Entries Tagged as 'soup'

Curried Carrot Soup With Maple Roasted Chickpeas

Posted on: March 5, 2014

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I’d like to start off by apologizing if this recipe looks faintly familiar. I may have made a super similar one over here but its been slightly updated for an even more delicious experience. I guess I could have omitted the chickpeas or swapped them out with croutons for more of a variety but, if we are being honest here, the maple chickpeas are what made this dish.

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We picked up the cutest little carrots at the Farmer’s Market on our trip to Marco Island. The market made me so gitty and very homesick for summer days. We have a market here in Bloomington in the winter but it’s in a gymnasium and I can’t seem to get myself excited about it. Perhaps the gymnasium part reminds me too much of being at a children’s christmas bazaar or the lack of sunshine in the building brings a whole new gloom to dirty vegetables. Either way, it will never compare to the exciting hustle and bustle of the summer outdoor market.

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This recipe is forever adaptable so please don’t feel limited by the ingredients and instructions listed below. Feel free to substitute some coconut milk for the broth or swap out whatever herbs you have on hand or toss the chickpeas in whatever spices you are craving at that moment. This soup is never the same for me because I always switch it up to fulfill my cravings at the time. As long as the soup is flavorful and the chickpeas are crispy then it’s probably going to be pretty darn delicious.

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How To Make Pureed Soup Without A Recipe /// Guest Post by Livia Sweets

Posted on: December 12, 2013

Remember when I posted that wonderful staple recipe for homemade vegetable stock over at Livia Sweets last month? Well, Claire from Livia Sweets has been kind enough to build on that and create a wonderful tutorial for me to share with all you VV readers. I am so excited to say that she has the secret of how to make delicious pureed soup without a recipe and is here sharing it with all of us today!

That’s right – a healthy recipe! You have to be getting a tooth ache from looking at all those sweet recipes all over the internet right now! Here is a nice break and cleansing meal idea to enjoy between woofing down sprtiz cookies. Enjoy!

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Hosting A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Posted on: November 21, 2013

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(Although I wish this was my own feast that I was muchin’ down on, it is not. As a change of pace on VV, I’ve borrowed most of the photos in this post so please click on the images to check out more beautiful photos from the original authors)

 

I’m a total planner. Anytime my boyfriend mentions he’d like to go on a trip somewhere, I’ll have a full day by day itinerary wrote up and emailed to him by the following evening. He usually has forgot he even mentioned anything by the time he receives the email but I know he has to smirk a little in that moment he opens it to find days (usually by the hour) planned out with restaurants, museums, sights, road stops, forests, and campsites. At least, I know I smirk a little when I re-read those emails. I don’t realize I’m doing it but I’m being exactly like my father in those moments. He would take us all (my brother, my three cousins who lived with us, and my step-mother) on a two week vacation every August when I was growing up. For the months leading up to it, he would pull out the atlas after dinner and compare tourist books (this was before the internet was a real big thing) to what was along the route. I remember how playful he always was in those planning moments and he’d tease me with comments like ‘should we go gambling in Vegas or take that 7 mile hike all uphill to see the rock that resembles a monkey head?’ (as if either of those things were appealing to a 10 year old).

Most of these trips I plan are just ideas – tucked away in email folders – never to actually be carried out. Sometimes I wonder if I have more fun planning adventures then actually taking them. There is just something comforting about these plans being there – comforting in the sense that if we did ever decide to sneak away to the Smoky Mountains or Lake Powell or Montreal at the last second, we wouldn’t miss a thing because I’ve got an itinerary for that!

Anyhow, I bring this story up because I planned out Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is sort of like a trip – you spend months planning and prepping only to have it carried out in one big meal. The funny thing is I’m not even hosting Thanksgiving this year. We always have Thanksgiving at my parent’s house up north and all I do is pick out a few recipes to make the day of and demand a Tofurky. However, even though I’m not hosting Thanksgiving, I still made a Thanksgiving menu. You know, just in case I ever feel like throwing a Thanksgiving dinner on a non-Thanksgiving holiday or something? Okay, that sounded crazy. I just mean that I did it because I enjoy planning. Planning can be a hobby, right?

So, to get to the point, if you are looking to host a Vegetarian Thanksgiving this year or just still need a few ideas on some sides, here is how I envision the perfect Vegetarian Thanksgiving:

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Savory Pumpkin Hand Pies

Posted on: November 19, 2013

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Being a vegetarian at your boyfriend’s family Thanksgiving can be madly intimidating. Or going home and explaining to your family for the first time that you no longer will be eating your aunt’s legendary roast. Although it’s never fun having to repeat yourself over and over to every person at the gathering about why you aren’t diving into that meat, it’s something all of us vegetarians (and vegans!) have had to endure. Instead of spending your entire evening avoiding eye contact with everyone in the room in an attempt to avoid that ‘dietary needs conversation’, whip up a batch of these hand pies to win everyone over. No meat lover will miss the meat in these little pockets of savory deliciousness and they might just agree that these would make a better main course (or appetizer or side or all 3).

Although eating a giant turkery for Thanksgiving is ‘traditional’, I say the hell with it! Let’s make our own tradition!! You aren’t constrained to eating that one meat that is ‘traditional’ and you can play around with any food you enjoy. And, in my opinion, I think these little pockets of pot pies are better than any dried out turkey I was served as a child.

 

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Hop on over to DeSmitten Design blog for the full recipe and learn more!

 

Chickpea Tomato Minestrone [with vegan option]

Posted on: October 21, 2013

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When reflecting on past gardens, I can’t help but be grateful for the fact that I was able to have an inground garden this summer. In years past, I’ve always moved in August and had failed attempts with transplanting tomato plants and herbs. This means that the last time I had a real garden was when I was little and my parent’s let me pick out what I wanted to grow. And that was gourds – I remember distintcly only wanting to grow gourds and my parents thinking that was a little funny (although I wouldn’t understand why until many years later… when I realized they are really not very useful in the kitchen).

But anyhow, this year… this year I was able to go all out. No more of that half assing tomato and basil plant in a few pots. Nope, Nope. This year I wanted a garden both in the back and side yard (one for full sun and one for part). We planted tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, kale, swiss chard, scallions, lemongrass, cucumbers, bell peppers, jalapeños, rosemary, sage, and so on. Some of them flourished (lemongrass, scallions, kale, tamotoes) and some of them never quite got off the ground (potatoes, cucumbers…). But whether they grew to monstorous portions or stayed micro size, we tried to harvest and enjoy them. We harvested everything in September but the swiss chard and lemongrass.

 

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I’m not sure what I was waiting for with the swiss chard but I knew I was ignoring it until a sign occured. Whether that sign was a must-try recipe or the first frost biting at it’s leaves, I knew I needed a sign. Perhaps it was because the leaves were coming in so beautifully with the colored veins speckled through out them. Whatever it was, I knew I didn’t want to waste these greens by burying them at the bottom of a recipe.

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Chickpea Dumplings in Curry Tomato Sauce

Posted on: September 22, 2013

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I know you were starting to worry. You were starting to wonder if my diet really could consist of sugar and alcohol based on the recipes that have been posted on VV the last month or so. So, in an attempt to show you a some-what ‘normal’ side of my diet, I’m posting this dumpling recipe which is an evening go-to in our home. Curry is always welcome around here and we tend to make it about once a week in the cooler months. I like this recipe because it breaks up the usual vegetable-sauce-rice ratio and has protein-rich dumplings cooked right in. Also, the best part about the dumpling literally steaming into the sauce is that it doesn’t take any longer than it would for you to simmer a pot of homemade curry sauce.

This recipe is traditionally prepared by frying the dumplings but I’ve chosen to steam them in the tomato sauce instead for both time and health sake. Think of it as an Indian-curry version of chicken and dumpling stew. Except the sauce plays a much more flavorful part than in our traditional comfort stew. The dumplings end up gooey and steaming them in the sauce lends to the dumplings soaking up the flavors around them.

We serve ours over basmati rice but you can make it a little bit healthier by substituting brown rice. We also like to top ours with greek yogurt for an extra creamy consistency but it’s plenty flavorful without the yogurt if you are trying to keep it vegan.

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French Onion Soup [Revisited]

Posted on: May 15, 2013

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Soup?! Really? But it’s SPRING. Soup season is over. Or so I thought. This past rainy and chilly Saturday sparked my desire for one last soup for the season. My stepfather and Ma had dropped off a 10 pound bag of onions from Shriners earlier in the week week. TEN pounds. Do you know how many onions that is for two people? A lot. I racked my brain trying to think of recipes that used more than 1 onion in it…stuffed onions with couscous and goat cheese? Or Pickled onions with beets and coriander? And then Wyatt suggested onion soup. Of course!

I’ve only made quick french onion soup but the rain challenged me to spend the afternoon in the kitchen caramelizing the onions. And don’t get me wrong – the quick method is delicious but it’s not even comparable to traditional french onion soup. This method leaves you with melt-in-your mouth, sweet slices of onion amaziness. I wish I had caramelized all ten pounds of onions to throw onto of everything (pizza, pasta, salads, …ice cream?).

Try this method of making french onion the next time you are stuck inside because of the weather or come home after a long day and need some serious cooking therapy.

 

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French Onion Soup [Revisited]

  • 7 cups sliced onions
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 springs of fresh thyme
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (I used homemade)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • fresh baguette, cut into 1 inch thick pieces
  • 1 cup grated Swiss or gruyere (or a combination of the two)
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste

 

Melt the butter and oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepans. Add the sliced onion and toss until coated with butter / oil. Cover, lower heat to low, and let cook for 15 minutes untouched (go play with your puppy, eat some almond butter, read a magazine, etc).

Uncover, turn the heat back up to medium-low and add in the sugar and a dash of salt. Cook for about an hour and stir frequently. Cook until the onions have become a deep brown and are irrisistable sweet.

Add the flour and cook for a minute. Next, add in the wine, broth, and thyme springs. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and use a spoon to scoop out the thyme stems.

Transfer soup into your desired amount of  ovenproof soup bowls. Top each with a  thick slice of baguette and grated cheese. Stick under the broiler until the cheese has melted and is just started to brown.

Enjoy!

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Coconut Curried Carrot Soup with Spiced Chickpeas

Posted on: February 21, 2013

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This is usually the part of winter where I get fed up. At this point, I am over root vegetables and kale salads and chili and stews. At this point, I’m usually throwing in the towel and ordering take out, frozen pizzas, or milkshakes for dinner. It’s that last leg before spring food hits the produce isle and I can’t help but find it hard to stay inspired after four months of the same thing being in season.

Not this year. This year I was determined to not get bored with dinners. This year, I constnaly have been reminding myself how much I long for minestrone or curry when it’s 90 degrees out. This year I’ve added fun new techniques to my winter routine – like my tagine and slow cooker. I’ve added things into my soups to make them more interesting – like those insanely delicious goat cheese croutons.

And now I’m back with another soup recipes with a fun addition: spiced chickpeas. These chickpeas are…woah. It was hard to save them for dinner because there was so much munching I should have been making the soup. Wash the vegetables, eat a few chickpeas, simmer, eat a few chickpea, season, eat a few chickpeas. You get the idea. So addicting.

I’m pretty excited to start adding these chickpeas to my afternoon snack routine. It will be a nice change from greek yogurt or nuts. I found this great resource of different seasonings for your chickpeas over at MPMKs – cannot wait to try them all!

 

 

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Coconut Curried Carrot Soup with Spiced Chickpeas

  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used homemade)
  • 1 15 ounce can of coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • Salt / Pepper, to taste
  • Feta, optional

 

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of salt

 

To make the chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the ingredients together and put in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chickpeas are crispy. Remove from oven and let cool.

 To make the soup: Heat olive oil over medium in a large saucepan. Add onions and saute until translucent (about ten minutes). Add the carrots and cook for another five minutes. Pour in the stock, coconut milk, ginger, and curry powder. Cover and cook for about ten minutes (or until the carrots are soft).

Once all the vegetables are soft, remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Season with salt, pepper, and maybe a little hot sauce (if you like a kick). Top with feta and chickpeas.

 

Leblebi // Chickpea Stew

Posted on: January 31, 2013

Chickpea Stew

The fascination with my Tangine has really morphed my cooking this past month. I didn’t even use the tagine for this recipe but was drawn to it since the recipe is so similar to the other Tunisian dishes I’ve been playing around with. Who knew 2013 would be the year of preserved lemons, harissa paste, and spicy stews? Well, the first few months of 2013 at least. Can’t predict past that.

I am sooo in love the contrast that is created when you mix spicy harissa paste with sweet honey and lather it all over vegetables / beans. Oh my goodness! Do you know what I’m talking about? Well, you should. And here is a perfect starter recipe for it. Harissa paste is super easy to make (check out the recipe here) or you should be able to find it at any international market store. As for preserved lemons? It took me a long time to come around to them and I would recommend slicing them VERY thin until you get use to their intense flavor. But with that said, they really do add a depth of flavor that could not be achieved by this simple stew without them.

 

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Lablabi / Chickpea Stew

Serves 2

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (about 2 cans drained)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, sliced thinly
  • 1 roasted bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 teaspoons capers, rinsed
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • dash of salt
  • Day old Bread

Simmer the chickpeas in the vegetable broth until heated through. Whisk together the olive oil, honey, garlic, cumin salt, and harissa paste in a small bowl. Fold in the capers, lemon, and red pepper to the dressing.

Tear the bread into large chunks and divide between two bowls. Spoon the chickpeas and broth over the bread and top with dressing / lemon mixture. Serve right away so the bread doesn’t get soggy.

 

Quick & Easy Lentil Soup

Posted on: January 1, 2013

Did you have a wonderful New Year?! Did you get to kiss that special someone at midnight and maybe drink a little too much bubbly? Yeah, me too. Ah well. How about we start off the new year right with this super healthy and delicious lentil soup?

I usually make dinner for Wyatt pretty much every night and this has been going on for well over a year now. However, I just recently found out his favorite soup is lentil soup. That means all this time I’ve been making these elaborate and time consuming (and delicious… see Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons and Rosemary Soup with Rustic Bread) when I could have just made this simple lentil stew. Go figure!

This soup is not only easy but it’s packed full of vegetables and protein. Not bad, eh? And this recipe made enough for us to enjoy for two meals plus some for me to freeze for later! It’s dairy free so it freezes super well and will go perfect with a big salad or crusty bread or grilled cheese.

 

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Black Bean & Wheatberry Chili

Posted on: December 3, 2012

 

Morning, Morning. Can you believe it is already December? It sure does not feel like it. I don’t know about where you live but I’m located in the Midwest and we are suppose to have some 70 degree weather today (such a weird introduction to winter…). Not that I’m complaining but I would have considered making something a little more…light and refreshing had I known it was going to be so warm. Ah well, this chili is oh so delicious regardless of the temperature.

I’m not going to lie. I am really proud of this recipe. It’s packed with so much nutrients I can hardly wrap my head around it. We are talking loads of protein, fiber, vitamin C, iron, potassium, vitamin A, etc etc etc. The list goes on and if you make the beans from scratch… this chili is packed full of fresh and non-processed foods as well. I’ve never felt soooo good about gobbling down a bowl of food. And not to mention, it is absolutely delicious. The wheat berries give it slight chewy texture while the cocoa powder (learned that trick thanks to a very good friend of mine) bring a new complexity to the flavor.

Oh and don’t worry! If my over zealous attitude towards super healthy eating is freaking you out – I made some oh so irresistible Corn Cheddar biscuits to go with packed full of two sticks of butter and loads of gooey cheese [recipe on that to follow tomorrow!]

This recipe is vegan (unless you add cheese and sour cream) and makes about six serving. You could even double the recipe and plan to have leftovers for lunch the rest of the week.

 

 

Black Bean & Wheatberry Chili

adapted from Eating Well
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups black beans, cooked (I used dried but feel free to use canned)
  • 1 24 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (I used homemade)
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked wheat berries, cooked*
  • Juice of 1 lime

 

  • Avocado, optional
  • sour cream, optional
  • cilantro for garnish, optional

Heat olive oil over medium in a large pot. Add in the onion, carrots, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes or until all the vegetables has softened. Next, add in the tomatoes, broth, black beans, and cocoa powder. Bring the chili to a bowl, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Add wheat berries and let cook for another two minutes.

Remove from heat and squeeze in lime juice. Serve with garnish options (avocado, sour cream cilantro, plain yogurt, etc).

*To cook 1 1/2 cups of Wheatberries: Rinse 3/4 cup of berries and letting them simmer for 45 minutes or until softened.

 

 

 

 

November Wrap Up

Posted on: November 30, 2012

…And there goes another month. Isn’t it crazy how fast time seems to be going by? Thanksgiving has come and gone, the Christmas shopping is underway, and holiday cookies are on the mind. How about a quick recap of the past month before we jump into cookie cutters, green/red sprinkles, and chocolate covered everything?

 

Some favorite highlights from the past month:

     

1. Rosemary Vegetable Soup with Rustic Bread – Fresh bread and a hearty vegetable soup. Cannot think of a better way to bring in the cold evenings.

2. Cranberry Mojito – Festive and delicious! This drink was the perfect starter at our Friendsgiving party.

3. Pumpkin Dog Biscuits – Tuko turned 1 so I had to spoil the crap out of him with homemade biscuits and a new sweater. Believe me, I will be making these again very soon for Christmas gifts for all the adorable pups in my life.

4. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Espresso Scones – they were an extra amazing breakfast treat! The flavor was rich and complex with a flaky texture that was pretty much irresistible!

 

And that sums it up!

 

Moving forward… here are a few winter goals I am planning to tackle in the dark, cold months ahead:

1. Make homemade ricotta cheese (this has been on my list forever and I am going to do it this time!)

2. Get into a morning yoga routine

3. Make more homemade salad dressings

4. Work on my photography skills // work on lighting

5. Learn basic CSS (or at least enough to get my logo up in that corner where the V is!!)

6. Get into Twitter

7. Make homemade cleaning supplies

 

Okay, that is a start. Should keep me busy for awhile [I hope]. What you are hoping to accomplish this winter?

 

Rosemary & Vegetable Soup with Rustic Bread

Posted on: November 13, 2012

Well, I think I’ve finally accepted that winter is here and we won’t be experiencing any more 70 degree days. Ah, this a very bittersweet realization. On one hand, it means endless cups of chai tea, lazy mornings under the covers with favorite novels, all day bake-a-thons, and soup soup soup. On the other hand, this means six more months before lake adventures, cross country road trips, and waterfall picnics.

And with this new acceptance comes a soup recipe! I’ve already made a few soups this season (see: curried butternut squash soup) but the weather had me craving a hardly soup packed full of starchy potatoes and earthy flavorings. This soup did the trick! Along with some simple (and delicious) rustic bread, this soup filled us up and will be making leftover appearances for the next two days!

As for the rustic bread…so simple and soft with a crisp outer crust. I’ve discovered (after trying it for the first time with my Muesli Bread) is the trick to REALLY delicious bread baking is to have a pot of steaming water under the bread while it’s cooking. This helps keep the bread soft and full of moisture. Oh so delicious! Perfect side to this soup. And let’s be honest, the only reason we even make soup is for an excuse to make homemade bread to go with it. Right? Or is that just me?

So what I am are trying to say is you should embrace that the cold and darkness is forcing you to stay inside and spend a few hours in your kitchen…perhaps whipping up this comforting and hardy dish?

 

 

Rosemary & Vegetable Soup with Rustic Bread

For the bread:

  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon of active yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water

 

For the soup:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 4 springs of rosemary
  • 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes (14 ounces)
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped (with stems removed)
  • Salt/Pepper

 

Start with the bread: In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water and let sit for five minutes (this will give it some time to start foaming and activating). In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the water/yeast mixture. Mix until combined (the batter will be VERY sticky – don’t worry! It’s suppose to be like this). Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place for an hour. [Start on the soup while this is rising]

Once it has doubled in size, knead the dough a few times and move to an oiled baking sheet. Let rise on this sheet for a half an hour. Sprinkle with flour and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a cast iron skillet or pan on the bottom rack of the oven and let it heat during the preheating process. Once the oven is ready, place the dough (on the baking sheet) on the top shelf of the oven and pour a cup of warm water in the skillet below (it will steam and this is exactly what we want to happen). Let cook for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

To make the soup: Heat the olive in a large stockpot over medium. Add in the onions and cook for about five minutes (or until translucent). Next, add in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add cubed potatoes and celery and then season with salt / pepper. Next, combine in the tomatoes, rosemary (throw them in whole and then take out the twigs at the end), white wine, water, and vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a bowl, cover, and lower to a simmer. Let simmer for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Once ready to serve, chop the kale and add at the last moment (this keeps the kale a little crispy) and season again with salt/pepper.

Serve warm with fresh bread!

 

 

 

 

October Highlights

Posted on: October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! I usually do my monthly wrap ups on the first but VV is participating in a virtual potluck tomorrow (more on that…well…tomorrow) so let’s talk October today. Cool? Cool.

Did everyone have a wonderful October? I don’t know what it is but my only association with Fall is Late September/October. I am really hoping that the crisp fall feeling doesn’t fade into winter just yet…oh November, you sound so…dark. Am I the only one feeling this way? Well, in an attempt to hold onto my favorite season as long as possible, I will be keeping the pumpkin recipes coming! At least until I have to pull out my winter jacket…
And now for some October Highlights!

 

 

1. Muesli Bread – by far my favorite recipe from the month of October. Not only was this bread melt-in-your-mouth delicious when fresh out of the oven but it was also loaded with healthy (and yummy!) pumpkin seeds, almonds, and dried cherries!

2. Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons – Goat cheese croutons might be the best winter food ever to exist. Bringing these into my world has opened up so many new ways to jazz up ordinary soup.

3. Spicy Jalapeno Corn Hummus – Hummus has been my go to snack for years now and my recent attempts to play with its flavors have been delightful. The extra kick that the jalapeno gives really brings new flavor to standard hummus

4. Homemade Caramel Corn – Your movie nights will never be the same again! The recipe makes a lot but it’s the perfect snack for a crowd or if you are craving some seriously delicious caramel treats in your life.

 

Lastly, don’t forget to check out my collaboration with Dishes Undressed on Bread Pudding and the October Giveaway that VV is hosting (ends Friday!).

 

And as for November? Well, I am hoping (have I said this before?) to have my new blog makeover up and running this month! And will probably send the next 3 weeks drooling over Thanksgiving recipes. Ah yes, it won’t be such a bad month after all!

Homemade Vegetable Stock

Posted on: October 10, 2012

So I should start by letting you know that I’m a produce addict. Between our weekly CSA box, Farmer’s market, and local co-op, we probably spend more money monthly on organic vegetables than we do on all our utility bills combined. This means that we end up with a garbage full of scraps almost every week. The “right” thing to do would be to start composting but for many [including us] this does not seem like an option. For 1, we rent so the idea of starting a compost for 9 months and then leaving the remains for the next tenant to deal with is just rude (could you imagine having to deal with a compost pile if you didn’t know what you were doing?). And secondly, we don’t have a proper place for it. Our backyard is fenced in but that is Tuko//Taco//Teekee territory and even if we got a bin for it, our little puppy is a nosy creature and would find ways to munch down on composting parts (which would not be the healthiest for the little guy).

Anyhow, I feel bad about not being able to compost. The amount of scraps we create is discouraging and I do believe that there is a lot of nutrition tossed away with those onion ends, zucchini peels, and herbs that have sat out for just too long. Luckily, I discovered that you can use those scraps to ma

ke vegetable broth. It’s quite simple: you just throw your scraps into a zip lock bag in the freezer and whip up some broth when it’s full. This is a truly great time to do this with soup season approaching!

A few reasons why we think you should make your own broth:

1. It’s a way to use up all those vegetable scraps and not waste those ‘on-the-verge’ of spoiling vegetables (just throw them in the freezer when they are too far gone to eat raw but not yet moldy)

2. You know exactly what is in your broth and don’t have to worry about preservatives or other chemicals sneaking into your food

3. It makes using vegetable broth so easy! You don’t have to worry about using up only half a can of because you have a stock pile in the freezer that allows you to only take out what you need

4. The broth will stay good in the freezer for several months (I’ve read different things about the exactly length of time but I’ve heard anywhere between 3 and 5 months. If you are unsure if it’s still good, use your nose! It’s the best judge)

Well, there ya go. Are you convinced yet? I mean, come on! I know you are planning to make loads of soup in the next couple of months…why not have fresh vegetable stock easily accessible for you? I’ve done a lot of research on what you can/can’t freeze and everyone seems to have a different opinion so here is a general list that I use (feel free to just google it if there is a specific vegetable that you aren’t sure about):

  • Onion//leeks//scallions (red will dye your broth a bit pink which I don’t mind but if you do then just omit)
  • Peppers
  • eggplant
  • root vegetables (beets will also dye the broth purple – again, omit if you aren’t into that)
  • mushrooms
  • herbs (basil, sage, rosemary, cilantro, etc) – this includes the stems!
  • garlic
  • broccoli
  • asparagus
  • fennel
  • celery

Got it? Easy. Now just start a small stash in your freezer and make some broth when you’ve accumulated around 4 cups. It literally takes the same amount of time it would take to boil some dried beans (you DO make your chickpeas//black beans from dried, don’t you? Maybe I should do a post on that topic as well soon). I usually prep my food for the week every Sunday afternoon and made the broth along side cooking some black beans. So easy and only takes about an hour.

PS- I should note that you don’t need to use frozen vegetables by any means! If you just want to make some broth (not out of leftover scraps), just pick up 4 cups worth of organic produce at your local co-op and follow the same directions below.

Homemade Vegetable Broth

  • 4-5 cups of vegetable scraps (see list above), chopped
  • Flavoring (bay leaf, a few peppercorns, herbs, etc), optional
  • garlic clove, optional
  • Tomato chunks or 1 Tablespoon tomato paste, optional

 

 

Place all ingredients in a large pot and cover with cold water (just enough so all the veggies are covered). Bring water to a boil and let simmer for an hour (don’t let it simmer for much more or it starts to lose flavor.

Strain the vegetable mixture and discard the scraps. Let cool completely and either use right away or freeze/refrigerate in quantities that will suit you best (I froze them in ice trays and just made note that 6 broth cubes = half a cup).

Store in fridge for up to 5 days and in freezer for up to 3 months.

Use in all your favorite soups, stews, curries, and risotto including Curried Butternut Squash Soup, Fall Curry, and French Onion Soup.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons

Posted on: October 9, 2012

And here I am again with more butternut squash in my life (as if that amazing Galette was not enough!). What can I say? Eating in season has been so easy since our bodies were made to adjust to the seasons. All I’ve been craving for the past two weeks have been soups loaded with winter squash and apple-coated everything.

And I am excited to share with you goat cheese croutons! Have you ever had croutons made out of cheese? OH MY GOD. I cannot believe it took 23 years on this planet to discover these little things! They bring shame to that stale old bread that you use to call “croutons”. For real, image this: gooey, breaded chunks of cheese hidden in your bowl of already delicious soup. It’s like a cheese stick in your soup! But even better because it’s homemade and filled with GOAT CHEESE. Not so bad…am I right? I’m excited to experiment with this more as the winter progresses….perhaps try other cheeses? They will need to low in fat content so that they don’t melt in the cooking process. Hmmm…perhaps feta or Parmesan chunks ? Or maybe even find a better technique for sealing the cheese in the breadcrumbs and branch out to Gruyere or brie. Oh man, the options are endless!

Anyhow, regardless of the croutons, this soup is really yummy. Flavored with curry powder and roasted butternut squash, this recipe is a keeper! I recommend roasting the squash ahead of time since it takes an hour and then you can prep the rest in 20 minutes.

Lastly, you should know that I adapted this recipe from SpoonForkBacon. It’s one of my new favorite food blogs and although I don’t eat bacon (thank goodness that I don’t have to worry about that bacon shortage coming!), I do find the food photography incredibly inspiring and highly suggest that you all hop on over and check it out!

 

 

Curried Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese Croutons

adapted from SpoonForkBacon
  • 1 large butternut squash, sliced in half with seeds removed
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons chives, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk (you can use regular as well if that is what you have on hand)

For the croutons:

  • 3 ounces goat cheese,
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet with the cut sides up. Stick 1 tablespoon of the butter and brown sugar in the cavity of each side. Roast for 1 hour or until the flesh has softened all the way through. Remove from heat and let cool enough to handle. Remove skin and discard.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes or until softened. Add in the chives, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, and squash. Stir until combined.

Next, pour in the broth and let simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and use an immersion blender (or let cool enough to stick in the regular blender) and puree. Return to the stove top and simmer over medium low for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut milk.

To make the croutons:

Leave oven preheated at 375 degrees.

Make 12 (or 15 if you want them smaller) balls of goat cheese. Place the flour, breadcrumbs, and egg all in separate bowls. Roll the balls into the flour, egg, and then the breadcrumbs. Place onto a greased baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes (flipping halfway through). Make sure to keep your eye on them and remove when browned (some will take more or less time depending on how big your croutons are).

Serve the soup with croutons or crispy bread.

 

 

 

Farmer’s Market Sweet Potato and Asparagus Curry

Posted on: April 8, 2012

Yesterday morning, after much anticipation, I went to the first outdoor Farmer’s Market of the season!! It was even better than expected. In years past the first few market’s were only filled with budding herb plants and strawberry shrubs but with the weather being so warm lately, there was plenty of produce to be had! I got a box of sweet potatoes, a (still living) head of lettuce, and a bunch of asparagus.

Needless to say, I immediately started thinking about how to combine the three. I ended up saving the lettuce for sandwiches this week but found this great curry recipe for the sweet potatoes and asparagus. This made me particularly excited because

  1. I am using my sweet potato and asparagus
  2.  I LOOOOOOVE curry
  3.  this curry was like no other curry I have ever made before

[Here comes the rant about my love for curry] WOAH, it is kind of ridiculous how much I love curry. It’s so flavorful, vegan, stocked full of all my favorite vegetables, and infinitely versatile. Yesterday was a particularly chilly day compared to what we’ve been having so the idea of warm goodness lathered over some soft rice sounded so satisfying. Summer is no place (sadly) for curry and I was super excited about being able to make this one more time this season. What was especially fantastic about this curry was it used every vegetable I would have avoided when making my usual curry. I associate curry with onions, peppers, potatoes, etc but this one was chocked full of asparagus, sweet potatoes, and even a bit of corn! And the best part is it still turned out fantastic. Gah, okay, I am done ranting about how amazing it is and am going to now tell you how to make it.

Sweet Potato and Asparagus Curry

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons powdered turmeric
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk
  • 2 sweet potatoes, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to  400 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, throw the asparagus in and immediately turn off he heat. Let it sit in the warm water for a minute and then drain.

On a large baking pan, toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook for 8 minutes in the oven. Once cooled, cut into 1 inch pieces.

In a large pot, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil over medium. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they pop (about 3 minutes). Next, add the onions and saute for 5 minutes or until they have softened. Then add in the garlic, spices, and bay leaves and cook for another 2 minutes.

Next, add in the coconut milk + 1 can full of water to the mixture. Add in the tomatoes, corn, and sweet potatoes and bring the sauce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce has become thick. Lastly, add in the asparagus and simmer for 1 more minutes.

Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro. Munch down with naan bread or a mango lassi! Enjoyy!

Wild Rice Chowder and Open Faced Grilled Cheese

Posted on: March 14, 2012

It’s hard to believe with this 80 degree weather that I was craving soup just two days ago. But, putting myself in those shoes, it was a beautiful 60 degree day last Saturday and we enjoyed sandwiches and big coffee mug fulls of wild rice soup during a lovely picnic on the porch.

The chowder was delicious. I honestly have never hard wild rice soup before. This whole thing came about because I was at the store awhile back and saw the wild rice gleaming at me from the bulk section. It’s so colorful and vibrant and I’ve never tackled a recipe with it so I decided purchasing some would be a good challenge. Unfortunately, it sat on my shelf for the next three months before I decided that this avoidance had to come to an end. I looked up recipes with wild rice in them and came across dozens of patties, salads, thanksgiving sides, and soups.

I was sold on the idea of soups but most of them used meats and the “vegetarian” ones were just blander versions of the original. I decided to take one of the meat recipes and completely revamp it for all your vegetarian needs!

I was nervous that I’d end up with a flavorless soup myself but this was not the case. It was so delicious! And thank goodness at that because it made enough leftovers for me to eat it three times a day for the next two weeks (AKA I may suggest cutting this recipe in half if you aren’t looking for a large amount of yummy leftovers).

 

Wild Rice Chowder

  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups meatless crumbles
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Bring the two cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the rice and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove from heat and set aside (do not drain so the rice can absorb up the excess water!)

In a large cooking pot, heat the olive oil up over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes. Then add the garlic and saute for another minute.

Next, add in the flour and stir constantly for a minute. Then add the broth and whisk until a milk mixture is created. Add in the potatoes, carrots, thyme, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Next, add in the corn and meatless crumbles and simmer for another 20 minutes (or until the vegetables are tender). Then add the half and half and cooked rice and stir until everything is warmed up and creamy.

Serve warm in cute animal mugs with yummy sandwiches!

 

We also made these simple and delicious sandwiches to go with the soup! Enjoy!

Open Faced Grilled Cheese

  • Half a baguette, sliced in half length-wise
  • 1 fresh tomato, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese (or however many to your liking)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Turn your broiler on low (if you have two options). Combine the olive oil, basil, oregano, and salt/pepper in a small bowl. Lather the bread pieces evenly with the mixture.

Top with the tomatoes, swiss, and then garnish with a few a bit more dried basil.

Broil for only a few minutes (I don’t want to give exact times because everyone’s broiler is so touchy and different). I would just turn the light on and watch it until the top gets brown. No more than 2 or 3 minutes.

Enjoy with yummy soup and your favorite porch spot!

Nom Nom.

Tuko being so cute and good while we enjoy our picnic on the porch!


Moody Monday

Posted on: March 12, 2012

Monday, again? Thankfully I have a semi-easy week with it being Spring Break…although I remember when spring break meant having a week off…now I only manage to have Tuesday and Thursday off and have to work the other days. Oh well, I like my job…alot..so no complaining.

Anyways, my Moody Monday post is about my huuuuuuuge brick porch that could be a house in itself. It’s absolutely amazing and I love spending all of my free time on it. It was so nice this weekend that I was able to not have one but TWO picnics on it!

On Saturday, Ella (my wonderful roommate), Tuco (pictured below), and I had a coffee date with biscotti and Turkish tea! Mmmm

And then last night, Wyatt and I had a dinner picnic full of yummy soup (post about this adventure to happen ASAP) and open faced sandwiches.

And my porch has the best view for me to lean against the brick and watch my boys play!

Garlic Naan

Posted on: February 10, 2012

I’m really sorry if you are a returning reader and keep coming back to a new website layout (this could be rather confusing. Is this the same site it even use to be? same writer? same purpose?)…I assure you it is but I’m having an image crisis. Not really…I’ve just become rather obsessed with design layout and am constantly being inspired for a new design every week…I feel like I already have a new idea in mind by the time I finish the last layout. Anyways, please don’t mind the constant experimenting going on around the site. Im sure…one day…I’l be completely satisfied (hopefully!). But until then, I’ve got quite an 80′s theme going (not intentional. just love those colors)…

Anyways, naan….mmmm. Not sure if you dig the indian bread but if you dont have much experience with it…get acquainted. It’s so yummy and amazing dipped in everything. I actually made it the other night to go with the creole j (weird cross of cultures, I know, but it was fantastic). This stuff was surprisingly easy to make in the bread maker and oh so yummy with all kinds of stews/curries/soups/dips.

Oh and I topped mine with garlic but feel free to top it with whatever you’re feeling.

Garlic Naan

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

+whatever you’d like to top it with: minced garli, more clarified butter, parsley, thyme, whatever!

 

Place the ingredients in the bread maker in the order that I’ve listed.

Set it to ‘dough’ and let it do it’s thing. Go read some blogs, watch some tutorials, do some yoga, and play with your puppy.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Once the cycle is complete, flour a counter top and divide the dough into four pieces. Roll out each piece until it’s a thin, formless sheet of dough. Lather on a thin layer of melted butter and then stick your topping on.

Place on a greased baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for 1 minutes. If you’d like the top of brown than switch it to broiler and let it cook for another minute.

Remove from oven and munch down with your stew/soup/curries.

French Onion Soup

Posted on: February 5, 2012

As usual, my Saturday consisted of loads of thrift shopping because it’s an addictive hobby and I love it. I didn’t find much (although my boyfriend found plenty. He bought an 8 tape VHS box set for the first season of Twin Peaks. Arg, he’s completely useless). Anyhow, I did find these adorable soup bowls (can you see where I’m going with this?):

I love them. I got a set of 4 and can’t wait until next year to display them somewhere in my vintage style kitchen next to my 1960′s Betty Crocker cookbook collection. So, as you’d assume…I immediately needed to make soup and try out my new cups.

When its freezing out, there is nothing better in the world than savory soup that is topped with a huge hunk of bread and stacked with cheese. Seriously, there isn’t. Plus, the bread being baked into it is allows you to skip the sides all together. I like this recipe because it’s light and simple so you usually have everything on hand and don’t feel guilty about eating it on a week night.

French Onion Soup

  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 4 small onions, sliced
  • 2 cup veggie broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • dash of sugar
  • fresh baguette, cut into big slices
  • slices of swiss cheese to put over the soup bowls (the amount of cheese will vary depending on how big your ramekins are)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent and just starting to brown (about five minutes). Then, add the garlic and cook for another minute (or until fragrant. you know that yummy smell I’m talking about!) Next, add the broth, wine, water, bay leaf, thyme, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper

Turn your broiler on. Remove bay leaf and pour into four small ramekins and top each with a slice of the baguette. Put a slice (or two!) of Swiss on top of each baguette. Stick under the broiler until the top has browned and the soup is bubbly (a minute or two).

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Posted on: January 9, 2012

Wyatt and I usually devote Saturday afternoons to thrifting. We do this because 1) we love wearing vintage clothing 2)we are big consumers but poor college students so thrifting is a fun way to save money 3)we have an etsy store for all the clothes we find that are too amazing to not buy but just don’t fit us (CactusCaravan).

We decided to try out a new Flea Market in the neighboring town on Saturday and came out empty handed. I fell in love with a huge vintage vinyl player cabinet (it had pointy legs and huge 50s speakers) but was sadly already sold and Wyatt found a great deal on a VHS player (why he collects VHS tapes, I have no idea) but that too was sold.

Needless to say, after a long day of sorting through gems, junk, and crap we were in need of some serious grub. I made these muffins to dip into my Black Bean Chili and they were fantastic! I usually stick to my traditional vegan cornbread recipe that I’ve used for years but I was cravin’ some cheddar so I decided to stray and play around with this recipe. The straying was well worth it and I was not only pleased at the way they tasted but they were also really damn cute!

Anyways, I’d recommend cutting down on how many jalapeno’s you use if you don’t like things spicy (I only topped half the peppers with the pepper garnish because I’m a wimp).

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk but you can use regular)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar (plus more for topping the muffins)
  • 3 jalapenos, 2 diced and one sliced for garnish

Grease a 12 muffin tin with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper). In another bowl, stir together all wet ingredients (sour cream, oil, milk, and egg). Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet ones. Fold the dry mixture into the wet with a spatula until well incorporated (don’t over mix! Just get it moist). Fold in the cheddar cheese and diced peppers.

Cook for 2o minutes. When five minutes are left, top them with more cheddar and the sliced peppers and put back into the oven for the remaining five minutes.

Let cool and serve with yummy, warm chili. Probably while snuggling under a blanket with your favorite person and a board game.


And lastly, unrelated to anything in this post, I am soooooo excited to start a new science project tonight!

Black Bean Chili

Posted on: January 8, 2012

Whoever said that chili without meat isn’t chili lied to you. The black beans in this recipe make it so filling and the spices make it so flavorful that you might be able to convert a carnivore with this recipe. Well…maybe. Probably not but it’s worth a try, right?

This has been my “go to” chili recipe for years. My former friend (now current roommate) and I originally tackled this guy (guy=recipe) when we were sophomores in college and just getting use to finding our way around the kitchen. This means that it’s a recipe for even the newer cooks. We have made this recipe dozens of times and have been tweaking it to our liking since, so for the experienced cookers, feel free to add/remove and tweak whatever you’d like for this recipe!

Black Bean Chili

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder (use red pepper flakes if you like a kick- I’m a wuss)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3- 15 oz. cans black beans, drained (but liquid reserved)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup liquid reserve from black beans
  • 8 oz. jar salsa
  • 1 can corn

Garnish options:

  • sour cream
  • cheddar cheese
  • cilantro
  • avocado

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.

Saute onions, peppers, and garlic for first ten minutes. Next, mix in chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, beans, reserved liquid, tomatoes, salsa, and corn.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Top with loads of cheese, avocados, cilantro, and anything else scrumptious. Also, serve with cornbread (which I made but we’ll have to save that for a future post!) Soooo simple right? Piece. of. cake. Well…chili cake? Yeah, I’m done.

Broccoli Two Ways: Cheddar Broccoli Soup and Mashed Broccoli Potatoes

Posted on: November 15, 2011

So the broccoli at the Farmer’s Market are currently pieces of art for which I decided I needed to own them in bulk. AKA now I have a buttload of broccoli that I need to use up fast fast fast!

I don’t cook with fresh broccoli being the main very often (it always accompanies other veggies in other curries or stews) but this time I wanted to make these green bundles of color the main star.

I decided to see what I could come up with if I featured it as a main dish one night and as a side the other. The products of this endeavor was not only colorful but absolutely scrumptious! I was sooo pleased with how easy both of these recipes were to create and how flavorful they turned out.

First, we will talk about the mashed broccoli potatoes. They were like a slightly healthier version of mashed potatoes (less potato, more broccoli) but also had all the full flavor additives of yummy homemade mashed potatoes (sour cream, butter, and more butter). They turned out creamy and were the most hassle-free potato dish I’ve ever made. By steaming the potatoes and broccoli, they ended up so soft that using a mixer to combine the ingredients would have just been wasteful.

Mashed Broccoli Potatoes

  • 3 cups finely chopped broccoli
  • 1 pound potatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper, to season

Steam the broccoli and potatoes until very tender (about 15 minutes). Then combine in a bowl and mash with the sour cream, butter, and salt/pepper.

Marvel at their greenness and then much down with a yummy main dish (like vegetarian chicken nuggets or Vegetarian Cranberry and Goat Cheese Chik’n Cutlets)

And for recipe part number two! This soup was ridiculously easy to make and I whipped it up in about 30 minutes! Probably one of the quickest (and yummiest) soup recipes I’ve ever made.

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

  • I onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 pound potatoes, chopped (you can peel them but I like the skins and I’m lazy)
  • 1 pound sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt/pepper, for seasoning
  • olive oil

Heat a tablespoon or two in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add oinions and celery and cook for about five minutes (or until softened. Make sure to stir them around during cooking!). NNext, add the vegetable broth, half and half, potatoes (both kinds), bay leaf, 2 cups of water, and salt and pepper to the pot. Bring it all to a boil! While this is happening, lightly steam the broccoli (keep them a little firm) in a steamer or in the microwave (if doing it in the microwave then cover them with plastic wrap and cook for about 4 minutes)

Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Next, remove the bay leaf and transfer the soup to a blender (this is the messiest part of the whole process- promise!). Puree the soup and return it to the pot. Bring the soup back to a simmer and then stir in the broccoli and cheese. Season with salt/pepper and stir until all the cheese is melted.

Serve with croutons (I just stuck some old bread chunks with the olive oil in the oven and broiled them for about 5 minutes) and slurp it all up.

Cheesy Sun-Dried Tomato Puffs [and Corn Chowder]

Posted on: October 17, 2011

The other night Kelsey and I decided to make some chowder to try to cure the rainy blues. With the cold weather approaching and my insides getting chilled, all I can seem to think about is hot soup and the way the warm broth tickles and soothes your throat as it goes down. I’ve got dozens of soup recipes on the back burner that I’ve had stashed away for cold weather so why not start now?

Okay, so I’m going to be completley honest…the corn chowder didn’t turn out has hopeful as planned. Kelsey and I tried to imitate the summer corn chowder from Panera Bread (RIP choooowdaaa) but it just wasn’t the same. It ended up bland and runny; nothing like expected. We ended up spicing it at the last minute with dried basil and oregano and salt and pepper but stilll….I’m not going to bother you with this disappointing recipe.

However, we made these goat cheese sun dried tomatoes muffins to go with it that were straight up addictive.  I recommend making these with some sort of scrumptious soup to try to ensure you won’t just eat the whole batch of these for dinner!

Goat Cheesy Sun-Dried Tomato Puffs

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 8 oz tube goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 12 cup muffin tin.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and a dash of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Next, whisk in the eggs and milk. Lastly, stir in goat cheese and tomatoes.

Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin tins and sprinkle evenly with the parmesan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Share with friends [but not too many or they will eat all of them!]

Also, perfect for a fall picnic to bring along with a thermos of soup! Or a festive potluck if you double the recipe!

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