Archive for March, 2008


Lentil Vegetable Soup

2 c. small french green lentils, washed and picked over
6 c. water

Combine in large stockpot and bring to a boil. Simmer about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and reserve. Use any form of lentil you wish; the small green ones hold their shape nicely for a good texture in soup.

In a large soup pot, I heated olive oil. Into the oil went two small yellow onions, diced; about 5-6 small carrots, peeled and diced and one yam, peeled and diced. I cooked the vegetables until soft over medium-high heat, then turned down the flame and allowed them to brown slowly, stirring occasionally. After about 25 minutes, I added in two cloves of minced garlic and a cup of cooked wheatberries. I browned it for another 10 minutes, then added in two cans of diced tomato, a quart of water and the cooked lentils. I brought this to a simmer, then stirred in about 2-3 cups of shredded spinach. I seasoned it with a little white pepper, cumin and Prudhomme’s Vegetable Magic seasoning. Five minutes later I turned off the flame.

The browning of the vegetables was solely to add flavor to the soup. It isn’t important, but I like a deep flavorful soup base and I was out of any kind of base except chicken and I didn’t want that. The variations on this recipe are endless and imaginative; Heidi tosses out lots of options on her site. The saffron cream was very good but the soup tasted delicious even without it.

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Quick Three Bean Chili

From Food and Wine magazine, April 2008

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 jalapeños, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chili powder
One 15-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Chopped cilantro and sour cream, for serving

In a medium soup pot, heat the oil until hot. Add the bacon, onion, jalapeños and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until the onion is softened and the bacon fat has been rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the beans, tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer the chili over moderately low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with cilantro and sour cream.Kate’s Notes: I used a can of chili beans- pinto beans in chili spices, unrinsed! – in place of regular pinto beans; I had it on hand and it worked beautifully. I also reduced the chili powder to 2 tablespoons due to the presence of the chili spices in the beans.

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Maple Tapioca Pudding with Pralines
from Eating Well magazine, March/April 2007

1 cup low-fat milk
1 large egg, well beaten
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon quick-cooking tapioca
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg

1. Combine milk, egg, tapioca and salt in a medium saucepan. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil, 6 to 18 minutes (depending on your stove). Remove from the heat; stir in 1/4 cup syrup and vanilla.
3. Divide the pudding between 2 ramekins or custard cups. Let cool for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate until chilled.
4. Meanwhile, line a small plate with parchment or wax paper. Coat the paper with cooking spray. Combine pecans, the remaining 1 tablespoon syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small saucepan or skillet. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring, until most of the syrup has evaporated, 1 to 4 minutes. Spread the nuts out onto the prepared paper and place in the freezer until cool, about 10 minutes.
5. Crumble the chilled pecan topping into pieces. Serve the pudding topped with the maple walnuts.

<!–p><br /–> NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 301 calories; 9 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 113 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrate; 9 g protein; 1 g fiber; 250 mg sodium; 169 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Calcium (20% daily value), Zinc (17% dv).

3 Carbohydrate Servings

Exchanges: 2 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1/2 reduced-fat milk, 1 fat

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Arroz Amarillo or Yellow Rice
original recipe- A Cooks Tour of Mexico by Nancy Zaslavsky

This is Kate’s version:

2 T. vegetable oil
1 c. white rice, rinsed and shaken dry
One medium onion, sliced
One Jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced thin
One poblano pepper, seeded and cut in half
One red pepper, seeded and cut in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
One medium tomato coarsely chopped
Half of a 14-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 c. chicken stock
1 t. turmeric
2 t. ground cumin
Cilantro leaves

Place poblano and red peppers on foil covered cookie sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Broil until skins are charred, watching carefully. Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap to sweat. Remove skins when cooled and coarsely chop.

Heat oil in deep skillet; add in onion and saute over medium heat until soft and slightly browned, about 5-8 minutes. Add in garlic and jalapeno and cook for about a minute, until fragrant. Remove vegetables from heat and add a tablespoon of oil to pan. Stir in rice and coat with oil. Cook, stirring continually until rice is nutty, browned and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Do not allow to scorch. Stir turmeric and cumin into hot stock until dissolved. Add vegetables back to pan, stir to combine, then add stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Add tomatoes to pan, cover and allow to simmer until nearly all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in beans, roasted peppers and a handful of cilantro leaves. Cover and cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve with lime wedges and pimento stuffed green olives if desired.

RECIPE NOTES: For more tomato flavor, hold off adding it until you stir in the beans and roasted peppers. It would hold its shape better at this stage. This rice was just beautiful on our cobalt blue plates!

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Pasta with Prosciutto and Chevre
original recipe from Thyme for Cooking (changes marked * and in bold)

1 red onion (*i used shallots)
2 cloves garlic
12 Greek or black olives, pitted (did not use)
12 green olives, pitted (did not use)
8 oz white beans (cannellini) ( *used one 14-oz can)
1 tbs olive oil
3 oz (60gr) fresh spinach (*used about 6 oz)
6 – 8 slices (4oz, 125gr) Prosciutto, Serrano, Bayonne (mine) or other dry-cured ham (*used 5 oz)
2/3 box chevre (goat cheese) – the little cartons of creamy goat cheese, 5 oz (150 gr)
(Chavrie in U.S. Chevraux in France) (*i used Stickney Farms Garlic/Herb goat cheese- one log)
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (*did not use)
1 1/4 cup pasta (* I used 1# Ronzoni Seven Grain pasta)
Half a container of Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half.
1/2 c. frozen baby peas

Katie’s Thyme for Cooking method: Cook pasta according to package instructions.
While waiting for the water to boil, prepare sauce:
Thickly slice onions. Mince garlic. Slice ham into large strips. Cut olives in half. Drain and rinse the beans. If spinach leaves are large cut in half. Heat oil in medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender. Add garlic and ham. Sauté for 10 minutes longer, until ham is slightly crispy. Add olives, beans and goat cheese and heat through. When pasta is done, drain but don’t shake every last bit of water off. Put the spinach on top of the sauce in the skillet, add the hot pasta and stir to combine. Sprinkle with cheese, stir again and serve.

Kate in the Kitchen’s Method:
Thinly slice shallot, mince garlic and chop prosciutto. Drain and rinse white beans. Rinse, and de-stem spinach. Slice tomatoes. While pasta water boils, heat olive oil in large skillet and add shallot, saute for about 5 minutes. Add in garlic, stir and cook for about a minute. Add in prosciutto, cook for about 10 minutes. Add pasta to pot when ready and cook al dente. When prosciutto is slightly crispy, add in crumbled goat cheese and break up with a spoon. Scoop up some of the pasta water and add it to the skillet, stirring it into the goat cheese to melt and loosen; add the peas, beans and tomato. Stir to combine and add in spinach. Allow to simmer on low heat while pasta cooks. Drain pasta, reserving more of the water; add pasta back to pot and pour goat cheese mixture over it, stirring to combine, adding in more pasta water if too thick. Heat through and serve.

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