Sunday, October 30, 2011

Menu from the Autumn Yoga Retreat with Checka

Our last booked retreat of the season... this yoga retreat with Checka did feel just like autumn. Here, at the retreat center, we had a feeling of sadness because it's the end of a cooking season but at the same time, joy, readiness and gratefulness for the pause that will follow inevitably (after we bring all the harvest in our cellar). The retreat itself was like autumn; colorful, joyful, nurturing, warm, full, grateful, busy, playful, abundant and that, in all the senses - people, food, energy wise -  and a real joy to cook for and host.  Here’s the menu I planned for that retreat:

Friday Dinner

Parsnip/parsley soup
Spaghetti Squash and pasta,  tofu spaghetti sauce
Fresh Parmesan, Alemesan, pesto and Tabasco
Focaccia, Tapenade, Sharp Cheddar
Large spinach salad (with pine nuts), balsamic vinaigrette
Crackers, fresh bread (butter, margarine)
Apple pandowdy and Rice Dream ice cream
Mint calendula flower tea

Breakfast (Normal breakfast, Carrot Spice muffins
and cranberry muffins)

Saturday Lunch

Sorrel Soup
Summer Vermont Muffins
Fresh warm bread, butter, pesto
Broccoli Olive Tart
Couscous (one with no cheese)
Roasted parsnips, Squash purée, choux de Bruxelles
Big green salad with white miso salad dressing, cole slaw, olives
Goat cheese, nuts, cheddar, sauerkraut, pickle green beans
Rose cookies with rose hips jam
Wild peppermint tea

Saturday Dinner

Miso Soup
Brown basmati rice
Kale stir-fry with seaweeds
Nori Rolls, dipping sauce, wasabi, pickle ginger
Greens (mustard), japanese salad dressing
Asian carrot salad, Corn and Edame- Sesame salad
Seaweed salad, rice crackers
Fresh bread, pesto, carrots, sprouts
Chai Tea with rice milk and honey (caffeine free)

Sunday Lunch

Pumpkin Soup
Leftovers, fresh bread, butter, margarine
Corn bread, apple sauce,
Greens, salad dressings, Devilled eggs, leftover salads
Hummus, pita bread, sesame crackers, sprouts, crudités
Carrés aux framboises and Spearmint/Rose Tea

Photos by Phil (Thanks Phil!)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Parsnip Soup with Leeks and Parsley

2 Tbsp butter
3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced lengthwise, cleaned, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 strips lemon zest, 1 x 2 inches each
1-2 teaspoons salt
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley (reserve a little for garnish)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pepper to taste

Heat butter in a 4 to 6 quart pot on medium heat. Add the chopped leeks, toss to coat with the butter. When the leeks are heated enough so they begin to sizzle in the pan, lower the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until soft, but don't let the leeks brown.

Add the parsnips and olive oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle on the salt. Add the stock and water. Add the strips of lemon zest. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook until the parsnips are completely tender, at least 30 minutes.

Remove and discard the lemon zest. Add the parsley. Purée the soup until smooth, either by using an immersion blender or by working in batches with a stand-up blender. If using a standing blender, fill the
bowl no more than halfway, hold the cover on the blender bowl, and start blending at the lowest speed. Return the puréed soup to the pot.

Stir in lemon juice and add more salt to taste, if needed.

Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, a little olive oil, and chopped parsley or chives.

Serves 6


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Massaged Kale

A simply delicious way to eat kale raw. The massaging breaks down the enzyme inhibitors of the cell wall of the plant (just like cooking would do so you can better digest it) AND you get all the benefits of eating raw! Did I mention it is deeeelicious?!

1 bunch of kale
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp salt
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs lime juice
  1. Finely chop the garlic and blend with olive oil, lemon, lime and salt.
  2. Massage...yes, massage, this dressing into the kale...with love!
  3. After 5-10 minutes you will feel the kale soften beneath your fingers, this is when it is ready to be enjoyed!