Sunday, April 22, 2012

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

(recipe from

1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red split lentils
7 cups water (I replaced 3 cups water with vegetable broth)
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 Tbsp. fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
1 tsp. salt
one small handful cilantro, chopped

Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse - until they no longer put off murky water.  Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger.  Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.

In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant.  Be careful though, you don't want to burn the curry powder, just toast it.  Set aside.  Place the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins.  Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.

Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt.  Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so.  The texture should thicken up, but you can play around with the consistency - add more water, if you like, or simmer longer for a thicker consistency.  (I liked it thicker.)

Enjoy ladled over brown rice, or any grain.  Sprinkle generously with cilantro.  (I just mixed the cilantro right into the soup.)

(Amazingly good!)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

(recipe from

1 1/3 cups rolled oats, divided
a pinch each of salt, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger
1/4 cup flax seeds (I used hemp seeds)
1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped (or any combination of roughly chopped dried fruit and/or nuts) (I used 1/2 cup apricots and 1/2 cup pecans)
1/4 cup canola oil (I used mashed banana)
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used agave syrup)
2 Tbsp. brown rice syrup

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a 8" square baking pan with parchment paper, letting a bit of excess paper hang over the sides.

Grind 1/3 cup of the oats in a food processor until powdery.  Add them to a large mixing bowl with the remaining oats, salt & spices, flax seeds, and apricots.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and then stir them into the dry ingredients.

Put the mixture in the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.  Bake for 1/2 hour, or until evenly browned.  Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.  Remove to a cutting board (the parchment paper will act as a sort of sling, making this very easy).  Cut into individual granola bars.

(I am on a mission to find a recipe for really good breakfast bars.  This was tasty, though a bit dry, and didn't hold together so well in bar form.  Also, loads of sugar syrups and not much healthy substance.  The mission continues!)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Colorful Vegetable Coleslaw

(recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)

Serves 8 to 10.

1 lb. white cabbage (1/2 small head)
3/4 lb. red cabbage (1/2 small head)
5 carrots
1 cup mayonnaise (I used tofu mayo, recipe in previous post)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. sugar (I used agave syrup)
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. celery seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Fit a food processor with the thickest blade.  Cut the cabbages into small wedges and lace horizontally into the feed tube.  Process in batches.  Next, fit the food procesor with the grated blade.  Cut the carrots in half and place in the feed tube so they are lying on their sides.  Process in batches and mix in bowl with the grated cabbages.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients to make a dressing and pour enough of the dressing over the grated vegetables to moisten.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

(Really nice, tangy cole slaw.)

Tofu Mayo

(recipe from Christina Cooks)

8 oz. firm tofu
3 Tbsp. stoneground mustard
2 tsp. umeboshi vinegar
3 tsp. brown rice syrup
sea salt
juice of 1 lemon
3-4 Tbsp. corn oil (I used 2 Tbsp. canola oil)

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cook tofu for 5 minutes.  Drain well.  Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


(recipe from

2 ripe avocadoes, cut in half (but save the pits)
2 Tbsp. minced white onion (I used red onion)
3 Tbsp. cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 lime
coarse salt

Score the avocadoes, scoop them into a mixing bowl and mash gently with a fork - you don't want it to be completely smooth.  Stir in the onion and cilantro.  Cut the lime in half and squeeze in enough juice to taste.  Season the quacamole with salt, and either serve immediately or stick the pits in to keep from browning (remove the pits before serving).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Asparagus, Peas, and Basil

(recipe from Gourmet Italian Kitchen magazine)

Serves 6.

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (I used red onion)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups (12 oz) shelled fresh peas (1 3/4 lbs. in pods) or 1 (10 oz.) package thawed frozen peas
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Handful of torn basil leaves (about 3/4 cup)

Cook shallots in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 4 minutes.

Stir in asparagus, peas, salt, and pepper; cover skillet with a lid.  Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender but still slightly al dente, about 8 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in basil.

(So good!  So unbelievably good!  I ate this with some brown rice.  One of those recipes that makes me happy that I try new things.)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Yam Scones

(recipe from Food & Wine magazine)

Makes 6 scones.

One 7 oz. yam or sweet potato
1/3 cup sugar (I used agave syrup)
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large egg (I used egg replacer)
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest (I used more)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Prick the yam with a fork and bake for about 45 minutes, or until very soft.  Let cool, then peel and mash the yam until smooth.  Leave the oven on.

Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray (or line with parchment paper).  In a large bowl, combine the yam with the sugar, oil, egg, orange zest and vanilla.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt.  Stir the dry ingredients into the yam mixture just until combined.

Working on a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a large round.  Cut the round into 6 wedges and brush the tops with maple syrup.  Arrange the wedges on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.  Serve warm.

(For 12 smaller scones, divide the dough in half and pat into two rounds.  Then cut each round into 6 wedges.)

These are yummy!  Good for breakfast.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rise and Shine Oatmeal

(recipe from Cooking Light magazine)

4 servings.

2 cups water
2 cups oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted
maple syrup, for serving

Bring water to a boil over medium heat.  Stir in oats; cook 5 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients.  Serve with maple syrup.

Chickpea, Collard Greens, and Sweet Potato Stew

(recipe adapted from Whole Living magazine)

Serves 6 to 8.

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 bunch collard greens, coarsely chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice

In a large pot, sautee onion, garlic, and celery in 1/2 cup broth until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add vinegar, sweet potatoes, collard greens, broth, and 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, 10-20 minutes.  Add chickpeas and rice to pot and cook until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper.