Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cabbage Soup

Marriage Soup... Labeled this by Williams Sonoma. I suppose I too could easily relate this soup to my own marriage to my husband. Intoxicating spices and exotic flavors uniting to form the perfect soup to excite all of your senses and warm you on the chilliest of evenings.

HAH! More like stinky yet stable winter hardy vegetables mixing with some spicy cookies and puckering fruit that will knock your socks off!

I love this soup. As it ages, it just gets better and better.
  • 2 TB Veggie Oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, roughly chpped
  • 2 parsnips, roughly chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 8-10 Cups Veggie broth or beef broth (I use fake beef)
  • 2 cans (14 Ounces each) stewed tomatoes
  • 6 cups roughly chopped green cabbage
  • 1 can (14 oz) great northern beans (rinsed and drained) (or frozen butter beans)
  • 8 gingersnaps, finely crushed in food processor (scant 1/2 cup)
  • 3 TB fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 3 TB firmly packed dark brown sugar, plus more as needed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • tobasco sauce/sour cream/or my favorite, blue cheese, for serving
  1. Heat 2 Tbs of the oil in an 8 quart heavy bottomed stockpot over med-high heat.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, parsnips, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to carmelize, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  5. Add the broth, then the water, tomatoes, cabbage, great northern beans, gingersnaps, the 3 TB lemon juice, 3 TB brown sugar, and the bay leaf.
  6. Whisk vigorously to dissolve the gingersnaps. They may clump at first, but will disintegrate as you stir.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Season with more kosher salt, lemon juice, an brown sugar if necessary. Remove the bay leaf. Serve with tobasco and/or sour cream and/or blue cheese. This makes a lot of Soup. It freezes very well, and is actually better on the second day.
Thank you to William Sonoma for the your help with my marriage, for I'm sure I'd be cold without you.

Lacinato Kale Salad

This is one of my absolutely favorite green salads. I got the recipe from a very tall and skinny raw foodist in Rochester, MN at a vegan get-together one warm Wednesday evening. Yes, we congregate en mass. At the time, we had been getting a weekly box of food from a local CSA. We were somewhat new to the CSA/Farmer's Market scene and had no idea what to do with the seemingly endless amounts of greens that were quickly accumulating in our fridge. Kale, Swiss Chard, mustard greens, collards, lettuce, spinach, beet greens and more. The only thing that kept popping into our heads was sear the thick ones, put some dressing on the limp ones.. UNTIL Jaben....

WOW, this salad is Terrific, and the color is amazing, what's in it?
I'm sorry, did you say almond butter with Kale? Braggs and olive oil? what the heck is Braggs? ... o.k. So I guessed the bell peppers and garlic, but are you CRAZY? Were you drunk when you thought of this combination, or is it intuitive to vegans to slather nut butter over greens? matter, can I have some more?

That's basically how that went. And from that day on I've been bringing it to potluck afternoons with friends, but not family. I'd be ostracized for such a concoction.

  • 2 bunches of Lacinato Kale (or whatever Kale you can find. We also like to use swiss chard or a mixture of the two)
  • 1/4 cup Braggs (I actually prefer really good Tamari sauce - but this is cooked and will not do for a raw foodist)
  • 1/3 C smooth Almond butter (natural peanut butter is a great sub)
  • 1/3 C good olive oil
  • 3 Cloves garlic
  • 2 small bell peppers (red,orange or yellow - Green will Not do - ick)

  1. Stack Kale leaves on top of each other. Roll them up and slice them into thin strips (1/4 inch chiffonade)
  2. Slice peppers into thin, long strips
  3. Blend other ingredients in food processor.
  4. Toss Together.

Man-oh-man I love simple.

Celeriac Curry Fries

What the heck is that thing? Come here, do you see that? What the heck is that thing? Oh, I know what that is... what the heck is that thing? Well don't put your lips on it! What the heck is that thing?

Bill Murray and Steve Martin could have been talking about anything that late Saturday night in 19something. But I'm pretty sure what they really saw was a Giant Celeriac Root. When it first appeared in our CSA box, I believe I threw up a little in my mouth. I closed the box up tight, went to work and all but forgot about that horrifying moment. When I got home, my husband had done something miraculous. He transformed that hideous root into something Beautiful, and it was deep fried ta-boot! No surprise of course, he Loves fried food! He's like the Minnesota State Fair, he could deep fry a twinkie and you'd pay him for it!
  • Celeriac Root
  • Garam Masala
  • Hot Madras Curry powder
  • Salt
  • Corn Starch
  1. Peel and slice celeriac root into "fries"
  2. Place into boiling water until just under-tender. Dry fries off with towel.
  3. Toss fries in spice mixture (garam masala, curry powder, salt, corn starch) until well coated.
  4. Deep fry in veggie oil until centers sink in.
  5. Remove and cool.
  6. Eat

**This is where the "handful" part of the blog title plays a big part. No, I do not know how much of any of the spices I used. The basic principal is using celeriac instead of potatoes, and tossing them in a yummy mix of spices before deep frying**

Granola ala'Lou

After eating eggs for breakfast for 6 months, I have a craving for granola.

Grab my coat, drive to Target, take a look at the ripoff granola section, and walk out in disgust!

Cascadian Farms is too big of a company for me to "believe in"... yeah, look me straight in the eyes and tell me you're not paying the USDA under the table to label your food organic, or your organic mass production farming isn't just as bad for the land and our economy as your non organic cheaper counter part. (Is it a passion for good food or a paranoia of the man?)

One step to the right and it's Kashi - yep, you guessed it - too expensive. I'm not the kind of hippie that put my pot money in the market in the early 90s and can miraculously afford overpriced oats.

Next step, Mississippi Market. Good Old Co-ops. They must have what I need. They're community supported and good for our local farmers... yes yes yes... oh bummer, they got 2 new buildings and raised their prices so far up their asses that I can't handle the stench. Why do you need to make it so difficult to support you! This isn't some fad, this is a way of life. Bulk section, could you be cheaper? nope. end of story.

I can't wait for the St. Paul farmer's market to start up again.

Last stop - sadly, Costco.
I'll make my own Granola.
To be honest, this was my intention from the very beginning. But some days I'm lazy. Don't hate me.

  • 6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut (optional)
  • 3/4 C vegetable oil
  • 2 Cups slivered almonds or walnut pieces
  • 5 C dried fruit (mix them up! cranberries and raisins, or chopped apricots and cherries, whatever your heart desires, or whatever your pantry contains)
  • 1 C roasted cashews
  1. Preheat over to 300 degrees
  2. toss oats, coconut, and almonds in large bowl.
  3. whisk together oil and honey in small bowl. (a little trick, use the oil on your measuring cup first, then the honey... the honey will slide right out, Magic!)
  4. Mix oil/honey with oat mixture w/ wooden spoon until everything is coated.
  5. place on a large baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally (VERY IMPORTANT) until golden brown - ~45 minutes.
  6. cool, add fruit and mix.
  7. store in an airtight container.

Eat with Milk or Yogurt

You can really do anything with this granola, if you want to spice it up, add some cinnamon, or nutmeg to the oil/honey mix, and wha-la gourmet granola. This is a base, do with it what you wish. Just keep the proportions of oats to oil/honey about the same. If you can get the items bulk, it is WAY cheaper than buying at SuperMarket.

***Hint = You can use any nuts you want, but almonds, walnuts, pecans you can bake easily - cashews and peanuts, you can burn easily. I recommend roasting peanuts/cashews separately and adding at the end, or just buying a roasted nut and adding at the end. You can also use any type of dried fruit. Fig and walnut go well together, as do cranberries and walnuts. I like almonds and cherries/blueberries. Pecans and apricots are also tasty. Oh, and do not, really, DO NOT, bake the dried fruit. They turn into little bits of charcoal. Lesson learned by yours truly - had to throw out an entire pan of granola. It was very depressing.****

Special Thanks to the Barefoot Contessa cookbook. Although your recipe was a little over the top, I know how to edit, and appreciate the starting point. Seriously, she knows taste! yum.