Mustikkakeitto (Finnish Blueberry Soup)

I’ve written briefly about fruit soup before – and even attempted to make the Scandanavian kind a few years ago (not so good), but the recipes from last Thursday’s “Eat” section inspired me to give it another shot. Given the large volume of frozen blueberries currently residing in our freezer, this seemed like a good choice.

Mustikkakeitto (Finnish Blueberry Soup)

Blueberry Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I used leftover lemon sugar from another recipe)
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp corn starch

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine blueberries with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes or until you notice the berries start to pop.
  2. Strain the berries over a large bowl, pressing the berries with a spoon to get all the juice out. I put about 1/4 cup of the pressed berries into the bowl with the juice, and used the rest to make a fruit smoothie.
  3. Pour the juice back into the saucepan. Add the sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest, and lemon juice and bring to a boil.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water. Add to the pan and cook the mixture for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the soup starts to thicken. Remove the cinnamon and discard.

I’ve seen recipes serve this soup with a sprinkle of sea salt on top and some whipped cream, or a bit of plain yogurt and granola.

Source: Adapted from recipe printed in the Pioneer Press, February 13, 2014

Indian Spiced Lentil Sandwich Spread

This weekend was quite a busy one… Friday night was my mom’s retirement party and a friend’s 30th birthday party. I had a meeting Saturday morning and then spent a good chunk of the day hanging out with a college friend in Red Wing before heading over to another friend’s house for movie night. Today I had a four hour long feminist activist meeting. It’s been an enjoyable and productive weekend, but I didn’t have a ton of time to cook, so I was glad to have bookmarked this lentil spread some time  ago – it’s perfect for busy days/weekends because it takes very little time to prepare.

Indian Spiced Lentil Sandwich Spread

Inidian Spiced Lentil Sandwich Spread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked lentils, mashed (pink lentils cook very quickly; brown and green take a bit longer)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock or broth
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small pan and cook for 5 minutes.

Add as much vegetable stock/broth as you need to get it all to stick together so you can use it on a sandwich. You can eat this warm or chill it. This was delicious with a bit of spicy mustard and spinach on top, but feel free to use whatever suits your fancy.

Source: Adapted from Food.com

Healthy Super Bowl Snacks

I’m not a huge football fan, but I do enjoy watching the Super Bowl – the game’s usually a bit more exciting than the regular season, there are often one or two great commercials, and the half time show is entertaining. I also enjoy eating all the snacks that typically go along with Super Bowl parties, but they’re not usually very healthy. This year I decided to hunt down some healthier snack ideas for the Super Bowl, and found a few that were pretty easy to make (though a bit tough with one oven and three recipes that needed to be baked/broiled) and ended up being quite tasty.

Herb-Roasted Sweet Potato Skins

Herb Roasted Sweet Potato Skins

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce potatoes with a fork and then place on greased,  foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Bake until tender. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Move oven rack so it’s about 6 inches from the heating unit and preheat the broiler.
  3. Scoop out the sweet potatoes, leaving about 1/2 inch of flesh around the edges. Cut each sweet potato half lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips, and place back onto the baking sheet.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and spices and brush over the sweet potato strips. Broil in the oven for about 5 minutes.

My sweet potato skins were a little burnt, but they tasted like the burnt marshmallows that I like in my s’mores,  so I was okay with it. Watch ’em closely when they’re broiling if you don’t want them to burn.

You can change up the herb mixture and add other spices if you like.

Source: Slightly adapted from Whole Foods Market

Roasted Edamame with Sea Salt, Cracked Pepper, and Garlic

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Ingredients

  • 16 oz frozen shelled edamame
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  •  freshly-cracked black pepper
  • garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Put edamame in a strainer and run under warm water for a few seconds. Spread on clean towel and pat dry.
  3. Pour the edamame onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Mix the edamame with the seasonings by stirring around a bit on the pan.
  4. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Edamame will get nice and golden brown – that’s essentially when you know they’re done. (Don’t be alarmed if some of them jump out of the pan – a few did that while I was roasting them.)

Source: Slightly adapted from The Kitchn

Turkey Meatballs*

Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs

* With a tasty yet unexpected ingredient

Ingredients

  • 1  pound of ground turkey
  • 2.5 to 3 oz bread crumbs (2 to 2 1/2 slices of bread; can add more if desired)
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and knead until everything is mixed well.
  3. Form into meatballs of whatever size you desire. Place the meatballs at least one inch apart on the baking sheet, flattening them a bit so they don’t roll around. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops of the meatballs start to brown. Flip meatballs over and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so.

These are lighter and softer than other meatballs I’ve had, but they’re super tasty.

Source: Adapted from  Kath Eats Real Food