Spicy Swiss Chard Saute

Ingredients

1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 to 4 fresh green chillies, minced (according to desired heat level)

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and diced, leaves rough chopped (no, we will not waste the stems)

1 tomato, diced

1/4 cup split moong dhal, soaked at least 2 hours and drained

Salt to taste

Directions

1.  Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the cumin seeds.  When the cumin seeds just start to brown, add the green chillies and red chilli powder (make sure your exhaust fan is on and don’t breathe in the fumes… trust me).  Saute for just a minute and then add the turmeric powder, garlic, ginger, onions and chard stems. Add about a 1/2 tsp of salt at this time.  Saute until the chard stems are just beginning to soften.  If the mixture becomes too dry, you can add a tbsp or two of water.

2.  Add the chard leaves in batches, adding more to the pan as it wilts.  (I had some extra spinach when I made this, so I added that too.  However, it isn’t necessary for this recipe.)  Saute until the chard has wilted and the water has mostly cooked off.

3.  Add the tomato and saute for a few minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.  Stir in the moong dhal.  Serve warm as an accompaniment to rice and dhal, or Indian breads.

Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 stalks celery, diced

3 carrots, diced

2 tbsp tomato paste

3 ripe tomatoes,diced (or one can peeled, diced tomatoes)

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

2 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

1 1/2 cups brown lentils

2 quarts cooking liquid (vegetable stock, water, or a mix)

Salt & pepper to taste

1 or 2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Directions

1.  In a large soup pot, heat the oil and saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrots until the vegetables are just starting to soften.  Add the tomato paste, mix well and continue to saute for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are just starting to stick to the bottom of the pot.  Add the fresh tomatoes and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.

2.  Add the cumin powder, herbs, lentils, salt, pepper and cooking liquid.  Stir well.  Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce the heat.  Continue to simmer until the lentils are cooked and soup has thickened (about 45 minutes).

3.  Taste and adjust seasonings per your preference.  Stir in the spinach leaves and red wine vinegar.  Serve hot with salad or crusty bread.

Masoor Dhal Salad

Ingredients

1 cup whole masoor dhal (red lentils)

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and diced

4 scallions, both white and green parts, diced (feel free to swap out for finely chopped red onion for stronger flavor)

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1.  Cook masoor dhal in water until just done.  Do not overcook as the dhal will become mushy.  Drain and set aside to cool.

2.  In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper.  Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring a few times.

3.  When the masoor dhal is cool, combine with the veggie mixture.  Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold.

Tomato Vegetable Soup

This recipe is originally from the Canyon Ranch cookbook, with minor tweaks.  When you include just veggies, it’s a great, light soup.  Add some crushed red pepper for a spicy kick.  Stir in a bunch of whole spinach leaves at the end to add more green to your meal.  Add beans or potatoes to make it heartier, and some pasta to make it a one pot meal.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 or 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds

2 stalks of celery, diced

1 zucchini, unpeeled and diced

1 summer squash, unpeeled and diced

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (feel free to use a pinch or two dried)

1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (feel free to use 1 tsp dried)

2 cans peeled and diced tomatoes, including the liquid

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 quart vegetable stock

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1.  Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Saute onions, carrots and celery until the veggies start to sweat and the onions are starting to soften.  Add the zucchini and herbs and mix well.  Saute for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the diced tomatoes and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.  Add the cannellini beans and vegetable stock, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper, and mix thoroughly to combine.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.

3.  Remove from heat.  Stir in red wine vinegar.  Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.

Roasted Poblano and Bell Pepper Salsa

Ingredients

2 poblano peppers, seeded

1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered lengthwise

1 green bell pepper, seeded and quartered lengthwise

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (leave seeds in for a spicier salsa, or use more jalapenos)

Juice of one lime

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions

1.  Place the poblano and bell peppers, skin side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Heat under a broiler until the skins are charred.  Turn the poblano peppers over halfway through.  Remove from broiler, place all peppers in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Set aside.

2.  While the peppers are broiling, mix the tomatoes, scallions, jalapeno, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl.  Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Allow to rest.

3.  After the peppers have been in the bowl for about 15 minutes, the tight seal of the plastic should have allowed steam to loosen the skins.  Remove the plastic wrap, carefully peel the charred skins from the flesh of the peppers and discard the skins.  Roughly chop the roasted peppers and add to the tomato mixture.  Add the fresh cilantro.  Combine well and allow to rest for at least an hour, preferably longer, to let the flavors mix.

4.  Taste before serving and adjust salt/pepper as needed.  Can be stored in the refrigerator for several days in a tightly lidded container.