Saffron Pepper Soup

This soup recipe calls for couscous, however you can use quinoa instead to make it gluten-free.

You'll need...

1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic
3 red shepherd peppers
2 roma tomatoes (they're fleshier and have fewer seeds than field tomatoes)
1/2 carton of vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
the juice of half a lemon
one pinch of saffron
about 1 serving of cooked couscous

1. Sautee the garlic and olive oil until the oil starts to smell fragrant and the garlic is slightly brown.
2. Add the chopped up shepherd peppers and tomatoes, lemon juice, saffron, salt, and pepper, then reduce the heat to medium.
3. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 45 minutes on low heat with a lid on. Stir often.
4. Remove the lid and let simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until slightly reduced.
5. Ladle the soup into a blender and pulverize til smooth. You can strain out the seeds and skins using a fine strainer but personally I really like the texture so I leave mine au naturale.
6. Pour a ladle of soup into a serving bowl and scoop in some couscous for each diner.

Green Fiend

I'm a fiend for greens.

Yesterday my green-cravings were so intense that I just had to run out and buy as many interesting greens as I could find. The grocery store was closing and they were out of asparagus, the number one veggie I set out to buy. But it was for the best, because instead of throwing together a typical pasta dish I wound up assembling the beautiful soup pictured below.


Crispy pork tenderloin with spinach soup

What did I buy?
1 Bag of  Fresh Spinach
1 Bag of Radishes
20 Green Beans
1 Head of Endive
1 Lime
1 Green Finger Pepper
4 Medium-sized Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 Carton of Rice Dream (Original Enriched)
Pork Tenderloin (pack of 4 slices, not a whole tenderloin)
All of this came to $14 and made enough food to serve 3 people
*I had some fennel in my fridge which I used for adornment but it can easily be left out. I also used The Keg Steak Spice which I already had at home. You can use any steak spice you may have on hand.

How can you recreate this dish?
1. Cut the potatoes into big chunks and boil until fork tender. I like to peel the skins off after they've finished boiling. Once they're boiled drain the water and set aside. Some will be used for the soup and some will be fried.
2. In a nonstick pan heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the pork all at once and fry until crispy. Then remove and cut into chunks. Take about 3/4 of the potatoes and cut into chunks. Toss both the pork and the potatoes back into the still-hot pan and allow them to crisp up together. At this point I like to add steak spice to taste, but this can be substituted for salt and pepper.
3. While that's frying you can assemble the soup. I say 'assemble' because it's a raw soup so no heat is required. Thoroughly wash about 5 huge handfuls of spinach and toss into a blender. Add a good helping of salt, 2 tbsp olive oil, the remaining potatoes (peeled) and the juice of 1 lime. Add about 1 cup of Rice Dream. Make sure it's the original flavor and not vanilla. I like to use the calcium enriched one. Blend until smooth. You can play with the texture of the soup to suit your liking. If you want a thicker soup add more potato and spinach. To thin it out add more rice milk. If you prefer your soup hot it can easily be heated up in a sauce pan. Your call.
4. Now for assembly. Spoon some soup into a large bowl and then dole out a good helping of pork and potatoes in the centre. Garnish with chunks of green beans, diced finger peppers, slices of radishes, leaves of endive, and a squeeze of lime juice.
5. Watch your guests faces as they transition from hunger to amazement.

Roasted Sweet Yams

Yams are the more delicious cousin of the potato. I hate to say that (having Irish in my blood) but it's true. Sometimes a potato just doesn't cut it in the flavor department. And baking up these sweet yams is incredibly simple. Add an inexpensive and flavorful starch to your meal with this recipe.

1 yam per person
1 piece of aluminum foil per yam
1 tbsp of maple syrup per yam
salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash and scrub the yams.
2. Cut a slit in the top of each one to let the steam release while baking.
3. Wrap each yam in foil and place directly on the middle rack of a 350F oven. You can add a pan to the lower rack to catch any drips if it makes you more comfortable.
4. Leave them to bake for 2 hours
5. Remove from the oven after baking is complete and slice in half or in rounds. Drizzle with maple syrup, salt, and black pepper to taste. You can throw them back in the foil and bake for 15 minutes more if you want them to be seriously syrupy, or you can just drizzle and serve hot without re-baking.