Cara and I have been putting on FREE classes @ The Natures Food Patch in Clearwater on the last Wednesday of each month for the past six months.  In that time we have posted several recipes on they’re website that are deserving of some merit, soooo with that being said here are a few notables:

Spring Foods (January class 1/25/12)

Quinoa Salad – This is intended to be crunchy and full of flavor, color and texture.  Great warm or chilled.

2 cups Quinoa

1 Red Bell Pepper, diced

2 cups frozen Shelled Edamame or Peas (or combo)

2 carrots, shredded

2 scallion stalks, chopped (green parts only)

½ cup “Crunchy Sprouts”

½ cup Sweet Clover Sprouts

¼ cup slivered Almonds

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 tsp. Ginger, fresh and finely grated with Microplaner

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp.  fresh ground Black Pepper

1 tbsp.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil

*Remove the Edamame/Peas from the freezer as you assemble your ingredients so that they thaw just a bit.

*Cook Quinoa according to package directions separately from all other ingredients

*Heat Oil in a sauté pan over med. high heat

*Add Ginger, Edamame/Peas, Carrots & Red Bell Pepper and sauté for 2 minutes so that the veggies are tender but not soggy.

*Add veggie mixture to the cooked Quinoa

*Add Sprouts, Almonds, Olive oil & Lemon Juice

*Mix to combine, adding a bit more Oil & Lemon Juice to desired taste.

Vegetable Pesto Soup –It doesn’t get much more Green or Spring-y than this!

½ Yellow Onion, diced

1 ½ cups Asparagus, cut to 1 inch pieces

2 medium Zucchini, diced

2 cups frozen Shelled Edamame

1 cup frozen Peas

½ cup fresh Basil, finely chopped

4 cups Vegetable Broth

2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tsp. Salt

2 tsp. fresh ground Black Pepper

**Blanch the green veggies…this technique will cook the veggies lightly but retain the bright green color.  Directions for Blanching listed below**

*Bring approx. 6 cups of water to a rolling boil and add ½ tsp Salt

*Add Asparagus, Zucchini, Edamame & Peas to the boiling water.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, quickly drain and submerge in ice water bath.

*While the veggies are in the ice bath, heat 1 tbsp. Oil in a heavy bottom stock pot.

*Sauté the onion with a pinch of salt until softened.

*Add Basil and cook for another minute.

*Add Broth and Veggies, increasing heat to high and cooking until all ingredients are heated throughout.

*Remove from heat.

*Using a stick blender, puree until you reach your preferred consistency (for example, we blend about half of the soup)

*Season with Salt & Pepper to taste

Krispy Kale Chips –Over crowding your pan will result in less than crispy results.

1 bunch Kale

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

Tamari Sauce or Sea Salt to taste

*Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

*Rinse and thoroughly dry the Kale.

*De-stem the Kale and tear into 2-3 inch chip-size pieces.

*Toss with just enough Oil to coat and season to taste.

*Spread Kale on sheet trays lined with Parchment Paper.

*Bake for 10 minutes and check for doneness.  If not crispy, lightly toss on the sheet tray and bake at 3 minute intervals until done.

Edamame Hummus –Adding Peas is an easy option that will add a bit of sweetness to this recipe.

4 cups of frozen Shelled Edamame (or a combination of Edamame and Peas)

¼ cup Tahini

2 Cloves of Garlic

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 tsp Pepper

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

3 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil

In a food processor combine all ingredients except oils and start to blend.  While blending drizzle the oils into the hummus at a slow and constant rate of spead.  Finished product should be smooth and creamy.

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