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Eating Wisely: Bright Flavors (Part 3) - Mushrooms with wilted spinach, Black bean soup, Carrot bread

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Mushrooms with wilted spinach

Description: Wilted Spinach Salad with Balsamic Mushrooms

Makes 2 servings

Xinalani’s chef serves juicy roasted mushrooms and wilted and wilted spinach over coarsely mash potatoes for a satisfying entrée with a variety of flavors and textures. You can also it with quinoa.

2 Tablespoons olive oil

21/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 Portobello mushroom caps

(31/2 to 4 inches across)

Salt

Pepper

3  Cloves garlic. Peeled and thinly sliced

10  Ounces fresh, washed spinach leaves

2  Teaspoons lemon juice

2  Tablespoons chopped toasted almonds

·         Preheat the oven to 400oF. Mix 1 tablespoon oil with the balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and brush both sides of the mushroom caps. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

·         Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant. About 30 second. Add spinach and turn to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until spinach is wilted but still bright green, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, and sprinkle lightly with salt.

·         Mound spinach on two plates. Slice each mushroom on the diagonal and place over spinach. Sprinkle with almonds and serve immediately.

Black bean soup

Description: Black bean soup

Makes 12 servings

At Haramara, soup like this one are the basis for light but nutritious midday meals. This soup freezes well, so it’s worth making a big batch and reserving the leftovers for lunch throughout the week.

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Onion, diced

2 Garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 red or green bell pepper, diced

2 Teaspoons ground cumin

6 Cups cooked black beans (about 1 pound dried or 414.5-ounce cans)

5-6 cups water

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

            Salt and pepper to taste

·         Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and stir frequently until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and bell pepper and cook until bell pepper softens 2 to 3 more minutes. Stir in cumin.

·         Add beans, water, and tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add more water of mixture becomes too thick.

·         Remove about 2 cups of soup and blend in a blender until smooth; return blended portion to pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Watermelon and lime agua fresca

Description: Watermelon and lime agua fresca

Watermelon and lime agua fresca

Makes 2 to 21/2 cups

On hot summer days, Eva Inglizian of Sagrada Wellness in San Luis Obispo, California, blends this sweet, refreshing drink and freezes it until it’s slightly slushy. You can substitute other ripe fruit, such as strawberries or other kinds of melon, for the watermelon.

·         1 Cups cubed, seeded ripe watermelon

·         ¾ Cup water

·         Juice of half a lime, plus more to taste

·         Agave syrup (optional)

Place the watermelon in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the water and lime juice and taste, adding agave and more lime juice if desired.

Carrot bread

Description: Carrot bread

Carrot bread

Makes 10 servings

At Xinalani, the day begins with a breakfast buffet of fresh fruit and baked goods, including this moist carrot bread.

21/2 Cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon backing powder

2 Teaspoons cinnamon

1 Teaspoon baking soda

Pinch saltCups chredded carrots

1 Large eggs

3/4 Cup raw or light brown sugar

3/4 Cup canola oil

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1 Cup chopped pecans

1/2 Cup milk or soy milk

·         Preheat the oven to 325oF. Lightly oil or butter a 9-inch loaf pan.

·         In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

·         In a large bowl, mix carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla until well blended. Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until just combined.

·         Gently stir in the pecans and milk and pour the batter into the prepared pan.

·         Bake until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center of the bread comes out with moist crumbs attached, 50 to 55 minutes.

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