Friday, November 29, 2013

Peanut Butter Cream Cups from "Vegan Desserts in Jars" for Food 'N Flix November: "Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?"

Do you have a signature dish? Once that you are 'famous' among your friends and family for making?  Imagine if someone were going around killing people in the manner of which their dishes were prepared... how would you go? I am guessing I would end up in a giant food processor for my homemade hummus or perhaps buried under a pile of topping and baked like the fruit in my much requested crumbles. Hmm...

Lucky for us, we are not the famous chefs of Europe and a killer isn't out to bake us to death in an oven, press us like a duck or drown us with lobsters as in the movie "Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?"-- our Food 'N Flix November pick, hosted by Evelyne at Cheap Ethnic Eats. In the movie, Jacqueline Bisset stars as Natasha O'Brien, a well-known pastry chef, who is brought to London to help prepare a dinner for The Queen by food snob, culinary magazine publisher and much-overweight culinary critic Maximillian "Max" Vandeveer (Robert Morely).  Natasha's ex-husband, Robby (George Segal) is in Europe looking for a famous chef to oversee the newest idea in his stable of fast food chain restaurants--cooking omelets for the masses, and the two are pushed back together when famous chefs start dying and it looks like Natasha might be next.   

I actually remember seeing this 1978 comedy-mystery film when it came out at the old Joy Cinema in Tigard, Oregon. I was in Junior High and back then, it was the days when theaters had one screen and two features playing--so we pretty much saw everything that was showing. It was well before my foodie interests and I don't remember being particularly impressed with it at the time. Flash forward to watching it today, and it didn't impress me any more ;-) as it is a bit of a silly, over-acted film. But, there is a bit of kitschy late 70's charm to it and plenty of rich and decadent food so, although not what I would call a film classic, it was still fun to revisit.

For my dish inspired by the film, I went with something that Max Vandeveer would never put in the pages of his magazine Epicurious but, might have secretly enjoyed--a decadent peanut butter dessert in a jar. At the beginning of the film, Max fires a receptionist and condescendingly states that he once "found a jar of peanut butter in her desk!" (Oh the horror!) ;-) It got me to thinking about peanut butter and jars and then, a great little cook book I am in the process of reviewing called "Vegan Desserts in Jars: Adorably Delicious Pies, Cakes, Puddings and Much More" by Kris Holechek Peters.  I will be doing a more thorough review of this book soon (so far I am loving making little jars full of yummy desserts). Since I am much more fond of peanut butter than Max Vandeveer appears to be--especially when it is combined with chocolate, the Peanut Butter Cream Cups were one of the first recipes in the book that I tabbed to make and I thought that they would be a good fit for the  movie 

Vegan Desserts in Jars says, "These lovely no-bake cups come together quickly with basic ingredients and can be made well in advance. The creamy peanut butter custard gives way to a rich chocolate bottom. They are creamy and decadent without being overly rich--perfect with a cup of coffee of tea."  

Peanut Butter Cream Cups 
Vegan Desserts in Jars by Kris Holechek Peters
(Makes 6 Servings)

1/4 cup non-dairy semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp non dairy margarine or coconut oil (see note)
3 Tbsp nondairy milk of choice
1 (12.3-oz) package of silken tofu
1/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter (I added 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup powdered sugar, or to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
non-dairy chocolate chips and/or salted peanuts, for garnish (optional)

Set out 6 4-oz canning jars. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips, margarine or coconut oil, and milk in the microwave in 10 second increments and stirring until smooth. Divide the chocolate mixture among the jars, coating the bottoms (About 1 Tbsp per jar).

In a food processor or blender, combine the tofu and peanut butter, scraping down the sides as needed, until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, staring with 1/2 cup sugar and adding more if needed, until you reach your desired sweetness. 

Divide the peanut butter mousse among the jars (about 1/3 cup per jar). If desired, top with additional chocolate chips or peanuts to garnish, then screw on the lids. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. These keep in the fridge up to 4 days.

Cooks Note: If you use the coconut oil, the chocolate will get firmer in the fridge the longer it chills. If you want to soften, just let the pudding come to room temperature for a few minutes before serving. 

Notes/Results: These are a fun little treat! The silken tofu blends with the creamy peanut butter to make a smooth and fluffy pudding and tastes delicious when mixed with the thick pool of chocolate at the bottom. My jars were larger than four ounces, so I just made 4 of them instead of six. My layering was a bit messy so when making them again I would let the chocolate layer set up for maybe 15-20 minutes in the fridge before layering the cream mixture on top. Otherwise, they were great and I am sure I will make them again.

Thanks to Evelyne for hosting this round! (And for the link to watch this somewhat hard to find film!) If you missed this month's Food 'N Flix deadline and you love food, films and foodie films, join us in December for one of my favorite holiday films, Elf--hosted over at The Law Student's Cookbook


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you a happy day wherever 
and however you are celebrating!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Red Curry-Spiced Salmon with Sesame-Ginger Rice Noodles

Since I am somewhat lazy most days when it comes cooking, I like recipes that don't require a lot of effort and go together quickly and easily. But, I still want them to look and taste great--the kind of dish that you would be proud serving to company. Lately, I am loving Donna Hay's No Time to Cook because it's full of these kind of recipes--like this Red Curry-Spiced Salmon with Sesame-Ginger Rice Noodles. Because I always keep salmon in my freezer and had most of the other ingredients in my pantry and herb pots, this was a meal that was easy to throw together and it included all of my favorite flavors.

Red Curry-Spiced Salmon with Sesame-Ginger Rice Noodles
Very Slightly adapted from No Time to Cook by Donna Hay
(Serves 2)

1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp grated ginger
3 green onions (scallions), sliced
1 Tbsp fish sauce
100 g (3.5 oz) dried rice stick noodles
2 tsp red curry paste
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 (200g / 6-7 oz) firm white fish fillets (I used salmon)
1/3 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
1/3 cup mint leaves
(I added a squeeze of fresh lime juice and extra sliced scallions to serve)

Place a medium non-stick frying pan over low heat, add sesame oil, seeds, ginger, onion and fish sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove sesame mixture from pan and set aside. Wipe pan clean.

Place noodles in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water for 10 minutes, or until noodles are separated and tender. Combine curry paste and oil in a bowl and brush over the fish. Return the pan to low heat (I used medium heat) and cook for 5 minutes each side or until the fish is cooked through.

Drain noodles, stir through sesame mixture and divide between plates. Top with fish and fresh herbs to serve.

Notes/Results: A light but satisfying dish with plenty of flavor. The combination of sesame and ginger in the rice noodles compliments the red curry on the salmon, and the fresh mint and cilantro add a fresh, herby touch. I felt like the only thing it was missing was a bit of acidity--which a squeeze of fresh lime took care of. The recipe calls for firm white fish and I think that would be excellent but, I really enjoyed the moist tender salmon and think it stands up really well to the red curry. This recipe goes together in about 20 minutes, making it perfect for a busy weeknight--while still looking pretty enough to serve to guests. I will make this again. 

We are all about EASY Entertaining this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs--simple dishes that are suitable for company. You can see what the other IHCC participants made for by going to the post and checking out the picture links.   


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Donna Hay's Kabocha (Pumpkin) and Chickpea Curry for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays + {#12WksWinterSquash}

Having half of a squash leftover from making Ottolenghi's Parmesan & Herb Crusted Kabocha, I found a great use for it in Donna Hay's recipe for Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry from No Time to Cook. I love anything red curry, and chickpeas seemed like a perfect addition to the chinks of kabocha and eggplant in this stew-like curry. 

Kabocha & Chickpea Curry
No Time to Cook by Donna Hay
(Serves 2)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion, sliced
2 Tbsp red curry paste (I added an extra tablespoon)
400g (14 oz) canned chickpeas, drained
600g (1 1/3 lbs) pumpkin, peeled and chopped
230g (1/2 lb) eggplant, chopped (I used Japanese eggplant)
400 ml (14 oz) coconut milk
250 ml (1 cup) vegetable stock (I added an extra cup)
1 cup basil leaves (Thai basil if possible)
lime wedges and rice, to serve

Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and curry paste and cook for 2 minutes or until onion softens. Add chickpeas, kabocha, eggplant, coconut milk and vegetable stock to pot. Simmer until pumpkin is soft. Add basil and serve with lime wedges and steamed rice.  

Notes/Results: Great flavor--a nice mix of sweet, savory and spice set off with squeeze of tangy lime and the herby-pungent Thai basil leaves. With the chickpeas and chunks of squash and eggplant, this is a rich and very satisfying bowl of curry. I did add an extra cup of low-sodium veggie broth to make it "soupier" and also an extra tablespoon of red curry paste because the one I use isn't all that spicy. The extra broth is delicious over the jasmine rice (steamed in the rice cooker). This made for an easy warming and delicious dinner. I would make it again. 

This curry is doing triple duty this week. In addition to Souper Sundays, it's  also being linked up as my third Potluck dish of the week for I Heart Cooking Clubs and it's my squash offering for week four of the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash Event. Once the event link at the bottom of this post opens up at (at 12:00 AM on 11/25) feel free to link up your winter squash dishes!

Now let's take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here! 

First up, Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food is here with Seaweed, Spinach, Fresh Shiitake Mushroom Soup. She says, "High in protein, low in fats, seaweed is said to contain almost 10x more calcium by weight then milk. Seaweed is also known to contain components that lower blood pressure, prevent arteriosclerosis, and combat tumors. The most common varieties of seaweed are kombu, wakame and nori. This soup is quick and easy to make. If you are one of those that stocks up frozen spinach, pantry-friendly nori seaweed, the next step (optional) is to get some fresh shiitake mushrooms, onions, garlic and ginger and you are close to making this soup.

It's always a pleasure to have Danielle of Peaceful Cooking here at Souper Sundays. She brings along a Curry Butternut Soup and says, "I love soups. I love creamy soups. I especially love squashy creamy soups...and that's why I chose it. This soup is delicious. The flavors are strong and subtle at the same time. Smooth yet lasting. Rich and comforting. Each bite brings out a new dimension. I'm eating a bowl of leftovers as I type and the flavors really pop after mingling for a day or two."

Janet of The Taste Space shares Maple-Dijon Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans and Cranberries and says, "Raw versus cooked. Talk about something new. Now the endearing term “little cabbage” comes to light. Shredded Brussels sprouts let their true Brassica family roots shine through, with a definite cabbage undertone. Here it is paired with a sweet maple Dijon mustard dressing with sweet dried cranberries and local Southern pecans for some crunch. Not sure whether raw Brussels sprouts are for you? I am certain this would be delightful with roasted ones, as well. Sometimes, it is nice not to wait for your vegetables to roast or to try something different. Something a bit lighter in spite of its wintery feel."

Mireille of Chef Mireille's Global Creations made this colorful Mizuna Radish Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette and says, "I discovered Mizuna lettuce last year. It has a great peppery flavor that I fell in love with and was so happy when I found some on a visit to the Union Square Farmer's Market. It is the only place I ever see this lettuce. With a few other ingredients from the market, I made this delightful salad."

Torn between two salad recipes, my friend Sue of Couscous & Consciousness created a 'mash-up' of Donna Hay and Yotam Ottolenghi dishes with this Pearl Barley Salad with Pistachios, Favas & Pomegranate. She says, "In the end, I took inspiration from both recipes, and came up with a dish which is a happy marriage of both. ... I hope you give this salad a try.  I found it substantial enough to make a meal of it, but with plenty of robust flavour it would also make a great accompaniment to roasted or barbequed meat dishes.  It also keeps well and leftovers are great for a "take-to-work" lunch the next day."

Graziana of Erbe in Cucina is back with our one sandwich this week, a cheesy and decadent Cheese Toast with Herbs Guacamole. She says, "I used my last basil and mint harvest, with other herbs, the last Diamond White peppers and the first avocado to prepare an aromatic guacamole. I used almost all the guacamole to stuff two delicious cheese toasts."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week! If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

12 Weeks of Winter Squash!

Have a happy, healthy week!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dried Tomato Pesto on Pan-Grilled Kampachi with 'Nalo Greens and Fennel Salad for Cook The Books: "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"

When it comes to eating locally grown and produced food, I would probably give myself a B- or maybe a C+. I do choose local whenever possible, I make extra efforts to seek it out, and usually pay more for the local choices I make. I try to note my local ingredient choices and the longer Hawaii growing 'seasons' in my blog posts so readers understand why I might have an asparagus recipe in February. Intentions don't always turn into actions however and about the only thing I grow myself are herbs, the dehydrator I bought several years ago to put away food doesn't get used often enough, and, as plentiful as the tropical fruit and other produce is here, sometimes I just *need* a Honeycrisp apple, Rainier cherries or a scoop of organic blueberries for my morning cereal--food miles be damned. I could definitely do more, grow more, and make better choices. Having done a few week-long eat local challenges, I know I could not last an entire year of eating as locally as the Kingsolver family does in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver, our current Cook the Books selection, hosted by Rachel, The Crispy Cook.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle follows the Kingsolver family as they commit to consciously eating food they have produced/raised or food from "so close to home, we'd know the person who grew it"--leaving Arizona for a farm on a piece of land in the southern Appalachians. It's a family project involving Barbara, her husband Steven, college-bound daughter Camille, and pre-teen Lily. The charm of the family and their adventures are what make the book entertaining as well as enlightening--managing to get through a lot of detail on things like carbon footprinting, oil consumption, environmental impacts, etc., while weaving in personal anecdotes and family recipes. The book flows well with the family starting the challenge in late March and highlighting the lessons each month and season bring. 

I first read the book when it came out in 2007, in the midst of a foodie non-fiction frenzy--working my way through a pile of books on food politics and local eating including The Omnivore's Dilemma, How To Pick a Peach, Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100 Mile Diet, What To Eat, etc. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle stood out to me because it simultaneously made me think and made me hungry! ;-) The pages where daughter Camille, then nineteen, shares her experiences and then some seasonal recipes are my favorite parts. I love the humor and passion around the Kingsolver's tale and I was happy to open it up again for Cook the Books.

For my dish inspired by the book, I wanted to of course make something using as many local ingredients as possible. As I mentioned, I have a food dehydrator sitting about that was only used twice this summer--once for a plethora of organic blueberries on sale at Whole Foods for $1.99 a pint, and a couple of months later when I bought a bunch of small local Roma tomatoes at the farmers market and wasn't using them fast enough. I decided tomato dehydrating was pretty doable (and tasty), bought even more small local tomatoes and ended up with a couple of sandwich-sized Ziplocs full of dried tomatoes that I had not decided what to do with yet (code for "forgot about" in my pantry). 

In the book, there is a mention of dried tomatoes and a recipe for Dried Tomato Pesto and I thought it would be fun to use my tomatoes and localize what I could of the other ingredients--like changing the olive oil for a locally-produced macadamia nut oil, and swapping the walnuts out for macadamia nuts from The Big Island. The recipe called for dried basil, but I used some fresh basil from my herb pots. It seemed like it would be perfect on a piece of fish, so I grabbed some kampachi--a fish I have not cooked much with but that gets good marks in the sustainability arena.

Kampachi (aka Almaco Jack) is in the yellowtail and amberjack family. It is rich, dense and flaky with a mild flavor and a high fat and Omega-3 content. The kapachi is responsibly farmed in the water off of The Big Island and I thought it would be a good canvas for the sun-dried tomato pesto. 

I did a simple preparation of my kampachi--grilling it in a pan lightly coated with macadamia nut oil and seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt. I served the fish with a scoop of pesto on top of a simple salad comprised of 'Nalo greens (a local mix of baby lettuces) and shaved local baby fennel, with a squirt of (a giant!) local Meyer lemon. It's the kind of light and full-of-flavor dish that I most like to eat and with the exception of a couple of the pesto ingredients (the garlic--couldn't find any local this week, and the balsamic vinegar), it is all locally grown or produced.      
Dried Tomato Pesto
Adapted & Made "Hawaii Style" from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
(Makes about 2 1/2 cups)

2 cups dried tomatoes
1 cup, macadamia nuts
1/2 cup macadamia nut oil
1/4 cup chopped basil
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp Hawaiian salt

In a food processor, puree all ingredients until smooth. Add a little water if needed but, keep thick enough to spread or dollop. 

Notes/Results: The pesto was rich and full of tomato flavor--tasting slightly sweet with a warm 'sunshine-like' vibe. It was a good counterpart to the fish and the fresh salad with baby greens, fennel and lemon keep things nicely balanced. The original pesto recipe called for walnuts and Parmesan but, since mac nuts are so much richer and more buttery than walnuts, I didn't feel the cheese was necessary and I didn't miss it at all. I have not eaten a lot of kampachi (it's not one of my go-to local fish choices) and I really enjoyed it--it wasn't too fishy and was tender and moist. It will be making more appearances in my kitchen going forward. The shaved fennel and lemon in the salad added to the Mediterranean flavor of the dish. I would make it again for sure. And, I plan to pick up some locally made bread at the farmers market to spread the rest of that yummy pesto on. ;-)

There's not much time left join in the Cook the Books fun for this round as the deadline is Monday, November 25. But if you like food, books and foodie books, join us for our December/January round where I will be hosting and taking us to Rwanda with the novel Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Parmesan & Herb Crusted Kabocha with Yogurt {#12WksWinterSquash}

This is a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from Plenty that I have had tagged to make for a while now. I used Kabocha squash because it's my favorite 'winter' squash and I can get it locally grown--always a good thing. Ottolenghi serves these crusted squash wedges with a sour cream and dill dip--I prefer the extra protein and nutrients of low-fat Greek yogurt. My changes are in red below.

Ottolenghi says, "You can use most varieties of pumpkin for these satisfying wedges. Serve with {soup or salad} to make a light and healthy-feeling supper. They will also make a perfect veggie main course for Christmas as the crust is a bit like stuffing."

Parmesan & Herb Crusted Kabocha with Yogurt
Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
(Serves 4)

1 1/2 lbs pumpkin or squash of choice (skin on)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
3 Tbsp dried white breadcrumbs (I used panko)
6 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 1/2 tsp finely chopped thyme
grated zest of 2 large lemons
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and white pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (or enough to coat squash as needed)
1/2 cup sour cream (I used Greek yogurt)
1 Tbsp chopped dill

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the pumpkin into 3/8-inch-thick slices and lay them flat, cut-side down, on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

Mix together in a small bowl the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, half the lemon zest, the garlic, a tiny amount of salt (remember, the Parmesan is salty) and some pepper.

Brush the pumpkin generously with olive oil and sprinkle with the crust mix, making sure the slices are covered with a nice, thick coating. Gently pat the mix down a little.

Place the pan in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender: stick a little knife in one wedge to make sure it has softened and is cooked through. If the topping starts to darken too much during cooking, cover loosely with foil.

Mix the sour cream with the dill and some salt and pepper. Serve the wedges warm, sprinkled with the remaining lemon zest, with the sour cream on the side.

Notes/Results: Yum! Parmesan and herbs roasted onto wedges of slightly sweet and creamy kabocha with a little zing from the lemon zest make these treats full of flavor. The cool dill-flecked yogurt dip makes a nice contrast to the warm wedges and adds tangy flavor. These go together easy enough and smell delicious while roasting. I found I didn't need the entire 1/4 cup of olive oil and my crust mixture stayed on easily, once I 'patted' it down. I made a half-batch and ate a plate for lunch with a little leftover spinach salad. I will make these again.

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs--our time to cook any dish from our current chef Donna Hay or any former IHCC chef--including Ottolenghi--so I am linking this one up there. 

It's also my Week 3 dish for the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash Event hosted by my friends Heather and Joanne. Feel free to link up your winter squash dishes during the week at the linky below--or on any one of the other participating blogs.   


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Giada's Vegetarian Chili Verde: Bright & Satisfying for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Whenever I open a new cookbook, I grab a stack of sticky tabs and go wild, tagging every recipe I want to make. With all of the recipes tagged, there is usually one that stands out, that I know I want to make first. In the case of Giada's Feel Good Food by Giada De Laurentiis, it was the Vegetarian Chili Verde. I was first attracted to the veggies and bright flavors, but it was the uniqueness of the hominy, used in place of beans that sold me.

I made a few small changes--mainly adding a couple of extra veggies to clean out the fridge and more hominy. With the extra amounts I increased the amounts of broth and flour to ensure enough liquid. My changes are noted in red below.

Giada says, "There are no beans in this recipe; instead it is loaded with lots of other goodies; Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, and my new fave hominy, which is big bits of puffy corn. You can really sink your teeth into it, so you don't need the beans. This recipe is slightly spicy from mild green chile peppers and very bright from tomatillos.

Vegetarian Chili Verde
Slightly adapted from Giada's Feel Good Food by Giada De Laurentiis
(Serves 6)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large poblano chiles, seeded; 1 diced, 1 cut into 4 strips
1 (8-oz) sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1 (8-oz) Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1 cup chopped onion
4 large tomatillos (8-9 oz total), husked, rinsed, cored & chopped
4 large cloves garlic, smashed & chopped

(I added I medium carrot, chopped)
(I added 1 red bell pepper, chopped)
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour (I used 1 1/2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin (I added an extra teaspoon)
1 tsp kosher salt* (see Notes/Results below)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 (15-oz) cans hominy with juices (I added an extra can)
1 cup vegetable broth (low-sodium preferred) (I used 1 1/2 cups broth)
1 (7-oz) can diced mild green chiles
Optional Garnishes like crumbled feta cheese, chopped green onions, sliced avocados, lime wedges and chopped serrano chiles

In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add both of the poblanos, sweet potato, Yukon gold potato, onion, tomatillos and garlic. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in the flour, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Add the hominy with the juices and the broth and bring to a simmer.

                      All the lovely colorful veggies that go into this chili verde

Spoon the diced green chiles into a food processor. Using tongs, transfer the 4 strips of poblano chile from the pot to the processor. Blend the chiles just until smooth. Scrape the chile sauce into the pot.

Cover and simmer the chili over low heat for 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer, stirring often, until the potatoes and yams are tender and the chili is thickened, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Ladle the chili into bowls and serve, garnished as desired.

Nutritionals: (Per Serving): Calories: 269, Protein: 4g, Carbohydrates: 40g, Dietary Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 4g, Total Fat: 11g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Sodium 629 mg* (dependent on broth and hominy used)

Notes/Results: Full of bright flavor, this is a satisfying bowl of non-traditional chili. It definitely has that California-Giada vibe to it. The tomatillos add a nice tangy touch and the oregano and cumin (I added a bit extra of my beloved cumin), along with the chile sauce give the broth good flavor. The heat is mild and warming and the the texture of the different veggies combined with the chewy hominy is a good contrast. I topped mine with avocado and cilantro but use whatever you like. Once all the veggies are peeled and chopped, it goes together pretty quickly and easily. One note on the salt--to reduce sodium and keep the chili from being to salty, I added a very small amount at the beginning and just a little bit more at the end. I also used low-sodium stock. By the time you add stock and the hominy liquid, you may not need to add much at all. A great veg-friendly dish with bright flavors that is satisfying without being heavy, I would make this chili again.

Besides Souper Sundays, this dish will be linked up at I Heart Cooking Clubs because tomorrow starts Potluck week--the chance to cook with any former IHCC chef! (It's always my favorite week of the month) ;-) Once the post goes live, you'll be able to see all the different chefs and recipes the participants chose to cook.

For now, let's check out the Souper Sundays kitchen where good friends and some lovely soups await!

Janet of The Taste Space joins us with this homey Thai Sweet Potato and Kabocha Squash Stew and says, "The sweet potatoes and Kabocha squash are roasted separately to bring out their sweetness and keep their shape. I don’t like green peas as much as Rob, but I really liked them here, next to the creamy roots. The red curry paste was not overwhelming, and really, I should have added more for Rob’s palate, but I played it safe so I could savour it, too. Instead of using a flour to thicken it up, I simply simmered it longer until it was a nice creamy coconutty consistency.

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes shares Donna Hay's Chicken Udon Soup and says, "We have had our first cold snap of the season and I have to say that even though my dishwasher is my most favorite thing in the whole world, the remote start on my car is a close second.  There is nothing nicer than to get in an already warmed-up-a-little car.  Cold weather also means the slow cooker has come out for the season. Slow cooker = soup most of the time in my house and this past week was no exception.  I wanted to try a Vietnamese Pho type soup and when I saw Donna Hay’s basic Asian stock in Issue #53 of her magazine, and I saw that it included cinnamon and star anise, I knew that was going to be simmering away in my slow cooker."

Brittany of Brittany Cooks made this pretty Roasted Tomato, Squash, and Coconut Milk Bisque and says, "Nothing beats a piping hot bowl of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold, rainy (or snowy) day. Though I like tomato soup, I can usually only eat small bowls of the stuff, as it tends to upset my stomach. That is why I was so intrigued when I found this recipe. Using coconut milk makes it dairy free, and roasting the tomatoes and squash brings out their natural sweetness (even with out of season tomatoes!), making it at least seem less acidic. The addition of freshly graded ginger also adds a lovely twist. The result was a killer soup worthy of any grilled cheese sandwich."

Mireille of Chef Mireille's Global Creations is back with Plantain Peanut Soup and says, "Peanut Soup has its roots in Africa. Wherever the slaves went - the Caribbean, South America, southern United States all have a form of peanut soup that is popular. This version comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, The African & Middle Eastern cookbook. I have made several things from this cookbook and it is one of my most utilized. I did make a few minor changes to the recipe in the book. The original recipe used white yams, but since I am allergic to white yam, I substituted green plantain and the recipe also did not include green beans, but since I had some that needed to be used I added it to the soup also".

It's always a pleasure to have my friend Joanne of Eats Wells With Others in the Souper Sundays kitchen. This week she brings a creamy Pumpkin and White Bean Bisque with Sage Pesto and says, "This pumpkin white bean bisque is actually especially perfect for nerve-calming because it tastes like you’re slurping the creamiest thing EVER. When really, it’s all protein and fiber from the white beans. With a bright splash of herbalicious pesto on top. Can’t go wrong with that. And because soup pretty much requires some kind of bread to go with it, I whipped up a batch of these dill rolls from the latest issue of Bon Appetit.

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!