Recipes for Spring Menu Plan

Spring Menu Plan — Soups

  • Pureed Carrot Soup
  • Vegetable Minestrone
  • Watercress Bisque

  • Pureed Carrot Soup
    —Serves 6

    7 cups water

    12 carrots, cut
    into pieces

    1/4 lemon with peel

    2 Tablespoons light
    miso or to taste

    2 Tablespoons fresh dill

    Bring water to a boil.

    Add carrots and lemon.

    Cover and simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 to 30

    Remove lemon and discard.

    Puree in blender or food processor with miso and garnish with fresh dill.

    (A pureed carrot soup using carrots, onion, garlic, and
    celery with a squeeze of fresh ginger is a spicier autumn
    choice. Topped with some Sesame Salt, this variation is very tasty.)

    Vegetable Minestrone
    —Serves 6

    1 1/2 quarts water

    1 strip kombu sea
    vegetable (optional)

    1/2 cup brown rice

    1 Tablespoon fresh
    or 1/2 Tablespoon
    dried thyme

    1 Tablespoon fresh
    or 1/2 Tablespoon
    dried marjoram

    2 leeks, cut into
    1/2-inch pieces

    1 potato, cut into cubes

    2 stalks celery, chopped

    3 carrots, cut into pieces

    1 cup broccoli florets

    1 cup sweet peas

    Sea salt to taste

    Bring water, kombu, rice, and herbs (if using dried) to a
    boil, and simmer for 30 minutes.

    Add leeks, potato, celery, and carrots, and simmer 15 minutes longer.

    Then add broccoli florets, sweet peas, and herbs (if using fresh), and
    simmer another 10 minutes.

    Remove kombu, salt to taste, and serve.

    If using leftover cooked rice, simmer vegetables in
    same order and add 1 1/2 cups of rice at the end. Cooking
    time is approximately 25–30 minutes.

    Serve with “Pesto Sauce”.

    This soup is also very good served cold with a sprinkling of olive oil.

    Watercress Bisque
    —Serves 6

    1 onion, chopped finely

    1 carrot, chopped finely

    8 cups water

    2 bunches watercress
    (about 8 cups),

    chopped coarsely,
    including stems

    2 Tablespoons
    light miso or
    to taste

    lemon wedges
    to garnish

    Water-sauté onion and carrot until onion is limp and transparent.

    Add water and chopped watercress, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

    Puree in blender or food processor with miso.

    Serve garnished with a lemon wedge.

    Spring Menu Plan — Salads

    • Couscous Salad
    • Pasta and Garbanzo Salad

    • Couscous Salad
      —Serves 6

      2 cups whole wheat

      3 cups boiling water

      1/4 cup chopped
      black olives

      1/4 cup capers

      1 red bell pepper, cut
      into small pieces

      1 stalk celery, cut
      into small pieces

      2 green onions,
      sliced thinly

      1 cup parsley, minced
      1/4 cup olive oil

      2 teaspoons ume vinegar
      (or 1 Tablespoon lemon
      juice with 1/2 teaspoon
      sea salt), or to taste

      1/4 teaspoon
      cayenne pepper

      lettuce leaves

      cherry tomatoes

      Place couscous in a bowl and pour boiling water over it.

      Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork.

      Add olives, capers, vegetables, and parsley and toss with olive
      oil, ume vinegar, and cayenne.

      Serve over a bed of lettuce garnished with cherry tomatoes.

      Pasta and Garbanzo Salad

      —Serves 6

      1 1/2 cups whole wheat
      spirals or bows

      4 cups cooked or sprouted
      garbanzo beans

      1 teaspoon thyme

      1 teaspoon marjoram

      1 clove garlic, minced

      6 Tablespoons extra virgin
      olive oil or to taste

      1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

      tamari to taste

      1/2 Tablespoon sea salt

      Cook pasta in water and salt.

      Drain and combine with garbanzos, herbs, and garlic.

      Season with olive oil, cayenne, tamari and/or sea salt.

      Serve hot or cold.

      For a whole meal, you can also add some fresh veggies and a splash of rice vinegar.

      Spring Menu Plan — Dressings

      • Avocado Dressing
      • Miso/Tahini Dressing

      • Avocado Dressing
        —Serves 6

        2 medium avocados

        1 lemon, juiced

        1 teaspoon salt or
        tamari to taste

        1/2 cup water

        1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

        1 clove garlic

        Blend all ingredients well and toss with salad.

        Miso-Tahini Dressing

        —Serves 6

        1 Tablespoon light miso

        3 Tablespoons toasted
        sesame tahini

        1 Tablespoon
        brown rice vinegar

        1/4 teaspoon rice malt
        or honey

        3 Tablespoons water

        Blend all ingredients well.

        If a thinner consistency is desired, add more water.

        Spring Menu Plan — Condiments

        • Tofunaise

        • Tofunaise
          —Serves 6

          1 block tofu (6–8 ounces)

          1 Tablespoon
          brown rice vinegar

          1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

          1/2 teaspoon
          ground coriander

          1 teaspoon Dijon
          mustard (optional)

          1 Tablespoon olive oil

          Blend all ingredients.

          Spring Menu Plan — Entrees

          • Polenta with Tomato/Lentil Sauce
          • Sweet and Sour Tempeh or Tofu

          • Polenta
            —Serves 6

            9 cups water

            1 teaspoon sea salt

            3 cups polenta (corn grits)

            Polenta is excellent the Day after. It can be baked, broiled, or grilled.

            Bring water and salt to a boil.

            Slowly add polenta while stirring constantly with a whisk until well mixed.

            Lower flame to minimum, cover pot, and simmer until polenta has thickened, about 40

            Stir occasionally to avoid burning the bottom.

            Transfer the polenta to a glass loaf pan, and let set for 5 minutes.

            Cut into squares and serve with “Tomato-Lentil sauce”

            Sweet and Sour Tempeh or Tofu

            —Serves 6

            1/4 cup water

            1/4 cup tamari

            1/2 teaspoon ground
            coriander seed

            1 clove garlic, minced

            2 packages tempeh (1 pound)
            or 3 blocks tofu (about 1 pound),
            cut into 1-inch squares

            1/4 cup arrowroot flour

            peanut or rice bran
            oil for deep frying

            Mix water, tamari, coriander, and garlic together.

            Dip tempeh or tofu cubes in mix and coat with arrowroot flour.

            Heat oil in a wok or skillet, and deep fry tempeh or tofu
            until golden.

            Drain well on paper towel.

            For low-fat recipe, avoid frying by omitting arrowroot and oil; marinate tofu
            or tempeh and bake at 350° for 15–20 minutes.

            Serve with “Sweet and Sour Sauce”.

            Spring Menu Plan — Sauces

            • Pesto Sauce
            • Sweet and Sour Sauce
            • Tomato–Caper Sauce
            • Tomato–Lentil Sauce

            • Pesto Sauce

              —Makes about 1 cup

              1 bunch fresh basil or
              spinach, clean and
              with stems removed

              1 Tablespoon light miso

              1 clove garlic

              1/2 cup pine nuts
              and/or walnuts

              4 Tablespoons olive oil
              parsley (optional)

              Puree all ingredients well in a blender or food processor.

              Some fresh parsley can be added to blender to enhance the
              green. If too thick, dilute with a little water. Pass at the
              table and add to “Vegetable Minestrone”.

              Of course, this dairyless pesto can be used for pastas or
              grain vegetables dishes if you so desire. A more traditional
              (and fattening) pesto sauce will use grated Romano cheese
              and olive oil.

              Sweet and Sour Sauce

              —Serves 6

              1 1/2 cups water

              1 cup rice syrup

              4 teaspoons tamari

              2 Tablespoons
              rice vinegar

              1 Tablespoon tahini

              1/2 teaspoon grated
              fresh ginger

              1 Tablespoon kuzu,
              diluted in 1 Tablespoon cold water

              2 green onions, chopped finely

              Combine water, rice syrup, tamari, vinegar, tahini, and
              ginger and bring to a boil.

              Add diluted kuzu and stir
              until sauce thickens.

              Add green onions.

              One use for this sauce is to pour over

              “Sweet and Sour Tempeh or Tofu”.

              Tomato–Caper Sauce

              —Serves 6

              1 Tablespoon olive oil

              1 clove garlic

              1 chili pepper

              1 28-ounce can peeled
              tomatoes, or 1 pound
              fresh, peeled tomatoes

              1/4 cup of chopped
              black olives

              2 Tablespoons capers

              sea salt to taste

              Heat oil over medium flame and sauté garlic and chili
              pepper until slightly golden.

              Remove and add tomatoes.

              Simmer with lid ajar for about 20 minutes.

              Add olives and capers and simmer 5 more minutes.

              Salt to taste.

              Serve over baked breasts of chicken.

              Tomato–Lentil Sauce

              —Serves 6

              1/2 onion, chopped finely

              1 carrot, chopped finely

              1 stalk celery,
              chopped finely

              1 clove garlic, minced

              2 Tablespoons olive oil

              16 ounces fresh
              peeled tomatoes
              or 2 8-ounce cans

              1 cup mushrooms,
              coarsely sliced

              sea salt and pepper
              to taste

              Parmesan cheese

              Sauté onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in oil until onions are limp and transparent.

              Add tomatoes and lentils and simmer 30 to 40 minutes with lid ajar.

              Add mushrooms, cook 5 minutes longer and season to
              taste with salt and pepper.

              Serve “Polenta”. Excellent also over pasta or whole grains.

              If desired, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over sauce.

              Spring Menu Plan—Desserts

              • Strawberry–Rhubarb Pudding

              • Strawberry–Rhubarb Pudding

                —Serves 6

                5 cups strawberries, sliced

                2 cups rhubarb, diced

                3 Tablespoons maple
                syrup or to taste

                1 teaspoon grate
                lemon rind

                2 Tablespoons
                agar-agar flakes

                1 Tablespoon kuzu,
                in 2 Tablespoonscold water

                Bring strawberries, rhubarb, maple syrup, and lemon rind
                to a boil and sprinkle in agar-agar flakes.

                Simmer until all flakes are dissolved (about 10 minutes).

                Add dissolved kuzu and stir until mixture thickens.

                Transfer to a bowl or individual cups and refrigerate until set.

                Garnish with strawberry slices and a sprig of mint.

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                Written by Elson M. Haas MD