Creamy White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard

soup-main

I had a huge amount of swiss chard in my kitchen. I was going to turn it into a stir fry, but the wintery weather got the better of me. I decided to come up with a soup recipe that would work with what I had on hand.

swiss-chard-2

My daughter loves spinach in her soup. I had a hunch that the swiss chard would be a good stand-in. So I got to work.

I sauteed some onions and garlic in some olive oil and added in some rosemary and two cans of cannellini beans.

beans

I then added some vegetable broth to the mixture and let it come to a boil. I let the soup simmer on the stove on low for about an hour.

While the bean soup cooked, I worked on the swiss chard. I chopped up some washed swiss chard. Then, I sauteed some shallots and garlic with some salt and pepper. I used lots of garlic. I added the chopped swiss chard to the pan and let that cook for a few minutes. Swiss chard takes about 5 minutes or so to be cooked. Once it was softened, I set it aside for when the soup was done.

swiss-chard-cooking

Once the beans were cooked through, I took out my immersion blender and pureed the soup mixture. I made sure to puree everything, giving it a velvety and creamy texture. Once that was done, I added the swiss chard to the pot.

soup-pot

This soup took about an hour from start to finish. Woot woot! And my daughter approved. She’s my toughest critic!



 

Creamy White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
For the Swiss Chard:
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 big bunch of swiss chard, stems trimmed off, washed and chopped (about 4-5 overflowing cups)
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • additional salt and pepper as needed
Instructions
  1. Start by heating up the olive oil in a medium size soup pot.
  2. Add in the onions and garlic, drained beans, salt, pepper and rosemary and saute another 5-7 minutes.
  3. You want the garlic and onions to soften a bit and get fragrant.
  4. Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and let the mixture simmer.
  6. While the beans cook, work on the swiss chard.
  7. In a large saute pan, heat up the olive oil.
  8. Add in the shallots and the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
  9. Add in the chopped swiss chard, the salt and pepper and stir a bit and let it soften - stirring a every couple of minutes.
  10. The swiss chard process should take about 5-7 minutes.
  11. Turn off the heat and set the swiss chard to the side.
  12. Let the bean soup mixture cook for a total of about an hour. The beans should be pretty soft.
  13. Using your immersion blender, puree the soup completely. The beans will give the soup a very creamy and velvety texture.
  14. Once the soup is pureed, stir in the cooked swiss chard.
  15. Serve and enjoy!

white-bean-soup

Rosemary, Fig & Goat Cheese Latkes

latkes-main

Chanukah starts tomorrow night. It only hit me when I glanced at my calendar on Outlook and it told me that I had to light the first candle on Tuesday.  I stifled a gasp. I’m totally not caught up with holiday preparations. I need to buy Chanukah and Christmas presents. Need to buy presents for my kid’s teachers and therapists. I need to sort out a chanukah party menu. The list goes on. I will breathe after December 23. That’s when I start my staycation.

Chanukah is already in the air though. Even if it hasn’t begun. The Chanukah spirit arrived last week when I made those delicious golden beet latkes. Today, I have another fun Chanukah treat and I’m sure I’ll have some more goodies for you through the holiday.

I’m so excited to share these latkes with you. The idea for these latkes came about one evening when I had some people over for a wine and cheese night. I served an appetizer that had some roasted figs with rosemary and goat cheese on them. As I worked through the flavors, and loved them, I knew these flavors had to become a latke! So here we are today!

I soaked some dried figs in some port wine and brought some goat cheese to room temperature. You can let the figs soak for about 20 minutes, or you can get distracted like I did and keep them soaking for an hour. You want them to soften and plump up. I chopped up the figs along with some shallots and mixed them with the goat cheese. I set that bowl aside.

goat-cheese-and-figsfilling

The potato process needs to happen fast as you want them to keep their light color. I washed and peeled the potatoes. I shredded the potatoes, along with some onion, garlic and more shallots in the food processor using the shredding disc. Next, I rinsed the grated potato mixture and squeezed out all of the liquid.

I placed the mixture in to a large mixing bowl and stirred in some eggs, almond flour, salt, pepper and fresh chopped rosemary.

potato-mixture

Next, I heated up some oil in a large fry pan.

I placed a thin layer of potato mixture in my hand and then placed some fig and goat cheese layer on top of it. You want a decent amount of goat cheese, but make sure that there’s an edge of potato around it. I topped the goat cheese with another thin layer of potatoes. You want the latke to be thin so that it gets crispy and cooked through, but you also want the cheese to shine through. The cheese should be completely covered by the potato mixture.

stuffed-latkes

I fried the latkes until crisp on both sides. The trick with latkes is to place them in the pan and leave them alone until you see the shredded potatoes begin to brown at the edges. The browning will poke through. But don’t peek and don’t flip until you can see that it’s very crisp.

frying-latkes

Drain the finished latkes on a cooling rack over a paper towel lined cookie sheet.

drain-latkes

It’s best to serve fresh. But if you have to make these ahead of time, you can keep them warm in a 250-degree oven.

These latkes are out of this world. Because of the creamy goat cheese with figs inside, you don’t need any sauce or sour cream on top. There’s a huge amount of flavor all packed in to the latke! It’s amazing! My first thought as I sunk my teeth in to the latke was that it was “off the hook!” And I never say that! It was that good though. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!



Rosemary, Fig & Goat Cheese Latkes
 
Author:
Ingredients
Fig & Goat Cheese Filling
  • 7 dried figs
  • 1 cup of port wine or other semi dry red wine
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 oz. goat cheese (chevre)
Latke Blend
  • 4 large red potatoes, washed and peeled nand quartered
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 tbsp. almond flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Soak the figs in the wine for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the figs and chop them finely. In a small bowl, mix the figs with the chopped shallot and goat cheese. Set the bowl aside.
  3. In a food processor fitted with a shredding disc, grate the potatoes, onions, garlic and shallot.
  4. Rinse and drain the grated potato mixture. Squeeze out all of the liquid.
  5. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Mix the rosemary, salt, pepper, egg and flour into the potato mixture.
  7. Heat about a ½ an inch of oil in a large frying pan.
  8. Form the potato mixture in to a small thin patty in your hand and place a tablespoon or so of goat cheese filling in the middle. Cover it with a small thin layer of potato mixture and seal along the edges.
  9. Fry in the oil until browned and crisp on both sides.
  10. Drain on a cooling rack or paper towels.
  11. Enjoy!

latkes-tower

Kale and Butternut Squash Salad

kale-for-top

The first time that kale showed up in my CSA, I was petrified and had no idea what to do with the abundance of curly leafy greens sitting in my kitchen. Ever since then though, I have learned to love kale and all of its applications. While I love kale cooked in dishes like frittata and roasted kale, it’s also great raw, in a salad.

Massaged kale is a great way to eat raw kale. When you massage some kale with a bit of kosher salt, the kale begins to soften and break down pretty quickly. It only takes a few minutes to knead it to perfection.

As you may already know, I love fall veggies. The abundance of greens and gourds make me so happy. I seem to be roasting up squash weekly. The massaged kale pairs very well with the roasted butternut squash. I thought I’d share with you this fantastic salad.

I began by peeling and cubing my butternut squash. I sprinkled it with olive oil, salt, pepper, cloves of garlic and fresh herbs. I then roasted it at 400 for about 40 minutes.

cut-up-squash

While the squash roasted, I washed, trimmed and cut up the kale.

cut-up-kale

I placed the kale in a large mixing bowl and sprinkled some kosher salt over the kale. With my clean hands, I kneaded the kale well. Massaging the kale quickly brought out the water in the kale and broke it down. You will see in the before and after pictures of the kale how much it reduces as you massage it!

kale-before-and-after

I dressed the kale with some chopped shallots, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, ed wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and that yummy roasted squash.

kale-for-top

This salad is so delicious  and keeps well in the fridge for a few days. Hope you enjoy!

Kale and Butternut Squash Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Ingredients
Roasted Butternut Squash
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 5 cloves smashed garlic (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
Kale Salad
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • 2.5 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 1 chopped shallot
Instructions
For the Butternut Squash:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Peel and cube the butternut squash
  3. Toss the squash with olive oil and spread over a baking sheet
  4. Sprinkle over the herbs, salt and pepper
  5. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, checking on the squash and flipping, every 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven once it's browned, but but not overdone. Cool.
For the Kale and Salad:
  1. Wash and trim the kale. Cut away the tough stems.
  2. Chop up the kale and place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Sprinkle some kosher salt over the kale
  4. With you clean hands, knead the salt in to the kale. Knead for about 3-5 minutes. You will see the kale reduce and soften. The moisture will seep out of the kale.
  5. Toss the kale with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  6. Mix in the rest of the salad ingredients, along with the butternut squash.
  7. Enjoy!

kale-salad

Vegan Mushroom Pâté

Vegan Mushroom PateI was fasting the other day in preparation for a test, and all I could think about was bánh mì. I walked by the bánh mì cart near my office and my mouth was salivating. I decided that no matter what, I would be making bánh mì sandwiches for dinner this weekend. A while back, I made some vegan bánh mì here on the blog. From experience though, I knew it was missing something. It was missing the traditional pâté. It adds another layer of flavor to the sandwich and some needed moistness that pairs well with the other ingredients.

This time around, I knew I had to make my own baguettes AND make some pâté. Pâté is traditionally made from pork and chicken liver in these sandwiches. You all know that’s not my style. I’ve had some vegetarian eggplant liver before, but I’m the only one in this house who loves eggplant. I decided to make this amazing spread out of mushrooms and walnuts.

I toasted the walnuts in my cast iron skillet.

Toasting Walnuts for Pate

Then., I sautéed up some mushrooms along with some shallots, garlic, ginger and spices. The smell was already so good.

mushrooms for vegan liver

Once the mushrooms were done, I placed everything in my Cuisinart food processor and processed away.

It came together fast and made a huge difference in our bánh mì sandwiches! This would also be perfect as a dip with crackers or in place of traditional meat liver on shabbat and holidays!

vegan-banh-mi

 

 

Vegan Mushroom Pâté
 
This vegan mushroom pâté goes perfectly with my vegan banh mi sandwiches!
Author:
Recipe type: vegan, dip, spread
Ingredients
  • ¾ raw shelled walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or other neutral oil
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
  • 10 oz. mushrooms - sliced
  • 1 tsp. tamari sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat up your skillet on medium high heat.
  2. Toast the walnuts in the dry skillet for about 3 minutes. You do not want to burn the nuts.
  3. Remove the walnuts from the pan and set aside.
  4. Keep the pan on the heat.
  5. Add the oils to the pan. Let the oil get hot.
  6. Add the shallots, garlic and ginger to the pan. Cook a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook another few minutes. Stir in the tamari, salt and pepper.
  8. Once cooked, turn off the heat.
  9. Place both the walnuts and the mushroom mixture in your food processor and process well. It should be a paste.
  10. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as necessary.
  11. Enjoy!

Vegan Mushroom Pate

 

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

kale-and-mushroom-frittata

Have I ever told you how much I love the summer’s bounty of fresh greens? Between my CSA and my local farmer’s market, I am able to get some amazing fresh and local goodies. It really pushes me to do more with what I have on hand. It also prevents me from reaching for easy and quick processed foods. I love finding new ways to cook with fresh ingredients. I’ve been having some great results.

My mom taught me about frittatas on a visit when I first became a mother. She showed me how a frittata could be the answer to a fast and easy dinner. It comes together quickly and it’s a pretty forgiving dish – allowing you flexibility with ingredients.

I picked up some amazingly fresh kale at the market and I knew I wanted it to be used for a main dish. I didn’t want it relegated for a simple roasted side dish. I settled on this frittata which did not disappoint.

I chopped up some shallots and garlic and sautéed in olive oil along with some salt, red pepper flakes and fresh ground pepper. I then added some kale and cooked for another few minutes.

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

Next, I added some cut up baby bella mushrooms to the pan and sauteed a few more minutes.

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

I didn’t want to cook the greens and mushrooms too much. I wanted there to be some bite in the finished dish. I beat some eggs with some milk, salt and pepper in a small bowl and then added it to the pan.

kale-with-eggs

I let the eggs set a little bit and then added spoons of goat cheese around the pan.

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

I then transferred the pan to the oven and broiled for a few minutes until set.

I served the frittata with a simple green salad. Delicious! This is perfect for any meal of the day!

frittata-sliced

Kale and Mushroom Frittata
 
Author:
Recipe type: Brunch, Main Dish
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 4 tbsp. goat cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large, oven-proof saute pan
  2. Saute the garlic and shallots for a few minutes
  3. Add in the chopped kale and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add in the mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.
  5. Mix up the eggs with the milk in a small bowl. Add in the spices.
  6. Pour the egg mixture in to the kale mixture and let set a bit.
  7. Spoon in the goat cheese around the frittata.
  8. Transfer the pan to the oven and broil for about 4-5 minutes, until completely set and the edges have browned a bit.
  9. Slice in to wedges and serve. Enjoy!

 

Creamy Vegan Dill Salad Dressing

vegandilldressing

With my bounty of amazing salad greens from my CSA, I’ve been making salads most nights for the next day’s lunch. The other night, I had run out of vinaigrette, and was trying to decide what kind of dressing to make next.

I had just received a a huge amount of dill in that week’s veggie share. I was still wondering what I should do with it. It then occurred to me to use a small amount of it in to a salad dressing. I remember having a great creamy dill dressing. I wanted to recreate it in some way, but I didn’t want it to be the same gloopy dressing. I just wanted some of that flavor.

I’ve noticed that many creamy salad dressings tend to include either a sour cream or buttermilk on the dairy side. On the non-dairy side, I am always seeing mayonaisse in dressings. I didn’t want either of those things.

I wanted something vegan.

I thought about the cashew sauce I made for pasta this winter. The cashew cream brought so much creaminess to the dish. I wondered if I could do something similar with a salad dressing.

I quickly grabbed some cashews out of the freezer and began soaking. I let them soak for about an hour and prepped the other ingredients.

After about an hour, I drained the cashews and placed in my Cuisinart Food Processor along with some shallots, garlic, dill, salt, pepper and water.  With the machine running, I then slowly added some olive oil to the mix.  This dressing would also work well in a high-powered blender.

I transferred the dressing to a jar. Of course I tried a bit before placing in the fridge to chill for the next day. Delicious! I am definitely going to use cashews more often to add creaminess to dressings!

 

Creamy Vegan Dill Salad Dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cashews
  • water for soaking
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak the cashews in water to cover for at least an hour.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews.
  3. Place all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a blender or food processor.
  4. Process the dressing. Slowly add in the olive oil with the processor or blender going.
  5. Transfer the dressing to a bottle.
  6. Store in refrigerator.
  7. Enjoy!

vegandilldressing

French Onion Soup

I love soup. It’s the perfect meal for me at the end of the day. I eat French onion soup as an indulgence maybe twice a year. I love it, but most restaurants don’t get it right. I have resisted making my own as I didn’t have the special crocks. I finally bought two of the soup bowls at The Bowery Restaurant Supply store. They were only $4 each – score! I got to work.

The soup itself is very easy to make. I like using a variety of onions to get the taste just right.

French Onion Soup
Ingredients:

2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 small yellow onions
3 shallots
4 garlic cloves
1 Vidalia onion
2 small red onions
1 tbsp. thyme
1 tsp. sugar
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup white wine
tbsp. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

Sauté the onions in a small amount of butter and some olive oil along with a teaspoon of sugar.

Sauté just until it starts to brown. Some people add flour to make a roux, but I don’t.

Add beef or vegetable broth, white wine and a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.

Let it get to a boil on high.

Switch it to medium low and then cover it while it cooks for 45 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, slice up a crusty baguette. Toast it in the oven for 10-15 minutes. I rubbed a little garlic and olive oil on it before toasting.

Slice up some swiss cheese.

Taste the soup for doneness.

Ladle the soup into the special bowl.

Put the bread croutons you just made on the soup.

Lay the cheese on top. Put in the oven at 425 for 10 minutes. Soup Heaven!

Braised Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts get such a bad rap. They are always ragged on as the demon vegetable of youth. I don’t remember eating them as a kid. Probably because they are not so gut-friendly. Regardless, I love me some brussel sprouts. They are super easy to prepare and take on great flavors.

Always use fresh brussel sprouts. The frozen kind gets too gummy. Take your brussel sprouts and peel the messy looking outer layers. Slice them in half. Wash them off. Get your sauté pan ready. Chop up some shallots and garlic and sauté in olive oil spray or a drop of olive oil. Add in the brussel sprouts. Saute a few more minutes. Add in equal parts white wine and vegetable broth. Around ½ cup each. Cover with a lid and let steam for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Done! You have a yummy veggie side dish with no fear. Don’t forget the glass of white wine to drink alongside!

1 2