Beet Orange Soup

Serves 12.

Note: From the Oct. 23, 1985, restaurant recipe requests column of the Star Tribune. “I would like the recipe for the Beet Orange Soup served at Cafe Kardamena, 384 Selby Av., St. Paul,” requested “J.C.B.” of Minneapolis.

• 3 medium onions, peeled and chopped

• Sunflower oil

• 2- to 3-in. piece of ginger root, peeled and sliced

• 4 lb. beets, peeled and sliced

• 4 carrots, peeled and sliced

• Vegetable stock or water

• 1/2 c. white miso, optional

• 12 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate, undiluted

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 3 tbsp. Cointreau or Grand Marnier liqueur

• Freshly squeezed lemon juice, optional

• Sour cream and onions or orange slices, for garnish


In a Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté onions in sunflower oil until transparent. Add ginger, beets and carrots and continue to sauté over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Add enough vegetable stock (or water) to cover vegetables. Simmer until vegetables are very tender. Remove from heat. Add miso, orange juice, salt, pepper and liqueur. Taste, and if too sweet, add a drop of lemon juice. Served chilled or hot, garnishing with sour cream and onions, or orange slices.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 155 Fat 4 g Sodium 190 mg

Carbohydrates 27 g Saturated fat 0 g Total sugars 19 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Exchanges per serving: ½ fruit, 1 starch, ½ carb, ½ fat.

Braised Kale With Balsamic Vinegar

Serves 4.

Note: “Braising tenderizes greens while retaining all of their valuable vitamins,” write Brenda Langton and Margaret Stuart in “The Spoonriver Cookbook” (University of Minnesota Press).

• 1 bunch kale (3/4 lb., about 5 to 6 large leaves)

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 1 small onion, halved and sliced thin

• 1 tsp. soy sauce

• 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar


Clean the kale leaves under running water. Remove and discard the stems and any tough ribs. Stack the leaves and cut them into 1-inch strips.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the kale and stir, mixing the leaves with the onions and lightly coating the leaves with oil.

Add 1/4 cup of water and cover the pan. Reduce heat and simmer greens for 5 minutes, checking to see if you need to add more water. If the pan is dry, add 2 more tablespoons water. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Cooking time will depend on how tender the greens were to start with and how soft you prefer them. Taste a piece to determine whether you want the kale to cook longer. If there is still liquid in the pan when the kale is done, remove the cover and cook it off. Add soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, stirring to combine, and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 55 Fat 4 g Sodium 90 mg

Carbohydrates 5 g Saturated fat 1 g Total sugars 2 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 fat.


Butternut Squash, Cheese and Walnut Croquettes

Serves 4.

Note: From “The Cafe Brenda Cookbook” by Brenda Langton and Margaret Stuart.

• 3/4 c. finely chopped walnuts

• 1 medium butternut squash

• 1 bunch green onions, minced

• 1 apple, grated (any cooking apple will do)

• 3/4 c. grated Gouda, baby Swiss or soy mozzarella cheese

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 1 tbsp. freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• Vegetable or olive oil

• Tomato-Basil Sauce (see recipe)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Peel squash and cut into large chunks. Steam lightly for 7 minutes, or until squash still has some crispness, but is beginning to soften. Set aside to cool, and then grate 3 cups of the squash.

In a large bowl, mix together walnuts, squash, green onions, apple, cheese, beaten eggs, parsley and salt and pepper. Form mixture into 2-inch patties.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat oil. Sauté croquettes until crispy and golden brown. Serve with Tomato-Basil Sauce.

Nutrition information per serving (without sauce):

Calories 440 Fat 32 g Sodium 510 mg

Carbohydrates 30 g Saturated fat 7 g Total sugars 10 mg

Protein 14 g Cholesterol 120 mg Dietary fiber 9 g

Exchanges per serving: ½ fruit, 1 ½ starch, 1 ½ high-fat protein, 3 ½ fat.

Tomato-Basil Sauce

Serves 4.

Note: From “The Cafe Brenda Cookbook” by Brenda Langton and Margaret Stuart.

• 12 large Roma tomatoes

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 6 garlic cloves, minced

• 2 tbsp. freshly chopped basil

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Blanch tomatoes by immersing them in boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove from water, peel, seed and finely chop.

In a large pan over medium heat, warm olive oil. Sauté garlic until fragrant. Add chopped tomatoes, basil and salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, and serve over croquettes.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 95 Fat 7 g Sodium 10 mg

Carbohydrates 8 g Saturated fat 1 g Total sugars 4 g

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 ½ fat.








Commonplace Rice and Veggies

Serves 4.

Note: From the Restaurant Requests column of the Taste section on May 11, 1977: “While in the city last summer we ate at the Commonplace in St. Paul,” wrote Mrs. Donald Coleman. “We tried the rice and veggies. I’m wondering if they would share a family-size version of the recipe.”

• Uncooked brown rice

• Vegetables in season: carrots, onions, celery, peppers, cauliflower, peppers, scallions, parsley, red cabbage

• Vegetable oil


Wash rice 3 times. Boil rice in 2 parts water until water is gone. Don’t stir rice — this prevents sticking.

Slice vegetables fine. Sauté vegetables in hot oil. Sauté vegetables that grow underground such as carrots and onions first, then add aboveground and leaf vegetables. Any seasonings desired should be sautéed with the vegetables — except salt, which should be added last, if at all.

Serve 1 cup cooked rice to 1 cup sautéed vegetables.