Orka and Brussels Sprouts

My dear friend Seda introduced this vegetable called orka to me about 8 years ago! That’s how long our friendship has been too! :) I did not know what it was and I was interested to find out what kind of food we can make out of it. She taught me how to make a Turkish orka stew…mmmmh boy was it yummy. So today I am making an orka soup with some homemade chicken stock I have. Being pregnant I have been having all sorts of cravings, SAVORY foods is definitely on the top of my list. But I have also realized my fingers have gotten a bit swollen and numb. That usually happens during pregnancy, but eating too much salty food will cause hands/feet extra swollen. So I have decided to cut my salt intake and incorporate more vegetables into my diet. That’s when I decided on the orka mixed vegetable soup with roasted brussel sprouts and apricot. Now that combination will not go wrong. Filling yet healthy!

Ingredients:

1 medium size white onion, diced 1 package of fresh orka (you can purchase these at the Asian market, or buy them loose at your local super market), cut into cubes 1 8 oz can diced tomatoes 1 medium size shallot, diced 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 qt of homemade chicken stock (store bought works just fine) 1 carrot, chopped ½ tsp of dried thyme ½ tsp dried parsley

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp extra vigin olive oil (evoo)

Directions:

1. In a dutch oven (or a medium size pot) add in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and 2 tablespoons of butter (to keep it somewhat healthy, I used half and half, evoo and butter).

2. Add in the onion, shallots and the dried herbs. Let that saute for about 5 – 10 minutes to sweat out the aromas.

3. Add in the celery and carrots, and let that cook for another 5 – 10 minutes.

4. Add in the tomatoes.

5. Put ½ c of water into the empty tomato can to swish the remaining sauces from the inside and pour that into the pot.

6. Add the chicken stock and 2 cups of water and stir.[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"></v:path> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"></o:lock> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="Picture_x0020_9" o:spid="_x0000_i1025" type="#_x0000_t75" style='width:468pt;height:351pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square'> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:\Users\CHEEKS~1\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.jpg" o:title=""></v:imagedata> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml][endif]

Orka cut into cubes.

7. Finally add in the main ingredient, orka and stir. Cover it with the lid and let this come to a mild boil, then turn it down to a medium low (because we are are using a dutch oven, it heats up fairly fast and it can also dry out the soup, medium low is my best bet here. (If you are using a regular pot, turn it to medium heat ) Let this simmer for about 45 – 60 minutes. When the time is ready, add in salt and pepper to taste.

8. The final product. Orka mixed vegetable soup. Bon appetit!

Orka vegetable soup is hearty, comforting and most importantly its filling yet healthy. You won’t feel guilty if you go for a second bowl. I won’t judge here!

But in all seriousness I want to stay fit and healthy during my first pregnancy. And I want to consume super foods so my baby can be a healthy one. Orka is a super food, It contains potassium, vitamin B, vitamin C, folic acid, and calcium all very good for the body and soul.

Roasted Brussels sprouts with apricot.

Ingredients: 1 package of Brussel sprouts, about 2 pounds 1 c dried apricots, diced ¼ c balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp of avocado honey (or regular honey)

Directions:

1. Half the Brussel sprouts, season with EVOO, salt and pepper.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

3. Transfer it to a cookie sheet with a parchment paper lining for easy clean up. Pop it into the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

4. 30 minutes later, nice and golden brown.

5. Transfer the roasted brussels sprouts to a mixing bowl along with the apricots for easy mixture.[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"></v:path> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"></o:lock> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="Picture_x0020_20" o:spid="_x0000_i1025" type="#_x0000_t75" style='width:468pt;height:351pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square'> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:\Users\CHEEKS~1\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.jpg" o:title=""></v:imagedata> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml][endif]

6. Mix the balsamic vinegar and the honey together and pour the mixture over the brussel sprouts and apricot, toss them together so they are evenly coated.

7. And there you have it, delicious, simple and healthy! =)

I hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I did. Thank you for reading. XOXO, Elaine

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