Helen Nash

Green Beans with Almonds

Green+Beans+with+Almonds.jpg

2 servings. 

I found this quick and easy preparation brings out the flavor of this vegetable

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ pound green beans (See Note)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, approximately

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Crushed red pepper, optional

  • ¼ cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted

PREPARATION:

  1. Trim and discard the stem ends of the beans and rinse. 

  2. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet, add the beans and sauté, covered, over medium high heat, stirring from time to time, until the beans are just tender, about 5 minutes (it will depend on how young and fresh the beans are).  

  3. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, pepper and combine with the almonds.

NOTE:

I prefer the thin string beans known as Haricots Verts, if you can find them.

Broccoli Rice

Broccoli+Rice.jpg

Makes 4 servings. 

Another simple preparation of this vitamin rich vegetable.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium bunch broccoli, about 1 ½ pounds

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1-2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, approximately

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut away most of the broccoli stems. Cut broccoli florets into small pieces and rinse .

  2. Chop finely in 2 BATCHES, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. The consistency of the broccoli should resemble couscous. 

  3. Heat the sesame oil and the olive oil in a wok or skillet add the broccoli and sauté, covered,   over medium high heat, stirring from time to time  for about 3 minutes.  The broccoli rice should be soft and fluffy.  

  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lime juice.   

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Thyme

Brussels+Sprouts+with+Thyme.jpg

Makes 4 servings. 

Since Brussels sprouts are brimming with nutrients, I decided to feature them again in a slightly different variation.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 20 medium size brussels sprouts

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • Leaves from 5 thyme sprigs

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.

  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  3. Trim the brown ends of the sprouts, discard the outer damaged leaves and cut in half.  

  4. Place on the baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.

  5. Roast for 10 minutes, turn and roast for another 15 minutes, or until tender and golden.  

Three Grain Salad

Three+Grain+Salad.jpg

Makes 4 -6 servings. 

Wholesome, nutritious and crunchy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup wheatberry

  • ½ cup farro

  • ½ cup barley

  • 3 scallions including some of the green parts, thinly sliced

  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup tightly packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

  • ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds

  • ¼ cup cranberries

  • Ricotta Salata, about 6 ounces, optional  

DRESSING:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Place wheatberries, 1½ cups water and a ½ teaspoon salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 1½ hours. The kernels should be almost tender and the water is absorbed.  Transfer to a medium bowl. 

  2. Place farro, ¾ cup water and ½ teaspoon salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until farro is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

  3. Add to the wheatberries. 

  4. Place barley, 1 cup water and ½ teaspoon salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 25 minutes. The barley should be cooked and the water absorbed (if the liquid is absorbed and the barley is not soft enough, add a few tablespoon boiling water and continue cooking). Add to the other grains.

  5. Add the sunflower seeds and the cranberries. 

  6. Whisk the dressing and combine with the grains.

  7. Season to taste with vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper.  

  8. It is best to let the dressed salad rest for a few hours before serving.

NOTE:

I chop the carrots and the parsley in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

The rule of thumb is that if the grains are not soft enough and the water has evaporated add a few tablespoons of boiling water and continue cooking.

 
 

Celery Root Fries

Celery+Root+Fries.jpg

Makes 4 cocktail servings .

Makes 2 side dish servings. 

This recipe is a nice change from the usual vegetables.  The fries are so tasty you will not be aware that they are baked not fried.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 celery root about 1 pound (See Note)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 500F.

  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil.  

  3. Peel the celery root and slice into ¼ inch rounds. Cut the rounds into ¼ inch strips

  4. Place on the cookie sheet. Toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  

  5. Arrange the fries on the cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes, or until almost soft.

NOTE:

Celery root is not easy to peel, take your time.

 
 

 

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice.jpg

Makes 4 servings. 

Simple, nutritious and tasty.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, about 2 pounds

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon capers

  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice,

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut away the stem and separate the cauliflower into small pieces. Chop finely, in 2 BATCHES, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. The consistency of the cauliflower should resemble couscous. 

  2. Heat the olive oil in a wok or a skillet, add the garlic, sauté for a minute. Add the cauliflower and stir for about 3 minutes. The cauliflower rice should be soft and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

 
 

Roasted Kabocha Squash

Kabocha+Squash.jpg

Makes 4-6 first course servings or side dishes . 

Among the winter squashes, Kabocha has become one of my favorites to begin a meal or as a side dish. The skin is edible and the texture is rich in flavor. It is full of vitamins such as Iron, Vitamin C and Carotene.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small Kabocha squash, about 1 ½ pounds

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the foil

  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

PREPARATION:

  1. Rinse the squash and pat dry. Place in the microwave for about 4 minutes (this softens the skin  making it easier to slice). Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and fibrous strings. Cut into 1 inch wedges.   

  2. Preheat the oven to 400F.

  3. Line a large baking sheet with foil and brush the foil with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  

  4. In a small dish combine the olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil and cinnamon.   

  5. Spread the wedges on the baking sheet.

  6. Brush with the mixture. 

  7. Bake for 20 minutes. The squash should be tender.

 
 

Kohlrabi Slaw

Kholrabi Slaw.jpg

Makes 4 servings. 

I have recently discovered this vegetable, and I’m making it quite often. Like cabbage, kohlrabi is delicious eaten raw. The flavor is sweet, mild with a crisp and juicy texture. The salad does not lose its crunchiness; it actually improves with time.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound green kohlrabi (3 small)

  • 1 small greening apple

  • 1 medium carrot

  • ¾ loosely packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, approx

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel the kohlrabi deeply, making sure it is trimmed well at the root. Cut into eights to fit into the feeding tube of a food processor fitted with the medium grating attachment, and grate. 

  2. Peel the apple, cut into quarters, core and grate.

  3. Peel the carrot and grate. 

  4. Place the kohlrabi, apple and carrot in a large bowl. Add the parsley, toss well and season with lime juice, salt and pepper.

  5. I suggest that you check the seasoning before serving.

 Note:

Sometimes the kohlrabi can be watery. If that happens drain it in a colander before combining with the other ingredients.

 
 

Carrot Salad

Carrot Salad.jpg

Makes 6 servings. 

Perhaps because carrots are so readily available all year we do not see them very much on menus.  In France carrot salads are iconic dishes. This carrot salad is easy to prepare and goes well with meat, poultry or fish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ¼ pounds carrots, about 8 carrots (See Note)

  • 2 tablespoons natural rice vinegar

  • 6 sprigs tarragon, remove leaves and chop coarsely

  • 3 scallions, including most of the green part, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • Kosher salt

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel the carrots. Grate in a food processor fitted with the medium grating attachment. 

  2. In a large bowl combine the vinegar, tarragon, scallions, honey and ½ teaspoon salt. Slowly add the olive oil.

  3. Add the carrots and the parsley and toss well. Season to taste with vinegar and salt.

NOTE:

If possible look for bunches of medium carrots with the greens still attached.  

 
 

Versatile Couscous

Versatile Couscous.jpg

Makes 4-6 servings. 

In this dish the couscous is not steamed or cooked; it is hydrated with boiling water and combined with nutritious ingredients.

It pairs very well with most meat dishes and is particularly good with salmon. It even improves with time.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup couscous

  • 4 tablespoons dried currants

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 2 cups loosely packed baby arugula (about 2 ounces) some stems discarded

  • 1/3 cup pignolia nuts, toasted

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, approx

PREPARATION:

  1. In a large bowl place the couscous, currants, cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon oil.  

  2. Pour 1 cup boiling water over the couscous. Cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.

  3. Fluff the couscous with a fork. 

  4. Add the parsley, arugula, 4 tablespoons oil, pignolia nuts and lime juice. Toss well and season to taste with lime juice salt and pepper.

 
 

Roasted Whole Carrots

Roasted Whole Carrots.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

This is a spring variety of carrots, which are sold in multicolored bunches with beautiful green leaves.   

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 carrots, with about 1 inch green top
  • 2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Scrub the carrots and dry well. Arrange in a single layer on a foil lined roasting pan. 
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with the other ingredients to combine.
  4. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until well browned and caramelized around the edges. Turn over midway during roasting.
 
 

Green Lentil Salad

Green Lentil Salad.jpg

Makes 4-6 servings.

There are many varieties of lentils but I like the French green variety. This salad is a good accompaniment to most fish, poultry, meat or you can eat it on its own.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup French Green lentils
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 3 tablespoons extra -virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 scallions including green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

PREPARATION:

  1. Place lentils and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender (if the lentils are not ready and all the water is absorbed add 1-2 tablespoons of hot water and continue cooking).
  2. Transfer the lentils to a medium bowl. Toss with the oil, add all the remaining ingredients and combine.  
  3. Season to taste. I suggest you recheck the seasonings before serving.  
 
 

Kohlrabi Salad

Kohlrabi Salad.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

Kohlrabi is part of the cabbage family. It is nutrient dense with a nutty taste and a delicious crunch. The jalapeno in this salad gives it a little bite. 

The salad actually improves with time.

I tend to prefer the green variety of kohlrabi, which I find milder than the purple, but the taste of both is similar.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ pounds green kohlrabi (2 medium)

  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped (See Note)

  • 3 scallions including the green part, cut into thin slices

  • ½ cup tightly packed cilantro leaves

CITRUS HONEY VINAIGRETTE DRESSING:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin-olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel the kohlrabi deeply, making sure it is trimmed well at the root. Cut into eighths to fit into the feeding tube of a food processor fitted with the medium grating attachment.

  2. Place the kohlrabi into a medium bowl and add jalapeno, scallions and cilantro.

  3. Whisk the dressing and toss with the kohlrabi. Season to taste.

NOTE:

When seeding jalapeno peppers, I advise wearing thin gloves to avoid irritating your skin or your eyes.

I suggest that you recheck the seasonings before serving.  

 
 

Broiled Eggplant

Broiled Eggplant.jpg

Makes 2 servings.

I find this quick and easy recipe is a nice addition to my eggplant dishes. I have eaten it as a first course and as an accompaniment to meat or poultry.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 baby eggplants

COATING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus ½ teaspoon for greasing the foil
  • 1½ tablespoons Tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chives for garnish, snipped with scissors  

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Trim the eggplants, peel deeply, cut in half and cut deep slits into the flesh.
  3. Combine the COATING ingredients.
  4. Line a broiler pan with foil, grease the foil and place the eggplant on it.
  5. Spoon the coating over the eggplants.
  6. Broil close to the heat source for about 5 minutes. The eggplants should be soft and well browned.
  7. If the eggplants are not soft enough, leave them for another minute in a turned off oven.
 
 

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Beets

Roasted Root Vegetables with Sage.jpg

Makes 4 generous servings.

Easy to make, nutritious and versatile, this dish is for all seasons and can be paired with fish, meat or poultry. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 medium parsnip
  • 2 medium golden beets
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 sprigs of sage, plus a few leaves for garnish
  • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Peel the vegetables, cut to the size that fits into the feed tube of a food processor fitted with a medium slicing attachment and slice.
  3. In a large bowl combine olive oil, maple syrup and vinegar. Add the vegetables and the sage. Mix very well and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spread the vegetables on it.  Roast for about 20 minutes. The vegetables should be soft.
  5. Discard the sage sprigs.
  6. Slice the sage leaves thinly and garnish.
 
 

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

These days preparing spinach is quite easy – it comes prewashed and ready to go. I discovered that by adding coconut milk I can make a creamy, healthy, pareve spinach dish which I like to serve with fish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 9 ounces of prewashed spinach, discard some of the dangling stems
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil and add half of the spinach. Stir until wilted. Remove to a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
  2. Do the same with the next batch of spinach.
  3. Puree the spinach adding the coconut milk through the feed tube.
  4. Transfer to a skillet and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Serve warm.  
 
 

Creamy Tofu Dressing

Creamy Tofu Dressing 2.jpg

This recipe is a retro dressing. The original was made with mayonnaise and sometimes the addition of sour cream and avocado. My version is creamy and light and quite versatile. I use it to make coleslaw, shredded kale, romaine salad and even fish.

It keeps very well refrigerated for some time.

Unfortunately, 8 ounce packages of tofu are not available so I was obliged to give you this amount of dressing.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 16 ounces drained silken tofu, drained in a sieve
  • 1 cup tightly packed flat leaf parsley
  • Tarragon petals from 15 sprigs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice, approx
  • Kosher salt,
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Adjust the seasoning with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  
 
 

Braised Leeks

Braised Leeks.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

Leeks are relatives of onions, but sweeter with a firm bite. This vegetable compliments any dish, and it is so simple to prepare.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 leeks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 sage leaves torn into small pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut off and discard dangling roots and most of the green part of the leeks. Discard one or two of the tough outer leaves.
  2. Cut the white and light green parts of the leeks into thin slices. Place in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove any sand.  Drain well.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan until hot. Add the leeks and sage. Braise, covered, over low heat, stirring from time to time, for about 15 minutes, or until the leeks are almost soft.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
 
 

Quinoa Pilaf

Makes 4 -6 servings.

I like the nutty, earthy flavor of this nutritious dish. Cooking the quinoa with some carrot juice perks up the flavor. You can easily pair this dish with tofu, salmon or poultry.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, approx
  • ½ cup carrot juice (See Note)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, approx
  • Kosher salt

PREPARATION:

  1. In a medium saucepan with a cover, heat the oil, add the carrot and shallots and cook stirring over medium/low heat, covered until softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the quinoa and cook stirring over low heat, until the quinoa is fragrant and beginning to pop, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and ginger. Add the carrot juice, and water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 13 minutes.
  3. Stir with a fork to fluff the grains, Add the almonds, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Season to taste with cumin, lemon juice and salt.

NOTE:

Carrot juice is available in most supermarkets and health food stores.

 

 
 

Miso Roasted Baby Eggplants

Miso Roasted Baby Eggplants.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

These eggplants are well flavored, delicious and so easy to prepare.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 baby eggplants
  • Extra -virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 4 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds for sprinkling
  • Chives, cut into long pieces, for garnish

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease it with olive oil.
  3. Trim the eggplants at both ends. Peel close to the flesh, cut in half and cut deeps slits into the flesh. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Squeeze each eggplant gently to remove moisture.  
  5. Combine the miso, mirin and sugar into a paste.  Place the eggplants on the baking sheet and spoon the paste over the eggplants.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.  
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and roast for another 20 minutes.  The eggplants should be soft and well browned.
  8. Garnish with chives.