soup days // vegan mushroom cauliflower chowder

We’ve been having quite the blustery few days in the northeast, and all I’ve wanted is some form of chowder. I’m a big soup fan, and continue in my quest to make delicious tomato-free soups. While I love tomato based soups, I feel like they inevitably all taste the same (minestrone-y). This soup is thick and creamy and chock full of flavor and comfort.

soup

Vegan Mushroom Cauliflower Chowder
…………………

Servings – who knows? This yeilded a huge pot of soup, so this can feed a family of 4 for dinner with maybe some leftovers, or you can have a huge pot of soup for a single person for many meals. Soup always gets better after the first day.

Ingredients

Soup base
– 4 cups of vegetable broth
– 1/2 cup of dairy free milk of your choosing (I used original flavored soy milk)
– 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
– 1 large carrot, finely chopped
– 12 oz frozen corn
– 1 tsp. thyme
– 1 tsp. rosemary
– 3 tblsp. flour
– 2 medium yukon gold potatoes, chopped
– 1 bay leaf
– 2 cups of chopped mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms)

Cream base
1 lb. cauliflower, chopped and steamed
– 1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 cup of dairy free milk of your choosing (I used original flavored soy milk)
– salt and pepper to taste
……………………..

  1. Saute the 2 cups of chopped mushrooms with a splash of olive oil, until mushrooms are cooked down, and set aside.
  2. In the bottom of a large soup pot, saute onions and carrot with a splash of olive oil until onions are translucent. Add frozen corn, thyme, and rosemary and saute until well mixed together.
  3. Add vegetable broth to vegetables and whisk in the flour until mixed thoroughly (no clumps of flour). Stir in soy milk and reduce heat to a high simmer.
  4. Add potatoes and bay leaf and allow mixture to come to a low rolling boil, stirring often.
  5. Using a blender or food processor (I used a food processor), blend cream soup base ingredients and add to soup base. Stir together thoroughly and reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. Simmer soup, stirring often, until potatoes are cooked through. Add mushrooms and let simmer for 2-4 more minutes. Salt and pepper if needed, while in this final simmering.
  7. Enjoy with salad or crackers!

 

 

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summer food // zucchini muffins

This year has been keeping me more busy than expected, which means it is mid-July and I haven’t yet made any jam. It’s a different busy from last summer, since I have no running races to train for, which means I’m not exactly sure where all my time is going but I am glad it isn’t all going to running insane weekly amounts. Relaxation-Summer-2016 is pretty alright.

In a recent inventory of my freezer, preparing for the upcoming purchase of many bushels of peach seconds and tomatoes and other summer likelies, I discovered a ziplock bag tucked away in back…full of frozen zucchini from the end of last summer. After a defrost and a quick blend in my food processor, I whipped most of the zucchini puree into so many of the most delicious muffins…while drinking coffee and listening to the news before work. Honestly, why don’t I do this more often? I’m not one to usually eat sweet baked goods for breakfast (I prefer eggs or oatmeal, if we’re being specific here), but I’m also not one to turn down a delicious baked good when handed to me (I see you, donuts).

There is nothing earth shattering about these muffins – but I inevitably get asked for a recipe when I post a photo of food on Instagram or Facebook, so here you are. THE most basic zucchini muffins ever.

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zucchini puree muffins

yields an approx 2 dozen (that was unexpected!)

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. coconut oil (veg oil works fine)
  • 2 c. zucchini puree
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 c. white sugar
  • 3 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together wet ingredients and sugars until well blended. Fold in dry ingredients (sift together if you want. I never do.). Mix until uniform and no lumps exist. Pour into greased or lined muffin tin. Basically, do exactly what you would do with all muffins. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

(I originally baked for 15 minutes and they were still a bit too wet, so I added 5 more minutes. They could have taken a couple more minutes after that, if you like a more overbaked baked good)

Enjoy with a cup of coffee, cold or hot.

cold snap vegan curry

Completely devoid of cooking inspiration last night, a friend linked me to this simple curry recipe. Back in South Philly days, I would make curry dishes all the time so it was a “duh” kind of moment to be reminded that curry is easy, wonderful, and exactly what I wanted on a cold February evening. After a very cold 1 mile run with my dog (she’s getting more used to this being a thing I make her do now, but she still lags behind me a lot), I whipped up this warm wonderful meal.

The recipe is for a chicken curry dish, and so I used this more as an inspiration than a follow-the-recipe experience. I usually have all the ingredients to make curry on hand, so a quick stop at the co-op on the way home was made for a couple of veggies to add to the meal.

curry

 

Adapted from Food 52 (link above) – all modifications below are by me to make this a vegan meal instead of a chicken-based meal.

  • 2 tablespoons Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Fresh Garlic Cloves, pressed
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 3 teaspoons Curry Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (No Red Pepper Flakes on hand, so I added a couple of dashes of Sriracha)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 block of extra firm tofu, pressed of water and cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 large potato, chopped and boiled (separately)
  • 1 small cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 can Lite Coconut Milk
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Hot Water (optional)
  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, cook for 6-8 minutes or until transparent. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  2. In a separate small pot, boil chopped potato until cooked, drain and set aside.
  3. Add tofu, cook until slightly crisped. Add red pepper and zucchini and mix to combine.
  4. Stir in cumin, tumeric, 1 teaspoon curry powder, red pepper flakes (or whatever heat you’re using) and salt and pepper- cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste. Mix to combine.
  5. Pour coconut milk into the saucepan. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, add the rest of spices and adjust if you want more heat or more flavor. Add hot water if there is not enough liquid, because it has cooked down.
  6. Add chopped cauliflower and drained cooked potato, mix to combine. Cover saucepan (leaving a little space for steam to be released) and let simmer for 10 minutes or so, until cauliflower is steamed thoroughly.
  7. Serve hot with white rice if desired.

 

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Running/Muay Thai update – I’ve officially run 11 days in a row now, mostly 1-2 milers and a handful with my not happy about running dog. I had to take a few days off from Muay Thai cause of a shoulder muscle spasm that happened in class last Sunday, but in total trained 9 hours so far this month, not including my run and classes tonight. This is almost the halfway point. Running daily is exhausting, but I’m hoping to make it the full 29 day streak.

Peach-Nectarine Cobbler Long-Distance Running Muffins

A few weeks ago, I hit the wall energy wise and had to re-evaluate my food intake to incorporate more…more of everything really. I eat well, easily and as my comfort zone, but the idea of eating even more was daunting. I feel like I eat all the time as it is. Last time, I tried a batch of pumpkin-cranberry-protein muffins and those were great for grab and go kind of fuel and midday snacks, etc. This time, saddled with a summer cold that forced me to skip my Sunday long run and sleep for 8 hours during the day, I decided to make something a bit more summery to fuel my running for the coming week. While I’m fine using Gu and Clif etc, I prefer real food when possible for fuel. I had picked up 25lbs of peaches from a local farm recently, and still have many pounds to work through, as well as a handful of nectarines that were ready to be eaten. Enter, these muffins of heaven. I want to try these again with a flax egg instead of a chicken egg to see if this recipe holds up with a vegan sub. I’m also curious to see how this taste with plums instead of peaches and nectarines, and also how apples would work in this come autumn time. Chances are, if you show up at my house from now until forever with a bag of coffee beans I will brew us coffee and make you eat muffins with me on my front porch.

muffins

Yielded 18 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of protein powder (I used a vanilla soy one)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (more if you like more)
  • 1 1/4 cups of vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups of fresh peaches and nectarines (peeled and chopped)

Preheat oven to 350F

Beat eggs, oil, and sugar together. Add dry ingredients until uniformly mixed (most would probably suggest mixing dry ingredients together before adding, but let’s be real. I just added them all individually to the wet ingredients and mixed together then). Fold in fresh fruit.

Grease or line muffin tin and fill each most of the way, for a full big muffin top. For smaller muffins, fill 1/2-2/3 of the way full.

Bake for 25 minutes (or until toothpick is entered into a muffin and comes out clean). Let cool for a couple of minutes and then remove from muffin tin to cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.

Recipe | Vegan Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

Of course I had all good intentions of posting this back when the weather was still primarily winter feeling, here in Philadelphia, but life got in the way as it sometimes tends to. Spring has arrived and the weather has been absolutely lovely, but evenings are still pretty chilly. I’m sure dinners of warm comfort food will still be desired for a few more weeks until the evenings warm up. Perhaps something like this is exactly what you’re looking for…

Vegan Pumpkin Macaroni + Cheese

Vegan Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese Sauce
Time: barely anything, especially if you do this while boiling pasta and sauteeing veggies
Yeilds: enough to generously coat 1lb of pasta and sauteed veggies

-1 can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
-2.5 cups of water
-2 tbsp mustard
-1 cup nutritional yeast
-1/4 cup flour
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp garlic
-1 tsp black pepper
-dash of soy sauce

1. Whisk together pumpkin puree, water, and mustard until evenly combined
2. Add all dry ingredients and whisk until evenly combined
3. Either simmer on the stove, in a pot, until bubbling and thickened or pour over cooked pasta and your choice of sauteed veggies, in a large casserole dish, and bake in the oven at 300F for 15 minutes.

I prefer to pour over cooked pasta and sauteed veggies, and mix really well to make sure the sauce is evenly distributed and coating everything as well as possible (I tend to mix straight in the casserole dish, mostly out of a desire to not dirty another pot or bowl). Pop the casserole dish into the oven, at an estimated 300F, and bake until it’s a little thicker and bubbly (you’re preference on casserole consistency might be different from mine, so do a visual check to see when you want to take it out and serve). Somehow the consistency and warmth of that process is exactly what I want when I yearn for comfort food like this.

In the photo above, I used this sauce with penne pasta, homemade seitan that was chopped and sauteed until crispy in soy sauce, and local kale, also sauteed. It was so good, I think I’m making it again for dinner tonight. Best part, as a single gal this amount of food is enough for 2 dinners and a lunch. Talk about advanced, delicious, meal planning.

Enjoy!

Recipe | Vegan Curry Carrot + Sweet Potato Dip!

Move over soups. I might start becoming obsessed with making dips.

Curry Carrot + Sweet Potato Dip!

By nature, I love condiments and dips. Sometimes I choose food to eat based purely on the sauce, dip, whatever I will be dipping it in. I am a dipper. When I eat a veggie burger, I cut it in half and dip it in ketchup, but let’s not get into ketchup and my undying love for it. That deserves a whole love letter post.

Tonight I’m getting together with some of my favorite knitter lady friends for some guilty pleasure television season premier episode watching. We love Pretty Little Liars. Don’t hate. That show is the best worst show ever, and thoroughly addictive. I wanted to bring a snack and felt the pull of my cookbook bookcase to figure out what to make. I don’t often remember to leaf through these great books I have, but I am glad that I did today.

Veganomicon is a great cookbook, if you don’t already know, but I’ve not ventured into the Dips section before. In fact, there is a whole lot of things in this particular book I haven’t made. The Curry Carrot dip immediately jumped out at me as something that would be delicious and a crowd pleaser, and lucky for me I just got a nice bunch of carrots from my winter CSA with Greensgrow. I had to modify the recipe a bit, since I didn’t have a full pound of carrots. I added a sweet potato (also from my CSA) and used cumin, coriander, and tumeric instead of a general “curry” powder. I think you’ll like this dip. It has the texture of hummus and tastes different from the usual dips we have at parties and get togethers.

Grab some pita chips and crackers and get cooking, friends!

Curry Carrot + Sweet Potato Dip!

    Vegan Curry Carrot + Sweet Potato Dip

(adapted from the Curried Carrot Dip in Veganomicon)

Time: 25 min plus chill time
Yeilds: at least 2 cups, depending on the amount of carrots and sweet potato you use.

Ingredients
-half a pound of carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes
-one or two sweet potatoes (I used one very large one)
-1/4 c roasted sunflower seeds, salted
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1/2 tsp minced garlic
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp corriander
-1/2 tsp tumeric
-1/4 tsp salt
-juice from half a fresh cut lemon
-1 c water

1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and boil carrots and sweet potato until soft. Drain and set aside to cool.
2. Place sunflower seeds in a blender or food processor (I used a blender) and process into crumbs.
3. Add 1 c of water first, then the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Depending on the amount of vegetable you have in your machine, and the texture you prefer for dips, you might want to add more or less water.
4. Adjust salt and spices as you prefer.
5. Transfer to a covered container and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Dust with cinnamon before serving, if you like!

I hope you enjoy this dip as much as I do. I know that I’ll be keeping this in the back of my mind for all future parties I host.

Recipe | Vegan Smokey Black Bean Soup

Hurricane Soup

First soup of 2013 has been made, inaugurating my new 6qt dutch oven and filling my apartment with delicious smells.

I mixed this soup up, for the first time, in the fall during Hurricane Sandy and then perfected the recipe for a soup swap with the South Philly Co-op and have been meaning to make it for myself, again, ever since. So here we are, on the third day of the New Year, with a freezer that has no homemade soup in it, and the desire for warm comfort.

Vegan Smokey Black Bean Soup

Vegan Smokey Black Bean Soup

Vegan Smokey Black Bean Soup

Vegan Smokey Black Bean Soup

Vegan Smokey Black Bean Soup

Ingredients

o 1 large onion, chopped
o 2 large carrots, chopped
o 3 stalks celery, chopped
o 2 cups of cooked black beans, whole
o 3 cups of cooked black beans, blended/ground
o 4 cups of vegetable broth
o 1 can of crushed tomato (28oz)
o 1 tbsp. garlic powder
o 1 tsp. chili powder
o 2 tsp. ground cumin
o 1 tsp. liquid smoke
o 2 tsp. salt
o 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
o Black pepper to taste

……………………………………………………………..

Yeilds ~ 3 quarts

1. Heat skillet w/ some olive oil and sweat the onion, carrots,
celery, sprinkled with black pepper, for 5 min.

2. In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, crushed
tomato, whole black beans, and all seasonings. Bring to a
boil.

3. Add vegetables from skillet and blended/ground beans.

4. Boil for 25 minutes. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes to
thicken.

Vegan Pumpkin-Oatmeal-Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Let me introduce you to your new favorite cookie to bake. I started playing around with vegan pumpkin-oatmeal-chocolate chunk cookies during the past month, and have come to a nice mashup between recipes online.

They are delicious. They are cakey. They are not too sweet. They are amazing dipped in coffee. Enjoy!

……………………..

Vegan pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies

Yeilds – a lot of cookies, and all depends on the size of cookies you make

Ingredients:
2.5 cups of all purpose flour
1.5 cups of rolled oats
1.5 cups of sugar
1 cup of Earth Balance, melted (OR 2/3 cups of vegetable oil)
1 can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (I like lots)
2-3 tablespoons of molasses (depending on how much you like molasses)
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups of chocolate chips or chunks*

*the store was out of chocolate chips when I was getting ingredients, so I purchased a 1 lb bar of dark chocolate and used a knife to chop flakes/chunks to use instead.

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • mix dry ingredients, except chocolate chips/chunks
  • mix wet ingredients
  • fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients
  • mix in chocolate chips/chunks
  • scoop dough and place on ungreased cookie sheet approx 1.5 inches apart, flattening the dough
  • bake for approx 15 minutes or until the bottom edges are slightly browned