Green Beans and Potatoes and A Green Pea Soup inspired by Chef Michel Guerard

Growing up my mom made the best green beans and potatoes. Lawd they were yummy. She would clean them, cut them and put them in a pot with Idaho white potatoes, seasonings and several pieces of cooked bacon. I can smell them now. Yesterday, after yoga, I went to my local farmers market stand and got a bag of green beans and decided I wanted to pay homage to my mom’s green beans and potatoes, but with a healthy twist. Now, don’t stop reading because you hear the word healthy, as Eddie Murphy said, in the movie, Life ~ “Don’t be scared.”  LOL. 😉

These Green Beans and Red Potatoes are full of flavor and doesn’t take an hour or two to make and you still get the wonderful nutrition benefits of the vegetable. Green beans are high in antioxidants and contains, Vitamin A, B and C. The amino acid in beans and peas make them a great options for vegetarians.

This recipe is very simple and makes a wonderful side dish. Since we are on the subject of green beans. I also decided to make a recipe from one of my favorite chefs, Michel Guerard. My husband gave me a copy of his first cookbook back in 1976, Michel Guerard’s Cuisine for Home Cooks. He is a Michelin 3 star Chef of France and his recipes are fresh, simple and full of flavor. Today I made a  vegetarian version of his Cream of Pea Soup. I changed it up a little and used super greens, chard, spinach and arugula, instead of the bibb lettuce.  I also used greek yogurt, instead of creme fraiche, but I did not skip on the butter. I used my french butter for the recipe. Hey you got to indulge sometimes.

I hope you enjoy these easy Green recipes. Hey, I love to eat in color, today it was all about the greens.  Bon A Petit! Remember to always Set the Table with Love.

13173731_10153689056198613_4533587866718647377_n
Green Beans and Potatoes

 

Green Beans and Potatoes

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half

1 pound red waxy potatoes, scrubbed and cut in 2-inch wedges

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4-5  small garlic cloves (to taste), minced

Sea salt and red chili pepper flakes, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. Steam the green beans above 1 inch of boiling water for four to five minutes until tender. Remove from the steamer, and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Add the potatoes, and steam for 10 to 15 minutes until tender.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and red chili peppers, and cook for a minute or so until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the beans and cook, stirring, for three minutes until quite tender and coated with oil (but still bright green).

3. Gently stir in the potatoes, and add salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until they begin to color lightly, about 3 -5 minutes. Serve Warm.

Inspired Michel Gerard’s  Vegetarian Version Cream Pea Soup

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons butter

1  onion, chopped

1 cup Super Greens, I used chard, spinach and arugula

1 1/2 quart vegetable stock

2 cups fresh or frozen tiny green peas

2/3 cup greek yogurt

13177122_10153690595813613_176565970625933172_n
Vegetarian Version of Michel Guerard’s Cream of Pea Soup

DIRECTIONS:

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion, and sauté it until lightly browned. Add the super greens and cook it until wilted, about 4 -5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Then add the peas and simmer for 6 minutes, if frozen, 15 minutes, if fresh.

Puree the soup in a food processor and strain back into the saucepan.

NOTE: The recipe can be prepared ahead of time, before adding greek yogurt, add this whenever you warm the soup up and are ready to serve it.

Reheat the soup and bring to a boil. Whisk in the greek yogurt and bring the soup to a boil again. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.

 

 

 

Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin ~ The Lighter Flare

I love french inspired food, using the familiar and making it your own.  The beauty of living in the melted pot, is we get to learn from each other and infuse our cultures. The brilliance of doing this,  we create new experiences and new traditions for our families.

This french inspired gratin dish is for my vegetarians out there. You can easy make it vegan, by using olive oil, non dairy cream and vegan meltable cheese.

My memories of this dish, is my mom’s super cheesy version of her own take of potato gratin.  It almost reminded me of her macaroni and cheese, It was one of my favorite dishes. She would make it in the Fall, as soon as the weather got a little nippy. I thought about her today and with the weather changing, I decided to make a gratin in honor of her. However, I like to take dishes that are familiar and put my own signature on them. I made mines with crispy green apples, onions, garlic and white cheddar cheese. I seasoned the apples with nutmeg, cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper. I think my southern mama, would have approved and told me, I should have went heavier on the cinnamon, the butter and of course the cream. LOL. 🙂  The recipe is a little tart, sweet and cheesy.  It is not your typical heavy, creamy potato gratin, but  I believe it will become one of your favorite alternatives. Bon a petit!

Enjoy and Set the Table with Love. 

Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin
Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin

Ingredients:

3 tbsp unsalted butter,  a little extra for the mini dutch oven

1/2 cup onions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

3 med. green apples, slice with a madoline or knife, thin round slices

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

A few thyme leaves and dried fennels ( optional)

Fine sea salt and black pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream, if vegan, canned coconut milk will work

1/4 cup bread crumbs, gluten free bread crumbs for those with gluten allergies

3/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese

Few  fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 375. Butter the mini dutch oven, ramekin or small baking dish.

In a large saute pan, heat 2 tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent. Add green apples slices. Do not use the top or the bottom part of the apple slices, just he ones that are not covered with the peel. Add the seasonings and the fennel. Stir gently to incorporate all the flavors. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Transfer half of the mixture into the baking dish. Add half of the grated white cheddar cheese and add the rest of the mixture. Pour the cream over top. Sprinkle the bread crumbs, thyme leaves,  and cheese on top. Dot the remaining 1 tbsp butter on top.

Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately, add the fresh thyme leaves on top as garnish.

Tomato Salad with Parsley, Shallots and Garlic

This recipe is 100% inspired by my favorite French chef, Mimi Thorisson. Mimi’s cookbook, A Kitchen in France, takes my soul and imagination into her farmhouse in Medoc. I love this recipe.

 

 

I came upon this salad recipe, as I was adoring her life, cooking style and family, which she portrays beautifully in this cookbook.
This salad reminded me of a tomato salad my southern mother made often on Sunday. My mom’s recipe, included, cucumbers, onions, white vinegar,  sugar and of course tomatoes. I love my mom’s salad, but this one is very delicate and just as refreshing as moms.
The garlic I added, gives the salad a nice bite to it. It’s definitely one to eat with love ones.  Lol.
Enjoy and remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

IMG_4416
Tomato Salad with Parsley, Shallots and Garlic

Ingredients:

3 shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup really good extra virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large steak tomato,  sliced 1/2 inch thick
A bunch of fresh parsley,  leaves removed and finely chopped

Directions :
Whisk together  the shallots,  garlic,  mustard, olive oil in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the tomatoes on a serving plate. Drizzle the shallot and garlic vinaigrette over the tomatoes and scatter the parsley on top.

Thanks Mimi Thorisson. Love this recipe!!

What’s in the Fridge ~ French Onion Soup

Onions are amazing . They are antibacterial, antioxidant, antiseptic and detoxifying. The crazy weather we are having in Georgia has many of my friends and myself sick with colds, headaches, body aches and the like. My son’s school is closed due to icy road, so I made him some Baked Gluten Free Vegan Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Ginger Glazed Donuts. Now that’s a mouthful.   I will post that recipe later this week. Lots of detail. LOL. Needless to say my son ate four donuts in one sitting. Well back to the soup. This is my version of French Onion soup, because this is what I had in my fridge and pantry. I hope you enjoy this spin on French Onion Soup. The Parmesan and Herb Croutons are Gluten free and Vegetarian. If you read my blog, you know I love  Belgioioso Vegetarian Parmesan.

French Onion Soup with Gluten Free Parmesan Herbed Croutons
French Onion Soup with Gluten Free Parmesan Herbed Croutons

French Onion Soup

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp light brown sugar

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 cups organic vegetarian broth

2 tbsp sweet red wine

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash of nutmeg

Directions:

Heat the oil in a heavy pan and cook the onions slowly about 30 minutes until they are very soft. Don’t skip this. Slowly cooking the onions bring out there sweetness. Sprinkle the brown sugar and garlic over the onions and cook until the onions are golden brown. Stir in the vegetable stock and red sweet wine, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add your soup to a bowl and top with the Gluten free Vegetarian Parmesan cheese croutons or you can skip the cheese and just add your croutons. Enjoy!!

Gluten Free Vegetarian Parmesan Herbed Croutons
Gluten Free Vegetarian Parmesan Herbed Croutons

Gluten free Vegetarian Parmesan cheese croutons

Directions:
Break up some Gluten-free Multi grain Udi bread into rustic pieces.  Add a tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan and sauté the croutons until golden brown. Add herbs if you like. Top with Vegetarian Parmesan cheese and stick under the broiler until the cheese is melted or for a vegan version skip the cheese.