One of my fellow MasterChef 4 competitors invited me to write a guest post for her blog. I decided to share this delicious quick bread (or muffins – your choice!). Oh, and would you believe it’s low-fat and gluten-free?! Oh, yes!!! Please visit Celebration Generation for the recipe and other interesting tidbits about our MasterChef 4 experience.
I know some of you are probably thinking, “soup?! really?!” considering it is late May. But here in my fine hometown of Detroit, MI it is currently 46F and pouring. What better time to warm up with this hearty soup that pleases vegetarians and meat-eaters alike?
Time: 15 min prep, 1hr 15min cook Serves: 8-10
- 1 1/4 cups pearl barley
- 3 bay leaves
- sea salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 5 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 large)
- 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 pound cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
- 3 large portabella mushrooms, cut into chunks
- 1 tbsp brown rice Miso paste, dissolved in a bit of warm water
- black pepper
- chopped parsley, chopped – for garnish
- Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids and Sriracha, to serve
How to make it
- Put barley in a 5 quart pot with bay leaves and a generous amount of sea salt. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until grains are soft and open.
- Heat half the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the garlic, and continue cooking for a couple more minutes. Stir in the thyme and rosemary. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for a few minutes then add to the pot of barley and cooking liquid.
- Next, heat the remaining olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. (If you don’t have a large enough skillet, you can cook them in a couple of batches). Sauté, stirring constantly for a few minutes. Lower heat to medium and cook until softened and starting to brown.
- Transfer to pot. Add 2-3 cups of water, and miso paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Add kale and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve with Bragg’s and Sriracha.
I look forward to the spring for so many reasons, and Michigan asparagus is one of them! It’s fresh, subtly sweet, and oh so delicious. The simplicity of this luscious soup lets it shine through and really be the star. May be served hot or chilled.
Time: 45 minutes Serves: 6
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds asparagus, tough ends removed – cut into 2-inch pieces, tips reserved
- 2 cups peeled & cubed potatoes
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
How to make it
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 5 qt stock pot. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Then, add asparagus (not the tips!). Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Place asparagus tips on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast 5-7 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and set aside
- Once potatoes are tender, use an immersion blender to puree or standing blender in batches. Return to pot and add cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with roasted asparagus tips.
A quick, easy preparation that yields delicious results.
Time: 10 minutes Serves: 2
- 2-3 heads baby Bok Choy, quartered
- 1/2 tsp sriracha, or to taste
- 1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
How to make it
- Heat oils in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add bok choy cut sides down. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine sriracha, tamari, and honey. Add to bok choy during the last minute of cooking.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle sesame seeds over top.
Soba noodle dishes like this can be served warm, room temp, or chilled for your enjoyment and convenience!
Time: 20 minutes Serves: 2
- 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp vegetable oi
- 1/2 pound chicken tenders
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 inches ginger, grated
- 2 green onions, sliced – white & light green parts separated from dark green
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use tamari, which is wheat-free)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 6 oz. soba noodles, cooked according to package instructions, drained & cooled
- 1 cup edamame, cooked according to package instructions, drained & cooled
- cornstarch slurry – optional for thickening
- radishes, sliced – for garnish
How to make it
- Heat vegetable and sesame oils in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 3 minutes, turn. Add garlic, ginger, and light green parts of green onions to pan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, careful not to burn the garlic.
- Meanwhile, combine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Add to skillet.
- Add cooked soba and edamame. Toss to combine. Allow to heat through.
- If needed, add cornstarch slurry to thicken sauce.
- Garnish with sliced radish and tops of green onions.