Fava Beans (Ful)

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These middle eastern beans are a wonderful source of protein. I call them the steak of the bean family. We do a very simple preparation:
Ingredients:
1 Cup of large fava beans (called ful in the middle east)
Water for boiling
Large onion
2 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs salt (or more to taste)

Soak beans overnight. Cover with water and boil for 2 hours.
Drain and set aside.
Saute large onion to point of carmelization.
Combine cooked beans and carmelized onion with 2 Tbs cumin and salt to taste. Cover with water and simmer for another hour until the beans are sitting in a thick broth.

Serve with lemon juice and parsely. Eat them plain or over couscous, or grain of your choice.

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Colorful Fall Salad

Colorful Fall Salad

Colorful Fall Salad

This is a colorful and simple salad with a high “wow” factor.

Julienne dinosaur kale, red cabbage and carrots (I use a hand grater to quickly grate the carrots,) mix with a splash of olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Add kosher salt. Slice an avocado over the top, mash it in and mix it all together. For added punch throw in some toasted sunflower seeds.

 

The result is an incredibly tasty, highly colorful and very nutritious raw salad that will complement any meal. Or pair it with crusty, fresh baked bread for a light lunch. Kids actually love it, too!

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White Bean, Kale, and Sweet Potato Casserole

ImageThis hearty casserole melds contrasting textures and flavors in a heart-warming stew. The beans add richness, the kale a slight bitterness, the sweet potato, well, sweetness! Somehow it all comes together, topped with veggie sausage, to create a rich and satisfying melt-in-your-mouth winter meal. This was another slow-cooker experiment for me—and it worked beautifully cooking all day and filling the house with wonderful aromas—but it can also be done successfully in a dutch oven or large sauce pan at a slow simmer for 45 minutes. Either way, kale is added towards the end of cook-time, and sausage comes on post-pot.

1 large onion
2 cans of white beans (cannellini beans)
2 medium sweet potatos
1-2 parsnips
1-2 carrots
Bunch of lacinato kale (or any dark greens)
pinch of thyme
bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of water
2 Tofurky Italian Sausage

Slow-cooker method: Sauté the onions until translucent. Put in ceramic cooker pot. Add the bay leaf, thyme, carrots, parsnip, beans and sweet potato. Season with salt and pepper. Add one cup of water. Cover and cook on low for eight hours. During last half hour of cooking, stir in chopped kale.

Slice the veggie sausage into small bite size chunks and light brown in frying pan. Dish your bowls of stew into serving dish, and put a sprinkling of sausage pieces on the top.

If you are cooking stove-top, use 2 cups of water instead of one, simmer for half an hour. Add kale and cook for another 15 minutes. Serve as above.

I doubled the recipe for my family of five, which gave us a good sized dinner with some fresh bread and salad on the side—and leftovers for lunches.

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African Quinoa Stew

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African Quinoa Stew

This five ingredient (plus spices) wonder dish gets five stars from young and youthful alike in my house. I made it in my new slow-cooker, but it can also be cooked at low heat in a dutch oven for 40 minutes. The slow cooker really melds the ingredients and brings out the spices, but it is also perfectly yummy stove-top. Perfect for coming home from school or work on a cold winter day.

1½ cups sauteed, chopped onion
2 cups quinoa
⅓ cup peanut butter
3 cans of red navy beans (or white navy beans)
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
pinch of cayenne pepper (or Ethiopian berbere if you have it)
salt
3 cup of water for stovetop, (2 cups slow-cooker)

Salt and sauté the onions, then add all the other ingredients and combine. Cook on medium low heat for half an hour to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Or set it up in slow-cooker for 8 hours on low. Eat and be amazed – this unlikely-to-our palette combination of flavors really works!

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Simple Lentil Soup

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Photo by Amnon Carmi

This is a last minute, no thrills, surprisingly quick and delicious dinner soup. The ingredients are all included in the picture!

2 Cups dried green or brown lentils
3-4 large potatoes
1 onion
1 large carrot
1 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
salt, pepper and cumin to taste
2 quart water

Take two cups of dried lentils and cover them with boiling water (I use water from our Insta-hot). Set aside and chop onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Sauté the vegetables in water (for fat-free soup—use tbs. oil if fat is not a concern) with bay leaf, salt, pepper, and cumin in a sauce pan or dutch oven while you chop up 3-4 good sized potatos (I used smaller ones because that is what I had in the house.) Add the potatoes when the onions are fragrant and translucent. Cover with water to 2 inches over the potatoes. Add the soaked lentils and 4 C of water. Soaking the lentils for the 10-15 minutes it takes to prepare the rest of the soup helps them get a head start on cooking, since they take a bit more time than the potatoes.

Bring to a boil, lower to medium heat, and cook for 30 minutes or until lentils are soft. This soup can stay heated at low heat for a couple of hours and suffer no harm.

Serve with fresh bread for a simple, hearty meal. There is something about lentil soup that is homey, comforting and sustaining, and be prepared to ladle out seconds!

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Logan Bread

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Years ago we ate Logan Bread on an Outward Bound trip in the Florida Everglades. When planning our menu for a recent, week-long Appalachian Trail hike in Vermont, I tried different recipes over several weekends. Below is the recipe of the Logan bread our family agreed is the best.

This is a slight modification of a Logan Bread described here: http://neice.com/2009/08/logan-bread/

1 quart water
4 pounds whole wheat flour
1 1/2 pounds raw sugar or brown sugar
12 ounces non-fat dry soy milk
2 tablespoons baking power
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 cups honey
1 cup blackstrap molasses
1 1/4 cups oil
1 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 cups wheat germ
1 cup each – dried fruits, nuts, TVP

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
2. mix all ingredients together very well and turn into a greased roasting pan. Bake one hour.
3. Cut into squares and then allow to air-dry until squares are semi-dry.

A square like the one in the picture contains 300 calories (!) and is absolutely delicious.

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Summer Lights Celery Soup

This simple and delicious recipe evolved when I looked in my vegetable drawer and found two leeks, half a bunch of celery and a stub of a carrot.

Summer Lights Celery Soup
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 leeks
1 pared down bunch of celery
an inch of carrot
salt and pepper
herbs for garnishing (chives, parsley)

First I cleaned the leeks and chopped them finely, and put them into a pot with some olive oil and salt to saute. The celery was close to the heart of the bunch – the outer stalks had already been pulled off for other snacks and the upper half lobbed off for another soup, so what was left was the tenderest most flavorful part. I chopped it up right down to where the roots start, leaves and all, and added it to the leeks. I fine chopped the carrot stub, more for color than for taste and threw it in. When the vegetables had all softened, I added three cups of water to cover them and simmered for half an hour. With the soup blender I pureed the soup with 2 cups of rice milk. Seasoned with salt and pepper, and served with some fresh chives and parsley from my garden herb pots.

My family loved this soup. The tender celery makes it very sweet and there are none of the harsh strings that outer celery stalks bring to a soup. The leeks contribute a more gentle flavor than onions. All together creating a soup that feels soft and gentle, and a delicious antidote to the heat of a hot summer night.

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