February – Spicy White Bean Soup with Chicken

February – Spicy White Bean Soup with Chicken

Melissa Clark of the NY Times calls this recipe “a poem in a bowl”. I must agree that it is certainly delicious and a little different. It gets it’s spiciness from fresh ginger, red-pepper flakes, and cumin. A squeeze of lemon at the end adds a welcome freshness.

Spicy White Bean Soup with Chicken

Spicy White Bean Soup with Chicken

If you have home made chicken stock in your freezer, this is the place to use it. If not, a good quality boxed stock will substitute. To make this vegetarian, use vegetable stock and leave out the chicken. It’s still very healthy with all those beans and veggies.

I modified her recipe slightly as I didn’t have ground turkey or chicken or hand. What I did have is a package of boneless and skinless chicken breasts which I cut into cubes about the same size as the beans. Ms. Clark also suggests sturdy greens such as collards, kale, mustard greens or collard greens. Since I don’t currently have any of those growing in the garden, I substituted chard leaves. I think baby spinach added at the last minute would be just as good. It should still be bright green but a little wilted. I also added a chopped parsnip along with the carrots (not part of the original) just because I love them and there was one languishing in the vegetable crisper.

Spicy White Bean Soup with Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large parsnip, diced
  • 1 bunch of sturdy greens
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1 lb. of cubed boneless chicken, breast or thighs, cubed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 quart of chicken stock
  • 1 can of white kidney beans
  • 1 can of cannelloni beans
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, basil, chives or a combination of them
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method:

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat for a minute to warm it up. Add the olive oil and heat slightly until warm. Add the onion, carrot and parsnip. Saute until softening and turning golden brown at the edges. Add a bit of water if things start to burn.
  2. Meanwhile rinse the greens, remove the large ribs and tear or chop into bite-sized pieces.
  3. When the onion is golden, add the tomato paste, the cumin and red pepper flakes to the pot. Saute until the paste darkens, about 1 minute. Add the chicken, garlic, ginger and salt. Saute until the chicken starts to brown in spots.
  4. Add the stock and beans. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook until the soup looks thick and flavorful, about 15 to 25 minutes. You can mash some of the beans into the soup if you want it to be thicker, leave them whole for a brothier soup.
  5. Add the greens to the pot and simmer until soft. The time will depend on the toughness of the leaves.
  6. Add a little water if the broth gets too thick and reduced.
  7. Stir the herbs and lemon juice into the pot. Taste and add more salt, cumin or lemon juice if needed.
  8. Serve topped with a drizzle of more olive oil and red pepper flakes, if desired.
Spicy White Bean Soup with Chicken

Spicy White Bean Soup with Chicken

I’m taking this soup to the celebration at Angie’s for Fiesta Friday #369. I think it will be welcome with the cold winter weather in mush of the U.S. right now. Click on the link to see all the wonderful posts collected to party on with Angie at the Fiesta.

You’ll also find this and other posts with ideas for Sunday Soup-like dishes at Kahakai Kitchen: Souper Sunday.

Come on over and check them out.

Souper Sundays

This recipe would be suitable for phase 1 of the 30 day metabolic diet.

February – Roast Celeriac

February – Roast Celeriac

Lately I have been reading a lot about celeriac. Many folks have never even heard of this vegetable. Have you noticed it in the grocery store? It’s quite an off putting (and slightly ugly) vegetable. In his cookbook Simple Yotam Ottolenghi suggests roasting it whole…who ever would have thought of it!? When I have cooked it before, it was boiled and mashed along with potatoes. It’s a wonderful combination, probably more common in France. But never would I have considered roasting it whole. As it turns out, it’s delicious and easy, only requiring a bit of time.

Celeriac

Celeriac

Celeriac has green leaves and stalks that grow above ground and roots with a rough, brown skin that grow underground. While farmers grow celery for its edible leaves and stalks, they grow celeriac for its roots.

Some people refer to celeriac as celery root, but it is not actually the root of a celery stalk. It belongs to the same plant family as carrots and is related to celery, parsley, and parsnips. Inside, the root is pale and resembles a potato or turnip. Its flavor is similar to that of celery and parsley. You can eat washed and peeled celeriac raw as well as cooked. I am a big fan of parsnips so I was game.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of raw celeriac provides:

Celeriac is a concentrated source of many nutrients, including:

  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K
  • vitamin B-6
  • potassium
  • phosphorus
  • fiber

But it’s particularly high in vitamins C and K. With only 5.9 grams of carbs per 3.5 ounces of cooked vegetable, celeriac is a healthier, lower-carb alternative to potatoes. 

This recipe is simple but requires a three hour cooking time, so plan ahead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 large celery roots, hairy roots trimmed but there is no need to peel it
  • 1- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin seeds, lightly crushed (Yotam uses coriander seeds)
  • flaked sea salt
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges for serving

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Pierce the celery root with a small knife, all over, about 20 times per root. Place in a baking dish and rub with the oil, seeds and about 2 teaspoons of flaked salt.
  3. Roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until the celery root is very soft and brown on the outside
  4. Cut into wedges and serve with a wedge of lemon, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a drizzle of oil if desired.
Roast Celery Root or Celeriac

Roast Celery Root or Celeriac

Cut open the celery root was soft, with the texture of a sweet potato and with a mild flavor reminiscent of that of celery hearts and parsley.

Roast Celery Root or Celeriac

Roast Celery Root or Celeriac

Try this, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. It’s fun to be introduced to a brand new vegetable.

February – Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin

February – Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin

I received an air fryer for Christmas. I had been eyeing them for a couple of years, but never could make up my mind if they were worth the cabinet and counter space. The decision was made for me when I got one as a present. I have found it very useful, especially when I wanted to roast vegetables and didn’t want to turn on the oven. It does a wonderful job of roasting carrots, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or a single chicken breast.

The decision to try it with pork tenderloin was one of expediency. My usual method is sous vide, the pork emerges meltingly tender and delicious. But sous vide takes some time with setting it up, heating the water, and cooking the vacuum packed tenderloin. This time I wanted dinner on the table in less than an hour. A pork tenderloin in the air fryer cooks in 20-25 minutes, start to finish. It was delicious, although not as tender as sous vide. It is, however, a viable alternative.

I simply rubbed it with a Mexican style rub (use your favorite or anything you have on hand, even a package of taco seasoning) and roasted it at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. The internal temperature should be 145 degrees F and I found my own tenderloin needed an additional 5 minutes. I turned it over at the midpoint of about 10 minutes.

Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin – after

Let is rest at least 5 minutes after cooking before slicing.

Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin

I will definitely use the air fryer again when crunched for time.

 

January – Spicy Thai Influenced Chicken Thighs

January – Spicy Thai Influenced Chicken Thighs

Spicy chicken thighs redolent with ginger, garlic, lime juice, chili paste and coconut milk. Oh my! These are fantastic. Use the leftovers in the can of coconut milk to make coconut rice, rice cooked in coconut milk and water. I cannot say enough about this combination, yummy.

Thai Inspired Roast Chicken

Thai Inspired Roast Chicken

 

Spicy Thai Influenced Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs trimmed of any excess fat or skin (you could also use breasts in this menu, bone-in and skin-on preferred)
  • 3″ piece of ginger, grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, grated
  • 3/4 cup of coconut milk, low or full fat
  • 1/4 cup of hot chili paste, use less depending on heat and sensitivity
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 2 T of brown sugar (optional, I did not use)
  • 1 T of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, mint or a combination – for serving

Method:

  1. Combine the ginger, garlic, chili paste, lime juice, sugar (if using), and salt in a bowl with the coconut milk. Whisk or stir to mix. Pour the marinade over the chicken in a bowl or plastic zip lock bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinate, shaking them gently to remove any excess. Place the chicken thighs on a parchment or foil lined lined sheet pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes depending on your oven and the size of the thighs, or until the skin is brown and the juices run clear.
  4. You can bring any remaining marinade to a boil in a small saucepan, simmer for a few minutes and use as a sauce.
  5. Garnish with cilantro, mint or a combination.
Thai Inspired Roast Chicken

Thai Inspired Roast Chicken

I am taking these over to the folks at Fiesta Friday to share at the virtual blogging party. It’s Fiesta Friday #364 hosted by Angie and cohosted this week by Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Petra @ Food Eat Love

Come on over, click on the link to Fiesta Friday and read all the blogging post recipes, craft ideas, and decorating tips.

Suitable for phase 3 of the 30 Day Metabolic Diet, remove the chicken skin before serving.

Thai Inspired Roast Chicken

Thai Inspired Roast Chicken

January – Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef

January – Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef

Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef

Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef

I rarely braise any kind of meat in the summer or spring. Late fall and winter things are different though. Braised foods make your home smell amazing, definitely comfort food in the cold weather. And they usually provide several meals, a bonus these days of seemingly constant cooking.

I’ve made this dish several times now, it’s based on a combination of recipes. One from the New York Times and my own special 5-hour slow cooked beef stew. That one is a favorite on the blog (it was first published in 2016) and I highly recommend it as it’s walk-away-easy as well as delicious. That first recipe uses cubed chunks of beef, this one a chuck or other roast. Use a cut you would use for a pot roast. What’s so special about that recipe? One – there is no pre-searing of the meat, and two – it will cook unattended by you during the afternoon while you do more interesting things. This time I adapted the recipe to a larger roast of beef, rump or chuck or cross rib.

Note: cook this in your oven, not the slow cooker. The liquid amounts are not designed for your slow cooker, or your pressure cooker for that matter.

This is the dish to use up that half bag of cranberries left over from Thanksgiving or Christmas, or one forgotten in your freezer from last year. It’s a reason to stock up on those bags as they are a seasonal item and usually unavailable the rest of the year. The cranberries add a tart but sweet note that is addictive. 

I will let you decide what vegetables to add. Some type of onion is essential but the rest can be varied. What about a bag of those small differently colored potatoes, or young carrots, small boiler onions, shallots…or all of them?

Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef

Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef with baby potatoes

Spiced Braised Beef with Cranberries and Carrots

Spiced Braised Beef with Cranberries and Carrots

The second time I made the recipe I used a bag of those baby carrots in various colors from Trader Joe’s. Both time dinner was a big hit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 beef rump roast, brisket, or chuck roast
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced into half moons
  • 1/2 package of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1-1/2 cups of tomato juice, V8, or spicy V8 (my favorite)
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 3 ½ tablespoons of instant tapioca, I used Minute Tapioca
  • 1-1/2 pounds of small boiling onions or shallots, peeled and left whole. Or 2 larger onions, peeled and cut into wedges and/or a dozen small potatoes or a couple of cups of carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • For serving – chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper as needed

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F
  2. In a small bowl combine the paprika, garlic, cinnamon, cardamon, cumin, salt, and pepper
  3. Dry the roast and rub it all over with the spices, let sit for 30 minutes while the oven preheats and you combine the other ingredients.
  4. In a larger bowl combine the juice, stock (or water), wine, and tapioca. Stir to mix and dissolve the tapioca.
  5. Place the roast in a large casserole or baking dish with a lid. Pour the liquid over then add the cranberries.
  6. Nestle the the onions and other vegetables at the sides.
  7. Cover and cook 6 hours.
  8. Uncover and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.
  9. Add the lemon juice and garnish with the parsley.
Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef

Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef

Let this simmer away, undisturbed, while you go for a hike or a walk or a bike ride… You will arrive home to the heavenly scent of slow cooked beef and spices. All you need for a complete meal is a green salad and something to mop up any juices. Mashed potatoes would be excellent here, or polenta, or a loaf of crusty country bread.

Coast trail on the headlands in Fort Bragg CA

Coast trail on the way to the lighthouse – New Year’s Day 2021

Slice and serve a good strong mustard or horseradish along side.

Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef

Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef

Braised Beef with Carrots

Braised Beef with Carrots

It will be fall-apart tender.

January 4 is the first day of our annual 30-day healthy eating plan. With a few friends we do this every year. We cheer each other on and support each other through our individual difficult spots. For some it’s the sugar or carbs, others late night eating, and still others that 5 pm cocktail. We have all slid into comfort food the last 10 months. For 30 days we give up empty carbs, sugar, dairy, wheat, caffeine, alcohol and fatty/fried foods. We feed our bodies whole grains, beans, lean meats and lots of fruit and vegetables. It’s a reset. Yes, we usually lose weight but we also speed our metabolisms and reset our taste buds for healthier food. You can find details of the diet and some recipes by clicking on the category “30 day Metabolic Diet” on the right side of my blog. You will need to use your computer as the categories don’t show up on the mobile app.

I wonder if the folks over at the blogging party Fiesta Friday have left over cranberries? I think I will mosey on over there and add this post to the link party. It’s Fiesta Friday #362 hosted by Angie and co-hosted by Petra @ Food Eat Love.

Come on over and join the party. Click on the links to read blogs about food, travel, decorating plus arts and crafts.

As this dish is cooked without any additional fat (strain any off the sauce), it would qualify as a phase 1 or phase 3 dinner.

Again, wishing you a safe, healthy and love filled 2021.