Thursday, January 8, 2015

46 Recipes for 2015, Week One

I am trying to cook the 46 recipes I found at the Forks and Knives website... seen here if you are interested: Forks Over Knives Recipes Page
I am not doing them in any particular order, but as it happens I did the first one, named "Autumn Vegetable Stew" first. Just finished making it. I followed it (more or less) to the letter the first time.

One of my hopes while I am here in Olympia is to join or start a Potluck Club for people who like to, and/or are learning to, cook healthy can come together and share their experience with recipes and share delicious, healthy food.

Obviously all the ingredients in my version of this stew were organic. Most were grown locally, some by me others purchased at our great West side Food Co-op.

One exotic ingredient in this recipe was Saffron. This is the first time I have ever cooked with Saffron. I hope it is worth it.
Saffron on Quarter, an art piece

In this picture you see the contents of a $10 package of Saffron. I used about 1/3 of it for this recipe, so I have enough for 2 more batches.

This is the stew in the 
final stages of cooking.

As I write this I am eating a bowl of this stew. I pronounce it Delicious! This definitely fits into my category "Potluck Worthy" which, unlike foods you cook only for yourself, is a category of foods you would be happy to serve for others. I think this stew would go over better with folks who appreciate variety, are into new flavors and enjoy hearty, healthy food. The "Where's the beef!!?", Folgers Coffee folks might have a harder time savouring it the way it deserves to be savoured.

I am copying this recipe below in case Forks Over Knives goes off the air..


  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1⁄2-inch slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1½ tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • Two 1-inch pieces cinnamon stick
  • 8 cups Vegetable Stock, or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into ¾ -inch pieces
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large pinches saffron, soaked for 15 minutes in ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro

The spices in this hearty soup are classic flavors of North African cooking—a mix of sweet, savory, bright, and earthy all in one dish. Saffron may be the world’s most expensive spice, but this recipe, like most, only calls for a small amount. This dish also calls for sweet paprika, which usually refers to a milder form of the spice.
From Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook
Place the onion, carrots, and celery in a large pot and sauté for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon sticks and cook for 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, squash, turnip, potato, tomatoes, and chickpeas and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Add the mint and the saffron with its soaking water and season the stew with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes more, or until the vegetables are tender. Serve garnished with the cilantro.
Photo by Keepin’ it Kind
For more recipes and convenient meal preparation, download the Forks Over Knives Recipe App for iPhone and iPod touch.

My addendum to this recipe:
1. I do no agree with a "No oil" philosophy because my research indicates that oil is a crucial part of a heathy food plan so in Step One (the onion, celery and carrot) I sauteed in 1 tbsp of good oil instead of water.
2. I would add: "Wherever possible, pick out the cinnamon stick after cooking." I chomped down on a couple of pieces of cinnamon bark and it disrupted the texture and flavor blend.
 3. All my mint froze during our cold snap. It will come back when it warms up but in the mean time  I used (face turning red) the mint from a bag of organic peppermint tea, which I tore open and soaked in a similar manner to the saffron. This would not have been my first choice, but under the circumstances I consider it genius.

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