Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jamaican Garlic & Greens Soup

I Love this soup! But, the recipe isn't mine. I first had it last fall, when my friend Marlene brought a pot to a potluck. Marlene is an amazing woman, an incredible chef and one of my favorite classmates from Culinary school. She is from Jamaica and this is a vegetarian version of a classic soup she learned to make growing up. I think it is perfect aaany time of year, and is especially great if you haven't been feeling well. The nutrient rich spicy broth is very comforting, healing and freaking delicious.

The reason I remembered the soup is because I recently happened to have 1/2 gallon of gorgeous, roasted garlic, spinach broth and a need to use it up. I've been making lasagna for a local restaurant and this broth is a by-product of the spinach-garlic filling. I cook 4lbs of spinach with 2 yellow onions and lots of garlic. Afterwards I drain this garlicky green goodness & am left with a thick & incredibly delicious broth. I thought... soup is a must! I better ask Marlene for her recipe! This is my version of the recipe she gave me. I only made slight changes to adjust to ingredients I had available to me. Thank you Marlene!!

2.5 quarts vegetable broth
1 T coconut oil
1 small- medium onion
1 t cumin seeds
2 c diced okra
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 T arrowroot powder
2 bay leaves
1 habanero, punctured
1/2 t cinnamon
1-2 t ground coriander
1/2 bunch kale leave, chopped fine
4 c spinach leaves, chopped fine

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot. Add the onion, cumin, okra, thyme and bay leaves. Once the onion and okra are tender stir in the arrowroot powder (you could also use kudzu or cornstarch) then pour in the broth. Add the habanero (punctured w a for twice) and bring to a boil. I kept the lid on, so that the soup didnt reduce down too much. Once the okra is falling apart add the remaining ingredients and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes. My friend explained to me that the greens should be melting into the soup. You could add the kale earlier in the recipe, when you add the broth, because it will take longer to break down.

She also adds dumplings. Brilliant! I love dumpling, but am gluten free so I am trying the soup with mochi dumplings. Mochi is dried rice paste. sounds yummy, right? Well, when you stick mochi in the oven it puffs up & is a great dumpling substitute. My favorite use for mochi is to make waffles! Here is a link to the last time I made mochi waffles.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tempeh Grapple Salad

1/2 c thick Cashew Cream*
1 t honey
1 clove garlic grated
1 T lemon juice
1.5 T poppy seeds

1 package tempeh
1 apple, very small dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
1 heaping T shallots, minced
handful of grapes, cut in half

for the Tempeh.
3/4 c water or oil
2 T soysauce or tamari
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 T minced onion

I like to season and steam my tempeh before using it. It has a great nutty, mushroomy flavor on its own, and you can enhance these savory flavors by following these simple steps. To save on fat I used water instead of oil in this marinade. You could do either. Whisk the ingredients together & bake the tempeh in this marinade at 350 for 15-20minutes. Turn it a few times while its cookin. Allow to cool before chopping & mixing into the salad.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Then combine the salad ingredients in a medium bowl. Gently stir the dressing into the salad ingredients until they coated. Enjoy this salad on a bed of greens, on bread, crackers, or on its own. This is a serious crowd pleaser! It'd be a great item for a picnic or potluck. Enjoy!

*I use cashew creme as a base quite often. Here it is being used as a thick, smooth & creamy substitute for mayonaise. Use the recipe for cashew milk, but use significantly less water. 1 part water + 1 part cashew in a high speed blender = thick cashew creme.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Turnip Root Soup

 Parsley Garlic Aioli
1/2 c thick cashew cream
splash lemon juice
1 t honey
pinch nutritional yeast
5 cloves roasted garlic
handful parsley

Also garnished with Shiitake Bacon, Carrot Shoestrings & Scallions
         shittakes are sliced thin, tossed in salt, oil then baked to a crisp
         carrot shoestings are julienned, then pan fried

You can also garnish with your favorite teriyaki sauce

Turnip Root Soup
8 small-med turnips
2 parnips
6 gold petite potatoes (or 2 medium Yukon golds)
salt & oil to coat the roots
3 c vegetable broth
1 c milk (I used cashew)
1 small yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1 t thyme
1 t rosemary
1 bayleaf


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Popscicle Bliss

Chances are if you know me well or have spent much time in my kitchen you know that my ice cube tray never gets used for making ... ice. Normally they're used for freezing soup stocks, broths, pesto, citrus juice, herbs and most recently these beauties.

Balsamic Berry Banana
I started these by making a jam.
Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries into a pot. Add a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon and a splash of balsamic vinegar and let it reduce. Let it cool, mash with banana and spoon into your tray.

Chocolate Banana
Straight up cocoa powder and mashed banana. I added a touch of maple syrup for good measure.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana
I've been buying PB2 lately. Have you heard of it? Basically they smash the oil (fat) out of the peanuts and dry the nuts into a powder. You rehydrate the powder into a paste.. now you've got peanut butter w 85% less fat & calories. I totally dig it.
For these pops I made the above choco-banana recipe plus PB2. so easy.

Seed Crackers


  I love having a stocked pantry!
Its super important to me to keep a good
inventory of nuts, seeds, grains, beans and more.
This recipe is a good example why.
I stopped eating bread about a year ago and now I find myself craving a vehicle for spreads & building sandwiches & such. For the time being, these crackers have conquered my craving.

In a large bowl combine equal parts of seeds. In the above photo I have about 2 handfuls each of pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, flax & chia. Chopped nuts would also work. The flax & chia are the most important, because once they get wet they will act like glue to bind the other ingredients together. You dont have to have both, one or the other would be just fine.

 Get 'em wet and season 'em up. Use garlic, onion, dulse, soysauce, herbs.. what have you. The flax and chia soak up water & become a bit sticky or mucilaginous. Go easy with the water, obviously you don't want to add too much, after a couple minutes it should all be soaked up & you can spread the mix in an even layer onto a baking sheet.

Make sure you spray the foil or parchment paper before you spread the seeds. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes, flip or break up into smaller peices, then bake another 10-15 minutes. Let it sit out to cool then it'll break into nice rustic chunks. 

This afternoon I enjoyed the crackers with banana, homemade almond butter & concord grape jam. One of my best friends, Billie, made the jam early this fall. Thanks Billie. It's AWESOME!

Kitchen Sink Salad

I totally almost drove to Chipotle for a salad today. As I sat around and considered this option, I realized there was more than enough good stuff to make lunch right here at home. When you've got greens, plus a reasonably well stocked pantry and fridge you've alwaaays got the goods for a healthy salad. Some items I always have to choose from are dried fruit, nuts, seeds & random produce.

Today's Lunch
Spring Mix
Bell Pepper
frozen Peas
frozen Corn
Sunflower Seeds

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Taco Salad

Buttermylk Ranch
1/2 c thick cashew milk*
1.5 t lemon juice
1 small clove garlic grated
1 T scallions, minced
1 t paprika
salt & pepper

whisk the ingredients together and let em sit for at least 20 minutes.
*here is my recipe for cashew milk. for a thicker milk add much less water. try 1 part cashews 1.5-2 parts water. 

Walnut Taco Meat
1 c walnuts, soaked 2 hours
1 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
few pinches cayenne
2 t hemp oil

drain & rinse the walnuts. throw em in the food processor with the seasonings & salt. drizzle in the oil as the machine is running. Once you're happy with the texture of ground walnuts (should look a bit like ground beef) it is ready to go!

 For lunch today (and dinner last night!) I loaded lettuce, bell peppers, tomatoes, guacamole, plus a little salsa with the walnut taco meat & my Ranch dressing. It was suuuper good. Just go easy on the guac & salsa or else your salad could get goopy. And who wants goop? enjoy!

Granola with Cinnaroll Sauce

Send help! I can't.. stop... eating.. GrAnOla!! Actually, this happens about once a year... I should be able to get through it. As long as I stay hydrated & eat my greens, then granola 2-3times a day can't do any harm. Hey, its probably more whole grains & fiber than many people get a day. There ya go, I justified it. Easy.

3 c rolled oats
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c coconut
3/4 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c chopped pecans
1.5 T cinnamon
pinch sea salt

Cinnaroll Sauce
Maple Syrup 3/4 c
Dates 10-12 pitted
1/4 c water
1/2 T cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
2T Coconut oil
pinch sea salt
pinch nutmeg

Place all of the Granola ingredients into a large bowl. All of the Sauce ingredients go into a high-speed blender. Once the Sauce is creamy smooth, pour 1/2 of it onto the dry granola ingredients. Save the rest because it is freaking awesome.. and if you don't eat it all w a spoon right away, you'll find many ways to enjoy it over the next few days.

Heat the Oven to 300. Mix the sauce into the oat mixture well. Then spread it out onto a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake the mix for 25minutes, stirring a couple times. If it still seems a little wet, no worries, once it cools down it will crisp up.

I've been eating this granola with fresh banana & cashew milk. In the above photo its served with almond yogurt, cinnaroll sauce and a baked banana. Enjoy!