10 Mother’s Day Recipe Ideas

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Goodmotherdiet Mothers Day Collage

For those of you who are still looking for Mother’s Day inspiration, I have compiled 10 vegetarian and vegan ideas to help you pamper your Mom on her special day.  Just click on the links below for recipes and directions or Pin them for later (See below).

Happy Mother’s Day!-Joyce

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Heart Shaped Eggs  Start your Mom’s day with these adorable and easy heart eggs with toast, strawberries and a big mug of coffee. LOVE.

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Summer Vegetable Tart Slices of eggplant, zucchini and tomato alternating with fresh mozzerella baked into a flowery tart.  This is a personal favorite and although it’s not quite summer yet, these vegetables are readily available now or you can substitute what you have on hand.

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Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart  Serve this easy and fast tart with a salad and a glass of wine.  Done!  Top it with cherry tomatoes which will blister and wilt for a colorful presentation.

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Endive Salad Bites  (with crumbled goat cheese, avocado, citrus and red grapes) Serve 2 or 3 as a wonderful salad course or platter them as lovely appetizers.

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Israeli Couscous with Asparagus, Baby Spinach and Morel Mushrooms  Israeli or Pearl Couscous combined with spring vegetables makes an elegant and delicious vegan dish.

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Fava and Spring Pea Risotto with Greens  Risotto with young fava beans and peas is the essence of springtime.  It’s also special in that fava beans are only around for a short time so get them while you can. (vegan)

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Roasted Beet Salad with Ripe Peaches and Goat Cheese This is a colorful and satisfying salad topped with a yummy balsamic vinaigrette, fresh mint and basil.  Apricots are in season and would make a good substitute if you can’t find good peaches.

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Black Bean Quinoa Salad  I love this colorful quinoa salad with mango, red pepper, purple onion and black beans with a tasty cumin orange vinaigrette.  Delicious, happy and vegan!

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Meatless Monday – Crostini with Fava Beans and Lemon Ricotta  I love tender young fava beans and piled on top of toasted ciabatta and creamy ricotta with lemon and parmesan = Yum! Pair with  soup or a salad for an elegant meal.

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Potato Crusted Spinach Herb Torta Beautiful flowery crust made with potato slices (which taste like french fries) and gluten free. What’s not to love…

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Meatless Monday – Crostini with Fava Beans and Lemon Ricotta

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Working with fresh fava beans is a labor of love, so this makes a perfect dish for someone you love, like your Mother! What a wonderful Mother’s Day breakfast, brunch  or appetizer for that special lady in your life! I love this combination of  crusty toasted ciabatta topped with a creamy ricotta flavored with lemon and parmesan and then piled high with fresh fava beans, spring onions, lemon zest, basil and mint.  Mmmm….It’s pretty too, especially adorned with a sprig of purple basil from my garden!

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Fava beans must be removed from their large outer pod and then skinned, a two step process which is time consuming but well worth it, for the resulting beans are tender and delicious – and only available for a few weeks every year.  If you don’t want to spend the time or you can’t find fava beans, you can substitute fresh or frozen edamame, lima beans or peas.

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Fava Beans are not only delicious, they are nutrient dense, which means they provide a lot of nutrients for a relatively small number of calories. Fava beans, also called broad beans, are very high in protein and dietary fiber and loaded with beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, important phytonutrients and minerals, including iron which is harder to come by for those on a vegetarian diet.

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TIPS:  In figuring out how many Fava beans to buy, keep in mind that one cup of fava beans turns into about a half cup once they are shelled.  A large bunch of pods (1 pound) will yield only about a cup of shelled beans depending on size.  The smaller beans are sweeter and more tender than the larger ones and cooking times vary but only by a minute or two.

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CROSTINI WITH FAVA BEANS, SPRING ONIONS AND LEMON RICOTTA

1 large bunch(1 lb) fava beans(or 1 cup shelled edamame, peas or lima beans)
1 spring onion or 2 scallions (white part only)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
6-8 slices ciabatta or sourdough bread (or about a dozen baguette slices)

Ricotta Mixture:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
2 Tbsn lemon juice (reserve lemon zest)
1/2 teaspoon salt

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  • Remove fava beans from their outer pod by cutting or bending the tip and ‘unzipping’ them by pulling the side string off.

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  • The shells also need to be removed.  Either slice and peel them off and then boil the beans for 1-2 minutes (depending on their size) or  boil in their shells for 3-4 minutes and then remove the shells by cutting or squeezing them out.  Either way, it’s a two step process. Very young fava beans may not need to be shelled and can be eaten raw or par boiled for 30 seconds.

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  • Run cold water over cooked beans to stop the cooking process and set aside.

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  • Combine all Ricotta ingredients and set aside to let the flavors develop.

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  • Thinly slice the spring onion and slice mint and basil into ribbons (also known as chifonnade)

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  • Combine fava beans, onion, mint, basil, lemon zest and olive oil in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

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  • Broil bread slices in a single layer for several minutes on each side until golden brown.

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  • Top each slice of bread with ricotta mixture and then top with a spoonful of fava beans.

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  • Serve whole or cut in half at room temperature (and kiss your Mom).

Crostini with Fava Beans & Lemon Ricotta

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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1 large bunch fava beans(or 1 cup shelled edamame, peas or lima beans)
1 spring onion or 2 scallions (white part only)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
6-8 slices ciabatta or sourdough bread (or about a dozen baguette slices)

Ricotta Mixture:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
2 Tbsn lemon juice (reserve lemon zest)
1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Remove fava beans from their outer pod by cutting or bending the tip and ‘unzipping’ them by pulling the side string off.  The shells also need to be removed.  Either slice and peel them off and then boil the beans for 1-2 minutes (depending on their size) or  boil fin their shells for 3-4 minutes and then remove their shells by cutting or squeezing them out.  Either way, it’s a two step process. Run cold water over cooked beans to stop the cooking process and set aside.
  • Combine all Ricotta ingredients and set aside to let the flavors develop.
  • Thinly slice the spring onion and slice mint and basil into ribbons (also known as chifonnade)
  • Combine fava beans, onion, mint, basil, lemon zest and olive oil in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Broil bread slices in a single layer for several minutes on each side until golden brown.
  • Top each slice of bread with ricotta mixture and then top with a spoonful of fava beans.
  • Serve at room temperature (and kiss your Mom).

14 Vegetables for your Fall Garden

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Fall Vegetables to Plant

If your vegetable garden is anything like mine, some veggies are still healthy and bearing well like peppers and tomatoes, while others are listless and straggly, practically begging to be pulled up and out of their misery.  I am constantly replanting lettuces and chards as I harvest but it’s time to be thinking about how to keep our gardens going through the fall and winter.  Depending on where you live, certain summer vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, beans and squash will continue to grow until it gets too cold, certainly not surviving past the first freeze.  There are many plants like greens, root crops like beets and carrots, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower and bulbs like onions can handle cooler temperatures and some can even survive in the round all winter. So don’t give up on your garden now!  I just planted cauliflower and broccoli alongside my peppers and will continue to replant through September. I’m eagerly anticipating a bountiful winter harvest (doesn’t always happen as I tend to be a fair weather gardener) and planning delicious new recipes.

Click HERE for a round up of 14 Vegetables for Your Fall Garden from Living the Country Life.

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Or if you’re done gardening for the year, consider planting a cover crop like field peas or clover. Cover crops help suppress weeds, rebuild the soil by adding nutrients back in and control pests and diseases.  Last year I planted a cover crop for the first time of fava beans, which were gorgeous and looked like a bush full of butterflies.  I made the mistake of letting them set fruit which undermines the purpose of planting a cover crop as the nutrients the plants just put into the soil are taken back out to go into the fava beans.  On the positive side, at least I got a nice crop of fava beans!  If you are planting a cover crop to enhance your soil for next spring’s growing season, the plants should be cut or mowed while flowering for optimal benefit.  In other words, you don’t get to harvest the fruit.  For more information on cover crops check out this article by Organic Gardening. Happy planting!
Fall Vegetables Photo Credit:  http://www.growbetterveggies.com

 

Meatless Monday – Fava & Spring Pea Risotto with Greens

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I just harvested the last of my fava beans in an effort to make way for more tomatoes in my garden.  Fava beans (also called broad beans and horse or pigeon beans) aren’t actually a bean at all but a member of the pea family.  Fava beans have a delicate flavor and buttery consistency which makes any dish special.  I paired them with peas for two reasons.  I love fava beans but I also really like green peas in risotto, plus it takes a mountain of fava bean pods to make enough fava beans. (You could also make this risotto without the fava beans and it would still be tasty).   I harvested a large bowl of bean pods from my garden (about 10 or 12 cups).  Favas require a double shelling process which is not hard but time consuming. How to shell fava beans.  Once I removed the pods I had 2 cups which shrank to a scant 1 cup once I removed the second peel.

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I usually don’t cook white rice but with risotto I had to make an exception.  Arborio rice has a creamy quality that you just can’t get with brown rice, although I might give it a try next time.  Luckily the fava beans, peas, pine nuts and greens add loads of nutrition to this dish.  Even though it tastes and feels like comfort food this risotto is pretty healthful and low in fat.  Favas are a good source of fiber,  protein, folate. potassium, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus. (LiveStrong) The peas and greens add another nutritional boost.  Plus I love the gorgeous green color. It tastes like Spring!

Fava and Spring Pea Risotto with Greens

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
1/2 cup pine nuts

1 quart vegetable broth
2 Tbsn olive oil
4 scallions, sliced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp pepper(optional)
2 cups combination fava beans and shelled peas (fresh or frozen)
2 cups greens (spinach, arugula or fava leaves)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan (optional)
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  • Shell fava beans.  First remove the outer shell (pod). I like to slit the seam open with a sharp knife.  It’s okay if you slice through the beans.  It actually makes them easier to shell.  Then blanch in boiling water for one minute and put immediately in an ice bath.  Then remove the second shell.How to shell fava beans

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  • Heat a heavy pan (cast iron is great if you have it) and dry toast the pine nuts for a few minutes until they are fragrant and turning golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool.
  • In a separate pan, bring broth plus one cup of water to a simmer
  • In cast iron pan, add olive oil, scallions and rice and cook for a few minutes until the rice is opaque.

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  • Add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat until rice is tender (about 20 minutes) Add salt and pepper to taste.  (Vegetable broths greatly differ in their saltiness which is why I add salt at the end).
  • Add fava beans, peas and greens and cook until the greens wilt, 4 or 5 minutes.
  • Fold in  pine nuts and parmesan.  Risotto should be slightly soupy.  Add more water if it’s too dry.  Serve hot.

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Wheatless Wednesday – Jerusalem Chicken with Fava & Spring Vegetable Saute

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Can there really be a cookbook co-written by an Israeli and a Palestinian?  Yes, and it is a work of art!   Yotam Ottelenghi, from the Jewish West, and Sami Tamimi, from the Arab East, have written a gloriously beautiful book, “Jerusalem”, which is a cookbook with wonderful recipes but also gorgeous photos and personal commentary that portray life in Jerusalem where they both grew up, albeit in different parts of the city.  They didn’t know each other in Jerusalem but met later in London and became good friends and then business partners.  They now own many successful restaurants together. They claim that this book was a walk down memory lane for them, “a nostalgic trip into their pasts”.  More about “Jerusalem”

Jerusalem

My friend, Stephanie, brought this book back from Israel for my birthday last year and I thought it appropriate to try one of it’s dishes for Passover.  I made their Roasted Chicken with Jerusalem Artichoke and Lemon which was delicious.  The combination of lemon, artichoke,  halved shallots, garlic and sliced lemon combined with saffron and fresh herbs was really flavorful.  I couldn’t find Jerusalem artichoke so substituted canned artichoke quarters packed in water.  I used local, free range chicken, herbs from my garden and lemons from my tree in an effort to make a smaller footprint (and frankly, to support the small local growers because if it’s a profitable to let chickens run around in the sunshine, maybe more will follow suit).

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So now I know why fava beans are so expensive.  I had planted fava beans as a cover crop to introduce nitrogen into the soil for my summer tomatoes, not realizing that you are supposed to pull or plow under cover crops when they are flowering and not let them fruit or they pull all the nitrogen back out of the soil. ( More Info on Cover Crops Thank you Sean for all the cover crop info! )  I had already messed up on the cover crop thing since I had quite a few fava bean pods growing on my plants already, so I decided to let them go a bit longer and enjoy a mini harvest.  It seemed a shame to throw out such beautiful, healthy plants so I procrastinated a bit more.  Then we had dinner at a great local restaurant, Farmshop, which offered a roasted halibut on a bed of spring vegetables with fava leaves.  What?  You can eat the leaves?  I had to order the dish just to see for myself.  The dish was delicious but more importantly I now know what to do with my favas.  Finally I can feel good about pulling out my plants before their time.  So why are fava beans so expensive?  First, a big pile of fava beans in their pods shrinks into a small bowl of edible beans.  Secondly, they require a four step process before they are edible.  First they need to be shelled, then parboiled and put straight into an ice bath and finally their skins have to be removed.  Luckily I had two capable helpers, Veronica and Eric who made quick work of the favas.  How to shell fava beans.

I paired the chicken with a spring vegetable medley which includes fava beans, fava leaves, zucchini, asparagus and baby bella mushrooms all diced to be the same size as your average fava bean.  I was really wishing my Dad was in the kitchen to help out as well.  He is the world’s best sous chef.  He wields the paring knife like a master, cutting everything beautifully into  the perfect same size so everything cooks at the same rate.  Luckily, I learned from the best!.

Jerusalem Chicken aka Roasted Chicken with Jerusalem Artichoke and Lemon

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 

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  • 1 lbs Artichokes, peeled and cut lengthwise so they are 2/3 thick
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 12 shallots, halved lengthwise
  • 12 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 medium lemon, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tspn saffron threads
  • 3.5 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2/3 cup of cold water
  • 1.5 tbsp of crushed peppercorns
  • 1/4 fresh thyme
  • 1 cup of tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

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  • Combine artichoke, water and half of the lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, and then lower to simmer for 10-20 minutes. If you are using canned or marinated artichokes, this is not necessary.

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  • Mix all ingredients (except the lemon juice and half of the tarragon) in a bowl. Cover and let marinade overnight, or at least 2 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 475degrees. Arrange chicken with the skin up in the center of the pan. Place the remaining ingredients around them.

  • Roast for 30 minutes uncovered.

  • Roast for additional 15 minutes, covered with foil or top, or until full cooked.

  • Add the reserve tarragon and lemon juice.

Stir, taste and add salt if necessary.

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Fava & Spring Vegetable Saute

2 – 3 dozen fava bean pods
large bunch fava leaves (optional)
1/2  bunch asparagus
1 zucchini
6 large mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp each  of fresh thyme and oregano
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  • Dice all vegetables (except for fava beans and leaves) and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a heavy pan and sauté garlic and diced vegetables. 

 

  • Add herbs, fava beans and leaves and stir until leaves are wilted.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.