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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Power of Ten

One of my favorite cooking jobs, are the Saturday morning classes at the Cancer Wellness Center.  I never thought that working on a Saturday would be something that I looked forward to.  But these programs where Chef Nancy and I  join with wellness facilitator, Angela Buttimer, are great fun.  Last weekend, the subject of the class was "The Power of Ten", i.e. what you can do in just ten minutes each day to facilitate your life.  Chef Nancy and I took the theme of the number ten and came up with ten pantry and ten refrigerator staples that you could combine in various ways to make quick meals.

Here are the ten fresh and pantry staples we had to work with:
Pantry: Beans, Canned Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Cornmeal, Pomegranate Molasses, Capers, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Nuts
Fresh: Peppers, Lettuces, Vegetable Stock, Non Fat Greek Yogurt, Onions and Garlic, Cauliflower, Carrots or Parsnips and Parmesan Cheese

I love being given a series of ingredients and playing my own version of Chopped or Iron Chef.  Days like this allow the creativity to flow and most often produce some of our most successful recipes.  I hope  you will enjoy this warming stew, created from our "Power of Ten" pantry.

Moroccan Spiced Stew:
1 head cauliflower, in florets
1 red pepper, rough chop
2 large carrots, rough chop
2 parsnips, rough chop
1 red onion, rough chop
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable Stock
1 15oz can fire roasted and diced tomatoes
1 15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1cup quinoa

Step One:  Place vegetables in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and spices.  Toss to combine and spread on a two foil-lined baking sheets and place in a 425 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until tender and beginning to caramelize.

Step Two: Place roasted vegetables in a large stock pot or dutch oven along with the vegetable stock.  Using and immersion blender, puree the vegetables and stock together to a smooth consistency.  Add the tomatoes and chickpeas and bring to a boil.  Add the quinoa and reduce to a simmer.   Allow quinoa to cook for about ten minutes, until done.

Spoon soup into bowl and garnish with non-fat Greek Yogurt and cilantro if desired.

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