Inspired by the Song of Spring

Being a Benedictine House, we start our day with the office of Lauds followed by Eucharist. As I left the service today, I was struck by just how many years Monasticism has existed and thrived, and how blessed I was to be a part of a living organism that has withstood the passage of time and changed the world in the process.

As I passed through our atrium, I was met with the lovely singing of birds. With the cold winter we’ve had, this promise of spring was a delight to my ears and got me itching to create a light new soup that was both colorful and tasty. I set out for the kitchen to create just that.

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Inspired by the Song of Spring
SERVINGS
6
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20
PREP TIME
30
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, sautee leeks, garlic, and thyme in the butter and olive oil until softened- about eight minutes.
  2. Add diced potato and cook an additional 5 minutes or until the potatoes begin to take on a slightly translucent hue. Meanwhile, prepare asparagus by snapping off the ends and peeling the sides with a vegetable peeler and cut into 1" pieces.
  3. Add broccoli florets to your stock pot and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add prepared asparagus pieces and cover with 8 cups of stock (vegetable or chicken, whichever you prefer). Stir and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover your pot and cook until your vegetables are tender about 10 min.
  5. After 10 minutes, uncover the pot, turn off the heat and add the spinach. Allow to sit for an additional five minutes.
  6. Cool slightly, and puree using an immersion blender or a countertop blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more broth to achieve the desired thickness or add some cream. Re-heat and serve. Makes 14 cups of soup.

Baked Sweet Potato with Roasted Chickpeas and Creamy Hummus Sauce

Our corner of the world becomes pretty bleak at this time of year with bare trees, plowed under gardens and occasional winter storms that blow through.

Ever on the lookout for new recipes, this one for sweet potato, roasted chickpeas and creamy hummus sauce caught our eye: tasty, colorful and with flavors that evoke a warmer time and place, this proved to be a great way to beat the winter blues! We’ve adapted it to our tastes and feel free to do the same. Filling–and meatless–this recipe will most likely find its way back on the table right into spring.

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Baked Sweet Potato with Roasted Chickpeas and Creamy Hummus Sauce
SERVINGS
4
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20mins, plus 45 minutes roasting time
PREP TIME
10mins
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line 2 metal cookie sheets with baking paper.
  2. Place the sweet potato halves on one cookie sheet and set aside.
  3. Place 1 cup of chickpeas in a bowl and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Dust with salt and pepper and gently toss until lightly coated. Pour in a single layer on the second cookie sheet.
  4. Put the potatoes and the chickpeas in the oven for roasting. Roast the chickpeas until they become a medium shade of brown, about 15 minutes. The sweet potatoes should be cooked until they are fork tender, about 45 minutes.
  5. While the potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare the hummus sauce.
  6. Place remaining 2 cups of chickpeas in a food processor.
  7. Place remaining 2 cups of chickpeas in a food processor and begin to process while pouring in a thin stream of olive oil. Once the chickpeas begin to become a paste, add milk, lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt and pepper. The consistency should be thin enough to drizzle on the potatoes, but still be visible (not watery).
  8. Once the potatoes and chickpeas have finished in the oven, top the potatoes with the roasted chickpeas and drizzle them generously with the hummus sauce. For added color, garnish with fresh parsley or feta cheese and serve warm or room temperature.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Every year we rejoice with the abundant harvest of home-grown vegetables, stone fruit, apples and herbs from our gardens and this year is no exception! Last week’s Thanksgiving table featured leeks and other produce from our soil for which we are truly grateful.

This year brought plentiful squash of several varieties: butternut, spaghetti squash, and of course, acorn squash. Roasted, steamed or stuffed, this yearly addition to our table is always welcome. If you’re planning a meatless meal–or cooking for a vegetarian friend or family member–consider today’s recipe and feel free to substitute ingredients and spices to suit your preferences. Thank God from whom all blessings flow!

Print Recipe
Votes: 1
Rating: 2
You:
Rate this recipe!
Stuffed Acorn Squash
SERVINGS
4servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
1 hr10 mins
PREP TIME
20mins
READY IN
1 hr30 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place butternut squash in a large bowl with 3 TBSP of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until all the squash is coated and put on a baking sheet 1 layer deep for roasting and set aside.
  3. Cut the acorn squash in half width-wise and scoop out the seeds. Set the acorn squash on a baking sheet, brush with oil.
  4. Place all the pans of squash in the oven and roast for 1 hour until the squash can easily be pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  5. As the squash is roasting, combine Israeli couscous, spices, and herbs in a large bowl.
  6. Add remaining olive oil to coat and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add the roasted butternut squash to couscous mixture and gently toss to distribute evenly in the bowl.
  8. Spoon the couscous and butternut squash into the bottom half of the acorn squash, and top with parmesan cheese (optional). Add the tops of the acorn squash and place on a platter of your choosing and enjoy!

Yeast-Free Homemade Pita Bread

There’s just something about the aroma of freshly baked bread that brings one back to their childhood – but a torture when allergic to yeast!
I was baking for a friend recently, and this was their story. So, I did a little experimenting to see what I could come up with besides biscuits and quick breads – I really wanted something they could enjoy as a sandwich bread. I never thought pita bread would rise without the presence of yeast, but in this easy and quick recipe, it surely does, AND creates a wonderful pocket of joy that can be filled with your favorite sweet or savory fillings.

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Yeast-Free Homemade Pita Bread
SERVINGS
8pita pockets
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
pita pockets
COOK TIME
6-8mins
PREP TIME
5mins
READY IN
30-40mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in the water and olive oil and knead to form a moist dough. Form into a ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 5-30 min.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Roll out the dough into a long log on a very lightly floured work space.
  4. Cut the dough into 8 equal parts and form 8 balls.
  5. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, flatten each into an 1/8" high flat disk
  6. Lay pita bread on two sheet pans lined with baking paper - spacing the disks apart from each other.
  7. Spray lightly (or brush) with water and bake immediately for 6-8 min. or until puffed and golden. 8. Remove from oven and serve immediately or allow to cool to store for later. Store in a zip lock bag or air tight container.

Tomato, Peach and Basil Flatbread

Flipping through a folder of collected food photos and recipes, my eye was captured by one that looked like a pizza—and yet it wasn’t.  

Here was a  bright combination of fresh fruit and vegetables, specifically sliced tomatoes and peaches on a flatbread topped with a mixture of ricotta and parmesan cheese.  What fun! With no recipe to follow, I launched into producing it on my own until I later found it written up in the June issue of “Cooking Light.”

If you’re looking for  a fun food that’s quick, easy, tastes great and is still healthy you will want to try this. Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Tomato, Peach and Basil Flatbread
SERVINGS
8servings (serving= 2 slices)
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings (serving= 2 slices)
COOK TIME
15mins
PREP TIME
5mins
READY IN
20mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill on medium high heat.
  2. Using a whisk, mix the ricotta, onion salt, oregano, and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Brush both sides of the Naan bread with oil and grill each side for 2 minutes and remove from grill.
  4. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the top, arranging the tomatoes, peaches and basil leaves as desired.
  5. Cut each naan into 8 slices and arrange on a plate to serve.

Caramelized Tomato Bruschetta

“Sr. Irene, you just have to taste this!” came a cry from the kitchen. One of our special event cooks had just tried out a new appetizer for an upcoming reception. I could tell from the sound of her voice she was quite happy with it.

“Be there in a minute,” I responded, unable to leave just then. The next day one of the kitchen sisters asked, “Wasn’t that new appetizer just the best?”

Oh no! How could I have forgotten? I chastened myself, vowing to get to the kitchen before the end of the day. When I finally arrived with much embarrassment and was able to locate and ravenously devour the one and only “Tasting Sample” that was left, I could only groan. The caramelized tomato bruschetta with fresh garden pesto was beyond delicious. Why oh why didn’t I get myself there the moment I was first called!

A savory twist on a summer classic, this bruschetta is a great way to enjoy both fresh garden tomatoes and basil!

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Caramelized Tomato Bruschetta
SERVINGS
8-12servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
20mins
PREP TIME
15mins
READY IN
35mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the tomatoes into 1/3 inch slices, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar.
  3. Place on a cookie sheet or sheet pan and roast in the oven until tomatoes turn a light to medium brown and the sugar is visually caramelized.
  4. While tomatoes are roasting, brush the flat bread with oil and spread the pesto overtop, then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  5. When tomatoes are finished, carefully remove them from the pan and arrange on top of the pesto and cheese. This is a delicate process as the tomatoes are likely to fall apart after roasting.
  6. Serve with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and enjoy a taste of summer!