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settling potato leek soup

8 Jan

37548606_e4462264d1Winter is the time for soup to shine!

There is nothing simpler and more satisfying than a creamy (dairy and gluten free) potato leek soup. The combination simply soothes the soul.

Here’s how to make this rich soup in just 20 minutes:

Inspired by epicurious 

Prep Time: 3 minutes Total Time: ~20 minutes

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • Handful of red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 1 leek, cut into half moons
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 C water (or stock)
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Prep: Rinse potatoes and leek. Cut potatoes, remove the top (where it starts to diverge), and the bottom root of the leek, cut down the middle, then into half moons. Take out your pan, wooden spoon, food processor, or immersion blender.

2. Cook: Add olive oil to a deep pan, over medium-low heat cook the leeks with a dash of salt, and cover for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Add in water, cover and bring to a simmer. Add in potatoes, cover and simmer for ~10-20 minutes, or until soft.

3. Blend: In your food processor, puree 1/2 of the soup mixture. Place soup mixture in a big bowl, then mix in the other 1/2 of the soup from your pan. Mix well, then serve. Season with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Photo courtesy of sethoscope

maple cinnamon kabocha puree

11 Dec

5112078128_c56cb4b869 (1)We keep on ranting and raving about kabocha squash, and for good reason!

It gets such great reviews due to its versatility, and nutrition – high in beta carotene, vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, and calcium. Along with it’s comforting flavors to help warm you up on cold winter evenings.

This time we are transforming our kabocha into a delectable puree, as a perfect side dish to accompany your other dinner components, or maybe even for breakfast topped with some chopped nuts!

Pre Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kabocha squash, diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 t. maple syrup
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • sea salt to taste

Directions:

1. Prep: Rinse, cut squash in half, and remove all seeds, then dice your half into 2 inch thick pieces.

2. Cook: Add water to the bottom of a small pot, line with a steamer basket. Add squash, set heat to medium – high, cover and let cook for 15 minutes, until soft.

3. Blend: Add cooked squash to your food processor. Drizzle in olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Blend well, until pureed.

4. Serve: Scoop your puree onto your dinner plate, or breakfast bowl, top with a sprinkle of salt for dinner, and chopped nuts for breakfast. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of wikioticsian

kabocha squash pappardelle

2 Dec

IMG_2472Winter squashes are hard to miss these days.

Instead of simply roasting them, or pureeing them into a soup, why not delight your senses by adding them into pasta?

Here’s a fun way to incorporate the winter squash bounty – make a vibrant and colorful, sweet and savory pasta that both you and your kids will love!

Prep time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. papparedelle, or any long pasta – guide to pasta servings
  • 1.5 c. kabocha squash, seeds removed, chopped (keep the peel on)
  • 2 small chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few leaves of fresh sage

Directions: 

1. Prep: Measure out your pasta, bring water to boil in a large pot. Rinse, and dice squash. Cut chicken into strips. Slice shallots.

2. Cook: Place water into a medium sized pot, line with a steam basket. Add squash, cover and bring to a boil, then down to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until soft. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a pan and caramelize the shallots. Add chicken, and sauté until cooked, 10-15 minutes. Add pasta into boiling water, let cook for 10-12 minutes, or until al-dente.

3. Assemble: Strain the pasta, and the squash. In the pasta pot, add the squash, chicken, shallots, and mix well. Plate, then drizzle with a touch of olive oil, a pinch of salt, grind of pepper, and top with a few fresh sage leaves. Enjoy!

kid tested cranberry chutney

25 Nov

IMG_0175Our Thanksgiving cooking class recipe revolved around seasonal fruit like cranberries, apples and pears.

They loved it!

We created a vibrant and fall colored quinoa salad, and to go alongside it, we simmered down a delicious cranberry chutney. A perfect delight for the senses!

Here’s to celebrating the fall harvest, spending time with family and friends, savoring good food, making memories, and giving back to those who need it the most.

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: ~60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. cranberries
  • 2 c. apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 c. orange juice
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. ginger
  • 4 T sugar

Directions: 

Add all of the ingredients into a pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 hour, or until all ingredients are soft and the liquid has reduced.

Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!

the beauty of a garlic press

4 Nov

photo (31)The small things really matter when it comes to cooking (and many things in life).

Is there something that you can change in your kitchen that will make an impact on your daily cooking activities?

For example, do you use lots of garlic in your recipes, but are not that thrilled when you need to mince it, resulting in smelly garlic fingers?

Then pamper yourself with a garlic press, honestly, it will change your world!

If you haven’t yet ventured onto a garlic press, you will be amazed at how efficient and helpful this tool is. You don’t even need to peel the cloves! All you do is place your garlic clove(s) into the press and squeeze, and you’ve got yourself some fresh pressed garlic in no time!

Not only is this device a convenient cooking tool, research has strongly suggested that “using fresh garlic would provide maximal and added benefits” to cardiovascular patients, meaning it’s great for your heart. Due to its hydrogen sulfide contents, garlic relaxes blood vessels, allowing more blood to pass through when eaten raw.

What cooking tools help you in your daily life?