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


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.

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.

Cauliflower and Leek Soup

As the cooler months approach, cauliflower season is right around corner.  Although it’s available year round, it tastes best during the cold months.
It’s a great vegetable to include in your diet because it’s very nutritious and low in calories, with only 29 calories per cup.  It’s also part of the cruciferous vegetable famlily that’s know for it’s health promoting sulfur compounds that help your body fight toxic substances.
Okay, enough with the health info.  This soup was made on a whim because there was some cauliflower in the fridge and I happened to picked up some fresh leeks at the farmers market. 
The ingredients are simple, the recipe doesn’t take very long, it’s healthy and tastes great.

Vegetarian Cauliflower and Leek Soup

Cauliflower and Leek Soup

  • Cauliflower
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Parsley for garnish
Cauliflower and Leek Soup Ingredients


Ingredients for Cauliflower and Leek Soup All Chopped Up

Ingredients All Chopped Up

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the vegetable for about 20 minutes.

Cruciferous Vegetable Recipe - Cauliflower and Leep Soup

Bake the Veggies in the Oven

Transfer your vegetables to the vegetable broth in a pot over medium heat.  I don’t put the veggies in the vegetable broth so they cook more,  I do it to help the flavors bind before putting them in the blender.

Vegetarian Cauliflower and Leek Soup

Before the Blender

Puree the soup and season with salt and pepper.
Cuisinart Blend Cauliflower and Leek Soup

Blend up the Ingredients

Garnish with parsley.
Vegetarian Cauliflower and Leek Soup

Cauliflower and Leek Soup


Please let us know in the comment section what you think of the recipe.  Do you like the captions in the pictures?  Is the recipe easy to follow?  Your feedback is appreciated. 

Gazpacho Recipe with Lemon Boy and Momotaro Tomatoes

There’s nothing better than chilled gazpacho with tomatoes fresh from the backyard.  One day about four years ago my mom was making gazpacho with our tomatoes.  I love to cook and I’d never made gazpacho before, so I helped her in hopes of learning a thing or two.  I learned that gazpacho is awesome and you can do many different ways. 

Since then, I’ve made gazpacho about 6 or 7 times and I’ve haven’t looked at a recipe.  I never make the gazpacho exactly the same, the versatility is one of the fun things about making this.  I make it based upon a rough idea of the proper ingredients and tasting it as I go along.   So, I don’t really have a recipe, per se, but I’ll map it out the best I can.  I also change the tomatoes up, depending on what’s ripe in the backyard and what I have a lot of.  For this gazpacho, I happened to use Lemon Boy and Momotaro.Gazpacho with Lemon Boy and Momotaro Tomatoes

I think this makes about 12 to 14 cups.  The ingredients are all easy to get, and very simple, but there’s a lot.  I’m not gonna lie. This will take a little bit of time and dirty a lot of dishes, but it’s well worth it.

Ingredients and Prep:

  • 8 medium size tomatoes (Blanch in boiling water for about 20-30 seconds and remove.  Skin them and cut the stem out.  Cut them in quarters and put them in a big dish.  Some people remove all the seeds and juice, I barely remove any.
  • 1 red bell pepper 1 yellow bell pepper (Fire roast them over open flame and get them chard on the outside.  Put them in a grocery bag, fold the top of the bag 3 or 4 times to keep the heat in.  The bell pepper will sweat, making it easier to remove the skin.  Let them steam for at least 10-15 minutes, but you can leave them in longer while you’re prepping everything else.
  • 1 jalapeno (Fire roasted and sweated with the bell peppers.  In the beginning of summer, the jalapenos will be less mild.  I only use half a jalapeno, and remove most of the seeds and veins, and it still brings some heat.  You don’t want it too spicy, but it does make for a good contrast in flavors.
  • 1 large maui onion (slice, toss in olive oil and salt,  put on a cookie sheet, bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until browned.  This will also go in the food processor.)
  • 6 small Persian cucumbers (Skin all of them. 3 will be chopped for garnish and 3 will eventually go in the food processor.)

  • 1 med sized loaf of fresh sourdough bread (Separate all of the inside bread from the crust.  This will go in the food processor.  Toast the crust or make garlic bread with it to be served with the soup.
  • 1 cup toasted pinenuts for garnish
  • 3 ears of barbequed sweet corn, cut off the cob for garnish.  The sweet corn and pinenuts make for a nice sweetness that cut’s into the spice of the jalapeno, perfectly.
  • 4 crumbled up hardboiled eggs for garnish

Japanese Eggplant, Basil and Peanut Stir-Fry on Kalbi Tofu Steak

Originally, this dish was just the Japapnese eggplant, basil and peanut stir-fry.  For a special occassion, my mom needed a vegetarian entree for a family friend who was coming over for dinner.  We aren’t vegetarians at our home, so coming up with a vegetarian main course required us to think outside of our culinary box.

It was a fun challenged and we were quite happy with the result.


  • Japanese eggplant
  • Basil
  • Soy sauce
  • Unsalted peanuts
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Shishito peppers
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil


The Eggplant

  • Skin most of the eggplant because the skin can be a little bit tough 
  • Thinly slice the eggplant and sautee it with some garlic in the peanut oil
  • Add a dash of water to help steam the eggplant when it looks like all of the peanut oil has been absorbed.
  • Season with a little bit of salt.  Be sure it’s just a little bit because we will be adding the soy sauce later.


Stir-fry Sauce, Basil and Peanuts

  • Crush or grind the peanuts and put them aside.
  • Clean the basil and put it aside.
  • Combine soy sauce, thin sliced shallots and thin sliced shishito peppers
  • When the eggplant are finished cooking add this mixture, the crushed peanuts and basil.
  • Toss until the basil is wilted and remove from the wok.

Kalbi Marinade For Tofu Steak

  • 1 c soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbspn sesame oil
  • 2 1/2 tbspn fresh minced garlic
  •  2 1/2 tbspn fresh minced ginger
  • 1/3 c chopped green onions
  •  1/2 c sugar

Mix the ingredients in a sturdy, sealable plastic bag.

The Tofu

Use the firm tofu since we’ll be grilling it after it’s been marinated.  First, pre-heat the bbq, then cut up the tofu.  For this recipe, I cut the tofu into 2 in x 3 in rectangles, that were about 1/2 cm thick.  Let them marinade in for at least an hour.

We want the bbq hot so it leaves grill marks on the tofu.  A nice criss-cross will get lots of good char on the outside for a better flavor.  After we have our criss-cross marks on the tofu, we’re ready to serve.

Place the eggplant, basil and peanut stir-fry on top of the kalbi tofu steak and garnish it with a basil leaf.

Ceviche Style Tomato Salad

This ceviche style tomato salad works wonderfully with sweet cherry tomatoes that cut into the citrusy bite of the ceviche dressing.  For this particular recipe I used assorted cherry heirlooms that I bought from the market.  In addition to the tomatoes, the other ingredients are below:

  • Red onions
  • Cilantro


  • 4 parts lemon juice
  • 2 part yuzu
  • 1/2 part garlic
  • 1/2 part ginger
  • Sriracha
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 part soy sauce

Ceviche Style Tomato Salad