Tag Archives: Leeks

Minestrone verde

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Since I think we’re all so sick of this winter that we’re even sick of complaining about it, I’ll list 3 things that are actually good about this weather (in the whole glass-half-full spirit):

1. I bought some snowshoes this year and have definitely gotten my money’s worth. I take Ruby snowshoeing in the park near our house. She loves it and never seems to get cold. Watching her race around while grabbing mouthfuls of snow melts my almost-frozen heart. Here she is in action:

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2. Stuck inside => manicures. My nails have never looked so good. The latest is Essie Lilacism:

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3. Cold winter weather means one thing in our house: Soup! I have tried a bunch of new recipes this winter and this one is definitely my favorite! It’s warm and also a little spicy thanks to the salsa verde topping. It’s sure to warm even the coldest fingers and toes.

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Minestrone Verde, serves 3-4, adapted from The Healthy Chef

-1 large leek
-3 celery stalks
-2 T olive oil
-4 cups vegetable broth
-2 cups water
-2 small zucchini
-1 bunch tuscan kale
-1/2 t salt
-1 cup frozen peas
-1 cup frozen broccoli florets
-1 cup frozen asparagus tips
-Optional topping: Avocado and Salsa verde (recipe below)

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Let’s do this: 
First, slice up the white and light green portion of the leek and slice the celery.

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Heat up the olive oil in a large pot. Add the leek and celery and saute for about 4 minutes or until the leek and celery are soft.

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Chop up your zucchini.

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Cut out the inner vein from the kale and discard. Roughly chop the leaves.

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Add the broth, water, zucchini, kale, and salt to the pot and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the frozen peas, broccoli, and asparagus. Simmer for about 5 more minutes.

Top your soup with avocado and salsa verde and try not to complain about the 6 inches of snow accumulating outside…

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Salsa Verde:

-1/2 bunch fresh basil
-1/2 bunch fresh parsley
-2 cloves garlic
-1/2 t salt
-3 T lemon juice
-6 T olive oil

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Combine all ingredients in a blender and process for about a minute. Before:
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After:
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Portabella mushroom pizzas

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It has been an exciting week over here at DR: DR-Sis got engaged! Rest assured: I am going to DIY the sh*t out of this wedding!!! What’s that, DR-Sis? You don’t need my help? Well, maybe you should have gone through with that whole divorcing-the-family plot you had when you were 17. Because this. is. happening. Yaaaay!

Pinterest is going to show up at this wedding and then duck out in shame when it sees the wedding-cake-with-cupcakes-inside-served-in-mason-jars-with-cream-cheese-and-crushed-oreos*-hand-tied-with-twine-and-small-handles-for-carrying-home <hits three-pointer at buzzer>. Betcha never thought of that, Pinterest!!!

Yes, that sound you hear is DR-Sis eloping.

Anywhoo, this recipe is for DR-Sis, since she can’t eat gluten. Reality check: DR-Sis never cooks and the rest of you will just order real pizza. I guess this recipe is for me.

*why does every recipe on pinterest involve cream cheese and/or oreos? just me?

Portabella mushroom pizzas, serves 2, adapted from BodyrockTV
-1/2 white onion
-2 T olive oil
-4 cloves garlic
-1 leek
-4 tomatoes
-about 1/4 cup fresh basil
-juice from 1/2 lemon
-3 or 4 of the biggest portabella mushrooms you can find
-about 1 cup mozzarella cheese (I tried the Diaya brand this time and it was pretty good!)
-salt & pepper to taste

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First, the pre-work: Chop up your white onion, tomatoes, and basil. Mince the garlic. Slice the leek into thin coins (I only use the white and light green portions).

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat up the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion.
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Cook the onion until soft (looks like this):
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Add the garlic, leek, and tomatoes.
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Saute for about 5 minutes, or until leek and tomatoes are soft.
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Add the lemon juice, basil, and salt & pepper to the skillet. Give it a stir and remove from  heat.
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Twist the stems off of your mushrooms and fill each mushroom with the onion/leek/tomato mixture.
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Top each ‘shroom with about 1/4 cup of cheese.
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Bake for about 12 minutes, then change oven temp to broil and cook for 1-2 additional minutes (keep an eye on them so they don’t burn – this is just to get the cheese browned a little). Note: I baked my pizzas on a cookie rack on top of my cookie sheet. This keeps them from sticking and also drains out some of the excess moisture from the mushrooms. If you don’t have a rack, don’t sweat it – just use some parchment paper or spray the cookie sheet with a little oil to keep from sticking.

Remove from oven and top with a little extra basil and salt & pepper. Pizza time!
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Takin’ a leek, or: pasta with leeks, lentils, and spinach

Would you believe I’ve never bought a leek before? I was excited to tackle this recipe from my fave cookbook just so I could buy leeks like the cool kids.
And so I could make a dad joke about “takin’ a leek”.

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Pasta with leeks, lentils and spinach (adapted from Power Foods)

You’ll need:
1 cup green lentils
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
about 2 cups brown rice pasta (any kind of pasta will work)
2 T olive oil
2 leeks
1 t chopped fresh thyme
2 handfuls baby spinach
salt & pepper
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Let’s do this:
In a saucepan, combine the lentils, 1 garlic clove, and the bay leaf. Add enough water to cover by about an inch. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer until lentils are tender (this took about 25 minutes). Drain lentils and toss the garlic clove and bay leaf.

While the lentils are cooking:

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions
  • Mince remaining garlic cloves, slice the white and pale green part of the leeks into about 1/4 inch rounds
  • In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium. Add leeks, garlic, and thyme, stirring occasionally until leeks are soft

When the lentils are done, add them to the leeks and season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and spinach to the pan, and remove from heat. Stir until spinach wilts.
This makes 2-3 servings. Enough for dinner for two, and a fight over who will bring the leftovers the next day!

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