluted miso, tahini, umeboshi vinegar, celery, thyme, rosemary, and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft. Add the peas just before serving and cook 3-5 minutes more until they are a bright green color. Serve immediately.

Tempeh notes:

Mix together tempeh marinade. Arrange tempeh in a pyrex baking pan and add marinade. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Substitute for tofu in menu.

Oden (Asian Root Vegetable Stew)

from the The Angelica Home Kitchen Cookbook

This oden stew is traditional of Japanese country cooking, and is generally a five-root stew. You can play with it and add the root vegetables you have on hand. This stew is healing, it purifies and nourishes. Angelica Kitchen is a wonderful vegetarian restaurant in the East Village--worth a visit next time you are in New York. In the meantime though, the The Angelica Home Kitchen is a good second best to the restaurant. This is one of the best vegetarian cookbooks I own. Most every recipe I have made is delicious!

Yield: 4-6 servings
Cooking time: 1 hour

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups diced onions (1 large)
Approximately 6 oz. of each of the following 5 ingredients:
1 cup burdock, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup rutabagas, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup parsnips, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 to 6 dry shiitake mushrooms
1 (3 -inch) piece kombu
5 slices ginger, each the size of a quarter
1/2 cup tamari
2 tablespoons mirin
1/4 cup kuzu
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sliced scallions for garnish

In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, sauté the onions and burdock in the olive oil over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the carrots, daikon, rutabagas, parsnips, shiitake mushrooms, kombu, ginger, mirin, and tamari.
Lower the flame and simmer covered for 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the ginger and discard.
Remove the kombu and shiitake mushrooms, slice into bite size pieces, and return to the pot.
Dissolve the kuzu in 1/4 cup cold water; stir into the stew and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Stir in sesame oil. (Do not cook toasted sesame oil, just add as a last minute addition.)

• Optional: Serve with soba noodles or rice, accompanied by baked tofu, kimchee, and scallion garnish.

Pumpkin Muffins

I started to make these muffins when my son started kinder garden and he needed a snack in addition to his lunch. They are slightly gooey, filled with fat, some protein, and really satisfy the children and adults alike.. I make a batch, freeze them, and take them out the night before school or work as needed.

Makes 24 mini muffins

1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 t aluminum free baking powder
1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1.5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup walnuts optional (toasted and finely chopped)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 c butter ,melted (or canola oil)
1 egg
1/2 c maple syrup
1 t vanilla
1/3 c milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients and stir in nuts
3. In another bowl, whisk wet ingredients together.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry to form a somewhat thick batter. Add more milk as needed.
5. Grease mini muffin trays.
6. Fill mini muffin tins half way. Bake for 13-16 minutes. (Keep watch after 13 minutes.)

Variations: This is a basic muffin recipe. Change it as you feel inspired. Add a few chocolate chips if your child needs an extra special treat. For banana muffins use banana puree instead of pumpkin, substitute 1 t cinnamon instead of pumpkin spices.

Roasted Chick Peas

These are a great after school snack on a fall or winter day. Even kids who don’t normally eat chick peas might surprise you and gobble them up.

2 cups cooked chick peas (If canned drain and rinse. I use Eden Brand*)
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon mild paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

*Eden Brand uses BPA free cans. They cook their beans with kombu which makes them easier to digest so I think it is the best choice for canned beans.

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Place chickpeas on a paper towel and pat dry completely. Remove any loose skins.
3. Place in a bowl and coat with olive oil and spices. Arrange in a pyrex pan. Make sure chickpeas are in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes, toss well and flip, then bake for about 15-20 minutes more or until slightly browned and crispy. Let cool and eat!

Curried Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk

This is adapted from a recipe by Leslie Cerier, author of "Going Wild in the Kitchen".       I often turn to Leslie's cookbooks and website for kitchen inspiration!

This fun and festive soup beautifully blends warming winter spices with tomatoes and coconut milk, evoking also the sweetness of summer. I have often used canned tomatoes in this recipe. While not totally fresh, canning is a great way to have the tastes of summer during a New England winter.

Yields 6-8 servings

2 1/2 cups of water
1 cup of red lentils
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon seeded, coarsely chopped cayenne pepper, optional
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3-inch piece dulse or 1 tablespoon dulse flakes, optional
4 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets
3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped plum tomatoes, or canned tomatoes in the off season
13.5-ounce can coconut milk
4 cups butternut squash, or sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

1. Bring the water, lentils, onions, squash, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper and dulse (if using), to a boil in a 6-quart stockpot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils soften and begin to melt and turn yellow.
2. Add the cauliflower, tomatoes, and coconut milk to the pot and continue to simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft.
3. Add the salt, and adjust the seasonings, if desired.
4. Ladle the soup into hot bowls. Serve plain or garnished with cilantro.

Mushroom Barley Soup

(Can be made in pressure cooker or standard pot.)

This vegan recipe is simple and hearty. It’s great for a cold winter day. I made a big pot last week and froze it in one portion size packages so I can send it in my son’s lunch this winter.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large leeks (white and green parts) rinsed and chopped
or 2 large onions coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
5 cups vegetable stock
2 large ribs celery, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 slender parsnips, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup loosely packed shiitake (or other) dried mushrooms, soaked for 5 minutes in a bowl of water to remove dirt and sand, then drained
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms (I prefer crimini), thinly sliced
3/4 cup pearl barley, soaked 4-8 hours
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup fresh dill, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste

1. Heat oil in pressure cooker. (See notes below if using standard pot.) Sauté leeks or onions on low temperature for 3-5 minutes, until they soften. Add garlic for one minute stirring frequently.
2. Drain barley and rinse. Add barley and all other ingredients to cooker. Lock lid in place and bring to high pressure. Lower heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 10 minutes. Allow pressure to come down naturally or use a quick-release method. Remove lid while tilting it away from you to allow steam out. If barley is not soft enough simmer for a few minutes more.
3. Remove bay leaf before serving. Add salt to taste before serving and garnish with fresh dill.

Standard Stovetop pot: In a large pot follow step 1. Bring soup to a boil, then simmer, covered for 40-50 minutes, until mushrooms and barley are very soft, and the soup tastes rich and flavorful. Then follow step 3.

Kitchari; Mung Beans and Rice with Spicy Tomatoes

By Debra Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Get the recipe through this link.

Kitchari is akin to mac n’ cheese in the sense that it is traditional Indian comfort food. Don’t be fooled by the modest nature of the ingredients--mung beans and rice. Mixed with the right spices, this recipe creates a complex mix of spice, warmth and yum. People love it! It calls for ghee, which is clarified butter. Ghee is a traditional Ayurvedic food that has been used in India for thousands of years for both cooking and medicinal purposes. It is easy to make, lactose friendly, rich in vitamins, promotes a healthy digestive tract, and when made from grass fed cows can promote weight loss. You can also buy ghee pre-made at an Indian grocery store or any health food store.

Miso Vegetable Soup

4 leeks, about an inch in diameter, trimmed, halved lengthwise, rinsed and sliced thinly
1-2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 strip of wakame (3-4 inches long)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced into very thin half moons
6 shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
10 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Enough water to just cover the vegetables
Sweet brown rice miso paste (approximately 1 teaspoon per bowl)
Garnish: crumbled wakame sea vegetable, shredded kale, gomasio

Directions:

1. In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and sea salt and sauté, stirring frequently until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add shiitake mushrooms and sauté for 2 more minutes.
2. Add sweet potatoes and just enough water to cover the vegetables. Then immediately add the ginger and wakame strip and bring to a boil. (You can add more water for a thinner consistency.) Lower heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.
3. Just before serving remove the strip of wakame and add tofu cubes. Let tofu simmer a few minutes until it has warmed up.
4. Place 1 teaspoon of miso in each bowl. Add some plain hot broth to each bowl to dissolve the miso. Then fill each bowl with vegetables, tofu, and more broth.
Garnish with wakame, and kale. (Optional garnish: gomasio sesame seed shake.)

Savory Butternut Squash and Onions

excerpted from The Nourishment Cleanse Workbook, by Halé Sofia Schatz, heartofnourishment.com

It is a wonderful dish for the holidays. Simple to make and delicious to taste.

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, and chopped into 2 - inch pieces
2 medium onions, quartered
2 tablespoons extra - virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients in a large glass casserole dish and mix well. Cover tightly and bake for 45 minutes-1 1/2 hours. (If your oven is calibrated it will be closer to 1 hour cooking time.) The squash is done when you smell it’s sweetness filling up your kitchen and the squash and onions are slightly browned on their tips

Squash Potage Soup

(from the Angelica Home Kitchen Cookbook)

Everything I make from this cookbook is delicious, and so I pass on this simple and dependable squash soup recipe. It is a quintessential New England fall soup. I made a vegetable mushroom broth for the soup stock which gave it a real fullness.

2 tablespoon. olive oil
1 large onion
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and left whole
6 fresh sage leaves (to yield 1 tsp. minced)
1/2 cup apple cider or more to taste
3 pounds winter squash, (butternut, buttercup, or hokkaido work well) peeled, seeded, and chopped (to yield about 2 quarts)
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cups water or vegetable stock

Warm oil in heavy -bottomed 3 quart pot. Add onions along with 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir occasionally, and cover on and off for 10 minutes so some moisture develops.
Add ginger, cinnamon, garlic, and sage. Cook for 5 more minutes.
Stir in apple cider and bring to a boil.
Add the squash, carrots, and 4 cups of water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the squash is soft and falling apart.
Remove cinnamon stick and puree with a handheld mixer until the mixture is creamy.
Add additional cider and salt and some freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Roasted Rutabagas and Beets

Excerpted from The Nourishment Cleanse Workbook, by Halé Sofia Schatz

This recipe is for the more adventurous of palates. The combination of rutabagas, beets, and onions create a magnificent smokey, and slightly sweet taste.

1 large rutabaga (yellow turnip), cut into 2 - inch chunks
4 small beets with skins, cleaned and cut into chunks
4 medium onions, quartered
2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the vegetables in a casserole dish. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, and mix well. Cook for 45 - 60 minutes, stirring occasionally for even roasting.

Beef and Root Vegetable Stew

Serves 4-6.

I used to make beef stew in a pressure cooker, but I’ve discovered the secret to tender beef in your stew is to cook the stew on a very, very low temperature for a very, very long time. Now I prefer a regular pot, or a slow cooker. This recipe is for a pot, but can be adapted to a slow cooker. Cooking with bones in winter-time is a traditional way to support your health at a foundational level.

3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, or about 4 1/2 pounds beef shank, meat removed from bone and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1-2 beef bones
• 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 medium-large onions, chopped (2 cups)
• 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup full-bodied red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Côtes du Rhône, Zinfandel, Shiraz or Barolo)
• 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
• 2 tablespoons coriander
• 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 3 medium parsnips, sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 1 small rutabaga (yellow turnip) cut in large chunks
• 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
• 2 tsp. salt
• ground black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a large soup kettle; add meat and 1 teaspoon of salt to pan in two batches. Brown meat on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch, adding an additional 1 tablespoon oil if necessary. Transfer meat to a platter.

Add onions to pot; sauté at high heat 3 min. Reduce heat and occasionally stir for 10-15 minutes, until slightly caramelized.

Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits that may have stuck to pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add garlic; continue to sauté for about 30 seconds longer.

Add beef, then beef bones. Then add all other ingredients except parsley. Cover ingredients 3/4 of way with water. Cover, and bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours, until beef is very tender.
6. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Coconut Curry Fish Stew

I have made this for people of all ages, even those that don’t normally like fish stew and it has gotten great reviews. If you don’t have lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves just use a bit of fresh lemon and lime zest. It will still be delicious.

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 onions, diced
3 inches fresh ginger root, minced
1-3 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 quarts (8 cups) chicken, fish or vegetable broth
1 can full fat coconut milk
3 1/2 cups of fresh chopped tomatoes, or 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 small red bell pepper, diced
3 sticks dried lemongrass (substitute 1 tsp. lemon zest)
3 kaffir lime leaves (substitute 1 tsp. lime zest)
2 pounds of your favorite white fish (cod, haddock, tilapia, halibut)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
Lime zest and diced avocado for garnish

Directions

• Heat oil in a saucepan.
• Add the onions and sauté about 5 minutes, until soft.
• Add the ginger, jalapeño, and garlic and sauté another few minutes.
• Add the spices, toss with the onion mixture, stirring for about 2 minutes.
• Add the stock, coconut milk, tomatoes, bell pepper, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 25 minutes.
• Add the fish and cilantro, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Garnish with lime zest, diced avocado, and more cilantro, and serve. 

Cleansing White Bean Soup

This recipe is from, "The Soup Cleanse: A Revolutionary Detox of Healthy Broths". The mix of white beans with fresh herbs and lemon zest are the perfect combination for snowy spring days and all spring days that feel more like winter. I use dried, soaked white beans, but you can follow the exact recipe and use canned beans. (I make a vegetarian mineral broth for the stock.) Follow this link for the recipe.

Kale Arame Salad

1 package of arame (approximately 1.76 oz or 50 g)
1 cup of kale, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, grated
1-2 shallot bulbs, finely chopped
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons tamari sauce (or liquid coconut aminos or Braggs aminos)
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar (or lemon juice)
3 tablespoons gomasio

•  Soak arame in medium sized bowl with just enough water to cover for 20 to 30     minutes. Drain liquid (save the water for your plants).
•  While arame soaks prep the vegetables. Rip kale leaves off the stems. Chop the kale leaves very finely.
• Grate carrots and dice shallots.
• To make the dressing mix together the toasted sesame oil, tamari, brown rice vinegar, and gomasio in a jar with a lid and shake well.
• Mix the vegetables into the arame. Add the dressing and mix gently.

Spring Recipes

Asparagus Soup

Serves 4-6.
Ingredients:
18 -20 stalks of asparagus (remove the tough bottom end of each stalk)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium leeks, white part plus an inch of green, chopped
2 small shallot bulbs, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium potato or 2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
water or vegetable broth
black pepper and lemon juice to taste
chopped fresh dill or chives for garnish

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a soup pot. Saute onion, leek and shallot with a pinch of sea salt at medium heat until onions are translucent, about 2-3 minutes. At low heat continue to saute for 8-10 minutes more.
2. While the onions sautée, prep potatoes and asparagus.
3. Add potatoes and garlic. Add enough water or vegetable broth to completely cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
4. Add asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes, just enough for them to turn spring green and slightly soften.
5. Purée soup in a blender or in the pot with an immersion blender.
6. Season with salt and black pepper.
7. Serve the soup hot or cold, sprinkled with dill or chives and a splash or lemon juice.

Glorious Greens

What makes these greens taste so good is the natural sweetness of the leeks.
Serves 4-6

4 cups kale
1 cups mustard greens
1 cup dandelion greens
2 medium leeks
2 scallions finely chopped
2 Tbs. Olive oil
2-3 Tbs. Tamari sauce
3-5 cloves garlic
2 Tbs. Sesame oil
3-5 Tbs. Lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1. Trim the roots off the leeks. Slice off the tough green leaves from the tops of the leeks. Wash the remaining white and light green portions thoroughly in cold water. Make sure to rinse between the layers, removing any sand. Shake, then dry, then slice them thinly crosswise.
2. Chop greens crosswise, in small pieces. Rinse well with water.
3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the leeks for 3 minutes. Then reduce heat to low and continue to sauté for 10-15 minutes, or until soft and beginning to brown.
3. Add tamari or Braggs, garlic and greens.  Add kale and cook one minute. Add the rest of the greens and cook  2-4 minutes, until they are bright green.
4. Mix in lemon juice and sesame oil. Garnish with scallions. Serve immediately.

Scarlet Quinoa

(adapted from Lorna Sass, Recipes From An Ecological Kitchen)
The beets make turn this dish into a magnificent magenta color! When mixed with the greens it is a delight to behold and to eat.

4 cups just cooked quinoa
1 cup grated raw beets
1/2 cup tightly packed minced fresh parsley or cilantro
1/3 cup finely chopped scallions
3-5 tablespoons fruity olive oil
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
sea salt to taste

1. To cook the quinoa: place 2 cups of quinoa and 4 cups of water in pot and bring to a boil. Bring heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. While fluffing up the just cooked quinoa, stir in the beets until all of the grain turns scarlet.
2. Stir in the parsley, scallion greens, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Add more olive oil and lemon juice as needed.
3. Serve warm or refrigerate until shortly before needed and bring to room temperature. Add some lemon juice to perk up the flavors.

Muhammarah (Red pepper nut spread)

Last winter I was on a meditation retreat at the Insight Meditation Center. The food was delicious!  This simple spread was one of my favorite things that they served. They served it with a lentil and rice dish. It would also be great spread on sour dough bread, or on top of some grains.

Follow this link below to get the muhammarah recipe:
http://www.dharma.org/recipes/muhammara-red-peppernut-spread     Enjoy!

Summer recipes

Summer Pea Soup

1 leek
1 celery stalk
1 Tbs. coconut oil
4 cups vegetable broth
Approx. 3 cups fresh shell peas or 16 ounces frozen peas
big handful of fresh basil
triple pinch of fresh dill
salt & pepper
Half can of unsweetened coconut milk (15 ounce can)

1. Cook leeks and celery in coconut oil until soft, not browned.
2. Bring four cups of vegetable broth to boil and add peas. Cook peas until they start to float, do not overcook the peas.
3. Combine peas with water, leeks, and celery in Vitamix or other powerful blender.
4. Add coconut milk, basil, dill, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Add a little bit of lemon juice for an extra zing. Serve immediately.

Salad inspirations...

Check out this great blog post for salad inspiration! Janette (a wonderful health coach) speaks about spring salads, but her recipes also hold true for end of summer as well. I especially love the tahini ginger dressing (at the very end of the post.)

Family Friendly Recipes

Roasted Root vegetables

Root vegetables are the heartiest of all vegetables. They satisfy that starchy craving most of us get as the weather turns colder. Child favorites are often roasted white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Cut them into fun shapes to make them inviting. I sometimes make sweet potato fries, or white potato half moons. If you have adventurous eaters I also encourage you to add less common roots to the mix like butternut squash, parsnips, beets, carrots and onions.

4 cups of root vegetables chopped into 2-inch pieces *see notes below about peeling the roots.
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

* The following vegetables should be peeled before roasting: parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, onions and butternut squash.

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
• Peel the root vegetables that need it. Chop vegetables into plump pieces, about
one and a half inches thick.
• Spread 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a pyrex pan.
•Add root vegetables to the pan and mix until they are fully coated in olive oil. You may need to add 1-2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the do this. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sea salt and mix well.
• Cook for 40-60 minutes or until the tips of the vegetables turn golden brown. Stir every 20 to 30 minutes for even roasting

Simply Roasted Cauliflower

I never liked cauliflower much until I started to roast it. I am always pleasantly surprised by the way children gobble this up.

1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into medium bite sized pieces
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
• Cut cauliflower florets into bite size pieces.
• Spread 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a pyrex pan.
• Add cauliflower to the pan and mix until they are fully coated in olive oil. You may need to add 1-2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the do this. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
• Cook for 40-50 minutes. Stir every 20 to 30 minutes for even roasting. Cook until the tips of the cauliflower turn golden brown.

Variations:

• Add 1-2 red peppers to the mixture.
• Roast brussels sprouts or asparagus instead of cauliflower. (Cook asparagus for only 20-30 minutes or until slightly browned.)

Tofu Triangles

This is the simplest tofu yet people love it and ask me how I make it. The secret is to use super firm tofu, and to fry it with plenty of olive oil. One brand of tofu I like is Nasoya Organic Super Firm Sprouted Tofu. This recipe works best if you cook it in a cast iron frying pan or a very thick bottomed frying pan.

1 package of extra firm tofu
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 tablespoons tamari

• Cut tofu into triangles, 1/4 inch in thickness.
• Preheat your cast iron or thick bottomed fry pan on medium heat for 1 minute.      • Add enough olive oil to generously cover the bottom of the frying pan.
• Add tofu to pan and cook on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes or until the tofu   has gotten crispy and turned golden brown.
• Flip tofu over. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of tamari sauce over the tofu--enough so that all of the tofu has been lightly covered with tamari. Cook 3-4 minutes more, or until the tofu has gotten crispy and turned golden brown on this second side.
• Serve warm or at room temperature.

Variations:

You can serve it with peanut sauce, BBQ sauce. It goes well with soba noodles, any kind of grain, spaghetti, or in a stir fry.

Red Lentil Dal with Aromatics

adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

If I cut the onions very small and leave out the hot peppers my kids really enjoy this soup. Don't give up on it if they don't like it after the first tasting. It took my 3 year old an entire year to warm up to it. Now he says it is "yum".

2 cup red lentils
1 large onion, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped, (optional)
3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 can 13.5 ounce unsweetened light coconut milk
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
3 shallots finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dill seeds

In a heavy bottomed soup pot over high heat sauté the onion, garlic, and chile in 2 tablespoons of ghee for one minute.

Add the turmeric, ginger, lentils and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer covered, until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and simmer 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for salt and remove from heat.

Heat remaining ghee in a small skillet over high heat. Add the shallots, red chile, bay, mustard, cumin, and dill. Fry until the mustard seeds begin to turn grayish, about 1 minute. Stir this into the lentils and serve.

 

 

 Ilana Margalit
617.642.5328
ilana@ilanamargalit.com