Tag Archives: vegetables

Recipe: Winter Harvest Soup

This soup was invented based on two criteria: 1. I had the ingredients on hand that needed to be used before going bad, and 2. I needed something that would give Kyle (age 1) vegetables in a soft form. Thus, Winter Harvest Soup. The grownups enjoyed the recipe as is–a heartier, chunky soup; and I pureed the rest for Kyle–or those who prefer a smoother, creamy soup. He LOVED it!

Feel free to adjust the types of vegetables used in this soup (though root vegetables do seem to work best). If you’re not a sweet potato fan, try Yukon golds. If you have acorn squash instead of butternut, go for it! And if you’ve never seen a parsnip–well, first, try to find a parsnip because they’re delicious!–but if you can’t, try a turnip or rutabaga or just more carrots. This made a large pot of soup, so if you have fewer vegetables, just use half of the other ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower (chopped)
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (halved)
  • 1 butternut squash (halved and seeded)
  • 1 bag baby carrots (chopped)
  • 4 parsnips (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. marjoram (if you don’t have marjoram, basil would work)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 6-8 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. chicken (or vegetable) bouillon
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. prepared basil paste
  • 2-3 c. coconut milk (or cow’s milk, if preferred)

Instructions:

  1. Prep the winter vegetables. Using two large baking sheets, spread out vegetables in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Roast at 400°F for 40 minutes.
  2. Remove vegetables from oven and let cool slightly. Peel and chop squash and sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces.
  3. Toss all vegetables in large stockpot; fill with water to not quite cover vegetables. 
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes (or until vegetables are completely soft). 
  5. Serve hot. 

Suggestion: serve with crackers, croutons, or garlic bread and a simple salad. 

Memorial Day Feast…Good Enough for Any Special Occasion

We had company this weekend, so I planned this special dinner, but it never worked out to make it (it’s fairly heavy and takes about 4 hours to make). So, when our friends (and mentors) from church texted me on Sunday night, I asked if they had anything planned for Memorial Day. We ended up having a delicious dinner and played a game of Dominion while eating dessert and sipping coffee. What a fun night! Here’s the menu:

They brought a salad and blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream and we made the following dishes, along with coffee and iced tea:

I forgot to take a picture the night of, but here’s a picture of the leftovers with some steamed broccoli and fruit salad:

Bryan told me I could make this dish anytime I want (actually he told me about six times over the next three days). That’s a definite win… (*scurries to write down recipe*). And we had plenty of leftovers for several meals. So rich and delicious!

Note: It did take a while to make, but most of that time is inactive time, so you can do something else while it simmers away on the stove for three hours. When the ribs have 30 minutes left, start your risotto recipe and finish it  while your sauce reduces (you may want to add a little cornstarch to thicken the sauce after it’s reduced for a while; put 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch in a small ball and stir in 1/4 c. of the hot broth until it’s smooth, then add the cornstarch mixture back into the sauce pot). While your sauce is reducing, start the carrot dish (takes about 15 minutes total).

Bon Appetit!

My Funny Valentine, Sweet Comic Valentine…

We don’t go out for Valentine’s Day. And we don’t buy flowers or stuffed animals, or anything like that. But we did decide to celebrate and have a special “us night” in. We started with a special organic stir-fry dinner (recipe below), then went for a nice walk, stopped by Target and picked out Valentine’s Day cards, exchanged them, and promptly stuck them back on the shelves, laughing and smiling. Then we headed home for some organic strawberries and organic chocolate truffles (free from Earthfare this week), while watching a sweet & funny episode of Chuck (one of our favorite TV series). I love hanging out with my man!

He created a fabulous ginger citrus stir-fry tonight, using all kinds or organic goodness! Here’s the ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 bunch of organic baby bok choy, chopped
  • 8 organic baby carrots, chopped
  • 8 organic baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2″ fresh organic ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • juice of 1 organic blood orange (and zest, if desired)
  • 1 organic rotisserie chicken, about 3 lbs., shredded (seasoned with butter, fresh garlic, salt, pepper, and garlic powder)

Start with a wok at 250-300F, add butter and melt, then add vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes, then ginger, garlic and juice and cook for 1-2 more minutes, and finally the chicken, until warmed through.

Serve with the following accompaniment, sauteed over medium low heat:

  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 4 organic scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 organic red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 organic green pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Kame all-natural sweet chili sauce

Definitely eat with chopsticks and dim the lighting! (Sorry, the dinner pics were taken on Bryan’s iPhone, which didn’t like the dim lighting as much as we did!)

Bon Appetit! And Happy Valentine’s Day!

Recipe: Harvest Lamb Roast

I adapted this from two recipes in my Simply Organic cookbook tonight. I would say this recipe serves 6-8. If you used a leaner cut of meat, you could probably serve 8-10 people, thought I would double the vegetables for that many servings.

The Finished Product

The first recipe inspiration came from “Harvest Pot Roast” on page 143. The original recipe is meant to be cooked all day or overnight in a slow cooker. This is where I got the veggie and sauce idea. It recommends a 3 pound chuck roast, salt and pepper, 1 large onion, 2 carrots, 12 oz. mushrooms, 4 garlic cloves, 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes, and for the sauce: 1 cup ketchup, 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce.

The second recipe inspiration came from “Boneless Leg of Lamb with Horseradish-Mint Yogurt and Dried Cranberries” on page 144. I have not made the yogurt sauce or cranberries yet, since I used a different sauce, but it does sound good. This recipe called for the juice of 1 lemon, 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 5 garlic cloves, 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary, salt, pepper, a 5 to 6 lb. butterflied leg of lamb. For the sauce, it recommends 2/3 cup whole milk yogurt, 2 Tbsp. grated red onion, 3 Tbsp. finely grated fresh horseradish or 1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish, and 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint. Then it serves it with 2/3 c. dried cranberries that have been reconstituted in 1 cup ruby port and spiced with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 2 Tbsp. brown sugar. It sounds like an interesting combination that I look forward to trying someday. I borrowed the rosemary and oil from this recipe and followed the roasting instructions.

Here’s what I did:

Preheated oven to 450F.

In a large, glazed, stoneware casserole dish, I placed the following ingredients:

  • 2 small onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 10 button mushrooms
  • 1 can Muir Glen stewed tomatoes (I reserved the juice for the sauce)
  • 1 1/2 c. baby carrots
  • a drizzle of oil, so the veggies wouldn’t stick to the pan

Then I sprinkled my 3 lb. lamb shoulder with about 1 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of black pepper, making sure to get it on all sides. I placed the lamb on top of the veggies in the casserole dish.

For the sauce, I mixed the following ingredients:

  • juice reserved from can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. ketchup (I used Hunt’s All Natural and ran out after 1/2 c., but it turned out fine)
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (I used Emeril’s)
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire (it was all I had)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary

I rubbed this mixture over the lamb, and placed the whole dish in the 450F oven for 20 minutes.

Then I reduced the temperature to 350F and continued roasting for 2 hours, turning every 30 minutes. The recipe said to let the meat rest for 15 minutes after removing it from the oven before slicing, so I decided to do a little photo shoot. The shoulder is one of the fattier cuts of meat (and also one of the cheapest; I got this one at Whole Foods on sale for $5/lb.). I probably did not need to add oil to the veggies, but it was fine. I left the oily juice in the bottom of the dish, placed the meat in the center of my serving plate, and surrounded it with the gloriously roasted vegetables!

This was a delicious blend of flavors! I would definitely do this again. Bryan and I both really enjoyed taste-testing this tonight. It will make a great lunch tomorrow. He deserves it too: he’s been working some really long hours and I want to make sure he knows I appreciate that.