Summer Menu

Fresh for summer, our breakfast menu offerings range from healthful to decadent with an emphasis on fresh and in-season whenever possible. Plus, upon request, we do our best to accommodate folks with dietary including vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free.

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FruitsSummer

Summer Menu

Avocados

We hope to see you at The Morning Star!

Wishing you a lovely summer …

 

Hmm! White Chili

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it is a rainy Memorial Day Weekend here in Manhattan, Kansas. So I thought that a White Chili would be a good dish to serve – fun & casual, flavorful & warming, but not too heavy. I hope that you are having a great weekend!

White Chili

This flavorful dish is what is traditionally referred to as a white chili (because no tomatoes are used in the base). This vegetarian version, though, is more of a light golden color.

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. crushed garlic

1 sweet yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 c.)

2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1/2 c.)

1 Anaheim pepper, chopped (about 1/2 c.)

5 sweet mini yellow peppers, chopped (about 1/2 c.)

1 jalapeño, minced (about 2 T.)

1 (15 oz) can chick peas, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 c. frozen yellow corn, semi-thawed

1 t. ground cumin

1/2 t. white pepper

3 c. boiling water

2 “Not-Chick’n” bouillon cubes

4 oz. low-fat cream cheese

1 ripe avocado, diced (for garnish)

juice of 1 lemon

1 c. chopped ripe tomato (for garnish)

2  – 3 T. cilantro leaves, stemmed and chopped (for garnish)

cheddar cheese, shredded (for garnish, optional)

  1. Place olive oil in a large deep skillet or stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, celery, and peppers. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender.
  2. Stir in chick peas, beans, corn, cumin and white pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water. Add cream cheese to bouillon and stir until mostly dissolved. Stir bouillon mixture into pot. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook just below a simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Just before serving, toss together avocado, lemon juice tomato and cilantro leaves. Ladle chili into bowls. If desired, top with cheese. Garnish with avocado-tomato mixture.

Enjoy! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Bananaberry Smoothie

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Bananaberry Smoothie

(serves 2)

1/3 c. light coconut milk

2 T. fresh orange juice

1 medium size frozen banana, peeled and cut into slices (about 3/4 c.)

1 c. mixed fresh berries (sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and/or blueberries)

fruit for garnish

Place coconut  milk, orange juice, banana and berries in blender and process until smooth. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with fruit. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

• A mix of red berries and dark berries produces the best color.

• This recipe makes a smoothie that is thin enough to drink. For a thicker smoothie, use frozen berries.

Spaghetti with Spinach & Peppadews

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This is a simple dish to make – done in the amount of time that it takes to cook a box of spaghetti – but it has a delicious combination of flavors and is very rich and satisfying.

Spaghetti with Spinach

Ingredients:

8 oz. package of spaghetti (gluten-free is ok)

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 T. dry white wine*

1/3 c. finely chopped yellow onion

3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced (about 1 T.)

salt

red pepper flakes + extra for the table

several large handfuls of baby spinach (about 2.5 oz. by weight), washed and larger stems removed

2 oz. (about 2/3 c.) fresh grated Romano or Parmesan cheese + extra for the table

3 marinated peppadew peppers, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Put a large pot (8 qt. pot) of lightly salted water on to boil. When the water comes to a boil, add the spaghetti, stir. Cook until the pasta is almost done – when it needs about 2 minutes more cooking time. Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients. (That is, chop the onion, crushed the garlic, wash the spinach, and grate the cheese.)
  2. Add olive oil, wine, onion, garlic, a couple of dashes of salt and a couple of dashes of red pepper flakes to a large, deep skillet (about 12 x 3”.) Place on burner over medium heat. Stir ingredients. Cook for about 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Drain the pasta when it is not quite done. Add nearly cooked pasta to skillet. Toss with olive oil mixture several times. Cook for about 1 minute. Add spinach. Toss with pasta several times. Cook for about 1 minute. Add cheese. Toss. Check pasta for doneness. When pasta is the desired doneness, transfer to a serving platter or to individual dishes. Garnish with chopped peppadews. Serve immediately.

Buon Appetito!

* I served the pasta with Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina and so used that in the dish.

Orange Carrot Soup

A light, but flavorful and warming soup to start your new year!

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Orange Carrot Soup

4-6 Servings

Ingredients

3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 c. diced yellow onion

salt

fresh ground pepper

2 T. semi-dry white wine, divided

4 c. diced, peeled carrots

2 t. smoked paprika

1 t. ground cinnamon

4 c. vegetable (or chicken) broth or bouillon*, divided

3 T. honey, divided

1 – 1 1/4 c. fresh-squeezed orange juice, to taste

zest from one of the oranges (use a course-textured zester)

croutons or Greek yogurt, optional

*I use 2 “Not-Chick’n” bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 c. boiling water. “Not-Chick’n” can be found in the organic foods section of many grocery stores.

Directions

  1. Place 1 T. of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion, a dash of salt, a twist of fresh ground pepper, and about 1 T. of the wine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is crisp-tender and translucent. Transfer to a stock pot.
  2. Place remaining 2 T. of the olive oil in the large skillet. Add carrots, paprika and cinnamon. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Transfer to the stock pot containing the onions.
  3. Add enough of the broth to the stock pot to almost cover carrots. Stir. Cover and cook over medium heat until carrots are tender enough to purée but are not mushy, about 15 minutes. Stir in 2 T. of the honey.
  4. Purée mixture with a stick blender – or transfer mixture to a food processor or blender to purée until almost perfectly smooth, then transfer mixture back to stock pot.
  5. Stir orange juice and remaining 1 T. of wine into carrot mixture, then thin soup to desired consistency with the remaining broth. Stir in orange zest. Taste. If necessary adjust flavor using honey, wine, orange juice, or salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for about 10 more minutes before serving to blend flavors.
  6. Stir soup before serving. Serve in small cups as a starter or light lunch – or in soup bowls for a heavier meal. If desired, garnish with croutons or a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Enjoy! Happy New Year!

Fire Roasted Tomato Minestrone

The combination of chopped onions, celery and carrots, sautéed in olive oil (to make what Italians call soffritto) or in butter (to make what the French call mirepoix) is wonderful for adding flavor to sauces, soups, stews and stuffings. Around the holidays, I keep soffrito or mirepoix in the refrigerator so that I have the aromatic vegetables already prepared to make holiday cooking easier.

I generally use about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of butter or extra virgin olive oil per cup of raw vegetables, adding a dash of salt and pepper. To the onions, I also add a splash of dry white wine. For this minestrone, I prefer olive oil to butter, but either will work. If you have soffritto already made, you can substitute 3 cups of it for the vegetables in this soup and reduce the olive oil to 1 to 2 tablespoons.

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Fire Roasted Tomato Minestrone

This is a delicious, stew-like minestrone … flavorful and filling for the winter months. If you prefer a more brothy soup, you can thin this with a little vegetable or chicken stock.

Ingredients

• about 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil, divided

• 1 c. diced onions

• 1 c. diced celery

• 1 c. diced carrots

• 1/3 c. dry white or red wine

• 2 28-oz. cans diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes – or 1 can diced, 1 can crushed (do not drain)

• 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans (white kidney beans) or great northern beans, drained and rinsed

• 1 15-oz. can red kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed

• 1 T. dried oregano, crushed

• 1 T. paprika or smoked paprika

• 1 t. dried thyme, crushed

• 1/2 t. sea salt

• fresh grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, optional garnish

Directions

(1) If you do not have soffritto already prepared, start by sautéing vegetables in olive oil, one type at a time, using about 1  – 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper, per cup of vegetables. I like to add a splash of dry white wine to the onions. Cook briefly until crisp-tender.

(2) Add prepared vegetables, wine, about 1 T. of the remaining olive oil, tomatoes, beans, and spices to a large pot (6-8 qt). Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the minestrone comes to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook at a low simmer, continuing to stir occasionally, for about 15 minutes. (So that the vegetables remain crisp-tender, don’t overcook.) Taste.  Add more olive oil, wine, or seasonings if desired. Ladle into warm bowls to serve.

Serving suggestion: At the table, grate a little cheese over each bowl of minestrone – but not for vegans. Serve with warm bread and a glass of wine.

Banana Chocolate Crumb Cheesecake

Happy National Cheesecake Day on July 30th! I decided to mark the occasion by making one of my favorite cheesecakes – Banana Chocolate Crumb Cheesecake!

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 Banana Cheesecake

This is a soft, not-too-sweet, delicately flavored banana cheesecake with a dark chocolate cookie crumb “crust”. The custard recipe comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s banana variation of her Cordon Rose Cheesecake in The Cake Bible – a truly excellent cookbook.

Make 1 day ahead

Ingredients (at room temperature)

1 lb. (2 8-oz. pkgs.) cream cheese

1 c. granulated white sugar

1 1/2 t. vanilla extract

1/4 t. salt

2 c. sour cream

2 large, very ripe bananas, enough to make 1 c. mashed

3 T. fresh lemon juice, strained

1 1/4 – 1 1/2 c crushed dark chocolate wafer cookies  (use gluten-free cookies for a gluten-free cheesecake)

Prepare Pan

1. Butter the inside of an 8″ springform pan.  Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the inside of the pan – just smaller than 8″ in diameter. Butter the paper and then place it in pan.

2. Wrap the outside of the pan with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent seepage from the water bath.

3. Have ready a larger baking pan – I use a 9″-square brownie pan – to use as a water bath for baking the cheesecake.

Directions for Making Cheesecake Custard

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Using a mixer or large food processor, beat together cream cheese and sugar until perfectly smooth. Scrape bowl. Beat in vanilla and salt, then sour cream. Scrape bowl.  Mash bananas together with lemon juice. Beat bananas into custard. Scrape bowl.

3. Pour custard into prepared springform pan. Place pan in larger baking pan. Pour in 1″ of very hot water. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. Turn oven off, without opening the door, and leave cheesecake in oven for one hour.  Remove cheesecake from oven and from water bath.  Remove foil from pan.  Plan pan on a cooling rack and let cheesecake continue cooling at room temperature for one more hour. Cover  pan with plastic wrap. Chill cheesecake in refrigerator overnight.

Serving

1. The next day, wipe outside of cheesecake pan with a hot, damp towel. Run a thin spatula around the inside of the pan. Release the clasp on the springform pan and remove the outside of pan.  If there is condensation on the cheesecake, lightly pat it dry with a paper towel. Invert cheesecake onto a flat plate or a small cutting board covered with plastic wrap.  Remove parchment paper.

2. Pat cookie crumbs onto bottom and sides of cheesecake. Re-invert onto serving plate. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until serving. Garnish and serve.

Suggested Garnishes

• Whipped cream, chocolate shavings and banana and/or strawberry slices.

• Whipped cream and hot fudge.

• Whipped cream and dark cherries.

• For Banana Split Cheesecake, serve with whipped cream, banana slices, strawberry slices, pineapple chunks, chopped walnuts, chocolate sauce, and melted strawberry jam.

Enjoy! Happy National Cheesecake Day!

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