Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Red Lentil Soup with Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

My kind of meal...barely have to be awake to prepare it, comforting, and nutritious.  Green Kitchen Stories blog comes through with another winner.  Easily adapted to use any veggies you may have lingering in the fridge, we first ate it topped with kale braised in broth with spices (turmeric, fresh nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, pepper...adding a splash of cider vinegar and Tabasco at the end), and I just had leftovers topped with grated raw zucchini, toasted walnuts, avocado and a touch of Tabasco.  So basically, just do whatever you want to the base and it's sure to be delicious!  I'm gonna call it Orange Soup from now on, since everything that goes into it is just that.  Check out Green Kitchen Stories blog post for pretty pics and a topping with eggplant added to the kale (eggplant is not Monster-friendly, hence it's absence in our meal).

Red Lentil Soup with Carrots and Sweet Potatoes:
(Green Kitchen Stories blog)

1 Tbs coconut oil, or ghee
1 large onion, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, diced ~3/4" (I buy organic sweets and don't peel them)
4 carrots, chopped
4 sprigs of fresh thyme (just toss them in whole and fish the stems out before pureeing, stripping them of any remaining leaves)
1 cup uncooked red lentils, well rinsed and drained
4 cups water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pot, add onions and saute for about 5 minutes on medium-high.
Add sweet potatoes, carrots, thyme and cook for a couple more minutes.
Add rinsed lentils, water, sea salt, and pepper, cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are soft.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  Add braised greens to top (or whatever you like veggie-wise)

Braised Kale:
1 bunch of kale, ribs removed, torn into bite sized pieces, rinsed
pat of butter
~1/2 cup vegetable broth
~1/2 tsp turmeric
~1/4 tsp cinnamon
~1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (if you only have pre-ground use less)
~1 Tbs cider vinegar
splash of Tabasco if desired

Heat butter over medium-high heat in a large pot.
Saute kale until wilted.
Add veggie broth and spices through salt and pepper, cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes.
Taste for doneness, add vinegar and Tabasco and remove from heat.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

This is some seriously delicious grub people.  This photo was taken the 3rd time I made this recipe found on Kalyn's Kitchen, and I've got another butternut on my counter awaiting the same fate.  It's squash season and I'm loving it.  The Aleppo pepper is most awesome on top, so don't skip it.  You can get it through Penzey's or I've even found it in the bulk spice section at Central Market here in Austin. Now go forth and roast/bake/steam some gourds!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce:
(recipe originally from Bon Appetit, Dec. 2012, adaptation found via Kalyn's Kitchen)

1 large butternut squash (about 3 lb.)
2 T olive oil
2 tsp. ground cumin
kosher salt to taste
1 1/2 T Tahini 
1 T lemon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 T water
1/2 tsp. Powdered Sumac (or more; the Sumac is optional in the sauce, but good)
1/2 tsp garlic paste (finely minced/ground garlic...orig. recipe calls for 1-2 tsp, but I use less)
1/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt
Aleppo Pepper (or other spicy red pepper flakes) to taste (about 2-3 tsp.) 
2 T thinly sliced green onions

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Spray a large baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray.

Cut off both ends of the butternut squash and then use a large knife to cut it in half lengthwise. If the squash has a long neck, you might want to cut each piece in half again crosswise. Peel squash with a sharp vegetable peeler and then cut into wedges about 1 inch thick. (If some pieces seem too long, cut them in half again.) Put squash wedges into a large bowl and toss with the olive oil and then the ground cumin and salt.  I save having to wash a bowl by just mixing everything on the baking sheet. :)  

Spread out the squash wedges in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes. Turn each piece of squash over and continue to roast for 25-30 minutes more, or until squash is soft and each piece is lightly browned.

While the squash roasts, whisk together the Tahini, lemon juice, water, sumac, garlic, and Greek yogurt to make the sauce.  I actually add some Aleppo pepper to the sauce in addition to sprinkling on top of the finished dish, your call.  

Serve squash hot, with the Tahini-Yogurt Sauce drizzled over and sprinkled with Aleppo Pepper and sliced green onions. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer's End BLT with Corn Salad

A final (ok, not really since it's still 104 out there...) hurrah to summer, this salad is chock full of all of my favorites when it comes to this season's produce.  I found the recipe on Joy the Baker's wonderful blog and this is the second time I've made it.  First time I did make it as lettuce wraps, but this second go I had a bunch of Romaine lettuce to use, hence the full on salad.  Buy good nitrate-free bacon (we like Applegate Farm's bacon), the freshest smelling tomatoes you can know, the ones that actually SMELL like tomatoes, and some juicy sweet corn, and you'll thank yourself when sitting down to this goodness on a plate.

Summer's End BLT with Corn Salad:
(found on Joy the Baker's site imagined as lettuce wraps)

3 ears of fresh corn
1 cup of organic cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 large avocado, diced
3+ slices of bacon, cooked crisply and chopped (someone I know lurves bacon and needed more)
juice of 1 lime
~1 Tbs oil
chili powder to taste
smoked paprika to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Romaine lettuce, chopped
hot sauce (we like Cholula brand a lot on this)
sour cream

Place your broiler rack in the topmost position and set broiler to High.
While that heats up, shuck your corn and cut it off the cob.
Spread corn on a foil-lined sheet pan, spritz with a little oil and salt.
Broil for about 5 minutes then check to see if you're getting any color on it.
Really you just want some of the kernels to start browning a bit, then stir and spread out again to get more browned bits on the other sides...go maybe 3-5 more minutes.  Not an exact science. :)

before roasting
after roasting


Place corn in a medium bowl and add tomatoes, onions, avocado and bacon.  Toss with the lime juice, olive oil, chili powder and paprika, adding salt and pepper to taste.

I like to plate individual portions by mounding up a pile of Romaine tossed with more lime juice and a little olive oil, and a wee bit of salt and pepper on each plate, then spooning the corn/tomato/avo mixture on top.  Dollop sour cream onto the middle of each serving and a good lashing of hot sauce, or let each person add their own.  Delish!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Herbed White Bean Salad with Olives

I found this recipe on Beyond the Peel's blog the other day and have made it twice now.  First as written, next time subbing fresh mint for the fresh basil and using fresh lemon juice for the vinegar.
Great both ways, but my preference was the second time round.  Great paired with Lamb Meatballs for a mini Mediterranean feast!

Herbed White Bean Salad with Olives:
(slightly adapted from Beyond the Peel's recipe)

1 can of cannellini beans (or 1 1/2 cups), drained and rinsed
1 cup Italian parsley, minced
~1/2 cup fresh mint, minced
zest and juice of 1/2 a large lemon
~1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
salt and pepper to taste
~1 Tbs olive oil
1-2 raw zucchini sliced into very thin rounds (I use my mandoline), tossed with a little more olive oil, lemon juice and a touch of salt

In a bowl, mix together beans through olive oil.
Serve over the top of thinly sliced zucchini rounds.

Really great with Lamb Meatballs

NYT 20-Minute Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt-Tahini Dipping Sauce


I grew up in a family of lamb eaters...the lone dissenter.  I have no idea why on earth I felt compelled to make this the other day, but I saw the recipe, bought all the fixin's, and did just that.  I have to confess to softening my anti-lambie stance to some small degree as an adult.  Served hyper-spiced, I seem to be better with it's typical gaminess.  These meatballs come together in no time, have no fillers, and are great paired with nothing more than a simple bean salad I'll post next.

NYT's 20 Minute Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Tahini Dipping Sauce
(slightly adapted from NYT recipe)

1 lb natural ground lamb
3/4 tsp smoked salt (original recipe calls for 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt...sounded like too much)
2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp Aleppo pepper (soooo good!  I subbed this for the 1/2 tsp of chili powder in original recipe)
1/2 tsp hot sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced, divided (use most in the meat mixture, but save a little for the sauce)
1 green onion, minced
black pepper to taste
2 Tbs minced parsley, divided
Olive oil, or a good cooking spray

1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt, and added a little water to the sauce to make up for the thickness)
1/4 cup tahini
touch of reserved minced garlic
lemon juice to taste
salt to taste
I added some more Aleppo pepper so that's an option
use a little water to thin if necessary

Yogurt Tahini Sauce

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Set broiler to high, with the rack placed about 3 inches from flame.

In a large bowl, mix together lamb through black pepper, then add 1 Tbs parsley.  Combine well, but don't overmix.  Form about 12 meatballs.  They'll be around 1 1/2 inches.  Don't get fussy with this step.

Place meatballs on a lightly oiled sheet pan evenly.  I spritzed the tops of the meatballs with a light spray of oil to help brown them.
Broil meatballs for about 4 minutes, turn them over, then broil another 2-3 minutes more.  Try not to overcook them, since there are none of the usual fillers in there to keep them moist.

Garnish with extra Tbs of parsley and serve with sauce.

Serve this with this easy herbed white bean salad and you're good to go.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Engine 2 Plate


One of our favorite things to do after sweating our butts off running, or walking Town Lake in Austin is to go to the vegan food counter at the flagship Whole Foods for a delicious lunch.  A while ago, I got it into my head to make my own knocked off version of our favorite E2 Plate.  This always consists of some kind of bean over brown rice and a green.  Without fail we pay an extra buck to sub the raw kale salad for our green...soooo worth it!  Get the plate "all the way" and they'll plunk some pico de gallo and "sour cream" made of cashews on top.  *swoon*
I got bold and served this to company the other night and thankfully they liked it just as much as we do!

If you make nothing else in this recipe, know that the raw kale salad takes no time or cooking ability to make and if you're anything like us, you'll soon become an addict.

Looks like a lot of pieces parts, but most or all can be done in advance.  Even easier if you've got brown rice cooked and stored in the freezer.

Serve up a mound of kale salad with brown rice piled up with your seasoned beans, topped with pico and then drizzled with cashew sour cream.  Take a bite and see if your eyeballs roll back in your head like mine do. :)

Cashew "Sour Cream":
1 cup raw cashews, soaked a couple hours, or overnight covered in filtered water
1/4+ cup extra filtered water
juice of a small lemon, or to taste
1-2 tsp cider vinegar (start with a little and add to taste)
salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp)
optional: sometimes I add a pinch of onion powder

Drain soaked cashews and add all ingredients to a high-powered blender (I use a BlendTec) and blend until smooth and creamy, adding more of anything you think it needs taste-wise.

I like to keep this in a generic ketchup squeezy bottle.  Refrigerate until needed.

Raw Kale and Avocado Salad:
1 bunch of organic curly kale, washed, torn into bite-sized pieces
~1 1/4 large avocados
~1/4 cup finely diced red onion
juice of a lemon
salt to taste
optional: sometimes I'll add a couple Tbs of hemp hearts

Place all in a large bowl, remove your rings, and mash with your paws until the avocado is smoothed out into a dressing of sorts.  That's it!  Won't brown up, so you can rest easy about making this ahead.

Get your paws in there and mush.
Green goodness

Seasoned Black Beans:
olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
~1 tsp dried Greek oregano
1 large diced jalapeno, seeded
1 29oz can of black beans, or homecooked beans, drained and rinsed
~1 tsp ground cumin
~1/2 tsp of dried corriander
~1/2+ cups veggie broth
~1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
lime juice if desired

Saute garlic, oregano, jalapeno in olive oil until fragrant.
Add beans, cumin, coriander, veggie broth and cilantro.
Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat and simmer for ~10 minutes.

Mash some of the beans with a potato masher to thicken.
Add some lime juice, and or salt to taste.

Pico de Gallo:
tomatoes, chopped
serrano pepper, minced (I leave the seeds in)
sweet white onion, diced
cilantro, chopped
lime juice
salt to taste

Add any amount of these ingredients you'd like together til you get a nice balance of flavors.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Two things happened in the last two days to bring about our dinner last night.  First, my friend who hosted book club on Friday night served a lovely gazpacho for all of us.  Second, our neighbor's mom was unloading her car as Scott walked out the front door the next morning and she gifted him with the most amazing bounty of fresh homegrown tomatoes AND a cucumber.  Well that was dinner set for the night.  Many thanks to Joelle for the idea, and to Sidonie for the ingredients to make our light refreshing meal...that I again, didn't have to turn on the oven for! :)


2 lbs tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped (I used a small homegrown + a bit of an English cuke)
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped (I probably used less)
1/3 cup olive oil (I'm sure I used less of this, but I also added a drizzle on each bowl at serving)
1/3 cup almonds
3 Tbs sherry vinegar (I was out, so used red wine vinegar...also used less than 3 Tbs.)
1 large serrano or jalapeno pepper, mostly seeded, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves (I went light on this)
handful of chopped cilantro if you like it
salt and black pepper to taste
optional: avocado slices to serve

Blend all ingredients together (you might have to work in several batches if it won't all fit in your blender) and process until smooth.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Refrigerate for up to a few hours before serving or serve immediately, garnished with the avocado if desired.

Raw Vegan Pad Thai

Waaaay back in February, our friend came out for a visit.  We ended up eating at Whole Foods downtown one night and she ordered pad thai, made with raw spiralized zucchini in lieu of the typical rice stick noodles.  She liked it so much that we took a photo of the ingredients list they so conveniently had in the case by the sauce.  Enter Erin's knock-off version.  Now, I don't know if anyone is gonna buy that this is like a real Pad Thai, but that said, it's a really good dish in it's own right.  Play with ingredient amounts to your own tastes.  You will need a mandoline with a small wavy blade or a spiralizer to make the zucchini noodles, but I know enough of my friends have been moved to buy a mando since being served said "noodles" at our house to warrant posting this recipe. :)  Sauce is good on other salad fixins too if you don't want to shell out for special equipment.

Zucchini Pad Thai:
(based on Whole Foods Pad Thai sauce)

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
juice from 1 large navel orange
juice from 1 large lime
2-3 green onions
1 seeded serrano, or jalapeno pepper
4 tsp wheat-free reduced-sodium tamari
1 clove garlic
~1 inch of ginger
dash of crushed red chile flakes
optional ingredients not on the original ingredients list: sambal oelek, rice vinegar

zucchini, made into "noodles" (buy larger ones for less waste on the mandoline)
carrot, shredded
cilantro, chopped
lime wedges
Gomasio and Sriracha to top

Blend all in a high-powered blender until smooth.  I stirred in some sambal oelek and a little rice vinegar to taste at the end.  Refrigerate for a while to let flavors meld.

No firm amounts, just mix enough sauce into the zucchini to make you happy, then top with shredded carrot, cilantro, Gomasio, lime wedge, sprouts, and Sriracha.

Raw zucchini noodles

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans

I came across this recipe when I'd made a big pot of beautiful mottled Christmas lima beans that needed to find an end use.  We've since eaten this dish at least three times and I can attest to it's craveworthy-ness (that is so a word).  Found the recipe on a CSA site, but the original comes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz' "Veganomicon".  Freezes well and it's great just paired with a salad.

Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans:

1 lb dried, large lima beans, soaked for 8 hours
2 quarts of water
2 bay leaves

vegetable bouillon cube (I use the equivalent of Better Than Bouillon, 1 tsp for the cup of bean cooking liquid)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
1 small carrot, shredded
28 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs pure maple syrup or agave nectar
1 Tbs dried oregano (I use Greek as opposed to Mexican for a less pungent flavor)
2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
black pepper
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
3 Tbs fresh mint, finely chopped

Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a large pot with the 2 quarts of cold water and the bay leaves.

Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low.  Simmer the beans for 30 minutes, until tender but not fully cooked (the interior of the beans will still be grainy).
Skim off any foam that may collect while the beans are cooking.  Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid and set aside (leave the bay leaves with the beans).
Dissolve the vegetable bouillon in the reserved 1 cup of hot cooking liquid and set aside.

While the beans are cooking, preheat the oven to 375.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the garlic and olive oil over medium heat until the garlic starts to sizzle.  Add the onion and stir until translucent and softened, 3-4 minutes.  Add the carrot, stir and cook for another minute, add tomatoes, reserved veggie bouillon, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, maple syrup,
oregano, thyme, salt and nutmeg.  Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for 10-12 minutes to reduce the sauce a little.  Taste the sauce and season with black pepper and more salt if necessary.  Add the tomato sauce, parsley and mint to the beans in your Dutch oven, stirring to incorporate.

Put the cover on your Dutch oven and bake the beans, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until they are tender and the interior of the beans is creamy.  Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to reduce the sauce a little bit and give the beans a slightly dry finish.  Remove from oven, remove bay leaves and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Supermoist Banana and Almond Cake

Belated birthday cake for my friend can split the little layers and fill for extra frosted goodness :)
The first time I made this cake was years ago for book club and never posted it...too good not to. Scottie never got a cake on his actual birthday this year, so about a month later when we had friends over to dinner we called this his birthday cake.  For this occasion I baked what is typically a one cake pan recipe in two smaller  6" pans.  You can stack them to feed more folks, or share one with a neighbor like I did and serve the singleton to 4+.  You can even wrap the layers well in Saran and a Ziplock bag and freeze in advance.
This is wonderful served with nothing more than plain Greek yogurt as an accompaniment, or for a special treat you can whip up a batch of Whipped Cream and Cream Cheese Frosting* like I did for Scott's cake (pictured at bottom).  So darn good. Make it extra purty by decorating it with edible flowers (the flowers in the top photo are NOT edible...couldn't find any this time).

I was afraid I'd lost the recipe and wasn't able to find it again online.  Luckily I found it stashed in an old binder from the days I actually used to print out recipes.  Going on the blog in case I misplace it again!
Hope you have a scale because the measurements are mostly by weight as found in the original recipe.

Supermoist Banana and Almond Cake:
serves 8
(Adapted from Janni Kyritsis' Wild Weed Pie)

250g raw whole almonds (I've also just used 250g of blanched almond flour)
2 eggs
110g (1/2 cup) evaporated cane juice crystals
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
250g ripe bananas, peeled (approx. 3)
juice of 1/2 a lemon (I use a bit less)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I use a combination of about 1/4 tsp almond extract and 3/4 tsp vanilla)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Plain Greek yogurt, to serve, or make a batch of Cream Cheese and Whipped Cream Frosting (minus the cocoa powder!)

Preheat oven to 300.

To make one larger cake use a 22cm. or an 8-9" tart pan with a removable base, lined with

To make two smaller cakes use 2 6" regular cake tins lined with parchment bottom and sides.

Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground.
Beat eggs and sugar for 10 minutes until pale and fluffy.
Add almonds and baking powder to egg and sugar mixture.

Puree bananas with lemon juice and vanilla, then add to the almond mixture, stirring to combine.

Pour into tin (or tins) and sprinkle sliced almonds evenly over the top of the batter.

If baking in one tin bake 40-50 minutes (rotating midway through baking), or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

If making two smaller cakes, I think I baked them for about 32 min, but start checking them at 20 minutes.  Rotate pans midway through baking if your oven heats unevenly like mine does.

* If you make the cream cheese frosting just buy an 8oz container of whipping cream, use 2/3 cup sugar and 5.33 oz of cream cheese, so that you don't have as much leftover.

Scott's birthday cake

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nutty Cocoa Granola with Tart Cherries

Holy cats this is good stuff!  Make it, quick, quick!!  Have a sharing plan firmly in place though...unless you need to stuff your hamster cheeks full to bursting all by yourself like I did the first time I made this granola.  Yep, I ate pretty much the whole batch.  The Monster got maaaaaybe 1/2 cup, but the rest was all me.  In. One. Day. *oink*

If you have a Costco membership, ours happens to carry the dried tart sour cherries for about 6-7 bucks a pound.  Compare that to the 19 dollars/lb. I paid when shopping the bulk section of our Austin Central Market!  Yeah, this was never going to get made again until my friend pointed me in the direction of Costco.  Now no one in this household's waistline is safe...
I've only made a few additions to the original recipe to enhance the nuttiness of the 'nola.  I use ~1/2 tsp almond extract and use 1 Tbs of roasted hazelnut oil for 1 of the Tbs. of coconut oil.  I also find that I'm adding more than 1/2 cup of the large coconut flakes.  They just get so nice and crispy.  Mmmm.
Delicious on it's own eaten out of hand, great on plain Greek yogurt, and if you eat it with milk, the milk turns into CHOCOLATE MILK! ;-)

Gotta go stir my 4th batch now...
Many thanks to Everybody Loves Sandwiches awesome blog for providing this recipe!

Nutty Cocoa Granola with Tart Cherries:
(slightly adapted from Everybody Loves Sandwiches' recipe)

4 cups regular rolled oats (use gluten-free oats if you require recipe to be GF)
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2+ cup large unsweetened flaked coconut
4 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted (sub one of the Tbs with a toasted nut oil if you've got it)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
optional: 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup dried tart cherries (not sweet ones), roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 300 with enough space between the racks to be able to use 2 baking sheets.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, combine oats, hazelnuts, almonds, coconut, cocoa powder and kosher salt.
In a glass measuring cup, heat the coconut oil in the microwave briefly until it's melted completely.
Add 1/3 maple syrup and almond extract, if using, to the oil.

Pour wet ingredients over the dry and stir until well combined.
Divide mixture evenly between the baking sheets.

Bake on separate racks for 15 minutes, then stir and rotate the sheet pans and return to the oven.
Bake for another 15 minutes, stir, then place back in the oven for about 5-7 more minutes...until sufficiently dry.  About 35-37 minutes total seems to work for me.
Stir in chopped cherries once you've removed the granola from the oven.

Once cooled, store in an airtight container and practice supreme amounts of willpower not to inhale it all in one sitting.

My latest hoard...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An Early Valentine: Beet Borscht

We loved this soup from Green Kitchen Stories (a beautiful Swedish blog with photos much lovelier than mine).  I'm pretty sure Green Kitchen Stories' gorgeous moody photos are what lured me into trying this recipe.  The ingredient list seems so simple, but the whole spices really lend an amazing depth of flavor to the finished soup.  So, so good.  I made it once before, about a month ago, but it was a little difficult to eat without getting very messy.  I've solved this problem, by cubing the beets before shredding...smaller shreds = less hanging off your spoon and dripping crimson broth down your chin = win!  I served my Valentine Soup with toasts topped with melty Gruy√®re cheese. Delicious, healthy and festive for those celebrating St. Valentine's Day!

Printable Recipe
 Beet Borscht:
(from Green Kitchen Stories beautiful blog)

2 Tbs ghee or cold pressed olive oil
1 tsp whole dried mustard seeds (I used brown, but I don't suppose it matters)
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 med-large onion, finely chopped
1 lb peeled raw organic beets, dice to ~1/2-3/4" then grate in a food processor
4 cups organic vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Horseradish Yogurt Topping:
4 tsp fresh finely grated horseradish, or to taste (I've used prepared Boar's Head horseradish in the past, but fresh horseradish root is awesome if you can find it…I got mine at Whole Foods)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add mustard seeds and cumin, stirring constantly until fragrant, taking care not to let them burn.
Add onion and saute until soft, stirring occasionally.

 Add grated beets, vegetable broth and bay leaves to the pot.

Bring to a boil, cover the pot and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Combine fresh grated horseradish and yogurt while the soup simmers and set aside.
Add apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to the soup and let it simmer for another minute or so.
Adjust seasoning to taste, then serve in bowls, topping each with a dollop of the horseradish yogurt.  YUM!