Avocado-tahini dip, Wild rice and mushroom pilaf, Lentil and Rapini Stew [Nadia Pietravalle]

Avocado-tahini dip (served with organic crackers and raw fennel)
makes approximately 1 1/2 cups
§  1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and diced
§  1/3 cup well stirred tahini
§  3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approx. 1 lemon)
§  1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
§  2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
§  1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
§  1/4 cup filtered water
Peel and dice your avocado, and put into a bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mash together until smooth consistency.

Wild rice and mushroom pilaf
Serves: 6
·       1 vegetable bouillon cube
·       1/2 cup wild rice
·       1 /2 cup long-grain brown rice
·       2 ounces dried shiitake, maitake, or porcini mushrooms
·       1 cup sliced crimini or baby bella mushrooms
·       1 cup diced carrots
·       3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
·       2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or scallions
·       1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
·       1/3 cup natural low-fat vinaigrette
·       Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine 3 1/2 cups water and the bouillon cube in a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir in the wild and brown rice. Cover and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Let the rice cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, soak the mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes, then drain. If using shiitakes, trim and discard their tough stems. Slice the shiitakes or porcinis into narrow strips.
Heat a nonstick skillet. Cook the carrots for several minutes until almost tender then combine the fresh mushrooms in the skillet with a little water, then cover and “sweat” them over medium heat until just wilted, about 3 minutes.
Combine the fresh and reconstituted mushrooms in a large mixing bowl with the rice mixture and all the remaining ingredients. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lentil and Rapini Stew
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • Olive oil
  • 1tbs tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1 cup uncooked lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sea salt and Fresh ground pepper as needed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • 2 cups water (You may need to add a little more depending on the amount of broth you like)
  • 3 red potatoes, diced
  • 1 rapini, roughly chopped
In a large soup pot, heat a hearty amount of olive oil (4-5 Tablespoons) over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onions with some salt and pepper to release the liquids from the vegetables. After cooking 5-7 minutes, add the tomato paste, garlic, and stir to combine cooking for 3 minutes. Add the curry, cumin, and the red pepper mixing to combine and cooking for 3 more minutes. Add the can of tomatoes with juices, bay leaves, salt and pepper stirring again to combine. Bring to a simmer then add the lentils. Stir cooking for 3 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and water to the pot turn to medium high and bring to a boil. This will take 10 minutes or so. Lower to medium and simmer for 5-10 minutes more. Add the potatoes simmering until the potatoes are soft again 5-10 minutes.

Lastly add the rapini and mix it in and let it wilt and soften for a few minutes.
Serve your soup immediately with some crusty bread on the side.

Tofu whipped cream (served with fresh berries)
1 package silken tofu
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons almond or cashew butter

Blend all ingredients into a blender or food processor until smooth. Place in fridge to chill.

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