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
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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
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  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!

 

 

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.