Turnip Over A New Leaf for New Year

The Southern staple of turnip greens is woefully neglected up in these here parts, despite being faster-cooking and higher in vitamins than its more trendy cousins. So is another Southern go-to, the black-eyed pea legume. And, even Minnesota Lutherans like the modest, mild black-eyed pea.

Whole turnips with their greens. Super-nutritious!  (web-sourced photo)

Whole turnips with their greens. Super-nutritious! (web-sourced photo)

However, turnip greens sport a spicy, somewhat bitter kick, especially if cooked quickly and not braised for a long time as is traditional in the South. Many Eastern cuisines treat turnip greens this way. If you’d like a tangy green side dish, try turnip greens sauteed with lots of garlic and cherry tomatoes or throw them in soup. But do warn the Lutherans!

My Delivered Dish of the Week menus start off the New Year with two dishes which feature the lowly turnip. One is Hoppin’ John with Turnip Greens and the other is a Roasted Turnip & Squash Soup. As in the past menu cycle, I’m making soups nearly every week, many from Anna Thomas’ “Love Soup” book.

Order DDoW online right here. If you’ve never ordered before, do please read the full description of Delivered Dish of the Week service first.

DDOW MENUS FOR DEC 8TH – JAN 24TH

Week of Dec 8th:

A kaleidoscope of different kinds of lentils (web-sourced photo).

A kaleidoscope of different kinds of lentils (right side) & beans (left side). (Web-sourced photo)

4-Jewel Dal w/ Spinach  Vegan, GF, soy-free, no added sugars.   A lovely recipe from cookbook queen Madhur Jaffrey that uses a variety of dal legumes including small brown lentils, black lentils, split yellow lentils and split white pigeon peas. Each adds a slightly different texture. I really liked this when I made it for DDoW last year.

 Kasha (Buckwheat Berry) Mulligatawny Soup.  Vegan, GF, soy-free, no added sugars. I thought kasha would be a nice substitute for rice in classic Mulligatawny. Actually, Mulligatawny is a British invention, adapted from a Tamil recipe during the empire’s colonization of Southeast Asia. It’s morphed over the centuries and continents since and, there are many variations. The classic one is basically a Chicken Soup for the Eastern soul, w/ curry spices, apples & rice, so I’ll just omit the chicken.

 Week of Dec 15th:

Herbs & spices are the key to flavorful vegan cuisine. (Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos)

Herbs & spices are the key to flavorful vegan cuisine. (Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos)

Ethiopian Millet & Sweet Potatoes.  Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, no added sugars.   Another dish adapted from the “Appetite for Reduction” cookbook by Isa Moskowitz that I have made several times. I pair millet with an exotically spiced tomato sauce, reminiscent of an Indian curry but with the addition of cloves & cardamom. Sweet potatoes add sweetness and moisture, which helps keep the millet from drying out too quickly. Even so, sprinkle some water on it each time you reheat. Mildly spicy; add your own hot sauce, like Berbere.

White Bean & Garlic Soup with Greens.  Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. From Anna Thomas’ Love Soup book. This straight-up simple soup should provide a nice contrast to the spiced millet.

~~~ Week of Dec 22nd – NO DDoW for Xmas  ~~~

Week of Dec 29th (New Year’s):

Hoppin' John, a traditional Southern dish served on New Year's Day.

Hoppin’ John, a traditional Southern dish served on New Year’s Day.

Hoppin’ John w/ Brown Rice & Turnip Greens. Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. Throughout the American South it’s considered good luck to eat Black-eyed Peas on the first day of the New Year and, in particular, the bean dish Hoppin’ John on rice. This will be a vegan version based on chef Bryant Terry’s “Vegan Soul Kitchen” book (his first was “The Inspired Vegan”).To punch it up I’m adding turnip greens which are spicy and somewhat bitter. If you’ve a mind to, getcha some fried cornbread!

Roasted Turnip & Squash Soup w Sage.  Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. “Love Soup” author Anna Thomas says “this soup is a the taste of fall” and “turnips perfectly balance the sweet squash”. She also recommends three additions to make it more luxurious: to stir in marscapone til it melts; to drizzle a spicy Chipotle or Ancho Chile sauce on top; and to garnish w/ toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds. Sounds good to me!

Week of Jan 5th, 2015:

 French Green Lentil Soup.  Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. Another ‘love soup’ featuring French green lentils, leeks, chopped veg and fresh green herbs and then spiked with lemon and cumin. Yum.

Puy aka French green lentils are smaller and more of a grey-green than regular green lentils.

Puy aka French green lentils are smaller and more of a grey-green than regular green lentils.

Also known as Puy lentils, this variety is chewier than other kinds, hold their shape and do not disintegrate. For that reason, I love them in marinated salads. Get Puy lentils at co-ops in the bulk aisle; take note, they’re not easily found anywhere else.

Quinoa Pilaf with Arugula Dill Pistou.  Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. A nice light side dish for all seasons. Pistou is an herb & garlic puree, like a “pesto” without cheese or nuts. You can make pistous from any green herb. This particular combo was born when, a few summers ago, I was trying to figure out what to do with a boat load of fresh dill. Eureka! Now it’s a fave. Serve this pilaf room-temp.

Week of Jan 12th:

Mushroom & TVP filling, spiked w/ green olives & raisins, topped with Yukon Gold mashed pots. (my photo)

Mushroom & TVP filling, spiked w/ green olives & raisins, topped with Yukon Gold mashed pots. (my photo) 

Spanish Shepherd’s Pie. Vegan, GF, no added sugars; contains soy. Who doesn’t like mashed potatoes? Especially with a savory mixture like picadillo. Picadillo is ground beef mixed with green olives & raisins and is found on Spanish and some Mexican menus. My vegan version uses sauteed mushrooms, TVP and celery to replace the beef. It will come layered in the usual deli containers but, you can also order a 2-qt casserole in a foil loaf pan.

 Turkish Tomato Eggplant & Garbanzo Bean Soup.  Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars.  From Madhur Jaffrey’s “World Vegetarian”.  I have made this recipe many times and adore its signature combo of fresh mint, parsley & lemon, which adds Middle Eastern flair to a basic thickened tomato soup. This time, I’m skipping the original’s wheat berries to lighten it up a bit.  Add a grain back in for a one-pot meal.

Week of Jan 19th:

Beet the System graphic  Roasted Golden Beet Soup.  Vegan, GF, soy-free, no added sugars. I’ve never made this before but every one of Anna Thomas’ “love soups” are terrific. Besides, the color will be gorgeous in the dead of winter!

Barley Risotto w/ Peas.  Vegan, soy-free, no added sugars; contains gluten. A soft sticky grain dish to approximate risotto. Chewy barley is perfect and popular for this kind of treatment. With bright green peas, a bit of carrot and finely shredded cabbage that’s braised until sweet and super-soft. Add your own grated cheese & butter if you wish.

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