Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts

(recipe adapted from Christina Cooks)

2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, tips trimmed, crosses cut into the bottoms of each
1 red onion, cut into thick wedges
2 to 3 sweet potatoes, split lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch thick half-moons
2 Tbsp. olive oil
grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. rice syrup
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 to 3 sprigs fresh parsley, minced

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place all of the vegetables in a mixing bowl and add oil, a generous sprinkling of salt, lemon zest, wine, maple syrup and rice syrup.  Mix well to coat.  Arrange vegetables in a large baking dish, avoiding overlap.  Cover with foil and bake until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.  Remove cover and continue baking until vegetables are browned and liquid has turned to a syrup, 10-15 minutes more.  Remove from heat and squeeze lemon juice over top.  Sprinkle with parsley and toss gently to coat.  Serve hot.

(These are a great alternative to heavily sweetened sweet potatoes, etc.)

Braised Collard Greens

(recipe from Bon Appetit magazine)

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 lbs. collard greens, Swiss chard, or broccoli rabe, thick stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 6 minutes.  Add greens and saute until beginning to wilt.  Stir in broth; bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until greens are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.  Stir in vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.

Yum!  I ate this with millet.

Beet Salad

(recipe from Yoga Living magazine)

5 large or 10 small raw beets, scrubbed
1 large carrot
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 to 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/4 c. parsley
1/4 c. walnuts, chopped

I modified this recipe.  Basically, I chopped the beets and carrots, mixed all ingredients together in a roasting pan, and roasted until the beets and carrots were tender, stirring occasionally.  It turned out very good!  Wonderful addition to a green salad.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spaghetti Squash with Indian Spices

(recipe from Fine Cooking magazine)

1 small (3 lb.) spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 cup seeded and chopped tomato
1 small serrano chile, seeded and minced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F.  Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a sturdy spoon.  Set the squash halves cut side down on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet, and bake until strands of flesh separate easily when raked with a fork, 50 minutes to one hour.  Taste a few strands - they should be tender.  If not, continue to bake.  Set the squash halves aside until cool enough to handle.  Use a fork to rake the cooked squash flesh into strands.

In a 10-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot.  Add the mustard seeds and cover.  The seeds will start popping; cook until the popping subsides, about 1 minute.  Uncover, reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, and coriander and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes.  Add the tomato, chile, and 1 tsp. salt and cook, stirring, until the tomato begins to soften and the chile is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium high and add the squash to the skillet.  Continue to cook, tossing with tongs, until heated through, 1 to 3 minutes.  Toss in the cilantro, season to taste with more salt, and serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cynthia's Chili

(recipe from Christina Cooks)

This was a macrobiotic recipe for chili that I added all manner of nightshade vegetables to, with good result.  Also, I doubled everything listed below to create a huge pot of chili:

1-inch piece kombu
1/2 cup each cooked pinto beans and kidney beans
1/2 cup each winter squash, carrot, onion, and celery - large dice
1 cup millet
soy sauce
generous pinch cumin powder
1-2 tsp. chili powder
water or vegetable broth

Place kombu in the bottom of a soup pot.  Layer the onion, celery, squash, carrot, millet, and beans.  Add the cumin and chili powders.  Add water or broth to cover all ingredients and sprinkle lightly with soy sauce.  Cover, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 35 minutes, until millet becomes creamy and chili takes on a thick, "meaty" texture.

At this point, I added two chopped tomatoes, about a cup of tomato puree, and about two Tbsp. of tomato paste.  I also added two jalapeno chilis, chopped and mostly seeded.  I also threw in some cilantro.  Then I simmered it some more.

(I made this 10/29/11 for "Soup Night" with Joann and Alison.  It snowed!  We avoided Meghan and Tim's Halloween party and instead watched Love, Actually.  We enjoyed this chili with some red wine and crusty bread - it was tasty!  Leaving some of the jalapeno seeds in gave it a little kick, which was nice.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

French-Style Warm Lentil Salad

(recipe from

1 cup French green (also known as "Puy") lentils
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme (I used dried)
5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley

In a medium saucepan, bring the lentils, water, and bay leaf to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until almost tender, about 15 minutes.  Stir in 1/4 tsp. salt, and then simmer, covered, for another 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but not falling apart.

While the lentils simmer, warm 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and 1/8 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just softened, about 7 to 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette.  In a small bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp. vinegar, mustard, and remaining 1/8 tsp. salt.  Add the remaining 4 Tbsp. olive oil, and whisk to emulsify.

When the lentils are ready, drain them in a colander and discard the bay leaf.  Dump them into the skillet with the vegetables, and add the vinaigrette.  Cook over low heat, stirring gently, until heated through.  Stir in the remaining 1/2 tsp. vinegar, and serve warm, with salt and parsley for sprinkling.

4 side-dish servings

(Delicious!  Simple to make!  Yum!)