Thursday, November 29, 2007

A correction

In the "Winter Veggie Soup" post, when I said "seeds discarded" what I REALLY meant to say was, "seeds roasted and eaten separately."

My apologies to any seed-lovers out there I may have offended :-)

Winter Veggie Soup

(Swiped from -- with a few revisions)

3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 cup peeled, cored and coarsely chopped Granny Smith apple
1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped turnip
1 cup peeled and chopped butternut squash (seeds discarded)
1 cup coarsely chopped carrot
1 cup peeled, chopped sweet potato
5 cups vegetable stock
2 Tb maple syrup
Cayenne pepper
1 small whole-grain baguette
goat cheese

Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add apple, turnip, squash, carrot, and sweet potato; season with salt, then sauté 5 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add syrup, then cayenne pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Puree with a handheld mixer, food processor or blender.

Then: you can do two things. Either slice up the bread, toast it, spread goat cheese on it, and then float it in the soup; or, to add a yummy little kick to the soup, stir the goat cheese right in.

Lentil and mushroom shepherds pie

2 cups vegetable broth,
2 teaspoons Marmite (or use yeast to make your own yeast extract)
1.5 cups dry lentils
2 large carrots, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
6 potatoes, chopped
milk or butter for mashed potatoes
1 large portabello mushroom cut into chunks
half a bundle of spinach
cheese (cheddar or Wensleydale)
salt and pepper to taste
*i'm very haphazard about measuring things,so trust your instincts especially with lentils and water.
*This makes a huge shepherds pie because we had lots of potatoes to use up and a big pan. You may want to use half measures.

Preheat oven to 350F
First start cooking the potatoes in boiling, lightly salted water. Then put the broth and lentils on a low heat with the marmite garlic and oregano. After about ten minutes add carrots and onions, and a little water. I also threw in more garlic and oregano. Thats going to need to simmer for about 20 more minutes, so during that time make your mash. We went with slightly cheesy mash with milk, salt and pepper. Set this aside.
Next saute the mushroom with garlic and olive oil. Throw in the spinach. Once your lentils are cooked you just need to layer things into an oven proof pan. Mushrooms and spinach go on the bottom, followed by lentils and then mashed potatoes. Sprinkle cheese on the top and then put into the oven for about 30 mins.

This would probably be really good with green beans or peas added.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Three-Cheese Pesto Pizza

So simple . . . so obvious . . . and sooo flippin' yummy.

1 pizza crust (we used store-bought . . . though I'm sure homemade would be even yummier)
Enough basil pesto (with lots of garlic!) to cover said pizza crust
fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
feta cheese, crumbled
parmesan cheese, grated
1 small eggplant, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush eggplant and zucchini slices with olive oil and roast until the eggplant smells sweet (yummm) and the zucchini is beginning to brown -- about 30 minutes for the eggplant, 15 for the zucchini. Spread pizza crust with pesto; arrange mozzarella, zucchini, and eggplant on top and sprinkle the whole thing with parmesan and feta. Bake until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Enjoy :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Spicy Coconut Pumpkin Soup

This soup is subtle (or not so subtle if you load up on the chili!) and wonderful with the coconut, cilantro, lemon combination. Perfect for this time of year - and if you've never cooked with a whole pumpkin before (I hadn't) this is a great place to start. I highly recommend that you split the pumpkin into halves or quarters, prick the inside all over with a fork, and stick it in the oven at 450 degrees for 30-45 minutes to soften before you try to peel it and chop it up. Roasting also brings out the wonderful pumpkin flavor. And, make sure you roast those seeds, too! Here's a little trick for detangling the seeds: when you pull them out of the pumpkin, dump them in a bowl of water and sqeeze them around with your hands for a while. The seeds will float and the goo will sink!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp brown sugar
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small pumpkin, skinned and chopped into 1-inch chunks
2-3 cups vegetable broth
1 14-oz can coconut milk
1 TBSP chili powder
1-2 TBSP lemon rind, grated
4-5 shakes soy sauce
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
yogurt, cilantro, lemon peel, for garnish

In a large pot, heat oil and gently cook onion with brown sugar and garlic over low heat until softened (8-10 minutes). Add chopped pumpkin, vegetable broth, coconut milk, chili powder, lemon rind and soy sauce. Season with freshly ground pepper. Simmer for about 25 minutes until tender. Remove and puree until smooth. Just before serving, adjust seasoning to taste. Mix in chopped cilantro. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkled cilantro and lemon rind.