December 17, 2017

Barley, Lentil, and Swiss Chard Soup

Barley, Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup

After six days, the rain has finally stopped, but, it’s still soup weather! 

Swiss Chard from the Hollywood Farmers Market

I got some beautiful Swiss Chard from the Hollywood, CA Farmers Market, so I decided to breakout this old school barley and lentil soup recipe.  It’s a pretty standard recipe and super easy to do. 

Swiss Chard Soup with Lentils and Barley


  • 3/4 pearl barley
  • 3/4 cup of lentils
  • 10 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 4-5 tbspn chopped dill
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 3 tbspn of ground cummin
  • 1 1/2 tbspn olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch of Swiss Chard, about 6 big pieces

How To Cook It:

In a big soup pot, start to sautee your carrots in the olive oil over medium heat.  Give them a headstart on the onions by about 2 minutes, then throw those in.  We also have to add our garlic, but, we want to make sure it doesn’t burn, so put it in towards the end of the sauteeing.  When the carrots, garlic, and onions are all softening and the onions are starting to get a little carmelization, add the vegetable broth and barley.  Turn the heat up and bring it to a boil.

When it comes to a boil, bring the heat down to a simmer and let it cook, partially covered for 25-30 minutes.

Add the cummin, tomatoes with juice, and lentils.  Partially cover and let it cook for another 25-30 minutes.

Chop the stems of the swiss chard into about 1 cm thick pieces and put them in the soup.  These need some extra cooking time to soften, give them about a 6 minute headstart.

Chop up your Swiss Chard leaves.  It’s a pretty hearty leaf, so it doesn’t cook down too much unless you really overcook it.  I like to cut it up into smaller pieces and just let it wilt in the soup, instead of cook all the way down into mush.

When you mix in your Swiss Chard greens, mix in the dill, too.

Garnish with a dill sprig and serve.

 Swiss Chard Soup with Barley and Lentils

Lemon Boy Tomato and Jalapeno Bisque

Vegetarian Recipes - Lemon Boy Tomato and Jalapeno Bisque


Coming Soon!!!

Lemon Boy Tomato and Jalapeno Bisque

Lemon Boy Tomato Soup Recipe

Miso, Brown Sugar, and Honey Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Miso, Brown Sugar, and Honey Glazed Sweet Potatoes


When Asparagus to Zuccini is big enough to have a dessert section, this will definitely be in Featured Recipes, and there.  The sweet, salty, nutiness of the miso goes great with the two different sweetnesses that the brown sugar and honey add, not to mention the sweetness from the sweet potato itself.
Alhambra, CA Farmers Market

Alhambra, CA Farmers Market

Last weekend I ventured down to the Farmers Market in Alhambra, CA and picked up these sweet yams.

Sweet Yams from the Farmers Market

After giving them a good clean, poke some holes in the potato with a fork.  Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.  After letting them bake, take them out and let them come to room temperature, then, cut them into spears, making 4-6 per potato.
Miso, Brown Sugar, and Honey Glaze

Miso, Brown Sugar, and Honey Glaze

Combine equal parts miso, brown sugar and honey and microwave for 15-20 seconds.  Quickly mix up the ingredients and baste onto the potatoes.  Don’t be aftaid to apply the mixture generously, get some on the bottom, skin side, too.
Sweet Potatoes with Miso, Brown Sugar, and Honey Glaze

Ready for the oven.

Bake them at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.  If they don’t start to get a nice glaze after 20 minutes, put the broiler on, and broil them for about 3-4 minutes.  Watch them closely.  I’ve burned several things trying to get a nice brown, where all I do is forget about something for 30-60 seconds and it’s ruined.

Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Miso Honey Glaze

Get ready for a nice treat that goes with your main course or for an after dinner snack.  These are great served hot, right out of the oven, but I prefer them at room temperature, or cold, the next day.  Cold or at room temperature, I think the sugars reconcentrate and give your a strong miso and brown sugar flavor.

Miso, Honey and Brown Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes


2010 Winter Vegetable Garden – Week #6

2010 Winter Vegetable Garden - Week #6


2010 Winter Vegetable Garden - Savoy Cabbage - Week #6

Savoy Cabbage - Week #6

2010 Winter Vegetable Garden - Napa Cabbage - Week #6

Napa Cabbage - Week #6

2010 Winter Vegetable Garden - Brussel Sprouts - Week #6

Brussel Sprouts - Week #6

2010 Winter Vegetable Garden - Broccoli - Week #6

Broccoli - Week #6

2010 Winter Vegetable Garden - Cauliflower- Week #6

Cauliflower- Week #6

2010 Winter Vegetable Pictures - Week #6

2010 Winter Gardening Blog - Week #6

Week #6

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Fall Fruits and Curry Candied Walnuts

Quinoa Salad with Fall Fruits and Candied Curry Walnuts


This fall time salad with quinoa and sweet potatoes has a little bit of something for everyone.  I’ve tried several different quinoa dishes, but have never tried cooking with it, so this was more or less an experiment.  I looked up a few quinoa recipes online for some basic ideas, thought of some seasonal ingredients and seasonings that I thought would compliment the flavors best.

It’s actually one of those kick ass vegetarian recipes and deserves to be on the list.  It’s also full on vegan if that fits your diet preferences.

Here are the 12 simple ingredients:

  • Quinoa 1 cup
  • Sweet Potatoes 2 med size
  • Pomegranite Seeds 3/4 cup
  • Persimmons 1 cup cubed
  • Green Onions 1/3 cup chopped up
  • Sweet Maui Onion 1 med-large chopped
  • Walnuts 1/2 cup toasted
  • Sugar about 3 tbspn
  • Curry Powder about 1.5-2 tbspn
  • Vegetable stock 1.5 cups
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil

The Sweet Potatoes

Skin and cube the potatoes.  Put about a tspn of olive oil in a pan and sautee the potatoes for about 10 minutes or until they are soft.

The Quinoa, Maui Onion,  and Vegetable Stock

  • In a big cooking pot, sautee the onions over medium with olive until soft.  About 8 minutes should be fine. 
  • Add the garlic let it sautee for another 1 or 2 minutes. 
  • Add the vegetable stock and quinoa.  Cover and let it cook for about 10 minutes.  Stir it 2 or 3 times during the 10 minutes it cooks.
  • Add the sweet potatoes and let it cook for another five minutes.
  • Put it in a serving bowl.

Curry Candied Walnuts

  • Lightly toast the almonds in a nonstick pan over medium heat.
  • Bring the heat down to low and sprinkle in a tbspn of sugar.  Constantly mix the sugar and walnuts.
  • Mix in another tbspn of sugar while constantly mixing.  Make sure not to let the sugar burn.  In my experience, I always end up using more sugar than I think I’m going to need.
  • If you don’t see a nice layer of liquidated sugar coating your walnuts, add one more tbspn of sugar and keep mixing.
  • When they look nice and sugar coated, sprinkle in your curry and toss/mix it in really well so everything gets a nice layer.

Pomegranite Seeds, Persimmons and Green Onions

Pomegranite Seeds 3/4 cup

Persimmons clean and cube 1 cup

Green Onions clean and chop 1/3 cup

Putting Everything Together

Originally, I thought that if I mixed in the pomegranite seeds too early that the color would bleed and color the rest of the salad.  Maybe I got lucky, but none of the color leaked. 

This salad is great for making ahead of time because it actually tastes best at room temperature or cold. But, use your own discretion when adding the pomegranite seeds because their color usually does spread.

The rest of the ingredients can be mixed together. 

For the first time cooking quinoa, I’m pleased with the results.  There’s still a lot for me to learn about ways to include quinoa in my diet, so if you have any recipes you would like to suggest, please let us know in the comment section down below.

2010 Winter Vegetable Garden – Week #5

2010 Winter Vegetable Garden Blog - Week #5 Pictures

Planting Bed

 I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! 

It’s been freezing here in Southern California, so that’s a good thing for the winter vegetables.  Most of these plants had been growing for about three or four weeks before I started documenting their growth, so there probably about 8 weeks old.

All the plants are developing nice foliage and the broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts have nice strong stalks developing.  The cabbage are also taking on their form as the leaves are growing in a tighter formation.

Napa Cabbage - Winter Vegetable Garden - Week #5

Napa Cabbage - Week #5

Savoy Cabbage - Winter Vegetable Garden Blog - Week #5

Savoy Cabbage - Week #5

Brussel Sprouts - 2010 Winter Vegetable Blog - Week #5

Brussel Sprouts - Week #5

Cauliflower - 2010 Winter Vegetable Garden Blog - Week #5

Cauliflower - Week #5

Broccoli - Winter Vegetable Garden - Week #5

Broccoli - Week #5

The arugula is starting to sprout and the swiss chard, kale, and raddiccio that are growing from seed still haven’t sprouted yet.  We’re also in the process of clearing the last of the tomato plants because we still have a few left from the summer that still have fruit.  After that we’ll have more room to start growing a few more winter vegetables.

If you have any suggestions about what other winter vegetables I should give a shot at growing, please let me and the rest our readers know in the comment section.

Swiss Chard Nutrition Information

The nutrition information for Swiss Chard continues to be well-known for the health-promoting qualities it’s held ever since the period of the ancient Greeks and Romans.  The reality is, the Greek philospher Aristotle had written on the subject of Chard since the 4th century BC.   Swiss Chard isn’t really native to Switzerland as its title may well suggest but was given its name by a 19th century Swiss botanist in recognition of his fruit and vegetables from the Mediterranean region. 

In order to help improve ones understanding pertaining to Swiss Chard we wanted to introduce the healthiest way to cook Chard.  By steaming for merely 3 minutes, you can easily enhance its flavor, and maximize the nutrtitional profile of this Mediterranean favourite.  Its tasty, fulfilling liveliness and dietary benefits make Swiss Chard an excellent alternative to spinach.

Calorie for calorie Swiss Chard is among the most healthy veggies available, offering remarkable levels of vitamins and minerals.  Current research exhibits that Swiss Chard is really a wealthy way to obtain a large number of recently identified phytonutrients.  It’s a powerful origin of cartenoids, including beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.  These types of carotenoids, together with its flavonoid phytonutrients, which includes anthocyanins, produce highly effective antioxidant defense.  Research indicates how the superior amount of chlorophyll seen in Swiss Chard is also health protective.  Swiss Chard is a perfect representative for the cruciferous vegetable family not just because it’s full of nutrients, but also due to the fact it’s low in calories.  One cup of Swiss Chard merely has thirty five calories. 

The foliage plus the roots from Swiss Chard are commonly the topic of interesting wellness research.  The mixture of nutritional vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients as well as fiber content may very well be helpful in stopping digestive tract cancers.  Many clinical tests about Swiss Chard have concentrated particularly on colon cancer, in which  occurrence associated with precancerous lesions inside clinical animals has been discovered to become considerably decreased sticking to dietary consumption of Swiss Chard extracts or fibers.

Swiss Chard is an extremely effective non-dairy supply of calcium a nutrient required for optimum bone strength.  Swiss Chard happens to also be a great supply of vitamin K, that also has a huge role in sustaining bone strength because it stimulates osteocalcin, the main non-collagen protein in your bones.  Magnesium, an additional nutrient whichSwiss Chard is a superb provider, is additionally needed for strong bones.  Some of it assists in giving bones their physical framework, as the rest is located on the exterior on the bone where it can be stashed by the body to be used as necessary.

Swiss Chard is a wonderful way to obtain vitamin A due to its amount of beta-carotene.  The moment into the human body, beta-carotene will be changed into vitamin A, so any time you consume SwissChard, it truly is like getting those two valuable elements at the same time.

Swiss Chard comes complete along with vitamins and minerals which can be great for your heart.  Magnesium as well as potassium, are  two minerals that Swiss Chard is a great supply. Both minerals are essential for controlling balanced blood pressure levels.  One particular study discovered that males whom ate higher in potassium-rich foods, in addition to foods full of magnesium and fiber — also supplied by Swiss Chard stood a significantly decreased danger associated with stroke.

Swiss Chard is a superb way to obtain iron, the mineral so essential towards the wellness of your body that it’s present in each and every individual cell in the human body.  Iron improves oxygen circulation all the way through your system, keeps your immune system healthful and aids the body in manugacturing energy.  Swiss Chard is also a top notch supply of vitamin B2 along with a good supplier of vitamin B1, vitamin B6, niacin, biotin and phosphorus, nutrients who are most essential for energy cultivation.

Fall Salad with Pomegranite Seeds, Persimmons and Asian Pears

Ingredients For Fall Salad (Napa cabbage, red cabbage, persimmon, pomegranite seeds, asian pear)

 Call it a fall salad, call it a fall cole slaw, no matter what you want to call it, it’s a perfect way to make use of these delicious fall fruits.  My mom had a salad similar to this at a restaurant in Santa Monica and this is her version of it.  So, thank you mom, I can’t really take any credit here.

It’s a really quick and easy salad to prepare and you can make it ahead of time because the cabbage will stay nice and crunchy, unlike lettuce or field greens.  The ingredients are pomegranite seeds, persimmon, asian pear, red cabbage, napa cabbage and a citrus vinaigrette dressing.

To make the salad, cut the persimmon and asian pear into little chunks. Finely chop the cabbage.  Besides making the dressing, that’s all the work to do besides tossing everything together.   

Fall Salad

One thing that I haven’t tried, but think would taste good in this salad are spicy walnuts and bleu cheese crumbles.  If you give this recipe a try, please let us know what you think, your comments are always appreciated.

2010 Winter Vegetable Garden – Week #4

2010 Winter Vegetable Garden - Week #4

Week #4

Winter Vegetable Garden - Cauliflower - Week #4

Cauliflower - Week #4

Winter Vegetable Garden - Savoy Cabbage - Week #4

Savoy Cabbage - Week #4

Winter Vegetable Garden - Napa Cabbage - Week #4

Napa Cabbage - Week #4

Winter Vegetable Garden - Brussel Sprouts - Week #4

Brussel Sprouts - Week #4

Winter Vegetable Garden - Broccoli - Week #4

Broccoli - Week #4

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprout Nutrition Information