Tag Archives: Celery

RIO ZAPE BEANS

These dark purple beauties make a wonderful pot liquor. The beans have black stripes on them and are a lighter color before they are cooked. I purchased these beans from www.ranchogordo.com, the company started by Steve Sando that specializes in heirloom new world beans. According to Sando, they are also known as Hopi String Beans and while they are somewhat like pinto beans the Rio Zape beans have a deeper flavor.   CLICK HERE FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE

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APPLE WALNUT CELERY SALAD WITH HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

This is my favorite combination of ingredients for salad. I use the best flavored apples that I can find. I am partial to butter lettuce because it contrasts with the crunchy ingredients and is a good foil for the vinaigrette, but any favorite will do. I make this salad all year long to serve with lots of different dishes but it seems to have an affinity for dishes made with root vegetables.   CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE ARTICLE 

WINTER SQUASH WITH MUSHROOM STUFFING AND CRANBERRY MOSTARDA

This is a dish for special occasions, especially when served with Apple-Walnut Salad with Honey Mustard vinaigrette. Some warm rolls and chilled dry Prosecco (or hard cider) will complete the meal. This is my go-to recipe when I want to make something a little fancier than usual for a holiday meal in winter. This recipe makes two generous servings and can be easily multiplied for more servings. It is even more celebratory with gingerbread cake for dessert. The cranberry mostarda can be made the day before as can the gingerbread cake. Also, the vegetables can be cut up ahead of time to make it a little easier.
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CASSOULET BEANS

Every time I eat some beans from Rancho Gordo I think that they are the best beans I’ve ever eaten. These white runner beans are grown in California from seed from southwestern France. In France they are called Tarbais beans. Steve Sando, founder of Rancho Gordo, calls them Cassoulet beans and said,

Tarbais beans were developed by generations of farmers in Tarbais, France. The original seed is a New World runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) and most likely originated in Mexico. Out of respect for the French farmers and terroir, we’re calling the bean Cassoulet Bean. We think in order to call it Tarbais, it should be grown in southwestern France.

You can order these as well as many others at WWW.RANCHOGORDO.COM.

This silky, smooth bean can be used in many ways. These beans can be mashed and used as a spread or dip. They can be combined with some cooked greens and spooned over toast. They can be added to some flavorful vegetable stock and served over spaghetti. Or you can just eat them straight up with a piece of bread and a glass of wine. CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

BAYO CHOCOLATE BEANS AND POLENTA

When I started exploring plant-based diets a couple of years ago I relied on canned beans. It was hard enough trying to figure out what we were going to eat that day and preparing all of our meals and the thought of preparing my own beans seemed to be too much. So I was happy to use canned beans in my recipes. I have since seen the light and when someone tells you that beans cooked at home are light years away from canned beans, believe them. It is true. And the fresher the beans, the less time they take to cook.

A while back I asked my sister, who lives in Santa Barbara, to send me some specialty beans that are available there. She said she would and then asked me if I knew about Rancho Gordo, the bean place. I didn’t so I immediately Googled them and then my life changed.

WWW.RANCHOGORDO.COM has many different beans and their story is  interesting. Feeling like a kid in a candy store, I ordered several beans including Bayo Chocolate. Who could resist the name? These small beans are indigenous to Mexico and while they look like chocolate, they don’t taste like chocolate. Which is a good thing.
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WINTER SQUASH SOUP

This thick and creamy soup is delicious. The chili powder gives the soup a scarlet glow and the heat of the chili contrasts with the sweet Pear, Walnut & Thyme Conserve that is added to the soup.  I grew Buttercup squash this past summer and used some of those squash in this recipe. You can also use Butternut or even Acorn squash. This recipe makes four very generous servings.

I adapted this recipe from Eugenia Bone’s wonderful cookbook, Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Food, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York 2009 to make it completely oil-free and plant-based.
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