Category Archives: Dinner Entrees

Spicy Kale and Potato Soup

Is there anything better than a nice brothy bowl of soup and a glass of wine on a snowy night? This weeks bag from Liberty Heights SSF contained Russian Red Kale, Celeriac, Purple Turnips, Brussels Spoouts, Cocktail Grapefruits, and Honey. Celeriac and Turnips are not vegetables I use everyday and when faced with those kind of vegetables, I tend to go in one of two directions: roast them or make them into soup. This week is entirely about soup.

Tonight, I used the russian red kale and potatoes from last weeks bag along with shallots from the bag from 2 weeks ago to make Deborah Madison’s Kale and Potato Soup with Red Chili from the Green’s Cookbook (which is a cookbook that I love love love). The red chili just refers to some crushed red chili flakes. I made a couple of small substitutions based on my cupboard. I used the Russian Kale for regular curly kale and shallots instead of onions. I used a vegetable boullion cube instead of boiling the kale stems for broth. The recipe for this soup is so simple that I didn’t have high expectations for it, but it is super tasty and perfect for a night like this one.

This is not a great picture. I was lazy and used my cell phone to take the pic.

Kale and potato soup

Look for more soup this week. I’m planning on a split pea soup with the celeriac and also a vegetable soup with barley which will use some turnips and potatoes. I already ate the brussels spouts. I simply roasted them.


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Carnival Squash & Sage Pizza

This is the tastiest pizza ever. I promise.

Carnival Squash & Sage Pizza
1 carnival squash (or acorn squash)
1 small onion, sliced thinly
2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
4-5 oz Asiago Fresco cheese
2-4 tbsp parmesan cheese
2 balls of pizza dough (see below recipe)
1 tsp semolina

Preheat oven to 375. Cut squash in half, seed, and place face down on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until the squash is tender. Scoop out the squash and chopped coarsly.

Turn oven up to 500 degrees and put a pizza stone in the oven. Let oven heat up for at least 30 minutes.

When oven is nearly heated up, heat butter and olive oil in a 12 inch skillet over med-high heat. Add onions and cook till lightly browned (about 7 minutes). Add sage and cook for another couple of mintues. Add squash and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

On a floured surface, roll out each ball of pizza as thin as you can. It will be about 10-12″ round. Sprinkle pizza peel with semolina to keep dough from sticking. Place one round of dough on a pizza peel.

Brush dough with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Add half of the squash mixture on top of the dough evenly (it will probably be cool enough to use your hands). Sprinkle with half of the asiago and a couple of tablespoons of parmesan.

Slide pizza onto the hot pizza stone. Cook for 6-7 minutes.

Pizza Dough (this is mostly copied from Veggie Planet by Didi Emmons)
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 pinch sugar
1.5 tsp dry yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
2 c unbleached white flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup lukewarm water

Mix 1/3 c. lukewarm water with pinch of sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and the stir the yeast in. Set aside for 10 minutes.

In a food processor with plastic dough blade, mix flour and salt. Add another 1/3 c. lukewarm water, olive oil, to the water-yeast mixture. Add the yeast mixture to the flour. Run the food processor until the mixture forms a ball. If it is not coming together you may need to add another tablespoon of water. After it comes to a ball, mix another 15 seconds. Put dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

Punch down and form dough into 4 balls (single size serving).

Notes –

You can cook the squash while the pizza dough is rising, unless you are using you oven as your warm place.

If you need a warm place for the dough to rise, heat oven to about 120 degrees as you start to make the dough and then turn off the oven. By the time you are done making the dough, the oven will be just about right. You really want it to be about 80 degrees.

You can save extra dough for another time by placing a ball of dough into a ziploc bag which has been coated lightly with olive oil. Store in fridge for a couple of days or put it in the freezer for a couple of months (to thaw put in the fridge the day before you plan to use it).

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SSF: Potatoes and Sunchokes – Gratin Dauphinois

This week’s Liberty Heights bag of goodness contained Purple Skin Caribe Potatoes, Sunchokes aka Jerusalem artichokes, Green Butter lettuce, Satsuma Mandarins, Cucumbers, and Goat’s Milk Yogurt from Drake Family Farms. Lettuce, cucumbers, and mandarins are pretty easy to handle… but Goat’s Mike yogurt and Sunchokes! I’m not a big fan of Goat anything so this was a challenge. I tried to hide the first 8 oz in a smoothie. It was ok, but a little too tangy. So the second 8 oz was hidden in some chocolate chip banana muffins.

Now the sunchokes. I did find a Mario Batali recipe to roast them, but I roast everything and wanted to do something different. Then I ran across Streaming Gourmet’s riff on Jacques Pépin’s Gratin Dauphinois. Streaming Gourmet had changed the recipe to use sunchokes and cheddar. And his picture is a thousand times better than mine! This was really tasty, but I felt like I’d hidden the sunchokes instead of highlighting them. If you are looking for a great potato gratin, this is for you, but I wish I’d roasted the sunchokes after all so that I could taste them better.

Here is my version. My version uses the food processor to prep everything and uses shallots instead of leeks because I still have shallots from last weeks’s bag. I also removed some steps that were unncessary to the end product for quicker preparation.

Gratin with Potatoes and Sunchokes

2 cloves garlic
3-4 shallots cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 lbs red skinned potatoes, peeled
1 lb sunchokes, peeled
4 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine (or butter)
2 cups soy milk (or milk)
Dash of freshly grated Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, use processor to grate (might use Gruyère next time)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, use processor to grind cheese

1. Prep in the food processor in this order: grind parmesan, grate cheddar, pulse shallots and garlic till finely chopped, slice potatoes and sunchokes.

2. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Layer the potatoes, shallots and garlic, and sunchokes in a well-oiled 9×13 baking dish (**see note), making several repeating layers.

3. Add chunks of the margarine and soy milk to a small pot. Grate nutmeg over the top and season with salt and lots of pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.

4. Once the soy milk is heated and nearly boiling, add 3/4 cheddar and stir to melt. Pour it over the casserole and top with remaining cheddar and the parmesan.

5. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes covered with foil. Remove the foil and bake another 45 minutes.

6. Remove it from the oven let it cool for about 15 minutes before serving. That allows the flavors to meld and the cheese and milk to cool into a creamy mixture.

** This made a real mess of the baking dish and I spent a lot of time with a brillo pad. I was lucky I’d made it in my cheap pyrex glass dish. Make sure you use non-stick cooking spray, a pan shaped so that you can soak it in the sink later, or a dish that you don’t mind scrubbing with a brillo (or some combination of the above). My dish was oiled with olive oil, but that didn’t seem to help much.

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SSF Dinosaur Kale – North African Chickpea and Kale Soup

I’ve rejoined Liberty Heights SSF (similar to a CSA). I signed up for the 1/2 vegetarian bag. Each week I go pick up a bag of vegetables, fruit, and one other fun item. This week’s bag contained: dinosaur kale, red cabbage, shallots (a zillion shallots), baby red beets, oranges, and locally made gouda.

With the red cabbage and some shallots, I made a red cabbage and butternut squash galette with gruyere. I wasn’t too fond of this one. The idea was great, so I might tweak this idea a bit and post back in a few weeks with a version that I like.

The baby red beets were simply roasted whole in a foil packet, peeled, and eaten as a side dish.

With the dino Kale and some more of the shallots (instead of onions), I made a North African Chickpea and Kale Soup. My original idea for the kale this week was to make a kale, white bean, and garlic soup with some toasty croutons. When I came across this recipe, my husband voted that we make it. I wasn’t too sure about the idea but it came out great and it went into my ‘keeper’ pile. The saffron is (in my opinion) not optional and it really makes the dish.

I didn’t take a picture, so you’ll have to click on the link above and look at Susan’s pictures. This soup was great and you should make it the next time you find yourself with a bunch of kale on your hands or if you are having a kale craving.

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Lasagne

This is an old recipe that I’ve been thinking about lately.  I had to search old blog archives to find it and wound up finding it in a sql db backup file.  So, there is no picture on this one.  This would be a good holiday meal or something to serve to company as I remember it is very time consuming.

This recipe is adapted from an epicurious recipe.


For squash filling:

3 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tsp olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup hazelnuts (4 oz)
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

For sauce:
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups milk
1 bay leaf (not California)
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

For assembling lasagne:
6 oz mozzarella, grated (1.5 cups)
3/4  cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 oz)
3/4 cup finely grated Aged Provolone
12 (7- by 3 1/2-inch) sheets no-boil lasagne (1/2 lb

Make filling:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread butternut squash onto 2 cookie sheets and drizzle olive oil over the squash.  Spinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.  Cook the squash for 15 minutes.  Stir the squash and swap the tray locations in the oven for even browning.  Cook another 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Spread the hazelnuts onto a cookie sheet.  Cook the hazelnuts for 15 minutes, rolling them around occasionally.  Set aside to cool.  When cool rub of the loose skins with a kitchen towel and coarsely chop them.   Set aside.

Cook onion in butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for about 1 more minute. Add squash and cook for about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in parsley, sage, and nuts. Cool filling by setting aside while making the sauce.

Make sauce:
Heat milk in a medium saucepan on low.  When the milk is warm, cook garlic in butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add milk in a stream, whisking. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes. Whisk in salt and white pepper and remove from heat. Discard bay leaf.

Assemble lasagne:
Preheat oven to 425F.

Toss cheeses together. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in a buttered 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass baking dish (or other shallow 3-quart baking dish) and cover with 3 pasta sheets, leaving spaces between sheets. Spread with 2/3 cup sauce and one third of filling, then sprinkle with a heaping 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layering 2 more times, beginning with pasta sheets and ending with cheese. Top with remaining 3 pasta sheets, remaining sauce, and remaining cheese.

Tightly cover baking dish with buttered foil and bake lasagne in middle of oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let lasagne stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

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Bestest Soup Evah – Potato, Leek, Carnival Squash, Roasted Garlic Soup

I got 5 lbs of free potatoes from our local natural foods store, Cali’s. They needed to be used up pretty quickly as they were already growing some eyes. I looked around the house to see what I had and came up with a potato, leek, carnival squash, roasted garlic soup. The recipe is below. It is for a Fagor pressure cooker at high altitude. For lower altitude, you probably will need less cooking time. You could also make this on the stove and cook for much longer. But, I think the pressure cooker is integral to get the creamy texture of this soup.


Creamy Potato, Leek, Carnival Squash and Roasted Garlic Soup

2 carnival squash
2 heads garlic
olive oil, salt, pepper
1 T olive oil
2 leeks, white parts cleaned and sliced thin
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
a few cranks of pepper
1/4 c white wine
4 c water
2.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes (4 large), peeled and cut into 1.5″ chunks
1/2 T olive oil
2 T fresh parsley
1 not-chicken bouillon cube
1.5 c soy milk
1/2 c Silk soy creamer
2 T Earth Balance margarine
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice carnival squash in half and scoop out seeds. Rub the cut side with olive oil and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for 40-50 min, until tender. Meanwhile, remove loose paper from garlic, slice off the tops, and place in a foil packet. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil over the garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal up the foil packet and bake for 50 minutes at 400. Remove everything from the oven and cool for a while. When cool, scrape the squash insides into a bowl and squeeze out the garlic cloves into the same bowl. Set aside for later.

Using the brown function of the electric pressure cooker (or the stove top), cook the leeks in about a tablespoon of olive oil till tender. When leeks are tender, add the dried herbs and a few cranks of pepper. Cook for about a minute. Add the white wine and cook for another minute. Add 4 cups of water and the potatoes. Add 1/2 T olive oil to the top of the liquid to prevent potato foaming in the pressure cooker. Close lid and cook for 7 minutes (less at regular altitude). Quick release when done, and add the squash, garlic, bouillon cube, and 2 T fresh parsley. Close lid and cook for another 3 minutes. Quick release.

If your pressure cooker is non-stick, you might want to use a measuring cup to scoop the soup to another pot for this next step. Add the cream, soy milk, and margarine along with some salt and pepper. Use a stick blender to puree the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a soft roll and a big dinner salad.


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Soy Mirin Tofu with Peanut Sauce

Last night we made this recipe from Vegan Yum Yum for Soy-Mirin Tofu Over Rice with Broccoli and Peanut Sauce. It was yummy and super easy.


The only modifications made was to double the soy-mirin sauce for the tofu and we added a bit of sugar to the soy-mirin sauce.


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