Living the WELL Life


Ying and Yang - by Christina Pirello

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Everyone seeks to have balance in their lives...play time to balance out work time, adequate sleep to recharge from a busy day, meditation or yoga to de-stress...you get the picture.  Balance is important on your plate too.  It's good to eat meals full of variety, including lots of different veggies and greens.  Here are some of my favorite recipes, combined to offer you a truly balanced meal.  You'll feel oh-so-good!  


Menu
Creamy Cauliflower Bisque with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Sauteed Fennel and Carrots
Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Garlic and Ginger
Asian Vegetables with Tofu and Coconut Milk
Fried Bananas with Caramel Sauce

Creamy Cauliflower Bisque with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Bisque
1 yellow onion, diced
1 head cauliflower, florets removed, stem discarded
½ cup Arborio rice
5 cups spring or filtered water
Mirin
Sea Salt

Pumpkin Seed Pesto
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
½ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white miso
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Juice of two lemons
Spring or filtered water, if needed

½ red bell pepper, roasted over an open flame, peeled, seeded and finely diced, for garnish

To make the bisque, please the onion, cauliflower and rice in a soup pot.  Add the water, a generous splash of mirin and a pinch of salt.  Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to low and cook until the cauliflower is soft, about 30 minutes.  Transfer the soup, by ladleful, to a food processor and purée until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot and keep the soup at a simmer, while making the pesto.

To make the pesto, place the pumpkin seeds, basil, parsley and olive oil in a food processor and pulse into a coarse paste.  Add the miso, chili powder and lemon juice.  Purée until smooth.  You may need to add a small amount of water to purée properly, but keep the pesto thick, so that it holds its shape in the soup.

To serve, spoon the soup into individual bowls and scoop a generous dollop of pesto in the center of each bowl and sprinkle with the bell pepper.  Makes 5-6 servings.

Sauteed Fennel and Carrots
Extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
½ yellow onion, thin half-moon slices
sea salt
1 large fennel bulb, stalks trimmed, thickly sliced, 2-3 tablespoons minced leaves reserved
3-4 carrots, very thin oblong pieces
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup spring or filtered water
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup or honey

Place a small amount of oil, garlic and onion in a deep skillet and turn heat to medium.  When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in fennel, a pinch of salt and sauté for 2 minutes more.  Stir in carrots, a pinch of salt and sauté until just shiny with oil.  Spread vegetables evenly over the bottom of the skillet and add wine, water and rice syrup.  Sprinkle lightly with salt, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook until carrots are soft, but not mushy, about 5 minutes.  Makes 4-6 servings.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Garlic and Ginger
2-3 tablespoons avocado oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
sea salt
3-4 baby bok choy or 1 medium bunch bok choy, rinsed well, stem tips trimmed
brown rice vinegar

Place oil, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes in a skillet and turn heat to medium.  As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle (do not burn), add a pinch of salt.  Slice the bok choy into bite-sized pieces and add to skillet.  Season lightly with salt and sauté until greens wilt and turn a deep green, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and sprinkle lightly with rice vinegar.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.  Makes 3-4 servings.

Asian Vegetables with Tofu and Coconut Milk
5-6 small cauliflower florets
5-6 small broccoli florets
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced into half-moon pieces
4-5 slices fresh ginger, fine matchstick pieces
generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
soy sauce
6-8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked until tender, thinly sliced
8-10 snow peas, strings removed, left whole
1 small Chinese or Japanese eggplant, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
mirin
2-4 slices packaged baked tofu, cubed
2-3 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
2-3 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely minced

Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanche cauliflower for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.  In the same water, blanche broccoli for 1 minute. Drain and mix in with cauliflower.  Place oil, garlic, red onion, ginger and crushed red pepper flakes in a deep skillet or wok and turn heat to medium. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a splash soy sauce and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in shiitake, a splash of soy sauce and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in blanched cauliflower and broccoli. Stir in snowpeas and eggplant, along with coconut milk.

Season lightly with soy sauce and mirin, cover and cook over low heat until the vegetables are just tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Stir in baked tofu and bok choy, cover and cook until bok choy is wilted, 2-3 minutes longer. Remove cover and raise heat to medium, cooking until any remaining liquid has turned into a syrup. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Transfer to a serving platter.  Makes 4-5 servings.

Fried Bananas with Caramel Sauce
Batter
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour
pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant pinch cinnamon
1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
sparkling water

4-6 ripe bananas, into 1/4-inch thick diagonal slices
avocado or light olive oil, for frying

Caramel sauce
2 cups Pearl Creamy Vanilla or Tropical Delight Soymilk
2 cups brown rice syrup
2 cups barley malt
juice of 1/4 fresh lemon

Make a batter by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Slowly the sparkling water, whisking to create a thin consistency, like pancake batter. Set aside, loosely covered.  Place about 3 inch of oil deep skillet and turn heat to medium. Place all ingredients for the caramel sauce in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Allow a cook until foaming, stirring occasionally.  Reduce the heat to low, and cook until mixture thickens. When oil is hot, dip banana slices batter and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper and continued with the balance of the bananas. To serve, place equal numbers of bananas on for dessert plates and spoon sauce over top. Garnish with fresh berries or mint.  Makes 4-6 servings.

 

 



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