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Red Lentil Soup, Portobello Burgers, Sweet Potato-Orange Salad, and Maple Baked Apples.

Posted Oct 22 2008 4:54pm
Sunday I was craving burgers. Earlier that week the market across the street from my place received a nice selection of huge Portobello mushrooms, so I searched through my extensive recipe collection and found the recipe for Portobello Mushroom Burgers. That made me almost happy. Almost, because I also felt like a salad with my burger…something with fruits…..oranges…… something different from the usual Green Salad with sesame dressing I make.
Flipping through the pages of the recipe-binders I saw a picture of the Sweet Potato and Orange Salad! That was exactly what I had in my mind…. But wait a second, this Red Lentil Soup looks so yummy……coconut milk….. cumin….. hmmmmmm….. can we eat burger, salad, and the soup? Why not!
Having all of this figured out I thought of desert. Something fruity and not too complicated would be great. Apple-pecan cookies? Poached pears? Baked apples?! Yeah, Baked Apples with maple syrup, raisins, and nuts.
After couple of hours of cooking we’ve enjoyed:

Red Lentil Mulligatawny with Apple-Celery Salsa

The recipe comes from the Cooking Light magazine. I “veganised” it by replacing the chicken stock with the vegetable broth.
This rich, creamy soup will thicken as it cools. Thin with hot water, a tablespoon at a time, to the desired consistency.

2/3 cup finely chopped Granny Smith apple
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

3 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dried small red lentils
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To prepare salsa, combine the first 4 ingredients; cover and chill.

To prepare soup, combine broth, lentils, and onion in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Pour half of lentil mixture in a blender; let stand 5 minutes. Process until smooth. Pour pureed lentil mixture into a bowl. Pour remaining lentil mixture into blender; process until smooth.
Add coconut milk, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, and turmeric; process until smooth.
Return coconut milk mixture and remaining pureed lentil mixture to pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1 teaspoon juice, salt, and pepper.
Ladle about 1 cup soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 1/4 cup salsa.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup soup and 1/4 cup salsa)

Grilled Portobello Burgers

Yet another recipe from the Cooking Light magazine. I did not have any honey mustard, so I simply added some honey to mustard. I used the vegan Cheddar cheese ( Earth Island ), Boston lettuce instead of the Bibb, added tomatoes and black olives. For a vegan version replace Worcestershire with the vegetarian version of the sauce and omit the honey (or replace it with Agave nectar/Corn syrup). Replacing the Worcestershire with Tamari sauce might work as well.

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons honey mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 large Portobello mushroom caps
1 red bell pepper, cut into 4 wedges
Cooking spray
4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices onion
8 (1/2-ounce) slices reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns
4 Bibb lettuce leaves
8 sandwich-cut bread-and-butter pickles

Prepare grill.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; brush both sides of mushroom caps with sauce mixture.
Place bell pepper on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill for 10 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel.
Place mushroom caps, top sides down, and onion on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until tender. Place 2 cheese slices on top of each mushroom cap; cover and grill 1 minute or until cheese melts.
Spread 1 tablespoon ketchup and 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard over top half of each bun. Place mushroom caps on bottom halves of hamburger buns. Separate onion into rings; arrange onion slices evenly over mushrooms. Top each serving with 1 lettuce leaf, 2 pickles, and top half of bun.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 burger)

Roasted Sweet Potato and Orange Salad

The smell of the sweet potatoes roasting with rosemary and garlic is mouthwatering!!!

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and crushed
1 1/2 pounds peeled sweet potato, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 cups orange sections (about 6 oranges)
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 (6-ounce) bag prewashed baby spinach

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare salad, combine first 4 ingredients, tossing well. Place potato mixture on a jelly-roll pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven; cool. Discard garlic. Combine potato mixture, orange sections, onion, pine nuts, and spinach in a large bowl.

To prepare dressing, combine orange juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat.

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Maple Baked Apples.

This recipe comes from the Real Simple magazine.

Gala and Rome Beauty apples are ideal for baking because they retain their shape.

4 large apples
1/4 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) walnut pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Ice cream (optional)

Heat oven to 400° F.

Using a paring knife, remove the cores and trim about a 1/2-inch slice from the bottom of each apple, so they sit flat. Place the apples in an ovenproof skillet or 8- to 9-inch baking dish. Drizzle with the syrup.
Divide the walnuts and raisins among the apples, filling the cavities, and place any extra in the dish. Dot the apples with the butter. Bake until tender, 40 to 50 minutes. If using a baking dish, pour the liquid from the dish into a skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until it thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the warm apples and serve with the ice cream, if desired.

Yield: Makes 4 servings
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