Restorative Tuscan Bean Soup

Sturdy winter greens and pantry staples come together in this soothing soup. It is gluten free if you serve it without bread, and vegan if you make it with vegetable broth.

Tuscan Bean Soup with Crusty Bread

Tuscan Bean Soup

Recipe by Lynn Fredericks
Serves 6-8 adults

Ingredients
1 medium Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ bunch Kale, chopped
½ bunch Broccoli Rabe, chopped (can substitute with Collard Greens, Spinach, or similar greens)
1 28-ounce can whole Tomatoes
2 14-ounce cans Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed (can substitute other white beans),
4 cups Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
3 springs fresh Thyme
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 16-ounce loaf crusty Italian bread (to serve, optional)

Directions              

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally over low heat until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the kale and broccoli rabe to the pot; increase the heat to medium, and stir the greens until they wilt.
  4. Squeeze the tomatoes into the pot.
  5. Add beans to the pot.
  6. Stir while adding the chicken or vegetable broth.
  7. Pluck the thyme leaves from their stems and add to the pot.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread
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Restorative Tuscan Bean Soup

Sturdy winter greens and pantry staples come together in this soothing soup. It is gluten free if you serve it without bread, and vegan if you make it with vegetable broth.

TuscanBeanSoup025x

Recipe by Lynn Fredericks
Serves 6-8 adults

Ingredients
1 medium Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ bunch Kale, chopped
½ bunch Broccoli Rabe, chopped (can substitute with Collard Greens, Spinach, or similar greens)
1 28-ounce can whole Tomatoes
2 14-ounce cans Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed (can substitute other white beans),
4 cups Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
3 springs fresh Thyme
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 16-ounce loaf crusty Italian bread (to serve, optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally over low heat until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the kale and broccoli rabe to the pot; increase the heat to medium, and stir the greens until they wilt.
  4. Squeeze the tomatoes into the pot.
  5. Add beans to the pot.
  6. Stir while adding the chicken or vegetable broth.
  7. Pluck the thyme leaves from their stems and add to the pot.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread

 

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Warming Winter Minestrone

This is a delicious winter soup that cooks in an hour, yielding a thick texture and delicious melding of veggies. The cheese offers just enough additional flavor richness. A good way to get many vitamins and fiber into your family’s diet, you will find all the fresh ingredients in your supermarket through February.

A bowl of minestrone soup topped with grated cheese, dinner napkin, spoon, and a wedge of cheese on the side

Winter Minestrone
Recipe by Lynn Fredericks
Serves 6-8 adults

Ingredients
2 cups chopped Cabbage
1 cup chopped Cauliflower
1 cup diced Butternut squash or Pumpkin
½ cup diced Onion
½ cup diced Carrot
½ cup diced Celery
½ cup mixed dry Beans (French lentils, split peas, yellow lentils, small navy beans, barley, or use 1 cup Trader Joe Harvest Grains blend. Note: if using dried beans that requires longer cooking time, soak these in cold water overnight and drain before using)
1/3 pounds small Macaroni
¼ cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese
¼ cup extra virgin Olive Oil
2 quarts water

Directions
1.  Combine all the ingredients in a pot.
2.  Set over high heat to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 60 minutes. The finished soup should be very thick.
3.  Season with sea salt and serve hot with additional cheese.

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Chai Spice Mix Recipe

Use this aromatic Chai Spice blend for a festive way to spice up your holiday meals.  It adds a wonderful dimension to pancakes, applesauce, eggnog, lattes, spiced nuts and warm buttered toast.  And it’s especially delicious in all manner of sweet and savory apple and squash recipes.  Use your imagination!

chai spice jar

Chai Spice Mix:

1 teaspoon ground Cardamom 
1/2 teaspoon ground Allspice 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Vietnamese Cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground Cloves 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Ginger 
1/2 teaspoon ground Tellicherry Black Pepper 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Nutmeg (optional)

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Chai Spice Baked Apples - Easy Recipe

Chai Spice Baked Apples

Easy holiday recipe - no rolling pins necessary!

chai spiced baked apples

Ingredients

3 Eggs 
1 cup Milk 
6 tablespoons Butter 
1 teaspoon Vanilla 
2/3 cup Flour 
¼ cup Sugar 
½ teaspoon Salt 
4 large Tart Apples, peeled, cored and segmented 
3 tablespoons Sugar 
1 ½ teaspoons Chai Spice (recipe follows)

Instructions

  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, 4 tablespoons of butter (melted), vanilla.  
    Add flour, sugar, salt and mix well.  
  2. Heat a heavy skillet and melt the remaining  2 tablespoons butter.  
    Add the apples and 2.5 tablespoons of the remaining sugar and saute.  
    OPTIONAL: add ½ teaspoon of Chai Spice mix to apple saute. 
  3. Butter the pie pan. Pour half the batter into the pan.  
    Arrange sautéed apples in a spiral atop the batter (reserve the apple saute juices).  
    Pour remaining batter over the apples; pour the apple juices over the top.  
    Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of Chai Spice mix over the top.  
  4. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Chai Spice Mix:

1 teaspoon ground Cardamom 
1/2 teaspoon ground Allspice 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Vietnamese Cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground Cloves 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Ginger 
1/2 teaspoon ground Tellicherry Black Pepper 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Nutmeg (optional)

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Delicious and Easy Mussels Provencal Recipe

Mussels -they build muscles 💪🏻💪🏻💥 and are so underrated. This is your 💰 saving seafood choice! They are widely available and incredibly rich in protein, iron and vitamin B-12 - all of which are essential for building strength 🏋️‍♀️ and boosting energy levels. 🤾‍♂️
👌🏻😻😀
They're also delicious and super easy to prepare. Don't be intimidated by mussels! Start with this popular recipe from our Teen Battle Chef program! 
Mussels Provencal on a white plate with a slice of crusty bread

Mussels Provencal
Recipe by Lynn Fredericks

Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 25 minutes  Makes: 4 appetizer portions or 2 entree

Ingredients
3 pounds Mussels
1 Onion, medium
3 cloves Garlic, fresh
¼ cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup White Wine
1/3 cup Chicken Broth
10 sprigs Italian Parsley, fresh
1 bulb Fennel, fresh 
¼ teaspoon Saffron (optional)
3 tablespoons Butter (optional) 
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Hot Pepper Flakes (optional) 
1 pound Pasta – linguine, capellini, etc. (pre-cooked)

Directions
1. RINSE the mussels under running water, and CHECK for the “barb” or stringing ends coming out of the closed mussel. PULL these firmly, REMOVE, and DISCARD.
2. CHOP the onion finely.
3. Chop the garlic finely.
4. In a large pot, HEAT the olive oil.
5. ADD the chopped onions and garlic, and REDUCE heat to low. COOK for 10 minutes or until soft and translucent.
6. ADD the mussels, and INCREASE the heat to medium high.
7. ADD the wine, and COOK 3 minutes.
8. ADD the chicken broth, and PLACE the lid over the pot. COOK for 6-8 minutes, or until all the shells have opened widely.
9. While the mussels are cooking, SLICE the fennel.
10. REMOVE the leaves from the parsley sprigs, and CHOP the leaves.
11. When the mussels are done, ADD the seasonings and the sliced fennel then CLOSE the lid. COOK for 3 minutes.
12. Now, DRAIN the liquid into a small saucepan.
13. HEAT the liquid in the saucepan, and ADD 3 T butter (optional). REDUCE heat to two thirds.
14. SERVE the mussels over the hot pasta, and POUR the thickened sauce over the top.

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From Denmark to the Farmers’ Market

I have been so lucky as to be a part of the FamilyCook Productions team through my nutrition internship, and what an experience it has been. Today I went to Hammarskjold Plaza farmers’ market, and I literally felt like I was 7 again and walking into the biggest candy store. From a Danish viewpoint the variety of vegetables was an incredible experience. I had never seen so many different types of kale or squash in my life! There were so many different colors and shapes, and I felt so inspired to make a delicious kale salad with my very new friend the beautiful Russian kale. 

IMAG0070

It is so easy to get inspired when you go to the farmers’ markets, there is something magical about shopping your produce from the hands of the farmers that have nurtured these fruit and vegetables to growth. I feel like I was shopping for delicious vitamins that would fill my body with all the energy and excitement we all need for life. The greatest gift you can give yourself is good nutrition from these amazing fruit and vegetables. 

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The vegetables and fruits that made the biggest impression on me were the different kales, so I made a salad of russian kale, baked red Bartlett pears, and yellow cherdlee tomatoes. 

Kale is not a favorite dining for many, but this vegetable has some amazing characteristics that you can get great pleasure from.  Kale is very rich in vitamin C, which strengthens our immune system, and it is very high in fiber. Try to experiment with your kale and if you want all the wonderful vitamins and dietary fiber avoid cooking the kale.

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So for this recipe you will need: 

(Serves 4)

  • 1 bunch of russian kale from the farmers' market
  • 2 big Yellow Cherdlee tomatoes
  • 3 red Bartlett piers
  • 1 bunch of Rainbow chard
  • 1.5 cup Quinoa
  • Almonds
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Soy 

Directions:

  1. First cut your pears into small wedges and put them in the oven at 300 °F for approx. 15-20 min.
  2. Next set the quinoa over to boil for 10-15 minutes until it has the same consistency as boiled rice 
  3. Roast the almonds with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and remove when golden and put them on a plate to cool down.
  4. Rinse all your vegetables and role up your kale and chard to ribbons, so you can cut them in fine strips. Combine 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil together and mix it with the kale
  5. Cut your tomatoes in your desired shapes
  6. Now mix all your ingredients and top with, baked pears, roasted almonds and currants

A great tip is to make a big portion, so you can take it to work or school the next day.

Enjoy!

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Turn food explorations into a taste test with children

I was in London this summer visiting my close friends, meeting with my English publisher, and looking for things that were new and different. My plan was to purchase things to bring back to Emma, my English friend’s 9-year-old daughter, so we could taste and rate them together!

Wherever I go, discovering new food markets and neighborhoods are always high on my ‘to do’ list. When in London, I met with my Les Dames d’Escoffier colleague Valentina Harris, from our London Chapter, and she encouraged me to check out Old Spitalfields Market in the East End. I realized I was headed somewhere interesting by the stylish (Ted Baker) and edgy (men’s waxing) shops along the walk from the subway. Then I arrived to an impressive, airy and lively market with tables of food and artisan vendors. Along the periphery were brick and mortar food shops. The mixture of clothing and accessory artisans to food was very dynamic, and the actual stores and restaurants all had café seating out in the market as well as inside. There was a LOT to explore; I found myself circling the market a few times, each time discovering something different and intriguing. But what would be fun to try with Emma?

Lynn July 12 Spitalfields Market

English cheese with very intense flavors...

I could not resist Androuet cheese shop, a highly acclaimed establishment renowned in Paris for over a century. Two sons in the youngest generation of the family came to London and have carried on the family tradition of offering selections from small producers who specialize in raw milk cheeses, over 80 seasonal selections. To supplement their French offerings, the young owners have partnered with Paxton & Whitfield for quality English producers. The owner, Alex, was terrific in assisting me on their local selections, and I settled on a cow’s milk Smoked Poacher cheese from Lincolnshire and a raw sheep’s milk cheese called Berkswell from the West Midlands.

Artisan breads – so difficult to choose...

With my cheese purchase completed, I was looking for a worthy companion for them. I didn’t have to go very far to spot a vendor table with a vast array of artisan bread. Levain Bakery bakes 100% sourdough breads in a wood-fired oven. They use the finest quality stone-ground flours and their sourdough starter uses rye flour. I have lots of rye sourdough bread options that I like in New York, but have not found that many multi-grain breads that really taste great, so I chose that to pair with the cheese. I thought that for our taste test, Emma would like a bread with a subtler flavor that wouldn’t overpower the cheeses.

Taste testing with young Emma

When it was time to taste the cheeses, Emma (who really loves cheese in general) got out the cheese board and starting arranging them as I cut up the bread. Emma considers it her role to set up the cheese board after dinner to see if her family might like some cheese after dinner. She loves the arranging and ceremony of it and the fact that her mother lets this be her ‘job’. But for this occasion, Emma and I were going to have our special taste test first and then share with the others. As much as she likes cheese, she was hesitant when I said one of the types were smoked. We agreed that since there were only two to taste, we could each decide which one to try first. I went for the smoked and she went first for the Berkswell. In the end, I really preferred the deep smoky flavor of the Smoked Poacher and she liked theBerkswell, the texture was a bit creamier. This cheese tasting was really fun and she loved the fact that I was sincerely interested in her opinion!

In our book and our school program we offer lots of taste tests as just one way to empower children to explore new flavors; they take the lead and because it’s a tasting, they know it’s ‘on the table’ to not like something!

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