another week of fall meals

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Here’s what we are cooking and eating this week- vegan, gluten free, seasonal, local, and waste free.

MONDAY: chickpeas with olives, chard, and lemon + herby pistachio quinoa.  this recipe (subbing chickpeas for the fish) + this recipe .

TUESDAY: butternut- shiitake ragout (recipe here) + this recipe (sub millet for GF) + a simple green salad.

WEDNESDAY: Yogurt tofu with ginger chutney: this recipe, subbing tofu for the chicken + coco yogurt for the dairy.  Sides: black rice with apricots and almonds (recipe here) + french carrot salad- iconic recipe here .

THURSDAY: soba noodle bowls with sautéed tofu, ginger and garlic sautéed bok choy, sautéed oyster mushrooms, cilantro, green onion, tamari and sesame oil.

FRIDAY: White bean chili with winter veggies +beet, orange, and arugula salad

SATURDAY: baked tofu with coconut kale: recipe here + kabocha squash puree (steam chunks then puree with a splash of coco milk, garlic, and ginger)

Other basics: almond milk, coconut yogurt, hummus.

Have a lovely weekend!  xx

at the market now: beets + 5 ways to use them

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I just adore beets.  Those gorgeous colors, that deep earthy sweetness, and the fact that they come with a free bunch of greens attached!!!!  YES please.  In all honesty, I really used to be disgusted by them, though.  I thought they tasted like dirt.  Thankfully my taste buds aren’t petulant babies anymore.  Beets are abundant at our local farmer’s market throughout fall, winter, and spring.  After a long hot summer, I’m dying to welcome  them back.

I usually find three varieties at our market- red (Bull’s Blood, Detroit Wonder, Cylindrica), pink with white rings inside (Chioggia, Candy Stripe), and yellow or golden.  They all taste a little different.  The golden and chioggia types taste milder and sweeter.  They are delicious raw, sliced paper thin on a mandolin (chioggia are especially gorgeous this way, as you can see all the vibrant stripes).

Beets can be roasted, pickled, steamed, eaten in salad, added to hummus, and so much more.  Cut into cubes and roast with squash, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, rosemary and garlic for an easy side.  Slice them thinly on a mandolin, and bake with olive oil and sea salt for crispy chips.

An easy way to prep the whole bunch at once: cut off stems and tail, wrap tightly in aluminum foil.  Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes to an hour until soft.  Let them cool a bit and then open up the foil and rub it against the skin-it will slip right off.  Compost the skins and rinse off and reuse or recycle the foil.

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Treat beet greens like any other hardy green (kale, chard, etc) and saute.

At the market, choose beets that feel firm with fresh and green leaves.  The best, freshest beets will have a sort of sheen to the skin.  When you get home, wash them and cut the greens off, or they will continue to draw moisture and flavor out.  I store the roots loose in my crisper drawer.  Cut the leaves off of the stems.  Compost the stalks and store the leaves as you would any leafy green- I either wrap loosely in a slightly damp kitchen towel, or in my storage bags from The Swag (they work really well).

All that said, let’s get cooking.  Here are a few recipes that we especially enjoy using beets as the star.

citrus and beet winter salad (serves 4 as a side)

INGREDIENTS:

2 large beets, steamed or roasted, peeled and sliced into wedges (see roasting instructions above if interested)

1 small chioggia or yellow beet, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin

2 oranges, skin and pith removed, sliced 1/4 inch thick crosswise, seeds removed

1 large avocado, pitted and sliced

1/4 cup of roasted pistachios (sub any other toasted nut or seed)- roughly chopped

1/3 cup of pomegranate arils

1 small shallot, finely chopped ~ 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme OR 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped very finely

1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

a handful of leafy bitter/spicy greens, like arugula, radicchio, or endive

flaky sea salt for finishing

opional: Urfa Biber chili flakes (I had them around, they are black flakes with a mild heat and deep flavor + they look beautiful on food) black sesame seeds would do the trick too to pop the colors.

METHOD:

Place shallot and ACV in a small mixing bowl.  Let sit 2 minutes, then whisk in the oil, sweetener, herbs, salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust as necessary.

Spread the greens out over a large plate or serving platter.  Arrange the roasted beets, oranges, avocado on top.  Tuck in the raw sliced beets around the sides and in empty spaces. Sprinkle on the pomegranate arils and drizzle dressing over the salad evenly.  Sprinkle the nuts and a few pinches of flaky salt over and serve immediately.

We like to serve as a side with a nice creamy soup, like butternut or carrot + some crusty bread + the beet greens (sauteed with olive oil, shallot, lemon, and nutmeg).

+4 more recipes that can’t be beet 

crushed and crispy beets with yogurt : this is a delicious recipe.  I skip the second step of pan frying to make it easier.  Coco yogurt with a few teaspoons of lemon and pinch of salt mixed in is an easy swap for the labneh.

french “peasant” beets : I’ve made this recipe quite a few times, subbing miyoko’s vegan butter (TJ’s has the lowest price on this or you can make your own!  this is miyoko’s recipe and it’s really easy + no plastic) and a cashew cheese for the goat cheese called for.  A great dinner with a green salad and some crusty bread.

fudgy chocolate beet cake with avo frosting : GF/V, rich, dense, packed with healthy plant foods, and tastes like perfect cake.  I made these in cupcake form once to send with my son to a SAD eater’s kid’s birthday party, where I knew they’d be serving chocolate cupcakes.  They looked exactly the same and my son didn’t eat crappy corn syrup and hydrogenated oil laced cupcakes.  WIN!

ginger+star anise quick pickled beets : so easy + silky, sophisticated flavors.  A perfect dinner party starter along with some roasted almonds and some crackers and nut cheese.

Now go buy some beets and eat them all the ways 🙂  Tag me on Instagram @mamaeatsplants so I can see all your beet-y creations!

xx love to you

black bean soup



black bean soup gluten free vegan low fat

Around here we make a lot of different meals.  I rarely use the same recipe twice.  Not that the recipes aren’t good, it’s just that I love to try new things.  However, I definitely have a stash of cherished recipes that I have made time and time again.

This black bean soup is one of them.  Flavorful, filling, creamy, and comforting, this soup is a favorite in our house.  It is extremely versatile as well (good on its own, fabulous with all kinds of toppings, leave the beans whole and eat with rice, use in nachos, etc) and keeps in the fridge wonderfully.  It’s just the thing to make on Sunday and eat all week.

The original recipe comes from my beloved Cooks Illustrated + uses a massive ham hock to cook with the beans to impart flavor.  I obviously leave out the meat and taste absolutely does not suffer.

However, since this soup is so simple, it is imperative to only use very fresh and flavorful broth, spices, and vegetables.  Bonus: cooking this will fill your house with a wonderful, subtle scent of cumin and bay leaf.

black bean soup gluten free vegan low fat

Favorite black bean soup

This recipe is cooked in two steps, the beans and the aromatics/soup.

For the beans you will need:

5c water, plus extra as needed

1 lb (2c) dry black beans, rinsed and picked over for debris

2 large bay leaves

1/8t baking soda

1t salt

Place water, beans, bay leaves, and baking soda in a large pot with lid.  Bring to boil over medium high heat.  Stir in the salt, reduce the heat to low.  Cover and simmer briskly until beans are tender, between 1 and 1.5 hours (this depends on how old your dried beans are)  Start checking the beans for doneness at 1 hour and add extra water during this time if necessary to cover the beans.  After they are done discard the bay leaves but DO NOT drain the beans.  Set aside and start the second step: the soup!

For the soup you will need:

3T oil of choice

2 large yellow onions, chopped finely

1 very large carrot, chopped finely

4 celery ribs, chopped finely

1/2t salt

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/2t red pepper flakes-

*note: this amount does not make it spicy, it is for flavor only.  I LOVE it spicy but I have small children so I add extra into the adults bowls as needed.  If you like spicy, you may want to either increase the chili flakes, add chopped fresh hot peppers to your aromatics, or add in some canned chipotle chiles.

1.5T good quality ground cumin

6c broth

2T cornstarch

2T water

2T lime juice

Heat oil in your pot/dutch oven until shimmering.  Add in your onions, carrot, celery, and salt and cook until they are soft and very lightly browned, approximately 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium low and add your garlic, pepper flakes, and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the beans, bean cooking liquid, and broth.  Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to all the flavors to develop.

Ladle 1.5 cups of beans and 2c of liquid into a blender and puree, then return the puree to the pot.  Stir together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl until combined, then gradually stir half of the mixture into the pot.  Bring the soup to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, to fully thicken.  If the soup is still not sufficiently thickened after boiling, add in the remaining cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil again.  Pull the soup off the heat and stir in the lime juice.  Ladle into bowls and top with any desired toppings.  It will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.

Suggested toppings to pass at the table: (choose as many or as few as you want!)

avocado slices

diced tomato

crumbled tortilla chips

dollops of cashew sour cream

chopped cilantro

thin slices of green onions

diced red onions

diced bell peppers

lime wedges

mango chunks

shredded cabbage

fresh hot tortillas

diced fresh chile peppers