I honestly cannot believe it’s December let alone the end of December. I’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on our new place and working non-stop. Thanks to everyone who has supported DK this year, 2011 has been wonderful!
The 21st of the month also means it’s time for my favorite challenge, the Recipe ReDux. This months theme has to do with feeding for a crowd. December is full of holiday gatherings so all recipes featured are healthy, delicious, and designed to feed a lot on a little. The star of this months theme? One of my favorite ingredients, the legume!
Obviously I love soups, especially during the winter months. I say this often but I really try to make some type of one dish meal at the beginning of the week to get me through weekday lunches. Soups are perfect for this and they are a great canvas for experimenting with new vegetables. I used Trader Joe’s 17 Bean and Barley soup package for this but feel free to use any dried bean you like.
Winter Bean Soup
1 package Trader Joe’s Bean and Barley mix
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 package Field Roast (or other brand) sausage, cut lengthwise and then into 1/2 moons
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 bay leaf
1 lb kale, center rib removed, chopped
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. dried sage
6 cup vegetable broth
1 qt. water
Soak beans either overnight or quick soak method. Drain beans and set aside.
Like most my soups I start off sweating my onion and garlic; heat olive oil in large stock pan. Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook until onion is translucent. Add carrots and celery and cook an additional 5-10 minutes until tender.
Add all ingredients except the kale. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for about an hour, until beans are tender. Check liquid during this time, depending on how you soaked the beans you may need more liquids than described above. The last 15 minutes of cooking time, add the kale. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
I served with kale salad and roasted garlic bread. A perfect, hearty, inexpensive winter meal.
Per serving (8): 453 calories, 13g fat, 54g CHO, 18g fiber, 30g protein
Need another quick appetizer to serve this Holiday season? Try my edamame hummus with wonton chips. Easy to make and takes plain hummus up a notch. Plus the pretty green color is perfect for your red and green Holiday table!
PS. I know that hummus is technically used only to describe chickpeas but humor me- edamame hummus sounds much better then edamame dip or pureed edamame
1 package frozen edamame, thawed (about 1 1/2 cups of shelled edamame, we just want the bean not the entire pod)
1 lemon, zested and juiced (about 1/4 cup lemon juice)
1/4 cup sesame oil (not toasted sesame oil as the intense flavor will overpower. If you only have toasted use 2 tbsp. toasted and the rest a neutral oil)
2 tbsp. tahini (for that undeniable smoothness in hummus)
1/4 cup water ( you might need more/less. I made this twice and needed a little more than this the second time. )
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. cumin
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. wasabi powder (you know I like my food kickin! Omit if you like things less spicy)
Boil/steam the beans for 4-5 minutes until they are cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside.
In a food processor/blender add all the ingredients except the water and the oil. Pulse a few times to combine the ingredients. Slowly drizzle in the sesame oil while the motor is running. Once you are done adding all the oil, check for consistency here as you may like your edamame creamier or thicker than I like mine. Continue to process: slowly drizzle in the water while the motor is running until you get the consistancy you like.
Per 2 tbsp: 79 calories, 6g fat, 3.4g CHO, 1.3g fiber, 3.5g protein
Serve with wonton chips, recipe below.
I fried them. I know, I know. I am a RD and usually prefer the healthiest way of preparing foods but I like fried things every now and then. I did find a baked recipe here. Maybe I’ll try the baked kind once spring comes!
1 package wonton skins
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups neutral oil like canola, safflower. You could also get crazy and use peanut oil for a fun twist.
Heat the oil in a pot until the temperature reaches 350 degrees F. I use a thermometer for this but you can also test a few pieces of wonton and see how they do. If the oil doesn’t’ bubble once the wonton skin is dropped in, it’s not hot enough; it also shouldn’t burn it immediately.
Slice the wonton skins diagnoly so you get two triangles. Place a few (don’t crowd) into the hot oil and fry for a few seconds on each side. Flip once they become golden brown. Remove and let drain on paper bags/dish towels. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Yum!