Recipes from February 13, 2013

From Herald news servicesFebruary 13, 2013 

Weekly recipes for February 13, 2013

Mean Green Smoothie

Prep: 10 minutes. Makes: 1 drink.

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup frozen berries
1 banana, peeled
2 cups coarsely chopped kale (ribs removed)
1/2 cup pitted, coarsely chopped dates

Combine all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth and creamy.

Nutrition per serving: 483 calories, 4 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 119 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 181 milligrams sodium, 15 grams fiber.

Opal's Elephant Ears

Makes: About 8 5-inch ears

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 heaping tablespoons Crisco
1/2 cup warm water (more if needed)
Vegetable or peanut oil for frying
Confectioners sugar, cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, for toppings

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in Crisco using a pastry blender, food processor or your fingers.

Stir in warm water to make a soft dough. Turn out onto surface and knead briefly.

Cover and let dough rest for 20 minutes. You can also make the dough ahead and refrigerate, covered well.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces, working with one piece at a time, roll into a thin approximately 5-inch round. The thinner the dough, the crisper it will be. When doing this with children, they can pat the dough out between their hands instead of using a rolling pin.

Heat about 3/8 inch of vegetable oil to 375 degrees in a frying pan (if you are using a 10-inch pan, this will be about 2 cups of oil). Use a candy thermometer to take the temperature of the oil or you can estimate it by seeing if the first piece of dough fries nicely in the time specified.

Using tongs, lower one piece of dough carefully into the hot oil. Let it cook for approximately 60 seconds (it will puff up on top and become light brown on the underside), then flip it over and cook until light brown on the other side, about 30 seconds more. Watch carefully: If they get too dark, they will be overly crisp.

Serve warm, dusted with confectioners sugar, cinnamon sugar, maple syrup or any other topping of your choice.

Pasta and Bean Soup (pasta fagioli)

1 1/2 cups rinsed and drained cannellini beans
2 cups canned, no-salt-added, whole tomatoes including the juice
1 cup sliced celery
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups non-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup acini di pepe pasta
1/2 cup fresh basil
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Place beans, tomatoes and their liquid, celery and garlic in a large saucepan. Add the chicken broth and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, breaking up the tomatoes with the edge of a spoon. Cover, lower the heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Add the oil and pasta. Boil, uncovered, for about 8 minutes or until pasta is cooked. Add the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soup in bowls and pass the Parmesan to sprinkle on top. Makes 2 servings.

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