Fava Bean Spread

On May 2, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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The past two weekends I bought some fresh fava beans.  They’re hard to miss. Giant peapods with a rich green color usually next to a box of beans, fava beans are sure to catch your attention. The next thing to wonder is what to make with these colorful bean monstrosities. For me, there was an obvious answer – fava bean spread.

Last year, we were dining out and enjoyed some fava bean spread on toast at a local restaurant. I immediately came home and started to search the Internet for some recipes to try my own take on this wonderful, buttery bean spread.  Some recipes called for mixing in some goat cheese or Crème fraîche. I wanted to try something without the addition and then build from there.

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The recipe below is just that. A basic fava bean spread that you can use as a base to experiment. Maybe add a 1/3 cup of goat cheese to it. Perhaps some tablespoons of Crème fraîche until you get the texture and flavor you want. You could also add grated cheese.

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For now, this basic recipe will get you started and really it needs nothing. The flavor is great as is, but if you do experiment please leave me some comments on what you did to enhance or try. I would love to hear it.

Fava Bean Spread
Serves 6-8 slices

1 1/2 lb whole fava beans with pod
1/2 lemon, juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the whole fava beans in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Remove and let them cool for 5 minutes.  Start chucking the pods by removing the pod. Put beans aside in a separate bowl.  When all finished removing the pods, now remove the skin from each bean.  You’ll see a dingy green skin that you can peal off to reveal bright green peas. Place the bright green beans in a saute pan.

Heat the saute pan on medium heat and toss the beans with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Add water to the pan.  Toss to coat everything and heat mixing the beans around for about 5 minutes to soften the beans.

Add the cooked beans, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to a food processor. Puree it until you have a thick paste.  Add more olive oil or lemon juice if you need to get it smoother or modify the flavor a bit.

Heat some bread slices brushing olive oil on top of each and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove the bread when done and spread on the paste. Shave some parmesan and drizzle a little olive oil to finish.

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Cavatelli with Vegetables and Olive Oil

On August 30, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Cavatelli is an often forgotten pasta. You probably don’t recall what it looks like when you see it on a menu, but when you see it you go “oh yes, I’ve had that before.”  It doesn’t have a familiar shape like bowtie, fusilli, or penne pasta. Cavatelli is great for sauces that are oil based, like this simple pasta dish that makes for a great lunch or quick dinner on any weekday.

Cavatelli with Vegetables and Olive Oil
Serves 4

1 lb Cavatelli pasta
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1 bell pepper, small bite-size diced pieces
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper to taste

Parmigiano Reggiano, additional to add to pasta for serving

Cook the cavatelli pasta in a pot of boiling water.  If using fresh, cook for 2-3 minutes. If cooking dried, follow the instructions on the package. Drain pasta when finished.

Pour half of the olive oil in a saute pan on medium-high heat. Add the red onion, garlic, and bell pepper cook for 3 minutes. Add the drained pasta to the saute pan, remaining olive oil, grape tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano then cook for a minute more.  Before serving add the Italian parsley and pepper.

Sprinkle each dish with Parmigiano Reggiano, if you desire, and serve with a piece of sourdough bread.

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Vegan Superfood Bowl for #SundaySupper

On July 4, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Bowls are a great way to enjoy vegan cooking. They can include anything.  If you have some vegetables leftover from the prior weekend’s Farmer’s Market finds, a bowl is a fantastic way to use your remaining vegetables.  They’re also easy to travel with whether that includes a meal for lunch at work, a day at the beach, or to bring along for long road trip so you can avoid fast food.  Packing a vegan bowl is easy and simple.

This week I wanted to experiment a bit with dressing.  I also wanted to incorporate something known as superfood.

So what are superfoods?

I wondered that too and did a little research to learn more.

In it’s simplest form a superfood is basically any food that is good for your health.  Well that seems pretty broad and inline with most of what I eat. There must be more to it than that, right?  There is more. Foods that are dense in nutritional content are considered superfoods. Examples include ingredients like hemp seeds, chia seeds, seaweed, and many other foods are rich in nutrients in a compact size.

There is no agreed upon definition when it comes to superfoods. That issue has been a key criticism from many who are quick to attack the term superfood as simply a marketing term, chosen be a few savvy companies who use the term to sell products using a small amount of a superfood as a way into questionably better health.

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I’m not a nutritionist nor do I pretend to be one like The Food Babe.  I honestly don’t really care about the use of superfoods as a nutritional edge.  The reality is most of the superfood products use so little of the superfood ingredients that the benefit is likely very small, if there is any real benefit at all.  Even this recipe uses only a small of amount of superfoods like maca powder and hemp seeds.

What I do know is that the recipe here is good for you. It uses only real foods and is loaded with fresh, unprocessed, organic ingredients.  You really can’t go wrong with this dish.  Is it super?  Maybe.  I know it is super in taste and that’s what is most important to me and my family.

 

Vegan SuperFood Bowl
Server 4

2 cups dried farro
8 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

4 red beets, 1-inch diced cubes
1 purple bell pepper, cut into strips
2 japanese sweet potatoes, 1-inch diced cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch kale, rough chop
3 carrots, peeled and grated into long strips

For dressing

¼ cup almond butter
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

Bring water to a boil and add dried farro and salt. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed by the farro. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork while adding olive oil.

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Meanwhile, place the beat, jicama, and bell pepper on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil and add salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes.   Remove from oven and set aside. Should be ready about the same time as the farro.

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Make the dressing by placing all ingredients, except the water, into a VitaMix or blender and blend. Add half the water and blend. Continue to blend and check consistency then add more water as necessary. It should not be watery or paste-like. You want a smooth and creamy dressing.

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Place a generous spoonful of cooked farro in each serving bowl. Add some chopped kale and carrots to each bowl. Then divide the roasted vegetables between bowls and keep ingredients separated. Drizzle the dressing in each bowl then serve with some rustic bread and butter.

Enjoy!

 


 

Want more great food that will travel recipes? Checkout this week’s Sunday Supper posts from some really great food bloggers.

Adventurous Appetizers

Destination Desserts

Mains in Motion

Sightseeing Sides

Traveling Treats

More Tips

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more greatSunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

 

 

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Spaghetti with Fava Beans and Mint

On June 17, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I am always looking for new ways to enjoy pasta. The base combination of olive oil, garlic and parmesan reggiano is the beginnings of a great dish.  The addition of the fava beans and mint give it some sustenance.  Finally, the addition of red pepper flakes kicks it up a notch, just be careful not to add too much of the red pepper as a little goes a long way.

Of course this dish can be made vegan by simply not using cheese or by using a vegan cheese.

Making your own fresh spaghetti is easy if you have the right equipment, if not you can do what I do most weekends and that is pick-up some fresh pasta.  The pasta I usually get is from Domenico’s as they are at many of the farmer’s markets I go to including South Pasadena, Studio City, and others around LA.

Spaghetti with Fava Beans and Mint
Serves 2

12 oz. fresh spaghetti
¼ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup fava beans, peeled and blanched
1 small bunch fresh mint, thinly sliced
dash of red pepper flakes
grated fresh parmesan reggiano

If you did not purchase already peeled and blanched fava beans, prepare the fava beans and set-aside after blanching.

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Heat a pot of water for the spaghetti. Add a dash of salt to the water and add spaghetti when water boils. If using fresh spaghetti heat for only 3 minutes, and for dry spaghetti cook for 10 minutes.

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While spaghetti is boiling, in a sauté pan heat olive oil at medium-high heat and add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook the garlic for 2 minutes and then add the fava beans. Cook the garlic and fava beans for another 2 minutes and then add ¼ cup of water from the pasta. Now add the pasta to the sauté pan and mix with the fresh mint.

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Remove pasta to plate each meal and add the grated parmesan reggiano.

Serve with some garlic bread.

 

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Orzo Pasta Salad with Lemon, Cucumber and Feta

On April 6, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s summer again in Los Angeles.  After a cooling spell of a week in the 60s, we are back to 80 degree weather in April.  So what better time to bring out a recipe my wife found on Pinterest she has wanted to try.  The combination of fresh lemon juice, cucumbers and one of my favorite pastas, Orzo, it was an attractive choice for our lazy Sunday afternoon.

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The best part is this dish is simple to make. There is no cooking, unless you consider boiling water and putting pasta in for 6-8 minutes cooking then I guess it has some minor cooking.

I used a sheep and goat cheese feta I bought at Whole Foods that added a nice creaminess to the dish, yet it was firm enough to not melt into the warm pasta when added to the bowl. Of course, any feta will do.

If you are looking for a great dish to impress at a potluck this dish is sure to meet the need.

Full recipe at Fork Knife Swoon blog: [Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta]

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Moving to a new city has its challenges even if it is one you’ve lived in before, though 20 years ago. One challenge is finding where to buy local, grass-fed meat. The La Canada Farmers Market has one of the better reputation ranches at its event every Saturday morning.

Novy Ranch sounded similar to Burgundy Pasture Beef Ranch where we used buy our meats when we lived in Dallas. Both are smaller ranches that supply to some decent local restaurants and raise grass-fed Angus cattle.  So I was excited to finally get a chance to try Novy Ranch.

The vendor at the Farmers Market does not sell precut kabob meat; though, he recommended a lean steak that I later cut up into large cubes. The meat was promising. I’m not yet ready to say it is as excellent as Burgundy Pasture Beef, but it is a decent local choice that’s only 10 minutes from our house every Saturday morning.

Mint Marinated Beef Kebabs with Garlic Sauce
Serves 4

2 lbs kabob meat
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup packed mint, finely chopped
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 onion, large cuts
1 bell pepper, large cuts

Combine the oil, mint, lemon, and garlic in a shallow dish that you can cover to marinate the meat.  Place the meat in and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or throughout the day.

Heat grill to about 300 degrees. Combine the meat cuts alternating pieces of onion and bell pepper on kabob skewers. Place kabobs on grill and cook turning a few times for about 10 minutes.

Serve with rice, garlic sauce and even some hummus if you have some around like I did this evening.

Enjoy!

For the Garlic Sauce, I recommend this recipe: Garlic Sauce. However, today I went with an excellent store bought one from Fresh ‘N Nova found at our local Whole Foods.


For more #SundaySupper inspiration checkout the recipes from some great bloggers!

Labor Day Cookout Recipes:

Starters & Snacks

Main Dishes

Salads & Sides

Drinks

Desserts

Wine Pairings

  • Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite cookout recipes!

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat!

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It’s been 90 plus degrees all weekend in Dallas meaning the time is now for some summer recipes.

A new one I found last week is a simple salad that brings together watermelon and feta. I added some chicken and a few drops of fig balsamic vinegar to the source recipe from the Savory Sweet Life blog.

I pan seared a couple boneless, skinless chicken beasts with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  A half a chicken breast per person should be enough so plan accordingly.

Full Recipe: Watermelon Feta Mixed Green Salad

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My First Attempt at an Alice Waters’ Recipe

On August 26, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s no secret to those who read this blog regularly that I am an advocate of local food, but I’m just another person in this movement. The chef most responsible for giving local food a renewed prominence is without a doubt Alice Waters. Her restaurant Chez Panisse is a mecca for the local food movement. I still haven’t been to Berkeley, California even though I was born in California and lived there for 11 years, but 99% of my time was spent in Los Angeles.

With no near term plans for a trip to Berkeley, I decided to pick up one of Alice’s cookbooks from a Border’s that was closing (sad to see Border’s go.) I found a copy of her Pasta, Pizza, Calzone cookbook.

The book is organized by season since her cooking philosophy is using fresh, local ingredients of course that means fresh and local in her region of Northern California so it’s not always local to everyone. I did find one recipe that met local, fresh ingredients for an August in Texas. I found some great Sweet 100 local tomatoes at Whole Foods and bought some basil and made fresh linguine pasta. The recipe also called for bread crumbs, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. It was very simple, almost too simple.

The flavor was okay, but that was mainly due to the recipe calling for an unnecessary large amount of bread crumbs – 1 1/2 cups. I reduced it to 1 cup and even then only used about a 1/4 of a cup and that was still too much for two people. The recipe should’ve called for a teaspoon garnish on top for each dish and it’s a change I’ll make on my next attempt at this.

The Sweet 100 tomatoes were excellent as they provided such a vibrant, summer taste that really brought out the joys of simple summer food which I’m sure was the whole point.

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Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula

On June 1, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Continuing our tradition of moving to a more vegetarian balanced diet this recipe for Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula was a welcome addition to this quest to find good, easy to make vegetarian dishes.

What is most enjoyable about this recipe is how fast it is to make. It was literally 15 minutes from ingredients to plate. In the time it took to cook the pasta, the mustard vinaigrette dressing, washed arugula, drain cannellini beans, and crumbled goat cheese where ready and waiting for the drained pasta to complete the dish.

The pasta salad is great for a summer dinner or even for a dish to pass at a potluck or to bring to a family event. Simple, quick and enjoyable. We will definitely be making this one again as the boiling hot Dallas summer months are upon us.

For the Recipe: Martha Stewart’s Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula.

 

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