Easy Peasy Soy-Free Miso Soup

7 01 2014

Soy-free Miso Soup

I woke up this morning to find Rachel on the couch sick. Offering to make her breakfast, nothing sounded good except for miso soup. I whipped this up in less than half an hour and it tasted fantastic. Plus, it is full of the things she needs to make her healthy again (and what I need to avoid catching what she’s got).

Ingredients:

Olive oil – I used Sicilian Bread Dipping Oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 head of garlic, chopped

1/4 green cabbage, chopped

1/2 cup Soy free miso – I use South River’s Chickpea Miso

Sautee the chopped onion in oil until translucent. Add the garlic and green cabbage, cook for another 3-4 minutes. Next add water to generously cover the vegetables. If you like your soup with more broth, add more water. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, or bring down to very low heat. Stir in the miso (add less or more to suit your taste – I like a lot of miso) and serve. Enjoy!

This soup is very healthy because it has an entire head of garlic, which has been shown to be effective in preventing colds. There is also cabbage which is a little known superfood full of vitamins and minerals. Finally, the miso is full of pro-biotics which is why it is important not to add it to the soup until after you have boiled the water, otherwise you will kill all the good bacteria you want to end up in your stomach!

Here are the other things I have in my medicine closet to fight off colds:

How to Fight a ColdOregano oil – Prevents and helps cure a cough or colds that come with a cough.

Netti pot – Drains your sinuses which can help you get rid of a clogged nose, or by regularly flushing out the germs that get up there, keep you from getting sick at all!

Vitamin C chewable – I try to eat citrus instead. A grapefruit in the morning with some local honey is full of vitamin C and the local honey will fight a cold as well. I know this is not 100% vegan, but I have some friends who are very responsible beekeepers and do not feel bad consuming their honey. Sometimes it is easier to just take a chewable so I keep them around.

Tea – Traditional Medicinals makes a number of amazing teas – I keep Cold Care PM, Throat Coat, and Echinacea Immune Support stocked at all times.

Note: I have no medical training, these are simply the items that work to fight colds for me and my family.





Menu Planning

3 01 2014

Even though I love cooking, food, and generally hanging out in the kitchen there are days/weeks/months where I feel uninspired. I open the fridge to find no leftovers, wish I had bought more frozen burritos, realize there are no vegan restaurants within a half hour drive, and feel dread at the thought of cooking. Often I end up eating lentils, or when I’m feeling less healthy,  popcorn. How do I pull myself out of this downward spiral?

All of the food magazines I flip through while avoiding cooking point to one thing: menu planning. So, to bring life back to the kitchen I actually looked at the long list of “recipes to try” I keep on pinterest and opened the cookbooks to those pages I had sticky marked. Turns out, there are some pretty exiting recipes out there, and sometimes following someone else’s recipe is all I need to get re-excited about cooking dinner. It becomes once again an adventure, time well spent, and hey isn’t that all we ask for in life?

Things I’m pumped about making this week:

Vegetable Curry with Rice

Pizza

Black Bean Enchiladas

Spaghetti Squash Cakes with Sauteed Kale

Herb-Scalloped Potatoes with Baked Beans from Veganomicon

Chickpeas Romesco with Garlic Saffron Rice from Veganomicon

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Let’s see how it goes!





Butternut Squash Soup with White Beans and a Hint of Lemon

1 01 2014

I used to hate soup. Something about drinking my dinner always felt wrong to me. Of course, this was way before I fell in love with smoothies, green drinks, the master cleanse, and well let’s just say I’ve seen the error in my thinking. Besides, when the cold comes creeping in, a warm bowl of soup is the perfect anti-dote. The inspiration for this recipe came from Veganomicon  (if you don’t own it, you should) but the recipe morphed according to what I had in my house and I really like the final version. This soup is on the sweeter side, but is all around an awesome butternut soup that your family/friends/strangers in your life will fall head over heals for.

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serves 8

time: 1hr

Ingredients:

2T olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper

2 tsp minced ginger

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

1 butternut squash (or 2 small acorn squash)

2 firm bartlett pears

4 cups of vegetable stock

1 15-oz can white beans

1 T fresh lemon juice

drizzle of chocolate balsamic vinegar (optional)

Remove the seeds from the butternut squash, peel and chop roughly. Sauté the onion in oil until it turns translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, and Chinese five spice powder and then sauté for another few minutes (be careful not to burn the spice). Add the bell pepper, squash, pears, and vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce to a rolling simmer for about 20 minutes or until the squash is very tender. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor/blender and process in batches. Return the soup to the pot and add the white beans and lemon juice. Serve with a drizzle of chocolate balsamic vinegar.

If you are not ready to eat the soup, cool it in an ice bath and refrigerate to use within a week or freeze and eat within 6 months.





Crafty Kitchen Christmas

17 12 2013

Like many people, I really don’t buy into the whole commercialization of Christmas. In fact, I don’t even identify as Christian, so I’m not sure why I celebrate the holiday. Oh that’s right, it’s actually a pagan holiday to begin with so you know what, let’s all celebrate. Not that we are all pagan, but if Christians can reclaim Christmas for themselves I say let’s all have a part in the fun. And, that’s what I think this holiday is: fun. So, I don’t intend to get stressed out about getting a gift for every single person in my life. That’s right, even if you are my best friend in the entire world, you may not get a Christmas gift from me. Still, there is something so fun about creating kitchen magic during the holidays, and giving it away to friends and family makes it even more magical. Inspired by some amazing bloggers, I decided to steal some of their ideas and spend a whole day of fun in the kitchen with my family. The results were as magical as those amazing bloggers claimed, plus took very little time actually cooking (leaving more time for hanging out with my family and watching Christmas movies – have you seen the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th St? It’s perfect!). So without further ado, here are the results of my Crafty Kitchen Christmas:
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Infused Maple Syrup from My New Roots.

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Mocha Chocolate Bark (my favorite) from Speak With Your Food.

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And finally, White Chocolate Bark from Fork and Beans.

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Happy Holidays everyone!

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Sicilian Pasta with Winter Vegetables

13 12 2013

Rachel made me dinner last night and it was amazing! So simple and yet, fabulous. Plus, it cost us almost nothing since she used all vegetables from Riverbank Farm (yes they still have vegetables in the winter) and we used some Sicilian Dipping Oil from my job at the Olive Oil Factory for flavoring.

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Serves 2

Time: 30minutes

Ingredients:

1 box of gluten free pasta (quinoa garden pagodas are my favorite)

.5 lb baby kale

1 lb carrots, finely chopped

1 head of garlic, finely chopped

1 onion, thinly sliced

olive oil

Sicilian Dipping Oil (note the parmesan flavoring doesn’t come from real dairy, so it is still vegan)

Salt + Pepper

Boil Pasta. While pasta is cooking, sauté the carrots, onions, and garlic in olive oil. When these are soft, throw in the baby kale for less than a minute just to turn it bright green, be careful not to overcook the kale. Add the vegetables to the pasta and smother the whole dish with Sicilian Dipping Oil. Salt + pepper to taste. Enjoy!





Tuscan Herb Spaghetti Squash

10 12 2013

I love spaghetti squash. It’s something I don’t eat very often, but it is so easy to make and it’s a naturally gluten free pasta! This fall I accidentally found an amazingly simple sauce for spaghetti squash that makes me love it even more. Here’s how it came about. I made spaghetti squash with tomato sauce, lentils, and some roasted Carola potatoes (for good measure) – pictured below.

Spaghetti squash with tomato sauce

It tasted good, but was nothing to write home about. However, when I went to get my second plate (yes, I always go for seconds), I found I was out of sauce. Adding squash to my bowl, I had a hint of tomatoes left, but it wasn’t quite enough flavor. I decided then to drizzle on some oil that had been given to me by my new employers. Oh man, this is amazing! And thus, my Tuscan Herb Spaghetti Squash recipe was born.

IMG_1371Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

olive oil

hint of tomato (1 T of tomato sauce, pinch of sun dried tomatoes, or a toss of fresh tomatoes)

1 – 3 T of Tuscan Herb Bread Dipping Oil

salt and pepper

IMG_1199Pre-heat the oven to 415 F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Lightly oil the squash, on the inside and the outside. Place on baking sheet and cook until it is tender when pierced with a fork (about 30min). Pull out the ‘spaghetti’ by scraping the inside of the squash with a fork until you get all of the meat out. Add a touch of tomato flavoring (sauce, sun dried tomatoes, or some fresh tomatoes). Heavily drizzle the whole bowl with Tuscan Herb Bread Dipping Oil and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!





Sauteed Delicata and Kale

10 10 2013

Angel from Wellness Angel put together a week-long fall inspired blog series.  To start the week, Angel shared a wonderful vegan lentil loaf recipe. Tuesday, Amber from The Tasty Alternative posted an awesome dairy free, cane sugar free, grain free no-bake mini pumpkin cheesecake. Yesterday Heather from The Soulful Spoon wrote about a tasty frozen pumpkin latte smoothie!

Today, I will be sharing with you a favorite recipe of the crew members on Riverbank Farm: our famous delicata and kale sauté. This meal is awesome because it takes very little time to make, has only 6 ingredients, and tastes, well, amazing.

prep time: 5 minutes

cook time: 35 minutes

serves: 1

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Ingredients:

1 delicata squash

5 med red russian* kale leaves

1 small onion (optional)

olive oil

salt

pepper (optional)

raspberry balsamic vinegar (optional)

*You can use any type of kale, but we all think red russian tastes best in this recipe.

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If you are using onions, start them sautéing in a skillet with olive oil. Cut the ends off of the delicata squash and slice the squash into quarters. Don’t peel the squash, the skin is thin and tasty. If you don’t like the taste of pumpkin seeds you can core the squash, however we prefer to leave the core and seeds in as it is quicker, the seeds crisp up and taste great, plus the seeds give you an extra mineral and protein boost. Sautee the squash in a skillet on med heat with a lid for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Your aim is for the squash to brown nicely and cook through until soft. During this time you can strip the leaves off of the kale stalks and coarsely chop them.

When the squash is soft and browned, add the kale and salt/pepper to taste. Let the kale turn bright green and wilt a bit (about 2 minutes). To make this dish fancy and add a little flare to your cooking, drizzle some raspberry balsamic vinegar over the meal as it is finishing its cooking.

And there you have it – a simple, filling meal you can make with almost no work – and a great reason to love fall vegetables. Enjoy!

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