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Beets & Barley with Orange Dressing

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This recipe is perfectly nourishing for a chilly fall night. Both the Barley and Beets take some time to cook but the recipe is not labor intensive. You can certainly multi-talk while making this dish.

Beets:
Scrub well – chop off any greens – wrap them up well in a couple layers of aluminum foil and bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or until fork tender. Once Beets are tender and cool enough to handle, run under cool water and slide the peel off the beet. Chop into bite size pieces.

Barley:
Cook 1 cup of Barley according to package directions. This will take about 25 minutes.

Dressing – Combine ingredients:
1/4 cup Olive (or other mild) Oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed Orange Juice
2 tsp. Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Vinegar (I’m using Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
Drizzle of Agave or Honey

Toss your warm salad:

  • Add 1 – 2 cups of Chick Peas to the Barley to warm them through.
  • Add dressing and stir to combine.
  • Add Beets and gently fold in. Folding the Beets in will color the rest of    the salad – limit stirring to keep everything from turning pink.
  • Tonight, I topped the dish off with some chopped Walnuts and would have added a bit of Spinach if I had any at home today.

Namaste and Enjoy!

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Tangy Tuscan Vegetable & Bean Soup

Tangy Tuscan Vegetable & Bean Soup

 

 

This soup is my perfect antidote to the rich & over-indulgent holiday food kick I’ve been on lately! This soup is light, refreshing, and deeply fortifying. 

 

Into a nice soup pot over medium heat, layer in* the following ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced into bite size rounds
  • 3 stalks of celery, sliced into crescents
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Tb. tomato paste (or a can of diced tomatoes)

*I’m grateful to have learned Rachael Ray’s “chop and drop” time-saving cooking method. Generally I drop ingredients in an order based on which will benefit from the longest cooking times. I like the onions almost melting away – so they always go first. While one ingredient is cooking, chop the next one. Just be sure to keep stirring the pot and add a little stock or water if the veggies start to stick and before they burn.

Once veggies are all in the pot, add:

  • 32 oz. of vegetable stock (you can also just use water to save a few $)
  • 1/2 tsp. to keep it light (add more to taste at the end)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary** (crumble needles before you drop in)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes**

Raise heat and simmer until veggies are soft to your liking. If you are making soup ahead and will serve it later, stop here for now.

So that these ingredients don’t get “mushy” warm the soup jus before serving and add:

  • 2 small zucchini sliced first lengthwise and then across into crescents or half crescents (feel free to add any other veg. here – I was just really craving the light and lively quality of a summer squash;-)
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of white beans

** As a mom of growing children, I believe I can benefit them by helping to “build their palates.” I try to give them the opportunities to become accustomed to many flavors without over-whelming them. If I were making the soup for myself, I would probably add a bit more rosemary and chili flake to warm me up!

Winter was made for wishing. I wish you a clear path toward your heart’s desires in this coming New Year.

 

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Roasted Roots & Crispy Chickpeas with Balsamic Vinagrette

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Warm, hearty, sweet, and crunchy…..
just what’s needed when the first fall winds blow in.

Preheat Oven to 425°

Roasted Roots & Crispy Chickpea Salad Ingredients:
4 cups of potatoes cut into bite size pieces
1 cup of onion – chopped
2 cups carrots – bite size pieces
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 sprig rosemary – chopped fine – or 1 tsp. dried & crushed between fingers
1 can chickpeas (garbonzo beans)
2 Tb. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
sprinkle of pepper

image> Chop & drop veggies into a roasting pan. Drizzle oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary on top. Mix well and roast for about 45 minutes – until potatoes and chick peas are crunchy on the outside and
soft on the inside.

> Eat as is – or add to a bowl of leafy greens. This Honey Mustard Balsamic Vinagrette is a perfect complement.

Honey Mustard Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 balsamic vinegar
2 Tb. dijion mustard
1 Tb. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
dash of cayenne

Mix well & Enjoy!