Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rustic Cabbage Soup

I've been a bit bored lately with the soups I usually make. These soups most often include beans, italian spices, tomatoes, and some kind of hearty green (kale or swiss chard). They're perfect for cold winter nights and are so hearty and filling.
This cabbage soup is also great for cold winter nights, but I found it to be a bit lighter and more broth-y than other soups I've made. I still liked it, though.


I came upon this soup recipe from Heidi at 101 cookbooks. I don't know if it's just because I'm a fan of the word rustic, but this recipe sounded great! I added some more seasonings to my version and I completely recommend doing so.


Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (or canola oil)
  • 3 large redskin potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable stock (I used Edward & Sons Vegan Bouillon Cubes)
  • 2 cups white beans, canned or precooked (navy, great northern, or cannellini)
  • 1 medium green cabbage, cored and sliced into short strips
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 3 tsp. seasoning mixture (mine includes: black peppercorn, crushed rosemary, salt, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper)

Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil or canola oil in a big soup pot over med-high heat.
  2. Stir in the cubed potatoes with a pinch of salt. Cover the pot and cook until potatoes are a little tender, around 5 minutes. Be sure to stir a few times (mine sort of burnt to the bottom of the pan a bit, oops!)
  3. Stir in the garlic and chopped onion, cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the veggie stock and white beans and bring to a simmer. 
  5. Stir in the cabbage and cook a few more minutes, until cabbage is slightly soft.
  6. Add thyme and other seasonings. I used a mixture that's marketed as a roasting rub mix made by McCormick.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chia Spinach Pineapple smoothie

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs), specifically, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).  These fatty acids (omega's 3,6, and 9) are considered "essential" because our bodies require them but are unable to produce them. Therefore, we must get these fatty acids from food sources like chia seeds, walnuts, flax seed, salmon, etc.

Smoothie with chia seeds.
Omega-3 EFAs also help to reduce inflammation and play a role in maintaining a healthy heart and cardiovascular system.

This smoothie is pretty simple but so delightfully refreshing!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups organic spinach (or other leafy green like swiss chard or kale)
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 4-8oz. water or orange juice, adjust amount for desired consistency
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Chia seeds
    • ** (If you're new to chia seeds, I would start off with a smaller amount and then work your way up due to their high fiber content and miraculous gelling property! It's best to see how your stomach reacts with a smaller amount first.)
Directions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and mix!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Peanut Butter Cups (no cooking required)

I don't usually rely on my microwave for making food stuffs. However, this recipe is totally an exception! These tasty little treats are super easy to make, and are even easier to eat! Maybe a little too easy...


Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups vegan chocolate chips (you can also use Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate Squares)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (or you could use a mixture of dark chocolate peanut butter AND peanut butter like I did)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Mini paper muffin cups
Powdered sugar, peanut butter, dark chocolate PB.
Directions
  1. Place chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. I just used a pyrex bowl. My microwave is super old so I had to heat the chocolate with 3 intervals of 45-seconds. Stir until creamy.
  2. Using a spoon, spread some of the melted chocolate into the bottom of each muffin cup making sure to get the chocolate into the little crevices of the cup. This step takes a bit of patience, things get a little messy!
  3. Place cups in freezer until hardened, just a few minutes. 
  4. In another bowl add the peanut butter and microwave for about 45-seconds until warm. Then add in the powdered sugar and stir until creamy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Split Pea and Red Lentil Coconut Soup

In the heart of winter, our dinners are often a soup or stew. I had a bag of split green peas in the cupboard and my internet search for green split pea recipes led me to:

1.) Gluten Free Goddess - Kicked Up Coconut Split Pea Soup
and
2.) 101 cookbooks - Coconut Red Lentil Soup

I also had a new jar of Thai Kitchen's Green Curry Paste that I've been waiting to try out but didn't really know what to do with it. So, in blending the 2 recipes above, I came up with my own delicious lentil-y green curry-y soup. Please excuse the bland photo. It tastes much better than it looks!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup green split peas, rinsed
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed until water is clear
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (or water + salt)
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1-2 tsp. Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste
  • 1/2-1 can of coconut milk (I used about 1/2 a can, and then used the leftover for a tropical smoothie!)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (optional)
Directions
  1. Place the rinsed split green peas in a large pot of water or vegetable broth (enough to cover the peas) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender.
  2. After peas have simmered 30 minutes, add the garlic, red lentils, curry paste, other spices, any remaining broth that wasn't used for simmering the peas, and coconut milk. 
  3. Simmer, uncovered, for another 20-30 minutes until desired consistency is reached. I like this better when it's thicker, so I simmer for a little bit longer.
  4. I served this over some brown rice and also thought it was good with some fresh lime juice drizzled on top! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sesame Seed Granola

I could live off granola. For realz. Whenever I go shopping the thing that is always the most expensive on my receipt is the (lbs. of) granola . There are two mouths to feed in this apartment... y'know. I've attempted homemade granola a few times in the past, but I had always used the cheap and shitty economically feasible quick oats. This time I got some rolled oats from the bulk bins at Whole Foods (which I'm sure are contaminated with gluten in some way, but I'm not rolling in the cash, so these will have to suffice...)
Some of the ingredients before baking.
I had some raw pumpkin seeds that have been sitting around the kitchen for far too long and threw those into the mix. The granola could use a little extra iron anyways.

Umm... also notice the abundance of sesame seeds in my mixture photo above. Although there are others nuts and seeds in this granola, the majority of the seeds are indeed... you guessed it - sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are chock-full of nutrients including magnesium, iron, manganese, and calcium. They are also a great source of copper, which plays an important role in collagen formation, among other things.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats (not the quick-cooking kind)
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground Flaxseed Meal
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar or sucanat
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
        Liquid-y Ingredients (to be melted in small saucepan on stove, or microwave)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or some other nut butter)



Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a huge bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. 
  3. Place all the liquid-y ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it starts to boil and is mixed. Remove from heat and add to the oat mixture.
  4. I split the mix onto two baking sheets, and baked for 30 minutes. 
  5. After the first 30 minutes, remove from oven and stir. Bake for 15-20 more minutes until golden in color. Yum!

Friday, February 11, 2011

GF Betty Crocker Brownies - vegan attempt FAIL

So I've been curious about how the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix would work if I tried to substitute something for the eggs. The back of the box says to use 2 eggs, so I just subbed 1/2 cup of applesauce. Meh. 

In the trash  : (
As you can see, these didn't work out well, but that didn't stop me from salvaging what I could : ) I'm still new at this whole vegan baking thing, so I might have just made the wrong decision as to what I used for an egg sub. Flax seed might have been a better choice? Anyways... trial-and-error.


One problem may have also been the size of pan I used, which was 9" x 9". When I put the batter in the pan it just seemed like it was spread out too thin. Maybe if I had baked these in a smaller pan so that the brownies were thicker?

On another note, I usually like my desserts to have at least a little bit of healthy, good-for-you stuff in them but this mix was just straight up processed starches and sugar! Eww. I mean YUM, but really, eww. The first ingredient listed is SUGAR.  But if you're fiending for some sugar... I suppose these would do!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

White Bean and Kale Stew


Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch of organic Kale, washed and stems removed
  • 2 potatoes (any kind, really), peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 4 cloves of garlic (about 2 tsp.), minced
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. Thyme
  • 1 cup organic frozen green beans
  • 2 - (15oz.) cans of white beans (navy or cannellini), drained and rinsed
  • 1 - (14.5oz.) can of Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes, Fire Roasted 
  • 3 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Organic Kale. Yum!
Directions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot/saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes and garlic and continue to saute for 1 more minute.
  2. Add the oregano, thyme, and basil. Stir until onions and potatoes are coated. Add the vegetable broth and cup of water, can of tomatoes, and white beans. Bring to a boil. 
  3. Add the green beans and kale. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Add sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Almond Protein Smoothie


This is one of my favorite smoothies to make! It's cool, creamy, and since it has a ton of protein it's especially good to gulp after a tough workout.

This smoothie requires a little bit of planning ahead due to the soaked raw almonds. If you don't have the time to soak the almonds beforehand (you really should, though!), just substitute 2 Tbsp. of almond butter.

Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana, chopped
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soymilk (or almond milk)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. almond butter 
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight and then peeled 
  • 1 Tbsp. rice protein powder (I use NutriBiotic Rice Protein, Vanilla)
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa or maca powder (optional)


    Directions
    1. Peel the soaked almonds and put into blender.
    2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend!

    Why should I soak raw nuts?
    Check out this video by Ani Phyo, she explains it better than I could ever hope to. Basically, the raw nuts have enzyme inhibitors so that the nuts remain dormant. Soaking the nuts in water removes these inhibitors and this allows the nut to germinate . This makes it way more nutritious (and apparently easier to digest?)--> Check it out: 

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Tempeh Coconut Curry


    I think this is best served over some Jasmine Rice! 

    Ingredients
    • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil (or you could also use canola or olive oil)
    • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 head of  Broccoli
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or about 2 tsp.)
    • 1 red bell pepper (or whatever color pepper you prefer)
    • 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and diced
    • 1 cup green peas (I use frozen ones)
    • 1/2 cup vegetable stock/broth
    • 1 14-oz. can of Coconut Milk
    • 2 Tbsp. Curry powder
    • 1-2 tsp. minced ginger, or more if you like
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • pinch of cayenne (optional)

    Directions
    1. If you're serving this over rice, I usually cook that first. -->For Jasmine Rice: Use 1.5 cups of water (or broth) for every 1 cup of dry rice. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside. 
    2. In a large saucepan on medium-high heat add 1 Tbsp. of coconut (or other oil), the onion, and garlic. Sauté until the onions are a bit transparent (about 3-5 minutes).
    3. Add the curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne and cook a minute or so more.
    4. Slowly add the vegetable broth and coconut milk to the pan. Add the remaining vegetables (broccoli, bell pepper, carrots, green peas, etc.)
    5. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
    6. In a separate frying pan heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat and fry the tempeh strips until golden.
    7. Serve tempeh with the curry coconut milk mixture over rice. Enjoy!

    Berry Banana Kale Smoothie


    Ingredients
    • 2 (packed) cups organic Kale, chopped
    • 1 cup frozen organic Strawberries
    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1 cup Orange Juice (I use Tropicana with added Calcium and Vit. D)

    Directions

    1. Blend well!