Friday, November 26, 2010


November is the perfect time to make this delicious dish, especially if you'd like to make it a bit festive with Beaujolais wine as a drinking companion. It is a fantastic food and wine pairing.

Serves 4

1-1/2 cups dried white beans, soaked overnight and drained
6 small garlic cloves, plus 1/2 tsp mince garlic
4 carrots, cut into 1" lengths
2 celery ribs, halved crosswise
3 large leeks-white parts halved lengthwise, 1 leek green reserved
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 parsnips, quartered lengthwise
7 tablespoons olive oil
Two 2-1/2 pound acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeded, or
peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2" wedges
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley (definitely use fresh. Leftover parsley
is great chopped with chopped tomatoes and oil & vinegar)
4 teaspoons rosemary leaves (I used 1 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1 tbs thyme leaves (I used a little over 1/2 tsp dried)

You can make it according to the recipe or the way I did it.
See my way after the following procedure:

1. In a large saucepan, combine the beans with 3 garlic cloves,
1/4 of the carrots, the celery, leek green and bay leaf. Cover with
2" of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat for 40
mins. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the beans are
tender, about 1 min. Drain the beans, reserving 2 cups of cooking
liquid. Discard the vegetables.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 450. In a roasting pan, toss the remaing
carrots and garlic cloves, the the parsnips, leek whites, and 3 tbs of
olive oil. Place the squash halves beside the vegetables. Season with
salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 15 mins. Uncover and
roast for 30 mins,stirring occasionally, until the vegtables are tender
and browned. Alternatively, toss the squash wedges with the
vegetables and roast them together.

3. Meanwhile, in a processor, make the pistou: Chop the parsley,
rosemary, and thyme. Blend in the minced garlic (used 3 garlic
cloves) and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the beans, the reserved cooking liquid and 2 tbs of pistou
to the vegetables and warm over moderate heat. Serve in the squash
halves or in deep bowls with the pistou.

My way: I roasted the parsnips, leeks, carrots, all together.
I did not add any veggies to the cooking beans. I roasted the acorns
separately because I used a toaster oven and a convection oven.
I did not cover the veggies with foil. I thought the dish
would be tastier with more roasted veggies, plus I hate tossing out
good veggies.

Then I sauteed the celery and garlic.

Once the beans were cooked according to recipe minus the veggies,
and the veggies roasted and sauteed, I added them all together with
enough water to allow them to simmer for awhile blending all
flavors. The original recipe calls for 2 cups of liquid, so add according
to how soupy you want it. First add enough to simmer, then more if
desired. I then used the acorn squash as bowls, ladeled in some
veggies, poured the pistou over each bowl, and voila!

Then I sauteed the celery and garlic

Friday, November 12, 2010


The month of November we celebrate Thanksgiving. I will be cooking American foods in honor of that holiday. There won't be too much activity on my end because I am quite busy this month, so the recipes that I do post will be pretty easy.

One of the first Indian recipes adopted by the colonists was a mixture of boiled beans and corn. The natives called it m'sick-quotash, but to the English it became simply succotash.

This was a surprisingly delicious recipe.

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
10 oz frozen babyLima beans
10 oz frozen kernel corn
1 cup water
2 tablespoons soy butter added at the end
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Saute onion and green pepper until onion is golden

Add frozen beans, corn, and the water, and simmer
covered, until veggies are tender, about 15 mins

Season with soy butter and salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from The Art of American Indian
Cooking by Yeffe Kimball and Jean Anderson

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


This thick and warming soup, Grochowka, makes a substantial appetizer, or it may be served as a meal in its own right, eaten with hot crusty bread.

This recipe originally called for bacon and butter, but I omitted both. Between the marjoram and the celeriac it still retained an interesting and tasty flavor.

Serves 6

1-1/4 cups yellow split peas, rinsed in
cold water
1/4 cup pearl barley, rinsed in cold water
7-1/2 cups vegetable stock (I used Vogue)
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 oz celeriac (celery root - can be found
at Fresh Market) small cubed
1/3 tbs dried marjoram or a bit more to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Corn or vegetable oil

1. Put the peas and barley in a bowl, cover with
plenty of water and leave to soak overnight.
2. The next day, drain and rinse the peas and
barley. Put them in a large pan, pour the stock
and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and
simmer gently for 40 minutes.
3. Saute the onion and garlic in corn or vegetable
oil and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the
celeriac and cook for a further 5 minutes, or
until the onion is just starting to color.
4. Add the softened vegetables to the pan of stock,
peas, and barley. Season lightly with salt and
pepper, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or
until the soup is thick. Stir in the marjoram, add
salt and black pepper to taste.

Recipe from 400 Soups (; www. Cookbook bought at Costco.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Chickpeas form part of the staple diet in the Balkans, where this soup originates. It is economical to make, and is a hearty and satisfying dish. It's an easy simple dish to make.

Serves 4-6

2-1/2 cups dry chickpeas, soaked overnight
4-1/2 cups of vegetable stock (I used Bouillon
veg stock as it is darker and richer than Vogue
veg stock)
3 large potatoes, cut into bite-size chunks
Just under 1/4 cup olive oil
8 0z spinach leaves
salt and ground pepper to taste
spicy vegan sausage (I used Tofurky Kielbasa and
fried it till nice and crispy brown and added to the
soup at the last minute so that it would retain the
crispiness and not get soggy. I'm not sure if it makes
a huge difference, but I think if not laying in broth
too long it will stay more tasty.)


1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water. Place
in a large pan with the veggie stock. Bring to the boil
then reduce the heat and cook gently for about 1 hour.
(In the end, add more broth if you want more liquid.)
2. Add the potatoes and olive oil. Cook for 20 minutes
until the potatoes are tender.
3. Add the spinach and sliced, cooked sausage 5 mins
before the end of cooking. Serve.

Recipe from 400 Soups
Published 2005, 2008


Wow, it has been vitually impossible to find vegan recipes for German month. Luckily, I found a few hearty soups from Russian or Jewish heritage which I included in the German food. We ate lots of vegan hot dogs and sausage this month, which went very well with these types of soups/stews.

Mushroom barley soup is found in most Jewish homes and restaurants. This was the best I ever tasted.

Serves 6-8

2-3 tbsp small navy beans (haricot beans), soaked overnight
3-4 tbs green split peas
3-4 tbs yellow split peas
6-7 tbs pearl barley
1 onion chopped
2 carrots sliced
3 celery stalks, diced or sliced
1/2 large baking potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 oz mixed flavorful mushrooms (I used half shitake
and half regular cremini white mushrooms)
5 garlic cloves, sliced
8 cups water
2 vegetable stock cubes or 2 tsps of veggie broth
(I used Vogue vegebase)
salt and pepper
3 tbs chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

1. In a large pan, put the beans, green and yellow split
peas, pearl barley, onion, carrots, celery, potato,
mushrooms, garlic and water.
2. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat,
cover and simmer gently for about 1-1/2 hrs, or until
the beans are tender.
3. Crumble the stock cubes or add the tsps of stock
into the soup and taste for seasoning. Ladle into
bowls, garnish with parsley and serve with rye or
pumpernickel bread.


Recipe is from 400 Soups (
Published 2005, 2008

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This recipe is low in fat but high in protein. You can also use garbanzo beans or flat gigante beans: the bigger and creamier the beans, the better.

Serves 4
Time: 35 minutes

2 lbs Swiss Chard, large stems discarded and leaves cut
crosswise into 2" strips
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
One 16 ounce can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed

1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the chard and simmer
over moderate heat until tender, 8 minutes. Drain the greens
and gently press out excess water.
2. In saucepan, heat oil. Add garlic and crushed red pepper
and cook over moderate heat until the garlic is golden, 1 minute.
3. Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Add the beans and simmer
over moderate high heat for 3 minutes.
4. Add the chard and simmer over moderate high heat until the
flavors meld, 5 minutes.
5. Season with salt and serve.

Recipe from Food and Wine, October 2009


I have read that we shouldn't eat fruits and vegetables at the same time, but it is the latest thing in salads and it certainly tastes delicious. This salad is crunchy, refreshing, a bit tangy and sweet at the same time, and the cumin gives it an interesting flavor.

I am trying to ease my way into raw foods as part of my diet, so I think this is a good start. It's really a meal in itself and I think it will do well as a leftover, unlike most salads.

Shallots last a long time and is a great alternative to onion. And not much is needed for great flavor.
Oils last a long time if kept in the fridge.

1/2 cup walnut halves (2 cups)
1 tbs minced shallot
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest*
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs white wine vinegar**
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs canola oil
2 tbs walnut oil (see Walnut Oil salad dressing on blog)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of shredded romaine lettuce (I added extra because
I did not use frisee-see below)
4 large radishes, halved lengthwise and thinly
sliced crosswise (1 cup)
1 cup thinly sliced celery (sliced 1/4" x 1-1/2")
1 small head of frisee lettuce, chopped (I just used
romaine. Frisee is hard to get but it is delicious. I
bought it at Fresh Market & Whole Foods previously)
1/4 cup golden raisins (dark raisins would be too sweet)
1 Fuji apple - peeled, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced

Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350. Spread walnuts
in a pie plate and toast for about 8 mins, until golden and
fragrant. Let cool, then break into pieces.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the shallot and lemon
zest with the lemon juice and vinegar. Whisk in the
canola and walnut oils and the cumin. Season with salt
and pepper.

Add the romaine to the bowl along with the toasted
walnuts, radishes, celery, raisins, and apple. Toss well
and serve. (I added the romaine last)

Recipe from Food & Wine November 2009

*Lemon zest is grated lemon peel.
**White wine vinegar can be purchase at Publix. It
is very expensive at health food stores.