Sunday, November 18, 2012

Apple Butternut Squash Soup Just in Time for Thanksgiving!!


Ahhhhh, Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  For those of you who haven’t gone shopping for your Turkey Day feast, here is a great recipe for you.  And surprise surprise – no turkey here.  I enjoy the fixins but not any of that fake turkey stuff.  Staying away from the over processed products as much as I can.  I have my weaknesses (fakin), but I can do without the other “look like meat” products. 

Add this great Apple Butternut Squash Soup with the special ingredient of red lentils.  When the red lentils are pureed with the soup you can’t even tell they are in there.  Plus, they don’t need to be soaked because they are so small.  By roasting the squash instead of boiling it, a layer of complexity and a sweet caramelization develops.

This soup is chock full of nutrients and a great cold buster.  Butternut squash is super high in Vitamin A and pretty substantial in Vitamin C, Manganese, and Potassium.  It is also a good source of Vitamin E, bunch of B’s, Calcium and Magnesium.  The apples add even more Vitamin C and fiber.  Red lentils add more fiber, protein, Folate, Iron, Copper, and Manganese.  Ginger is great for digestion, cold prevention, migraine relief, and pain and inflammation.  Nutmeg is good for brain stimulation, pain relief, indigestion and cleansing.  I didn’t know this soup was so beneficial!!!

Also check out our previous blogs for additional information and recipes for the fall:

Grab the ingredients at the grocery store when you go out and give your friends and family a treat for Thanksgiving!!


Apple Butternut Squash Soup

Olive Oil Sprayer
1t Olive oil
2 Apples, medium, chopped, peeled optional
3/4c Onions, chopped
1t Ginger, fresh grated
1/2t Nutmeg
1/4t Ground red pepper
2c Vegetable broth
6c Water
1c Red lentils
3c Butternut squash, 1” cubes, peeled optional
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray a baking sheet with the olive oil and place the cubed butternut squash in a single layer.  Spray with more olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss.  Roast for about 30 minutes tossing after 15 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, prepare the remaining ingredients.  Add 1 t olive oil to pot.  Add the chopped onions and apples.  When soft, add nutmeg, ginger, and red pepper.  Stir.  Wait a minute or so until you can smell the spices come alive and fragrant.  Add broth, lentils and water.  Simmer for 30 minutes. 

Remove squash from oven and add to simmering soup.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Puree in blender or using a stick blender.  Be careful as the soup is HOT.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with fresh ginger and nutmeg.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 8, about 1 cup each
Level of difficulty - Intermediate.

3 pp

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Amaretto Ricotta Parfait Recipe


Summer fruits make great parfaits. I love the flavor, lightness, and the touch of sweetness of ricotta cheese and wanted to use it in a parfait instead of yogurt or whippe
Amaretto Ricotta Parfaitd cream.  By using a non fat ricotta, we are eliminating any fat woes.  It has as much protein as Greek yogurt although half as much calcium and not nearly as sour. In the US, it is typically made from cow's milk.  In Italy, however, it could be made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats and even water buffalo.  The protein from the whey that is cooked to create the ricotta.  It is not that difficult to make.  Who knows, maybe a TVeg future adventure.
Print the recipe, prepare the dish and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"


Berries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  These fruits do fall into the dirty dozen of buying organic because of the amount of pesticides often used, especially strawberries. Review our article from last September: To Be or Not to Be Organic 

This is another fun texture and taste bud recipe.  The creaminess from the ricotta.  The nutty sweetness from the amaretto.  Sweet and tart combinations from the berries in conjunction with their varying degrees of firmness. The ricotta gives me the satisfaction as if I am eating a cannoli. Add a little chocolate if you so desire! 


Amaretto Ricotta Berry Parfait 

Ricotta Cheese 
1-15 oz container fat-free ricotta cheese (substitute low-fat if you cannot find fat-free)
1T Amaretto
Fruit
2 cup assortment of cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries, boysenberries, and strawberries.  Pitted, washed and cut into bite size pieces.


Whip or puree the ricotta cheese and amaretto until lighter and fluffier for about 4 minutes. 
In parfait dishes or bowls, layer the ricotta and fruit using 1/4c ricotta and 1/2c fruit in each serving.  


Serves 4. 
Level of difficutly: Easy
Prep time: 10 minutes.
3PP with recipe builder, 2PP with simple math
Printable Amaretto Ricotta Summer Fruit Parfait







Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fakin' Aspragus Recipe

Mock comfort food + something healthy = Fakin' Asparagus!!!

It is the fantastic combination of smoky, salty, crunchy with crisp, clean, caramelized heaven.  Fakin' Asparagus is a great appetizer especially in the spring and early summer when asparagus is in season.  I wanted to get the recipe out before they were out of season.  Remember to check out That's Vegetarian Eating What's in Season for valuable resources on seasonal foods by locale.  

I use Morningstar Farms Bacon Strips because they are the closest to the bacon essence. They are very similar to the salad topping Bacos, which are vegetarian as well.  They are also lower in fat, cholesterol and calories.

Baked Pork Bacon
Baked Pork Bacon        
Morningstar Farm Bacon Strips
Morningstar Farms Bacon Strips
Bacon - Almost 2xs the calories & fat;  50% more sodium; less fiber, iron & calcium. However, bacon does have 3x's as much protein.  
The serving size of bacon is half of the fakin on the right. Double amounts on left when comparing.



Let me now redeem my recipe with the facts about asparagus.  It is low in sodium to balance out the sodium of the fakin'.  It contains many minerals and vitamins including potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamins A, C, E, K, and an entire slew of the B family.  

Fakin' Asparagus is a fun appetizer that has a comfy feel to it.  Try it now while the asparagus is still in season.

Watch the video, print the recipe, prepare any one of the dishes and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"



FAKIN' ASPARAGUS RECIPE


1 Box Morningstar Farms Bacon Strips
36-72 Asparagus spearsFakin' Asparagus
1/4 c Fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved (opt)

Defrost the Morningstar Farms Bacon Strips for at least 1 hour to increase ease of handling.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Break the ends of the asparagus stalks by holding at the blunt end and a 1/4 of the way down from the tip. This will allow the asparagus to break at the best point to eliminate any excessive fibrous ends. Spray baking dish with olive oil, place rinsed trimmed asparagus in pan, sprinkle with pepper and toss in pan. Bake at 400F for 5 minutes, 4 if the stalks are thin.

Remove the asparagus and let cool for about 5 minutes, until they are at a comfortable temperature for handling.

Fakin' Asparagus Video
Fakin' Asparagus Video
Grab 2-4 stalks of asparagus all facing the same direction and one MF bacon strip. Wrap the asparagus with the fakin from the tip down on an angle slightly overlapping. Place in the same baking dish with the edge of the fakin closest to the bottom of the spear face down on the pan to prevent it from unraveling.

Bake at 400F for about 4 minutes, until the strips have browned. Watch closely as they brown quickly since they are defrosted. Remove from oven once lightly browned.

Cool for about 5 minutes and enjoy.


Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 5 minutes for asparagus, 4-5 minutes for wrapped asparagus
Serving size: 3 pieces
Serves 6

Level of difficulty - easy.

3pp with or without the cheese because there is so little.
Fakin' Asparagus Printable Recipe

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beans Beans Glorious Beans!!


Beans have been around since the beginning of civilization­­­. They have been found in the mid-East, Himalayan foothills, Egyptian tombs, Europe and the Americas. Beans are also referred to as pulse and legumes. Some seeds and pods of plants are called beans, such as vanilla, coffee, and cacao, because of their resemblance. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to the name-calling. There are numerous documentations to their use all over the world for centuries upon centuries. Beans are great to use now because they are such an economical, low fat, low cholesterol protein source packed with essential nutrients.

Certain types of dried beans contain toxins and must be removed by soaking and cooking. Red kidney, runner, castor and soya are the most common. If you are using canned varieties, you are fine, they are already cooked. If you are going to soak and cook these varieties of beans, choose using the stovetop method instead of a slow cooker. Bringing them to a boil for a period of time will help better remove the toxins. Certain cultures decided to ferment the beans as a method of getting rid or the toxins especially soy, i.e. tempeh. Some people will even avoid eating soy unless it has been fermented. Edamame, which are fresh young s
Beans
oybeans do not fall into this category; steam or boil them and you are good to go. 

Then the flatulence issue. It is caused by the increased fiber in our systems and a sugar in the beans for which we don't have the enzyme to assist in the digestion process. There are a few ways to help with the gas issue: change the water frequently when soaking dried beans, scrape the foam off the top as the beans cook, cook the beans with kombu or epazote, use the canned variety instead, drink more water, and lastly Beano which helps with the missing enzyme.

The easiest way to know how long to soak and cook dried beans is to read the bag. If you are buying bulk, here is a quick list. I prefer cooking dried beans on the stovetop vs. pressure cooker (fastest way) or slow cooker (easiest way) because I can monitor how done they are through the cooking process. I don't like mushy beans. I prefer them a little firmer especially if I will be using them in a recipe in which they will be cooked more.

The soaking ratio: 1 pound dried beans to 10 cups water. The longer you soak, the shorter the cooking time.
  • Longest soak - Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours.
  • A little less time - Boil 10 cups of water. Add 1 pound of beans. Return to a boil. Remove from heat. Set aside for 2-3 hours at room temperature tightly covered.
  • Still less time - Boil 10 cups of water. Add 1 pound of beans. Return to a boil for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside for 1 hour at room temperature tightly covered.
  • Perhaps to help with a little less gas - Try the "Still less time" method but set aside at room temperature overnight. Or change the soaking water once or twice on the longest soak.

Before cooking the beans, rinse them. Cover the beans with three times as much water. Bring to a boil then simmer. Start checking at about 45 minutes. Cook until your desired texture. Lentils, split peas, and black-eyed peas don't require any soaking.

Let's turn focus to the numerous varieties of beans, their nutrition facts, and typical uses all in one easy place. Beans are an amazing source of protein and low in cholesterol, which makes them a superb alternative to meat. Beans contain folate, calcium, iron, and potassium too. The USDA recommends that adults eat more than three cups of beans each week for maximum health benefits. All the items in the list are 1/2 c cooked unless otherwise indicated.

Healthy Bean List
Calories
Protein (g)
Fat (g)
Carbs (g)
Fiber (g)
Adzuki (Field peas, Red oriental): soups, sweet bean paste, Asian dishes
147
9
0
28
8
Anasazi (Jacob's cattle, Cave, Aztec): soups, southwestern dishes, in lieu of pinto beans
150
10
0.5
29
9
Baked
119
6
0.5
26
5
Black (Turtle): soups, stews, rice dishes, Latin American cuisines, dips
113
8
0.5
22
7.6
Black-Eyed (Cowpeas, Crowder, Southern): salads, casseroles, fritters, Southern dishes,
99
6.6
0.5
18
5.5
Cranberry (Borlotti, Roman): Bean salad, pasta
120
8
0.4
21.7
8.8
Edamame (young soybeans): snacks, salads, casseroles, rice dishes
65
6
2.8
5
2.9
Fava (Broad, Horse): stews, side dishes, falafel
93
6.5
0.4
16.5
4.6
Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Ceci): casseroles, hummus, soups, Spanish and Indian dishes, falafel
134
7
2.2
22.5
6
Great Northern: baked beans, soups
104
7
0.4
19
6
Green Beans - fresh: Salads, stews, soups
22
1
0.2
5
2
Kidney (red or white - Cannellini): stews, salads, chili, rice dishes
112
8
0.4
20
7
Lentil: soups, stews, salads, side dishes, Indian dishes
115
9
0.4
20
7.8
Lima (Butter, Madagascar): succotash, casseroles, soups, salads
108
7.3
0.4
20
6.6
Mung: Indian dishes, stews, soup
106
7
0.4
19
7.7
Navy (Yankee, Boston, Fagiloi): salads, soups, baked beans
129
7.5
0.6
23.5
9.5
Pinto: refried beans, Mexican dishes, soups, stews, beans and rice
122
7.7
0.6
22.4
7.7
Purple Beans - (like green beans in a purple skin): cooked as a side, salads, soups, stews, raw
22
1
0.2
5
2
Pink: soups, stews, chili, refried beans
126
7.5
0.4
24
4.5
Runner Beans - (usually eat them when they are young and green)
22
1.2
0
5
2
Snake Beans (yardlong bean, similar to a green bean) (100g)
95
3
0
2
4
Soybean: as tofu, stews, casseroles
127
11
6
10
3.8
Split Peas: soup
116
8
0.4
20.7
8
White includes Navy, Cannellini, and Great Northern. See above.
127
8
0.6
23.1
9.3
Yellow (Peruano, Canary)
127
8.1
1.0
22.3
9.2

Have fun trying to incorporate more beans into your diet. Check out these previous That's Vegetarian bean recipes and look forward to some more. Happy tootin'!!!

Some previous TVeg recipes with beans include:

What are you favorite recipes?  Comment below!!

Visit That's Vegetarian's website, blog , and YouTube channel for more information, videos, and recipes!!  You'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"