Saturday, September 15, 2018

Split Pea & Cauliflower Bisque


I am so excited about this new cookbook I ordered off Amazon last week. It is called Back to the Cutting Board by Christina Pirello. I cooked four recipes from the book last week and each one was better than the last! I'm cooking exclusively from it again this coming week and I especially cannot wait to try more of her delicious soups.

If you read my blog you will already know how much my family and I love soup. I cook it often, even during the summer. But now that fall is on the horizon and the temperatures are starting to cool, my desire to make more soups is at an all time high.

This split pea and cauliflower bisque was absolutely wonderful.  There are very few ingredients, which made it easy to throw together. It was rich and flavorful, yet there is no cream or butter - just healthy yumminess!! I served it with grilled cheese sandwiches made on thicky, whole grain brain.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did!
Here it is word for word from the cookbook Back to the Cutting Board:

1 to 2 Tbl avocado oil <I used olive oil>
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
sea salt
1 tsp curry powder
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup yellow or green split peas, rinsed well
4 cups filtered water <I used a quart of vegetable broth, plus another cup of water to thin the soup>
2 tsp white miso paste
2 to 3 sprigs fresh parley, minced, for serving

Stir together the oil, onion, and garlic in a soup pot over medium heat. When the onion begins to sizzle, add a small pinch of salt and the curry powder and saute until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and saute until shiny with oil. Add the split peas and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the peas are quite soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove a small amount of broth from the pot and use it to dissolve the miso. Return the miso mixture to the pot; using a handheld blender or food processor <I used my Vitamix blender>, puree the soup until smooth <if the soup is hot make sure you have the vent on the blender lid open and covered with a dry, clean cloth so the steam can safely escape>. Return to the stove to warm through and serve garnished with fresh parsley.











Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Vegan Crunchwrap Supreme - Pinch of Yum


This recipe from the blog Pinch of Yum (LOVE this blog so much!) was absolutely delicious!!! It was so fun to put together and my kids (and husband) LOVED eating it! I caved and used Doritos inside the wrap - this makes me laugh since the rest of the ingredients were fairly healthy - but those cheesy chips definitely added some great flavor to the wrap. Oh and this vegan cashew queso was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! Such a great meal! I know I'll be making it again.

Check out Pinch of Yum for great step-by-step pictures that will show you how to create the wrap. It wasn't complicated, but her pictures really help. 

In the crunchwraps I made I used her cashew queso recipe, refried beans, Doritos, bagged cabbage slaw, and her spicy sofritas tofu recipe.

Here are Pinch of Yum's instructions word for word:
 

Ingredients:
Spicy Sofritas Tofu
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 ounces firm tofu (press out some liquid first)
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (add about 1 teaspoon salt if it’s unsalted)
  • 2 chipotle peppers, minced
  • 1/2 cup salsa
Cashew Queso
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can diced green chiles (or less, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning (add a pinch of salt if it’s unsalted)
Crunchwraps
  • huge burrito-sized flour tortillas
  • something crunchy: tostadas, tortilla chips or, dare I say, Doritos / Hot Cheetos (!!)
  • roasted vegetables
  • black beans
  • avocados
  • fresh stuff: tomatoes, cabbage slaw, lettuce, cilantro
  • salsa
Directions:
 
Sofritas Tofu: Heat oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add tofu and break apart into crumbles. Add taco seasoning, salt, chipotles, and salsa. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Finish by letting everything sit without stirring for another 7-10+ minutes (adding oil to prevent sticking as needed) until you get some nice browned, almost-crunchy pieces.
Cashew Queso: Blend everything together aggressively until smooth!
Crunch Wrap Time: Lay a large tortilla on a flat surface. Layer: tofu, queso, crunchy stuff, and any other extras you want in there. Fold in the edges of the tortilla toward the center. Place in a hot oiled skillet, seam side down. Cook for a few minutes on each side until the exterior is firm, crunchy, and golden brown. Cut and serve!
FOR REGULAR SIZE CRUNCHWRAPS: Keep your filling amounts minimal. It is very common to run into the issue of overflow, in which case, you can a) reduce filling amounts, b) fold it up as-is and hope for the best – I found even half-closed crunchwraps still grilled up nicely, c) break your tostadas into smaller pieces to allow you more space, or d) make a MEGA CRUNCHWRAP. See next note.
FOR MEGA CRUNCHWRAPS (this is what I demonstrated in the post): Cut a few of the large flour tortillas so they are the same size as your tostadas. Then, once you’ve layered all ingredients, just place a small flour cutout tortilla on top and fold edges over that. This should buy you a little extra space for filling.
FOR MARINATED CABBAGE: I just tossed some thinly chopped cabbage with olive oil, salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tuscan Pasta Salad

 
This was an easy weekend meal - very tasty! I think the addition of vegan sausage (we LOVE Beyond Sausage) or chicken sausage would be excellent. I served this meal with a fruit/veggie smoothie and good, crusty bread. 

I found this recipe on the blog Vegan Richa (I love this blog!)......and here it is word for word with my additions in italics.
 
Ingredients
  • 8 oz farfalle , or other pasta <I used cavatappi pasta>
  • 4 oz baby spinach or greens <I chopped my spinach> 
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomato (oil packed)
  • 1 small cucumber peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup vegan feta <I used goat cheese crumbles>
  • fresh parsley , black pepper, vegan parm (optional) for garnish
  • other add ins: roasted zucchini or seasonal veggies , chopped artichoke hearts, olives <I used pine nuts>
  • <I think Beyond Sausage, cooked and sliced, or chicken sausage would be a great add-on> 
Dressing:
  • 1 large clove garlic pressed or minced <I used three cloves of garlic, sauteed in olive oil>
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp or more black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano or parsley
  • 3 tbsp really good extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp or more lemon juice <I used 2 1/2 lemons>
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • <I added 1 tsp of maple syrup> 
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to instruction on the package. Rinse in cold water to cool completely and add to a large bowl. Combine the rest of the salad ingredients except feta.
  2. Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl. (variation: Replace some of the lemon juice with red wine vinegar).
  3. Drizzle and mix the dressing with the salad when ready to serve. Toss well to coat all the greens. Add feta towards the end while tossing. Garnish with fresh parsley or thyme, black pepper and vegan parm(optional). Let sit for 5 mins and serve.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Citrus Sunshine Juice



So, I've been back to juicing regularly for the past three months - I drink a big glass of celery juice every morning (and yes, it taste about a yucky as it sounds - but boy is it good for you - so, for my health, I rally through it - hahaha). So, after all this celery juice, I was in the mood for something tangy and sweet.  I had all this citrus sitting in my fruit bowl and I thought throwing it all together would result in something delicious.  And oh boy this juice completely satisfied - it was actually and literally "lip smackingly" refreshing.  Enjoy!

1 grapefruit, peeled
2 oranges, peeled
2 clementines, peeled (optional)
1 lemon, peeled
1 lime, peeled
1 large apple
1 inch knob of fresh ginger

Put all the fruits and ginger through a juicer. Drink immediately. Enjoy!


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Cauliflower Salad with Gruyere & Walnuts


I LOVE roasted cauliflower so much. I try to make it as often as I can.  I can get away with a roasted cauliflower dish about once every two weeks - maybe week and a half- without anyone noticing! HA! Anyway, I was in the mood for it today......and I was thinking a cold salad would be good. The other ingredients just came together - flavors I like - a little savory, a little sweet (craisins), a little salty (capers)....it all worked! The vinaigrette is light. This was a great side salad.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Juice from one fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Tbl honey

1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets (about 3 cups)
2 large leaves of kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
3 Tbl craisins
2 Tbl capers
1/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
 
Preheat oven to 400°F

Toss cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until edges are dark and caramelized. Stir after 15 minutes. Continue roasting for about another 10 minutes.

While cauliflower is roasting, make the dressing. Combine remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, rosemary, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and honey. Whisk til combined.

Combine roasted cauliflower and all the rest of the ingredients. Toss with dressing. Enoy!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Muffins

I would dare to say this is the best chocolate chip muffin recipe I have ever made - delicious! Just amazing! I found them on the blog Sugar Spun Run. I love the tip she gave about letting the batter "sit" to get a higher muffin top rise - genius! It worked! (I actually let the batter sit for her recommended 1 hour total). The muffins came out light and fluffy. The sugar on top gave them a perfect, crunchy "crust". I will be making these again!

I ended up using a 12 count muffin tin. I baked them at 425F for 7 min, then turned the oven down and baked them at 350F for another 10 minutes (total baking time was 17 minutes). 

Here is Sugar Spun Run's recipe word for word:

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled at least 5 minutes (57g)
  • ¼ cup canola oil may substitute vegetable oil (60ml)
  • 1 cup sugar (200g) (granulated sugar)
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg white room temperature preferred
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk* room temperature preferred -- please see note for buttermilk substitute
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 220g
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips I used a mix of mini and regular sized, but you can use either or a combination (175g)
  • 1/3 cup additional granulated sugar, coarse sugar preferred for topping (67g)

Instructions

  1. Combine butter and canola oil in a large bowl.  Stir well.
  2. Stir in sugar.
  3. Add egg, egg white, and vanilla extract.  Stir very well, until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  4. Add buttermilk and stir well.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, corn starch, and salt.
  6. Fold dry ingredients into wet gently, taking care not to overmix.  Once about half of the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the batter, add in chocolate chips and continue to fold in to batter until all ingredients are just combined.
  7. Cover bowl with a dry towel and allow batter to sit 15 minutes**
  8. Preheat oven to 425F (218C) and line muffin tin with paper liners.  
  9. Once oven has preheated, portion batter into 6-cavity large muffin tin (you may also use regular, 12 count muffin tin, you will just need to bake them for less time), filling each tin all the way to the top with batter (without overflowing).
  10. Sprinkle tops generously with sugar and place muffin tin in preheated oven.
  11. Bake on 425F (218C) for 8 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 (177C) (do not open the oven door or remove the muffins, just leave them in and reduce the temperature) and bake another 15 minutes, or until tops are just beginning to turn golden brown (if you are using a 12-count muffin tin rather than jumbo-sized, these will not need to bake as long.  Start checking your muffins after 7-8 minutes on 350F (177C).
  12. Allow to cool, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*If you don't happen to have buttermilk, you can use this substitute:  pour 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar into a measuring cup and then fill up to the 1/2 cup line with regular milk.  Stir well and allow mixture to sit for at least 5 minutes (it will thicken) before using.
**This is optional, it helps give the muffin tops a higher rise but you can certainly put them straight in the oven without waiting and they'll still taste delicious.  Ideally you would let the batter set at least one hour, but I found 15 minutes gives me a decent rise (the muffins in the photographs were allowed 15 minutes) while still not dragging out the process too much. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Cacao Hemp Crispy Treats

I just love loVE LOVE the blog My New Roots (I own all her cookbooks, as well).  When I came across this recipe on her blog I knew I had to make it - and I KNEW it would be delicious (it really is). I love having these healthier desserts on hand.....because my sweet tooth is bad.....and these really satisfy my cravings!!  The freeze-dried strawberries make these pretty and add a tart sweetness. I also added a tablespoon of unsweetened cacao nibs for extra chocolately crunch.

Here is her recipe word for word (check out her blog because her photos are incredible):

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil, plus a little more for greasing
2/3 cup unsalted nut or seed butter of your choice <I used sunflower butter>
2/3 cup brown rice syrup <WF was out of brown rice syrup, so I used honey>
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
heaping ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
1/3 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
4 cups puffed brown rice crisps
1 cup hulled hemp seeds
3 Tbsp. chia seeds
a few pinches flaky sea salt
3-4 Tbsp. freeze-dried raspberries <I used freeze-dried strawberries>
<I also added 1 Tbl unsweetened cacao nibs>
 
Directions:
1. Rub a little coconut oil in an 7″x11″ (20x30cm) baking pan.
2. Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the nut butter, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, vanilla and fine salt, and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Stir in the cacao powder until thoroughly incorporated.
3. Add the puffed brown rice, hemp seeds, chia, and stir quickly to combine, then pour the mixture into your baking pan and press firmly (using the back of a large spoon or spatula rubbed with a little coconut oil really helps). Once smooth and even, generously sprinkle the top with the freeze-dried raspberries and flaky salt. Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up, then slice into bars or squares and enjoy. Store the bars in a tightly sealed container in the fridge or freezer.