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  • Curried Butternut Squash Lentil Soup

    Here are my two favorite creations so far this fall. I made them both on a whim last night for Nick, as he had a long day at work and had been requesting some curried butternut squash soup for a while. Little did I know how fantastic this particular soup would turn out!  This soup is jam packed with flavor and nutrition. Protein from the red lentils and tons of vitamins and fiber from the squash. 


    Curried Butternut Squash Lentil Soup (Protein packed!)
    Serves 6-8
    Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25-30

    Ingredients:
    2 lb butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cubed
    1 medium yellow onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1" piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
    1 cup red lentils
    4 cups vegetable broth (about 1 carton)
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
    1 Tbsp cumin seed, whole
    1 Tbsp brown mustard seeds
    1 can coconut milk
    1 tsp salt, or more to taste
    1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
    1 Tbsp medium-high heat oil
    (optional: add 1 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp black pepper, for extra anti-inflammatory benefits)

    1. In a large soup pot, or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and red chili flakes. Heat until mustard seeds begin to pop, about 1-2 minutes. Do not let cumin burn.

    2. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook over medium-low heat with lid on for 2-3 minutes until onion begins to soften. Add cubed squash and red lentils and stir to coat. Add broth and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover pot and cook over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes until squash is very soft and mashable.

    3. Add coconut milk and stir to combing. Add salt (and black pepper and turmeric if using) to taste. Add cilantro if using. The soup will be chunky at this point. Eat as is, or use an immersion blender to blend until creamy. You can also use a regular blender, but you will have to blend in batches. Keep warm on low heat. Freezes well!




  • Three Bean Chili over Skillet Corn Cakes

    It is officially fall here in Seattle, the clouds have come in, and naturally chili is the first thing we will cook.  After our "Bring on the Beans" cooking class this past weekend, we are still in a bean frenzy. I made about 10 cups too many beans while preparing for class, and while I froze some, there were still too many begging to be eaten. So here it is, a brand new Fire and Earth Kitchen creation. The skillet corn cakes this chili sits atop, are absolutely delicious, but not at all necessary in order to enjoy this colorful masterpiece. If you're short on time, serve it a la carte, or with some bread or tortilla chips. Perfect food to warm a rainy day. As always, 100% vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free. Enjoy!


    Three Bean Chili and Skillet Corn Cakes

    Serves 4-6 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25-30 minutes

    Ingredients:

    The Chili:
    1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 onion, chopped
    1/4 lb mushrooms, chopped
    1/2 cup celery, chopped
    1 carrot, chopped
    1 cup sweet potato, cubed
    1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
    1 cup broccoli florets
    1 Tbsp high heat oil (avocado, canola, peanut, etc)
    1 Tbsp chili powder
    1 tsp salt (or to taste)
    1 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
    1 Tbsp turmeric
    1 Tbsp paprika
    1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
    1 tsp "Liquid Smoke" (optional-for smokey flavor)
    1 large 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes (or 3-4 cups fresh tomatoes)

    The Corn Cakes:
    1 cup masa harina (corn flour with lime)
    1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
    1/2 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    2 Tbsp maple syrup
    2 Tbsp oil
    1-1 1/2 cups water


    1. Start the chili in a large pot or deep skillet. Heat the oil to medium heat, add the chopped onion, celery, carrot and mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the sweet potato, corn, and broccoli. Add the kidney and black beans. Process the drained chickpeas in a food processor (or mash by hand in a bowl) until they resemble crumbs. Add to pot as well.

    2. Add all spices, maple syrup, salt, Liquid Smoke, nutritional yeast and tomatoes. Add water if necessary. Bring to a gentle simmer and let cook undisturbed for 20 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked through and nice chili consistency has been reached.

    3. In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients for corn cakes, masa harina though baking powder. Add wet ingredients, maple syrup through water. Stir well and heat skillet to medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp of oil and spoon batter onto pan, tilting pan to spread into a circle. When browning on bottom and bubbling on top, flip over and cook 30-45 more seconds. Repeat.

    4. Serve chili atop corn cakes, with a dallop of vegan sour cream if you like.

  • Sunflower Seed Pesto Pasta

    Here in Seattle, we wait all year for the local heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and abundance of fresh  fruit to enter the markets. And when it finally does, it's time to really take advantage! This savory, light summer fare is the perfect way to end a workday. It's fast, easy, satisfying, and can be dressed up or down depending on the day. The vegetables included are completely flexible, any of your favorites will work, so be creative with what you have on hand. This dish comes together in no time (though there are a few steps), just get all the ingredients out and follow the steps below, it should take 20-30 minutes to come together. The sunflower seed pesto is spectacular on it's own, and if you don't have time for anything else, at least make this and spread it on some toast. The light nuttiness of the sunflower seeds mixed with the punch of the fresh garlic, and the bright taste of basil is wonderful and really captures the essence of summer. As always, completely vegan, gluten and soy free. Enjoy!


    Sunflower Seed Pesto Pasta

    Serves 2-4 (depending on hunger)

    1 box gluten-free pasta (I used Ancient Harvest quinoa spaghetti)

    Pesto
    1 cup basil
    1/2 c sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3-4 cloves garlic
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

    Sauteed Veggies
    1 cup chopped broccoli
    1/2 cup chopped red onion
    1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms (optional)

    Tomato Marinade
    1 cup sliced/diced cherry or heirloom tomatoes
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    1 tsp olive oil


    1. Mix tomatoes with oil, vinegar, sugar and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

    2. Bring water to a boil for pasta. Cook pasta as directed. Drain when al dente.

    3. Sauté veggies on medium heat for 5 minutes in a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

    4. in food processor combine sunflower seeds, garlic, basil, salt, sugar, pepper, yeast, oil and lemon juice. Process until creamy, scraping down sides as needed.

    5. Combine pesto with warm noodles, serve topped with sauteed veggies, tomato marinade, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired.

  • Black Bean and Orange Breakfast Tacos

    These tasty little black bean and orange breakfast tacos are protein packed, filled with veggies, and super fresh tasting from a hint of freshly squeezed orange juice. If you make the bean filling ahead of time and pre-slice your tomatoes, you will cut preparation time down to under five minutes! The filling is a combination of sweet onions, crimini mushrooms, fresh corn,  black beans, and freshly squeezed valencia orange juice. Set in a toasty corn tortilla and topped with fresh arugula and chopped tomatoes these are heavenly. Play with the filling and topping ingredients once you have the structure down. Avocado would be great, as would chopped red pepper. These would make for a lovely brunch as well!


    Black Bean and Orange Breakfast Tacos

    Makes: 4 Preparation time: 5-10 minutes

    1/2 cup black beans
    1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
    1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
    2 Tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1/4 tsp chili pepper
    1/4 tsp paprika
    1/8 cup nutritional yeast
    freshly ground black pepper
    1 package corn tortillas
    1 ripe tomato, diced
    1/2 cup fresh baby arugula (or lettuce)
    1 avocado, thinly sliced (optional)


    1. In a skillet with a bit of oil, saute onions, mushrooms, fresh corn, and black beans for 4-5 minutes until onion is soft. Add nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, chili pepper, paprika, and orange juice and mash with a potato masher. Set filling aside in a small bowl.

    2. Wipe out skillet, add 1 tsp of oil and heat corn tortillas on each side.

    3. Fill each tortilla with a bit of greens and bean filling. Top with tomatoes and avocado if using. Enjoy!