Barley Brolis

Admittedly simple but truly satisfying. Browis, a thick stew-like porridge, was the everyday meal for most folk in the 9th century, thus it can be used for an authentic Medieval feast. Endlessly adaptable to the grains, vegetables and meats at hand, it was filling, easy to make, and nourishing. Whole oats can be used in place of the barley with equal authenticity.

Note: The barley needs to soak for several hours before you cook it, so keep this in mind.

1 cup pearl barley
3 cups broth (meat or vegetable)
2 cups mixed vegetables, any combination of root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, onions,…), diced, or in small slices
4 Tbsp butter
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Optional: diced meat, eggs and/or dried or fresh herbs. See note below.

Rinse the barley in a fine mesh strainer, and then cover with water and let sit and soak at room temperature for several hours or overnight.
Drain and rinse the barley. In a large heavy-bottomed soup pot melt 1 Tbsp of the butter over low heat, and add the drained and rinsed barley, stirring well so all the pearls are coated with a light coating of butter. Let it sit there over low heat, stirring occasionally, while you address the vegetables, peeling them and dicing or slicing them.
After the barley has been toasting for 5-8 minutes, add the broth to the pot, and turn to the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, taking care not to let it overboil and make a mess (you may wish to set the cover a little to one side to prevent this).
In a heavy-bottomed skillet melt the rest of the butter over medium heat, and add the sliced or cubed vegetables. Sauté the vegetables, moving them around frequently with a wooden spoon, until they begin to brown a bit, and grow slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Scrape them and the butter and juices in their pan into the soup pot with the simmering barley, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how chewy you like your browis. Add salt and pepper to taste, and if you’d like the browis to be soupier, add more broth. Makes 4 1½ cup servings.

 To enrich or vary the browis, add a cup of cooked, shredded or cubed venison, rabbit, fowl, or any other meat, at the end of cooking.
 A beaten egg can also be added when you add the vegetables, for additional protein and nourishment.
 Dried or fresh herbs such as thyme and sage may be sautéed with the diced vegetables, or fresh parsley chopped up and stirred in just before serving.

Source: The Circle of Ceridwen Cookery Book

Cheddar Spinach Quiche

1 pie shell, homemade or store bought
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup onion chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
4 eggs
2 cups light cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper

Defrost the spinach and drain well. You can let it sit overnight to defrost in the refrigerator or you can defrost it in the microwave. Either way, it is important to get all of the water out of the spinach. After it has drained, wrap the spinach in a few layers of paper towel and squeeze to remove the last remaining moisture.
After partially baking your pie crust, reduce the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the onion in a small pan and sauté with the butter until the onions are soft and translucent. Cool slightly.
Sprinkle the drained spinach and sautéed onion evenly into the bottom of the partially-baked pie crust. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the spinach and onions.
In a bowl, beat the eggs. Add cream, salt, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and whisk to fully combine the custard mixture. Pour or ladle the custard over the spinach and cheese.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes more, or until a knife inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean.
Let cool until the quiche sets up a bit (about 30 minutes) and serve in wedges.

Spicy Garlic Edamame


1/2 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp canola or vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
5 cups edamame, in pod

If frozen, place edamame in a microwave-safe bowl and heat edamame for 2-3 minutes, or until defrosted.
In a small bowl, combine orange zest, cayenne, sesame seeds and black pepper. Set aside.
In a small sauce pot, bring soy sauce, chicken broth and honey to a slow boil over medium heat. Continue to gently boil until sauce is reduced by half, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil, garlic and ginger and sauté for 30 to 60 seconds. Add edamame and orange peel/spice mixture and toss to evenly coat.
Add sauce to the edamame, toss and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened and edamame is heated through.

source: Skinny Taste

Spicy Tomato Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1-2 Tab. tomato paste
28-32 oz. canned tomatoes (I used diced)
1/2 cup red lentils
2 cups stock, vegetable or chicken

Heat oil in a pot and add onion and garlic and cook until onions are soft. Add red pepper flakes, cumin, coriander and tomato paste. Stir well. Add canned tomatoes, lentils and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool enough to safely blend. Puree the soup until smooth. Season to taste and reheat, if necessary. Serve with a spoon of yogurt or sour cream, chopped parsley or basil and additional red pepper flakes, if desired.

Butternut Squash and Chives Soup

1 Onion, chopped
2 Garlic cloves, minced
4 cups Butternut squash. diced
2 cups Potato, diced
33 oz. Vegetable Stock
Sour Cream and Chives, for garnish
Optionally:
1 Tab Curry powder
1 tea. Red Pepper flakes

Heat oil in a pot and add chopped onion and garlic. Cook until onion has softened. Add Butternut squash and potato and cook for 5 minutes. Add stock and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer until potato is tender.  Cool soup a bit so that the heat does not make pressure in the blender to blow the top off. Blend soup and reheat, if necessary. Top with sour cream and chives.

Shrimp and Pineapple Tacos

Shrimp (We used 2 lbs. for 8 people)
Equal amounts: onion, tomato, jalapeno and red bell pepper, chopped
Same amount of fresh pineapple, chopped, as all of the other vegetables combined
Spinkle of taco seasoning
Juice of 1/2 lime

Cook all together until shrimp is pink and done
Serve with:
Tortilla shells
1 can black beans (we used Cuban style beans)
1 bag Frozen roasted corn
1 avocado, chopped

Simple.Chicken and Asparagus Soup

12 cups chicken broth or water
4 chicken breasts
2 leeks, chopped
2 Tab. Parsley, minced
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 bunches asparagus, chopped into bite-sized pieces

In a large pot, put broth or water on to boil. Add breasts and cook until done (@10-15 minutes). Shred breasts.
Add leeks and cook 5 minutes. Add parsley, salt, black pepper and asparagus and cook 2 minutes. Serve with crusty bread. Serves 6-8.

Sesame-Crusted Tofu and Spicy Pineapple Sauce over Udon Noodles

Source: Eating Well
8 oz. Udon Noodles (whole wheat spaghetti noodles can substitute if necessary)
2/3 cup Sesame Seeds, preferably a mix of white and black
2 Tab. + 2 tea. Cornstarch, divided
1 tea. salt
2-14 oz. packages Extra firm Tofu
8 tea. Canola oil, divided
2 Tab minced fresh ginger or ginger paste
4 cloves garlic,  minced
1 1/2 tea. Red Pepper flakes
16 oz. Sugar Snap Peas
12 oz. (1 1/2 cups) Pineapple juice
5 Tab. and 1 tea. Soy Sauce
4 cups diced fresh Pineapple
4 tea. Sesame oil

Cook noodles according to package directions.
Meanwhile,  mix Sesame Seeds, 2 Tab. Cornstarch and salt together in a shallow bowl. Cut each block of tofu lengthwise into 8 thin "steaks." Pat dry with paper towels and press both sides into the Sesame seed mixture.
Heat 4 tea. Canola oil in a large skillet and cook tofu approximately 3 minutes per side. Repeat until all the tofu is cooked. Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm.
Wipe out pan. Heat remaining 4 teaspoons of canola oil. Add ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook about 30 seconds, stirring. Add snap peas and cook 2 minutes,  stirring.
Whisk the remaining 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and the soy sauce together in a small bowl until smooth. Add to pan and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add pineapple and sesame oil and heat 1 minute.
To serve, layer a bed of noodles in a shallow bowl. Top with sauce and then Tofu "steaks."

Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 444 calories, 19g. Fat, 51g carbs., 19g. Protein,  6g. Fiber

Note: For those who do not like Tofu, Salmon pairs well with this sauce and noodles.

Source: Eating Well