November 2004

Vol. 3, No. 11

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RECIPES

FESTIVE PUMPKIN STEW

Preparation Time: 60 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8

2 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground oregano
several twists of fresh ground pepper
3 carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 ears corn, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 yams, peeled and cut in large chunks
2 white potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
10 ounce bag frozen petite whole onions
1 4 ounce can chopped green chilies
8 ounces seitan, cut into bite sized pieces
1  4-5 pound pumpkin
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Place 1/4 cup of the broth in a large pot. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, oregano, bay leaves and black pepper. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Add remaining broth, carrots, corn, yams, potatoes,  frozen onions, canned chilies and seitan. Cook, covered over low heat for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, prepare pumpkin by cutting off the top, as if you were going to make a jack-o-lantern. Set top aside. Clean out seeds and stringy portion. Brush the inside with the maple syrup. Put top back on. Place in a 9 x 12 inch baking dish with 1/2 inch water in the bottom. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Ladle the stew into the pumpkin, cover with pumpkin top and bake for 45 minutes.

Serve from the pumpkin, scooping out bits of pumpkin along with the stew.  Serve in large bowls with some bread alongside, if desired.

Hint: This may seem like a lot of work, but it is very festive and delicious. It makes a wonderful holiday centerpiece.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH SUPREME

Look for spaghetti squash in the produce section of your market.  It is a creamy yellow color, oblong shaped, and when cooked, the strands pull out like cooked spaghetti.  It is very low in calories and makes an excellent substitute for cooked pasta.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  variable
Servings:  6-8

1 spaghetti squash

COOK BY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING METHODS:

1) Leave whole and prick the skin all over with the tines of a fork. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour.  Cut in half at once to stop the cooking process.  Let cool briefly, then remove seeds.  Rake the strands out with a fork.

2) Cut squash in half and remove the seeds.  Place cut side down in a baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes.  Turn over and rake out the cooked strands with a fork.

3) Cut squash in half and remove the seeds.  Microwave for 10-15 minutes, cut side up in a baking dish with a small amount of water in the bottom.  Rake out cooked strands with a fork.

4)  Cut squash in half and remove the seeds.  Place in a large steamer pot with about 2 inches of water covering the bottom.  Cover and steam for about 30 minutes.  Rake out cooked strands with a fork.

Serve the spaghetti squash with your favorite low fat marinara sauce for a delicious weight-loss meal.  Or try the following delicious topping for your spaghetti squash.

MARINARA SURPRISE

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 minutes
Servings:  6

½ cup water
1 onion, chopped
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrot
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1  15 ounce can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes
1  15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cups packed, chopped, fresh Swiss chard

Place the water in a large pot.  Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften slightly.  Add the tomatoes, beans and seasonings. 

Reduce heat and cook, covered, for 30 minutes.  Add the chard and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Hints:  Use any variety of cooked beans that you wish for variation.  If you can’t find the fire roasted tomatoes, use plain chopped tomatoes.

PEA SOUP

This is my family’s favorite pea soup.  I have been making this version for over 25 years.  This tastes even better the next day and it is great over baked potatoes, too!

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  2  hours
Servings:  8-10

1 cup green split peas
½ cup dried baby lima beans
¼ cup barley
8 cups water
1 onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 cups vegetable broth
2 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, chunked
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place split peas, lima beans, barley and water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add bay leaves and celery seed.  Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour.  Add remaining ingredients and cook for an additional 1 hour.

Hints:  If you want to make this without the lima beans, increase the split peas to 2 cups and reduce the initial cooking time to ½ hour.  This freezes well and reheats well.  For a delicious smoky flavor, try adding a couple drops of liquid smoke to the soup about 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

THREE BEAN SALAD

This is a very fast and easy salad.  Great to have on hand in your refrigerator for a quick snack.  It also packs well so it is easy to take with you to work.  This can be made as mild or as spicy as you like it by changing the kind of salsa used.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Chilling Time:  at least 1 hour
Servings:  6

1  15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1  15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1  15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 small, mild, sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup salsa, mild, medium, or hot
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

Combine beans and vegetables in a large bowl.  Place the salsa in a small container, then add the lime juice and chili powder.  Stir or shake to combine.  Pour over the bean mixture and toss to mix.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

NUTTY SOFT TACOS

I have been making these tacos for my family for over 25 years.  This recipe makes enough for dinner and leftovers for a couple of lunches.  The filling may also be frozen for later use.  We consider this a richer food because of the nuts used, so I usually only make it once or twice a year.  Toppings for the tacos may be varied according to your tastes.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  15 minutes
Servings:  makes about 3 cups 

Filling:
¾ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup roasted sunflower seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ to 1 cup water
1  6 ounce can tomato paste
soft corn tortillas

Toppings:
chopped green onions
chopped tomatoes
shredded lettuce
alfalfa sprouts
salsa

Place the peanuts and raw sunflower seeds in a saucepan with water to cover.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Drain off remaining water and reserve.  Place the cooked peanuts and sunflower seeds in a food processor.  Add the roasted sunflower seeds, the sesame seeds, the cumin seeds and about ½ cup of the reserved cooking water.  (Add more water if necessary to reach ½ cup.)  Process until blended.  Add the tomato paste and process until well blended.  Add more water, a small amount at a time, until mixture is a spreadable consistency.  Serve warm or cold.  Place a line of the filling down the center of the tortilla, layer on the toppings and salsa of your choice, roll up and eat.

Hints:  Store unused nuts and seeds in the freezer so they don’t spoil. 

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