Meetless Monday Recipes or Recipes for a Hot Planet

Forbidden Rice Salad
With Patty Reed’s changes for PCG Lunch March 2015

Cook 2 cups of black rice sometimes called Formosa or Forbidden Rice, available in bulk at Berkeley Bowl. Sometimes you can find the rice in Safeway. Put three cups of cold water in a large pot with two cups of black rice. Boil water and rice. When at full boil put top on pot and simmer at a very low temperature for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest for 10 minutes with top on pot. Brown or white rice can be substituted for the black rice.
While rice cooks combine in large bowl the dressing and mix well:

½ cup peanut oil (I use ¼ cup)

2 Tbls sesame oil

½ cup orange juice

2 cloves of chopped garlic

½ tsp. of red pepper flakes

2 Tbls of soy sauce

1 tsp. of salt

2 Tbls of cider vinegar

Mix dressing into hot rice.

When rice is cool add the following: *

-3 minced green onions

1 stalk of celery chopped

½ lb. mung beans (I do not put these in)

½ cup blond raisins
½ cup peanuts (I left these out)
½ cup cashews

2 tsp. of sesame seeds

1 cup thinly sliced red, green, and /or yellow bell peppers (ours were
1 cup thinly sliced water chestnuts

*Many other salad ingredients can be added and many of the above omitted.

Add currents, almonds, baby corn, cucumbers, radishes, peas, sugar snap
peas, string beans, carrots…..?
This salad is often better the second day.

Moroccan Chickpea and Vegetable Soup from the Healthy Mind Cookbook

Moroccan Chickpea and Vegetable Soup from the Healthy Mind Cookbook

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 small yellow onions, diced small
1 fennel bulb, diced small
2 stalks celery, chopped
Sea salt
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½” dice
1 carrot, peeled and diced small
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Pinch of saffron (optional)
6 cups organic vegetable stock (or chicken broth)
4 cups cooked chickpeas or
2(15-ounce cans), rinsed
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Maple syrup (optional)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint. For garnish

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onions, fennel, celery, and a pinch of salt and sauté until golden, about 6 minutes.  Add the sweet potato and carrot and sauté another 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in the cumin, turmeric, ½ tsp of salt, coriander, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and saffron and stir for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant.  Pour in ½ cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. 

Spritz the chickpeas with lemon juice, add a pinch of salt and stir, then add to the pot.  Add the remaining 5 ½ cups of broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. 

Ladle 4 cups of the soup into a blender and process for 1 minute or until velvety smooth.  Stir the blended mixture back into the soup and cook over low heat, just until heated through. 

Stir in 4 tsp lemon juice and a few grinds of black pepper.  Taste: you may want to add a pinch of salt, a drop or two of maple syrup, or a squeeze of lemon juice. 

Serve garnished with the cilantro and mint.  Freezes well.


1 cup polenta

3 cups water

Sauté the yellow onion, garlic, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes in olive oil until the onions are translucent.  Add the eggplant and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini and red bell pepper and sauté for 2 more minutes.

1 tsp salt


Bring water to a boil.  Whisk in polenta and salt and keep stirring 5 minutes.  Lower heat to low and cover for 20 minutes.  Stir 2 or 3 times.   Remove from heat.  You can also add 1 cup goat cheese or cheese of your choice.  Stir until melted and mixed.  Transfer to a bowl.  Let sit 5 minutes and then turn bowl upside down onto a plate.  Cut in slices and serve with roasted vegetables, tomato sauce or Putatouie below


Putatouie with Cream (from the Culinary Magic Cookbook at the Regenerative Design Center by Carin McKay – a combination of ratatouille and putanesca sauce

1 yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 small eggplant, peeled and diced into ½ inch pieces

1 zucchini, sliced into ½ inch half moons

1 red bell pepper, diced into ½ inch pieces

3 Tbs olive oil

2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes)

2 cups red wine

1/3 cup kalamata olives

2 TBS capers

¼ cup basil

2-4 TBS cream

Sugar or honey to taste

Sea salt to taste

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Add the tomatoes, red wine, olives, capers and simmer for 20 minutes with lid on.  After 20 minutes, check to see the eggplant is cooked all the way.  If so, add the basil and cream.  Add sea salt ½ tsp at a time.  Taste.  Adjust.

Sometimes with tomato-based sauces, you need to add a little sweetener to cut the acidity.  Add sugar or honey if it needs it.  Serve on creamy polenta and garnish with Parmesan.  You could add a cup of cooked cannellini beans for extra protein. 


Butternut Squash Grain with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts  (from Bon Appetit Magazine December 2007)

3 ½ pounds butternut squash (about 2 medium), peeled, seeded, cut into ¾ to 1 inch cubes (8 cups) – or you can buy squash already cut, peeled and seeded

2 Tbsps Olive Oil

Coarse kosher salt

4 Tbsps (1/2 stick) butter, divided

3 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)

1 ½ tsps chopped fresh sage

1 5.5 oz log soft fresh goat cheese

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup hazelnuts, tasted, husked, coarsely chopped (Walnuts work fine if you don’t have hazelnuts)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place butternut squash cubes and olive oil in a large bowl, sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and ground pepper and toss to coat. Spread out squash cubes on large rimmed baking sheet (works well on parchment paper).  Roast until just tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 3 Tbsps butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat.  Add sliced leeks and chopped sage; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute until tender but not brown, about 15 minutes.  Coat 11 X 7- inch baking dish with remaining 1 Tbsp butter.  Spread ½ leek mixture over bottom of prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with half of squash and ½ of cheese.  Repeat layering with leeks, squash and cheese.  (Can be made one day ahead.  Cover and chill)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Pour cream evenly over gratin.  Sprinkle with toasted chopped hazelnuts.  Bake uncovered until gratin is heated through and cream is bubbling, about 30 minutes (40 minutes if previously chilled).

Quinoa  Confetti  Salad  From the Occidental Arts and Ecology Cookbook

Serves 4-6


1 cup Quinoa

4 cups water, for cooking  (When serving quinoa hot, use 1 1/3 cups of water for each cup of grain.  For a cold salad, though, the quinoa cooks with more control and doesn’t stick together in clumps when cooked in extra water, rinsed, and drained)

Pinch of salt


Put the quinoa in a strainer and rinse well under running water: drain.  Transfer the quinoa to a 2-quart pot.  Add the water and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 12 to 15 minutes.  Cook until just tender and transparent ‘halos’ have formed around the grains.  Drain and add cold water to the pot to cool the quinoa and stop it from cooking any further. When cool enough to handle, drain all the water and transfer the quinoa to a large bowl.  This should yield about 2 cups of cooked quinoa. 


Veggie Confetti

Any combination of the following to total approximately 3 cups:

¾ cup diced red, orange, and or yellow sweet peppers

½ cup diced fennel

½ cup diced cucumber

1 ear of corn, grilled or blanched , kernels cut off the cob

½ cup green beans, sliced crosswise and blanched



¼ cup lemon juice or half lemon juice/ half rice vinegar

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup thinly sliced scallions

A few sprigs finely chopped basil or parsley

Salt and pepper to taste




½ pint dice mixed-color tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes

Toss the veggies with the quinoa.  Mix in the dressing.  Garnish with tomatoes.

Note:  You can sub all kinds of seasonal or roasted veggies, whatever is in season.  We also like roasted cauliflower, broccoli and roasted red peppers.

About Quinoa

Quinoa (kēn’wä,) is the common name for Chenopodium quinoa of the flowering plant family Amaranthaceae.  It is a pseudocereal, rather than a true cereal, as it is not a grass. Quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots and spinach and to amaranth.  Quinoa is the “seed” of the plant, which is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain. The Incas in Andeas called it the “mother of all grains” and believed it to be sacred. Recently it has become popular all over the world and reached “superfood status” a few years ago. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants. There are three main types: white, red and black.

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