Thursday, August 20, 2009

What do dietitians eat? Book club menu #8

I think I might have skipped posting a couple menus over the past year (and last month we did have a potluck dinner), but here is what we had to eat last night. We viewed and discussed short documentaries related to food and water concerns in Michigan.


Cold Zucchini-Curry Soup
Blueberry-Sage Muffins
Mint-flavored water
Green-Raspberry Iced Tea (my favorite from Arbor Teas)


(1) Cold Zucchini-Curry Soup Recipe
Inspired by ALL the zucchini available for sale at the Farmers' Market in August!

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup onions, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced (1 Tbsp.)
  • Corn - cooked and then cut off of 1 ear (or ½ cup cooked brown rice)
  • 4 zucchini (medium size ~5-6 inches), trim off ends and then dice into large pieces
  • 2 large collard leaves or other greens - cut into medium size pieces (discard any large tough stems)
  • 4-5 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1-½ tsp curry powder (when I doubled the recipe, I used 1 teaspoon of hot curry and 2 teaspoons of sweet curry, which made a medium spicy soup)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt and white pepper to taste (I didn’t add any!)
  • Garnish with chopped herbs or edible flowers.
  • Sauté onion and garlic over medium high heat in a large soup pot for a few minutes. Be careful not to burn.
  • Add zucchini, corn (or rice), greens, and broth in the large soup pot. Bring all to boil. Turn heat down to medium. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Puree (or use immersion blender). If using a blender, be careful not to fill it more than half full to keep from possibly burning yourself with hot soup bursting out of the top. Clean out your soup pot (or use another to put the pureed soup into. Then add curry, mustard, and yogurt to taste.
  • Best if made early in the day or, if possible, a day ahead to allow the soup to fully chill and the flavors mingle and develop.
Can easily be doubled for a large group (I did this).

(Photo: Recipe doubled - zucchini and greens in broth ready to simmer)

(Photo: Soup pureed, yogurt and seasonings added, ready to cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight prior to serving the next day)

(Photo: Edible flowers for garnish on the soup or simply on your plate - purchased at the Ypsilanti, MI Tuesday Farmers' Market, managed by Growing Hope, the organization to which our book club makes a monthly donation that helps to provide funds so healthy snacks can be purchased for children attending their after-school education programs)

(2) Blueberry-Sage Muffins

Inspired by Blueberry Sage Muffin recipe from The Herbal Palate Cookbook by Maggie Oster & Sal Gilbertie

Makes 12 muffins.

  • 2 c blueberries,
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage leaves (right from my garden - I would use even more next time)
  • 1/2 c sugar,
  • 2-3 tsp. minced lemon zest (zest one whole lemon and use all of it)
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat flour),
  • 2 tsp baking powder,
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda,
  • 1/4 tsp salt,
  • 1 large egg,
  • 1/2 c plain organic yogurt
  • 1/2 c milk (dairy or unsweetened soy milk)
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil,
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (fresh is best - use the lemon that you zested).
  • Sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar mixture if desired. (I used a sprinkle of plain ground flaxseeds)
  • In a large bowl, combine the berries, sage, sugar, and lemon zest. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line 12 standard size muffin cups with paper liners.
  • Stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.
  • Wisk together the egg, yogurt, milk, oil, and lemon juice, then add to the blueberry mixture.
  • Pour the blueberry mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix.
  • Fill each muffin cup to within 1/2 inch of the top.
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon for the topping and sprinkle some on each muffin.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until muffin tops spring back when lightly touched.
  • Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
(Photo: Recipe - I made 1.5x the recipe in order to also make a tray of mini-muffins, too)

(3) Tabouli

This recipe is the most requested page on my web site!

  • 1 1/2 cups dry bulgar (buy dry bulgar is in the flour or grains section of your grocery store or at a natural foods store, where it can often be purchased in bulk)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup cooked, drained beans - garbanzo, lentil, or small white beans (can cook from scratch or use canned, pre-cooked beans from your pantry shelf)
  • 2 cups fresh parsley- minced (can use your blender or food processor for this, or a chef's knife also works great ). In the summer, I use half parsley and half fresh mint. Don't worry about the amount - more is better here.
  • 2 - 3 bunches green onions - sliced, both white and green parts
  • 3 - 4 medium tomatoes, chopped (in the off-season, I spend the money on the vine-ripened tomatoes for the best flavor)
  • 1/2 cup or more fresh lemon juice (bottled is ok, but again, fresh provides a better flavor)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (this is the first recipe I ever bought olive oil for)
  • 1 tsp. salt


  • Pour the boiling water over the dry bulgar in a medium to large bowl and let sit ~1-2 hours until water is absorbed. Drain very well using a colander (at least an hour). I even use a colander lined with cheesecloth so that I can squeeze the last water out of the grains. Bulgar will now be light and fluffy.
  • While bulgar is soaking, chop all the other ingredients.
  • Once bulgar is drained, mix all the ingredients together in a very large bowl. Chill for several hours or overnight prior to serving.
(Photo: Tabouli all mixed in a very large bowl, ready to be put into a smaller serving bowl that I can get into the refrigerator in order to thoroughly chill prior to serving)

The grace I read before we ate last night:

With the first mouthful, I promise to practice loving kindness.
With the second, I promise to help relieve the suffering of others.
With the third, I promise to see others' joy as my own.
With the fourth, I promise to learn the way of non-attachment and equanimity.

~~Thich Nhat Hanh

There was a moment of silence as we all personally contemplated such a 'tall order'. Then relaxing, we shared and savored our food, our friendship, and our stories.

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Kateri said...

Glad you are posting again. That soup sounds good!

vincent said...
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