24th March 2009

    Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup

    roastedveggiekale

    Visually appealing? Perhaps not so much, but this soup we adapted from Elise’s Simply Recipes was simply delicious. The roasted vegetables give the soup a nice depth, and we always heart kale!  Lisa’s dad had never tried kale before, so this was a good introduction to this superfood.


    Lisa says:

    Yum! This smells really good. Were you putting extra garlic in there?

    Chris says:

    Heck yeah — in addition to the six cloves the recipe called for, I threw in 6 whole roasted garlic cloves at the end. So you might encounter delicious little flavor gobs.

    Seto says:

    There’s 12 cloves of garlic in here? You really can’t taste it; it’s not overpowering at all — what’s hiding it?

    Chris says:

    Maybe the sweetness from the squash? Also, the garlic cloves are roasted so they’re a lot mellower than usual.

    Lisa says:

    Oh, I forgot, you may not like the squash… it’s sweet. What do you think of kale?

    Seto says:

    I like all these ingredients put together this way in the soup; I can’t tell you what I’d think of the kale separately… but this soup is very good! And I noticed it didn’t take a lot of work…

    Chris says:

    It really didn’t. You spend a lot of time waiting for the veggies in the oven, but actual preparation time is pretty short.

    Lisa says:

    I love soups on days like this when it’s cold and rainy outside!

    Chris says:

    From the look of the forecast, we may be having a lot of soup this week…

    Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup
    3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
    2 large tomatoes, quartered
    1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
    1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick wedges
    6 garlic cloves
    1 tbsp olive oil
    6 cups vegetable broth
    4 cups of finely chopped kale
    2 sprigs fresh oregano
    1 bay leaf
    1 15-oz can of Great Northern white beans, drained

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Drizzle a baking sheet with a little olive oil. Arrange carrots, squash, tomatoes, onion, and garlic on sheet. Drizzle with more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast vegetables until they are brown and tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
    Place garlic cloves (remove papery skin), tomatoes, and onion in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the puree and the vegetable broth, the kale, oregano, and bay leaf to a large dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until the kale is tender, about 30 minutes.
    Meanwhile, cut squash and carrots into 1/2 inch pieces; set aside. When kale is tender, add carrots, squash, and the drained beans to soup. Simmer 8 minutes, adding more broth to thin soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Discard oregano and bay leaf.

    6 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Vegetarian | 0 Comments

    14th February 2009

    Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream

    moussaka
    One thing we’re finding out about the recipes in Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook is that a lot of them aren’t exactly weeknight-friendly. Some of them are very involved and one would be wise to steer clear if a quick dinner is the goal. This recipe definitely falls into the “takes a while” category, but is totally worth it. This moussaka (which I like to think of as a greek lasagna with eggplant standing in for the noodles) features layers of eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes, a nicely spiced tomato sauce, and is topped with a pine nut cream rather than bechamel (This is vegan, after all).


    Chris says:

    Wow, that was kind of a pain, cutting those veggies 1/4″ thick. And it was a clear reminder that I need to sharpen our knives.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, seemed like it took a while… if it makes you feel any better, the house smells absolutely amazing.

    Chris says:

    I know, I’m really looking forward to this…

    Lisa says:

    Did you try the pine nut cream before you put it on?

    Chris says:

    Yeah, it’s really, really good.

    Lisa says:

    Cool — I wasn’t sure about the whole pine-nuts-and-silken-tofu thing.

    Chris says:

    You blend it to a really creamy consistency. I also tossed some pine nuts on top. Anyway, let’s dig in!

    Carrie says:

    This is delicious!

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, I love it.

    Chris says:

    I really like the potatoes in it — they were crispy and browned going in, and now they’ve soaked up the goodness from the sauce.

    Carrie says:

    I’ve never had a moussaka before, but you’re right, it is sorta like a lasagna.

    Chris says:

    Wahoo, I’m ready for more — want to split another piece with me?

    Lisa says:

    Split?

    Chris says:

    You can always have more!

    Lisa says:

    I guess we can save some for lunch…

    Chris says:

    I bet it’ll be even better tomorrow. ;)

    Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream
    Vegetable Layer:
    1 lb eggplant
    1 lb zucchini
    1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes
    1/8 cup olive oil

    Sauce:
    1/8 cup olive oil
    4 large shallots, sliced thinly
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/3 cup red wine
    2 15-oz cans crushed tomatoes
    2 tsp dried oregano
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 bay leaf
    Salt

    Pine Nut Cream:
    1 lb soft silken tofu
    1/2 cup pine nuts, plus additional for garnish
    3 tbsp lemon juice
    1 tsp arrowroot powder
    1 clove garlic
    Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
    Salt
    white pepper

    1/2 cup dry, fine white bread crumbs

    Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Lightly oil two baking sheets, line a third with parchment paper, and spray with cooking oil.
    Wash the eggplant and zucchini, and trim the stems. Scrub and peel the potatoes. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes lengthwise, into approximately 1/4″ thick slices. This is a pain, but worth it. Rub the eggplant slices with a little salt and set aside in a colander in the sink or in a big bowl for about 15 minutes to drain. Briefly rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

    Place each vegetable on a separate baking sheet. Distribute the 1/8 cup of oil among the three sheets and sprinkle vegetables with salt (except the eggplant if salted already). Toss to coat the vegetables on each sheet. Making sure each piece is completely coated with oil. Spread out the vegetables on each sheet; some overlapping is okay. Roast the pans of zucchini and eggplant for 15 minutes, or until tender. Roast the potatoes for about 20 to 22 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Allow the vegetables to cool.

    Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce:
    Combine the remaining 1/8 cup olive oil and minced garlic in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium heat and let the garlic sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add the shallots and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until slightly reduced, another 3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, ground cinnamon, and bay leaf. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf, and adjust the salt.

    Make the pine nut cream:
    In a food processor, blend the pine nuts and lemon juice, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until a creamy paste forms. Add the tofu, garlic, arrowroot, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Blend until creamy and smooth.

    Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch pan and preheat the oven again to 400˚F, if necessary. Spread 1/4 cup of sauce on the pan, then add successive layers in order of eggplant, potatoes, sauce, and half of the bread crumbs. Spread all the zucchini on top of this. Top with a final layer each of eggplant, potatoes, sauce, and breadcrumbs. Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the pine nut cream over the entire top layer. Scatter a few pine nuts on top, if desired.

    Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a few cracks have formed in the topping. Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

    4-6 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Veganomicon | 11 Comments

    27th January 2009

    Roasted Vegetables with Chickpeas and Couscous

    roastedveggiecouscous

    Vegetarian Week continues here at We [Heart] Food, with this recipe (okay, it uses chicken stock, but you could replace with vegetable stock) from Fitness Food. Nothing too fancy here, just a huge plate of roasted vegetables over a bed of couscous and chickpeas.

    Lisa says:

    Waaahoooo!

    Chris says:

    I know, this is like your dream dinner!

    Lisa says:

    It’s true! It’s like a really good version of what I make at lunch at work.

    Chris says:

    Super simple, and you can do it in stages… while the first set of veggies is in the oven you can start cutting up the next set.

    Lisa says:

    It reminds me of that dish I made for a party a few months ago.

    Chris says:

    Oh yeah! I was just about to say this would be easy to bring to a party as a side dish.

    Lisa says:

    Tonight it works pretty well as dinner. :)

    Roasted Vegetables with Chickpeas and Couscous
    18 oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut 1/2″ thick on the diagonal
    3 baby eggplant, cut into 3/4″ slices on the diagonal
    2 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped
    oil spray
    2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thick strips
    1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
    3 ripe Roma tomatoes, quartered
    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    1 15 oz can chicken broth
    1 1/2 cups couscous
    1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    1 handful mixed herbs (basil, green onions, oregano), chopped

    Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place the sweet potato and eggplant on the trays. Spray with the oil, add the rosemary, and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes.
    Add in the zucchini, red bell pepper, and onion. Spray again with the oil spray and continue to bake an additional 15 minutes.
    Add the tomato wedges, drizzle with the vinegar, and bake for a final 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender.
    Meanwhile, heat the stock in a saucepan to boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover and set aside for 3 minutes, then return to a low heat and fluff with a fork for 2-3 minutes to separate. Add the chickpeas and most of the herbs. Serve the vegetables on warm couscous. Garnish with extra herbs.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Fitness Food, Vegetarian | 7 Comments

    4th January 2009

    Roasted Garlic and Winter Squash Soup with Spicy Tomato Salsa

    garlicsquashsoupsalsa
    We returned from our weekend outing not having gone through all of our CSA veggies, so this recipe from the Ultimate Soup Bible turned out to be a great way to use up our tomatoes, our heads of garlic, and the rest of our squash. The spiciness of the salsa gives contrast to the sweetness of the roasted squash and garlic. We served it with a Roasted Garlic & Pecorino Loaf from Metropolitan Market, so I’m sure we’ll be vampire-free for a while.


    Chris says:

    Does anything smell better than roasted garlic?

    Lisa says:

    I doubt it — and you can really smell it in this soup!

    Chris says:

    I like this soup more with every spoonful… I wish I had used juuust a little less veggie broth, it’s a little on the thin side for me.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, it’s a bit thin, but tastes really good. And the salsa seemed really hot at first, but it’s less spicy once you stir it all together.

    Chris says:

    That sweet-and-spicy combination is a winner.

    Lisa says:

    I’m not a huge fan of the fresh oregano, though.

    Chris says:

    Really? I like it, it’s a bit mellower than dried.

    Lisa says:

    Well, it’s not like it’s ruining my soup — I’m taking this to work for lunch for sure.

    Chris says:

    Just don’t take our fancy new bowls with you!

    Roasted Garlic and Winter Squash Soup with Spicy Tomato Salsa
    2 garlic bulbs, outer skin removed
    extra-virgin olive oil
    1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
    1 medium winter squash, halved and seeded
    2 onions, chopped
    1 tsp ground coriander
    4-5 cups vegetable stock
    2-3 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    For the salsa:
    4 large ripe tomatoes, halved and seeded
    1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
    1 large jalapeño, halved and seeded
    1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

    Preheat the oven to 425 F. Cut the 1/4″-1/2″ off the top of the heads of garlic to expose all the cloves. In a small baking dish, add 3/4 cup of water and a tablespoon of white wine vinegar, then the garlic bulbs. Brush the cut cloves with a little olive oil, then cover the baking dish tightly with foil. On a large baking sheet, place the squash and brush with a little olive oil. Next to the squash, add the tomatoes, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Roast the vegetables for 25 minutes, then remove the tomatoes, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Reduce the heat to 375 F and cook the squash and garlic for an additional 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
    Meanwhile, use a knife to scrape the outer skin off the bell pepper. In a small blender or food processor add the tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapeño, and 1 1/2 tsp olive oil. Pulse until blended but still somewhat chunky. Stir in the vinegar and season to taste.
    Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large dutch oven and cook the onions and coriander for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, until the onion is softened but not browned.
    Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin into the onions and scoop the squash out of its skin, adding it to the pot. Add the stock, 1 tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
    Stir in half the oregano and cool slightly, then use an immersion blender to puree to a smooth consistency.
    Ladle into bowls, top each with a large spoonful of the salsa, and sprinkle over the remaining oregano.

    4-5 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, The Soup Bible | 12 Comments

    21st December 2008

    Quinoa with Corn, Kale, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes… and more…

    quinoacornkale

    Lisa spotted this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink quinoa recipe over at 101 Cookbooks, where it’s titled “Heather’s Quinoa”. We’re glad that Heidi decided to post this mish-mash, we both really enjoyed all the different tastes and textures. We had a small block of Gruyere left in the fridge, so we also invited that little guy to the party.

    Chris says:

    Holy; what *isn’t* in this quinoa?

    Lisa says:

    Not much, isn’t it awesome?

    Chris says:

    Yeah — I like all the surprises. Also, it’s surprisingly filling.

    Lisa says:

    I’m sure the biscotti we’ve been eating all afternoon contributed to that.

    Chris says:

    Well yeah, somewhat…

    Lisa says:

    Wow — I just realized that even Abbie could eat this — there are no “gross vegetables”

    Chris says:

    Oh please; you would have had her at pesto

    Lisa says:

    Well, we’ll have to make it at least one more time then!

    Quinoa with Corn, Kale, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes… and more…
    extra-virgin olive oil
    sea salt
    brown sugar, spoonful
    1 shallot, minced
    2 cups quinoa
    1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
    1 bunch kale, finely chopped
    2 cups firm nigari tofu, browned
    1/3 cup pesto
    1/3 cup pepitas
    1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
    1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

    Roast the cherry tomatoes: Heat oven to 350F degrees. Cut each tomato in half and arrange in a large oven-proof baking dish. Add a splash of olive oil, a spoonful of brown sugar, and some few pinches of salt, and pour over the tomatoes. Toss to coat the tomatoes, and flip them so they’re cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the tomatoes look shrunken and delicious.
    While the tomatoes bake, rinse the quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium saucepan heat the quinoa and 4 cups water until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, about 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when completely tender. Drain any extra water and set aside.
    In a dutch oven heat the olive oil and salt over medium-high heat. Stir in the shallot and cook for a minute or two. Add the quinoa and corn and cook until sizzling. Stir in the kale and the tofu, cooking until tofu is heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the pesto and pumpkin seeds. Stir until the pesto is well incorporated. Transfer onto a platter and top with the shredded Gruyere and cherry tomatoes.

    Serves 4 – 6

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    posted in Main Dishes | 5 Comments


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