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!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Asparagus, Zucchini and Chickpea Green Curry


This is the second time I've made this tasty recipe.  Great for a quick weeknight meal...even faster to make if you happen to have pre-cooked grain in your freezer.  We ate this over rice last night, but I loved it over red quinoa the first time I made it.  Easy peasy.  If you have a hard time finding kaffir lime leaves, you can use lime zest for a pale approximation of the flavor kaffir leaves would impart.  I had to sub the first time I made the recipe. When you DO find the leaves, know that you can keep them in the freezer in a good ziplock bag so they'll last a lot longer.  Was thrilled that Central Market in Austin finally had them again the other day!  Apologies for the crumby IPhone pix...

Printable Recipe
Asparagus, Zucchini and Chickpea Green Curry:
(Closet Cooking's blog)

Servings: makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste (Closet Cooking has a homemade recipe for this, I just used Thai Kitchen's paste)
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk (I've used full fat and light with great results either way)
2 tablespoons fish sauce (I've never used it before, but you could sub a vegetarian version of fish sauce)
 juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons sugar (I used coconut palm sugar)
2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced (I prefer to add the leaf in whole and fish it out at the end of cooking)
1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 pound zucchini, sliced
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced
1 handful Thai basil, or basil
red Thai chilies, sliced
Sriracha sauce, to serve and spice things up a bit more

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
Add the curry paste and saute until fragrant, about a minute.

Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, lime leaves and chickpeas, bring to a near boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the zucchini and asparagus and simmer until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve garnished with fresh basil and sliced red chilies.