Making Justice Real

The Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Recipes from a Socially-Distanced Kitchen

In this time of uncertainty, we have found ourselves living a “new normal”. However, in the midst of everyday challenges and changes, one thing is certain to remain the same: we have to eat!

For over 20 years, Legal Aid has had a strong social connection with food—specifically, a highly anticipated weekly tradition: Friday Treats. Every Friday morning, staff members gather together in the break room to enjoy delicious sweet and savory breakfast items brought in our coworkers. Friday Treats offers the opportunity for staff to mingle across units and learn more about one another on a personal level.

In a similar spirit, as our summer fundraising campaign has evolved, so too has Legal Aid’s culture of building community through food. At the end of the Campaign, the top fundraising firms gather together in a friendly Iron Chef style cooking competition to celebrate and acknowledge the Campaign’s success.

This past year saw the advent of two new food centered events: the aptly named Baking Justice Real baking competition and a Chili Cook-Off!

In true Legal Aid fashion, “Recipes from a Socially-Distanced Kitchen” is our way of staying connected through the fellowship of food by sharing our favorite recipes here!

1) Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup – submitted by Gaby Mendoza

2) Gingery Noodles and Vegetables – submitted by Julia Ward

3) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies – submitted by Laura Bailey on behalf of former Legal Aider, David Steib


Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup

By: Mealime

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini (white kidney) beans
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 24 fl oz chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ small pkg fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch kale
  • ½ oz Parmesan cheese
  • 1whole grain bun or roll
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • black pepper
  • crushed red pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Instructions: 

  • Wash and dry the fresh produce: 2 medium carrots, 1 bunch kale, ½ small pkg fresh rosemary
  • Trim off the ends and peel the carrots; discard the peels and trimmings. Small dice the carrots (cut into ¼-inch cubes) and transfer to a medium bowl.
  • Preheat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Trim off and discard the ends of the onion and remove the outer layer; small dice the ½ medium yellow onion (cut into ¼-inch pieces) and add to the bowl with the carrots.
  • Open the can of beans, but don’t drain.
  • Add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to the saucepan and swirl to coat the bottom.
  • Add the carrots and onion to the saucepan; cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • One by one, holding a sprig of rosemary at its top, run your fingers down it to remove the leaves. Discard the sprigs and chop the leaves; transfer the leaves to a small bowl.
  • Trim off and discard the root end of the garlic; peel and mince or press the garlic.
  • Add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper to the saucepan; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Add the beans and their liquid, 3 cups broth, rosemary, salt, and pepper to the saucepan. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  • When the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • While the soup cooks, fold each kale leaf lengthwise, slice away and discard the stems, and chop the leaves into 1-inch pieces.
  • Finely grate ¼ cup of Parmesan.
  • Uncover the saucepan, stir in the kale and ½ of the Parmesan (save the rest for garnishing), then cover again and continue to cook until the kale is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Slice the whole grain bun in half and toast (optional).

To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and garnish with the remaining Parmesan. Serve with the toasted bun on the side. Enjoy!


Gingery Noodles and Vegetables

Author: Mark Bittman

Ingredients:

For the salad

  • 1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled
  • 1/2 head Sliced Napa Cabbage, Or More To Taste
  • 1/2 head Sliced Purple Cabbage, Or More To Taste
  • 1/2 bag Baby Spinach, Or More To Taste
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
  • 1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
  • 1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 bag Bean Sprouts (also Called Mung Bean Sprouts)
  • Chopped Cilantro, Up To 1 Bunch, To Taste
  • 3 whole Scallions, Sliced
  • 3 whole Cucumbers Peeled And Sliced
  • 1 can (about 10 Oz.) Whole Cashews, Lightly Toasted In Skillet

For the dressing

  • 1 whole Lime, Juiced
  • 8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapenos, Chopped
  • Chopped Cilantro

Instructions:

Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.

Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.


Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Author: David Steib (Former Legal Aider!)

Ingredients:

      • 3/4 cup flour
      • 1/2 cup dry sweetener*
      • 2 cups rolled oat flakes*
      • 1/2 tsp baking soda
      • 1/2 tsp baking powder
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1/2 banana
      • 1/3 cup olive oil
      • 1/2 cup maple syrup
      • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
      • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips*

Instructions:

      • Preheat oven to 350 F
      • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sweetener, rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
      • In a blender or food processor, blend together the banana, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla
      • Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir
      • Add the chocolate chips and stir until well incorporated
      • Spoon a heaping tablespoon of dough onto an oiled cookie sheet and press flat with your fingers
      • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are browned. Makes 10-14 cookies, depending on size.

*Make 1 cup of “oat flour” by blending 1 cup of rolled oat flakes. Leave the other cup as rolled oat flakes.

Use turbinado sugar – i.e. Sugar in the Raw – for the dry sweetener.

Use Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips for vegan chocolate.

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