Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Grab A Blanket and Pray for Summer!

I know some of my family members are already complaining about the heat and humidity. However, here in Chicago I'm still wearing wool, and cursing the wet snow that is pounding on my just-planted beet shoots!

But tonight, I just couldn't help myself. In an attempt to stay away from sugary desserts, I bought a big, ripe honeydew melon. Where did such a lovely melon come from this time of year? No where close, I can tell you that! But I purchased it anyway. And here is what I did!

1/2 honeydew (or any other small melon would work), seeded and chunked
1/2 cup filtered water
4 mint leaves
1 tsp. lime zest
1 Tbsp. lime oil (I bought this at a regular grocery store, but had to look. If you can't find lime oil, squeeze lime juice and add a splash of walnut oil or something other than olive)

Throw everything in the blender, and zap. Chill, then drink with a sprig of lime and remember the recipe for when it gets really hot and the melons are much closer to town!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Love Soup

I live in the most beautiful city in the world, but there is a price we pay, and it’s called “spring.” You see, we don’t really have spring. We’re famous for our winter, and I love winter, until February. March through May are really pretty trying. All I can really say is, one day it’s snowing, and the next you wake and Michigan Avenue is full of flowers and everyone is showing off their very healthy, albeit, very pale legs!

We do have access to the most beautiful spring vegetables, which gives even the most cynical soul a skip in her step. And so I’ve created my Love Soup. It’s a wonderful brew of light and spicy broth, filled with fresh spring veggies and interlaced with wonderful noodles.

And, if you should happen to be suffering from seasonal allergies, or just the blues, this is a great remedy!

These measurements are not perfect, so trust your taste. This recipe makes 2 big yummy bowls

5 cups water
1 heaping tablespoon of white miso
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 thin stalk of lemon grass, chopped in ½” sections (I had about 1/8 cup)
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1” grated ginger
1 teaspoon chili flakes

Simmer this broth for about 30 minutes on medium heat. Don’t let this get to a rolling boil. Just let is simmer.

½ cup chopped greens (I used Swiss chard, but work with whatever you have)
½ cup chopped asparagus
½ cup sliced mushrooms (I bought a bunch of spring mushrooms at Whole Foods)
½ cup carrots, sliced in matchsticks
Udon noodles (my bag comes in 3 little serving bunches, and I used one)

After about 30 minutes add the veggies. You could totally use any other spring veggie…just make sure they’re fresh and don’t over-cook.

After about 10-15 minutes add the udon noodles.

To serve, add a dash of toasted sesame oil and a splash of rice vinegar. Seriously, so yummy!