Linguine with Spinach and Golden Parmesan Breadcrumbs

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2nd plated Linguini with spinach

Swiss chard and kale have become so popular that we sometimes forget our earlier love –spinach–that nutrient powerhouse packed with flavor.  In this ultra easy dish we sautéed spinach and garlic, added linguine, and sprinkled breadcrumbs flecked with Parmesan cheese and parsley on top.  We then placed the pasta under the broiler for less than a minute. The result? A whole new taste dimension to an old family favorite.

Mis en place linguini spinachMise en place.

Breadcrumb mixture linguini and spinachWe make the breadcrumb topping first and set it aside.

Spinach with garlic in skillit linguiniAfter the spinach wilts, the garlic slivers are added back to the skillet.

Linguine with Spinach and Parmesan Breadcrumbs

4 to 6 servings

Breadcrumb Topping
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
3 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Spinach Pasta
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced into slivers
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
15 ounces baby spinach leaves
1 pound linguine
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of salt.

Combine the breadcrumb topping ingredients in a small bowl and set it aside.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 1 minute less than the directions on the package. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta in a colander.

Heat ½ cup of olive oil over low heat until shimmering. Add the garlic slivers and cook until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the slivers with a slotted spoon and set aside (the garlic will be added to the spinach later). Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the spinach and cook until limp, using tongs to mix it thoroughly with the oil. Remove from the heat.

Turn the oven on to broil.

Return the reserved garlic back into the skillet with the spinach. Pour in the reserved pasta water and mix well. Turn the stove on to medium heat. Add the cooked linguine and pour ½ cup of Parmesan cheese over the hot pasta before mixing both into the spinach. Add 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. Using tongs, mix the cheese well into the pasta and spinach.

Transfer the pasta to an ovenproof serving dish and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Place in the oven and broil until breadcrumbs are golden brown, 30 seconds to a minute, watching closely so they don’t burn. Serve hot.

1st plated linguine with spinah

 

Creamy Avocado Pasta with Toasted Pine Nuts

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1st plated avocado pasta

If you like avocados, we think you will love this easy to prepare summer pasta. It is our healthy version of creamy pasta but without the cream and butter! And it takes less than a half hour to prepare.  This rich and satisfying dish has lots of fresh basil with a hint of lemon and garlic. Avocados are so abundant right now and with all their amazing health benefits we are always happy to serve this dish to our family and friends.

ingredients avocado pastaMise en place.

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 8.29.00 PMWe cut the avocado into cubes. This makes it easier to blend.

avocado sauce spread on pastaThe consistency of the blended avocado is smooth and creamy.

Creamy Avocado Pasta with Toasted Pine Nuts
Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound thin spaghetti
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade-style
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 medium ripe avocados, halved, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch cubes
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and shake the pan occasionally, until they begin to brown and give off a nutty aroma, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cook until al dente, about 1 minute less than the directions on the package. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta in a colander.

Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, add the lemon juice, olive oil, basil, garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Process or blend until well incorporated. Add the avocado and pepper and blend until smooth and creamy. If the avocado sticks to the bottom of the blender, just loosen it with a wooden spoon and blend again.

Place the avocado mixture in a large serving bowl. Add the hot pasta and mix thoroughly to combine. Add some of the reserved pasta water, as desired, and mix well again.

Sprinkle with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

2nd plated avocado pasta crop

Mediterranean Cauliflower, Spinach, and Chickpea Patties

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Plated chickpea patties

Our chickpea patties have the added goodness of smashed cauliflower, giving them a wonderful light flavor and texture. Then we pack them with veggies like spinach, red pepper, and scallions, and add tasty Mediterranean herbs and spices, such as cumin, turmeric, and parsley. The end result—a great tasting dish, chock full of legume protein and nutritious vegetables.

chickpea patty prepThis recipe is quick and easy when you pre-prep all your veggies.

chickpea patty chopThe chopped vegetables, herbs, and spices are added to the smashed chickpeas and cauliflower.

uncooked chickpea pattyScoop up handfuls of the mixture and shape into patties, coating lightly with panko.

chickpea patties cookingCook the patties undisturbed until golden brown.

Mediterranean Cauliflower, Spinach, and Chickpea Patties
Serves 4 to 6

3 cups cauliflower florets, approximately 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15-ounce can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup tightly packed frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
3/4 cup finely chopped red peppers
4 scallions, white and light green parts, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dressing or sauce of your choice (tahini**, salsa, spiced yogurt, etc.)

Place the cauliflower in a steamer basket and cook over medium-high heat until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and line a large platter, or another baking sheet, with wax paper.

Place the chickpeas into a large mixing bowl and using a potato masher or fork; mash the chickpeas until they are crushed. Add the cauliflower and mash again until the ingredients are well smashed (but not smooth.) Add the spinach, red peppers, scallions, garlic, and parsley and mix well. Stir in the cumin, turmeric, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and mix. Add the eggs and 1/2 cup of the panko, stirring to combine all the ingredients.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Take a handful of the chickpea mixture and shape into a patty approximately 1/2-inch thick. Coat lightly with the panko. Place the formed patty on the wax paper lined platter or baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chickpea mixture; you will have 8 to 10 patties.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Place half the patties in the pan, and cook undisturbed until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip the patties and cook until the second side is golden, about 4 minutes more. Transfer the patties to the parchment lined baking sheet. Wipe the skillet clean with paper towel, heat the remaining oil, and cook the remaining patties. Add these to the baking sheet, place it in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Transfer the patties to a platter, season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot with the sauce passed separately.

Close up chickpea patty

**Poblano-Tahini Sauce
1/3 cup roughly chopped poblano pepper
1 clove garlic, quartered
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or the bowl of a food processor, and blend until smooth. (Add additional water to attain your desired consistency.) Set aside.

Poblano Tahini

 

Zucchini, Mushroom, Pepper, and Gruyere Frittata

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finished frittata in skillet

Until recently eggs have at times gotten a bad rap. Research now suggests however, that eggs are in fact healthy for us and they are packed with vitamins and minerals. Frittatas are one of those dishes that are perfect for any meal—we make them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or serve them as an appetizer when entertaining. They taste just as good cold, room temperature, or hot out of the oven and they are easy to prepare—you need just one skillet and the filling options are endless. We chose mushrooms, peppers, onions, and zucchini, but if you have other vegetables in your fridge you want to use up—go for it. Most important tip; for the filling, stick to ingredients that are already cooked—too much moisture dilutes the eggs.

Veggies in bowls for frittataWe use onions, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and Gruyere cheese.

frittata veggies in skilletAll the vegetables cook in the skillet, and then the eggs are added.

 

Zucchini, Mushroom, Pepper, and Gruyere Frittata
4 servings

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1 cup stemmed and thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
½ cup diced red peppers, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ cup diced green peppers, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 cup sliced zucchini, cut into ¼ inch rounds
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
¾ cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. When shimmering, add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and most of their liquid is released, about 3 minutes. Stir in the peppers, and after one minute add the zucchini. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until the zucchini begins to soften. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and mix.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, just enough to combine the whites and yolks (over-beating will cause the frittata to fall). Add ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Add the milk and ½ cup of the cheese and gently mix.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet covering them evenly. Cook the frittata, without stirring, until it’s edges start to set and curl away from the pan, about 5 minutes.

Place the skillet in the oven and cook for about 18 minutes or until puffed and set (be careful not too overcook). Remove from the oven, sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of cheese over the top and bake in the oven for an additional 2 minutes. Turn the oven on to broil, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the cheese on the top is lightly golden.

Slice the frittata into wedges and serve.

1st plated frittata

 

 

Crispy Nachos with Vegetarian Refried Beans and Cheese

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Finished nachos

When our kids were young, a number of them were picky eaters. We would constantly brainstorm—trying to come up with new ideas of what to cook for dinner. It was out of these brainstorming sessions that our nachos recipe was born! So simple, they require just a handful of ingredients—deliciously crunchy homemade tortilla chips spread with refried beans and topped with melted, mild, Monterey Jack cheese. Now that most of our formerly finicky eaters are teenagers, or in their twenties, they still ask for these nachos when they are home. They are crispy, cheesy, and pleasingly addictive.

Prepped ingredients nachosThe three main ingredients: corn tortillas, cheese, and refried beans.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 7.02.43 PMThe tortilla wedges are cooked until crisp.

Tortillas on baking sheet with beans and cheese 2We spread a thin layer of beans and add a small tablespoon of cheese to each wedge.

Avocado and salsa for nachosWe are big fans of salsa and avocado and like to serve them with our nachos.

Nachos with Vegetarian Refried Beans and Cheese
4 to 6 servings

Vegetable oil for frying
9 corn tortillas each cut into 4 wedges
8 ounces organic refried beans (about ½ of a can)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup shredded romaine lettuce
½ cup shredded radicchio
½ cup home-made or favorite store-bought salsa
1 ripe avocado, sliced

Line 2 large plates with paper towels.

Set a rack in the top third of the oven.

Heat 2 inches of oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. (To test if the oil is hot, place a small piece of tortilla in the oil and if it sizzles it’s hot enough). Add a handful of the tortilla wedges into the skillet, being careful not to overcrowd and fry them for about 1½ minutes. Using tongs, flip the tortillas and fry for an additional 1½ to 2 minutes or until the tortillas are crisp. Remove them from the oil and place the tortillas on the paper towel—lined plate. Cover the wedges with a paper towel and pat lightly to absorb any additional oil.

Repeat with the remaining tortilla wedges.

Place the tortilla chips in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Spread a thin layer of the beans on each, then sprinkle on the cheese, covering each nacho.

Turn the oven on to broil.

Put one of the baking sheets in the oven and broil for about 2 ½ minutes, until the cheese melts and bubbles and the tortillas are lightly browned. Rotate the baking sheet midway so all the nachos cook evenly watching closely so they do not burn. Remove the pan and repeat with the second baking sheet.

Place the nachos on a platter, top with a handful of the romaine and radicchio and serve. Pass salsa and sliced avocado separately.

1st finished nachos

Chickpea, Spinach, and Fennel Sauté with Crispy Roasted Quinoa

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Chickpea saute 2

This vegan recipe is replete with so many of our very favorite ingredients. There is something about chickpea dishes that is so satisfying and delicious. Why we love this one?––The chickpeas and spinach are a particularly tasty combination; the caramelized fennel, shallots, and garlic add layers of flavor; and the savory roasted quinoa gives the dish a delightful crunch. This sauté is super healthy and very easy to make.

Mise en place chickpea sauteThe shallots, fennel, and garlic help give this dish layers of flavor.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 6.14.38 PMWe add aromatics to the quinoa and then roast it to get a delicious golden brown, crunchy base.

Carmelized shallots and fennelCook the fennel and shallots  to a golden, caramelized perfection.

sauteing chickpeasAdd the chickpeas, cooked spinach, and all the flavorings and spices, and continue to sauté.

Chickpea, Spinach, and Fennel Sauté with Crispy Roasted Quinoa
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
5 cloves minced garlic, divided
8 packed cups baby spinach (about 10 ounces)
1 large fennel bulb cut into 1/4-inch wedges
3 shallots, quartered
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 cups, from two 15-ounce cans of organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
Juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pour the quinoa into a dry medium sized saucepan over medium heat and toast, stirring often, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the saucepan, and simmer until the broth has been absorbed, 15 to 17 minutes.

Remove the quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and two cloves of minced garlic. Mix well with a wooden spoon, spread onto the parchment lined baking sheet, and roast until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon oil. When shimmering, add the spinach in batches, continually stirring with a wooden spoon as you do. Cook until all the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Wipe the skillet clean, return to medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is shimmering add the fennel and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the 3 remaining cloves of garlic, the chickpeas, and the 2 remaining tablespoons of parsley, and continue to cook for 2 additional minutes.

Return the spinach to the skillet and stir. Add the turmeric, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Mix thoroughly and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

Place a bed of the roasted quinoa on individual serving plates or bowls. Top with a generous portion of the chickpea sauté, season with additional salt and pepper, and garnish with some of the remaining parsley. Serve hot.

chickpea saute closeup crop

Quick and Easy Vegetable Fried Rice

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2nd plated fried rice

This is a super quick and easy recipe that appeals to adults and kids alike. It’s perfect to serve as a side with a stir-fry, or it can be a whole meal by itself for young kids. It’s a great dish to make if you have leftover rice in your fridge— and what we love is that the vegetables can be easily substituted. We discovered that adding the sesame oil and soy sauce to the egg before cooking gives this fried rice a savory flavor.

vegetables for fried rice in bowlsWe add carrots, broccoli, peas, and scallions.

veggies in skillit fried riceAll the vegetables are sautéed together.

fried rice. all ingredients in skillitThe rice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and egg are added last.

Quick and Easy Vegetable Fried Rice
4 servings

1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, plus 3 drops
½ teaspoon sesame oil, plus 3 drops
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ cup finely chopped carrots
2 cups very small broccoli florets (1/2 inch)
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
4 cups cooked white or brown rice, cold or room temperature

In a small bowl add the beaten egg and stir in 3 drops of soy sauce and 3 drops of sesame oil. Mix well.

In a large nonstick skillet, over medium heat, add ½ teaspoon of the oil to the center of the skillet. When shimmering, add the egg to the oil and scramble the egg until it sets. Remove from the heat, chop the egg into small pieces and set aside.

Wipe the skillet clean, and over medium-high heat, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. When shimmering add the carrots, stirring frequently, and cook for about a minute. Add the broccoli and cook an additional 3 ½ minutes—until the broccoli is fork tender. Mix in the peas and scallions, cook for 1 minute, and add the rice. Mix well to incorporate the rice with the vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce, ½ teaspoon of the sesame oil and mix well. Stir in the egg.

Spoon into individual bowls and serve.

close-up plated fried rice

Crispy Kale, Potato, and Mushroom Hash with Fried Eggs

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Kale potato hash plated

Sometimes the perfect comfort food is a meal of potato hash and eggs. In this recipe we elevate the dish many notches by adding roasted garlic, onions, kale, and mushrooms. The result—a healthy, light, and delicious hash that is comfort food at it’s best.

Hash mise enThese vegetables go great with eggs.

Hash ingrdients on baking sheetThey are roasted on rimmed baking sheets.

Egg sieveIt’s optional, but the sieve removes the excess watery part of the white.

fried eggsThe last step is frying up the eggs.

Crispy Kale, Potato, and Mushroom Hash with Fried Eggs
4 servings

1 1/2 pounds small potatoes sliced into 3/4 inch pieces
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1 medium yellow onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced in half moons
8 ounces white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus 3 to 4 sprigs
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups packed kale, completely dry, stemmed and torn into 2-inch pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or substitute extra virgin olive oil)
4 to 8 large organic eggs
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the potatoes in a medium size pot and add enough water to cover. Add the vinegar (this helps the potato pieces keep their shape.) Set over high heat, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, partially covered, until just fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Add the chopped thyme, parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Toss to coat completely.

Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on one of the baking sheets. Roast undisturbed until the bottoms of the vegetables are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Flip and roast on the other side, 20 minutes more.

Meanwhile, place the kale in a large mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Using your fingers massage the oil well into all the leaves (do not add salt at this stage*.)

*Salting before roasting will bring out the moisture  leading to less crispy kale.

Place the kale in a single layer on the other baking sheet. Roast until browned and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.

Melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter (use 2 if making 8 eggs) in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat (you can substitute olive oil.) One at a time, crack each egg into a sieve or fine mesh strainer to remove the excess watery part of the egg white. (You can skip this stage if desired.) Gently pour the egg into the skillet and repeat with the remaining eggs. Cook until the whites set and the yoke is at your desired runniness, 4 to 5 minutes.

Spoon a generous serving of the potato and mushroom hash onto individual serving plates, top with 1/4 of the roast kale, and finish with 1 or 2 fried eggs. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes as desired, and serve.

Kale potato close up

 

Green Split Pea and Zucchini Soup with Rutabaga

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Better first plated split pea soupPulses are getting a lot of hype lately and for good reason. They are rich in nutrients and fiber, a terrific source of protein, and they are available all year long. Our split pea soup is made with zucchini and rutabaga- a root vegetable that is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. The combination adds an unexpected sweet and savory flavor to this hearty soup. We top each bowl with garlicky, crispy croutons giving each bite a delectable crunch. This soup is a meal in itself.

IMG_2669Rutabaga
The rutabaga adds a unique flavor to this soup.

croutons for soupWe make the croutons while the soup simmers.

Green Split Pea and Zucchini Soup with Rutabaga

6 servings

For the Soup:
1 ½ cups green split peas, soaked in water overnight or for several hours. Drained, rinsed in cold water and drained again
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup peeled and diced rutabaga, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 ½ cups diced zucchini, cut into ½-inch cubes
7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
½ teaspoon turmeric
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Croutons:
½ baguette cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the Soup
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat and add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the rutabaga and stir for 2 minutes more. Add the zucchini and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in the broth, add the turmeric and mix well.

Raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 55 minutes or until the split peas are tender. Add 1½ teaspoons of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.

For the Croutons
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the bread, oil, and garlic and mix together (hands work best for this) until the bread is coated. Spread the bread out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and toasted, about 18 minutes, flipping with a spatula halfway through.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls, top each with a handful of croutons, and serve.

3rd plated split pea soup

Mushroom and White Bean Bruschetta

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Cover Photo 2 plated shitake bruscettaIMG_2648

Whether hors d’oeuvre, appetizer, or first course—bruschette are one of the easiest starters to prepare for entertaining. Toast baguette slices, rub with oil and garlic, top with sautéed vegetables and/or a spread and you are ready! For these bruschette, we made a simple and delicious white bean spread and topped each one with a rich and flavorful spoonful of sautéed shitake mushrooms, seasoned with parsley and thyme. Biting into these crunchy toasts, with their creamy bean spread and meaty mushrooms, make these starters a savory treat.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 8.42.50 AMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 8.43.03 AMThe white bean spread is so easy to make and it is loaded with antioxidants.

Suateed shitakes in panIMG_2641We thinly slice the mushrooms and season them with fresh parsley and thyme.

Mushroom and White Bean Bruschetta
8 to 10 servings

For the toasts:
1 baguette sliced into 3/4 inch slices
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, halved

For the beans:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 15-ounce can organic cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the mushrooms:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
20 ounces shitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Lightly brush both sides of the bread with the oil and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove and rub one side of each toast with the garlic halves and set aside.

For the beans:
In a small saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-low heat. Add the 2 cloves of minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, taking care not to burn. Add the drained beans and raise the heat to medium. Cook the beans for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Mash with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and mix well. Remove from the heat and set aside.

For the mushrooms:
In a large nonstick pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, stirring frequently for about 7 minutes, until lightly browned.
Add the parsley, thyme, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper and mix well.

Generously spread each toast with the bean mixture. Top each with 1 tablespoon of the cooked mushrooms. Arrange the bruschette on a platter and serve.

Final Photo Mushroom and Bean Bruschetta