Northwest NEWS

February 18, 2002

Home & Garden

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Dining In: Veggies that taste good and are good for you

Spicy Beet Salad
   4 medium fresh beets
   4 medium yellow or white fleshed potatoes, peeled
   2 garlic cloves, crushed
   1 green chili or 2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
   1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
   8 curry leaves, optional
   1 tsp. salt
   2 tsp. ground cumin
   1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
   1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
   2/3 c. reduced-fat coconut milk, divided
   1/2 Tbsp. mustard seeds
   Peel beets. Grate beets and potatoes coarsely. Transfer to bowl and set near stove.
   In small bowl, mix together garlic, chili, pepper flakes curry leaves (if using) and salt. In separate bowl, combine cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Set near stove.
   Place wok over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. coconut milk. Stir fry mustard seeds until they pop and start to color. Quickly add garlic, chilies and curry leaves and stir fry.
   Pour in remaining coconut milk. Immediately add beets and potatoes. Stir fry while adding cumin blend. Keep food moving, frequently scraping down sides of wok and turning vegetables constantly. Stir fry until almost soft, about 10-12 minutes. Reduce heat if necessary to avoid excessive sticking.
   Transfer to serving bowl and let cool. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature. Covered and stored refrigerated, salad will keep up to 3 days. Let chilled salad come to room temperature before serving.
   Makes 6 servings.
  
   Mushrooms Stuffed With Goat Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil
   8 oz. 1/2 lb. crimini or button mushrooms, about 2-inches wide
   Salt and pepper, to taste
   16 oz. goat cheese
   1/2 c. fresh basil, chopped
   Place a sieve over a medium bowl and drain tomatoes of their marinating oil. Wipe mushroom caps clean and remove the stems. Toss the mushrooms in the soil to coat; season with salt and pepper.
   Lift mushrooms from oil and place in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake in oven for 15 minutes at 275 degrees. Let cool.
   Fill each mushroom cap with goat cheese and top with drained tomato. Sprinkle with the chopped basil.
   Makes 8 to 10 servings.
  
   Oven Baked Salmon with Snow Peas
   2 small leeks, white and pale part chopped fine
   2 large carrots, cut into julienne strips (width of matchsticks) 1/2 lb. snow peas (fresh or frozen)
   4 salmon steaks or fillets (4-6 oz. each)
   2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
   2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
   1 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, divided
   Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
   1 lb. fresh spinach
   1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
   Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Tear four large sheets (18x12-inch) of heavy duty aluminium foil and lay out on table or counter.
   Place one-fourth each of leeks, carrots and snow peas on each sheet of foil. Place a piece of salmon on top of each mound of vegetables. Sprinkle one fourth of the ginger and drizzle one fourth of the vinegar and one fourth tsp. oil over each piece of fish. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
   Double fold foil and seal tightly, to form four packets. (Leave enough room in packet for heat to circulate.) Place packets on cookie sheet and bake about 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with fork.
   Meanwhile, rinse spinach leaves and place in large bowl or platter that will fit microwave oven.
   Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil. Cook in microwave at high power 3-4 minutes, checking every minute or so to make sure spinach is tender but not overcooked. Place one fourth of spinach in center of each of 4 plates, making a flat bed.
   When salmon is cooked, open packets carefully to allow steam to escape without scalding.
   Transfer contents of each packet to top of bed of spinach on each plate.
   Makes 4 servings.
  
   Sweet Potato and Cream of Spinach Soup
   1 c. chopped onion
   1/2 c. chopped celery
   1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
   2 Tbsp. minced garlic
   1 c. all purpose flour
   3 (16 oz.) cans fat free chicken broth
   3 c. diced and peeled sweet potatoes or 3 c. canned yams
   1 (10 oz.) bag fresh spinach leaves, stemmed and coarsely chopped
   2 c. slim milk
   1/2 c. sliced green onion stems (scallions)
   Salt and pepper to taste
   In a large, heavy pot coated with nonstick cooking spray over a medium high heat, cook the onion, celery, red bell pepper and garlic until the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the flour and gradually add the chicken broth, whisking until the soup is blended. Add the sweet potatoes and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook approximately 20 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Add the spinach, milk, green onion stems, salt and pepper, cooking until spinach is wilted and soup well heated and thickened, about 5 minutes.
   Makes 8 servings.
  
   Garlicky Greens
   1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
   3/4 c. sliced leek, white part only
   1/2 c. chopped scallions (about 3), both green and white parts
   1 Tbsp. minced garlic (2 large cloves)
   3 c. chopped kale
   1 c. chopped broccoli
   3 c. collard greens cut in 1/2 inch ribbons
   5 c. fresh spinach
   1 c. fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
   Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add leek, scallions and garlic. Saute until leeks are limp, about 4 minutes. Add kale, broccoli and collards, stirring until wilted. Mix in spinach. Add broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
   Makes 4 servings.
  
   Broccoli and Grape Salad
   4 c. broccoli florets, blanched
   2 c. seedless table grapes
   1/2 c. red bell pepper, sliced
   1/2 c. red onion, thinly sliced
   1/4 c. toasted almond slices
   1/4 c. bacon crumbles
   3/4 c. prepared low-fat oriental dressing.
   Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
   Makes 6 servings.