My Seasonal Vegetable Grain Bowl

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Ciao everyone! As you know, I am in Italy. Every Tuesday, we have a lovely little outdoor market in our village. I try to go every week and load up on what’s seasonal in the veggie department. I try to eat at least one veggie grain bowl per week, sometimes two.

One thing I always have in the fridge are my pickled red onions from my book Picture Perfect Parties *(recipe included below). They add a nice tangy flavor to any salad or grain bowl. The grain I used here is Farro. It’s grown locally, and I use it in soups and all sorts of dishes. It will also be featured in my upcoming cookbook La Fortezza Cookbook, Rizzoli NY, releases Spring 2022. The cookbook is about the Lunigiana, the region we live in. It’s a really delicious grain.

These grain bowls, like the one pictured above, are a great way to incorporate seasonal vegetables into your diet. Try this bowl and let me know how you like it in the comments below. No need to stick to the vegetables I used in my bowl. Be creative and try your own versions.

Seasonal Vegetable Grain Bowl
Makes 2 bowls

You will need:

– 1/2 avocado sliced
– 1/4 cup Pickled Onions
– 2 cups Kale, I use Cavalo Nero *I bake this and it adds a lovely crunch to the bowl.
– 2 cups sweet potato peeled
– 2 cups Cauliflower
– 1 cup Arugula
-1 teaspoon Maldon Salt
– 2 tablespoons Balsamico
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 hard boiled eggs
– 1 cup Farro
– 1 1/2 cups Water

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Cut the cauliflower and the peeled sweet potato into bite size pieces, sprinkle with oil and salt, place into the oven for 45 minutes, until fork tender. Cut the Kale into bite size pieces and add to the baking sheet of sweet potatoes and cauliflower 30 minutes into baking time. The Kale will become crisp. Remove and cool. While the vegetables are baking. In a small sauce pan place water and Farro. Let simmer stirring a few times to prevent sticking, cook until all the water is absorbed about 30 minutes, set aside to cool.

To Assemble:

In a large bowl, add Farro, then Arugula, kale, sweet potatoes, then cauliflower into quadrants of the bowl. Add avacado slices, then pickled onion, and 1 egg sliced in half, then drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with Maldon salt. To eat toss everything together in the bowl and enjoy!

Pickled Red Onions

You will need:

– 1 large red onion sliced thin
– 1 cup red wine vinegar
– 2 tablespoons salt
– 1 teaspoon celery seed or peppercorns
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– ½ cup water

To prepare:

In a sauce pan put all the ingredients, and bring to a boil allow about 1 minute to cook. Turn off heat and let steep until cool. Put into a mason jar and place in the refrigerator for 2 days before using. Can be stored for up to 2 weeks.

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Soup’s on:: Tomato Basil Soup

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Can you believe we are in our final week of Juice January (well, healthy habits January)?! It has honestly flown by for me, and I hope it has for you as well. For our last week, I am sharing a couple of fun recipes, and this soup is one of them. Winter is a wonderful time to warm-up with a bowl of soup, plus soup is an excellent way to sneak in those extra servings of veggies. Today, it’s all about cream of tomato basil soup because honestly, is there anything better?

Tomato Basil Soup

Serves 8
You will need:
– 1/2 medium onion sliced thin
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 2  28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
– 4 cups vegetable stock
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 1 cup fresh basil chopped
To prepare:
In a large stockpot, heat butter and oil, add onions, salt and pepper.
Sauté until onions are lightly caramelized. Add tomatoes, vegetable stock, cream and basil. Simmer for 45 minutes. Garnish with basil. Serve warm.
Note: The soup may be made creamy by placing it in a blender or using a hand blender if desired. I personally like it a little chunky.
Enjoy!
xx, Annette
Photo by Sara Dubler on Unsplash
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Cauliflower Soup

creamy-cauliflower-soup-sans-cream During my juice cleanse, I always try to make some roasted cauliflower soup for dinner one night, especially when I find some beautiful heads of cauliflower at the market. This soup is creamy and rich without all of the added dairy (but of course, feel free to add a little cream should you feel so inclined!). Let me know what you think!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Serves 8

You will need:

– 2 heads of cauliflower broken into pieces
– 1/4 cup olive oil for tossing the cauliflower
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup olive oil for the shallot
– 1 medium size shallot chopped
– 3 stalks of celery diced fine
– 3 cloves garlic minced
– 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
– 1/4 cup skim milk optional*
– 8 tablespoons truffle oil optional*

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss cauliflower with oil and salt and place into the oven for 45 minutes until nicely browned.

4b648ddce8ca008c1b439e9fada07567 While the cauliflower is roasting chop shallots and celery, mince garlic. Place shallots, celery and garlic and 1/4 cup oil in a heavy stock pot on medium heat saute until transparent. Add roasted cauliflower to the garlic, shallot celery mixture, add stock (and milk* if you like) and warm for 10 minutes. With a handheld blender or in a food processor place the soup in the processor, or hand blend in the stockpot  blend until smooth. Place on heat for 1/2 hour and serve warm with 1 tablespoon truffle oil per serving.

*This is a no cream recipe although you can add a little skim milk if you want the soup to look lighter and creamier.

 

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Banana Turmeric Smoothie

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I make this banana smoothie with mango, peanut butter, and turmeric often, especially during January.

It fills me up, and I feel satisfied. There’s a protein element, and of course, the anti-inflammatories in the turmeric are beneficial as well. It’s also delicious. I think you’ll like having this recipe in your arsenal. It also makes a delightful late afternoon pick me up or even a dessert!

Banana Turmeric Smoothie
serves 1

You will need:
– 1 banana
– 1 cup frozen mango
– 2 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter
– 1 1/2 cups of Almond milk
– 1 inch piece of fresh Turmeric or 1/2 teaspoon dried Turmeric

In your blender, or Nutribullet, combine all ingredients and serve.

 

 

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Eating healthy in 2021 Curry Lentil Bowl

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Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

I am excited to share today’s recipe by Lidey Heuck via the New York Times. If you don’t already know, Leidy began her career as Ina Garten’s assistant, so needless to say, she knows her stuff. You can follow her on Instagram @LideyLikes.

In this vegetarian main inspired by Indian dal, lentils are cooked with an aromatic blend of Thai spices — fresh ginger, turmeric, red curry paste and chile — then simmered in coconut milk until fall-apart tender. Browning the sweet potatoes before cooking them with the lentils brings out their sweetness, balancing the heat from the chile and curry paste, while baby spinach tossed in just before serving adds fresh flavor. Serve over steamed white or brown rice, or with toasted flatbread on the side.

Curry Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Spinach Recipe
(from the New York Times) By Lidey Heuck

Serves 4-6

You will need:

– 1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sweet potatoes), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
– 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
– 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
– 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
– 1 red chile, such as Fresno or serrano, halved, seeds and ribs removed, then minced
– 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
– 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
– 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
– 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
– 1 (13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
– 1 (4- to 5-ounce) bag baby spinach
– ½ lime, juiced
– Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
– Toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, for serving (optional)

To prepare:
  1. In a Dutch oven or pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the browned sweet potatoes to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot and set the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the curry paste, garlic, ginger, chile and turmeric, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the lentils, stock, salt and browned sweet potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil over high. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the lentils are creamy and falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lime juice and season with salt to taste.
  6. Divide among shallow bowls and top with cilantro and coconut flakes, if using.
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