Root Veggies and Lentils in a Cilantro Miso Sauce

Miso dressings seem to be a hit in our household these days. Corey keeps asking for more. Miso helps to add enough saltiness and flavor to pretty much any combination of veggies, tofu, grains, etc. I forgot to take a photo of this creation so there is a comparable image below–except I served the mixture over a bed of arugula greens. The green color of the Cilantro Miso sauce coupled with the green arugula makes for a beautiful, funky dish. It was a hit for Corey and our dinner guests so that is enough proof of its fabulousness for me.

I am off to Venice for work for a week and then to the states to visit my family so my posts may be intermittent at best… but this will give you time to catch up on any recipes you may have missed. I am posting from London’s City Airport. I highly recommend flying in and out of this small, business port. It is so civilized: free internet, no lines, comfy seating and only 40 minutes from our apartment. Perfect.

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(image and basic recipe idea from Cookie and Kate blog)

Root Veggies and Lentils in a Cilantro Miso Sauce 

Serves 4

Roasted Root Veggies: (this is what I used but you can use whatever you have available)

  • 3 carrots (chopped)
  • 5 finger potatoes (washed and cut into small pieces)
  • 2 beets (skinned and chopped into small squares)
  • olive oil, salt, pepper to cover
  • 2 spring onions (diced) — add to mixture after veggies are roasted

Lentils:

  • 2 cups dried brown lentils (soak lentils in water for a few hours before cooking to make more easily digestible)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano or herb de provence
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Cilantro Miso Sauce:

  • 3-4 tbs miso
  • 1 1/2 tbs tahini
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Zest and juice of one lime
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

EXTRAS: Serve over a bunch of arugula greens or with some steamed broccoli with sesame oil and salt.

1. Turn often on to 170 C or around 350 F. Chop veggies and combine in a small bowl (leave out the spring onions). Lightly cover veggies in olive oil, salt and pepper — mix to cover. Place on a baking pan covered in parchment paper or tinfoil. Cook for about 1/2 an hour, mixing veggies every now and then so they brown evenly.

2. Place a dollop of oil in a medium sauce pan. Lightly fry the sliced onion and chopped garlic for the lentils over medium heat (about 4-5 minutes). Add lentils and cover with water. Bring mixture to a boil and then lower heat and allow lentils to simmer until ready (adding water if necessary), about 20-30 minutes. Add the oregano or herb de provence after about 15 minutes.

3. Blend the Cilantro Miso sauce ingredients into an even, pourable texture. Taste and add ingredients if desired.

4. Mix cooked lentils with roasted root veggies and stir in the chopped spring onions.

5. Serve over a bed of arugula greens (if using). In each bowl place greens on the bottom, the lentil mixture on the greens and pour a large dollop of the green sauce on the top.

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Black Bean Brownies

Yes, you read correctly, black bean brownies. Here is a gluten-free, flour-less, low fat brownie that won’t spike your blood sugar. Corey says he can taste the black beans (in a good way) but most of my testers couldn’t guess the secret ingredient. In fact, I just attended a picnic and these brownies were the first to go–kids were drooling. The initial recipe comes from the blog Skinnytaste. I stayed fairly true to their recipe but added in some coconut yogurt to make the texture a bit more moist. It is nice to have brownies you can feel really good about eating, right?

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Black Bean Brownies

  • 1 14 oz can of low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained (a little less than 2 cups)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened soy milk (or dairy, skim, almond)
  • 1/2 cup coconut yogurt (or regular yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground coffee or instant coffee
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, or a chocolate bar chopped into small pieces

1.Turn oven to 175 C or 375 F. Grease a 9″x 5″ (or 9″ x 9″) baking pan.

2. Place rinsed beans, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, soy milk, yogurt, balsamic vinegar, baking powder, baking soda and ground coffee into a bowl. Blend until smooth.

3. Fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate bar).

4. Pour mixture into greased pan and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.

5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until just cooked through.

Ginger Miso Dressing with Coconut Rice, Black Beans and Greens

This creation came from the need to use up the rest of the veggies from our weekly CSA. I had a bunch of bok choy, radishes and spring onions and so I had to get a bit creative. I have to say I am pretty pleased with what I ended up with and will use it in the future to clean out whatever veggies we have in the fridge. The sauce is a winner (so deemed by Corey and our lovely dinner guests) and coupled with coconut rice, black beans, greens and whatever else you have available, the combination makes a tasty meal. The ingredient list below shows you the basics and then a list of the add-ins that made this version of the dish top notch–but again, use whatever you have in the fridge.

NOTE: I have also put this dressing on lentils and veggies, quinoa and tofu, etc. It works with just about anything.

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Ginger Miso Dressing with Coconut Rice, Black Beans and Greens

Dressing (for 2-4 people)

  • 3 tbs tahini
  • 2-3 tbs miso (2 if you use white miso and 3 if you use red)
  • 2″  ginger, diced (about 3 tbs)
  • 3 tbs or juice of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • dash of soy sauce

Salad (serves 4)

  • 2 cups dried rice (made with coconut milk instead of water–or half and half)
  • 4 cups black beans (I use dry beans, soak them overnight and then boil for 3 hours, adding water as needed and using a tsp of oregano–but you can also just use two cans)
  • 4 cups massaged kale (or whatever green you have available)
  • 1 package of pre seasoned tofu
  • 2 tbs coconut oil

ADD INS:

  • 1 bunch of bok choy
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 spring onions
  • 6 thinly sliced radishes (they add a beautiful red and white color to the dish as well as a sharp flavor)

1. Place all the ingredients for the dressing into a blender and create a smooth dressing. Taste and add more lemon or tahini if needed. Set aside.

2. Cook rice: bring 1 can of coconut milk and 1 can of water to boil. Add uncooked rice and lower the temperature to a simmer. Cook until water evaporates.

3. Massage kale with a bit of olive oil and salt (or use fresh spinach, arugula or mixed greens).

4. Cut tofu into thin strips and fry in coconut oil on medium heat until brown and crispy.

5. If using, slice radishes, chop cilantro and spring onions.

6. If using, wash and chop bok choy into 4 or four larger segments. Fry with a dash of toasted sesame oil, coconut oil and soy sauce until sightly wilted.

7. Place 1 cup of rice in each dish along with 1 cup of beans and a handful of massaged kale (or whatever green). Place tofu on top and sprinkle add add-ons around the bowl. Serve with a few spoonfuls of the dressing and chopsticks. (The image above is of the salad after it is all mixed together).

Banana Kate

This recipe has been a staple for me for years. I make it for everyone. My friends love it and I hope you will too!

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Banana Kate

  • 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 egg (hopefully from happy chickens or local farmers)
  • 1/2 cup oil (olive, sunflower or canola oil)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar (preferably brown)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbs yogurt (coconut or plain)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 325 f/ 160 c

2. Grease and flower 9″x5″ baking pan

3. Mash peeled bananas and combine with egg. Mix in flour and sugar, then add the oil and yogurt. Stir to combine.

4. Add spices, vanilla and baking soda.

5. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes (check around one hour to see if it is cooked through–different ovens have different timings).

Serve hot with more yogurt, nut butter, applesauce or butter…

Spinach & Kale Soup

This recipe is based off of a spinach and kale soup recipe I found on Green Kitchen Stories (they have a beautiful/inspiring app for your iPhone as well). I doctored it up and turned it into a palak paneer type soup/dish without the cream. It is a simple and quick recipe and packs a lot of iron, vitamins and antioxidants into one tasty and filling soup. The chickpea/almond topping adds more protein to the dish and can act as a nice side for any meal. I know it looks like a lot of ingredients but most of them are tiny additions (like a bouillon cube or spices). I promise it is easier than it looks and works well as a nutritious and filling recipe for a spring evening with a cool breeze.

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(image taken from Green Kitchen Stories blog)

Spinach and Kale Soup

  • 3 tbs coconut oil (or olive oil if you don’t have coconut on hand)
  • 1 package frozen spinach
  • 1 package frozen kale
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp chili
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 3-4 cups of water
  • 1 vegetarian boullion cube
  • 1 tbs table salt, divided
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (or coconut yogurt for vegans)
  • 1 1/2 cups rice, cooked
  • OPTIONAL: Feta cheese or more yogurt for a topping

Chickpea/almond topping (double recipe if you are serving more than two people)

  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 3 tbs tahini
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • Small handful of finely chopped cilantro
  • Small handful of finely chopped almonds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook rice (2 parts water to 1 part rice)

2. Put 3 tbs of coconut oil into a soup pan and let melt on low heat. Add minced garlic and onion and let fry 2-3 minutes. Add chili, nutmeg, cumin and coriander. Stir and let cook for a another minute or two.

3. Add frozen spinach and kale, boullion cube and 3 cups of water to the soup pan (adding 4th later on if necessary). Bring the water to a boil and then cover and let spinach/kale mixture simmer until completely defrosted and cooked.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine tahini, lemon juice and oil. Whisk till smooth. Stir in chopped cilantro and almonds. Pour the sauce on the cooked chickpeas (canned are already cooked) and mix until covered completely. Set aside.

5. When the spinach and kale have completely melted add the ripe avocado (cut into small pieces), 1/4 cup yogurt and 1 tbs of sea salt (or just a pinch and add to taste later on-I always feel like spinach dishes need salt so I tend to put it all in while cooking).

6. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool slightly. Blend the mixture to desired consistency (either puree or left with lots of little bits). Return to the heat and either add more water if you would like to make more of a soup or let the water boil of too make more of a palak paneer dish. Taste and add seasoning as you see fit.

TO SERVE: Place a cup of rice at the bottom of each dish. Cover with 2 cups of the spinach mixture, a few tbs of the chickpea dish and feta cheese or more yogurt. You could also serve this dish with some Trader Joe’s Naan if you are looking for a heartier dish but I find that it is enough on its own.