Beet Salad with Oranges and Beet Greens

beets

Farmers markets are chock full of beautiful bunches of beets with their tops still attached. This salad makes the most of the entire vegetable – root to tip.

Beet Salad with Oranges & Beet Greens

1 bunch beets (approx. 12 ounces), greens still attached
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 large orange
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Trim greens from beets. Cut off and discard stems. Coarsely chop leaves and reserve. Cook the beets using your preferred method. (To roast them, wrap each beet in foil. Place beets directly on oven rack in 400-degree oven and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 30 minutes. To cook them in a pressure cooker, put the beets in the pot with about an inch of water. Cook under high pressure for about 11 minutes.  Or, alternately, you can boil them for about 40 minutes.)

Peel the cooked beets, then cut each into 8 wedges. Place beets in medium bowl with 1/2 tsp orange zest.

Cook beet greens in large saucepan of boiling water just until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Cool. Squeeze greens to remove excess moisture. Add greens to bowl with beets. Cut peel and white pith from oranges. Working over the bowl with the beets and greens and using small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release segments. Add orange segments and onion to bowl with beet mixture. Add red wine vinegar to beet mixture and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Serve.

Photo by Liz West, used with permission

Zippy Zummer Zucchini Zuppa

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zuke

Vegetable bean soup is always a crowd pleaser. This one makes the most of summer veggies. The addition of spoonfuls of Sriracha kicks it into high gear!

Zippy Zummer Zucchini Zuppa

Serves 4-6

1 red onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable stock
3 1/2 cups white beans
2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
juice and zest of one lemon
ground black pepper and fresh parsley to finish

Cook the onion, carrot and celery over medium high heat until veggies start to brown and make fond on the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of broth. Add the remaining broth, bay leaves, white beans and Sriracha sauce and cook for 15 minutes. Add zucchini and asparagus and cook for 5 more minutes.

Discard the bay leaves and stir in the lemon juice and zest. Serve with a bit of pepper and parsley for garnish.

Calories - zzzz

Photo by Vanessa Pike-Russell, used with permission.

Spicy Red Bean Slaw

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shredded cabbage

Three cheers for BBQ season! This slaw was adapted from a recipe in Quick Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson and is the perfect accompaniment to whatever you’ve got on the grill. The addition of red beans and corn make it both pretty and tasty. Omit the chipotle if you are sensitive to spicy foods.

Spicy Red Bean Slaw

Serves 4+

For the salad:
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans
1 ½ cups frozen corn, defrosted
1 chipotle chile en adobo, minced

For the dressing:
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground pepper
Pinch stevia powder (or sugar if you don’t have stevia and don’t mind using sugar)
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp raw cashews

Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Put the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Toss dressing with salad. Enjoy!

Calories - red bean slawPhoto by knitting iris, used with permission

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Grapes

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Years ago, my brother brought a tray of wonderful roasted vegetable to Thanksgiving dinner that included grapes. They added such a nice sweetness to the dish.

Yesterday, I had an aging bag of Brussels sprouts in the fridge that needed eating, and I wondered if grapes would work their magic on these too. Turns out they do! After 20 minutes of roasting, the grapes release their juices a little. Combined with a little balsamic vinegar and Braggs, it makes a great sauce for the sprouts.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Grapes

Serves 2-3

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2 pound grapes, removed from the stems
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Braggs liquid aminos or light soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 7×11 baking dish with cooking spray. Add the Brussels sprouts and grapes and toss to coat with the spray. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are soft.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and turn it to broil. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and Braggs over the roasted sprouts and grapes. Place the baking dish under the broiler for about 5 minutes until the sprouts are nice and browned.

calories - sprouts and grapesPhoto by Sofie Dittman, used with permission

 

 

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches and Wraps

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chickpeas

Confession: My mom never made or served chicken salad sandwiches when I was a kid, so I don’t know what they are supposed to taste like. That said, I frequently spend long days (12+ hours) in the mountains in search of far-away summits. PB&J sandwiches lose their luster week after week, so this easy-to-make chickpea salad sandwich filling is a great welcome to my lunch repertoire. I imagine it tastes something like chicken salad, maybe even better!

Chickpea Salad

Serves 4

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 cup celery, roughly chopped
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup Vegenaise
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a few times until combined. I like to leave it a bit chunky, but my husband likes to pulse it until it is almost smooth – like a spread. It is tasty both ways.

Layer it in a wrap (these are my favorite) or on some sandwich bread with lettuce and tomatoes or serve it on a bed of chopped salad greens for a very satisfying and tasty meal.

Calories - chickpea saladPhoto by Samira, used with permission

 

Tested & Approved: Dream of Tomato Soup

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tomatoes

If you’re like me, you might be sneaking away for a mini-vacation on this long weekend. Preparing for the trip leaves little time for cooking. Thank goodness for blender soups! Dinner can be put together in five minutes or less if you have a few vegetables on hand.

Chef AJ first introduced me to blender soups with her Dream of Tomato Soup. Her recipe calls for a full cup of hemp seeds. We sometimes find that too rich, so we cut it back to ½ a cup. If you don’t have hemp seeds, you can substitute sunflower seeds for an equally good soup with a slightly different flavor.

Here is the video of Chef AJ and Juliana Hever making the soup. The full recipe follows.
 

 

Dream of Tomato Soup

Serves 4

1 pound roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup fresh basil
¼ cup lemon juice
3-4 sundried tomatoes
½ tsp chipotle powder, optional
½ cup hemp seeds, see note above

Place the tomatoes, peppers, garlic, basil, lemon juice, sundried tomatoes, and chipotle powder in a high-speed blender and blend on high for about a minute, until the soup starts to steam. (If you have a Blendtec, use the soup setting.) Add the hemp seeds and blend again until the soup is hot and creamy.  If it’s not quite hot enough after blending, you can continue warming it on the stove.

Calories - dream of tomato soupPhoto by Andrew Storm, used with permission

 

Poll: What recipes do you want for Memorial Day weekend?

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Although it’s been warm enough in Seattle to use the grill now for the past several weeks, I always think of Memorial Day Weekend as the “opening day” of the BBQ/grilling season. Even if the weather isn’t cooperating, it’s still fun to have a few people over for some lip-smacking BBQ, beer and fun around our outdoor fireplace. 

I’m starting to get an idea of what I might cook, but before I post recipes I’m curious about what you need help making for your celebration. What kinds of recipes can this site post to make your party great?

Gormi Oatmeal

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oats

There’s an awesome little cafe in Leavenworth, WA called The Renaissance. They serve a high-powered bowl of oats at breakfast designed to fuel hikers, climbers, bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts for a full day of adventure. It is such a tasty, satisfying dish, that I often make a simplified version of it at home. The applesauce makes it extra sweet and creamy.

Gormi Oatmeal

Serves 1

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
2/3 cup water
3 tbsp raisins
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or 1 small apple, cored and blended)
1-2 tbsp peanut butter

Place the milk, water, oats, and raisins in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for a minute or two. Add the blended apples or applesauce and continue cooking until the mixture is thick, another 3-4 minutes. (This is a bit more like a loose porridge than traditional oatmeal.) Remove from heat and serve in a bowl topped with peanut butter.

Calories - gormi oats

Photo by michelle@TNS, used with permission.

Guacamole Rice Salad

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avocado

This is my last Cinco de Mayo themed recipe before the big day. (If you haven’t been keeping up, check out the recipes for black bean soup, salsa, watermelon aquas frescas, and crockpot taco lentils.) I love this salad because it reminds me of a gorgeous meal my friend Ken served the last time I stayed with him and his lovely family. It works beautifully with brown rice or a mixture of brown rice and barley. If you have pre-cooked grains on hand it goes together in about 15 minutes – as fast as you can chop the veggies!

Guacamole Rice Salad

Serves 4

3-4 cups cooked grains, cooled to room temperature
2 avocados, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup minced red onion
3-4 tbsp lime juice
1/2 c minced fresh cilantro
watercress, radicchio or lettuce

Combine all of the ingredients except the greens in a large bowl. To serve, set on a bed of greens.

Calories - guacamole rice saladPhoto by Kristina, used with permission

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