Jan 7 2011

Week 1

For week one we are going to make some warm recipes that will help us feel cozy on these cold winter days!

They don’t take long, and they’re extremely healthy. I try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables in the winter to keep from catching a cold. I usually get fruit in for breakfast and lunch. These dinner recipes will give you the vegetables you need to stay healthy!


Monday – Potato Soup

I like this one because it involves my slow cooker. Slow cookers are great for the winter. You throw your ingredients in the pot in the morning and you have a healthy, hot meal ready for you at the end of the day.

I got this recipe from ‘The Quick Fix Vegetarian.’


2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped celery

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, diced

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet and add celery, and garlic, cover for about 5 minutes. Sometimes I add some chopped onions and salt and pepper.
  2. Put the vegetables into the slow cooker, add the potatoes, broth, water, salt and pepper to taste and cook for 6-8 hours.
  3. I then put it all in a blender (usually in 2-3 batches) and puree it into a thick soup. I also usually add a little more salt and pepper before I blend it.

Tuesday – Avocado Pesto Pasta

This one is from Chef Chloe, the winner of Cupcake Wars with her amazing vegan cupcake recipe!

This is an extremely nutritious meal that takes about 10 minutes to make.


1 pound dried linguini

1 bunch basil leaves (about 2½ ounces)

½ cup pine nuts

2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (about ½ of a lemon)

3 cloves garlic

½ cup olive oil

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to package directions. While pasta cooks, in a food processor, blend basil, pine nuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Drain pasta. In a large serving bowl, toss pesto with hot, freshly cooked pasta.

Wednesday – Black Soybean and Kabocha Squash Stew

I got this recipe from Alicia Silverstone’s book ‘The Kind Diet’ and it’s become a staple at our house. It’s surprisingly sweet so it’s an easy one for the kids to eat. I highly recommend buying the book, and checking out more recipes on her website (The Kind Life).


1 cup dried black soybeans (or plain black beans)

1” piece of konbu seaweed (in Asian section of most markets)

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tsp. chili powder

Sea Salt

Pinch of Crushed Red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 ½ cups canned diced tomatoes

½ kabocha squash, peeled and cut into 1” pieces

1 cup mirin (in Asian section of most markets)

2 teaspoons white miso

2 celery stalks diced


  1. Rinse the soybeans and rub them with a kitchen towel to dry them out.
  2. Toast them in a dry skillet on low heat for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Put beans in a large pot with the kombu and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover for 90 minutes.
    * If you don’t have the time to do these first 3 steps, you can just add one or two cans of black beans. I have done this a few times (using 2 cans because I love beans). The recipe turns out just as tasty, but it really is better to cook with dry, organic beans if you have the time.
  4. While the beans cook, combine the oil, garlic, onion and chili powder in a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add a little salt, red pepper flakes and cumin, continue cooking another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, squash, mirin and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.
  7. Using about a ladle of broth from the stew, in a small bowl combine it with the miso until the miso is dissolved, then add back to the pot.
  8. Add the beans and celery (I usually skip the celery because I’m not a huge celery lover), and you’re done!

Thursday – Gardein “Chicken” Scaloppini, with steamed broccoli

This recipe comes from ‘The Conscious Cook’.

It uses Gardein, which looks and tastes like chicken. My kids go crazy for the Gardein “chicken” tenders. We buy them in the frozen foods section of Whole Foods. It’s a great source of protein.


8 (2 oz) Gardein Frozen Scaloppini

Sea Salt and Pepper

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

4 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into ¼” slices (if you don’t like mushrooms, feel free to skip them)

1 cup dry sake

½ cup faux chicken stock (or vegetable stock if that’ what you have)

½ cup Earth Balance ‘butter’

1 Tbs. minced chives


  1. While doing the steps below, boil water to steam broccoli and steam broccoli until done to your liking.
  2. Flatten Gardein ‘chicken’ with your hand to ½ inch thick, then cut in half
  3. Season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour
  4. Heat oil in a skillet and add ‘chicken. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side until browned.
  5. Remove and set aside on plate
  6. Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil to the pan, add mushrooms, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
  7. Deglaze pan with sake and cook until reduced in half, about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add stock and cook for an additional 2 minutes
  9. Remove from heat and add ‘butter’ 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly.
  10. Stir in the chives.
  11. Return scaloppini to the pan to coat with sauce
  12. Serve with broccoli!

Grocery List – Week 1

Extra-virgin olive oil, all purpose flour, sea salt and pepper (if you don’t have them).

2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes


2 ripe avocados

1 lemon

1 bunch basil leaves

1 Tbs. chives

1 large garlic bulb

4 oz Shiitake mushrooms

2, 32 oz containers vegetable broth (or homemade if you have it).

½ cup pine nuts

1 cup dried black beans (or 2 cans black beans if you don’t plain on having 90 minutes to prepare the dry beans)

1 pound dried linguine

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 package Kombu

1 cup Mirin

1 cup dry sake

White Miso

Earth Balance ‘butter’

Gardein frozen scaloppini (16 oz)

Chili pepper

Ground cumin

Red pepper flakes

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