Posted in Appetizers, Brunch, Legumes, Lunch, Real Food, Vegetarian, tagged appetizer, basil, beans, butter, delicious, dip, EVOO, extra-virgin olive oil, fast, garlic, great northern, healthy, hummus, legumes, lime juice, onion powder, real food, sea salt, spread, thyme, vegan, vegetarian on September 6, 2012 |
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As promised on my Facebook page, here is the recipe for the delicious herbed bean dip I created this week. I wanted to create a spread that tasted as good as the herbed tofu spread on my favorite sandwich from a local cafe. I called the tofu sandwich my “Friday junk food” because it’s soy with nutritional yeast on flax seed bread that is made with unbleached all purpose flour. But it’s so darned delicious!
Well, this spread knocks it out of the park, my friends.
It’s amazing. Tangy citrus paired with savory seasonings, and the deep rich bean undertones melding it all together. I’ve had it on crackers and a toasted sprouted bread sandwich with ripe heirloom tomato, avocado, and sprouts. It’s simply outstanding. Try it, and let me know how you like it!
Great Northern Herbed Spread (or Dip)
Makes about two cups
- 2 c. cooked great northern beans OR 1 - 15 oz. cans of organic great northern beans or butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 t. minced garlic
- 3 T. fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 T. dried chives
- 1 t. dried thyme
- 1 t. dried basil
- 1 t. onion powder or granules
- 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 t. sea salt
Place all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Blend on high until the spread becomes a lovely, creamy consistency, or about 3-4 minutes. Enjoy on toast, sandwiches, crackers, and veggies.
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We were in a hurry to get on the road to visit Richard’s parents’ house and we whipped these up to take with us in the car. They were delicious and traveled very well. I think we even dolloped sour cream on them before we left!
Baby Bella and Shallot Quesadillas with Cherry Tomato Salsa
- 3 Serrano chiles
- 1-1/3 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
- sea salt and pepper
- 3 T. olive oil
- 3 large shallots, minced
- 16 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 8 Whole Wheat Tortillas
- 8 oz. shredded cheese
- Seed and chop two whole chiles and set aside. Seed and mince the remaining chile. Mix the tomatoes, green onion, and minced chile in a small bowl. Season the salsa to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the shallots and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and chopped chile; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Heat a griddle or large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add 2 tortillas and cook until slightly softened, about 30 seconds. Turn the tortillas over. Spread 1/4 c. of the cheese over 1/2 of each tortilla, leaving a border around the edges. Spread 1/4 cup of the mushroom mixture over the cheese on each. Fold the empty side of the tortillas over the filling and press lightly. Cook until goden and crisp, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to warmed plate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Divide the quesadillas between warmed plates and serve right away with the salsa. Enjoy!
Also shared on Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday.
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Posted in Appetizers, Brunch, Fresh Vegetables, Lunch, Main Dishes, Salads, Vegetarian, tagged balsamic vinegar, basil, cheese, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh mozzarella, sea salt, tomato, tomatoes on May 15, 2012 |
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I’ll admit up front that before I made this I’d never eaten caprese salad before, much less made it. When I found these aquaponic tomatoes at Nelson and Pade Aquaponics in Montello, Wisconsin this weekend, I just had to use them in a starring role. I vaguely remembered reading about reducing the balsamic vinegar, which makes it sweeter and a bit syrupy. Well, I may have reduced it a bit much because it was as thick as cold honey. I’d do it again in a second though because the flavor was outstanding. You can also make pretty designs with it on a white plate and it’ll stay put.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for this recipe to find or make a great fresh mozzarella. It’s imperative. I was lucky to find a weak and watery ball of Belgioioso up in Montello, but if I was home I’d have gone straight for the Crave Brothers mozzarella, which is much creamier, firmer, and flavorful. And can you imagine how pretty this would be made with heirloom tomatoes? However you make it, the results will be stunning; a feast for both the eye and the palate. Enjoy!
Caprese Salad with a Balsamic Reduction
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 lb. fresh mozzarella
- 3 large tomatoes
- 1 oz. fresh basil leaves
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 oz. balsamic vinegar
- sea salt
- black pepper
- For the reduction: Bring vinegar to a gentle boil over medium heat and simmer without a cover for 15-20 minutes, until it becomes thicker and more syrupy. Keep in mind it will thicken up even more as it cools.
- While the balsamic vinegar is reducing, slice the mozzarella and tomatoes. Layer the cheese, tomatoes, and destemmed basil leaves as pictured.
- Drizzle olive oil over the layered tomatoes, followed by the cooled balsamic reduction. Sprinkle a few additional basil leaves for effect. Sprinkle sea salt and grind a little black pepper over it all.
This post shared on a recipe swap over here at Whole Lifestyle Nutrition. Also shared on Foodie Friday over at Simple Living with Diane Balch.
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This recipe was inspired by a family trip to the Nelson Pade Aquaponic Technology, Systems, and Supplies, a research and demonstration facility. From their website:
“What Is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. In aquaponics, you grow fish and plants together in one integrated, soilless system. The fish waste provides a food source for the plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. Aquaponics produces safe, fresh, organic fish and vegetables. When aquaponics is combined with a controlled environment greenhouse, premium quality crops can be grown on a year-round basis, anywhere in the world. Aquaponics can be used to sustainably raise fresh fish and vegetables for a family, to feed a village or to generate a profit in a commercial farming venture.”
Aquaponics is what Growing Power (last week’s family trip) uses in their greenhouses in Milwaukee. This system is also what we’re planning on using in our greenhouse
Well they also had a little honor-system stand with produce grown in their greenhouse. They had lovely big red tomatoes, fresh lettuces (with bulbs intact so you could plant them again), and herbs. I purchased two different lettuces, five tomatoes, and a package of fresh basil. Then Richard and I hit a local grocery for the rest of the ingredients. We went back to his parents’ campground and I prepared this fresh, zingy salsa. My 12-year old nephew couldn’t stay out of it, and actually ASKED me to send his mom the recipe! High praise indeed.
Corn and Black Bean Salsa
Makes 3.5 cups
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 3 ears husked bi-color sweet corn, kernels sliced off the cob
- 4 scallions with greens, sliced
- 1 jalapeno, deseeded, de-ribbed, and minced
- 1 orange bell pepper, deseeded and diced
- 1-15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 T. fresh garlic, minced
- 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 T. balsalmic vinegar
- 2 t. sea salt
- Mix all ingredients together and serve as a salsa with chips, or as relish over any dish that seems appropriate (grilled fish, tacos, etc.).
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Posted in Appetizers, Brunch, Kid Food, Lunch, Main Dishes, Vegetarian, Whole Grains, Wraps, tagged cheese, green chilies, tomatoes, tortillas on April 28, 2012 |
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These are seriously quick and seriously tasty. We didn’t use a lot of cheese, just enough to give it the right bite-feel on the whole wheat tortillas. We had a big green salad before these as well, because they’d be seriously easy to eat too many of! You could use any other veggies you wanted to throw on these, but they were great with just the diced green chilies. I admit, we did used canned chiles for these. If you’re a thinker-aheader and have your own chilies cooked or canned, even better!
Fresh Tomato Tostadas
Suggestion: Make one tortilla per person and serve with a green salad
- Whole Wheat Tortillas
- 3 organic roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 4 oz. can chopped mild green chilies, drained
- 6 oz freshly grated mild cheese blend
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tortillas flat on a large baking sheet. Arrange tomatoes over tortillas. Sprinkle with chilies and cheese.
- Bake until tortillas are lightly golden and crisp and cheese has melted, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, cook them on a nonstick griddle. Cut each tostada into wedges, and serve hot.
Sour cream, fresh tomatoes, corn, and avocado are all delicious as toppings when the tostadas are hot. They are also great cold when taken the next day for lunch. Trust me. Enjoy!
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