Dalmascan Tomato Salad

Rogue Tomato“Here’s the bill I posted for the Rogue Tomato, the mark I’ve petitioned to have hunted. Do you want to hear all the details?”

—Tomaj, FFXII

This vegan summer salad is light and refreshing, but also quite hearty and filling — exactly what you need at the end of a long hunt.

  • ½ cup white quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ½ cup red quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • 1 pound Persian cucumbers
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3–4 small tomatoes
  • ¼ ounce fresh mint

Place quinoa in a small pot and add 1½ cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15–20 minutes. Set aside, covered.

Meanwhile, wash the cucumbers, remove the ends, and slice thinly. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to combine.

Preheat broiler with rack in highest position. Dry garbanzo beans on a paper towel and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Broil, shaking sheet halfway through, until golden and crispy, about 8 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, turmeric, cumin, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons water, ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Slice tomatoes and sprinkle lightly with salt. Pick mint leaves from stems.

Divide quinoa between two bowls. Visualize each bowl as being divided into three sections. Place tomatoes in one section, cucumbers in another section, and chickpeas in the last section. Top with dressing and mint leaves.

Makes 2 bowls of salad. Per bowl: 871 calories, 36 g. fat, 583 mg. potassium, 1421 mg. sodium, 114 g. carbohydrates, 22 g. fiber, 28 g. protein, vitamin A 53%, vitamin C 68%, calcium 13%, iron 44%

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Sector 5 Flower Soup

Aeris Gainsborough in Midgar“They say you can’t grow grass and flowers in Midgar. But for some reason, the flowers have no trouble blooming here.”

—Aeris Gainsborough, FFVII

Nasturtiums are one of the easiest things you can grow in your garden — just scatter a handful of seeds and they’ll keep coming back every year like beautiful weeds. You can also buy fresh nasturtium flowers at Whole Foods.

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, chopped and rinsed (about 2 cups)
  • 24 garlic cloves (about 2 bulbs), peeled and halved, divided into two piles
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • ½ cup white quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ½ cup red quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 15-oz. can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch fresh kale (about 10 oz.)
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens (about 10 oz.)
  • A handful of nasturtium flowers
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add leeks, half the garlic, and salt, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the garlic is browning too quickly.

Stir in quinoa. Add broth and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes, until quinoa is tender. Meanwhile, rinse the kale and dandelion greens, then chop into bite-size pieces.

Remove the pot from heat and stir in the kale and dandelion greens, nasturtiums, lemon juice, honey, and white pepper. Use a garlic press to add the remaining garlic to the pot. Stir well, divide into bowls, and serve immediately for best results.

Makes 7 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving: 297 calories, 9.3 g. fat, 1.1 g. saturated fat, 0.9 g. poly. fat, 5.6 g. mono. fat, 673.1 mg. sodium, 100.4 mg. potassium, 44.1 g. carbohydrates, 9.7 g. fiber, 10.2 g. protein, vitamin A 121%, vitamin C 90%, calcium 17%, iron 25%

Lunar Lentil Soup II

Baron Castle“Oh man, the moon… outer space… my dreams…”

—Cid Highwind, FFVII

The finishing touch on this soup is a pre-made salad from Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have that store near you, try choosing a similar salad from another grocery store, or substitute 3 ounces of baby spinach, 3 ounces of cooked quinoa, 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, 2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds, and 4 tablespoons of ginger-sesame salad dressing.

This recipe uses three sausages from a 1-lb. package. To use the remaining two sausages, see Landisian Cider Stew or Wakka’s Fried Rice.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 3 hot Italian pork sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 10 oz. total)
  • 2½ cups dry brown lentils (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1½ lb. zucchini, chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 1 Trader Joe’s Super Spinach Salad

Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly. Add carrots and mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Add sausage and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Stir in lentils and continue cooking for another minute. Add tomatoes and seasonings and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour in broth, stir well, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are very tender, about 2 hours. Stir in zucchini and the entire contents of the spinach salad, including the dressing. Remove from heat and serve.

Makes about 14 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving: 284 calories, 10.9 g. fat, 3.1 g. saturated fat, 0.5 g. poly. fat, 1.9 g. mono. fat, 17.9 mg. cholesterol, 967.8 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought broth), 598.1 mg. potassium, 32.3 g. carbohydrates, 12.2 g. fiber, 14.9 g. protein, vitamin A 34%, vitamin C 31%, calcium 6%, iron 21%

Qu’s Marsh Stew

Quina in Qu’s Marsh“There is plenty of stuff in the world that tastes better than frogs.”

–Zidane Tribal, FFIX

I used pork andouille sausage in this recipe, but for a healthier version, you can also find chicken and turkey andouille sausages with half the calories and fat of the pork variety.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and pale parts separated from dark)
  • 1½ lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs, uncooked, cut into 1″ pieces
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 oz. cooked andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, cut into ½” rounds
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and halved
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 10 oz. chopped kale
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce, such as Crystal
  • 1 lb. frozen sliced okra, divided
  • ½ cup white quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ½ cup red quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ¼ teaspoon filé powder (optional)

Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly. Add celery, bell peppers, and the white and pale parts of the green onions, and cook, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes.

Add chicken and sprinkle with salt, paprika, and pepper. Brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Add sausage and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir well to combine. Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Add the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Stir in kale, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and about half the okra. Simmer until chicken is very tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in quinoa and remaining okra and continue to simmer until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in filé powder and the dark ends of the green onions. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf and serve.

Makes 11 servings (1 flat cup per serving).

Per 1-cup serving: 323 calories, 15.7 g. fat, 4.8 g. saturated fat, 1.5 g. poly. fat, 4.1 g. mono. fat, 60.7 mg. cholesterol, 1090.6 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 466.2 mg. potassium, 25.2 g. carbohydrates, 4.2 g. fiber, 22 g. protein, vitamin A 45%, vitamin C 107%, calcium 11%, iron 16%

Bancour-Spiced Stew

Garif“The Garif adorn themselves simply with ornaments of stone and bone, preferring natural objects over those crafted or otherwise changed from their original form. The one exception is their masks: each is unique, and is worn for the duration of the owner’s life.”

—from a description in the Clan Primer, FFXII

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion or 2 small onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup white quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ½ cup red quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14-oz. can of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 14-oz. jar of pimento-stuffed small green olives, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1 orange (about ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly.

Add the chicken pieces to the soup pot. Sprinkle with salt and chili powder. Brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

Add garlic, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper and stir well to combine. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in quinoa. Add broth, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 or 15 minutes, until quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and stir in olives, orange juice, and cilantro. Remove thyme sprigs and serve.

Makes about 13 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving: 364 calories, 15.6 g. fat, 3.2 g. saturated fat, 2 g. poly. fat, 5.6 g. mono. fat, 83.4 mg. cholesterol, 1779.8 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 292.7 mg. potassium, 20.6 g. carbohydrates, 3.4 g. fiber, 31 g. protein, vitamin A 4%, vitamin C 17%, calcium 4%, iron 13%