July 11, 2011

Recipes from Sage Mountain

I had the honor of cooking for an herbal learning program at Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center (www.sagemt.com) this weekend. A few showy lady slippers are still in bloom and the gardens abound with pink malva, purple clary sage, shy violets and fragrant lemon balm. I included all these edible flowers in our salads! 

Basmati Brown Rice with roasted beets, peas, mint and basil
Rinse ½ cup basmati brown rice.
Pour into a cooking pot with 1 ½ cups water.
Bring to a boil; then reduce to simmer.
Add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 Tablespoons olive oil.
Simmer, covered, on low heat for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop 3 beets into bite-sized chunks.              
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place beets in a glass baking dish, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast for 30 minutes.

As beets and rice are cooking, mince 2 large handfuls fresh basil and 1 small handful fresh mint.
When the rice is 5 minutes or less from completion, add:
>>minced herbs
>>½ cup peas (either shelled ones or whole snap peas)

When rice is cooked, add roasted beets and a splash of lemon juice. Mix everything together, taste for salt, and enjoy!

White Bean Soup with Zucchini and Garlic Scapes

Choose cannellini (white kidney) or Vermont yellow-eye beans.

To soak dry beans, place ½ cup in a large bowl and cover with 1 inch water. Soak for 8 hours or overnight.

Pour beans through strainer and allow to drain.

Rinse with water until liquid runs clear through strainer.

Pour into a stock pot with 3 cups water.

Cover pot and turn heat on high.

Bring to a boil, watching carefully to make sure that beans do not boil over. 

Once the pot has come to a boil, remove lid and reduce to medium heat.

Cannellini beans
Foam will form on top of the water. Use a spoon to skim off the foam. Repeat this step periodically as you notice more foam. Cook beans 1 hour or until tender. Strain and rinse once more.

If using canned beans, choose ones with no salt added (I like Eden Organics). Strain and rinse before proceeding.

While beans are cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet. Add:

>>2 cups fresh garlic scapes

>>2 large zucchini, chopped into crescents
>>1/2 Tablespoon each: salt and black pepper

Pour 1/3 cup white wine over the vegetables and sear them on high heat.
Then cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. 
If you have fresh culinary herbs, mince and add the following:
>>6 sprigs thyme
>>2 sprigs lavender flowers
>>6 sprigs marjoram
>>6 sprigs rosemary
>>5 sprigs savory
If using dried herbs, add 2 teaspoons each except lavender, which only required 1/2 teaspoon.

Add 4-5 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook soup for 1/2 hour or more if you wish.
When beans are tender, drain them and add them to the soup pot.

Basil Parsley Pesto
Genovese basil

In blender, mix:
3 T olive oil
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Fresh flat-leaf parsley (½ bunch)
Fresh basil (1 bunch)

Blend at highest speed for 2 minutes.
Enjoy with vegetable fritters, rice dishes, 
or flat breads.

Rosewater Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix these dry ingredients in a bowl:
>>1 ½ cups rice flour or spelt flour
>>1 Tablespoon each: cinnamon and cardamom
>>Pinch salt

Make a well in the center of the flours and spices and add:
>>5 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
>>1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
>>¼ cup coconut oil, softened at room temperature
>>¼ cup maple syrup
>>4 Tablespoons honey
>>2 Tablespoons rosewater (in wellness section of most health food stores)

Rosa canina
Mix wet and dry ingredients together.                     
Oil a cookie sheet and drop dough onto it in spoonfuls.

Slide cookie sheet into oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove, flatten each cookie gently with the back of a fork, and bake for 10 more minutes.

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