Ginger-Orange Borscht

Beets might be my favorite vegetable. They are a relatively new discovery for me as we never ate them growing up. I had never considered them, and in the back of my mind the florescent purple flesh most likely made me a little nervous. But after a first taste the fear disappeared, and I have been experimenting with more ways to incorporate it into our diet: steamed, baked, braised, shredded and raw in salads, pureed into a spread. This is the first time I’ve tired a soup. Not sure why it hadn’t occurred to me earlier, but just like carrot or squash soup, pureed into a broth and lightly seasoned, its delicious. With a touch of citrus and ginger, it is fresh and delightful!


Ginger Orange Borsche

Ingredients:
1 yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, roughtly chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, grated
1 clove garlic
4 large beets, roughtly chopped
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
salt to taste
1/2 cup orange juice
zest of 1 orange, reserve a little for garnish
fresh mint and yogurt for toping (optional)

Directions:
Simple simple simple. Sautee onion until translucent, add carrots, ginger and garlic and cook on medium heat until carrots are soft and ginger and garlic frangrant. Add beets, stock, water, juice, and zest. Cover and simmer on medium high for an hour, or until the veggies are tender. Puree, season with salt and pepper to tast. Garnish with additional zest, crushed fresh mint leaves, and yogurt.

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Orange Ginger Granola

I don’t have much to say about this except that its delicious. I woke up really early Sunday morning with a hankering to make something I’d never made before. After a few searches through the blogosphere, I fell upon Anja’s (Food for Thought) recipe for Orange Coconut Granola (which doesn’t seem to be loading right now). I modified it to what I had around the apartment, and what I like. Do the same and you’ll be pleased.

Orange Ginger Granola

Ingredients:
1 c rolled oats
1/4 c wheat germ
1/4 c wheat bran
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried fruit, optional
zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange (about 1/4 cup)
2 T honey
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1/2 t cinnamon
a pinch of salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 225ºF.

In a saucepan combine honey, orange juice, orange zest, fresh ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Heat until honey is melted. Set aside.

Combine grains and nuts and berries. Toss together. Pour honey mixture over and toss until well combined. Pour mixture out onto baking sheet and spread out evenly. Heat in oven for about 1.5-2 hours, stirring occasionally until mixture is dry and crunchy. Allow to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Anise Scented Garbanzo Cookies

I’m glad you looked to the text despite the title of these cookies. I promise you (to those with a health-food palate), these are yummy. If you refer to anything containing whole wheat as “cardboard” , if you don’t enjoy super dark chocolate, crystallized ginger, or nuts and raisins hidden in you food, maybe this cookie isn’t for you. They are a dense chewy texture; just sweet enough for adults, while children might not enjoy them; and a deep intense flavor of anise. On top of that they are a healthy snack filled with protein, fiber, and good kinds of sugars and fats. Give them a try!

Anise Scented Garbanzo Cookies,
inspired by 101 Cookbooks

Ingredients:
1 can of garbanzo beans, well smashed
1 egg
3 T olive oil
2/3 cup honey (or brown sugar)
1/2 cup dates, finely chopped
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup wheat bran
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
pinch of salt
4 star of anise, toasted and ground
1 t ground ginger
1/3 c sesame seeds

Directions:
Smash well the garbanzos. Beat in the egg, then honey and olive oil. Combine well. Mix in the dates and crystallized ginger. Add all dry ingredients, mixing well.

Let mixture set up in the fridge for a half an hour. Roll about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a ball, and roll the ball in the sesame seeds. Bake for about 12 minutes at 350ºF.

Ginger-Spiked Yogurt Tart with Coconut-Sesamee Seed Crust

Ginger Tart - Baked with Toppings

I love ginger. It has been sitting at the top of my favorite things list for quite some time. My favorite tea which I drink nearly every night before bed, is ginger. And I love when I find recipes that allow me to use ginger in a new way. Growing up I have had ginger cake, ginger snaps, and ginger bread men – all utilizing dried and ground ginger. But the flavor of fresh ginger, and the extra zing it delivers, I find more satisfying than the dried spice. This light, delicate, yet simple tart really features the fresh flavor of the ginger root. Of course you can leave out the ginger and use berries or orange zest, but when you can get the health benefits of ginger in dessert that tastes like this, why would you?

Ginger Tart - Ginger WholeGinger Tart - Pressing Ginger

Ginger Tart - CrustGinger Tart - Baked Crust

And this tart is really simple. As simple as making chocolate chip cookies – and perhaps even simpler beacuase you only need to make one batch (or you can do a few tiny tartletts if you have the cute little scalloped-rim dishes. That would be adorable). Its as simple as smushing together the crust, whisking together the filling, and baking for a half hour or so. And you’ll know its done because the filling won’t jiggle. It’s as simple as that. I believe the mystery to those fancy desserts has been solved: they’re not really that tricky after all. At least not this one.

The filling is sweet, tangy, and spicy all at the same time, accompanied by a crisp and buttery coconut-sesame crust: I have to say the combination is divine. This recipe is easy to cut in half, so if you wanna do a trial run before you commit yourself to a giant pie, go for it.

Ginger Tart

Crust:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons honey
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
pinch of salt

Directions:
Grease tart pan or pie pan. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Toast oats, sesame seeds, and coconut until golden, just about 3 minutes on high heat. Combine first all the dry ingredients. Combine the honey using a fork, and then add the butter, mashing with a fork until evenly combined. Press evenly into tart pan, making a 3/4 inch-high edge. Poke shallow holes into crust bottom. Bake for 5 minutes, and remove.

Filling:
1 cup natural plain yogurt, strained through cheese cloth so thick
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon/lime/orange/grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon zest of lime or orange
1/4 cup ginger juice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional, for stronger taste)

Directions.
To make ginger juice, simply peed a piece of fresh ginger. Grate it on your box grated on the small side. Place the grated ginger in a lime juicer to squeeze as much of the juice out as possible.

Whisk together all the ingredients until smooth. Fill into partially baked pie crust. Bake for about 35-40 minutes at 350ºF, or until center is set.

Carrot, Apple, Ginger Slaw with Balsamic Marinated Peach

Apple, Carrot, Ginger Salad

Grated carrots and apples (i like more apple than carrot), tossed with freshly slivered ginger (about 1 tablespoon fresh) and a few slices of marinated peaches (one peach slivered thinly with 2 – 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar, overnight). Drizzle with a bit more balsamic vinegar (not too much), olive oil, a drop of sesame oil, and some toasted walnuts or slivered almonds on top. If you have the forethought to make this, really try the marinated peaches — they are glorious. The freshly grated ginger (yes, raw) is a must for this salad.