Creamy Indonesian Split Pea Curry with Lime Scented Yogurt

I love a good curry and I always have a variety of legumes on hand.  Indonesian curry is milder than Indian curry, so if you think you don’t like curry, you might actually like this.

To brighten up the curry, I add a dollop of zesty lime scented yogurt to each bowl just before serving.  For this, I use the best quality, grass fed yogurt made by Maple Hill Creamery.  Not only is the flavor of their certified 100% organic grass-fed dairy superior, but the nutritional benefits can’t be beat. Rather than grazing on a diet based on grain, corn, soy, or other feed which is not ideal and can cause the cows myriad health problems stemming from general inflammation, Maple Hill’s cows graze on a natural diet of meadow grasses, which keeps them in optimal health.  This means their bodies are not acidic, inflamed, and unhealthy.  Why does this matter to you?  Dairy from a healthy certified organic 100% grass-fed and antibiotic-free cow means the milkfat is very high in anti-inflammatory omega-3s (the stuff salmon, flax, and walnuts are prized
for) and also has higher levels of beautifying beta-carotene and ALA.

Bottom line: grass fed dairy not only means happier, healthier cows, but it also means happier, healthier you :D.

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Creamy Indonesian Split Pea Curry with Lime Scented Yogurt

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 cup dried yellow split peas, sorted and rinsed

1 1/2 cups water + 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1/2-1 lime)

2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth (vegetable is fine for vegetarian version)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 large carrot, medium dice (about 1 cup cut)

2/3 cup Maple Hill Creamery Grass Fed Plain Greek Yogurt

1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil or avocado oil

zest of 1 lime + 1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, from about 1-inch piece

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

12 turns black pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon)

1 medium onion, small dice

2 cloves garlic, well smashed and peeled

1/3 cup unsweetened grated coconut

4 scallions, thin bias cut, to serve

cilantro or micro cilantro, to serve

Instructions:

Soak split peas in salted water with lime for about an hour. Add peas to 2-quart pot with broth and chopped carrot.  Simmer peas until soft and breaking apart, about 30 minutes.

Mix Greek yogurt with lime zest and juice in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a medium pan over medium low heat and sauté the ginger, onion, and garlic until soft, about 4 minutes.   Reduce heat to low and add the turmeric, cumin, and cayenne and sauté another 30 seconds.  Stir in coconut milk and grated coconut and let meld in the pan five minutes. Add the sautéed mixture to the split peas.

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To make extra creamy, use an immersion blender to partially purée the peas.  Alternatively, ladle about half of the soup into a blender and run until smooth; stir back into pot with the unblended soup.

Serve over jasmine rice and top with a dollop of lime scented yogurt and a sprinkling of scallion and cilantro.

Indonesian Split Pea Curry - The Clean Gourmet

**This is a sponsored post, but all content is honest and reflects my true beliefs.

 

 


Greek Summer Vegetable Gratin - The Clean Gourmet

Greek Style Summer Vegetable Gratin (Plus a Bonus: Greek Style Lemon Potatoes)

I live in a very Greek neighborhood of Queens, but rarely go out to eat.  That’s not to say I’m not piqued by what I see in the specialized grocery stores in my area.  Seasonal produce, an entire wall of olive oils, SIXTEEN kinds of fresh feta, and ready meals that are not fried chicken and mushy macaroni salad, name a few examples.

This is usually a quick mid-week dinner, served alongside sautéed broccoli rabe or a simple salad with oregano and red wine vinaigrette.  However, if we want something heartier, I’ll also make some classic Greek style lemon potatoes.  Bonus! I’ve included said recipe below- no photo, but trust me, they’re delish ;).

Greek Style Summer Vegetable Gratin

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

⅓ cup quinoa (or ½ pound ground lamb, turkey, or beef for grain free/high protein version)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

¾ tsp sweet paprika

¼ tsp ground allspice (ground clove is a good substitute)

¼ teaspoon crushed coriander

¼ teaspoon dried dill

⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper (I do about 6 turns on a pepper mill)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 small/medium yellow onion, small dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into rounds (cut on the bias if your carrots are skinny)

⅓ cup vegetable or chicken broth

14.5 oz can tomato sauce

1 tsp honey

2 medium zucchini or summer squash

1 small eggplant (I like white, Japanese, or Italian varieties)

Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

For the topping:

2 eggs

½ cup grated Parmesan

⅔ cup 2% Greek yogurt

A few grinds black pepper

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cook quinoa in 2/3 cup water with a pinch of salt.  If using meat, brown in a pan with a bit of oil over medium/high heat until fully cooked, breaking it up with a heat resistant spatula or wooden spoon as it cooks.  Scoop out with slotted spoon and set aside.

Assemble spices (salt, cinnamon, paprika, allspice, coriander, dill, black pepper) in a small bowl or cup and set aside.

Meanwhile, sauté carrots, onion and garlic with olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Once soft, add spices and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Add broth, zucchini, and eggplant, cover and simmer on medium for 10 minutes.

While the zucchini and eggplant cook, mix eggs, Parmesan, yogurt, and black pepper for topping in a small/medium bowl and set aside.

Add tomatoes, cooked quinoa (or meat), and honey and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, covered, until vegetables are just tender.

Pour into casserole dish and spread yogurt topping over stew.  (If your pan is oven safe, skip a step and pour the yogurt topping right over stew in the pan you’re cooking in.)

Place in preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes, until topping is set.  Sprinkle with a generous amount of parsley and serve.

Inspired by: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/11/health/nutrition/11recipehealth.html?ref=kale

Greek Style Lemon Potatoes

Ingredients:

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups vegetable broth

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss all ingredients together in a baking dish and bake one hour, or until potatoes are fork tender.

 

 


Breakfast Beets with Yogurt - The Clean Gourmet

Breakfast Beets with Yogurt

This is the sweet breakfast for savory breakfast fans, but a healthier, yet satisfying alternative for those who prefer a sugary start to their day.

Personally, I don’t tolerate much sugar, including fruit, first thing in the morning, but beets have a low/moderate effect on blood sugar (a.k.a. glycemic load).

If you exercise often, then I highly recommend regularly incorporating beets into your diet, as they’ve been shown to aid in muscle recovery, thereby boosting future performance.

For a dairy-free version, replace the yogurt with a drizzle of cold-pressed flaxseed oil.

Breakfast Beets with Yogurt

Serves 2

Ingredients:

3 medium beets, steamed until tender and cut into quarters

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

1 teaspoon unhulled sesame seeds

Juice of 1 lemon

⅛ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup whole Greek yogurt (dairy-free version: 1 tablespoon cold-pressed flaxseed oil)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Chopped toasted nuts and seeds (pictured: pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds)

What to do:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve immediately.


Quinoa Pilaf with Strawberries, Jalapeño and Mint

Quinoa Pilaf with Strawberries, Jalapeño and Mint - The Clean Gourmet Strawberry season ends quickly after it arrives, so when it’s here I try to enjoy strawberries in every way possible- sweet or savory.  This salad is probably my favorite way to enjoy them.  A hint of jalapeño for kick, pistachio for crunch and the tang of lime and mint perfectly round out the strawberries.  I do recommend chilling a bottle of white wine before you get this going… Since quinoa is a complete protein, as well as a source of low glycemic carbohydrates, and the nuts/feta provides fat, this dish qualifies as a complete meal on it’s own or as a satisfying accompaniment to lean proteins or grilled vegetables. I’ve provided detailed instructions on how to get fluffy pilaf-style quinoa.  If you aren’t a perfectionist or are in a hurry, feel free to cook the quinoa as you normally would.

Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa

1 3/4 cups hot water

sea salt

1/2 quart strawberries, small/medium dice (I like to quarter a few for presentation 🙂 )

1 shallot, fine dice/mince

1 jalapeño pepper, fine dice/mince

handful fresh mint, chiffonade

handful fresh parsley, basil or tarragon, finely chopped

zest and juice of 1 lime (a little more than a tablespoon of juice)

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for kale

4 cups baby kale, or cut lacinato kale

fresh lemon juice, for kale

2 ounces goat cheese or feta, crumbled

1/4 cup whole pistachios

What to do: Rinse quinoa to remove the bitter-soapy coating called saponin (unless your quinoa says “pre-washed”).  Drain thoroughly and toast in 1.5 quart saucepan until dry and starting to smell toasty.  Pour in hot water and a pinch of sea salt, stir and cover.  Reduce heat to low and cook about 15 minutes, until a fork scraping the bottom shows no water.  Turn off heat and let steam, covered, for 10 minutes and then uncovered for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and you’ve got perfect quinoa! Perfect Quinoa for Pilafs - The Clean Gourmet While the quinoa cools begin to prep other ingredients. Add strawberries, shallot, jalapeño, herbs, olive oil, lime zest/juice and a pinch of salt to quinoa and toss gently.  In a medium bowl, toss kale with a little olive oil, lemon and salt.  Top with quinoa mixture and garnish with pistachios and goat cheese.  Here you can either serve it nice and pretty with strawberry quarters and a little mint or just mix it all together. Strawberry, Mint and Jalapeno Quinoa Pilaf - The Clean Gourmet


Radish Top and Parsley Stem Pesto (Pesto di Cime di Ravanelli e Gambi di Prezzemolo)

No waste!  It’s satisfying to make a meal out of what is so often thrown away, especially one that tastes really good:).  All those green leaves attached to organic radishes and flavorful parsley stems should not be bound for the garbage!  I am all for “whole foods” cooking*, which means eating entire entities for optimal nutrition, and this recipe is no exception.

I use less oil than most people use when making pestos, as the oil can dilute flavor, make the pesto too runny and, not to mention, it’s expensive!.  Also, I prefer to get a greater proportion of fats from whole sources.  That means olives instead of olive oil, walnuts instead of walnut oil, etc.  This is because eating foods in their naturally occurring state promotes balanced nutrition.  When you eat a whole walnut, for example, you have a balance of fiber, oil and vitamins/minerals.  Eating walnut oil, on the other hand, just gives you the fat, which has been treated by manufacturing with heat, fissure, etc.  With theses processes, the oil’s delicate healthy chemical compounds (a.k.a. “phytonutrients”) have likely been destroyed or altered.

To clarify, I understand the need to use oils and other slightly processed items in cooking to make food taste good, but it’s best to use these in moderation and try to use their whole alternatives where possible.

This pesto is vegan, but you wouldn’t know it!  Miso and walnuts offer a “cheesy” umami flavor and the umeboshi vinegar and lemon give some salty tang.  It’s kind of addictive, actually.

*If you’re interested in the theory behind “whole foods” nutrition, I suggest reading “Food and Healing” by Annemarie Colbin.

What you need:

90 grams (about 2 bunches, picked over) radish tops, well rinsed

12 grams (about 3 cloves) garlic, minced

60 grams (one bunch) parsley stems, rinsed and torn

10 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) yellow or chickpea miso

70 grams (3/4 cup) walnuts

1 1/2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) black pepper

23 grams (2 teaspoons) lemon juice

15-20 grams (3-4 teaspoons) umeboshi vinegar

45 grams (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil

What to do:

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and run until smooth.  Store in fridge or serve immediately with pasta or other grain, spread on a sandwich or add a dollop to soup.

Radish Top and Parsley Stem Pesto (L) - The Clean Gourmet

Pesto di Cime di Ravanelli e Gambi di Prezzemolo:

Cosa serve:

90 grammi (circa 2 grappoli) di cime di ravanelli, ben sciacquate

12 grammi (circa 3 spicchi) d’aglio, tritato

60 grammi (un grappolo) di gambi di prezzemolo, sciacquati e strappati a grandi pezzi

10 grammi (1 1/2 cucchiaini) di miso giallo

70 grammi di noci

1 1/2 grammi (1/2 cucchiaino) di pepe nero

23 grammi (2 cucchiaini) di succo di limone

15-20 grammi (3-4 cucchiaini) di aceto d’umeboshi

45 grammi (60 millilitri) di olio extra vergine d’oliva

Cosa fare:

Mettete tutti gli ingredienti nel frullatore o nel robot da cucina e fate frullare finché non abbia una consistenza cremosa.  Conservate in frigo o servite subito con della pasta o altri cereali, su un panino o mettete un goccio nella zuppa.


White Root and Pear Soup (Zuppa di Radici Bianche e Pera)

This soup is all about fall.  Right now, I am all about fall so this soup makes me happy.  I just spent the weekend in upstate New York among friends and we did all the quintessential fall stuff: apple picking, walks through the fall foliage, sitting by a wood-burning stove and making apple pie.  Fun as it was, by Sunday I was ready again for balance.  That means meals that are nutrient dense with low oil, light protein and complex carbs.  That does not mean, however, no yum.  Luckily when I came home I had some good produce in my fridge that came together really nicely.

The celeriac, turnips and pears are low starch, but have enough to make the soup creamy when blended.  I used light homemade chicken broth- just some chicken bones, celery leaves, garlic, onion and thyme.  If you use vegetable broth, make sure to use one that doesn’t have tomato added to it, not only because of its flavor, but because of its color as well.  I added tomatillos because they become citrusy when cooked, which meant I wouldn’t need to add lemon.  However, if you can’t get your hands on tomatillos, a little lemon juice at the end should be perfect.  I used two Seckel pears, which are small green and red pears that become very sweet and soft when fully ripe.  If you can’t find Seckel pears, Comice is a good substitute.  Fully ripe pears are key for flavor, as well as for lending texture to the soup.

White Root and Pear Soup (M) - The Clean Gourmet

A note on nutrition: It’s important to eat a variety of colors for optimal nutrition.  White is part of that nutritional “rainbow”.  There are nutrients in white produce, such as quercitin in pears, vitamin C and calcium in turnips, vitamin B-6 and magnesium in celeriac, not to mention plenty of fiber.  I could go on.  Basically, you should eat all the colors, including white (I know…white is not a color, but you get what I mean).

Everything in this soup is seasonal and can be purchased at your farmer’s market (at least here in the Northeast).  If you use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, this soup is very vegan friendly.

Serves 3-4

What you need:

1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil (can sub half with grass-fed butter)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks

1 medium head celeriac (5-6 inches in diameter), peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

4 medium turnips, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

5 cups chicken stock or light vegetable broth

1/4 head green cabbage, light inner leaves, cut into 1 inch chunks

3 tomatillos*, quartered

2 Seckel or 1 Comice pear, well-ripened, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (reserve half for serving)

3 sprigs thyme

To serve:

5 leaves sage, very finely chopped

freshly ground black pepper

eggs, medium boiled (1 per person)

100% rye bread slices, toasted

grass-fed butter, for bread (optional)

What to do:

Sweat garlic and shallot in oil with salt over medium heat in a medium/large pot or dutch oven.  Stir frequently and cook until soft but not brown (lower heat if any browning begins to occur), about 3 minutes.

Add the celery, celeriac and turnips.  Sauté 4-5 minutes to soften the celery and the root vegetables.  Add some water (or white wine, if you have it!) if any browning or sticking begins to occur.

Add stock, cabbage, tomatillos, half the pear and thyme sprigs.  Cover, bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove thyme sprigs and transfer soup to blender.  Start on LOW speed, then gradually raise to high speed and let run until very smooth.  (Thirty seconds with a Vitamix or high-speed blender, about a minute with a regular blender.)  Transfer soup back to the pot and re-warm over low heat while you prep to serve.  Adjust for salt (*and add lemon juice if you didn’t use tomatillos).

Ladle soup into bowls, top with remaining pear chunks, black pepper and a sprinkling of minced sage.  Serve with rye bread and a light smear of grass-fed butter for omega-3s and drop in a medium-boiled egg for protein, aminos and more omega-3 if you’re not vegan.

Leftovers: This soup will last about three days in the refrigerator, but it will thicken.  Reconstitute with a little water and reheat over medium-low flame, stirring frequently.

White Root and Pear Soup (M) - The Clean Gourmet

Zuppa di Radici Bianche e Pera:

3-4 porzioni

Ingredienti:

1 cucchiaio di olio d’oliva (potete sostituire metà col burro)

1/2 cucchiaino di sale marino, più altro a piacere

2 spicchi d’aglio, tritati

1 scalogno, tritato

1 gambo di sedano, tagliato a pezzi

1 sedano rapa media, pelato e tagliato a cubetti

4 rape medie, pelate e tagliate a cubetti

1,25 litri di brodo di pollo o di verdura leggero (sennò usate dell’acqua)

1/4 del cespo d’un cavolo verde

3 tomatillo, tagliati a quarti (*oppure del succo di limone fresco)

2 pere Seckel oppure 1 pera Comice, tagliate a cubetti (tenete da parte metà dei cubetti)

3 ramoscelli di timo

Per servire:

5 foglie di salvia, tritate

pepe nero

uova sode (uno a testa)

fette di pane integrale di segale (100%), tostate

burro grass-fed, per il pane (secondo la vostra dieta)

Cosa fare:

Saltare in una pentola media/grande l’aglio e lo scalogno nell’olio col sale su fiamma media.  Agitate frequentemente e fate cuocere finché non siano teneri (attenti a non far rosolare), circa tre minuti.

Aggiungete il sedano, il sedano rapa e le rape.  Fateli cuocere altri 4-5 minuti per far ammorbidire le verdure.  Aggiungete un pò d’acqua (o di vino bianco, se ne avete!) se comincino ad attaccare al fondo della pentola.

Aggiungete il brodo, il cavolo, i tomatillo, metà della pera tagliata ed i ramoscelli di timo.  Coprite, fate bollire, poi abbassate il fuoco e lasciate sobbollire finché la verdura non sia morbida, circa 15 minuti.

Togliete il timo e trasferite la minestra al frullatore.  Fatelo andare prima a velocità bassa, alzandola pianamente a velocità alta.  Fatelo andare finché la zuppa non sia liscissima.  (Circa 30 secondi col frullatore potente, 1 minuto col frullatore normale.)  Trasferite la zuppa alla pentola e riscaldatela a fuoco basso mentre preparate per servire.  Aggiustate il sale (*e aggiungete del succo di limone se non avete usato del tomatillo).

Servite la zuppa e guarnite con la pera rimasta, del pepe nero e la salvia tritata.  Se non siete vegani, spalmate le fette di pane col burro grass-fed per omega-3 e aggiungeteci un uovo sodo per proteine, aminoacidi ed altre omega-3.

Per le rimaste:  Questa zuppa dura circa tre giorni in frigo, ma s’addensa.  Ricostituitela con un pò d’acqua e riscaldatela sul fuoco medio-basso, agitando frequentemente.

White Root and Pear Soup - The Clean Gourmet


Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

I was blessed with these gorgeous zucchini blossoms, thanks to my mom’s contractor, who happens to have three acres in upstate Connecticut and, apparently, plenty of zucchini plants.  Just because winter is coming doesn’t mean beautiful produce ends.

I usually like to toss squash blossoms into saffron risotto at the end of cooking.  However, with such a big bag of blossoms I felt I had enough that I could do some experimenting.  I knew I wanted to try stuffing them, but usually that includes a breadcrumb filling followed by deep frying.  I wanted to make them gluten free and definitely not fried, as I prefer to avoid heating oils to such high levels.

This combo seems to straddle summer and fall, with herbs like basil, mint and thyme, heavily sprinkled into a mixture of goat cheese, lemon and sweet potato.

This is a beta-carotene-filled snack, thanks to the orange petals and the sweet potatoes.  Also, the fresh herbs have highly concentrated amounts of phytochemicals, which ward off viruses and other more serious ailments.  In particular, mint is known to calm digestion, which especially important for those who struggle with IBS.  Also, basil is an especially powerful anti-inflammatory, which is key for those who suffer from arthritis or other joint pain.  In addition, the oils in thyme are shown to be highly antimicrobial, which means consuming more thyme helps fight bad bacteria so you don’t get sick as easily.  Sounds better than that multivitamin, no?

You definitely want to serve these nutritional tasties immediately while hot, as they lose their texture a bit as they sit and the petals lose their crisp.  I think they’re great alone, but you could serve with a mildly flavored dipping sauce as an appetizer or top a salad or risotto with them.


Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

What you need:

2 medium/large sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks

1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil, plus more for drizzling

11-15 zucchini blossoms, stamens removed

4 ounces soft goat cheese

5 sprigs fresh thyme, picked

1/3 cup fresh mint, finely chopped (plus more, very thinly sliced, for serving)

1/2 cup basil leaves, finely chopped

one lemon, zested and juiced (about 1 tablespoon of juice)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

salt, to taste

2 eggs, lightly whipped

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toss sweet potato chunks with oil and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet.

While sweet potatoes roast, mix together goat cheese, thyme leaves, mint, basil, lemon zest and lemon juice in a medium bowl.

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

When sweet potatoes are crisp-tender (about 20 minutes), put in bowl with goat cheese mixture and mash together with a fork.  Taste for lemon, salt and pepper.  Adjust as needed and add eggs.  Mix well.

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

Line the same baking sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment and lightly grease with oil.

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

Using a small spoon, scoop the goat cheese-sweet potato mixture into blossoms (it’s okay if they split, just wrap the petals around the stuffing) and arrange on prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle with oil and bake for about 20 minutes, until they’re beginning to brown and crisp.  They will also be nice and puffy :).

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

Sprinkle with thinly sliced mint and serve alone or with a dipping sauce.  I like my Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce ;).

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

Downloadable/Printable Version


Herbed Quinoa and Kale Casserole (Casseruola di Quinoa e Cavolo Nero alle Erbe)

This is what I make when I need to whip up something quick during the week.  We always have quinoa, alliums (i.e. onions, garlic, leeks, etc.) and eggs, and the kale can be swapped with another vegetable such as, zucchini, spinach or eggplant.  The one thing you should not swap is the white quinoa for other varieties (trust me, I’ve tried it.  There’s something about the fluffiness of the white quinoa that holds together and tastes much better in this than the red and black varieties), but feel free to play with the seasonings as well!

Herbs and Parmesan lend plenty of savory “umami” to this dish, so it’s a vegetarian (though not vegan) meal that your carnivorous friends will love too.  A dash of cayenne not only tastes great, but warms you up and strengthens those lungs and  blood vessels…perfect for battling nasty winter viruses.

Serves 4-6 

Ingredients:

grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil, for the baking dish

For the vegetables:

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 head Tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

2/3 cup white wine (or broth)

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the quinoa:

1 cup raw WHITE quinoa, rinsed and cooked in 1 cup broth + 1 cup water

1 1/2  teaspoons garlic powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp dried ground thyme

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling

2 large eggs, beaten

cayenne, to serve

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 2 quart baking dish (preferably with grapeseed oil, due to its high flash point).

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium-to-large pot and add the onion, garlic, carrot and rosemary.  Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about five minutes.  Add the bell pepper, cook for about a minute, and add the white wine.  Add the kale, cover, and cook for 3-5 minutes, allowing the leaves to wilt and get relatively tender (do not overcook).  Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from the heat.

Fold spices, parsley and Parmesan into cooked quinoa.  Add to cooked vegetables.

Fold the eggs into the vegetable and quinoa mixture.  Scrape into the greased baking dish (don’t smooth top if you like browned peaks, which I recommend), sprinkle with parmesan and place in oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top is golden.

Serve while hot with a dash of cayenne!

Herbed Quinoa and Kale Casserole - The Clean Gourmet

Casseruola di Quinoa e Cavolo Nero alle Erbe:

4-6 porzioni

Ingredienti:

olio di vinacciolo o extra vergine d’oliva, per ungere

Per la verdura:

2 cucchiaini d’olio extra vergine d’oliva

1 cipolla gialla, spezzettata

4 spicchi d’aglio, tritati

1 grappolo di cavolo nero, tagliato coi gambi buttati

1 peperone rosso, spezzettato

1 carota media, pelata e affettata

2 cucchiaini di rosmarino fresco tritato

175 ml di vino bianco (o di brodo)

sale e pepe, a piacere

Per la quinoa:

170 grammi di quinoa bianca, sciacquata e cotta in 250 ml di brodo + 250 ml d’acqua

1 1/2  cucchiaini d’aglio in polvere, 1/2 cucchiaino di pepe nero, 1/2 cucchiaino di sale, 1/2 cucchiaino di timo in polvere

piccola manciata di prezzemolo fresco, tritato

manciata di grana, più dell’altro per spargere

2 uova, sbattute

peperoncino di Caienna, per servire

Cosa Fare:

Riscaldate il forno a 200 gradi e ungete una teglia da forno da 2 litri (preferibilmente con olio di vinacciolo, dato il punto di fuoco alto).

Riscaldate una pentola media-grande con l’olio d’oliva e aggiungete la cipolla, l’aglio, la carota ed il rosmarino.  Fateli cuocere, agitando spesso, finché le verdura non sia tenera (circa 5 minuti).  Quindi, uniteci il peperone, fate cuocere circa un minuto, e aggiungete il vino bianco.  Unite il cavolo rosso, coprite e fate cuocere per 3-5 minuti, facendolo avvizzire e tenerizzare (non scuocere però!).  Insaporite con sale e pepe, a piacere.  Spegnete il fuoco.

Incorporate le spezie, il prezzemolo ed il grana con la quinoa cotta.  Unite con la verdura cotta.

Mettete le uova insieme alla miscela di verdura e quinoa e mischiate, ma non troppo.  Versate tutto dentro la teglia da forno (non spianate se vi piacciono dei picchi rosolati, che consiglio fortemente), spargete con dell’altro grana grattugiato ed infornate.  Fate cuocere per 15-20 minuti, finché non sia rosolata.

Servite caldo con un pizzico di peperoncino di Caienna!

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Oat and Flax Pancakes with Spiced Apple Compote

My family and I wanted a festive way to end the Thanksgiving holiday that didn’t involve wheat or a ton of saturated fat, especially after all of the heavy, inflammatory food and drink of the holidays.  Also, there was a bag of flax in the fridge that I wanted to use up as flax, unlike chia, is very perishable and should not be used more than a few months after it’s been purchased.  These old stand-bys are wheat-free (and gluten-free if you use gluten-free oat flour) and full of fiber and omegas, thanks to the ground flaxseed and nutrient-rich oil, and so they called my name.

Alone, these pancakes have a slightly nutty taste, which makes them a tasty canvas for adding different toppings according to the seasons.  To add an autumnal twist, I whipped up a spiced apple compote, which was perfect.

If the apple compote alone is not sweet enough for your pancakes, a drizzle of grade B maple syrup, which is more nutrient-dense and flavorful than grade A, is a good way to sweeten things up.  I also suggest swapping out the saturated fat for protein by using a creamy dollop of 2% Greek yogurt in place of butter.

I hope you enjoy this decadent, yet healthful way to end the fall!

Serves 6

For the Spiced Apple Compote:

Ingredients:

3 apples, cored and chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice or cider vinegar

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons cinnamon

5 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons maple syrup, preferably grade B

What to do:

Oat and Flax Pancakes with Spiced Apple Compote - The Clean Gourmet

Place all ingredients in a small-medium pot, cover and bring to a gentle boil.  Once bubbling, reduce heat to low and tilt lid.  Continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes, until apples are soft and liquid has reduced to a syrup.

While the apples simmer, prepare the pancakes:

For the Oat and Flax Pancakes:

Ingredients:

1 cup oat flour (preferably gluten-free)

1/2 cup cold milled flaxseed

1/2 cup potato starch

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

1/4 cup flax, olive or grapeseed oil 

2 cups buttermilk (or 2 cups almond milk with 1 tsp lemon juice)

butter or avocado oil, for cooking

2% Greek yogurt, to serve

grade B maple syrup, to serve

What to do:

In a medium bowl, whisk together oat flour, ground flaxseed, potato starch, baking powder, and cinnamon.

Oat and Flax Pancakes with Spiced Apple Compote - The Clean Gourmet

In a separate large bowl, beat eggs with whisk.  Next, add sugar and oil and whisk well to make fluffy.  Finally, add buttermilk or almond milk-lemon mixture.  Whisk until frothy.

Oat and Flax Pancakes with Spiced Apple Compote - The Clean Gourmet

Pour dry ingredients into the large bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until just combined (do NOT overmix- a few flour clumps are fine).  Don’t worry if the batter seems thin.

Oat and Flax Pancakes with Spiced Apple Compote - The Clean Gourmet

Heat a large pan or skillet over medium heat for five minutes (yes, five minutes) to ensure thorough heating.  In the meantime, let the batter stand.  The ground flaxseed will congeal and cause the batter to thicken a bit.

Oat and Flax Pancakes with Spiced Apple Compote - The Clean Gourmet

Pour 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil in the pan and swirl to cover.  Grab a 1/4 cup measure or ladle and use it to scoop drops of batter into the pan.  Once each drop of batter is bubbling (about 2 minutes), flip and cook for another minute or two.

Serve pancakes immediately or place in a 200F degree oven on a cooling rack placed on top of a baking sheet.  Top pancakes with apple compote, yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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Mushroom and Tempeh-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cider Glaze

I love fall.  I mean, look at it:

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cider Glaze - The Clean Gourmet

This is the first east coast fall I’ve had in six years, so I’ve been especially excited to cook with the seasons and have stocked up on various winter squashes from the local orchard.

This recipe might have more ingredients than the average person will cook with on a Wednesday night, but I highly recommend it for a healthy Sunday dinner.  The five-grain tempeh and mushrooms take the place of meat in this stuffing and the cider not only helps cook the squash, but creates a nice autumnal glaze.  Also, feel free to reduce the amount of rice to 1/2 cup (uncooked) if you’re carbohydrate paranoid.

I served this with a salad comprised of: red romaine, orange bell pepper, jicama, red onion, pomegranate and feta with balsamic-mustard vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

For the squash:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 acorn squashes, halved and seeds removed

2/3 cup apple cider

For the stuffing:

1 cup brown/wild rice mix, cooked in 2 cups light vegetable or chicken broth

2 teaspoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 ounces shiitake or oyster mushrooms, sliced into 1/4-inch strips

3 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2 packages 5-grain tempeh, crumbled

1/4 cup sage leaves, minced (or 1/2 tsp dried ground)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced (or 1/4 tsp dried ground)

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 bunch kale, destemmed and thinly sliced

1/2 cup parsley, minced

1/3 cup apple cider

1/3 cup raw pecan halves, roughly crumbled

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

salt and pepper

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Pour olive oil and apple cider in the bottom of a high-lipped pan or baking dish.  Arrange squash cut side down and bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the rice in the broth and begin to make the vegetable-tempeh mixture.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook for about one minute.  Just as the garlic begins to brown, add mushrooms.  Stir a few times, but allow time in between stirs for the mushrooms to brown.

After about two minutes, add the celery, tempeh, sage and thyme.  Brown for about a minute, add wine (or broth) and cook for another three minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.

Add kale, parsley and apple cider.  Cover again and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Uncover and mix in the cooked rice, pecans, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust for herbs and spices, adding more, if needed.

Take squash out of oven and flip, cavity side up.  Stuff generously with vegetable-tempeh mixture and serve immediately with a generous helping of fresh salad.

….Oh and meet my east coast dog:

Oreo