janet @ the taste space

Posts Tagged ‘leek’

Warm Lentil, Bulgur and Vegetable Skillet with a Lemon-Tahini Sauce

In Mains (Vegetarian) on October 27, 2011 at 6:09 AM

I follow a lot of food blogs. When I started to use Google Reader, maybe only 6 months ago or so, somehow I effortlessly started reading more and more food blogs. My last count was 232 subscriptions (eek!).

I read blogs for many different reasons: to be inspired by the recipes or techniques; to learn more about ingredients or different ethnic cuisines; and lately to open my culinary repertoire into vegan (and raw) cooking.

Some blogs post tried-and-true recipes, and maybe it is just my poor luck, but sometimes I get lackluster results from other bloggers. It might seem like I have been ragging on her alot recently, I actually adore Angela’s positive message on Oh She Glows.  I just haven’t had too much luck with her recipes.  I find her overnight oats a bit too liquidy for me, her split pea and spinach soup and white bean pesto dip underflavoured and more recently, her tahini-avocado chickpea salad also lacked spunk. Nothing that I couldn’t fix myself, but you just know you will have to continually assess the dish at every step.

Like a mouse drawn blindly to cheese, I am still tempted by her recipes. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, because I know we share some similar tastes. While I haven’t tried her version, I also adore the Creamy Broccoli Dal from Vegan Yum Yum. I just have to do a lot of tweaking to follow her recipes.

With this in mind, I assessed her Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl with caution, despite the many positive reviews in the comments. It looked like a wonderful clean-your-fridge recipe, but I knew I wanted to load it up with vegetables. I scaled back the lentils and swapped the spelt berries for bulgur. I doubled the vegetables, used leek instead of onion, added in 2 red bell peppers, some snow peas, tomato and spinach.  Because I adore lemon, I increased the lemon flavour by adding in the zest from the lemons as well. With less grains and beans, but more vegetables, I kept the same amount of dressing. Finally, an adapted OSG’s recipe worthy to share!

Here, a zippy creamy sauce is simmered with the vegetable medley that is speckled with lentils. The black lentils hold their shape well, as do the French du Puy lentils, which would also work great here. Green lentils would also work ok. I was lucky to have a leftover leek waiting in the fridge, but onions or shallots could also be used.  For the vegetables, pick your favourites but I liked that the fresh tomatoes, with their juices, deglazed the pan nicely.  Serve with your choice of grain, mixed into the skillet or served on the side.

This is my submission to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend and to this week’s Healthy Vegan Friday.
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Warm Lentil and Swiss Chard Salad

In Mains (Vegetarian), Salads on August 12, 2011 at 12:41 PM

I was honoured when Susan at The Well-Seasoned Cook invited me to provide a guest post for her blog, continuing to celebrate the 4th year of My Legume Love Affair. Please head over to her site to hear about my current battle between lentils and chickpeas, and the winning salad I display: Warm Lentil and Swiss Chard Salad.

Warm Lentil and Swiss Chard Salad

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Millet Bowl with Spinach, Leek and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

In Mains (Vegetarian) on July 27, 2011 at 6:11 AM

This was my first time cooking millet. I still have some learning to do.

There is a trick for plump and fluffy millet. I think I goofed when I stirred in some miso after it had cooked, and forgot to plump it up again. Still, fresh, the millet was lovely. Leftovers, talk about clumpy.

My mission: figure out how make the best fluffy millet. Because it isn’t just for the birds. Nutty and reminiscent of spongy couscous, I really liked it!

Here, a big bowl of millet is topped with pan-seared leeks and spinach, spiced with garlic and chili flakes. Lime juice adds a nice acidity and the toasted pumpkin seeds add a subtle crunch. I adapted the recipe from Whole Foods to Thrive, a nice cookbook highlighting recipes from multiple raw/vegan restaurants across North America, as well as simple home recipes such as this.

The original recipe suggested adding the miso the boiling water with the millet. However, I always thought one wasn’t supposed to boil miso to maintain its nutrients. Instead, I opted to stir it in afterwards. Since miso is a sticky paste, this probably wasn’t the best idea, and could have contributed to its stickiness. Next time, I may omit the miso in the millet and add it to the veggies.

Next time. Because I am on a mission to make better millet. 🙂

This is my submission to this month’s Simple and in Season, to this month’s Healing Foods featuring whole grains and to Ricki’s new Summer Wellness Weekends.

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Warm Leek and Flageolet Bean Salad with a Mustard Dressing

In Mains (Vegetarian), Salads, Sides on July 3, 2011 at 7:31 AM

Warm Leek and Flageolet Bean Salad with a Mustard Dressing

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekends, be it celebrating July 1 or July 4.

I was telling my Mom about my low-key Canada Day plans….

Well, first we went grocery shopping…

WHAT?!, she exclaimed. All the grocery stores are closed here.

True, the big chain grocery stores were closed on Friday, but that didn’t stop Sunny’s (or Bestwin or even T&T) from being open. Sunny’s, my current favourite grocery store, is located in Flemingdon Park, the Toronto neighbourhood with the highest percentage of immigrants (67% of its residents, with 23% recent immigrants). Sunny’s advertises over 10 languages its staff can speak, and it truly offers a multicultural grocery experience. Due to its local clientele, the prices are great and the produce is fresh. And it was open on Canada Day. Hourray for me!

BBQs are in full swing now at our place, even though we are still living out of boxes. Rob has chosen to take full advantage of the barbecue, grilling up various kinds of meats for guests, whereas I typically reign in the salad department. I have revisited some of my old favourites, and of course, tried out a few new ones that will be shared shortly, including this lovely warm leek and white bean salad.

White beans are combined with caramelized leeks and smothered in a light mustard sauce. I was mostly inspired by the recipe from Waitrose since I adapted it quite a bit. I increased the amount of leeks, used dill instead of parsley, added in lemon pepper and simplified their mustard dressing. I like how creamy dressing can get with mustard alone!

You can bring your bean salad to the next level by cooking up your own beans with complementary flavours. Here, I opted to cook my own flageolet beans in vegetable broth and rosemary for additional flavour. Cook up more beans than you need, freeze the extra with the stock and you can whip up another tasty white bean salad in a heart beat. Tinned beans would work too, if you haven’t yet converted to cooking your own beans (I had a hard time locating dried flageolet beans in Toronto, let alone canned flageolets, though!).

While you could use any white bean (cannellini/white kidney, Great Northern, or even something smaller like navy or black eyed pea, etc), after delving into my heirloom bean collection, I have realized wonderful novelty beans can be! The first bean I tried was the green flageolet. I found it locally at Rube’s Rice in the St Lawrence Market, so thankfully I can easily replenish my pantry (instead of outsourcing my supply from the US!). Flageolets are smaller white beans, but deliciously smooth and creamy. They are commonly used in the French cassoulet, but here, they make this salad shine.  I look forward to trying other ways of using these delicious beans over the summer.

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Susan and to this month’s Simple and in Season. Read the rest of this entry »

Green Soup with Ginger

In Appetizers, Soups on April 29, 2011 at 6:11 AM

They say to eat a rainbow, but I am trying to eat more green, as the reds and oranges come too naturally to me.  I am also trying to figure out what to plant in my garden, and Swiss chard made the potential list. Truth be told, this was my first time eating Swiss chard. This got me thinking, why the heck is that?

Because, I am a sucker for sales.

And you know what, Swiss chard never goes on sale (neither do pea shoots, and what a treat it was to discover those!). I get side-tracked when baby spinach is less than $4/lb, or wooed when red peppers are under $1/lb, and perfectly smitten when juicy navel oranges are 33 cents/lb (yes, there will be many recipes with orange to come!). But Swiss chard had never made it to my grocery list, until now.

I spotted this recipe in Love Soup (Heidi had already posted the recipe here, too), and was impressed that there was nearly a pound of leafy greens in the soup! Plus, there was a sweet potato and ginger, as well, which I knew worked well from my previous Japanese Winter Stew.

I preferred the soup prior to pureeing it, where I could taste each individual ingredient. The caramelized onions lent a delicious sweetness to the soup, the ginger a bit of  bite, the sweet potato proffered its creaminess, all the while dancing around the multitude of greens (feel free to substitute your favourites). You pile in so many vegetables but they wilt down nicely, as you can see.

Other than using baby spinach, I followed the recipe fairly closely.  This is surprisingly a quick soup to make, but I took the longer one-pot route. Anna suggests caramelizing your onions while the rest of the soup simmers, but I really wanted to deglaze the pan after caramelizing my onions, so I waited for my onions to finish and then threw the rest of the ingredients in afterwards.

Then I pureed it, and it both looked and tasted completely different. The green highlighted how much green really was in the soup!  The soup had become a chameleon, because now it tasted like a melange of flavours since it was all blended together. The same, but different. Two soups for the price of one! I preferred the former, and I think my camera did as well, but for those who get leftover fatigue by the end of the week, the option to puree it is a good one. 🙂

I am so excited about Love Soup, as all the recipes look delicious, and perfect for someone with a backyard filled with vegetables. I can’t wait to plant some Swiss chard this summer (yes, it made the cut) and explore more of Anna Thomas’ recipes.

This is my submission to this week’s Potluck Party for cold remedies and Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

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Mushroom and Leek Tart

In Breakfasts, Mains (Vegetarian) on November 8, 2009 at 12:48 PM

whole wheat pastry shell

This savoury tart or quiche was inspired by the contents of the fridge crisper — a bunch of leeks and a handful of mushrooms — and proved delicious enough to please even a quiche-cynic!

Pastry making is always a learning experience for me.  To appease an irritable tummy, I use whole grains where possible and often have to experiment for success.  A 100% whole wheat crust does not always roll properly for me, and I have been known to piece together a crust using little bits.

The pastry shell recipe, adapted from Jeanne Lemlin’s  Vegetable Quiche with Smoked Cheese in the Vegetarian Pleasures cookbook, uses about 60% whole wheat and works very well.  The dough was easy to roll and turned out flaky and delicious.  My secret: add extra butter and refold dough while rolling.

And because two crusts are as easy to make as one, I doubled the recipe and froze a Broccoli and Sundried Tomato Tart for a rainy day.


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Roasted Squash and Apple Soup

In Soups on November 4, 2009 at 10:20 PM

roasted squash and apple soup

I was catching up with a friend last week. Of course, the conversation veered to food. 😉  She was teasing me as she described all the baked goods she had made with her new Cuisinart. This didn’t surprise me as I know she is a fabulous baker, but what shocked me was that she told me that she doesn’t make soups. WHAT?!

I LOVE soups!  They are easy to make, difficult to screw up, very tasty and usually healthy. I will concede that I rarely make my own stock (save Japanese dashi), but that doesn’t stop me from making delicious, flavourful soups.

I am sharing a soup I made this weekend with some of my favourite ingredients, including squash. I decided to combine my two favourite fall ingredients: squash and apples (those who know me well, know that I recently bought lots of both; on sale, of course!).  It takes a bit of time to come together, but you can do other things as it roasts and simmers. The apple adds a bit of subtle tang to the warm, colourful squash base. I don’t like to make soups with cream; not from the taste (as it tastes great), rather due to cost and calories. I threw it in this soup because I had some lying around but extra stock would work out fine as well. Hopefully this is the beginning of many soups to come on the blog. 😀

My inspiration for the soup came from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds. The soups are a bit heavy on the added cream, but this one piqued my interest.

roasted winter squash and apple soup

roasted winter squash and apple soup

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