Tag Archives: Carrots

Smoky Black Bean Quinoa Salad

9 Dec

I recently started volunteering at the Sustainable Food Center.  My first major task was helping with a project to test several recipes for the revision of the Happy Kitchen cookbook, and important part of the SFC’s Happy Kitchen cooking class program.  I picked Smoky Black Bean Salad and Cranberry Sauce.  I had a lot of fun doing this and testing the recipes with different groups to get their feedback.  This particular recipe I’ve made my own, by upping the chipotle and cilantro, and adding some more color with the carrot and red bell pepper.  The salad makes for a really nice, light meal paired with some soup or a vegetable dish, or by itself.  Last night I ate a plate of this salad with some roasted acorn squash I had left over with some honey drizzled over the top.  Yum!  Healthy dinner after a nice run. 

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

2 cups cooked black beans, or 1 can, drained and rinsed

3-4 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 medium carrot, grated with a box grater or finely chopped

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped

1 tsp adobo sauce

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Instructions

First, rinse and drain the quinoa.  Bring the water and salt to a boil.  Add the quinoa, lower the heat to medium or medium low.  Cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.  Remove the pan from the heat, and allow the quinoa to cool completely before proceeding with the remainder of the recipe.  If you use hot quinoa to make the salad, the texture becomes mushy. 

Place the quinoa in a large bowl suitable for mixing.  Add the black beans, green onions, carrot, red bell pepper, and cilantro.

Next, make the dressing.  Combine the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and salt in a small bowl.  Whisk together until everything is well combined.  Add to the quinoa mixture and stir to mix until the dressing is well distributed.  Serve cold or at room temperature.  Use the salad within a week of making it.

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Mexican Cabbage Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette

7 Oct


I wanted a fresh, crisp salad when I got back from my recent trip to Chiapas, Mexico, and this salad is what I came up with.  I knew I wanted a cabbage-based salad, and a dressing that would incorporate Mexican ingredients.  I was missing two things:  fresh cilantro (which I had anticipated using but forgot to buy during my grocery run), and avocado.  In any case, this salad turned out to be very tasty and a nice pairing for some leftover chili I pulled out the freezer upon my return.

Ingredients

Salad

1/4 of a large head of green cabbage, shredded in a food processor or chopped very finely (purple would work great too, and be very pretty!)

1/2 cucumber, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

3-4 scallions, chopped (including the greens)

2-3 carrots, shredded

1/2 zucchini, shredded or finely chopped

1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1/3-1/2 cup raisins

Dressing

1 tsp dried chipotle

2 T honey

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Pepper to taste

3 T extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 2 limes

Preparation

Wash and prepare the vegetables as described above.  For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together, or combine in a blender.  Combine dressing and salad, tossing until the dressing evenly coats the vegetables.  Taste, and add additional honey, vinegar, salt, and/or pepper if you like.  If your salad turns out too tart, add honey to counterbalance the acidity.

Red Lentil Soup with Brown Rice and Vegetables

30 Jan

I love lentils in general, but red lentils are especially fun because they cook so fast and break down to make a nice, smooth soup.  Red lentils are always a soup ingredient, whereas green or brown lentils retain their shape much better and can be used for other types of dishes, like salads.  I normally use them to make Indian dal, with ginger, turmeric, cilantro, and the other ingredients, but lately I’ve been making red lentil and brown rice based soups.  That combination in and of itself is fabulous, but I’ve also started adding vegetables like potatoes and carrots.  This time I threw in some frozen peas and corn for fun.  I happened to have some cornbread I made a week or so ago still in the freezer (I like to make a pan, cut into pieces, and freeze them to heat individually.  That way I don’t end up eating a whole pan of it, and nothing goes to waste either.)  So, I ate some of this soup just now with some cornbread with pieces of corn, some butter and a drizzle of honey.  Yum!!  Also, a green salad would be an excellent way to round out the meal.  However, I just at a big bowl of soup and a lovely piece of cornbread, and that was really enough.

Ingredients

2 T olive oil or butter

1 onion, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

1 stalk celery, ends cut off and sliced

1 medium potato, chopped

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp minced ginger

2/3 cup red lentils

1/2 cup brown rice

Salt (start with 1 tsp, add more if needed)

5-6 cups water or broth

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup frozen corn

1 cup fresh spinach

Instructions

Heat the butter or oil in a pot.  Add the onion, stir to mix with the butter or oil.  Cook for a few minutes, then add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, and ginger.  Stir to mix and cook for a few more minutes.  Add the carrot, celery, and potato.  Cook all together for about five minutes.  Add the lentils and rice.  Add the water and salt.  Turn on high and bring to a boil.  Once the soup boils, cover the pot and lower the heat to medium low.  Set a timer for 30 minutes.  Five minutes before the timer goes off, add the peas, corn, and spinach.  Cook five more minutes, taste to make sure the rice is cooked and to test the soup, adding additional if needed.

And you’re done!

Marrakesh Minestrone with Cilantro Puree

14 Jan

I have a cookbook called The Healthy Hedonist by Myra Kornfeld that I absolutely adore.  Every recipe I’ve tried has been divine, and this one is no different.  The book has very interesting and flavorful combinations, most with an international flair. The book is based on the idea of “flexitarianism,” or eating a mostly vegetarian diet, but not eliminating meat entirely.  I’ve been eating this way for a about four years, though lately I’ve been trending more toward eliminating meat altogether.

I decided to make this particular dish because this past weekend my Foodies group (I found a group of people who love to cook as much as I do!)  had a Middle Eastern-themed extravaganza.  We each took a different dish, and I picked this Moroccan-style stew, which mixes sweet with spicy in a really amazing way.  Other featured dishes included hummus, rice with dried fruit and pistachios, garbanzo soup, tzatziki, roasted leeks and carrots, an amazing dessert made with rice and almonds, tea flavored with cardamom and cinnamon, and several others.  Yum!  I was truly amazed by the range of wonderful dishes everyone made.

This stew is very hearty and can be eaten as a meal.  The starchy vegetables in combination with the couscous and garbanzo beans along with the rich spices come together to make for a very satisfying stew for a cold night. I made a change here and did not use saffron–I tossed in some turmeric instead.  Saffron is pretty expensive and I didn’t feel like buying it on this particular day.

Ingredients

2 T olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pinch saffron threads (I used about 1 tsp of turmeric)

1 tsp ground fennel seed (I left mine whole)

1 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (I used more–about 1 tsp–because I like it spicy)

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used closer to 1 tsp)

1-14.5 oz. can whole tomatoes

5 cups water

1 cup sweet potato, chopped

1 diced carrot

1 zucchini, sliced

Salt to taste

2 cups finely chopped Swiss chard or chopped spinach

1/4 cup couscous

2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 can, rinsed

Black pepper

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Cilantro Puree

1 tsp whole or ground cumin

2 T olive oil

1 T lemon juice

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 garlic clove

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne or red pepper flakes

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Toss in the onion to cook for about 7 minutes.  Then, add the garlic, saffron, fennel, coriander, red pepper flakes, ginger, and cinnamon.  Stir, and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and their juice, and crush the tomatoes a bit with the back of your spoon.  Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.  (As the tomatoes cook, it would be a good time to wash the chard and chop the vegetables to use your time most efficiently).

Add the water, sweet potatoes, carrots, and zucchini.  Cover and turn the heat to high.  Bring to a boil.  One the soup starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium low.  Add 1 tsp salt.  Cover the pot, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.  Next, add the couscous, chard, and garbanzo beans.  Stir.  Simmer for 5 more minutes.  Add the pepper and the lemon juice.  Taste the soup and add more salt if necessary.

Now, let the soup sit to cool and make the cilantro puree.  You can do this with a blender, but I used my food processor, which is much better at chopping than a blender.  Add the cilantro, cumin, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice.  Pulse until the ingredients are finely and evenly chopped.  Then, turn on the processor and pour in the olive oil through the top.  You may have to scrape the sides of the bowl if the puree doesn’t mix evenly.

Spoon some cilantro puree over the soup, and enjoy!  I’m definitely going to make this again.

Random-Stuff-From-My-Refrigerator Soup

20 Nov

Perhaps this is not the most interesting or appetizing sounding title for a recipe, but it’s the absolute truth.  I used a base of red beans, their cooking liquid, with some additional water, and added some leftover cremini mushrooms, a few carrots, some frozen corn, and half an onion.  This soup turned out very tasty.  I had a bag of red beans in my freezer, and I soaked them overnight, put them in the crock pot on low, and they cooked while I was at work.  I came home and made this soup within about a half hour.  This is the perfect time of year to make a hearty pot of soup, and this combo turned out to be a winner.

Soups are really excellent ways of cleaning out one’s refrigerator by using odds and ends, especially where vegetables are concerned.  Basically, a soup can be made with any number of combinations of vegetables, grains, beans, herbs, and possibly cheese and/or meat.  I view soups more as a tasty vehicle to get your vegetables easily in one bowl, so I typically keep my soups to the vegetables/herbs/grains/beans combo.

I enjoyed my soup with an Ebenezer Ale from Bridgeport brewery in Portland and a piece of my very own homemade whole wheat baguette with organic butter.  Yum!  Talk about comfort food on a cold day.

Note that my ingredients are approximations–soup is one of those dishes where you can be absolutely flexible on amounts.  Who cares if you don’t have a whole cup of frozen corn?  Use what you have, or, I don’t know, use some frozen peas.

Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients

About 3 cups cooked red beans (adzuki beans are fun), or 2 cans of red beans

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

1/2 large onion or one medium onion

3 peeled and sliced carrots

1 cup frozen corn

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, cook for a few minutes, then add the carrots, mushrooms, and a bay leaf.  Add a few pinches of salt and some pepper.

Cook, stirring every few minutes, for about 5 minutes.  Then add the frozen corn.

Stir to mix, then add the beans, plus about 3 cups of cooking liquid and 3 cups of water, or 6 cups of water if you’re using canned beans.  Add some salt, about 2 teaspoons.  Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Once the soup boils, turn the heat down to medium and cover.  Cook until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.  Once the soup is finished cooking, remove the bay leaf .  When the soup cools a bit, taste to determine if you need additional salt.  Grind some pepper over the top, and enjoy with a salad, some bread, and maybe a beer.  I’m really enjoying the seasonal beers, like Ebenezer.

If you want to make your own refrigerator soup, all you really do is follow these same steps–heat some oil, saute some veggies, add some liquid along with beans and/or grains, bring to a boil, turn down to medium, and cook until the vegetables are tender.  That’s it!