Friday, October 5, 2007

Larks Great Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup

Preparation Time: 15 minutes


4 cups vegetable stock, or water
1 kilo of pumpkin, peeled and chopped
1 can chic peas
1 can cherry tomatoes
1 cup red lentils
1 tablespoon minced onion flakes
1 tsp salt free seasoning
1 leek
2 ribs of celery

Put all ingredients in pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. Turn off heat source and allow to cool naturally.

For slow cookers add all ingredients except for beans. Use the medium setting and leave cook for around 6-8 hours. Add drained beans and cook another 10 minutes or so.

Optional, add a cup of chopped greens before taking off heat. If using the pressure cooker, just stir them through and leave for a couple of minutes.

The basis for this recipe was posted by Lark on the ETL Forum. I have played around with it and I like this version very much.

I made it to take out with me tonight. I just stirred the soup and left it chunky. I liked it that way, but you could either mash it with a potato masher, or blend some and add the blended portion back into the soup to make it thicker.

Well, it's almost Larks original recipe with a few things added and a couple deleted along the way. Make it your own and add or subtract ingredients to your hearts content.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Green Bean Machine

The Eat To Live member centre has a lot of good recipes. The basis of this was the Green Machine features in the Healthy Times Newsletter, October 2002. However I did not have any of the greens listed, instead I used equal parts of tatsoi, broccoli and added 1 sliced onion, 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 cup of beans and at the last minute I added a handful of baby roma tomatoes. These add a wonderful touch of colour to the finished dish. To add flavour I used a mild chilli tomato sauce to cook the vegetable in. This whole dish takes just minutes to cook and makes a very healthy meal.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Apple Berry Something

Sometime ago I came across a recipe called Country Apples. It was a sort of apple crumble type recipe. I have changed this to reflect the ETL lifestyle, but still remain comfort food.

Apple Berry Something (Gluten Free)

4 apples peeled and sliced
2 Aussie tablespoons of brown sugar, 3 US
1/4 cup of sultanas (golden raisins)
1/3 cup of rolled oats
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of blueberries
1 tablespoons of custard powder.
1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice or cinnamon

Combine the first 6 ingredients and cook until tender. I cook this in my rice cooker. When its almost ready I mix the custard powder with a small amount of water and mix gently through the apple mixture along with the mixed spice.

I serve this with cashew cream. Just blend cashew nuts with a small amount of water. This makes a great substitute for dairy.

Drink Your Greens

Following a healthy lifestyle can cause a few problems getting in enough green leafy vegetables. So the trick is to drink them in a smoothie. Now the rawfood community calls them Green smoothies, but Dr Fuhrman refers to them as Blended Salads. That sounds a bit off to me so I will stick with the title smoothies. Whatever you call them, they are basically the same thing.

My Winter Smoothie

3 frozen bananas
1 ripe pear
1 peeled orange, roughly cut in pieces
1 handfull of greens
1 cup of filtered water

Toss all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Some people put cooked beans in them and I have been told it makes a nice and smooth tasting drink and surprisingly not beany at all.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sweet and Sour Zucchini + Pumpkin and Mushrooms

3 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 cup of water
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1 inch slices
2 cups of pumpkin, cubed
1 very large portabello mushroom, sliced
1/4 of sultanas, or raisins.

I placed all the ingredients in the pressure cooker, locked the lid and bought up to high pressure. Turned the heat down and cooked it for 4 minutes*. When the time elapsed, I used the quick release method. When placed on a plate I garnished it with parsley.

I really like the look of this dish as the zuke retained its shape, while still being soft.

I decided that it needed another 1/2 cup of water and that I could replace the raisins with apple chunks. I shall persevere with this recipe as it has a lot of possibilities.

* I actually bought it up to pressure and then ran around looking for my cell phone to time it with. I use the alarm function as a timer because you can set it for just a minute or so and the tune rings for a long time. It works for me!

Sweet And Sour Zucchini

Last night I decided that I did not have a great deal of time and that I would try one of Lorna Sass' recipes. There was one called sweet and sour zucchini and as I had a zuke in my fridge I decided to try the dish. After reading the recipe, I decided to change it up a bit by adding portobello mushrooms and pumpkin. I also used sultanas instead of raisins. To be honest it wasnt a great hit with me and I kept thinking how I could 'fix'it.
Anyway for better or worse here is the recipe

My New Tools

Now that I have to prepare a lot of bean dishes that are completely new to me, I needed a supply of salt free beans. Now you can buy ready-to-eat beans in cans, but salt free beans are harder to find. So to just survive and to be able to prepare great dishes almost instantly, I bought two great new tools. The first is my new pressure cooker, a nice little 6L Stockpot by Kuhn Rikon. I have never heard of KR before, but several people on the ETL forum were besotted with them. So I hunted around online and lo and behold, I manage to purchase one locally.
The other is a book by Lorna Sass titled Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure. Besides the recipes, the cooking tables listing the times for all grains, vegetables and beans are fantastic. As a totally new pressured cook, these are being referred to constantly.