Monday, November 21, 2011

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Looking for a different way to serve sweet potatoes?

This is a total cheater recipe that packs a lot of flavor into a very short cooking time. I used Trader Joe's Thai Red Curry Sauce to impart wonderful chile-coconut Thai flavors into this soup and then added fresh vegetables and herbs. It was delicious and only took about 20 minutes to prepare. Perfect for a rainy day lunch!

The recipe includes not only sweet potatoes but sweet potato leaves:

I found these at my local Asian market and have also found them at Farmers Markets. They have a slightly nutty taste and are spinach-like, but firmer. If you can't find them, use your favorite green leaves.

This recipe makes two servings.

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup:

20 oz vegetable broth
1/4 cup Trader Joe's Thai Red Curry Sauce
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups sweet potato leaves (or your fav green)
1 cup broccoli florettes
5 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 TBS chopped cilantro
1/2 TBS chopped basil or Thai basil

Heat up the vegetable broth with the diced sweet potatoes. When it comes to a boil, turn down to a simmer and add the Thai Red Curry Sauce. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the sweet potato leaves and the broccoli and cook 3 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped herbs. Cook one more minute and serve.

If you want a garnish, chopped peanuts would be the way to go!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tofu French Fries

My kids and I love to snack on my Salt & Pepper Tofu, a super easy and delicious way to get this high-protein vegetarian food into our diet.

I added a little whimsy this time around, by cutting the tofu into French Fries. Everyone loved them! They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and take less than 10 minutes to prepare. For grown-ups, add a fab tofu aioli - lemon, chile, shiso.

I can't wait to make them again. Here's the super easy recipe.

Tofu French Fries

Grapeseed oil
Super Firm tofu
Sea Salt

Heat the grapeseed oil in a non-stick pan. Grapeseed oil has a high smoke point, making it perfect for this preparation.

Cut the tofu into french fries. When the oil is hot, add the tofu fries to the pan and cook until brown on all 4 sides. Add salt and pepper while you are cooking and add more as you turn the tofu.

When golden, remove from the pan to a plate covered with paper towel to absorb any oil. Add sea salt and serve!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Squash Blossom, Roasted Tomato & Cilantro Quiche

I just made it to the San Rafael Farmers Market today and although I was thinking fall vegetables and dodging fat rain drops, I couldn't resist the awesome heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and colorful squash blossoms.

I love squash blossoms, but their life once picked is so brief I wanted to find a dish that would preserve them for a few days. My answer was this beautiful quiche. Eggs, cheese, and pastry met my need for comfort food for a rainy day and I knew a quiche would highlight the squash blossoms beauty.

There were awesome sweet cherry tomatoes everywhere, so I decided to roast them with olive oil and salt & pepper (400 F for about 20 minutes). I knew these would add a sweet pop to my quiche.

I really wanted to keep things simple and highlight my main ingredients so I used scallions, goat cheese and cilantro to round out my flavors. The result was delicious. Be sure to roast more tomatoes than you need for the quiche and serve them as a side.

Squash Blossom, Roasted Tomato & Cilantro Quiche :
9 inch deep dish frozen pie crust
12 large squash blossoms
4 scallions, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup roasted cherry tomatoes (tomatoes, olive oil , S&P)
3 oz crumbled goat cheese
2 eggs + one egg yolk
1 +1/4 cup half and half
salt & pepper as desired

Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Combine cherry tomatoes, olive oil, S&P in an oven proof dish and cook for 20 minutes. Remove and turn oven down to 350F degrees.

Soak the squash blossoms in water and rinse 3 times to remove any bugs etc. Remove the stamens and stems, including the hard base, so just the petals are left. Heat a frying pan with the olive oil and fry the scallions for 1-2 minutes. Add the squash blossoms and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Remove the frozen pie crust from the freezer and place on a baking sheet. Place 1oz of the crumbled goat cheese on the bottom. Add the roasted tomatoes and about half the squash blossoms/scallions and cilantro. Add another 1 oz of crumbled goat cheese.

Best the 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk with the half and half. Add some salt and pepper. Pour the custard over the other ingredients in the quiche. Top with the final 1 oz crumbled goat cheese and spread out some pretty squash blossoms.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until a knife in the center of the quiche shows firm.

Serve with salad and roasted cherry tomatoes.