May 17, 2010

Raw Veggie Salad, Beans, Spinach Potato Leek Soup, Dairy Free Strawberry Mousse

We spent a lot of time in the garden this weekend, but I did manage to get some cooking done. I made a raw veggie salad with beet greens, escarole, rainbow chard, spinach, diced carrots, zucchini, a handful of chopped cilantro, cucumber, fennel, red bell pepper, diced beets, chopped broccoli spears, diced avocado, the juice of an orange and a little golden balsamic vinegar. We took some of this out to the garden yesterday. It was very nice to take a break and have lunch outside.

I also put together a nice pot of beans. I soaked the 13 bean mixture Saturday night and Sunday morning I cooked them pretty simply. I sauteed an onion, a couple cloves of garlic, about a half cup chopped fennel, a sliced Anaheim pepper, one Serrano chili, and diced carrot. I added sea salt, fresh ground pepper, some ground allspice, 1 TB Agave, 1 TB balsamic vinegar, and dried basil. I added one can of tomato paste and the beans and covered them with water. Simmered for about an hour. They came out a little sweet and spicy. Looking forward to these this week.

While working in the garden I trimmed the spinach plants which left me with lots of fresh spinach. I also pulled out the last of the leeks we had planted last fall.  I chopped some baby Walla Walla onions I picked up at the farmers' market and sauteed them with some sesame oil, the sliced leeks, about three cloves of garlic, one sliced Serrano chili.  I added some thyme, dill, salt, and pepper. Then I added about a cup of organic vegetable broth, chopped potatoes and covered them with water.  I let these simmer until the potatoes were soft.  As it was cooking I used a potato masher to mash the potatoes that were cooked first into a creamy consistency leaving some of the potatoes a little chunky.  Then I added lots of chopped, fresh spinach, probably about four cups. This came out more like a nice stew than soup.  Very hearty and satisfying.

Fresh strawberries are starting to ripen.  We should have plenty very soon.  Still trying to perfect the dairy free strawberry mousse.  This time I blended one avocado, a cup of soaked raw cashews, 3 cups sliced strawberries, about 3/4 can of coconut milk, 1/4 cup agave, about 1/2 cup dissolved Agar, and garnished with shaved very dark chocolate. I saved some sliced strawberries to fold in the blended mixture.

Happy Monday!

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