Saturday, January 31, 2015

Double Duty Ginger - Ginger Honey Lemon Tea & Coconut Milk Chai

I'm working on the next series of "Ann & the Angels" today... which means I must sneak in the kitchen too. I found some ginger in the freezer, which led to two yummy beverages.. both of which are great for digestion, warming you up, and just feeling alive!

Ginger is an easy thing to freeze. Buy it on sale when you can - I got a ton at the 99cent superstore last year when it was $1 for a bagfull. Use a metal spoon to scrape the peel off and chop into 1/2 slices. Freeze in a ziplock bag. When you go to use it, remove what you need and thaw lightly or zap in the microwave 20-30 seconds and it minces SO easily when partially frozen like this. Here are the drinks:

Ginger/Hone/Lemon Tea with a Kick:

12 cups water
6 T chopped ginger
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 T honey
pinch of cayenne pepper

Bring to a boil for a few minutes, reduce to a simmer. Strain into jars, but keep the soggy sweet chopped ginger for the next recipe.

Coconut Milk Chai

(I have all these spices on hand, but if not Sprouts or your local health grocer oftne has them in bulk and you purchase get small quantities).

4 cups coconut milk
leftover ginger from the last recipe
3 star anise or if not that 1/2 t regular anise
1 T or 2 sticks cinnamon
2 cloves
3 peppercorns
5 allspice berries
3 cardamom pods
1 T honey

Bring all to a boil in a pot for a few minutes, then simmer 20 minutes. Strain and enjoy either by itself or with coffee!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Soup

The Halloween jack o' lanterns get cooked as soon as they show signs of getting soft. And oh the joy of fresh pumpkin! Smoothies, pie, custard, you name it. And this week, Spicy chipotle pumpkin soup! Yum!

3 T butter
olive oil
2 large onions, sliced or chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced

2 t coriander
2T cumin
2 chipotle chiles in adobo chopped fine
2 t salt

8 cups cooked pumpkin puree (I make my own, see below)
8 cups water, chicken broth, or veggie broth, or any mix
1 cup greek yogurt or sour cream

Heat olive oil and 3T butter in a big soup pot. Add onions, coriande, cumin, chipotles, salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper and saute onions till tender - 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and saute at least 1-2 minutes more to soften. Add pumpkin and broth. Bring to a boil stirring constantly then reduce to a simmer and simmer covered for 20-30 minutes. At the last minute stir in the yogurt or sour cream. When done, let cool, and blend it all up in a blender. Reheat, and serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

If you like it thinner add more broth and water. If you like it spicier add more chipotle at the end, but be careful because they’re strong!!

If you want to make it into spicy pumpkin tortilla soup add shredded chicken, cooked peppers, corn, beans or the like and reheat before serving. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

** To cook a pumpkin, Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the stem off. Quarter the rest, and remove seeds. You can save them to toast them later if you like. Put flesh side down in a baking dish or foil lined large cookie tray (it WILL leak so make sure you have sides on whatever you use to prevent your oven from becoming a mess. If quarters are too big, chop them up further till they fit. Bake at 450 for 1 hr. Peel off the skin and puree in the blender when cool enough to work with. A medium size pumpkin gives you 8 cups… between the size of a soccer and a basket ball!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Easy Carrot Ginger Soup w/Xtra Nutrition

This is a spin on carrot soup with a little extra nutrition snuck in!

3 T butter
3T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
about a 4” piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

3lbs carrots, peeled and choped
8 cups broth - chicken or veggie is fine

1 c yogurt (prefer greek)
1 package of tofu - any kind

Heat olive oil and butter in a soup pot. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and stir till tender, about 5-6 minutes. Don’t let the garlic burn.
Add carrots and broth. Bring to a boil for a few minutes then turn down and simmer for about 30 minutes till carrots are tender. Add yogurt and tofu.

Either blend with an immersion blender stuck in the pot (careful not to splatter) or cool and blend in batches in a blender.

Freezes well and keeps well in the fridge. Great served warm with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt and a sprinkle of ginger, nutmeg, or cinnamon.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Vegetarian Lentil Chile

Perfect for that almost autumn feel in the air! This makes a huge batch but it keeps very well in the fridge or freezer.

3T Olive oil + extra
3 T butter
1 1/2 T ground cumin
2 T good chile powder
1 1/2 T smoked paprika
2 t salt
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic
3 bell peppers - 1 each of green, yellow,and red
1 14 1/2 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
8 cups liquid (I use half broth / half water)
bunch of chopped spinach - optional
brick of tofu, any kind, drained - optional
1 cup lentils

Use a large soup pot. Over medium high heat, melt 3T olive oil and 3T butter, dump in the spices - cumin, chile powder, paprika, salt and stir around for a minute to get the flavors started. Add the onions and garlic and stir for about four minutes till tender. Add the peppers and stir for a few more till they are tender too. You might want to add a bit more olive oil so the veggies don't burn. Add the lentils and the liquids and bring to a boil for a few minutes.

Simmer for at least half an hour over low heat until the lentils are cooked. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, black beans, and spinach if you are using it. Also if you use the tofu, crumble it up and add that at the last minute. Heat another ten minutes or so and then eat or store in the fridge. You can add a dollop of sour cream, some cheese, onions or whatever you want on top!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Incredible Red Lentil Dahl

My friends gave this to me so I do not know the source but it is one of my favorite comfort foods and so healthy you can't find a fault with it! Dahl is basically a yummy, creamy, lentil dish with lots of great spices, originating from the Indian culture. This goes great with fresh or sautéed veggies and some healthy rice or grains!

3 T butter or olive oil
2 t cumin
1/8 t cayenne
1/2 t ginger
1 1/2 t coriander
1 t mustard seeds
2 t curry powder
1 1/2 t salt
8 c water
2 c red lentils, dry
1/3 c + 2 T lemon juice
2 t honey

In a large saucepan, heat the butter and add all the spices including the salt. Allow it to simmer briefly. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Meanwhile, wash the lentils and add to boiling water along with the lemon juice and honey. Cook over a low flame for one hour, stirring frequently. Makes 6 cups.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Raisins & Pecans

20 good sized brussel sprouts, cut in half lengthwise
olive oil, salt, and pepper
1 c chopped pecans
2/3 c chopped raisins
1/4 cup butter

Mix raisins and brussel sprouts and toss with olive oil to coat them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast on a cookie tray lined with foil (edges turned up to prevent leaks) or in a roasting pan at 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. They will start to smell strongly and turn just a tiny bit brown when done. You can always taste test!!

When the brussel sprouts are finished dump into a bowl. Next heat the butter over medium high in a pan on the stove and toss the pecans in it just for a few minutes till they begin to toast. Watch them and do not burn them. When done, dump the pecan/butter mixture into the brussel sprouts mixture. That's it! They're good right now and can be refrigerated and reheated and are still yummy.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

I'm temporarily off sugar but not to be denied my holiday pleasures, came up with this yummy and just sweet enough holiday smoothie!

1 ripe banana
1 cup mashed pumpkin (fresh or canned)
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t ground allspice
3 cups coconut milk (almond or regular would works too)
15-20 ice cubes

Blend until smooth then sip and savor the holiday flavor!

If you want to sweeten it up you could add a few dates, or a dash of honey, of whatever sweetener you like!