Category Archives: Vegetables

Sweet Potato Fruit Cake (Low Fat)

yam cake (300x263)After all the indulgences of the holidays, many people turn to lighter and healthier dishes. For me it is too hard a transition from rich, spice-filled baked goods to salad for dinner and an apple for dessert. After the decorations were put away and the New Years toasts were over, I kept thinking about making  a delicious baked treat that carried over the flavors of the holidays in a healthier package. Finding a use for one lonely left-over roasted sweet potato was my inspiration for a dense, moist, low-fat Sweet Potato Fruit Cake that fit the bill. I hope you will get some sweet potatoes at the farmers market soon and roast them for supper and save a few for making a delicious dessert.

Sweet Potato Fruit Cakeyam cake batter (200x185)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup roasted sweet potato (skinned and mashed)
2/3 cup skim milk
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple (drained)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon minced candied ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch ground star anise
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Roast two medium sweet potatoes until tender (about 45 minutes)
Peel and mash potatoes
Potatoes can be prepared a day ahead
Set oven to 350 degrees
Spray a 9″x5″ loaf pan with non-stick spray
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices
Beat together eggs, milk, and vanilla
Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined
Blend in pineapple, dried cranberries, raisins, candied ginger
Add walnuts if desired
Pour into prepared loaf pan
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown








Carrots All Day

Munching carrots all day longcarrots
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Sunny colored, tasty sweet
That veggie is a winner

The hazard of selling your wares at a farmers market is that you are often too busy serving customers to shop and when you are not selling, a visit to a market is not always the first choice of activity. I miss the days of strolling through the market and laying carefully selected fresh produce into my big red shopping basket.  Now my shopping trips are more of a grab and run affair. At a market recently, I saw my friend from Winter Moon Farm and his rainbow array of root vegetables.  With only a few minutes to spare, I said a quick hello and filled a bag about to the bursting point with yellow, pale orange, bright orange, and red carrots and one ridiculously large daikon radish and rushed back to my booth.  My hubby saw the bag and reminded me that I had just bought several pounds of carrots at the supermarket. Not to worry I assured him; I had a plan that would use a lot of carrots. Now all I had to do was figure out what that plan was…
With a bit of creative thinking, I made a new recipe for low-fat carrot bread, a carrot and daikon salad, and I used the carrots for a “nest” under a roasted chicken. We also ate carrots with homemade white bean dip, carrots in chicken salad, and a few carrots found their way into meatloaf. Suddenly, the worry about what to do with all those carrots was replaced with counting the days until the next market when I can get more!

Low-Fat Carrot and Cranberry Bread carrot bread
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
1/3 cup orange juice
zest of one medium orange
1/2 cup dried cranberries
(Loaf pan and cooking spray for pan)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites, orange juice and zest and mix until combined. Add carrots and cranberries and stir until blended together. Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes until well browned and cooked in the center.

Carrot and Daikon Salad with Dried Cranberriescarrot salad
3 1/2 cups of shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded daikon
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine carrots, daikon, and cranberries in a bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the carrot mixture. Chill in refrigerator in a covered bowl or jar for at least two hours (overnight is better).


Beets and Sweets Soup

SONY DSCThis rich creamy soup is the perfect first course and it is a nice pot luck addition as it is vegan (without the suggested topping) , low fat, and gluten-free. I made up the recipe for my One Pot Wonders class which focuses on dishes that take less than an hour to cook and as the name indicates are make using only one pot. I also try to use local ingredients for the recipes and the root vegetables can be sourced at the Winter farmers markets.

Here is the recipe and serve plain steamy hot in mugs or small bowls and top with Greek yogurt, sour cream, crème fresh, and a sprinkle of walnuts, pistachios, or dried cranberries.

Beets and Sweets Soup
2 cups beets (peeled and cubed)
3 cups sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1 cup white or yellow potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1/2 medium fennel bulb
1 medium onion
1/2 cup apple cider
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbs vegetable oil (or cooking spray)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cardamom (more to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Peel and cube beets and potatoes
  2. Slice the fennel thinly
  3. Peel and rough chop onion
  4. Heat oil in a medium stock pot
  5. Sauté onion and fennel until just tender
  6.  Pour in vegetable broth and apple cider
  7. Add potatoes and beets
  8. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-40 minutes until all vegetables are soft.
  9. Blend with a stick blender or food processor or blender

Corn and Caramelized Onion Soup

Corn Caramelized Onion SoupTwo simple ingredients plus a handful of spices are all that are need to make this creamy non-fat,vegan corn and caramelized onion soup.  Perfect for a dinner party starter, travels well to pot luck parties, and freezes well for a quick weekday supper paired with a big salad and crusty bread. Grab the last of the fresh New England corn and a few onions at the farmers market this week and make this soup!

Corn and Caramelized Onion Soup
12 fresh ears of corn
2 large onions
cooking spray or 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf

Corn Stockcorn stock
Remove husks and silk from corn
Slice the kernels off of the cobs and place the cobs in a large kettle
Reserve 6 cups of corn kernels for soup and 1 cup of kernels for garnish (skip garnish if freezing)
Pour 16 cups of water over the cobs and add salt, pepper, coriander seeds, and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook for about one hour
Remove cobs and discard (compost if possible)
Strain through a sieve

Caramelized Onionscaramelized onions cooking
Slice the onions as thin as possible
Coat the bottom of a large skillet generously with cooking spray or olive oil
spread the onions out in the pan and toss to coat with spray or oil
cook over medium low heat adding a little water if needed and adjusting the heat so onions cook slowly and do not brown or crisp.  Cook for about 30 minutes until onions are very soft, add sugar and cook another 10-15 minutes until onions are soft brown color and very tender.

Place 6 cups of corn kernels in food processor or blender
Add 1 cup of the caramelized onions
1 cup of corn stock
Process until a thick paste
Strain through a coarse sieve to remove solids
Pour into a large pot and heat for a few minutes
Slowly pour in 6 cups of stock and stir (remaining stock can be frozen and used for other recipes)
Boil gently for about 10 minutes
Place some corn kernels and caramelized onions in each bowl
ladle hot soup into each bowl

Tomatoes Return!

tomato sauce with shrimpI love this time of year at the Arlington (Massachusetts) farmers market.  The corn and peaches are piled high and best of all the beautiful tomatoes have returned.  Not those anemic and pale pretend tomatoes they sell all winter at the supermarket, but the crazy quilt of colors and shapes and flavors of heirloom varieties.  Here is a simple recipe that celebrates the best tomatoes of the season and other farmers market finds.

3 -4 large Heirloom Tomatoes of different color and variety
1 medium onion
1 green pepper
1 pound fresh shrimp
1 TBS olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound pasta-any variety
Roughly chop tomatoes (save the juice), onions, and green pepper
Clean the shrimp and set aside
Boil pasta and drain
Heat olive oil in a large deep saute pan
Add onions and saute briefly
Pour remaining chopped vegetables into the pan
When the sauce starts to bubble, add shrimp
Cook until shrimp is pink and cooked through and vegetables are soft.
Add salt and pepper to taste
Serve immediately over cooked pasta

Sunshine for Supper

doves and figsLast weekend was the opening day for the winter market at Mahoney’s Garden Center in Winchester.  Our Doves and Figs booth was set between some sweeping potted palms and a large display of citrus trees. I remember vacationing in Florida as a child and driving through orange groves.  The heavenly scent of white blossoms and the cheery round orange fruit.  It was a great day with lots of people tasting and buying jam and local friends stopping in to shop and say hello.  When I got home I could not stop thinking about oranges.  I planned several new citrus jam and marmalade recipes and then I bought a big bag of navel oranges and brought my orange obsession to dinner.

I roasted some carrots, turnips, and beets that I bought at the market.  When the vegetables were tender, I let them cool slightly and then splashed them with a mix of fresh orange juice, a bit of orange zest, some fig jam, white balsamic vinegar, and a dash of black pepper.   

The main course was orange sesame salmon. I dusted the salmon fillets with sesame salmonflour and paprika.  The fish was then seared on both sides in a hot pan lightly coated with olive oil.  I added a blend of orange juice, rice wine, minced garlic, minced ginger, and a drop of sesame oil to the pan.  As the salmon cooked the sauce reduced and thickened almost to a glaze.  Just before serving, I sprinkled the fish with toasted white and black sesame seeds. 

I served the sesame salmon and the roasted root vegetables with a simple green salad, and jasmine rice into which I mixed caramelized onions. It was a sunny supper for a winter night.


Give Me A Break!

turnip saladRich, warm, creamy flavors are holiday standards.  This is the time of year when even Scrooge can’t resist indulging in a cheese filled or bacon-wrapped little something.   Layer upon layer of indulgent foods can become tiring unless there is something simple with a bit of bite to break them up.  A green salad is a classic option but some beautiful scarlet salad turnips I found at the farmers market made a unique accompaniment to a traditional holiday meal.  This dish is also great for pot luck parties and buffets as it provides a nice option for raw food and vegan food fans. 

1 large scarlet salad turnipturnip apple close
1 medium tart apple
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp raw, unfiltered honey (or more to taste)
1 tsp caraway seeds

Shred turnip and apple on mandolin or food processor
Blend in cider vinegar and honey
Sprinkle in caraway seeds and toss
Chill until ready to serve