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au gratin turnips and potatoes
flavorful vegetable stock
vegetable curry


4 cups sliced turnips and potatoes, any combination
1 medium onion - peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss together turnips, potatoes, and onion with the melted butter and place in a 9-inch square or round baking dish.  Cover tightly and place in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

In a small pot on top of the stove combine milk, nutmeg, pepper and salt; bring to a boil.  Immediately remove from heat.

Remove turnip-potato mixture from the oven, remove cover and mix in half the cheese.  Pour the milk over the potatoes and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Replace in oven, uncovered, another 20 to 25 minutes.  If the gratin is golden brown, it's ready to serve.  If not, preheat broiler and place gratin under broiler about 3 minutes to brown top before serving.

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Those who prefer not to cook with meat stocks are left at sea when it comes to the many recipes calling for chicken or beef stock.  Canned vegetable stock, to put it bluntly, tastes terrible--like a combination of aluminum and artificial onion powder.  But this vegetable stock is so flavorful that even if you regularly use chicken stock, you may want to make the switch.

3 onions, chopped
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter (or olive oil, if you prefer)
2 leeks, washed well and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/4 pound mushroom caps, chopped
1 cup potato peel
12 cups cold water
1/4 cup lentils
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon thyme, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1 bay leaf
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt

In a stockpot, cook the onions in butter or oil or medium heat, stirring until golden.  Add leeks, carrots, celery, mushrooms, potato peelings, and 1/3 cup of the water.  Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.  Add all the rest of the ingredients.  Simmer, uncovered, for two hours.  Pour the stock through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl and cool to room temperature.

Store in the refrigerator.  It will keep for one week.  (Or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.)  Skim the fat from the top before using it.

Makes 9 cups

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1-1/2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut (this can be purchased in health food stores)
2 cups hot water
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, diced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2 carrots, very thinly sliced
1 small (1-1/2 lb.) cauliflower, broken into bite-size flowerets (about 4 cups)
1 cup diced green beans, fresh or frozen
1 cup freshly cooked or canned chick-peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
Hot cooked white or brown rice

To make the coconut milk, combine the coconut and hot water in a blender or food processor and blend 2 minutes.  Strain the coconut milk in batches through a sieve, pressing out all the liquid from the pulp with the back of a large spoon.  Discard the coconut.  You should have about 1-1/2 cups coconut milk.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions, ginger and garlic and saute, tossing often, 10 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.

Sprinkle on the spices and stir to mix thoroughly.  Cook this mixture 2 minutes to blend the flavors.  Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Add the carrots, cauliflower, green beans, chick-peas and salt, and toss to coat the vegetables with the sauce.

Cover the pan and cook 5 minutes.  Remove the cover and continue to cook the curry, tossing often, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has
thickened, about 10 minutes more.

Serve with some rice on the side, and drizzle a spoonful of sauce over the rice.

Makes 4 servings

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