Button Soup

Source: Whole Foods for the Whole Family
Date tried:June 30, 2017
Yield: 16 servings
Time needed: 3-4 hours

Although it would take even longer, this would be a great dish to do in a slow cooker. The name comes from a children’s storybook which includes a variation on the Stone Soup tale. In this one a miser is tricked into making soup for a whole town with just a button, so the contributor’s children named this “button soup”. The long, slow cooking makes for beautifully tender stewing beef as well as a great beef stock.

Button Soup

Button Soup
3 lbs. beef short ribs or 2 lbs. stewing beef and soup bone
8 cups cold water
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
1 bay leaf

1/2 cup lima beans
1/2 cup chopped carrots
4 cups tomatoes
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup string beans
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

Optional additions:
1 green bell pepper, seeded, quartered
1/2 to 1 cup each cabbage, mushrooms, potato, turnips, parsley, sweet potato, spinach
1/4 to 1/2 cup lentils, split peas or soaked dried beans

Make broth by combining the first set of ingredients in a 6 quart pot, including optional green pepper if desired.
Simmer 2-3 hours.
Strain, discarding vegetables and bay leaf.
Shred meat from bones and return to broth.

Add lima beans, carrots, tomatoes and rice (and any additional ingredients that take about the same time to cook).
Simmer for 30 minutes. (may substitute barley for brown rice).

Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes

Basically use whatever vegetables suit your family’s taste and you have on hand. But be sure to include tomatoes.


Sweet and Spicy Couscous Salad

Source: May All Be Fed: Diet for a New World
Made: October 10, 2013
Yield: 3-4 servings as a main dish; 6-8 as a side dish
Time to make: 10 minutes assembly + at least 1 hour to chill.

This is a lovely tabouli-style salad and great as a main dish. I intended to include the almond garnish, but at the last minute forgot to add them.  But since I will certainly be making this salad again, that will be a treat for another day.

Sweet & Spicy Couscous Salad

Sweet and Spicy Couscous Salad

½ cup currants
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup canola or safflower oil
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. fine sea salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

3 cups water
1 Tbsp. canola or safflower oil
1½ cups couscous, preferably whole wheat
1 medium carrot finely chopped
1 cup sliced green or yellow wax beans cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
½ small red onion, finely chopped
¼ finely chopped fresh mint or parsley
½ cup tamari-toasted almonds, coarsely chopped (optional)

Mix the dressing ingredients in a jar.  Cover with lid and shake well. Set aside.

Bring water to a boil.  Add 1 Tbsp. oil and couscous.
Immediately remove from heat, cover and lst stand until water is absorbed. (about 5 minutes).
Transfer to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.  Chill.

Place the chopped carrots, green beans and bell pepper in a steamer basket and steam over boiling water for about 3 minutes.  Vegetables should be brightly coloured and still have a crunch.
Rinse under cold water, drain and chill.

When couscous and vegetables are cool, mix the steamed vegetables and also the onion and mint into the couscous. Pour dressing over all and chill at least 30 minutes.

Sprinkle toasted almonds over top just before serving.

Chunky Granola

Source: More-with-Less Cookbook
Date tried:June 28, 2017
Yield: 2 1/2 quarts
Time needed: 20-25 minutes

This is one of my best granola recipes, enthusiastically endorsed by my 3-year old grandson. Even better, a slight modification will give you “‘nola bars”.

Chunky Granola

Continue reading

Chicken with Lemon

Source: Food Combining for Health
Made September 18, 2013
Yield: 4-6 servings
Time to prepare: 1 hour

This is a wonderful way to cook chicken.  Although it is done in the oven, the wrappings mean it is steamed rather that roasted.  I used my covered clay cooker rather than wrappings, but that worked well too.  I brought in freshly-picked greens (arugula and basil, as well as the parsley stuffed into the chicken) from the garden to serve with it.


Chicken with Lemon
1 whole chicken, about 4 lbs.
4 Tbsp. butter
1 lemon
1 onion, stuck with a clove
1 sprig fresh tarragon (or parsley if tarragon is not available)
Sea salt
Freshly-ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425oF.

Clean the chicken and put half of the butter (2 Tbsp.) inside the bird with a bit of lemon peel.  Add the onion with clove, the tarragon or parsley and a little salt and pepper.

Squeeze the lemon and coat the outside of the chicken with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Dot a large sheet of parchment baking paper with butter.  Place the chicken on the paper and use remaining butter to smear the breast and legs.

Pour any remaining lemon juice over the chicken and bring up the sides of the paper to enclose the chicken in a loose parcel.

Open out a large sheet of aluminum foil and place the parchment-wrapped bird on it.  Fold the foil around the bird. Do not seal too tightly.  (The parchment paper will prevent any possible contamination from the aluminum.)

Put in oven and cook for about 30 minutes.
Briefly remove from oven and baste thoroughly.  Return to oven for another 20 minutes.
Open the top of the parcel to allow the breast to brown nicely and cook another 10-15 minutes.

This chicken is delicious served hot or cold.

Nutty Sweet Potato Waffles

Source: Simply in Season
Date tried: June 26, 2017
Yield: 8 large waffles
Time needed: 30 minutes

So you made the Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls and still have lots of cooked, mashed sweet potato left. Here’s the recipe for using the rest. Sorry for the pancake-looking waffles, but I don’t have a waffle iron.

Nutty Sweet Potato Waffles

Continue reading

Sweet and Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Made: September 27, 2013
Yield: 6 servings
Time to make: 25 to 35 minutes

Prior preparation needed
Cook garbanzo beans

This is a wonderful and elegant dish!  The ingredient list is very long and it takes some fancy footwork to put it together, but it is definitely worth the effort.  As is often the case with a skillet dish, most of the work takes place before you start heating the pan.  I soon found the simplest thing to do was to prepare several sub-sections of the recipe, put each in a container, then use each container as needed.  So by the time I began heating the oil this is what I had on my counter:

Beans: whether you cook your own or open a can, drain and set aside
Vegetables: put chopped and sliced onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms all in a bowl
Seasoning: a small bowl held the dillweed, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, mustard, salt, pepper, mashed garlic and horseradish
Stock and white wine: mixed together in a large mug
Milk & egg beaten together
Tomato sauce: with dry milk, brown sugar, dry mustard and vinegar
Finally, in separate containers, measured amounts of water and couscous

Sweet & Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights

Sweet and Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights
Oil for sautéing
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
½ lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 medium carrots, sliced
1-2 tsp. dillweed
1 bay leaf
1-2 tsp. parsley
1-2 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 cups seasoned stock
½ to 1 cup white wine
2-3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup dry milk
¼ cup brown sugar
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
¼ cup vinegar
5 cups cooked couscous

Heat oil in a large skillet, wok or Dutch oven.
Add onion, celery, mushrooms and carrots.  Sauté until onion is translucent.
Add dillweed, bay leaf, parsley, horseradish, garlic, salt and pepper and ½ of the dry mustard.
Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is a good time to begin heating water in bottom of a double boiler.

After the vegetables and seasonings have been cooking for 10 minutes, add the seasoned stock and white wine. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

Heat the milk egg mixture in the top of the double boiler.  As it cooks, add the dry milk, brown sugar, tomato sauce, vinegar and the remaining half of the dry mustard, whisking in each addition. Continue stirring frequently as sauce thickens.

Bring measured water to a boil.
When hot, add couscous, cover and let sit 5 minutes.

Finally, add garbanzo beans to the simmering vegetables.
This bean-vegetable mix should have the consistency of a thick soup. If necessary, thicken with cornstarch.

To serve: place some couscous on each plate.
Top with bean-vegetable mixture.
Pour sauce over all.
Enjoy the compliments.