Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chickpea and Rice Soup (Vegan).

This flu season has hit my family hard, ya'll. It seems like one of us has been sick since December. This week, we have yet another bug that is taking its time to make its rounds through our house.

I haven't left the house in five days except to teach a yoga class. I think I may have forgotten what actual human interaction  really feels like.

No one has been eating anything substantial, despite my best efforts. There's been lots of crying, more coughing, and a ton of sleeping going on, except not, you know, at night.

 And all hail the wrath of an angry, sick 4 year old. There's nothing quite like it.

When I was little, I remember eating chicken and rice soup when I was sick. Comforting, hearty, it was always the perfect just-getting-over sickness soup.

This is my best version of it to date. I've made it in the past, but like  yoga , cooking is a practice. And I think I finally perfected this baby. Every one ate, sickness or not, and loved it. Finally, some good nutrition into these sicky little bodies.

Cole, my soup-lovin' middle son, actually gave it two thumbs up and told me "It's awesome! Write that!" (So there you go).


Olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sprig of fresh rosemary (or about 1/2 tsp dried)
1 sprig of fresh thyme (or about 1/4 tsp dried)
3/4 cup of rice
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
3 carrots, diced
4-5 cups of vegetable broth (chik'n flavored veggie broth would be best if you can find it)
2 14 oz. cans of garbanzo beans, drained
2 cups of de-veined and chopped rainbow chard
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, garlic and celery until soft. Add in the rosemary and thyme, cook 1 minute. Add in the broth, rice, carrots, zucchini and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 10-15 minutes. Add in the chard, garbanzo beans, salt and pepper to taste, and cook another 5 minutes.

Serve warm with a fresh baguette.

Kourkouto (Greek Zucchini Cake)

This dish is savory and comforting, and was a big hit with the whole family. We paired it with a large salad.

A little like a quiche, but decidedly different, this zucchini cake simply divine. It uses only a handful of ingredients, and would be great as a breakfast, dinner or appetizer. I suggest serving it warm, or at room temperature.

Serves at least 5 for a meal (more as an appetizer).

1/4 cup of olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large zucchini, diced
1 zucchini, sliced into disks
5 eggs
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, combine zucchini and onion. Saute until soft. This helps to release the liquid from the zucchini, so cook down until there is very little liquid left, but the zucchini shouldn't be mooshy.

Meanwhile, in a mixer, combine the 5 eggs, beaten, add in the sour cream, then the flour and baking powder.

With a rubber spatula, fold in the cheese and zucchini/onion mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.

Oil a large glass pan (about 14x10) and pour your mix into it. Spread it out evenly over the top with your rubber spatula and top with sliced zucchini.

At this point I find it helpful to brush a  little olive oil onto the zucchini slices, as it helps them to brown instead of just wither.

Cook for about 40 minutes, or until set and lightly browned on top.