Documents: Special Interest: In The Kitchen:

Yummy Organic Recipes
by Mark Craft
October 5, 2014

Because foods like oils, nut butters, and miso are concentrated, it is very important to choose organic brands whenever possible.

I. Vegetable Orzo with Lemon, Asiago & Oregano

Creamy, flavourful & easy to make, this can be served as a side dish or as main course with grilled shrimp, fish or chicken.

2 cups Eddie's Vegetable Orzo pasta cooked (al dente)
½ cup vegetable stock
1 to 2 Tablespoon butter
3 to 4 Tablespoons Asiago cheese, grated
squeeze of fresh lemon
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano (chopped)
salt & pepper to taste
Sprinkle of Spectrum Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

On high heat, put stock in fry pan and bring to a boil. Add cooked orzo & heat through.

Add butter and cheese and stir constantly until creamy. Squeeze in lemon and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve.

Drizzle with olive oil and or black olives.

II. Golden Pear Soup

Amaze your friends and family with this fabulous, yet simple Thanksgiving starter. This soup is slightly sweet, slightly tart, and deeply soothing.

1½ lbs organic yams (acorn or butternut squash may be substituted)
4 cups water
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1¼ tsp sea salt
3 large, or 4 medium, ripe organic pears
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp dry white wine (optional) or water
cup half-and-half, light cream or milk
a few dashes of ground white pepper (optional)

Peel yams and cut into small pieces. Place in a large saucepan with water, cinnamon stick and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until tender — about 15 minutes. Remove the cover and let simmer another 5 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick. Set yam mixture aside.

Peel and core the pears and cut them into thin slices. In a heavy skillet, sauté the pears in butter for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add ¼ cup wine or water, cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes more over medium heat.

Using a food processor or a blender, purée the yams in their water together with the pears just until smooth. (You may have to do this in several batches.)

Transfer to a heavy kettle or Dutch oven. Add the cream or milk and a tablespoon of wine. Heat very gently just before serving. (Don't cook it or let it boil.)

III. Roasted Red Pepper Soup

A beautiful- looking, rich- tasting soup that is easy to make.

2 Tbsp butter
2 cups minced organic onion
1 Tbsp crushed garlic
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground red pepper
½ tsp cumin
5 medium sized organic red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp organic unbleached white flour
½ cup stock or water
2½ cups milk, room temperature or warmer

toppings:
thinned sour cream (thinned by whisking lightly)
mined fresh cilantro
minced fresh basil

To roast the peppers: put oven to broil. Poke a few holes in the peppers with a fork. Place them on an baking sheet and under the broil. Check them every few minutes and flip to each side to roast on each side. As soon as all sides are roasted with black blisters, remove and place in a paper bag for 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle the skins will easily peel off. Remove the core and seeds and slice.

Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add onions and garlic and cook slowly with salt, pepper and cumin. After about 7 minutes, when the onions are clear and soft, add bell peppers. Stir and cover for about 10 minutes over low heat. Gradually sprinkle in flour. Cook, stirring, another 5 minutes.

Add stock or water, stir, cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Purée, bit by bit, with milk in a food processor or blender. Return soup to soup pot.

Heat very gently. Serve topped with sour cream and minced herbs.

IV. What is Miso?

A staple of the Japanese diet for over thirteen hundred years, miso is a fermented soybean paste that is known to enhance health and longevity. Miso is rich in protein, minerals and B vitamins, is low in fat, and is cholesterol free. The bacterial culture in miso additionally enhances overall digestion and improves the immune system.

Miso varies considerably in colour and flavour. Generally, the darker the miso the stronger the flavour due to longer fermentation.

Shiro (white) miso is aged from 2 to 6 months. Its sweet and mild taste is well suited for sauces, soups and salad dressings. The taste is similar to chicken stock. You may substitute shiro miso stock wherever chicken stock is asked for in recipes.

Aka(red) or Genmai (dark) miso have stronger flavours. They are ideal for heavier dishes such as gravies, stews and cold-weather recipes. Darker miso is similar to beef stock.

Storage: Because miso is fermented, it will last forever. For easy storage keep miso in the refrigerator.

Health Tip: For stomach ailments or even stomach flu, miso is an ideal natural remedy. Simply add a teaspoon of miso to warm water. Miso is soothing, nourishing and non-irritating.

IVa. Miso Mystery Pasta Sauce

This is a simple, yet delicious pasta sauce — dairy-free and tomato-less. It's important not to boil miso, as this kills the healthy bacteria. You can alter this recipe by using different kinds of nut butters. Or spice it up by adding garlic or freshly grated ginger. It's reassuring to know that something so simple can taste so good. Keeps for up to 1 week refrigerated.

4 Tbsp. Amano Shiro Miso (any kind of miso will work)
6 Tbsp. Nuts-To-You Nut Butter (Mystery Butter, Cashew Butter, or Tahini)
1½ cups hot water

Place the miso and nut butter in a medium-sized bowl. Add about ½ cup of hot water and mash with a spoon until it becomes a uniform paste. Add the remaining water and mix well. Toss over hot steamed vegetables and tofu on buckwheat noodles!

IVb. Traditional Miso Soup

A beautiful, soothing soup to serve before any meal!

1 small onion, sliced in very thin half moons
1 carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
¼ block, soft tofu, cut into small cubes
3 rounded Tablespoons Shiro Miso (white miso) or your favourite miso
green onion (only the green parts) sliced
toasted Nori cut into thin strips
6 cups water

Bring water to a low simmer. Add onion and carrots, simmer for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, make a paste from the miso by adding some of the warm water and working in with a fork. It is important not to boil the miso as this will destroy the healthy enzymes. Add tofu to the miso bowl.

Turn off heat. Dilute miso paste with ½ cup of the hot broth. Add to soup. Garnish with scallions and nori. Servings: 5 to 6

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