Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Pepitas

1 pumpkin, about 2 to 2 1/2 lbs.
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 cups low-fat milk
2 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 pinch allspice
2 tablespoons dry sherry or Marsala wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, for garnish

Cooking Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Cut the pumpkin in half, scrape out the seeds, and place it, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes or until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Allow the pumpkin to cool about 10 minutes before proceeding, as it will be easier to handle when it is not so hot.

3. While the pumpkin is baking, heat the oil in a small pan and stir the onion and celery for about 3 minutes or until softened and translucent.

4. Scoop the pumpkin pulp with a large spoon, put it into a large bowl and add the onion, celery, milk and water. Stir to combine. Ladle some of this mixture into a blender and puree it in batches, being careful not to overfill the blender. Strain the soup through a colander to remove any remaining fiber or seeds. Add the lemon juice, cumin, allspice and sherry or Marsala wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Spread the pepitas or pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until toasted.

6. Reheat the soup, divide it among 4 warmed soup bowls and sprinkle with the toasted seeds.

This recipe serves: 4 | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Pepitas:Recipe by FoodFit

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dress Up Ramen for Dinner in Minutes

This delicious noodle dish is one of my favorite "shortcut" recipes -- you can put it together quickly and it leaves you feeling satisfyingly full, but not stuffed. When you're pressed for time, it's surprisingly good even if you make just the main recipe and omit the peanut sambal. You can also dress it up by substituting soba noodles for the ramen...

Ramen Noodles with Peanut Sambal
4-6 servings

2 packages instant ramen noodles
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup sweet corn
1 jalapeno, chopped with seeds and ribs removed
2 bok choy or 1 cup cabbage, cut into thin slices lengthwise
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced

1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add the noodles and boil until al dente, about three minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.

2. Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Add the garlic, corn, and jalapeno and sauté until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes, then add the bok choy and scallions and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the cooked noodles, soy sauce, and half of the reserved cooking liquid. Toss well.

3. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl. Top with iceberg lettuce and peanut sambal and serve.

Peanut Sambal
Makes 2 cups

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup roughly chopped peanuts
1 small red onion, chopped
1 large tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice, or 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 chili pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
4 basil leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1. Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, lime zest, and lemon zest and sauté until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the soy sauce and stir well to combine. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the peanuts, onion, tomato, chili, basil, lime juice, lemon juice, and parsley. Serve warm, or store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Herbed Lemony Swiss Chard Recipe

2 pounds Swiss chard, washed
1/2 cup low-sodium [vegetable] broth
1 tablespoon minced shallots
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil

Cooking Instructions
1. Slice the chard on the diagonal into 2' pieces.

2. Heat the [vegetable] stock and add the stems of the chard and shallots. Simmer for about 3 minutes and add the chard leaves. Continue to cook until the [vegetable] stock is reduced and the chard is tender, about 5 more minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and toss the chard with the lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and add salt and pepper. Sprinkle with tarragon.

This recipe serves: 4 | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes

Herbed Lemony Swiss Chard Recipe [Recipe by FoodFit]

Friday, January 18, 2008

Garlicky Kale

2 pounds kale, about 2 bunches
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 or 5 cloves garlic
pinch red pepper flakes
splash red wine vinegar
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions
1. Remove stems from the kale and chop the leaves coarsely. Wash and drain well but do not dry.

2. Heat a large sauté pan, add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and enough kale to cover the bottom of the pan, and cook over high heat while stirring to rotate the leaves. Add more kale as the leaves wilt. When all the kale has been added, season with salt, cover and reduce the heat to medium.

3. Cook, stirring occasionally; the cooking time will depend on the maturity of the kale. Young kale will be tender after 4 to 5 minutes. It may be necessary to add a splash of water if the leaves begin to scorch. When the leaves are tender, remove the lid and allow any excess water to cook away.

4. Remove the kale to a warm bowl and set aside. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the garlic and red pepper. Sauté just until you smell the aroma of garlic.

5. Sprinkle the garlic and red pepper over the kale and toss with a splash of vinegar. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

6. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes

Garlicky Kale: by FoodFit

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Creamy Spinach Potage

Sweeter, creamier and more flavorful than white potatoes, parsnips form the ideal vegetable base for a French potage, or thick, creamy soup. Choose small to medium parsnips that are heavy for their size, and slice them in uniform pieces for even cooking.


2 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 stalk celery, sliced (about 1/3 cup)
2 low-sodium vegetable bouillon cubes
1 1/2 lb. parsnips, peeled and sliced (about 4 cups)
3 cups baby spinach
1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
2 Tbs. low-fat milk or plain soymilk

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and celery, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Add 6 cups water, vegetable bouillon cubes and parsnips. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, or until parsnips are tender.

2. Increase heat to medium-high, and stir in spinach. Cook 1 minute, or until spinach wilts but is still bright green.

3. Transfer soup in batches to blender or food processor, and purée until soup is smooth. (Or purée soup in pot using an immersion blender.) Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Return soup to pot, and keep warm. If making soup ahead of time, refrigerate it until an hour before you plan to serve it, then warm soup over medium heat, but do not boil.

4. Just before serving, whisk yogurt and milk in small bowl until smooth. Serve bowls of soup topped with dollops of yogurt mixture.

Creamy Spinach Potage [Vegetarian Times]

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pizza Dough

1(1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm but not hot water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina or cornmeal
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Cooking Instructions
Making the dough by hand:
1. Fill a measuring cup with 1/2 cup of the warm water. Stir in the yeast and sugar. Let the mixture rest until it is foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. Combine the flour, semolina or cornmeal, and salt in large mixing bowl. Stir in the olive oil. Stir in the yeast mixture and then slowly add remaining water until the dough is stiff and sticky. Turn the dough onto lightly floured board and knead until it is smooth, moist, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Transfer to an oil-lined bowl, cover with damp towel, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.

3. Punch down the dough once or twice and turn it out onto a lightly floured board. Cut it into 6 pieces for individual pizzas. Gently knead each piece into a ball. If baking soon, cover with towel and reserve on board. To store, tightly wrap each piece in plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to a day or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Making the dough with a food processor (for large-size processor):
1. Combine the 1/2 cup of the water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Let the mixture rest until it is foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. In a processor fitted with the plastic dough blade, combine the flour, semolina or cornmeal, and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the oil and briefly process.

3. With the machine running, add the yeast mixture through the feed tube. Slowly pour in the remaining water just until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and forms a ball on top of the blade. Process for an additional minute. Remove the dough and knead on a floured board about 1 minute. Follow 'hand' instructions for rising.

Making the pizzas:
1. Preheat the oven to 500°F or heat the grill to medium.

2. On a well floured counter, roll the 6 pieces of dough out with a rolling pin into 6 or 8-inch rounds.

3. If you are grilling the pizzas, grill the pizza rounds until they are golden on both sides.

4. Have everyone put their favorite toppings on their pizza.

5. To finish grilling the pizzas, put them back on the grill and cook with the cover down to warm the toppings for 2 or 3 minutes. Or, bake the pizzas on baking sheets in the oven until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.

This recipe serves: 6 | Preparation time: 15 minutes

Pizza Dough Recipe: Recipe by Food Fit

Turkish Bulgur Pilaf with Chickpeas

1/2 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
4 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups water or broth
2 cups medium to coarse bulgur wheat
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley or fresh mint

Cooking Instructions
1. Soak the chickpeas in 1 1/2 cups cold water in the refrigerator overnight. Drain and rinse. Place the chickpeas in a sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups fresh cold water and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside. (Or, for your convenience, use canned chickpeas.)

2. Heat the olive oil in another saucepan and add the onion. Cook over moderate heat for 7 minutes, then add the tomato and stir for 3 minutes longer.

3. Add the cooked chickpeas, salt and water and bring to a boil. Add the bulgur and stir well. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer 20 minutes. If there seems to be too much liquid, drain it from the pot. Season the pilaf with black pepper and cayenne. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 15 minutes or until dry.

This recipe serves: 6 | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes

Turkish Bulgur Pilaf with Chickpeas: Recipe by Food Fit

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Tomato Chutney

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup diced white onions
4 large tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Cooking Instructions
1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and tomatoes and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the currants, vinegar and juices and cook until reduced by one-third, about 12 to 15 minutes.

3. Add the jalapeño pepper and cook 5 minutes.

4. Add the salt.

This recipe serves: 4 | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes

Todd English's Tomato Chutney Recipe: Recipe by FoodFit