Friday, February 6, 2015

Blueberry~Beet Spinach Salad

We love this salad!  Fresh picked blueberries during the late summer can be frozen and served practically fresh, home canned beets, and baby spinach greens make it possible to serve any time of the year. 


Equivalent of 1 head of spinach
1 pint jar pickled beets quartered
1 1/2 cups blueberrries
3/4 cut roasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup feta cheese (or Sunny Pine chevre works fabulous too)
fresh ground pepper to taste

Sherry vinaigrette optional

Assemble ingredients and sprinkle with nuts, cheese, and black pepper.  Dress with vinaigrette if you like, but we tend not to need one as the beets are pickled in vinegar and the flavor infuses into this salad beautifully.

Thank you Georgina for this great salad idea! 

Winter Kale Pasta

Pasta is a favorite dish for athletes, especially during the winter when we are expending so many calories skiing, snowshoeing, and just spending time outside in the cold air temperatures.  This is especially true for Basecamp winter guests who have played all day and are looking forward to a meal that hits the spot!  The kale and goat cheese keep it lively and healthy.  Just to note that we use our frozen garden kale for this recipe-  it is blanched immediately after picking during the summer harvest, cooled and bagged in freezer bags for winter freshness. 

4 cloves garlic
4 small shallots
1 bunch kale (1/2 lb) - fresh or frozen (substitute spinach if you like)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup goat cheese, plus more for topping
2 Tbls + hot pasta water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh lemon juice
12 oz dried penne pasta
fresh thyme or parsley (flowers too if fresh)

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the garlic and shallots.  Boil for 2-3 minutes, stir in kale and cook for another 10 seconds.  Fish out your greens, garlic and shallots with a slotted spoon and add to a food processor.  Puree these ingredients with the olive oil and goat cheese.  Add a couple of tablespoons of hot pasta water to thin if necessary  Season with salt and plenty of black pepper.  Add a bit of lemon juice.

Use the same water to cook the pasta.  Drain and toss the pasta with the green sauce and serve with fresh thyme or parsley on top.

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes

Recipe from Heidi Swanson's 101Cookbooks blog.

Lentil Almond Stir-Fry with Mint sauce and Carmelized Brussel Sprouts

The potatoes and brussel sprouts are the key to this fantastic dish.  We used homegrown purple, cranberry red, and yukon gold potatoes, but one can use any smaller and more flavorful potatoes you can find.  A nuttier black lentil will also be best for this dish because they hold their shape and do not get mushy over time.  Brussel sprouts are not everyone's favorite vegetable, but we haven't had anyone turn these away yet!

Mint Sauce
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 serrano chile pepper - deveined and seeded
2 Tbls olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey or agave nectar
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Lentil Dish
6-8 small potatoes, cut into 1 to 1/2 inch cubes (do not peel)
2 cups cooked black or brown lentils
12 brussel sprouts, halved or quartered
1/4 cup almonds (sliced or whole crushed) - toasted

1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 dates pitted and chopped (optional)

Start by making the mint sauce.  Combine mint leaves, serrano, olive oil, salt, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor.   Pulse until the chilis are finely chopped.

Cook potatoes on a skillet with a bit of olive oil and salt.  Make sure they cook all the way through but do not make them mushy.  Add water and cover the skillet if needed to speed up the cooking process, then brown with the skillet lid off for the last few minutes.  While your potatoes are cooking, add almonds to a dry skillet pan and brown until toasted.  Set aside.

Add pre-cooked lentils to the potatoes and add the mint sauce, stirring until well-coated.  Turn out onto a platter and use the same skillet to cook your brussel sprouts.  Add another generous amount of olive oil to the pan and make sure the stove top is on medium to high heat.  Add sprouts and crunchy sea salt to taste.  Cook until the flat sides are a deep brown color and they carmelize on the edges.  Add the lentil dish and top with toasted almonds, yogurt and dates.       

Serves 4-6

This recipe was inspired by Heidi Swanson and her blog

Coconut Curry Squash Soup

This was a fantastic soup we made a couple of weeks ago that utilizes all the garden goodness put away for the winter:  squash, apples, homepressed cider, onions and garlic.  We made a monster batch, and so we just kept roasting squashes that needed to be used soon (they were starting to get a bit wrinkled on the edges).  Roasting the garlic and squash seems to make a huge difference for my tastes, as would the fresh apple cider instead of apple juice from concentrate.


2 medium sized sweet winter squashes (butternut, kuri, butternut, sweetmeat) - roasted
1 large apple
1 onion
2 Tbls olive oil
2 tsp fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic - chopped
2 cups apple juice or cider
14 oz coconut milk
3 cups vegetarian broth or water
2 tsp salt
2 Tbls curry powder
more salt and pepper to taste

Cut your squashes in half and face down on a baking sheet.  Roast at 400 degr F until the flesh becomes soft and slightly carmelized.  Scoop out seeds and remove skin.  Set to the side.

Sautee the apple and onion in olive oil for about 5-10 minutes.  Add ginger, garlic, salt and curry powder and continue to stir. Do not let the garlic brown.  Add the squash and the remainder of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce to a simmer.  Puree completely for a smooth texture, or puree only half for a slightly more chunky style.  Both are delicious.

Serves 4-6

Recipe inspired and adapted from PCC Cooks Instructor Omid Roustaei

Friday, January 2, 2015

Honey Cornbread Muffins

These cornbread muffins are sweet and moist and a favorite on soup nights, especially with a spicy vegetarian chili.

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
Special equipment: paper muffin cups and a 12-cup muffin tin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  In another bowl whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter, and honey.  Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.  Evenly divide cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Makes 12 muffins

(courtesy of The Neelys, from

Monday, December 29, 2014

Herbed Cheese Scones

These savory and tasty scones were a perfect combination with Minestrone Soup and fresh salmon served at the Basecamp tonight.  They are flakey and buttery, but not too filling.  We use our fresh or frozen herbs from the Basecamp garden!

2 cups flour
2 Tbls grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3  cup salted butter, chilled
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 large egg
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup shredded Provolone cheese
1 egg white mixed with 1/2 tsp water for the top glaze

Preheat over to 375 deg F.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into 1/2 inch cubes and distribute over flour.  Blend, or cut butter into mixture until it resembles course crumbs.  If using nuts in this recipe, finely chop 1 Tbsp pine nuts with a food processor and scrape nuts into a small bowl.  Add herbs such as sage and parsley, oil, and garlic to the pine nuts.  Stir egg and milk into herb mixture and add to flour until combined.  The dough will be sticky.  With floured hands, knead in Provolone cheese and pat dough into 8 inch circle in the center of a buttered baking sheet.  Brush egg/water over top and cut into 8 wedges with a serrated knife.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining chopped pine nuts or parsley.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving and enjoy!

Makes 8 scones.

This recipe is inspired from "simply scones" by Leslie Werner and Barbara Albright, and Kelli Lane (North Cascades Basecamp employee- winter 2014-15)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quinoa Chowder with Kale, Feta and Leeks

This hearty chowder was a hit with the Methow Endurance Women's Trail Running and Yoga Retreat group. As we move into fall my body starts craving simple warm and filling dishes. This chowder is excellent because its easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4-6

3/4 cup quinoa, any color or variety
8 cups (2 quarts) water, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or to taste
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely diced or to taste
1/2 lb par-boiled potatoes, peeled cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 teaspoon ground cumin or to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 bunch scallions or garden leeks, include the greens thinly sliced
3 cups thinly sliced spinach or garden kale (about 1 bunch)
4 ounces feta cheese, small dice (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 hard-cooked egg, peeled and finely chopped

1.) Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear.
2.) Bring the quinoa and the 8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the white outer casings on the quinoa have popped, revealing translucent little beads, about 10 to 15 minutes.
3.) Strain the quinoa through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large heatproof bowl. Measure the quinoa cooking liquid and add water as needed to make 6 cups; set the quinoa and cooking liquid aside.
4.) Heat the olive oil in a large, clean saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, cumin, and measured salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes begin to soften, adjusting the heat as necessary so that the garlic doesn’t brown, about 3 minutes.
5.) Add the reserved cooking liquid and half of the scallions and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.

6.) Add the cooked quinoa, spinach, and remaining scallions and simmer until the spinach just begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the feta and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Top with the chopped egg and serve.

Inspired by Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (2007).