Winter Recipes

Zucchini and Pea Soup Recipe Recipe

Zucchini and Pea Soup Recipe

05.08.14 by Jackie

The weather isn't as warm these days compared to last week. I prepared a hearty soup made exclusively of vegetables I was able to harvest from our garden, except for the canned pinto beans.

Harvesting ingredients planted by the girls, Lulu and even baby Aria made me proud. They appreciate that we get to grow organic fruits and vegetables. So far we have been able to eat strawberries, Creole onions, green onions, zucchini, peas and the first tomatoes that have started peaking. Can't wait to see what the rest of the season will have for us!


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Mushroom Barley Risotto Recipe Recipe

Mushroom Barley Risotto Recipe

04.29.14 by Jackie

My husband Lulu has been traveling a lot these days for his work. Being a vegetarian has never been an issue since we live in the Bay Area. But sometimes it can be tricky for him to find foods that fit his diet, especially when visiting the Southeast. 

Since he hadn't eaten much apart from lettuce and boiled tofu, I figured comfort food would fill the void he had experienced while traveling. For his return, I prepared a mushroom barley risotto because barley is a nutritious grain that supports a healthy lifestyle with complex carbohydrates and proteins, compared to the more traditional rice grains.

The only downside is it's much less starchy than rice. So I added Colby cheese for texture and color and flavored it with nutmeg to complement the natural aroma of barley. 

Since the barley risotto didn't have a striking contrast of colors. I served it on a bed of string beans. When serving foods that are visually a bit monotone, I always try to pair them with other colorful ingredients. Remember, you eat with your eyes first!


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Cannellini Bean Soup with Arugula Recipe

Cannellini Bean Soup with Arugula

03.11.14 by Jackie

Cannellini bean soup is an easy dish I can whip up in no time. It's also a meal I can be sure everyone is going to enjoy. It's vegetarian, it contains no major food allergens and even baby Aria can eat it easily.

I try to always have fresh greens in my refrigerator. I usually toss them in a simple salad, I also make pesto or use them as garnish for appetizers, pizza and sandwiches. The addition of arugula at the last minute provides color and a peppery flavor to the otherwise fairly bland, pale soup. To ensure the nutrients of the arugula were still intact, I added finely chopped arugula only at the last minute, so it barely wilted in the soup.


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Pea Soup Topped with Pasta Chips Recipe

Pea Soup Topped with Pasta Chips

12.17.13 by Jackie

I may sound like a broken record, but I try not to waste food. In Vietnamese, it is tội chết: "dreadfully sinful" to waste. Yesterday, I had a little bit of leftover boiled bow-tie pasta. The quantity was too little to serve as a main dish, so I seasoned them, deep-fried them and served them as chips.

To ensure everyone enjoyed the small amount of chips in equal portions, I used them as crunchy toppings for pea and leek soup. You could serve them as appetizers for a buffet-style party (maybe next week for Christmas Eve) in mini shot glasses. A sprinkle of curly parsley is more than enough to provide an elegant final touch. 

Waste not, want not! 


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Roasted Cauliflower Pumpkin Soup Recipe Recipe

Roasted Cauliflower Pumpkin Soup Recipe

11.19.13 by Jackie

I hope it's not going to be too cold next Thursday for our family gathering. But I'm keeping this soup recipe as a “maybe” in case the temperature drops too much and we crave something soothing and warm. 

To ensure the soup keeps up the Thanksgiving theme, I used a combination of fall-friendly veggies like pumpkin and roasted cauliflower. I also added duck prosciutto for texture and thyme-infused whipped cream for extra creaminess.


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