Mushroom, White Bean and Collard Green Stew

Do you typically avoid vegetarian recipes because you assume that they will be bland, possibly lacking in protein, and just not your favorite type of fare?  Many folks do.  I would like to change your mind with this recipe.  It is flavorful,  hearty, colorful, packed with protein (17 grams per serving),  low in saturated fat, and just fantastic.  Tender mushrooms, creamy white beans, crunchy collards, a sweet and earthy base- I just can’t say enough wonderful things about this dish.  Try it- you’ll like it 😉

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided

1 large white onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup Marsala

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 teaspoons dried rosemary

1 tablespoon dried thyme

12 ounces fresh mushrooms (I used 6oz. of button and 6oz. of Portobello) trimmed and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons tamari

2 tablespoons whole spelt flour

4 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 (15oz.) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 bunch collard greens, tough stems removed and leaves thinly sliced

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Bring a soup pot up to temp over a medium heat and add the olive oil
  • Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until you see the blaring white color begin to diminish
  • Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary & thyme and sauté for another 2 minutes (you will begin to really smell the herbs)
  • Add 1/2 cup broth and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions are all tender
  • Stir in the Marsala, turn up the heat to medium-high and cook about 2 minutes or until the wine evaporates
  • Add the mushrooms and reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms release their liquid and start to get tender, stirring once
  • Stir in remaining 1 3/4 cups broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat
  • While that’s warming up, in a small bowl whisk together tamari, flour, nutritional yeast and 1/4 cup of hot broth to make a thick paste
  • Whisk (do not attempt to stir with a spoon no matter how good you think you are as you will end up with lumps which will cook into dumplings- trust me) the paste into the simmering broth mixture, stirring constantly
  • Bring the stew back to a simmer and cook for a minute, whisking constantly
  • Stir in the beans and greens, cover and cook for 5 minutes
  • Season to taste with salt & pepper and serve

We chose to have our stew with a nice loaf of French country bread baked by El Jardin and purchased at the Northampton Tuesday Market (which is still on through next week).  A sourdough loaf with whole grains and toasted sesame seeds on top.

This recipe was adapted from one by Whole Foods Market.

Black Bean Soup

In my ongoing quest to discover recipes low in fat and high in protein, fiber and nutrients, I came across this one.  While it’s not necessarily what I would term “soup weather” in New England right now, this really doesn’t heat up the kitchen all that much, and it’s packed with flavor.  The yield on this recipe is such that Neil and I each had heaping bowls of soup for dinner and there was equally as much left over so I froze it (which will come in handy this weekend when I’m running around like a lunatic prepping food-stuffs to co-host a baby shower with my sister) so it will easily feed four.

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 TBS ancho chili powder

3 cups + 1 TBS chicken (or vegetable) broth

1 small zucchini, quartered and diced

1 cup chopped collard greens

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed

1 cup frozen yellow corn

1 4 oz can diced green chili

1 roasted red pepper

1 tsp dried Mexican oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 cup pepitas

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium soup pot. Sauté onion and garlic in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes
  • Add red chili powder and mix to coat
  • Add broth, zucchini, collard greens, and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add beans, corn, green chili, roasted red peppers, oregano, and cumin
  • Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes
  • Add chopped cilantro, pumpkin seeds, salt, and pepper

We decided to have a nice fresh green salad with our soup.  It was a great combination because there was something cool to pop in our mouths when the heat of the soup got to be a bit much.

J

Chicken with White Beans

Buttery cannellini beans with earthy herbs, tart lemon juice and luscious chicken chunks.  This recipe is fab! but it takes a little while to make as there’s a do-ahead step for the marinade so that the chicken can soak up some flavors before being cooked.    It’s well worth the time, however, so go ahead and give it a try.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 sprigs fresh oregano leaves
4 sprigs fresh tarragon leaves
4 sprigs fresh basil leaves
4 sprigs fresh parsley
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups cooked white cannellini beans

Directions:

  • In the bowl of a food processor or blender, place olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, leaves of oregano, tarragon, basil, parsley, rosemary, and some ground black pepper
  • Blend all ingredients well until a smooth bright green paste is formed (you might need to add a few spoonfuls of water if the mixture looks too thick)
  • Marinate the cubed chicken in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or overnight
  • Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pan over moderate heat until hot
  • Add cubed chicken, and allow to brown lightly without stirring
  • Begin turning chicken after 3 minutes, then add onion and Sauté for 2 minutes, until onion begins to soften
  • Add beans and continue to cook for 2 minutes longer, until chicken is cooked through and a light sauce forms around chicken pieces
  • Season with the salt and pepper

I opted to serve this over some orecchiette, sided by wilted collard greens.  The recipe was inspired by this post on Whole Foods Market.

J

Sweet Potatoes with Collards and Aduki Beans

If I had to pick one dish that I’ve cooked so far this year that I like best it would be this one.  Slightly bitter collards contrasted by chunks of soft, slightly caramelized sweet potato.  Add the crunchy texture and nutty flavor of toasted sunflower seeds, and the sweet and tangy pop! of freshly squeezed lime and my mouth simply does cartwheels.  I honestly wished, after eating this for dinner, that I had doubled the recipe and had left-overs for the days following.

This dish is packed with so many good-for-you ingredients that it’s almost over the top.  The collard greens help to lower your cholesterol.  The sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene.  The red bell peppers are rich in vitamins C and A.  And the aduki beans lend fiber, protein and iron.  This could certainly be eaten as a meat-free entree or as a side.  I opted to serve it as a side to lentil loaf and, boy, did it ever steal the show!

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, divided

4 scallions, sliced

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 bunch collard greens, sliced to 1 inch wide

1 (15 oz.) can aduki beans, drained and rinsed

4 teaspoons toasted sunflower seeds

1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F
  • Spritz sweet potatoes with olive oil and roast on a baking sheet until tender , 25 minutes or so

roasted sweet potatoes

  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, bring 1/2 cup broth to a simmer over medium high heat. Add white and light green parts of green onions and red bell pepper and cook about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent

chopped collards, red bell pepper, and scallions

  • Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1/2 cup broth, collards and beans. Cover and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until collards are wilted and tender, stirring occasionally

rinsed & drained aduki beans

  • Plate the greens. Top with potatoes, sliced scallion, sunflower seeds and lime wedges

sweet potatoes with collards and aduki beans

J

Recipe adapted from this post on Whole Foods Market’s site.

Curried Turkey Meatballs

These meatballs are awesome.  They’re slightly sweet from the coriander and slightly spicy from the cayenne, and rounded out nicely with cinnamon and ginger and bay leaf.  They’re very firm and hold together quite well.  The sauce is thin as the meatballs are the stand-out part of this dish.  We loved these when they were first made and we had them for dinner, and they were superb left over for lunch the next day as well.  They re-heated nicely and freeze well too.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

1 ½ lb ground turkey

2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

3/4 tsp garam masala

1 tsp minced ginger

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 large egg

3/4 tsp kosher salt

½ cup panko

For the sauce:

1 medium-large onion, minced

3 Tbsp canola oil

2 bay leaves

1 small piece of cinnamon stick

1 can diced tomatoes

2 tsp minced ginger

3 large garlic cloves, minced

3 cups water

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp garam masala

Kosher salt, to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425
  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for the meatballs, adding 3 Tbsp of the minced onion (the remainder will go into the sauce)
  • Form meatballs the size of walnuts and bake for 20 minutes
  • In a deep sauce pan, heat the canola oil. Add the remaining onion, bay leaves and cinnamon stick and saute over medium heat until the onions are brown at the edges
  • Add the tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Cook until the oil comes to the surface, 4-5 minutes, then add 1 cup of water
  • Continue cooking until the water has evaporated, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Then stir constantly for 3 minutes; at this point the mixture will be a bit dry. Add the powdered spices and salt, and the remaining water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 5-6 minutes
  • Set the meatballs into the sauce, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to cook the meatballs for 3 minutes.

curried turkey meatbals over basmati rice with collard greens

I opted to serve these over basmati rice, with collard greens and naan on the side, but they would be good wrapped in some naan (grinder-style), or over egg noodles, or quinoa as well.

J

Recipe adapted from a post on The Perfect Pantry