What’s for Dinner?
Tired of the same old same old? We are too! Here are some winter-ready recipes to bring a little more excitement to the table.
By Amanda Garrigus
It’s 2020 people, and that means it’s time to shake up your repertoire of tried and true recipes and bring a little freshness and, dare we say, plant-based modernity, to your table. Yes, the new decade has ushered in a renewed commitment, on the part of our collective wellness gurus, to encourage a more healthful, humane, and sane way to nosh. Bonus! The recipes are often delightfully easy to prepare, the results are delicious to eat, and darned good for you too. What’s not to love? Let’s get cooking!
We’re beginning at the end, because sometimes we want to eat our dessert first. This recipe from Goop’s (https://goop.com) Goop Clean Beauty book is about as simple as they come. Three ingredients combined in no time to satisfy your sweet tooth, without the guilt or the bad-for-you additives.
Makes 24 Small Truffles
12 pitted dates
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus extra for rolling
¼ cup raw cacao powder
Blend the dates, cacao, and coconut in a food processor until smooth. Wet your hands with water and roll the mixture into 24 small balls (about 1 teaspoon each), then roll each one in additional shredded coconut to coat. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you… well, you know the rest. But what you might not know is that only 50% of bean eaters will experience that unpleasant side effect: flatulence. However, everyone who eats them can benefit from their high fiber, protein-rich goodness. Furthermore, beans can aid in weight loss, improve heart health and regulate blood sugar levels. Now that we’ve convinced you to eat your legumes, may we suggest you try the very best of the best? The following recipe comes from the good people at Rancho Gordo (https://www.ranchogordo.com), purveyors of heirloom beans sourced from around the world.
Yellow Bean and Kale Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small bunch Tuscan kale, leaves stropped from the stems and sliced into thin ribbons
1 1/2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye beans in their broth, cooked as directed below
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 – 6 cups vegetable broth
Grated lemon zest
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Thin slices of baguette, toasted and cut into small croutons
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
To prepare the beans you’ll need:
1lb dried Yellow Eye Beans
First cook your beans! There are several tried and true methods, but all of them require several hours of easy hands-off cooking time.
Just rinse your dry beans in cool water to make sure they are free of debris. Then soak them, un-refrigerated, in enough room temperature water to cover them by about one inch for several hours or overnight.
At the end of soaking, transfer the beans, and their soaking water, into a pot and bring to boil. Boil rapidly for 10 – 15 minutes then reduce heat to low simmer, uncovered, for about two hours. Test the beans for done-ness. Once they are soft, you can add salt to taste. A note of caution from the bean experts at Rancho Gordo: Adding salt too soon will harden the bean!
In a large separate saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the carrot; cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the kale ribbons; toss until they are coated with oil and garlic. Add the beans, rosemary, and about 6 cups total of bean-cooking liquid and vegetable broth. Raise heat to medium-high; simmer until the kale is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprig and stir in lemon zest, red pepper flakes (if using), salt and pepper to taste.
Top each serving with croutons, a drizzle of olive oil and some freshly grated cheese.
Bowls are oh so de rigueur; and no, we don’t mean the ceramic kind, though we love those too. We’re talking about the phenomenon of combining several, whole foods, ingredients into one bowl of delicious goodness. There are as many ways to prepare a bowl as there are combinations of ingredients to include. We figure this flavorful, colorful bowl, courtesy of The Chalkboard Magazine (https://thechalkboardmag.com), is as good place to start as any. Note: it’s a little heavy on labor, but the payoff is well worth it.
Vitality Veggie Bowls with Curried Cauliflower, Avocado + Tahini
For the chips:
1 medium-sized sweet potato
olive oil or melted coconut oil
salt and pepper, to taste
for the cauliflower:
1/2 red onion
2 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp turmeric
macadamia or coconut oil, melted
1/2 can coconut cream
For the dressing:
1 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp coconut or natural yogurt
For the bowl:
1 small carrot
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup mixed baby salad leaves
1 small avocado
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 zucchini, peeled into strips
1/2 apple, sliced
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 handful mint leaves
1 handful almonds
2 small red chilies, sliced
1 handful sultanas or golden raisins
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Cut the sweet potatoes into thin chips then place them onto a baking tray. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 40 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile to make the cauliflower curry, chop the cauliflower into small bite-sized pieces. Next, process the onion, cumin, turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, the juice of one lime and a couple of tablespoons of oil together in a small blender until relatively smooth. Pour the mixture into a frying pan and cook on a medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower to the pan and toss to coat. Finally, pour in the coconut cream and simmer for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender but still has a little bite.
To make the dressing, in a small bowl squeeze in the juice from the remaining lime, add the tahini, yogurt and 1 tablespoon of oil. Stir to combine. Set aside. Grate the carrot and mix with the cabbage, then toast the sesame seeds and pour over them.
To assemble the bowls, arrange the sweet potato chips, curried cauliflower, tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage/carrot mix, avocado, mixed leaves, chickpeas and apple. Top with the sultanas, almonds, mint leaves, chili and dressing. Serve, seasoning with salt and pepper.