Friday, January 27, 2012

Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Winter is really starting to limit my options for dinners, but sweet potatoes are still in season and are always delicious!  I love Thai Sweet Potato Soup but the versions available in the supermarket are always too sugary so this is my savory and delicious version for you!


1/2 onion diced
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 can coconut milk
juice 1/2 lemon
salt/pepper to taste
1 handful cilantro (optional)

1. In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium high heat.
2. When hot, add onions and curry powder stirring to coat and absorb the flavor
3. After five minutes add sweet potatoes and stir to coat
4. Fill pot with water until potatoes are covered, reduce heat to medium and let cook about 25 minutes.
5. When potatoes are tender, use an immersion blender to blend the soup.  Add coconut milk and lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Garnish with cilantro and serve!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Potato and Beet Pizza

Most of my friends know my favorite color is purple and it is no coincidence that this pizza is all purple too!  I had some extra purple potatoes, beets and kalamata olives so I decided to turn it into a delicious and healthy pizza.  I topped it with onions and feta cheese and served with a kale salad for a healthy finish.  Pizza is one of the most versatile foods and here is just one of the many recipes you can try!

Pizza Dough (prepare at least two hours before you are ready to make pizza)

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix yeast and sugar in 1 cup measuring cup.  Add room temp water and let sit for five minutes.  Meanwhile add flour and salt to the food processor and process for 10 seconds to mix together.  When yeast mixture is ready, add to the flour while the processor is running.  If dough is still not combined add another 1/4 of water at a time until dough forms a ball.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with kitchen towel.  Allow to rest for at least two hours (you can even let this sit for 24 hours!).

Pizza toppings

1 medium purple potato (or yukon gold if you have) peeled and thinly sliced
1 beet peeled and thinly sliced
6-7 kalamata olives pitted and chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup olive oil + 1/4 cup olive oil

Putting it all together

1. Preheat oven to 425 greens.  Roll out pizza dough on parchment paper until about 3/4 inch thick.  
2. Brush 1/2 cup olive oil on the dough then top with potato slices and beet slices, brush oil on the veggies as well
3. Top with olives and feta
4. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until crust is golden brown and veggies are golden as well.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter Pesto Two Ways

I'm obsessed with this winter pesto I just made.  I've had it twice now and I am still salivating over the flavor.  The first time is tossed it with a pound of japanese turnips and a few diced potatoes and roasted it for 45 minutes.  The second time I tossed it with day old bread and made it into croutons to put on squash soup.  If I had any left over pesto I would put it on a pizza for sure!  Peppercress is a nice peppery green but if you don't have it then go ahead add another handful of arugula.


2 handfuls arugula
1 handful peppercress
2 oz parmesan cheese (cut from a block of hard parmesan)
4 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste

1. Combine all ingredients and combine until smooth.  Add more olive oil if necessary.  Since you are using a chunk of parm it will give a nice hints of cheese in the pesto when you grind it in.  They will be smaller than pea size but melt perfectly!
2. Serve in any manner you would use pesto.  If you decide to save it, put in an airtight container and cover with a thin layer of olive oil until you plan to use it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Butternut Squash "Winter" Rolls

Winter Roll here does not refer to your's actually my version of a Spring Roll made with Winter veggies.  You can use any of your favorite squash here.  I had some left over pulled pork so I put that in but you could add any type of meat like roasted chicken (or even leave meat out!).  The intention here is to use leftovers so don't go too crazy looking for these items.  However the squash is essential!


2 cups peeled and bite size diced squash
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup garbanzo beans (drained)
1 cup pork or chicken leftovers
1 small head of cabbage peeled and chopped finely
1 small salad onion thinly sliced
Spring roll wrappers (available on the Asian foods aisle)
rice noodles (optional - need to be prepped during step 1 per package direction)

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Toss squash with soy sauce, sesame oil and olive oil.  While oven is heating let these marinade.
2. Put squash on a cookie sheet and roast about 20 minutes
3. Meanwhile prep other items (cabbage, onion, etc.)
4. Combine beans and meat, set aside
5. Remove squash and add to bean and meat mixture
6. On the table, set up a plate where you can soak the wrapper in hot water for 30 seconds.  These will need to be done one at a time when everything else is ready.
7. Serve family style, fill to your liking and top with hoisin sauce!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sushi: How to make + 2 recipes

I am so excited about this post and I really hope you try this recipe at least once!  Despite having NEVER made or seen someone make sushi, it was actually really easy to do.  With the help of my friend Hillary we had dinner together in no time flat and it tasted and looked like the real thing (without the price tag).  If you serve this at your next party or game night, your friends and family will not believe you made it but it is super easy to do!  We did salmon, cucumber, shrimp and avocado but you could do any filling you can imagine!

Special note:  It is essential to follow the recipe for preparing the rice (i.e. no short cuts).  I got a lot of great tips from How to make Sushi and I definitely recommend you check out their website for great ideas.

Ingredients for 4 rolls

2 cups short grain rice, also called sushi rice (very important it is NOT long grain!)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 package of Nori seaweed rolls for sushi (usually sold in packages of 10 sheets)
1/4 pound smoked salmon or lox salmon
1/4 pound precooked shrimp
1 avocado thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into long thing strips

1. Start be preparing the rice.  Place rice in a mesh colander and let water run over the rice for about 5 minutes to clear out the starches.
2. Put rice in medium pot on the stove.  Cover with water until 1 cm above rice and let sit for 30 minutes.
3. Turn on heat to high and stir rice every few minutes until water is boiling.
4. Put lid on the rice and turn heat to low.  Let cook until all water is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes
5. Meanwhile prepare seasoning for rice.  Combine rice vinegar, sugar and salt in another pan and cook over medium low heat until the sugar and salt are disintegrated.  Remove from heat.
6. When rice is done, gently transfer to a plastic bowl (very important it is NOT metal) with a wooden spoon.
7. Pour seasoning over the rice and carefully stir in.  Allow to sit until cool (very important to let it cool).
8. Prepare your fillings, cut veggies, etc.  You could even make some edamame to snack on while you wait.
9. When rice is cool you are ready to fill the roll.
10. Lay a piece of parchment paper for each person helping.  Remove a sheet of nori and put on the parchment paper.
11. Place a bowl of water in the center of the table so people can wet their hands to make the rice easy to handle.
12. Spread rice evenly across the nori.  Don't worry it doesn't have to be too dense, but make sure you cover most of the area.
13. Along the left hand edge of the rice and nori, add a vertical line of your toppings.
14. With dry hands start to roll the nori to the other side of the sheet until you have a sushi roll.
15. Carefully cut with a serrated knife and serve with ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.  If you have extra chopsticks, feel free to use those too!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lentil "Tacos" with Greek Salsa

I love any excuse to eat lentils and feta cheese....when putting together dinner I had an idea to make a lentil "taco night" and these were the result!  You could do any type of topping you would normally eat with Greek or Indian food and make your own "taco" bar.  This time of year I like to chop one or two small potatoes into the lentils to give them some can take it or leave it depending on your preference.

Lentil base

1/2 cup dried lentils
2 small yukon gold potatoes peeled and diced
1 cup water
salt to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Greek Salsa

1/2 can finely chopped tomatoes, drained
10 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano finely chopped
Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)

Other toppings

Fresh kale (washed and torn into bite size pieces)
Raw salad or sweet onion (thinly sliced)
feta cheese (this is NOT optional)

Since it is a taco it must be served in a pita pocket so make sure you have a package of those.

1. Combine lentils, potato and water in a pan on the stove.  Cook until all liquid is absorbed.  Make sure the potatoes are diced about bite sized so they can cook.
2. Meanwhile make the salsa.  Combine drained tomatoes, chopped olives, oregano and red pepper flakes.  Set aside.
3. Prepare toppings (i.e. wash kale, slice onion)
4. When lentils are done remove from the heat and add olive oil and salt to taste. Give each person a pita pocket and have them create their own Greek taco!