I’ve moved this recipe to my new website: Purefitlosophy.com. Enjoy! -Andi
Zucchini & Fennel Soup October 29, 2011
Zucchini & Fennel Soup
with fresh lime & pan-seared tomato
Fall and winter in New England are ripe for soup season. The first frosty weekend blew in to Boston this week (including our first snow sighting). Time to get cozy- and try some new soups!
Ingredients (adapted from this Bon Appétit recipe)
– 1 whole onion, chopped
– 1 whole fennel bulb, chopped
-1 whole zucchini, chopped
-2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
-1 whole tomato, chopped
-2 cups brewed green tea (no sugar)
– 1 fresh lime
– pinch of fresh thyme (optional)
-dash of salt & pepper
1. Chop onion, fennel bulb, and zucchini and add to large saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil set at medium heat. To save time you can chop the three veggies in that order and add them to the pan as they are chopped. Stir frequently to evenly cook added ingredients.
2.While onion, fennel, bulb, and zucchini are cooking, chop tomato and add to a separate pan with 1 tbsp olive oil and a few fresh thyme leaves (optional).
3. Once fennel and onions become translucent, add in thyme and squeeze in the juice from one fresh lime. Stir and pour in 1 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth.
4. While ingredients are cooking, brew 2 cups of unsweetened green tea. (You can just fill a mug with boiling water and a green tea bag, allow the tea to steep for a 2-3 minutes, add to the pan and repeat.
5. Reduce heat to low and, using an immersion (hand) blender, blend ingredients together. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can transfer the mixture to a regular blender to blend then pour back into your large pot in stages. Add in your dash of salt and pepper to your blended soup.
6. Finally, pour into bowls and garnish with fresh fennel greens and the pan-seared tomato. Serve hot.
Time Saver Tip: Fresh, Fridge, Freeze. Fill your bowl (and others to be served) with hot soup to enjoy fresh. Immediately place a couple of extra servings in a microwave-safe container and put away in the fridge. The remaining soup can go in a freezer/microwave-safe container and stashed in the freezer for a later meal. Be sure to label and date!
Dairy-Free Spiced Butternut Squash Pie October 9, 2011
Dairy-Free Spiced Butternut Squash Pie
With Ginger Snap & Crisp Wheat Crust
So I’ve found a yet another use for the wonderful butternut squash I’ve been getting from the farmer’s market this season: PIE. I adore the smell and taste of spiced pumpkin pie and have made it for Thanksgiving every year but I haven’t ever tried it with other squash. I was determined to make my own butternut squash pie from scratch for the first time last week so that I could bring some with me to NYC as a gift. As an added culinary challenge, this pie needed to be dairy-free. Most recipes use sweetened condensed milk so I wondered whether the flavor would suffer at all from this omission. I found that some recipes suggested replacing the milk with vanilla soy milk or coconut milk. Coconut milk tends to be the creamiest of milk alternatives so I opted for this replacement. Banking on the natural sweetness of the cooked squash, I cut the sugar added to only about 1/3 of what the recipes suggested. Using a combo of Light Coconut Milk (less fat than the original) along with a splash of almond milk, vamping up the cinnamon and throwing in a tbsp of flaxseed powder -I just couldn’t help “healthifying” the recipe. Having used much less added sugar & fat than recipes suggest, I was a bit nervous when I took the first bite. I MISSED NOTHING.
Aromatic cinnamon & nutmeg mixed perfectly with the sweet squash complemented deliciously by the snappy ginger crust. This pie was a true slice of heaven. Try it for yourself!
Makes TWO pies. This pie is so good, you’re going to want the extra one.
2 whole butternut squashes (I used pretty large ones, they were about 3lbs each)
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp fresh or frozen ginger (Optional. Note: Powdered ginger will not taste the same. If us use it, don’t use more than 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp salt
5 cage-free eggs
1/2 cup reduced-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (You can use all almond or all coconut if you prefer)
1 tsp vanilla extract (Optional. I didn’t have any and my pies did not miss it. If it’s not the real stuff, don’t bother)
Makes 2 crusts
– 1 bag 365 brand (Whole Foods) Ginger Snaps (or any without dairy- some brands are made with butter)
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-Dash of nutmeg
-3 tbsp olive or canola oil
-4 tbsp whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Wash squash and slice into halves and quarters and place on baking pan with a splash of water. Cover with tin foil and bake for about 1 hour until tender. While, the squash is baking, prepare the crust. Put the dry ingredients for the crust together in a food processor (or blender) and blend until the become a pretty uniform powder. Add the oil and blend. Smoothly pat the crust in place in your pie pans.
When squash has cooked, put the crust in the oven (same temp) to bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pans after 10 minutes and pop them in the freezer to cool.
Meanwhile, time to make the filling. Using a spoon or fork scrape out all of the flesh of the squash into your food processor or blender. Save the seeds in a container to roast them later for a great snack. You will probably need to blend in batches if you are making a large batch. It doesn’t matter how much of the other ingredients you put into each batch because you will mix them all together in a large bowl once blended. Just make sure that all of the ingredients get blended into the mix.
Take your fully-cooled pie crusts out of the freezer and pour in the filling. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Place pies in the oven and bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes. Remove baked pies and allow to cool (preferably by a cool open window) for 2-3 hours. Serve and enjoy!
Local Farm Feast in the Heart of the City October 2, 2011
After some absolutely wonderful restaurant adventures this weekend (Vegetarian Indian Cuisine, Moroccan Brunch, Sushi for two…), today Ben & I decided to cook our own little feast. I have been studying the role of Farmer’s Markets in urban environments in several of my classes lately so it was extremely fitting to bring this education to life with a trip to a couple for some local fare. In Massachusetts, farmer’s markets follow strict local policies- the food is either from the state or from a bordering state. I am not sure if an identical rule applies to those in New York but I would imagine that this is the case since NYC has been extremely progressive in its Farmer’s Market efforts–being one of the first cities to make the markets easily accessible to both SNAP and WIC shoppers.
Ben is extremely fortunate to have a weekly farmer’s market that comes almost literally right to his doorstep. So this beautiful crisp October morning we walked out to the row of fresh produce, bread, meat and fish farm stands and happily gathered up a few things for lunch.
New York Farm fresh turkey
We sauteed the butternut squash with some fresh sage, sauteed the purple potatoes with shallots, used a natural Santa Fe marinade and pan seared the fresh ground turkey into mini burgers, and served up our feast with an appetizer of freshly baked organic kale chips and broiled cinnamon oranges for dessert. Tonight, back in Boston, I am already itching to look up when the next farmer’s market will be near me! Luckily in Boston, a good farmer’s market is easy to find. Can’t wait to return to the NYC market next weekend and take the sweet approach with another butternut squash (I’m thinking baked with cinnamon sugar…) Find a farmer’s market in your city at localharvest.org.