About teresa@sweetveg

Articles and recipes to foster your journey of health and well-being.

Warming Barley Lentil Soup

I am all about warming soups this time of year and here is a heartier variation of my frequently requested Simple Barley Soup. True comfort food when the nights are damp and cold like they are in Seattle right now.

20161213_1255141One of my favorite things to do is find locally grown or produced specialty foods. I absolutely love the lentils from the PNW Farmers Co-op in Eastern Washington right near the Idaho border. Check them out on their website at Davidson Commodities. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you should be able to find some of their beans and lentils in the bulk section of your local natural food store.

Use hulled barley in this recipe instead of the more refined pearl barley. We also have some lovely Oregon and Montana grown barley available in several co-ops in the area. I think I may have seen them at Central Co-op in Seattle and Tacoma and the Olympia Food Co-op.

Warming Barley Lentil Soup

3/4 cup hulled barley, rinse and soak overnight in water to cover
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
postage stamp size piece of dried kombu or kelp
1/4 cup brown or french lentils, pick through for small rocks and rinse well
6 cups water
1 stalk celery, sliced
1-2 carrots, diced or sliced into half circles or triangles
1 1/2 cups chopped green cabbage
1 Tbsp unpasteurized miso, or to taste (I like South River miso)

1.  Strain the barley and save the soaking water. Set aside.

2.  Place a large, heavy bottom soup pot on low medium heat. Add the oil when the pot has warmed. Add the onion as soon as a little piece sizzles gently when placed in the oil. Cook the onion about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add the barley and saute with the onion for about 5 more minutes. Add the water, lentils and kombu. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for about one hour. Add more water during this time if needed to keep the barley and lentils covered. I usually cook it for a long time and just keep adding water.

3.  After the barley, lentils and onion have cooked for at least one hour, add the celery and carrot. Cook until the vegetables are close to being soft. Add the cabbage. Add more water if you want a lighter broth or leave it thick and serve as a stew.

4.  Put the miso into a dish and stir in a few tablespoons water. Turn the soup to your lowest heat and add the miso. Stir well. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more miso if desired. Simmer gently for 3 more minutes. Serve.

Notes:
Serve soup with a hearty sourdough bread or homemade biscuits and a side of greens.

Other chopped greens, like kale, can be added to this soup 10 minutes before the soup is done.

Garnish with chopped parsley, green onion or naturally fermented sauerkraut.

Crave Eat Heal Cookbook Giveaway and No Bake Breakfast Cookies

Last summer I spent quite a bit of time helping test recipes for the newly released cookbook, Crave Eat Heal. I had a lot of fun, especially because I tried a lot of the recipes on a family I worked for. We did taste tests and they love a lot of the recipes that ended up in the cookbook. The No Bake Breakfast Cookies were a hit, and super easy to make with young children.

Author Annie Oliverio, is the creative powerhouse over at An Unrefined Vegan. Her cookbook features fun, tasty, inventive recipes and gorgeous photographs taken by Annie herself. To find out more about Annie, check out this interview over at Urban Naturale.BlogTourBannerCEH

Crave Eat Heal opened up my eyes to a variety of ingredients, flavor combinations and techniques I had never used, or even thought of using, before.

Inside, you will find a wide range of recipes and gorgeous photographs that will spark your creativity in the kitchen and fuel your desire to find satisfying alternatives for even your  (or your family’s) peskiest cravings.

I have personally tested at least 50 of the nearly 140 recipes in this book. Many of these recipes have made their way into my regular rotation. Most of the ones I tested are also kid-approved.

Many recipes have options like replacing stevia with other sweeteners like maple syrup, using an oven instead of dehydrator, using gluten-free grains and other adjustments you can make for specific dietary requirements. What you won’t find are refined sweeteners, processed foods or animal products.

Here are a few of our kid favorite recipes from Crave Eat Heal:
Baked Almond Butter and Apricot Oatmeal
Tempeh Bacon
“Parmesan” Cheez
Coco-Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookies
Creamy Scrambled Tofu
Gabby’s Oatmeal Creme Brulee for One
Butternut Squash Queso

Two adult favorites, besides the ones listed above, are:
Raw/Not Raw Barley Bowl
Brussel Sprouts Salad

Giveaway:

CraveEatHealCover4Littleveg is hosting a giveaway of one copy of the companion ebook, Crave. Eat. Heal. Outtakes.The ebook contains 16 recipes not included in the cookbook. If you would like a copy, please leave a comment answering the question, “What is your most persistent craving and what is one healthy way you satisfy it?” I will draw names for the ebook on May 31 and will announce the winners in a blog post on June 1. You will then have until June 5 to contact me and claim your prize.

Over at sweetveg I am hosting a giveaway of the full cookbook Crave Eat Heal for residents of the US or Canada. Head on over there if you want to participate in that drawing. Names will be drawn May 31, as well.

We love this recipe and often use dried blueberries instead of the cherries, about 1 tsp maple syrup instead of the stevia and unsweetened sunflower seed butter. The cookies can also be chilled and formed into little cookie balls. I love the addition of teff. This recipe doesn’t use very much, so you can always add a few tablespoons to morning porridge. That’s actually one of my favorite ways to eat teff.

No Bake Breakfast Cookies; Photo courtesy of Annie Oliverio and Front Table Books.

No Bake Breakfast Cookies; Photo courtesy of Annie Oliverio and Front Table Books.

“These are great for breakfast on the go, a mid-afternoon treat, or a post-workout snack.”
-Annie Oliverio

Gluten-free, Oil-free, Quick, Easy

NO-BAKE BREAKFAST COOKIES

12 cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup natural almond or peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp. non-dairy milk or water
1/4 tsp. vanilla-flavored liquid stevia
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. teff
1 Tbsp. hulled hemp seeds
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 cup dried tart cherries, roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor, pulse the oats until broken into small pieces.  Pour the oats into a large bowl and add the teff, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and cherries.

Add the nut butter, applesauce, coconut milk or water, stevia, and cinnamon to the processor bowl.  Process until very smooth and scrape the mixture into the bowl with the oats.  Stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Divide the oat mixture between 12 muffin cups and using damp fingers, press the mixture down to create a flat surface.  Refrigerate the cookies until firm.  Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Suggestions:

For a chocolate cookie, omit the cinnamon and add 1 Tbsp. cacao or cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp. cacao nibs.
Try using one ripe banana instead of the applesauce.
Use your favorite dried fruit in place of the cherries.
If you prefer, use maple syrup in place of the vanilla-flavored stevia.  Start with 1 Tbsp. maple syrup plus 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract.
If you don’t have or don’t want to use teff, use additional hemp or chia seeds.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Annie Oliverio and Front Table Books.

Fresh Ginger Apples

On a recent trip to Portland, a friend and I cooked together every day. It was so lovely to have a partner in the kitchen.

One evening we were both craving something sweet, but didn’t want to get totally sugared out. Fresh Ginger Apples is what we made. Super simple and just what we needed to satisfy the cravings.

Heat really brings out the sweetness in fruit. I encourage you to eat these apples while still warm. They would be delicious on top of pancakes or morning porridge.

Sometimes ginger can get spicy. This fresh ginger juice is added at the end, so if you have young children, or members of your household who aren’t that into spicy, you can add as little or as much as you want.

Fresh Ginger Apples

3 cooking apples (I like gala or cameo)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice (preferably the thick, unfiltered organic kind)
pinch of sea salt
2″ knob of fresh ginger

1.  Core and slice the apples into about 3/4″ wedges. You can leave the peel on or remove it before slicing.

2.  Place apple slices in a medium pan. Add the apple juice and a small pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer until the apples are fairly soft. Remove lid and cook for longer if you want the liquid to reduce and thicken a bit. Remove from heat.

3.  Grate the knob of ginger on a ginger grater or fine microplane. Gather the grated ginger into a ball and squeeze a little or a lot of the juice onto the apples. Use moderation if you haven’t tried ginger this way. Then taste and add more if you desire. Discard the pulp.

20150512_174649[1]

Orange-y Carrot Jewels

Often, just changing the way you cut a vegetable can add variety and interest to a simple dish. One cutting technique, which I learned as the jewel cut, is actually my favorite way to cut root vegetables. I think it’s kind of fun.IMG_20140929_124631

Lay the root vegetable on its side, horizontal, with the top to your left if you are right-handed. Start at the root end and cut your first vegetable piece at a diagonal with the knife tip angled toward the left. Then turn the root toward you about a quarter turn and cut at a diagonal again. Keep turning and cutting until you have cut all the way to the top.

I am bringing this dish to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck this week.

Orange-y Carrot Jewels

3 cups cut carrot chunks (about 3-4 carrots)
2 Tbsp water
1/4 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed or unsweetened already juiced)
1 tsp brown rice syrup
pinch of sea salt

1.  Place carrots, water, orange juice, brown rice syrup and sea salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until carrots are barely tender.

2.  With a slotted spoon, remove carrots from liquid and place in a serving dish.

3.  Continue to simmer the liquid, uncovered, until it reduces in volume and becomes a little thicker. Pour over the cooked carrots. Serve.

Root Vegetable Fritters

I have been making simplified versions of Carrot and Coriander Fritters for over a year.

By now, you probably know that I simplify almost every recipe I come across. Personally, I have found that if I use a really good sea salt and organic, fresh vegetables, I don’t need a whole lot of other seasonings. With simplified cooking, I don’t need to look at a recipe and I save a lot of time in the kitchen. And by saving time I can cook more dishes and put a healthy meal on the table almost every time we sit down to eat.IMG_20140911_164720

So, on with the simplified version. A little warning: these can be a bit finicky. Make them a few times and you will get the hang of it. Lately, I have been making these fritters with a mix of carrots, parsnips and sweet potato. You can use whatever combination of root vegetable you feel like. I added a bit of sweet potato to add some sweetness and familiarity for little taste buds, but it’s completely unnecessary. Or really give your taste buds a treat and do 100% sweet potato. Yum!

IMG_20140913_170741I have tried these with a microplane coarse grater, with a regular grater and with a food processor grater attachment.

The microplane makes the vegetables kind of mushy, but it’s much easier to get the patties to form and this size might work better for a toddler who is still working on chewing skills.

Grating the vegetables coarsely makes for a tastier finished product, but it is also harder to get the mixture to form patties. This is where some patience and faith are helpful. I am going to give you my ratios of ingredients, but you may need to add a little more garbanzo bean flour and/or oil to find the right ratio that will cause the grated vegetables to stick together, without adding too much garbanzo bean flour. Now, the great part is that they only need to stick together enough to form a patty and get to the pan. Once they start cooking, the ingredients will bond together and form a delicious fritter. It’s almost magic!

Root Vegetable Fritters
adapted from Carrot and Coriander Fritters over at Frugal Feeding

2 cups grated parsnip
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup grated sweet potato
5 T garbanzo bean flour
2 1/2 T olive oil
2 pinches sea salt
fresh ground pepper
grapeseed or other high-heat oil for frying

IMG_20140904_133126IMG_20140904_1340361.  Mix all ingredients except for the frying oil in a large bowl.

2.  Pick up a small handful of the mixture and try to form a patty. It will have a hard time staying together, but it should be sticky enough to come together a bit and stay together long enough to start cooking. If it won’t stick together at all, add a little more olive oil and/or garbanzo bean flour. Keep mixing it and testing until you get a consistency that seems like it might work. Make as many 2-3″ fritters as will fit in the pan. I usually heat the oil and add fritters as I make them.

3.  Heat a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet on medium heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Start adding fritters as soon as the oil is hot enough that a little piece of vegetable starts to sizzle when added. Add as many fritters as will fit in the pan without overcrowding. Cook until they are light to medium brown on the bottom, then turn them over to brown the other side. It should take about 4 minutes per side. If it seems a lot faster than that, the heat may be too high. You want them to cook for long enough that the vegetables cook, so if they are getting brown too fast, this might not happen. Add more oil if necessary for the next batch. Keep making and cooking the fritters until they are all done.

3.  As each one is done, remove them to a plate with a paper bag on it to soak up excess oil. These are best when they are served hot.

IMG_20140911_164349