Happy Monday! Hope you all are enjoying your three-day weekend. I love weekends most when they are a combination of both productive and relaxing.
Saturday was very productive for us. Started out with a nice, long run around the city and spent the rest of the afternoon finalizing our lodging for Europe. We are still trying to figure out where to stay in Paris & Venice so if you have any ideas or suggestions,please let me know.
Sunday was a bit more relaxing, baking a bit in the morning and then hanging out with friends for the afternoon and evening. I am really looking forward to using today to finish running errands and prep meals for the week.
I can’t believe it’s already time for January’s Recipe Redux! I feel like only a week ago we were celebrating the holidays, and now it’s almost February.
This month’s theme is: “A Trend in Every Pot”, combing 2013 food trends in everyone’s favorite winter dish, soup!
I love reading all the predicted food and restaurant trends for 2013. I am happy to see that there is more of an emphasis on vegetables, especially vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Restaurants, if you’re listening- keep bringing on the inventive vegan fare. Nothing is more boring that pasta and red sauce or a grilled vegetable sandwich. Get crazy!
If 2012 was the year of Kale, then 2013 is slated to be the year of cauliflower. Great! Bring it on. I love cauliflower, whether it’s placed into tacos, pureed as a creamy base, roasted and tossed with pasta, it’s all good. Remember when mashed cauliflower became all the rage? My mom was on the south beach kick for a few years, and we ate a ton of mashed cauliflower. Ever since then I realized that cauliflower is so much more than a steamed side dish.
My favorite way to enjoy it is roasted with curry powder. You were warned that I’ve been on an indian kick lately, and thought it would be the perfect partner for this dish.
Roasted, spiced cauliflower, onions and shallots pureed with almond milk, more spice, and topped with sunflower seeds and cilantro.
The thing I most love about this soup? While it feels and looks like a heavy cream soup, it’s actually very light. Perfect for a light lunch, paired with a sandwich, or served as an appetizer for a fancy dinner, this soup will definitely be on trend for 2013.
You know what I love? (Besides yoga, chocolate, & BL of course)
Sweet, caramelized, crispy, I don’t know ONE vegetable that doesn’t taste better roasted. Cauliflower, eggplant, tomatoes, the list goes on and on.
This month’s Recipe Redux theme is “Gadget Gifts”, RD’s sharing our favorite kitchen tool and an accompanying recipe. I thought long and hard about this theme- what gadgets do I use the most? My blendtec, food processor &kitchen-aid mixer get almost daily billing but those puppies are also pretty expensive. Great for wedding and splurge gifts, but not so practical for the average gift.
The baking stone however is not only affordable, it’s also a healthy game-changer. This gift will actually make your friends & family eat more vegetables. It’s magic!
I roast a big batch of vegetables almost every week- perfect as a side dish, combined with rice or pasta, stuffed into a burrito or pita pocket, nothing is off limits when it comes to these vegetables. I have no affiliation with the Pampered Chef but it’s the brand I have been using for years and highly recommend their bakeware.
This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite winter dishes: angel hair pasta with balsamic vinegar and caramelized onions. I swapped the pasta for butternut squash for a great side dish for the holidays.
Balsamic Butternut Squash
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into large cubes
1/2 medium onion, chopped into small strips
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. brown sugar (or other sweetener)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine the butternut squash, onions, vinegar, oil, brown sugar, oregano, and salt in a large bowl. Toss well until everything is mixed together. Spread onto baking stone and bake for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and uneven browning.
Remove from oven and toss with parsley- taste great hot or at room temperature!
Well, it is officially here, and I don’t mean just the holidays. I mean the time of year when everyone pulls out that special recipe, the traditional food that comes around just once a year. If you’re anything like my family, we pretend like we have never seen (insert food item of the day here) before and end up eating until we are stuffed, retiring to the couch, promising not to do that again tomorrow.
Well, even if you don’t celebrate the holiday food craze like my family does, I am sure everyone has a favorite side dish that is so indulgent, so wonderful, it must only be brought out on feasting days. As I was racking my brain for this month’s Recipe Redux theme- vintage family favorites- this recipe landed quite literally in my lap.
This soup, a knock-off of Olive Garden’s creation, was developed by a dear friend to both BL and my Momma-in-law. As Thanksgiving is only a day away, it’s the perfect time to stop and reflect on those people (and food, it’s OK to reflect on food right?) who mean the world to us. Rita, who originally crafted this wonderful recipe, prepared everything with love. Because she is no longer with us, what better way to pay tribute and honor the legacy of a woman so revered for her cooking than by re-creating one of her classics. Whether it was an extra half cup of this or a dash of that, she turned any recipe into her own.
Let’s get to it, shall we? Here is the Original Recipe:
Zuppa Tuscano Soup by Rita Mae Greisen
1# Italian Sausage or links
2 medium potatoes diced
¾ cup onion diced
6 slices bacon
1 ½ tsp minced garlic
2 cups kale leaves cut up
2 T chicken base
1 ½ quarts water
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp or 1 tsp red pepper flakes depending on how hot you like it
Cook sausage. Place onions and bacon in frying pan over medium heat and cook until the onions are transparent, add garlic and stir. Remove and crumble bacon. Put the water in a kettle and add the chicken base and potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Add all of the other ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes.
Clearly, a few changes had to happen. First, making it vegetarian. I swapped the Italian sausage for soyrizo. Don’t like or can’t find soyrizo? You can either omit it or sub baked tofu, tempeh sausage, or the like.
I also swapped out heavy cream for cashew cream, a simple trick I often do to mimic the taste of real cream without the extra cholesterol and calories. If your reading this and thinking “Cashew cream? Girl, you’re crazy”. Well, yes but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. While it may not be as low in calories as some other cream swaps, the mouthfeel and texture can’t be beat.
I also like things a tad on the spicy side. Whether it increases your metabolism or not, I notice that I eat less and feel more satisfied if food has a spicy kick to it.
I really, really enjoyed this soup. A perfect addition to my ‘I now make a soup every Sunday’ routine. BL enjoyed it too, although he said there was too much kale in it.
I simply looked at him and in my deepest, scariest voice said: “there is never too much kale.”
Hope you all have been enjoying the potato recipes thus far. If you missed the last two postings, we had Purple Potato Eater Salad and Spicy Thai Salad. This last one is more of a traditional potato salad, without the cups of mayo and/or hard boiled eggs. Instead of weighing down the potatoes with heavy toppings, this light salad lets the potato flavor shine.
I used a mix of potatoes, yellow potatoes, red potatoes, and a sweet potato. The sweet potato gives the salad a sweet flavor without adding extra sugar.
Have you tried any of these salads yet? Which one has been your favorite?
Lightened-Up Mixed Potato Salad
4 medium red skinned potatoes, quartered
2 sweet potatoes, quartered
4 yukon gold potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayo (Veganaise)
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Pinch salt/freshly ground pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, then add the rest of the potatoes and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until just tender to bite through. Remember, potatoes keep cooking even after their boiled.
Drain and cool. I like doing this on a cooled baking sheet to spread the potatoes out in an even layer.
Combine the mayo, cayenne pepper, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, onion powder and garlic powder together in a food processor or blender. With the blade running, pour in the 1/4 cup of olive oil and continue to mix until the dressing looks creamy. Toss with the cooled potatoes and add scallions, parsley and salt/pepper to taste. Toss to combine, and place in the fridge to cool for ~1 hour before serving.
Disclosure Statement: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the United States Potato Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.