Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo

Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo

Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo

My friends at Explore Cuisine have just released a new product, Red Lentil Risoni, an orzo made exclusively of red lentil flour. It is produced in Italy, and has 13 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per 2 oz. serving, it’s organic and gluten-free too.

I am excited to be joining them again this year, at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California on March 7, 8, and 9 to help debut this terrific product. Please stop by Booth #4906 to sample this uber-tasty risotto in a rotation with Edamame Spaghetti with Pesto, Green Lentil Lasagne, Brown Rice Noodle Pad Thai, Black Bean Black Sesame Fettuccine, Edamame Ramen and more. Most of the dishes will be vegan or vegetarian, all are gluten-free.

For this dish, the classic risotto cooking method is applied to the rice-shaped lentils. The result is a creamy high-protein lentil dish masquerading as rice, flavored with spicy pork sausage (handmade by my San Pedro butcher). Just add a green salad for a wholly satisfying meal.

Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo Recipe

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Trio of Vietnamese Dipping Sauces with California Citrus

Vietnamese Dipping Sauces

A Trio of Vietnamese Dipping Sauces with California Citrus
Grapefruit, Ginger, Fresno Chile Dipping Sauce
Key Lime Jalapeño Dipping Sauce
Tangelo Nuoc Cham

Get your taste buds ready for a wild ride! I’ve spiked traditional invigorating Vietnamese sauces with fresh citrus from my winter garden: grapefruit, key lime, and tangelo. Now those bracing Viet dipping sauces have a sunny California twist.

Try them to perk up grilled chicken or seafood; lift flavors in soups; brighten noodles or rice; add zip as a dressing for salads; to make a vibrant dip for spring rolls; add a tangy heat when paired with beef or pork. All three are magically refreshing, each with a unique combination of sweet, fruity, salty, sour, and spicy flavors.

Vietnamese Dipping Sauces

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Perfect Soup for the New Year

Chicken Soup with Lima Beans

Chicken Soup with Lima Beans

Whether one has over-indulged over the holidays or not, Chicken Soup with Lima Beans is perfect for the New Year. The soup is light and lemony, but definitely rich enough to satisfy. It’s chock-full of vegetables and protein, plus it is lower in carbs and higher in fiber than traditional chicken noodle soup.

The secret to its greatness is creamy-buttery large white lima beans from Rancho Gordo that cook up beautifully smooth and tender. They taste more like fresh vegetables than other beans.

Bean Lover’s Gift Box

I’m looking forward to sharing many more bean recipes this year on Taste With The Eyes! My gift box included Black Eyed Peas (recipe here), Christmas Limas, White Limas, Yellow Eye, Pozole, and Classic Cassoulet Beans plus a wonderful book, French Beans by Georgeanne Brennan.

Rancho Gordo Lima Beans

Chicken Soup with Lima Beans Recipe

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Peach, Quinoa, and Almond Milk Ricotta Salad

Peach, Quinoa, and Almond Milk Ricotta Salad/Grain Bowl

Peach, Quinoa, and Almond Milk Ricotta Salad/Grain Bowl
with
Toasted Almonds, Red Oak Lettuce, Mint, Basil
Olive Oil, Balsamic Syrup, Edible Flowers
Lemon Verbena Iced Tea

Hey! How’s your summer going? Hot enough for ya? Try this Peach, Quinoa, and Almond Milk Ricotta Salad/Grain Bowl  – it’s a bright, light, and simply delicious summertime meal. Perfect for these sweltering days…there is no recipe per se, just a combination of healthful ingredients that have a particular affinity for each other, all arranged in a bowl. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan too.

Enjoy the salad/grain bowl al fresco along with refreshing Lemon Verbena Iced Tea – the high levels of essential oil contribute to a delightful citrusy aroma and lovely lemony flavor.

Peach, Quinoa, and Almond Milk Ricotta Salad/Grain Bowl

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Mung Bean Lovers’ Pasta

Mung Bean Lovers' PastaMung Bean Rotini & Mung Bean Sprouts in a Coconut Curry
#glutenfreevegan

Here’s a zippy gluten-free vegan pasta dish that’s full of flavor and spice, made with two different forms of mung beans. Those small green oval-shaped legumes are nutrient-dense and high in plant-based protein and dietary fiber. They are milled and ground into flour to make rotini shaped pasta. Fresh mung bean sprouts add texture and have a somewhat nutty flavor. They add more fiber, and Vitamins K and C.

I use Trader Joe’s Curry Powder with its wonderful exotic spice blend of cumin, turmeric, chile pepper, mustard, cardamom, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, red pepper, cinnamon, black pepper, and saffron. Then I add more ground turmeric for the extra boost of flavor, color, and especially the curcumin. Curcumin is the chemical in turmeric that is responsible for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

A garnish of plenty of chopped cilantro, sliced scallions, and a drizzle of chili oil (or chili flakes) make this colorful pasta dish especially exciting and appealing!

Mung Beans Lovers’ Pasta Recipe

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Smashed Cucumber Salad

Smashed Cucumber Salad

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Garlic Scented Lima Beans
Fennel, Feta, Mint, Oregano, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil

Cool-crisp Persian cucumbers and creamy-buttery lima beans make a delightful summer duo. Fennel adds a bright crunch with a sweet, nutty anise flavor.

The large limas by Lompoc Beans are sold at our local Torrance Farmers Market. They are also available online. Grown in Santa Barbara County, the beans cook up beautifully smooth and tender.

Soak 2 cups of beans in water for 4 1/2 hours then drain. Place beans in a pot and add fresh cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add 4 smashed garlic cloves. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer, cook uncovered, for one hour. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary. Cook al dente (soft but not mushy), taste a few beans for doneness. Drain. Set aside to serve at room temperature.

It’s a fun salad to compose. Put cucumber chunks in a roomy ziplock bag and smash with a mallet. Squeeze lemon juice and drizzle fruity olive oil into the bag. Add shaved fennel and toss the bag to coat the veggies with the dressing. Let marinate for 10 minutes.

Smashed Cucumber Salad Composition

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Cook The Cover

Cook The Cover

Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan
Watermelon Radish, Carrot, Bok Choy, Sesame Chili Oil

Have you received a copy of a food magazine in the mail with a cover photo that absolutely floors you? February 2018 Bon Appetit did that for me. There was no way that I wasn’t going to “Cook The Cover” and make that gorgeous Crispy Tofu in Shiitake Broth.

Alas, time passed and I didn’t make it. But, last Saturday’s trip to the Torrance Farmers Market gave me the inspiration…it came from a vegetarian Korean food booth called Dave’s Gourmet Korean Food with a sample of his hot “Vegee Broth.” It was amazing – complex flavors in a vegetarian broth made with fermented vegetable juice, sea salt, low sodium gluten-free soy sauce, and miso.

As I walked the market, watermelon radish and bok choy remembered from that February magazine cover ended up in my basket. I already had carrots and firm tofu at home.

One ingredient that is not in Bon Appetit’s recipe was beautiful Gai Lan, also known as Chinese broccoli. Slightly bitter and slightly sweet, with tasty broad leaves, petite buds, a few pretty white flowers, and tender stems – this had to be added to my version of the vegetable soup.

Here is the link to the original recipe by Bon Appetit, and my adaptations are listed below. Those in the Los Angeles area can find Dave’s Vegee Broth at various Farmers Markets across the county. If you are not in LA, simply follow the original broth recipe. It will take a little longer but be, no doubt, worth your time.

Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan Recipe

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