Herbed White Bean Tomato Stew

beanstew2b
It finally happened. Stepping outside in the morning one day last week, I could feel it. The air was cool(er?). Summer is leaving. Then, we had a rainy day. And as Himself will tell you, I’ll use that as an excuse to make soup every time. Even if it’s 85*. But, c’mon – after 104*, the eighties are practically cold. It’s all relative, man.
beanstew2
Every time I start to make soup, two thoughts come to me. The first is Joan Cusak’s character Marcella in Grosse Pointe Blank, trying to explain a recipe to a friend on the phone, “No, I, it’s not going to be a boring soup! It just, that’s just the base! Carrots and celery are just a base of a soup!”
beanstew1
The other is that genius Beth over at Budget Bytes, who taught me whenever I’m making a mirepoix for a soup to double it and freeze half so the next time it’s like a little time-saving gift waiting for you in the freezer.

This was quick and yummy. Drizzle it with a little balsamic vinegar before serving.
Bon apétit.

beanstew3

Herbed White Bean Tomato Stew
Ingredients
5 celery stalks, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced for soup
½ white onion, diced
A fingerwidth of fresh thyme with a couple sprigs of parsley tied in a bouquet garni
1 28oz can diced San Marzano tomatoes
2 cans drained low-sodium cannelini beans
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 quart chicken broth (or veg if you don’t do the meat stuff)
¼ c good olive oil
1 cup dry red wine

In a large soup pot, sweat the celery, onion, and carrots in the olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients, plus half a tomato can of water. Raise heat to medium and simmer for half an hour. (Remove the garni before consuming.)

And, btw, the fresh thyme and the San Marzano’s are really essential. Spring for the toms, for this and your pasta sauce. You will be glad. Safeway has them under their house label, so they’re not insanely expensive. They really do make a difference.

Chorizo Lentil Soup

“Hmmm….how do I photograph lentils to make them look appetizing?” Another item to file in the “shit I never thought I’d hear myself say” folder.  But, seriously. How?

 ChorizoLentil1

I guess you are going to have to take my word for it.  In the winter I am often obsessed with an italian sausage and lentil soup created by that genius Beth at Budget Bytes.  It was cold. Any rainy. And a hearty bowl sounded just perfect! Plus, I’ve been trying to find that “just right” bread recipe……it was destiny.  (More on the bread next week…)

ChorizoLentil4

Billy bought some chorizo for our breakfast mini omelettes, and I started to think how good that would taste with lentils. (The chorizo, you guys, not the omelettes.) So, poof! Soup!  Make some. It’s fairly quick and easy. Himself can’t have carrots anymore, so the base is stock, onion and celery only.  Feel free to add two peeled carrots sliced for soup.  And, this does work with Soyrizo – you just have to add it at the end with the spinach.

ChorizoLentil2

This is made with Mexican style chorizo, by the way, not the Spanish kind. Although that would also be very tasty. And, for chrissakes, get the pork.  Unless you go the soyrizo route – but we’ve already talked about that.  As a reformed vegetarian, I can’t bitch now.

 This soup is awesome. And easily serves four very hungry people, add some good bread and salad and it’s show time.
Ingredients
½ # pork chorizo, cooked. Use the good kind that’s lean. It makes a difference. (or, use Soyrizo)
½ # lentils. I used green, but yellow or orange would be tasty if creamier.
½ white onion, in ½” dice
3 stalks of celery, sliced in soup chunk size
2 quarts chicken or pork stock
½ package frozen chopped spinach
S&P to taste
Instructions
Wash and pick through the lentils. Rocks and bad bits are rare these days, but not impossible.
In a large stock pot, brown the meat. If you didn’t listen and got greasy chorizo, drain it. Toss in the veg and sauté with the meat for a couple minutes. Pour in the lentils and the stock. Simmer about an hour. (Or on low in the crock pot while you’re at work. If you use a crock pot, only use 1.5 qts stock). Ten minutes before serving, take the stick blender to half the pot. This breaks ups some of the lentils and thickens the soup. Then, add the spinach give it a stir and set the dinner table. (If you’re going the Soyrizo route, add it now.)
Notes
Serve with lime and hot sauce. Or a sprinkle of smoked paprika and sliced bitter olives. Or with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You get the idea. You are going to LOVE this.

Servings 4
Calories 228
Fat 9 g
Sodium 830 mg
Carbs 21 g
Protein 16 g

Baked Tomatoes

Love those  Campari tomato clamshells from Costco.  We eat these. A lot. 

Somewhere between a cherry tomato and a regular tomato....
Somewhere between a cherry tomato and a regular tomato….

And, because it is winter we usually bake them with some olive oil, parmesan and S & P.

...just like the Grinch's heart....
…just like the Grinch’s heart….

Because Himself has to really limit the starches now, we needed to add a second veg option to dinner (and weekend breakfasts, too). This is simple and fast. And very, very tasty. 

Baked Tomatoes 6BCmed

 

Got 30 minutes? Let’s go!
Ingredients
4 Campari tomatoes, washed and sliced in half.
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
S & P
Instructions
Preheat oven to 375*.
Place the tomatoes cut side up in a shallow baking dish.
Sprinkle with S & P.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 25 minutes. The cheese should be crispy brown on top of the toms
Serve immediately.
Notes
If they’re not brown at the end of the time, turn on the broiler for a minute or two to toast up that cheesy top. (Assuming you’ve used a pan that can take it, obviously….)
This is great with steak, roast chicken, omelettes, green beans, and just about anything you can think of.
You can sprinkle with some herbs before the cheese layer for variety: basil, tarragon, chives, etc. The cheese will seal the herbs in with the tomato’s juice and keep them from burning.

Servings 2
Calories 200
Fat 16 g
Sodium 161 mg
Carbs 10 g
Protein 5 g

Smoky Eggplant Dip

Smoky, creamy lusciousness.
Smoky, creamy lusciousness.

I have always known this as baba ghanouj. Then one day, a friend of mine who spends her summers in Jordan told me, uh, no. That is muttabal. Not baba ghanouj.  Wha-wha-wha?  Unknowingly, my dear friends, we have stepped into an area between cuisines…..it is…..the foodist zone!   Whatever we call it, I’m sticking with fucking delicious. Because it is. 

Such simple ingredients...
Such simple ingredients…

Safeway had eggplants on sale for a buck this week. How can you not make this luscious elixir when it’s a buck an aubergine?!?   Of course, the secret to this is how you cook the eggplant.  Sure, you can put this in your oven and it will come out….fine. But if you want something truly exquisite, you will need fire. 

If you have a gas burner, you can do this there. I used the barbecue. That little skinny zebra in the picture took ten minutes each side. But the big fat one, he took twenty-five minutes per side.  But, it was sooooo worth it. You wash ’em and throw ’em over the open flame. That’s it. Don’t peel, or pierce, or anything. Just flame ’em til they’re blackened and smooshy. When they collapse in on themselves, they’re done. Then you put ’em on a tray and cover ’em with plastic wrap to loosen the skin.

 

Once they’re peeled, purée them in the Cuisinart and then drain them for a good half hour.  Out of those two eggplants, I got 2 cups of purée and 1/4  c. of liquid. So, now you know why I wait til there’s a sale…..

BabaGhanoujCollage
Oh, yeah mama! Look at those charred bits of goodness under the peel. That’s what makes this so very tasty.

Ok, enough chit chat. Shall we make some?! 

Let's eat!
Let’s eat!

 
Ingredients
2 medium eggplants
zest and juice of half a lemon
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/3 c. tahini
1/3 c. chopped parsley
S&P
Instructions
Roast the eggplant over an open flame (ie on the grill) until it is charred and smooshy.
Put the cooked eggplant on a tray and cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes or so to loosen the skin.
Peel the eggplant.
Purée the flesh in the food processor.
Drain the purée for twenty minutes or so. Discard the liquid.
Add the lemon, garlic and tahini.
Pulse until smooth.
Taste for seasoning, and adjust as needed.
Add the parsley and pulse a couple times just to mix it in.
Serve warm, or chill and serve the next day.
Notes
I like it better the next day, but it is certainly delicious as soon as it’s done.
Use this as a dip with pita chips or wedges, or with veggies, or as spread on a wrap with grilled veggies and kalamata olives.

Creamy Tomato Dill Soup

One year. 52 posts.  5,582 views.  Wow.  To celebrate actually sticking with something for year, and the cooling weather, let’s make some soup!

 

Tomato Dill Soup

 

 This recipe is easy, fast, delicious, and infinitely modifiable. 

Tomato Dill Soup

 Shall we?
Ingredients
2 Tbsp AP flour
2 Tbsp butter*
Freshly ground black pepper
1 14.5 oz diced tomatoes**
1 Tbsp. grated onion
14.5 oz chicken (vegetable) stock, hot. (In other words, measure it with the can)
½ c. almond milk
1 tsp. dried dill weed**
Instructions
Puree the tomatoes, set aside.
Reserve some dice if you like your soup chunky.
In the saucepan over medium heat, make a white roux with the fat and flour.
Once it smells cooked and no longer like raw flour, SLOWLY whisk in the hot stock.
Whisk the crap out of it to avoid lumps.
Next, whisk in the tomatoes and whatever herbs/seasonings you feel like. I used 1 tsp. dried dill.
Let simmer for a couple minutes, and right before serving, stir in the creamy stuff of your choice and turn off the heat.
Ladle it up – it’s done.
Garnish with croutons and a dollop of sour cream (or the like).
Make some grilled cheese, and it’s dinner!
You will never buy tomato soup again.
Notes
* Or olive oil, or whatever fat you like.
** I like to use the plain low salt diced tomatoes when I do this with dill. You can used the kind with olive oil and garlic, and then toss in a frozen Dorot basil cube (or fresh, if you have it), instead.
You can make this creamy with whatever creamy stuff you like: whole milk, cashew cream, 1/2 & 1/2, soy creamer, heavy cream. Whatever floats your boat

Lemon Parsley Chickpea Salad

Parmesan, olive oil, lemon, parsley...what is not to love?
Parmesan, olive oil, lemon, parsley…what is not to love?

 

Ah, my love affair with summertime mediterranean flavors continues.  This week, it’s a quick and easy chickpea salad.  This is best the day after it is made, to allow those peas to soak up the dressing.  You can wait and add the parsley just before serving, if you like. 

This is SO tasty, with that lemony garlic dressing.
This is SO tasty, with that lemony garlic dressing.

 

Have some!
Have some!

 

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Mint and Dill

Summer. It’s already here in the desert. 

Yeah, it’s hot. But it’s also bountiful produce season – with all the fantastic salad combinations that brings.
CukeTomSaladCOLLAGE

 

 

This is a six pieces of simple salad – some herbs, olive oil, lemon juice and diced cucumber, onion and tomato. Quick stir and you’re off to the picnic, park or pool.  Those gorgeous herbs and cuke are from Caravan Market, of course!

CukeTomSalad1BC

This one’s easy – give it a shot! Fortify it with some gorgeous oil-packed ventresco tuna, or a good feta and make it a meal.
Bon appétit!

Cucumber Tomato Herb Salad

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Herbs
Serves 2
Fast and simple composed salad.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
123 calories
15 g
0 g
7 g
2 g
1 g
304 g
19 g
8 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
304g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 123
Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 19mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 3g
10%
Sugars 8g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
27%
Vitamin C
45%
Calcium
6%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 large heirloom tomato, diced
  2. 1 persian cucumber, diced
  3. 1/2" slice of sweet onion, diced
  4. 1/4 c. chopped parsley
  5. 1 Tbsp fresh mint, juilienned
  6. 2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  7. 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  8. 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine in a bowl.
  2. Eat.
  3. S&P at your discretion.
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calories
123
fat
7g
protein
2g
carbs
15g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

Mini Oven Omelettes …. (moo? really? yes.)

Mini Oven Omelette

 

Ah, the joys of getting old. Bill was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and had to make some major dietary changes.  Essentially eliminating sugars from his diet for six weeks, then he gets to slowly reintroduce them.  So, no more cereals for brekkie.

Thank goodness for the interwebs.  We’ve been experimenting with making little omelettes in a jumbo muffin pan.  Honestly, it’s been pretty awesome – a grab-n-go for workweek mornings. 

This week we have spinach, onion, bacon and tomato.  Hope you try it, and like it!
Spinach Bacon Tomato Omelettes

 

Spinach Tomato Bacon Mini Oven Omelettes
Serves 12
Make-ahead breakfast for the week
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
181 calories
5 g
376 g
11 g
15 g
4 g
146 g
503 g
1 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
146g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 181
Calories from Fat 102
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
17%
Saturated Fat 4g
19%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 376mg
125%
Sodium 503mg
21%
Total Carbohydrates 5g
2%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 1g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
26%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
8%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 c. fresh baby spinach, washed & chopped
  2. 1/4 white onion, grated
  3. 6 crispy sliced of cooked bacon, chopped
  4. 24 eggs, beaten with
  5. 20 shakes of salt
  6. 20 twists from the pepper mill
  7. 20 grates of fresh nutmeg
  8. 4 small tomatoes, cut in to thre slices each. Or 12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half.
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Line the *jumbo* muffin tin cups with liners. (I just used parchment that I molded on the bottom of a jar)
  3. Evenly distribute the spinach in the liners.
  4. Then the onion.
  5. Then the bacon.
  6. Carefully pour the egg mixture in to the cups, about 1/2 to 2/3 up.
  7. Carefully place the sliced tomato on top.
  8. Bake 20 minutes.
  9. Cool and wrap in wax paper for a great grab-n-go.
  10. These reheat in a powerful 'wave in about 40 seconds.
Notes
  1. These freeze beautifully, too.
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calories
181
fat
11g
protein
15g
carbs
5g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

Swiss Chard Polenta Tourte

 

Creamy, sweet, chewy, nutty. The best of everything.
Creamy, sweet, chewy, nutty. The best of everything.

I am obsessed with cashew cream.  Having been dairy-deprived for so long, the ability to have creamy sauces with that rich mouth feel makes me so fucking happy I could danse.  So, I saw this lovely spinach polenta tart on Tastespotting or Foodgawker, and really wanted to try it.  Then, when we went provisioning and Sprouts had this gorgeous rainbow chard, I knew it was a done deal.

This is recipe isn’t hard, but it does have a couple steps.  I made it on a Monday night, but it totally lends itself to doing part one night (the polenta and the onions for example), and then finishing it the next.

Bon appetit – and by the way, just the chard was fantastic on its own. I could have eaten the whole damn pan. By myself.

ChardBanner

A couple stages, but sooooo tasty.

Chard3Bmed

Swiss Chard Polenta Tourte
Serves 4
Sweet and creamy chard and buttery sherry onions atop seared mushrooms and a polenta base, with toasty pine nuts. This is heaven in a pie.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
353 calories
29 g
12 g
21 g
13 g
5 g
398 g
441 g
4 g
0 g
14 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
398g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 353
Calories from Fat 178
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g
32%
Saturated Fat 5g
26%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 12mg
4%
Sodium 441mg
18%
Total Carbohydrates 29g
10%
Dietary Fiber 5g
19%
Sugars 4g
Protein 13g
Vitamin A
91%
Vitamin C
42%
Calcium
7%
Iron
19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the base
  1. ½ c. polenta
  2. 2 c. stock
  3. 1 tsp. butter
  4. ½ tsp. TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute
For the cream sauce
  1. 1/3 c. cashews, soaked overnight or simmered for 15 minutes
  2. 1 c. stock
  3. ½ tsp. nutritional yeast
  4. 1 tsp. corn starch
For the topping
  1. 8 oz sliced white mushrooms
  2. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 bunch swiss chard, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  4. 1 medium white onion, cut in to rings
  5. 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  6. 1/3 c. Amontillado dry sherry
  7. 1/3 c. raw pignon nuts.
Instructions
  1. Cook polenta according to package directions.
  2. Grease a 10” quiche pan or pie pan or springform pan and spread the cooked polenta evenly. (I did this the night before.)
  3. Preheat your oven to 375*
  4. In a medium nonstick skillet, sweat the onions, until they are translucent and just beginning to turn golden and caramelize.
  5. Remove the lid and add the sherry and let the liquid cook off.
  6. While they are cooking, get the olive oil very hot in a large sauté pan, and sear the mushrooms for a good brown sear.
  7. Lower the heat to medium low and spread the mushrooms on top of the polenta base.
  8. To the still-hot skillet, add the stems of the chard, a layer of salt and pepper, then the leafy bits with another layer of S&P. Cover tightly.
  9. While the chard is cooking, make the cashew cream sauce.
  10. In a good blender or food processor, add the drained soaked cashews, the stock, yeast, corn starch, and a couple of the rings of cooked onion.
  11. Purify for (seriously) 1 ½ to 2 minutes, until the mixture is silky in texture and no longer grainy.
  12. Check the chard – it should be tender and deep green. Raise the heat to medium, stir in the cashew cream and cook for a minute or two until the sauce is thickened. It should look like creamed spinach. Spread this on the mushrooms.
  13. Turn off the onion pans, and spread the onions on top.
  14. Sprinkle with the pignon nuts.
  15. Bake for 30 minutes, until the chard is bubbly and the nuts are browned.
  16. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Or, make the night before and then slice while cold and reheat or serve at room temperature.
Notes
  1. Serve with a nice big salad.
  2. Serves 4 for dinner, or 6 as a starter course.
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calories
353
fat
21g
protein
13g
carbs
29g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

Socca: One More Thing off the Cooking Bucket List

Socca. I’ve always wanted to try it. 

So I finally did. 

The maiden voyage results...
The maiden voyage results…

 

 

This will be a quickie post – not a lot to it.  Got the recipe at Marmiton [link removed 6/1/24 – it is getting me spaminated]. Used a cast iron skillet in a 500* convection oven.

It was….fine.  And, btw, that cheese wedge is that new vegan brie-compatible,White Alder. It, too, was…fine. Had it not cost the week’s coffee money (since it is only available at Whole Paycheck), I might have been more impressed.  But, to be able to have a cheese-like substance in our house is a good thing.

 

Good for a quickie afternoon snack.
Good for a quickie afternoon snack.
Socca Niçoise
Serves 4
Essentially a chickpea flour pancake.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
149 calories
13 g
0 g
8 g
5 g
1 g
50 g
310 g
2 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
50g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 149
Calories from Fat 73
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
13%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 310mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 2g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 c. chickpea flour
  2. 1/3 ice water
  3. 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  4. 2 Tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Put a cast iron skillet in the oven, and preheat it to 500*. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk til smooth - should be the consistency of crepe batter. Add more ice water as needed.
  2. Once the oven's hot, take out the skillet, brush some olive oil to make a thin coat. Pour in half the batter and smooth it out - it should not exceed 1/8" thick.
  3. Bake about 7 minutes - you'll know when it's done. The edges will pick up and the top will be dull and perhaps golden. Pop that bad boy out of the skillet, oil it again and put in the second half of the batter.
  4. Eat immediately, cut in to squares and liberally sprinkled with fresh ground black pepper.
Adapted from Marmiton online recipes
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calories
149
fat
8g
protein
5g
carbs
13g
more
Adapted from Marmiton online recipes
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/