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Chickpea and Leek Soup (serves six)
12 oz canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained » 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed into 1 1/2-inch squares » 5 medium leeks, outer skins removed, sliced lengthwise, rinsed thoroughly, and finely sliced crosswise » 1 tbsp olive oil » 1 tbsp butter » 2 cloves garlic, minced » salt and black pepper to taste » 3 cups chicken broth » Parmesan cheese, grated » extra virgin olive oil
Cover potato in water and boil for 30 minutes until done. Add butter and olive oil to large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and add a good pinch of salt. Cook until tender, stirring every five minutes. Add chickpeas and potato and cook for one minute. Add two-thirds of the broth and simmer for 15 minutes. Puree if you like. Add the last of the broth, plus Parmesan cheese to taste. Serve in bowls, garnished with cheese, fresh-ground pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Pork Tenderloin and Persimmon Risotto (serves four)
1/2 lb pork tenderloin, fat trimmed, sliced into 1/8-inch strips » 1 tbsp butter or olive oil » 1/4 cup minced shallots » 1 cup arborio rice » 1 tsp allspice » 1/4 tsp cinnamon » black pepper to taste » salt to taste » 3 cups hot chicken broth » 2 cups dry white wine » 2 Fuyu persimmons, julienned » 1 cup crumbled blue cheese » 3 tbsp minced parsley
Stir-fry the pork in a skillet over medium heat until cooked throughout, approximately 45 minutes. Set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté; shallots until tender (23 minutes). From now on, continually stir the mixture. Add rice and cook until translucent (34 minutes). Turn heat down to low. Add allspice, cinnamon, pepper, salt, and wine. After the wine cooks down, add the chicken broth, one cup at a time, waiting for each cup to cook down before adding the next. Repeat until rice is tender, approximately 20 minutes. Add persimmons, pork, half the blue cheese, and half the parsley. Remove from heat. Stir thoroughly, cover, and let sit for five minutes. Stir again, then serve. Garnish with the remaining parsley and blue cheese.
Mean Cuisine: A Few Whole Foods that Rock
Quality Carbs: whole-grain breads » whole-grain pasta » whole-grain cereals » brown rice » fruits » vegetables » skim milk » yogurt with fruit » rice milk » soy milk » new potatoes » Choice Proteins: turkey » fresh fish » shellfish » lean beef » lean pork » cottage cheese » beans » lentils » tofu » chickpeas edamame » Good Fats: olive oil » flaxseed oil » sunflower oil » canola oil » nuts (almonds especially) » fish (especially wild salmon and sardines) » avocado » black olives » natural peanut butter » sesame seeds