Vegetarian Honey Winter Vegetable Soup

vegetarian winter veg soup

Reprinted from Salon.com

There’s never been a better time to be a half-assed vegetarian. Five years ago, the American Dialect Society honored the word flexitarian for its utility in describing a growing demographic—the “vegetarian who occasionally eats meat.” Now there’s evidence that going flexi is good for the environment and good for your health. A study released last October found that a plant-based diet, augmented with a small amount of dairy and meat, maximizes land-use efficiency. In January, Michael Pollan distilled the entire field of nutritional science into three rules for a healthy diet: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” According to a poll released last week, Americans seem to be listening: Thirteen percent of U.S. adults are “semivegetarian,” meaning they eat meat with fewer than half of all their meals. In comparison, true vegetarians—those who never, ever consume animal flesh—compose just 1 percent.

Yield:  10-12 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

8 ounces crimini mushrooms, halved and sliced

2 medium carrots, finely diced

2 ribs celery, finely diced

1 large onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon kosher salt

One 35-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 quarts water

3 tablespoons soy sauce

One 2-by-2-inch piece Parmesan rind

7 ounces butternut squash, cubed

5 ounces kale, stems removed and chopped

Two 15-ounce cans great Northern beans, undrained

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

Shaved Parmesan, for serving

Directions

Place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into an 8-quart stockpot over high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the mushrooms and saute until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Decrease the heat to low, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the carrots, celery, onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 30 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, sage, rosemary and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to break up the tomatoes. Add the water, soy sauce and Parmesan rind, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, about 15 minutes. Decrease the heat to low, add the squash and kale, cover and cook until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

Return the mushrooms to the pot along with the beans, honey and red wine vinegar and cook until all is heated through, about 15 minutes. Remove the cheese rind and serve warm with shaved Parmesan.

Serve with hearty whole grain bread and a green salad.

Wonderful honey recipe!!

FrugalFeeding

Honey Cake

Honey cake, or lekach, is a dense and sweet cake traditionally consumed by Ashkenazi Jews over the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Despite having Middle Eastern roots the flavour of honey cake will likely be dependent on the region in which it is baked. Local flora heavily influences the flavour of honey, making it specific to a certain area or even garden. This local connection is what makes food like this truly spectacular – not only is it homemade, its flavour is drawn from its surrounding environment.

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Spice-Brined Honey Lemon Chicken

pepper-chicken-oh-l

Yes, I practice Zen and yes, I eat meat.

I’ve tried being a vegetarian. Heck, I was even a vegan for a few weeks. I didn’t gain clarity. Instead, my hair starting falling out.

I went to my Teacher with my plight. He told me it’s all about intention and gratitude and that even the Dalai Lama eats chicken. So I’ve got that going for me.

I think the Dalai Lama would like this recipe.

Yield:  4 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

3 teaspoons coriander seeds

8 cups water

1 cup Kosher salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup honey

Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 cup water

One 4- to 5-pound roasting chicken

Directions

To brine the chicken: Put the 1 tablespoon black peppercorns and 2 teaspoons coriander seeds into a saucepan and toast over medium-low heat, swirling the pan, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of the water and the salt, raise the heat to medium-high, and stir until the salt is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 6 cups water and the red pepper flakes. Let cool to room temperature.

Rinse the chicken well under cold water. Transfer to a large sturdy plastic bag or pan just large enough to hold it. Pour the brine over the chicken, making sure it is completely immersed. Refrigerate overnight.

Mix honey, lemon zest and juice until combined. Melt butter and whisk in until smooth. Cover and refrigerate if not using right away.

Position a rack in a roasting pan. Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat the chicken completely dry with paper towels and set it on the rack in the pan. Let the chicken come to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coarsely crush the remaining black peppercorns and coriander seeds and add to honey lemon mixture. Stir in the rosemary and sage.

Pat the chicken again with paper towels to make sure it is completely dry. Brush the honey/lemon/pepper/ spice mixture evenly over the surface of the chicken, coating the whole bird. Return to the rack in the pan and pour 1 cup of water into the pan.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325°F and continue roasting until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Add water 1/2 cup at a time to the pan if it starts to dry out. Let the chicken stand for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Serve with steamed broccoli and wild rice.

Furnace Mountain In February

Furnace Mountain is a Zen Buddhist Retreat Center in Powell County, Kentucky, in the heart of Appalachia.
The surrounding area is not exactly a hotbed of Zen Buddhism, yet despite that fact Furnace Mountain has existed and thrived for over 25 years.

I attend retreats as often as I can. I just returned yesterday from spending five gorgeous days there.

The Mountain

The Mountain

I’m keeping two hives of bees there this season.

Apiary Beginnings!

Apiary Beginnings!

I have a lot of work to do before bee season!!

Honey Almond Pancakes

pancakes

Snowed in? Make pancakes! There’s even a wheat-free version!!

Yield: 12 pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour (or flax seeds, ground)

1 cup almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups milk (or dairy free version of milk)

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons oil

Directions:

Mix all together. Pour by 1/4 cup-full onto hot griddle. When bubbly, flip over to cook other side. Pancake will be on the thin side. Top with fresh berries and drizzle with honey. Enjoy!

The Full Snow Moon

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This weekend, nights are lit by the waxing (increasing) gibbous (larger than half) moon, to be experienced as a sequence that culminates on Monday, February 25th, when the Full Snow Moon arrives at full phase at 3:26 p.m.

At that moment the side of the moon facing Earth will be fully lit because the moon will be opposite from the sun in its orbit around the Earth. Earth will be in the middle without blocking the sun’s light from reaching the moon: eclipses are infrequent because sun, earth and moon do not often precisely align.

The moment of full moon is different from its local rising time. Luna appears wholly round for about 24 hours, when it is rising and setting opposite the sun.

The Full Snow Moon rises on Monday, Feb. 25 at 5:51 p.m. in the east moments after sunset at 5:38 p.m. in the west-southwest. On the morning of Feb. 26, moonset in the west is at 6:33 a.m. opposite sunrise, which will be in the east-southeast at 6:34 a.m.

Nearly full moonlight shines during most of the 13 hours of darkness into the new week even though the waning (decreasing) gibbous moon rises close to an hour later each night.

February’s full Moon is traditionally called the Full Snow Moon because the heaviest snows fall in February.

Because hunting was difficult, some Native American tribes called this the Hunger Moon.

Other Native American tribes called this Moon the “Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon” (Wishram Native Americans), the “No Snow in the Trails Moon” (Zuni Native Americans), and the “Bone Moon” (Cherokee Native Americans). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup.

Honey French Toast

french toast

It occurs to me that I have sadly neglected posting honey recipes for breakfast and brunch dishes. This is a serious oversight, considering honey has some of its best moments early in the day!

 I’ll begin making amends with this lovely recipe for one of my favorite dishes, Honey French Toast.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup half-and-half

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale French, Italian, brioche or challah bread

4 tablespoons butter

Directions

In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour egg mixture into a pie pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into egg mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with honey, maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.

Or if you’re really feeling decadent, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with honey. (preferably Graeter’s ice cream!)