Parsnip, Pea, and Potato Soup

I love parsnips. Roasted, mashed, in soup, in gnocchi (yes, you can do that), you name it! Even the word “parsnip” is super cute.

However, using just parsnips in a soup would be a little too much, so here we have a very alliterative alternative: the pinnacle of perfection, parsnip, pea and potato potage. Okay, I’ll stop.

Serves 4-6
Gluten-free
Prep time: ~60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large leek, sliced into thin half moons.
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 4 medium-sized parsnips, peeled and roughly chunked up.
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled if desired, and roughly chunked up.
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas (could also use split peas, if you rehydrate them).
  • 4 cups vegetable stock.
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme/1 tsp dried thyme.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

 

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C). Place your parsnips on a baking sheet and toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pop them in the oven to roast for about 3o minutes.

While the parsnips are cooking, heat a large pot on medium heat with some olive oil in the bottom. When the oil is hot, add in your leeks and cook them, stirring often, until they begin to soften.

Next, toss in the garlic, and reduce the heat slightly. Keep stirring them until they begin to caramelize nicely.

Next, add in your potatoes and stir well. Place a lid on the pot, and continue to cook them, stirring occasionally, until the parsnips are done.

Once the parsnips are done in the oven, add them to the pot, along with the vegetable stock and the thyme. Bring the whole thing to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly, until the soup is just simmering.

Simmer until the potatoes begin to tenderize, then add in the peas. Stir well. Let the soup come back up to a simmer, and then simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Puree the soup if desired. I think it’s nicer as a puree, but do whatever you prefer!

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Super Simple Guac

I have a confession: I don’t usually like avocados. But I really, really like my friend Amani’s guacamole recipe, and she was kind enough to let me put it on this blog!

Serves 12
Gluten-free
Raw
Prep time: ~10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 ripe avocados.
  • 1 lemon, juiced.
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped (cherry tomatoes work best, but you can use any kind, as long as they’re nice and ripe).
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced.
  • 1 tsp garlic powder.
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Remove the stones and the skins from the avocados, and dump them in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Take a potato masher, and mash thoroughly, until the avocados reach the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Next, add in the tomatoes and red pepper. Stir well, then mash a little bit longer, until everything is nicely combined.

And that’s it! Super simple, but really tasty.

Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

What I like to call “hipster salad”. Very easy to make, all things considered, and quite tasty! I’ve made something similar at work before, and it was popular. If you’re serving to a larger group of people, I recommend using brightly coloured vegetables for a bit of contrast with the greens.

Prep time: ~30 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 6-8, generously

Ingredients:

  • Several large handfuls of greens (kale, arugula, spinach, mixed greens, whatever!)
  • An assortment of vegetables – red and yellow bell pepper, eggplant, and zucchini are nice.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  • salt and pepper.
  • 1 cup quinoa (any kind of quinoa will do!)

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider or balsamic vinegar.
  • 1 shallot, finely diced/pureed.
  • 2 tbsp mustard (Dijon or whole grain are best).
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup.
  • 1 cup olive oil.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 1-2 cm ginger, peeled and finely diced/pureed.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C). Slice your vegetables quite thinly, you want them to roast off pretty quickly. Seperate the peppers from the other vegetables – you want to cook them for a little bit longer than everything else. Drizzle everything with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, and toss briefly before popping it in the oven.

While the vegetables roast, time to cook the quinoa. Use 2 cups water for every 1 cup quinoa. Heat in a pot on high heat, with a splash of oil and a little pinch of salt, until boiling. Turn the heat down to low, and wait until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, then set aside to cool.

When your vegetables are nicely roasted (and you want your peppers to be nearly black!), take them out of the oven, and set aside to cool as well.

Now, make the dressing: place everything but the oil into a bowl, then slowly pour in the oil, mixing well as you go. You can also use a food processor or an immersion blender if you want it to emulsify perfectly. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as desired.

When the vegetables and quinoa are mostly cool, place them in a large bowl with the salad greens. Toss everything together. Add the salad dressing just as you serve, or better yet, have the dressing on the side, and allow everyone to add as much dressing as they like.

Black Bean Stew

Very loosely inspired by an incredible Brazilian dish called Feijoada. This is a very filling, hearty stew full of protein!

This recipe also contains a bonus recipe for pico de gallo! You can use it on tacos, in burritos, or even just serve it up with some tortilla chips. Super yummy and fresh.

Serves 4-6
Gluten-free
Prep time: ~60 minutes

Ingredients:

For the stew:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 3 bell peppers (use whatever colours you like best), chopped into approx. 2 cm chunks.
  • 1 tsp paprika.
  • 2 red onions, roughly diced.
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 2 cans black beans (not drained and rinsed, for once!)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock.
  • 1 small bunch coriander leaves (also called cilantro), finely chopped.
  • 2 tsp ground cumin.
  • 1 tsp ground coriander.
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the pico de gallo:

  • 1 small red onion, finely diced.
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, finely diced.
  • 1-2 serrano peppers (if you can’t find them, use jalapenos instead), finely chopped.
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped.
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced (zest is optional, but I like it!)
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

 

Cooking Instructions:

For the stew:

Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C). Toss your peppers with a generous amount of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and the paprika. Pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes, until they’re nice and soft.

While the peppers are in the oven, it’s time to start on the rest of the stew. Heat a large pan on medium-low heat with about 1 tbsp of olive oil in the bottom. When the oil is hot, toss in your onions and garlic, along with a good pinch of salt.

Cover with the lid and cook them, stirring often, until the onions are soft and nicely caramelized. This should take about 15-20 minutes. Add in the beans, vegetable stock, coriander, and cumin. Stir well to combine.

When the peppers are done, take them out of the oven and plop them straight into the stew. Stir them in, then toss in your coriander leaves. Allow the stew to simmer for about 20 minutes, until all the flavours are nicely mingled. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve piping hot!

You can also serve this stew on top of rice, if desired.

For the pico de gallo:

The amount of peppers you use will really depend on your spice tolerance. Start off with a little bit, then add more if it’s not spicy enough for you.

Toss the onion, tomatoes, and peppers into a large bowl and mix well. Add in the lime juice, lime zest, salt, pepper, and coriander leaves. Mix well until everything is nicely coated in lime juice. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.

You can serve this immediately, but I like to pop it in the fridge for a while to let the flavours mingle better. It gets a bit spicier if you leave it for a little while, so keep that in mind when you make it!

For this dish, I’d serve it immediately. Just place a nice little spoonful on top of the stew when you’re about to take it to the table!

Fasouliah b’zeit

Also called Loubyeh b’zeit, this is a Lebanese dish. It consists of stewed green beans in a deliciously garlicky tomato sauce, served over rice. This is a friend’s recipe, with his little tips and tricks to make it the way he likes.

This also includes a bonus recipe for Adha – garlic toasted in olive oil. Super yummy, and a staple in many Middle-Eastern (particularly Palestinian) dishes.

Prep time: ~40 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

For the stew:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced.
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced/crushed.
  • 500 grams green beans (fresh or frozen).
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes, sliced thinly, with the juice reserved.
  • 1 tsp Baharat (see recipe on this blog!)
  • hot sauce or dried chili flakes, if desired, to taste.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 1 1/2 cups rice.

For the Adha:

  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced fairly thinly.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.

 

Cooking Instructions:

Place a large pot on medium heat with the olive oil in the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Add a generous pinch of salt – this will help draw the moisture out of the onion and allow it to caramelize slightly.

Cook, stirring often, until the onion has just started to caramelize, then add in the green beans and tomatoes. Stir well to combine, and bring to a bubble.

While the stew is cooking, make some rice, about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup per person.

Once the stew is bubbling, add in the Baharat and hot sauce/chili flakes, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer gently for as long as you like, but at least 20 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. Taste just before serving, and adjust the seasoning as desired.

Just before serving, time to make the toasted garlic.

Make sure the garlic isn’t sliced too thinly, or it will burn, but also not too thickly, because then the middle won’t cook properly. Heat a small (very small) frying pan on medium-low heat with the olive oil in it. Add in the garlic slices.

Fry, stirring frequently, until the garlic turns yellow. Take it off the heat, and allow the residual heat to finish cooking the garlic, until it’s a nice golden colour.

Pour it into the stew (or the rice, if you prefer). If you’re feeling fancy, remove the garlic from the oil and use it as a garnish on top instead of mixing it in with the rest.

Scoop a nice amount of rice into the bottom of a bowl, then top with the stew. Enjoy!

 

Stuffed Bell Peppers

A simple dish that lends itself quite well to weeknights – most of the time it takes to cook this dish is in the oven, so there’s minimal time spent hovering around the stove waiting for it to cook!

You can also make the filling a few days in advance, then just hollow out the peppers, fill them, and pop them in the oven.

Prep time: ~60 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced.
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup rice, rinsed well to remove excess starch.
  • 2/3 cup lentils, rinsed well.
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, sliced, with the juice reserved.
  • 1 handful fresh oregano (or 2 tsp dried).
  • salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 4 large bell peppers.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350F (180C)

Cook your rice and lentils. I like to cook them together in the same pot, but you can cook them separately if you like.

Heat a large frying pan on medium-low heat with the olive oil in it. Once the oil is hot, add the onion along with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, and reduce the heat slightly. Continue cooking, stirring every so often, until they begin to caramelize.

While the onions and garlic cook, cut the tops off of your peppers and hollow them out, being careful not to poke holes in them. I like to chop up the excess pepper bits and add them to the filling. Wrap the bottoms of the peppers with tinfoil, and place them in a large roasting dish. Make sure they’re stable and won’t fall over!

Add the leftover pepper bits to the onion and garlic, if you like, and continue cooking. Once the onions are lovely and caramelized, go ahead and dump in the tomatoes and oregano. Stir well to combine, then bring to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

When the rice and lentils are done, add everything to a large bowl and mix well. Spoon the filling into the peppers, making sure to fill them right to the brim. Drizzle the peppers with a bit of olive oil, then pop them in the oven for approx. 40 minutes, until the peppers are soft.

Serve right away, and enjoy!