three favorite recipes // august 2014

Rice Noodle Salad with Nuoc Cham | Inspired by Epicurious

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If I could I would eat a variation of this every day. This salad has all of the same elements and flavors as my favorite lunch in San Francisco- spring rolls from Out the Door

Summer Peach Crisp | The Year In Food

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I have made this recipe over and over again since Kimberley’s cookbook was released earlier this summer. It’s so delicious (and gluten free)! I highly recommend picking up a copy of Vibrant Food.

Fresh Corn Soup | Inspired by David Lebovitz, Sprouted Kitchen & Food52

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThe first corn soup that really caught my attention was this one from Sprouted Kitchen. I made it on a whim for a dinner party three years ago, and it’s the basis of this recipe that I have followed many times since. Whenever you cut corn off the cob (in the summertime), save the cobs in the refrigerator until you are ready to make stock. When you do, cover them with salted water in the pot and simmer for several hours. The drained stock that results will add an extra depth of flavor to the soup that is more than worth the minimal effort.

I few variations I recommend: adding more heat with some roasted poblanos, texture (like David Lebovitz’ recipe here), or serving the soup as a base with a variety of toppings – roasted veggies, salsa & avocado (like pictured above), or even pork shoulder.

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a few flights, snow + dinner

yesterday when i flew back from san francisco, i found michigan in full-fledged christmas mode. its as though kalamazoo has been tucked into a big snow globe–giant snowflakes have been drifting out of the sky all day–and its really beautiful.

even though i haven’t quite adjusted to the colder weather or made it out for a walk, i wanted to take a few pictures of the snow outside the window when i woke up this morning. this post is for jon.. i can’t wait for christmas.

 

kale + lentil soup

4 leeks

2 sweet potatoes, peeled & cut in 1/2 inch dice

1 bunch of kale (i used the curly variety, but would recommend lacinato if you can find it)

1 T. olive oil

28 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 12 oz. can tomato puree

6 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup lentils (brown or red)

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

10 fresh basil leaves

1/2 tsp. roasted red pepper flakes

kosher salt & black pepper, to taste

start with the leeks–cut off the dark green portion and the root end, then cut them in half lengthwise, into a half-moon shape. cut into 1/2 inch pieces. rinse and dry to make sure all of the dirt is gone. remove the stems from the kale, and chop into strips. heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, and saute the leeks for 3 minutes. add the diced tomatoes, and cook for 5 more minutes. then add the chicken broth and bring it to a boil. once boiling, add the remaining ingredients, season, and stir together. allow the lentils to cook until tender, at least 30 minutes. serve with parmesan cheese if you like.

butternut squash soup with bacon+spinach

i’ve had so much fun being in kalamazoo and cooking with my family. cooking with friends and family is one of my favorite things about food–its ability to create a gathering.  a few nights ago, kate & will came over for dinner and we made butternut squash soup together. my sister is a really talented photographer, so we were not only to collaborate with the recipe, but the pictures as well.

butternut squash soup

butternut squash, about 3 lb.

l lg. sweet onion, diced

1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded

1/4 cup olive oil

kosher salt & pepper

38 oz. good quality chicken stock

dried oregano + thyme

your favorite hot sauce

4 thick slices bacon, chopped in 1″ pieces and cooked

3 cups fresh spinach, stems removed

heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan or dutch oven, and saute the onion for 5 minutes. add the cabbage and continue to saute, 5 minutes more. add the herbs, salt and pepper, cubed butternut squash, and broth, then bring to a boil. boil, covered, for 10-12 minutes, or until the squash is tender. puree the soup, in batches, and then return to the pot. add the bacon, a few dashes of hot sauce, and the spinach, stirring until it wilts.

serve the soup with some creme fraiche or greek yogurt and the gruyere croutons (recipe below).

gruyere croutons

4-5 slices artisan bread (we used the parmesan-peppercorn loaf from waterstreet coffee joint), cubed

2 T. olive oil

kosher salt and pepper

1/3 cup grated gruyere cheese

preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. toss the bread cubes in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. spread them out in a single layer, and bake for 10 minutes. after the first ten minutes, remove the pan from the oven and flip the croutons. sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 10 minutes longer.

pumpkin soup

fall is definitely my favorite season.  the cooler weather and changing leaves are always such a welcome change, and after the unseasonably hot summer in pittsburgh, I’ve been looking forward to it even more.

growing up in michigan, each time the fall came around, my family would make a trip out to the VerHage Farm to pick apples. what stands out most in my memories from these occasions are all of the wonderful fall things we would make after each visit. this year I’m looking forward to the apple crisp and cider just as much, but have come across a new recipe that I think will become part of my annual repertoire. butternut squash soup is usually the soup I’ve made in the years past, but when my friend Andre presented me with a pumpkin a few days ago, I thought I would give pumpkin soup a try.

the soup is really simple and takes only about an hour to make, but the result is really satisfying.

white bean + tomato soup

one of my good friends, elisabeth, is on a strict gluten free and dairy free diet. when we decided to have dinner together, making soup seemed like the best option. anything that begins with olive oil, garlic & onions is pretty difficult to mess up. I started there, chopped and added the vegetables in the kitchen that seemed to pair well, and came up with a thick, hearty tomato base flecked with thyme, basil and hints of garlic. the result, with a bottle of wine, roasted cauliflower, and friends–made for a pretty great evening.

  • 2-3 T. olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped

heat the oil over medium, then add the garlic & onion and saute till translucent, but not brown, for about 5 minutes. after the five minutes are up,

  • 2 12 oz. cans white or navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 summer squash, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 12-16 oz. vegetable broth

season with kosher salt & pepper, dried rosemary, thyme, and basil, and red pepper flakes

cover, reduce to a simmer and let everything cook together for 3o minutes. then use an immersion blender to puree the soup.

herb pistou: combine a handful of fresh herbs with garlic, 2 T. olive oil, and salt and pepper in a food processor.

rethinking raw: gazpacho soup

For just over a week now, I’ve been attempting a raw food diet. Attempting, only because I haven’t eaten just raw foods, allowing myself the flexibility since maintaining my schedule didn’t allow for complete fatigue. I think at the beginning I was less than enthused with my meal options. I spent a lot of time thinking about food and what I was missing out on, instead of thinking about what I could still make with the ingredients available to me. Once the caffeine headaches subsided and I allowed myself a little creative freedom, things got much better.

This is my recipe for raw gazpacho-I’m not entirely sure if Tabasco sauce is raw, so that’s my only hesitation. It’s extremely easy, and event though cooked food has been working its way back to my plate, I liked the gazpacho so much I’ve made it twice in the past five days.

(mostly) raw gazpacho

  • 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 cucumber, cubed
  • 1/2 sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 cups fresh vegetable juice
  • 2 T. lime or lemon juice
  • salt & pepper
  • Tobasco sauce, to your liking (I used a smoky version of the sauce, which gave the soup great flavor)

Combine the chopped tomatoes and vegetable juice in a food processor, and blend till smooth. Add the cucumber, onion, cilantro, and lemon or lime juice, and pulse to chop the veggies. Season with the salt, pepper and Tobasco sauce. Serve with chopped cilantro and avocado slices.