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Navy Bean Soup

I loved my grandpa’s navy bean soup as a kid.  This is a vegan twist on the original with smoked olive oil for richness + collard greens in place of celery. Its perfect with glass of red wine for a very satisfying winter meal.

1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Onion [about 1 cup, chopped]
2 Carrots [about 2 1/2 cups, sliced]
3 Garlic Cloves [minced]
1 Yukon Gold Potato [skin on, chopped]
2 Tbs Tomato Paste
4 cups Vegetable Broth [or water with good quality veggie bullion]
Sea Salt [to taste]
1 Tbs Smoked Olive Oil
2 1/2 cups Navy Beans [cooked till very tender*]
6 Collard Green Leaves [about 3 cups, sliced thinly]

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large pot. Sauté onion for about 5 minutes, add carrot + garlic and sauté a few minutes more. Add remaining ingredients + bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Season with sea salt to taste.

*If you use canned beans, don’t add salt until the end of cooking so the beans cook the whole while + get very tender. I always pressure cook my beans. It yields a far better texture in a fraction of the time of stove top cooking. Its easy to pressure cook a big batch + freeze a few two cup containers for easy same day use. No need to ever buy another can of beans.

Haluska

*This is a pinch outside of our traditional family recipe, but I’d say a delicious little deviation. To my family, don’t worry… I made a perfectly traditional green cabbage version right along side while I was at it!

1 head Napa Cabbage [sliced thin]
1 cup Purple Cabbage [sliced thin]
a few Tbs Safflower Oil

2 cups Russet Potatoes [grated with the fine “hole punch” side of the box grater]
3 cups flour
salt
1 egg

Sea Salt + Sugar [to taste, for serving]

Heat a few Tbs oil in a large skillet. Add cabbage + saute until nicely browned. Set aside while preparing haluska.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Mix grated potato, flour, egg + salt in a medium bowl till well mixed. Dough should be pretty damp, be careful it doesn’t become too stiff.

Pile dough onto a plate + cut small chunks, about the size of a dime into hot boiling water. Cook for about 7 minutes, until haluska float. Scoop haluska from water as they cook + float to the top. Keep warm till all haluska are cooked.

Mix with cabbage. Serve with small bowls of sea salt + sugar on the table depending on your guest’s preference.

Serves 4 a very hearty meal.

Panzanella


3″ Baguette [day old, sliced into 1/8″ slices]

Salad:
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes [cut in half]
1 Armenian Cucumber [sliced, or two other thin cucumbers]
1/4 cup Red Onion [sliced thinly]
handful Basil Leaves [fresh, torn]
1-1/2 cups Navy Beans [cooked]

Dressing:
generous pinch Sea Salt
1 tsp warm water
2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
black pepper [to taste]

Arrange slices of baguette on a cutting board in a single layer. Allow to dry out for several hours. Break bread slices into 1″ pieces + set aside.

Dissolve sea salt in water + vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk in oil + season with pepper. Toss dressing over the vegetables + beans in a medium bowl. Gently mix in bread. Serve immediately.

Mustard Grilled Tofu


1 lb Firm Tofu [sliced into 6 pieces + pressed*]

Marinade:
1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
1 Tbs Soy Sauce [or liquid amino acids]
2 tsp White Wine Vinegar
1/4 tsp Basil [dried]
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Mustard Seed
1 Tbs Olive Oil
dash Cayenne Pepper

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a shallow dish [I like to use a glass loaf pan]. Dip slices of tofu in marinade, coating all sides. Allow to marinate [in the same dish] for an hour or more.

Heat grill to medium high. Grill tofu, about 5 minutes per side, until it is a little crusty + has nice grill marks. Serve immediately.

Cucumber Melon Salad


1 Pickling Cucumber [small, sliced thinly]
1 cup Cantaloupe [sliced thinly into 1″ pieces]
1 Carrot [small, peeled + shaved]
1-1/2 Tbs Red Onion [very thinly sliced]
1 Tbs Rice Wine Vinegar [seasoned]
Sea Salt [to taste]
1/2 tsp Honey
dash Sesame Seeds

Dissolve honey and salt in rice vinegar. Mix melon, carrot, red onion + cucumber in a small bowl. Toss with vinegar dressing + top with sesame seeds. Serve very cold, immediately.

Serves 1.

Green Curry Risotto


2 1/2 cups Butternut Squash [chopped into bite size pieces]
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Sweet Onion [medium, chopped, about 1 1/2 cups]
3 Garlic Cloves [minced]
1 Tbs Ginger Root [fresh, peeled + minced]
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
14 oz Coconut Milk
2 1/4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 Tbs Thai Green Curry Paste
1/2 cup Basil [fresh, chopped]
3 springs Thyme
1/2 Tbs Oregano [fresh, chopped]

Steam or pressure cook the butternut squash until very tender. In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk + vegetable broth to a gentle simmer and hold over low heat.

Meanwhile, saute onion, garlic + ginger in olive oil for about 10 minutes, until onions are softened. Add rice + toast, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Add half a cup of wine + cook, stirring frequently, until the rice has absorbed all the moisture. Continue to cook the rice, adding 3/4 cup of coconut broth as it is absorbed.

Stir the curry paste into the last cup of broth until well mixed. Add the cooked butternut squash + herbs with the last cup of coconut broth to the rice. Stir all the ingredients together gently + adjust the salt if necessary. Cook another couple minutes, then allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing


1/4 cup Sugar
2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Chopped Spring Onion
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Poppy Seeds

Mix all ingredients except the poppy seeds in a blender + blend till smooth. Stir in poppy seeds.

Smoky Black-Eyed-Olive Dip


2-1/2 cups Black Eyed Peas [cooked, 1/2 cup set aside]
1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Tbs Tahini [raw]
Salt [to taste]
10 Kalamata Olives
2 Tbs Mesquite Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Stir in or garnish with the remaining black eyed peas.

Kohlrabi Cabbage Salad


1 Kohlrabi [peeled + grated]
2 Carrots [medium size, grated]
3/4 cup Purple Cabbage [sliced very thinly]

Dressing:
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbs Meyer Lemon Juice [or lemon juice with a pinch of sugar]
dash Dried Marjoram
dash White Pepper
Sea Salt [to taste]

Mix kohlrabi, carrot + cabbage together in a bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour dressing over veggies + mix well. Serve cool.

Cilantro Peanut Pesto


2 cups Cilantro Leaves [fresh, packed]
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Roasted Peanuts [salted]
1/2 inch Ginger Root [roughly chopped]
1 Garlic Clove
2 tsp Rice Vinegar [seasoned]

Combine all in a food processor + process till smooth.  Makes about 1 cup of pesto.

Excellent served over hot soba noodles, mixed with sautéed shrimp, as a sandwich spread… you could even mix a little in scrambled eggs.
Freeze in ice cube trays for later use.

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