Sunday, August 29, 2010

Great Northern Cream of Tomato Soup with Chopped Kale

I've tried a few different tomato soups and even made my own.  I still wanted something different and I took ideas from a few different recipes and combined it with one of my own. 

I was also tired of adding soy milk to everything.  Not that I don't enjoy the flavor, it's just after a while, everything begins to have that same base flavor.

So here's what I came up with and it's the best tasting I've had so far.  I'm sure there are other tomato soup recipes that are just as good and even better.

1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 cup V8 juice, low sodium
3 lbs. roma tomatoes halved
2 cups water
1 cup V8 juice, low sodium
*2 Tablespoons tomato powder - recipe below
 1/2 cup chia seeds
1 jar roasted red peppers with liquid
3 cups white northern beans
fresh basil to taste
fresh garlic chives to taste
3 large kale leaves, chopped
Black pepper to taste or crushed red pepper flakes

In a large dutch oven pot, saute the onion, garlic and carrots in  the 1/4 cup V8 juice a little at a time as if you are water sauteing stirring and adding the V8 for about 8 minutes on med/high heat.

Add the halved tomatoes to the pot with the water, the 1 cup V8 juice and the tomato powder.  Simmer on low until they cook down and some of the liquid has cooked off, at least an hour.

Add the soup to the vitamix and blend with the chia seeds and roasted red peppers.  Only fill the blender half way when blending hot soup.  The chia seeds add to the creaminess and also work nicely as a thickener.  If you find your soup is too thick, add a little more V8 or water.

Add the northern beans.  You could use any bean really.  I'm going to make this soup again this week and try it with pinto beans for variation and use the crushed red pepper.  I'll probably top the soup with some chopped avocado at serving. 

Chiffonade the kale after removing the stems.  Then chop as you would parsley and add to the soup.  Upon serving add some fresh basil and chives.

Let me know if you try some other variations.

*Tomato Powder

My food co-op sells sun-dried tomatoes in small plastic bag.  I dumped the contents into my vitamix and blended away and the results are a nice tomato powder.  Store in a container for future use.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An abundance of pears!

I was given around 40 pears .........what a wonderful blessing.  Most were already ripe, some weren't.  I had to think fast about what I was going to do with all that delicious fruit.

After eating a couple, I knew they'd go bad before we were able to finish them off, so I thought about making a cake with them.  But then there would still be most of them left.

So I decided to return to the drawing board.  Applesauce came to mind and I thought, "why not pearsauce?"  So I peeled half of them, cored and chopped away and threw them in a pan.  I  cooked them down and decided to leave them in pieces rather than sauce them.

I added spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice.  I used mostly cinnamon with a dash of  the others.  Wow, so yummy!!!  Dh loved it and you don't add sugar.  They have plenty of their own.  We've eaten it as is and it's a delicious dessert.

A couple days later I rolled some in a tortilla.  Wow, that almost tasted like I was eating a pear pie, similar to the SAD pies like you get at the fast food places.  I heated the tortilla so that it was a little crunchy.  My next try will be half of a whole wheat pita stuffed with some pearsauce.  I make the pita crunchy by throwing it in the toaster for hummus, so that's what I'll do for the pearsauce too.

This turned out to be a simple delicious dessert.  And it's a nice change from fruit smoothies or fruit ice cream from the VitaMix.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chocolate-Blueberry Cake

I meant to take a picture of this cake, but after baking I couldn't wait to try it, so picture-taking took a back seat.  I'll have to make it again and add a picture later.

Those who eat SAD (Standard American Diet) will love this healthy fact I'm sure you'll all fall in love with it. And especially if you're a chocolate lover, you've got to try this recipe.  Even my dh loved it!

So click on the link and you'll be convinced just by the picture this is a decadent-delicious cake dessert.

For those following E2L closely and don't allow themselves maple syrup or agave, I found a recipe for date syrup.   It's a recipe I've seen posted in a couple different places and I'm not sure who to give the credit to.

Date Syrup (Iraq)

(12 servings)

    * 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
    * 1 cup water
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    * 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In  a medium saucepan, bring water and dates to a boil. Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add vanilla and simmer for an  additional 5 minutes.

Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.  Place mixture in a blender with the cinnamon. Pulse until smooth and  completely blended.

Store in a sealed container in your refrigerator. Warm the syrup before using.

I used maple syrup, but want to try the date syrup next time I bake it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Besan Pizza with Roasted Vegetables

I've been super busy this summer.  I helped dh at work as a volunteer.  His counter girl had brain surgery and I filled in for a couple months.  With the economy as it is, they couldn't hire a temporary.

And then summer kind of took over, but now I'm hoping to post more frequently.  I've got a new recipe I'm posting below. 

 I found this online, but I forgot to bookmark it and couldn't find it tonight, so I'm going on memory.  I'm going to make it again tomorrow and will report back if it doesn't come  out the same as the first time.  I do recall the recipe had you add the tomatoes and onions afterward, but I added it to the batter.  I used roasted onions and grape tomatoes.

The Pizza Dough - makes 2 servings

1 cup chickpea flour
1 cups water
1/4 cup onions (mine were roasted)
1/4 cup tomatoes chopped (I used grape tomatoes for their sweetness)
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary

I sifted the flour and added water slowly using a whisk to mix. It's easy to lump so beat well if it does. Add the rest of the ingredients. I let it sit for a few minutes.

I poured half the batter in a hot, cast-iron skillet. I wiped a small amount of oil just so the batter wouldn't stick or if you'd rather, you can use a non-stick skillet.

When it looks like it needs turning (just like a pancake) flip it onto the other side and allow to sit for a few minutes more. When done, remove and plate, then pour the rest of the batter in and do the same thing.

I found the garbanzo bean flour at Walmart.  It's also called Besan or Chana Dal Flour.  When I purchased it I had no idea at all what I'd do with it.  I stuck it in the freezer for a couple of months, took it out and decided it was time to do something with it. 

There was a lot of talk about lentil flour pizza at the member's center website, so that's where I got the  idea to use the garbanzo bean flour as a pizza crust.

Here's a picture of a package of the flour if you want to know what it looks like.  I usually eat 1cup of beans each day as a minimum, and one serving will be equal to the 1 cup beans.

I was roasting vegetables in the oven so when done I topped the pizza with a good portion and added some spaghetti sauce on top.  MUCHO YUMMY!!! Dh loves this recipe too!

I guess I could have traditionally put the spaghetti sauce atop the pizza crust first, but I decided to layer the veggies first.  I don't really think it matters much, but you can layer however you desire.  Either way it will be delicious.

To roast the vegetables, I used Japanese eggplant, onions, mushrooms, zucchini and bell peppers, but you can use any variety of vegetables you like.  I used a very small amount of oil to coat them evenly and tossed them onto a sheet pan.  I ended up using three because I got carried away and cut up so many vegetables. When roasting, make sure you have them as one layer and try not to have them touching each other as much as possible.  That way you get a good roast, otherwise they'll steam.

I roasted them at 450 for about 20-30 minutes.  Half way through I flipped them with a spatula.  I really love eating vegetables this way.  They have such a depth of flavor when roasted.  I've added butternut squash, sweet potato, small new potatoes, etc for variety.  Hope  you'll give this recipe a try as you, "Eat To Live"!