Recently, I have read a lot about a book called Clean Food by Terry Walters. The secondary headline describes it best:
A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source with More Than 200 Recipes for a Healthy and Sustainable You
It is a recipe book, and there’s a sequel called Clean Start. It happens to be a vegetarian cookbook, but not because she is opposed to eating meat. She spends the beginning of the book explaining ways to eat cleaner and talks a lot about beans, nuts, and different kinds of vegetables. It also talks about being more in tune with how foods make you feel and taking time to think about what you’re eating and where it’s from. It’s not a diet book, just a clean eating cookbook.
I liked that the book is divided by seasons instead of meals because it focuses on eating locally and seasonally, and many recipes can be combined to make a meal + side, or served lighter for lunch or heavier for dinner.
I did not like that there were no pictures of recipes, and I wish that the calorie counts were on each recipe. However, I did earmark a few dozen recipes to try, which led us to our first experiment with hummus and a vegetable pasta dish.
This hummus dish is the first recipe in the book. I love hummus and buy it every week, so this week I made my own. Hummus is based on ground chickpeas, which is a great source of protein. It is also so versatile, used as a dip for carrots or chips, or as an alternative to salad dressing. You can also change the flavor by adding red peppers or more spice.
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 C cooked chickpeas (1 can)
- 3 T EVOO
- 2 T tahini
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Water (I used about 3 T)
- In a food processor, pulse garlic and chickpeas. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine. Add water as needed to thin it out. It will congeal in the refrigerator so you can make it looser knowing it will thicken.
- I added paprika for garnish.
- This was a winning recipe, approved by Jeffrey too! If you live in Texas, this recipe reminded me most of Central Market’s hummus, which is my favorite of all the brands I try. My favorite store bought brand is Athenos Greek style original if you’re wondering.
- It honestly took longer to get out the machine and then clean it than it did to make the dish and put the ingredients away. That’s the one downfall of the food processor!
Artichokes, Fennel and Olives over Penne
The second recipe we made was Artichokes, Fennel and Olives over Penne. I was surprised Jeffrey agreed to this one without chicken on top or a pasta sauce, but he was a good sport and was pleasantly surprised at how filling and flavorful it was. His finger was the only casualty opening the can of artichokes.
- 1 lb penne (this was way too much for 2 people, but we wanted to follow the recipe and not cut it down. We also used whole wheat.)
- 3 T EVOO
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can artichokes, quartered
- 1/2 C kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch arugula (this ended up wilting down significantly so I added more, probably 3 very big handfuls)
- 1 C chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 T lemon juice
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Cook penne as instructed on package. Rinse, drain and return to pot. Add 1 T EVOO.
- In a large pot over medium heat, saute onion and garlic with 2 T EVOO (about 3 minutes until soft). Add artichokes, olives, fennel, arugula. Saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes. Add parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- I poured the penne over the vegetables and cooked together for a minute with the fire off.
- We topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. I served mine over more arugula. He had his with added red pepper flakes.