Monthly Archives: September 2013

Italian Wedding Soup (Vegan)

 Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup (Vegan)
Serves 4
This is a delicious and hearty soup. Meat eaters and vegetarians alike will love this comforting soup. Leftovers freeze well.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, finely diced
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  5. 1 rib celery, finely diced
  6. 1 TSP fennel salt (or regular salt)
  7. 1 TSP cracked black pepper
  8. 7 cups vegetable broth
  9. 2 TSP dried oregano
  10. 1 TSP dried marjarom
  11. 1/2 TSP crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  12. 1 cup Isreali couscous
  13. 12-15 meatless meatballs*
  14. 1 bunch spinach, carefully washed
  15. 2 TBSP parsley, chopped
  16. Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large dutch oven or soup pot.
  2. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sweat vegetables until onions are translucent.
  3. Add garlic, salt, and pepper and sautee for another minute.
  4. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Boil for 10 minutes, then add oregano, marjoram, red pepper flakes, couscous and meatballs.
  6. Return to a boil and boil for 10 more minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add spinach, parsley and lemon.
  8. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. *I like Trader Joes or Nates meatless meatballs.
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Peanut Noodles with Veggies

Peanut Noodles with Prawns

 

Peanut Noodles
Serves 3
Without the prawns, this is a vegan recipe. This is a great recipe for kids if you go light on the chilie. The peanut sauce freezes well. I often make a large batch of the sauce and freeze it in small containers. I just take one out of the freezer in the morning to cut down on dinner prep time. Leftovers make a great cold lunch.
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INGREDIENTS
Sauce
  1. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  2. 2 TBSP soy sauce
  3. 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
  4. 1 TSP agave or honey
  5. 1 large clove garlic, grated, pressed, or finely minced
  6. 2 inch knob of ginger, grated
  7. Sirracha or other chile sauce to taste
  8. 1/4 cup water (more can be added to loosen sauce if it becomes too thick)
Noodles
  1. 1/2 package of high-fiber spaghetti, soba noodles, or other noodle product
  2. 1 small carrot, peeled into long strips using a vegetable peeler
  3. 1/2 small red, yellow or orange pepper finely sliced
  4. 1/2 small cucumber, seeds removed and flesh julianned*
  5. 1 fresno chile, thinly sliced
  6. 2 TBSP cilantro chopped
  7. 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  8. Optional Addition: Sauteed or grilled prawns
DIRECTIONS
Sauce
  1. Combine all ingredents in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until all ingredients are combined. Add water as needed to create desired consistancy.
Noodles
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. During last minute of cooking, add broccoli florets.
  2. Combine carrot, pepper, cucumber, chili, and cilanto in large serving bowl.
  3. Add drained cooked pasta and sauce and toss to combine.
  4. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. *An easy way to julianne the cucumber is to use a mandoline. Peel the cucumber and using the julianne attachment on the mandoline create the julianne slices turning the cucumber to get at the meat around the outside while avoiding the seeds in the center.
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Pasta with Fennel, Saffron and Raisins

Pasta with Fennel, Saffron and Raisins
Serves 4
This Sicilian-style pasta is a great venue for fennel. I also like this pasta with sardines.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced
  2. 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
  3. 2-3 TBSP olive oil
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 1/3 cup golden raisins
  6. 1/2 cup white wine
  7. 1 pinch saffron
  8. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  9. 3-4 handfuls of baby spinach
  10. 1 1/2 TBSP parsley, chopped
  11. 1/2 package spaghetti or fettucini*
  12. salt and pepper
  13. 8-12 large prawns (optional)
Breadcrumb Topping (optional)
  1. 3/4 cup breadcrumbs**
  2. 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  3. 1 small clove garlic, minced
  4. 1 TBSP minced parsley
  5. 1 TSP crushed red pepper or Aleppo chili
  6. 1 TSP lemon zest
  7. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Place raisins and saffron in a bowl and cover with white wine. Let sit for at least 15 minutes (This will plump the raisins and bloom the saffron for maximum flavor.)
  2. Prepare pasta in salted water according to package directions.
  3. While pasta water is coming to a boil, heat oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat.
  4. Add fennel and onions to pan and sauté until vegetables begin to brown.
  5. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.
  6. Add wine, saffron, and raisin mixture and cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Season mixture with salt and pepper.
  8. If using prawns, season them with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes until they are cooked through.
  9. Add spinach and lemon juice to pan and cover to allow spinach to wilt
  10. Add cooked pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking water to vegetable mixture and toss to combine.
  11. Serve immediately topped with parsley and breadcrumb topping (if using).
Optional breadcrumb topping
  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook until breadcrumbs are browned and crispy.
  3. Top each serving of pasta with breadcrumb mixture.
Notes
  1. *Regular or whole wheat pasta both work great here. My go-to pasta is a high-fiber white pasta - Ronzoni Smart Taste
  2. **I save the heels of sliced bread and any other bread products in a plastic bag in the freezer. When the bag is full or when I need breadcrumbs I put bread pieces in the food processor and process until medium fine. I keep a bag of breadcrumbs in the freezer at all times so I have them whenever I need them for topping casseroles, or using on pasta dishes.
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