To me, this vegan Potato Leek soup is the ultimate comfort food. I make it several times a year, and it never gets old. I have modified it over the years for several reasons.
First, I switched out russets for Yukon gold potatoes. Yukon’s are buttery and creamy, whereas russets are a little more flowery and neutral in flavor. Second, I use coconut milk instead of soy or oat milk. The full-fat coconut milk gives it a creamy thickness that I love in soup. Regular plant-based milk made it too runny. This soup is meant to stick to your bones!
Finally, I started using a few more of the Provencal herbs instead of just rosemary and thyme. You can buy Herbes de Provence pre-made, or if you’re a spice lover like me, you can make your own. This simple blend includes thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savory, marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf. You can use it on just about anything too! I love it on avocado toast!
Savory is a rarely used provincial herb. It is in the mint family and is what makes the herb blend so wonderful, in my opinion! Feel free to use what you have on hand, but if you have some mint, I recommend adding just a pinch or two!
3 medium leeks, washed and sliced into 1/4″ rings (white and light green parts only)
2 1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes, cubed 1/2 inch (peeled or with skin on)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme and rosemary, or Herbes de Provence
1 bay leaf
4cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1–2tablespoonsfresh lemon juice
1/4cup chopped chives, to garnish
Vegan sour cream (optional garnish)
Make sure leeks are washed well first. (see note)
Heat the oil, butter, and a pinch of salt in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks, and sauté until softened, about 5-6 minutes.
Add garlic and herbs. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add the potatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Increase heat until soup beings to simmer. When it simmers, reduce heat to low and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Stir in the coconut milk and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning.
Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and creamy. You can also use a regular blender and carefully blend half the soup. (Only fill the blender 1/3-1/2 full, and using a towel hold the lid of the blender in place).
Add blended soup back to the dutch oven and stir well.
Serve in soup bowls and top with chopped green chives, sour cream if using, fresh ground pepper.
*To clean leeks, cut off the root end and slice off the green part. Cut the leek in half length-wise. Cut into thin strips about 1/4″ thick. Too thin, and they can burn. Add to a bowl of water, and using your hands, sift the leeks through the water. All the dirt will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Remove leeks from the water, and they’re ready to use!
Fall is my favorite time of year! I love all things autumn, including the reprieve of cooler weather! Cool-weather means warm food, and this soup is a family favorite! I always keep the queso dip around, so for me, this whole meal is on the table in 25 minutes! No dairy and no oil. This soup is better for you than Panera and tastes just as good. You can also add a diced potato to this recipe and make a yummy broccoli potato soup! I hope you enjoy it!
Fall is my favorite time of year! I love all things autumn, including the reprieve of cooler weather! Cool-weather means warm food, and this soup is a family favorite! I always keep the queso dip around, so for me, this whole meal is on the table in 25 minutes! No dairy and no oil. This soup is better for you than Panera and tastes just as good. You can also add a diced potato to this recipe and make a yummy broccoli potato soup! I hope you enjoy it!
One of my “favorite book” recommendations is a book that I used to gift to my health coaching clients. It is called “The Mindful Diet How to Transform your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health (Wolver, Ruth, et al.,2015). The cover is a little tattered and torn, but no worse for wear, as they say! Deeply rooted in Psychology, I like it because it helps you understand your relationship with yourself–from many angles. And we, the readers, are gifted with tools and easy ways to create sustainable changes for a healthy life.
I am on day 4 of a 7-day detox, in which the first two days are an herbal liquid fast. When you don’t eat for 68 hours, it’s an easy way to understand and know your cravings! You can even write them down if you want. It’s an excellent way to check in with ourselves.
During this time of fasting, I realized that I had ebbed away from the things that brought me actual physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. I know how I feel when I take care of myself in all those ways, And I also know what it feels like to neglect myself in those ways. Holistic health is the Tao of Happiness!
I have also decided to give up alcohol for the time being, if not forever. And not just because it’s awful for my body. My reflux and weight gain are directly correlated to my alcohol consumption. But I am rebelling against our cultural love of alcohol. Alcohol is poison. It is not medicine. Though I believe many people use it that way. It numbs, but it’s also death to more than just brain cells. I know someone in a coma RIGHT NOW because of a drunk driving incident.I saw a great quote: “Alcohol is the only drug that if you DON’T do it, people assume you have a problem. Now, that’s a problem. But it’s everywhere. EVERYWHERE!
And I want to fall in love with good nutrition again because guess what? It can also taste good! That idea is what made me want to become a professional chef. I also know that I want to eat good food and not just eat what tastes good. Oreos are vegan! And guess what? Our healthy tastebuds have been hijacked!
Our entire understanding of what to eat has been conflated and confused. We are disconnected between what goes in and what comes out of us! But no wonder we have commercials for “Arby’s—We got the meat.” The next damn commercial is for Lipitor or Viagra. I just read that the average 40-year-old takes two long-term prescription medications daily. It goes up A LOT the older we get. The number of pills my 82-year-old stepdad takes is staggering. Watch the documentary “Game Changers.”
Change is possible, but it is also incremental. One of the things that I always say is, “Think Evolution, not Revolution. Change takes practice. Like anything else, it takes a desire and effort, but pace yourself. I tend to take off quickly! Also, we need to get out of our way. My friend did the Hard 75. Her advice is, like Nike, “Just do it.” Hey, monkey mind, stop thinking about it and go do it already!
In psychology, we talk a lot about the mind all the time! But how many of us understand what it even is? Ha! Here’s a quick Psych 101 lesson. The first layer of our mind is the waking mind, also known as the chattery mind. It’s the always-thinking, mile-a-minute mind that likes to achieve satisfaction!
The second layer of our mind is our reactive mind. The “what do we do mind.” “Do I go home and fix dinner or run yourself through a drive-thru?” This is the judgmental mind that loops all of us! This mind can trick even the most experienced of us! “Eh, I’ll make dinner tomorrow night.”
And the third and final mind is the wise old owl mind. The mind simply does what it needs to do, even if it’s hard, because it knows it’s essential. It is also the practicing mind. Repetition and practice are what allow change to change us!
In effect, it is from this perspective that one can become a teaching mind. It takes discipline as well as desire to achieve “real” change. From now on, my hope is to share what I know. And I promise to practice what I teach. I love cooking. Food is life. But there is so much more to proper health and well-being than what we eat. Don’t worry. I’ll still share recipes because I will never stop cooking!
From this day forward, this space will be all-encompassing, holistic, and from a place of authenticity and selflessness. It’s not about me, yet it is about me. This is why I share my cooking videos, but I’m not in a bikini doing it! In fact, you’ll rarely see my face. I believe in plant medicine, and yes, I am pro-marijuana. I believe in moving and stretching the body, but I don’t think that has to be in a gym. I will explore topics in alternative medicine, psychology, and spirituality. I believe in a higher power. In practice, I am an omnist; I don’t believe there is one path to transcendence (though much of my practice is rooted in Buddhism), and I am not here to judge or deny anyone for their beliefs.
And as to the knowledge I share, I humbly say that most of what I know comes from standing on the shoulders of giants. Those brave souls paved the way for folks like you and me to know and grow! So you will often hear me reference doctors, researchers, educators, activists, mentors, and musicians. I will also share personal experiences and stories of my friends and me.
I am an ardent follower of people like Dr. Michael Greger, MD, Dr. Neal Barnard, MD, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.; and Dr. Stephen Cabral, ND.
I hope to impart wisdom and humor from great contemporaries like Maya Angelou and Matthew McConaughey (if you haven’t read his “Greenlights” book, ya gotta); and neuroscientist Andrew Huberman just to name a few.
Furthermore, I will reference activists like John Muir, Sierra Club, Peta…and THAT list goes on and on! Just a forewarning, tho, on the topics of animals and our planet, I’m going to be factual and blunt.
Finally, I encourage people to have reasonable, even heated, discussions! I am a very passionate person! And I love being in the scrum! But I will literally block people from my page if they cannot have a dignified and respectful conversation.
Helping others by helping ourselves is the best gift we can give the world.
It’s been a while! Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful summer! Mine was spent exactly how I envisioned it! I had lots of time in the water, spending time with loved ones and living my lazy best life! That said, I am ready for autumn! While I love living a Jeff Spicoli summer, “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine,” around this time every summer, the wheels start coming off the bus. So now that the kids are heading back to school next week and Kevin is gone for the week, I will have the house all to myself for the first time in years. Years.
I am in a creative mood and hope to get the ball rolling on some new recipes. I am still working on some recipes for my cookbook and improving my food photography skills. I have just shy of 100 recipes written and photographed. It’s a pet project that I have been working on and want to finish by next Spring! I am pretty sure this Mushroom Carnitas recipe will be in the book!
The book is divided into sections and will be called “Vegan Around the World!” Recipes like Mushroom Empanadas, Sweet Potato Galette, Vegan Faux Gras, Chickpea Aloo Gobi, and Cajun Gumbo are sure to have a taste for every palate!
I have also dedicated several recipes to friends and family. One of my favorite vegan chefs is Joanne Lee Molinaro. I love her stories and how she weaves her culture into her recipes. I hope to share some of my philosophies regarding veganism, sustainability, and the science of health for not only us humans but also the health of the planet. I would also like to share some of my culinary instructions and advice. As someone who’s been in the culinary world in one form or another since the early 1990s, I can offer some easy substitutions and suggestions and maybe expand your culinary knowledge!
So, without further ado, let’s get to it! This Mushroom Carnitas recipe is nearly perfect. What does that mean exactly? Well, it has precisely 12 ingredients, it’s ready in under 30 minutes, and it is so good you will want to make enough for seconds. Promise!
I used two kinds of mushrooms for this recipe. There is a lot of flexibility in the mouthfeel for whatever type of mushroom you fancy. I used half king oyster mushrooms and portobellos, but you could also use shitakes, lions mane, really just about anything other than the small white button mushrooms. You want a nice “shreddable” mushroom. With a nice dusting of spices like cardamom, cumin, orange zest, and Mexican oregano, the carnitas are oven roasted for about 15 minutes.
I like to keep it simple. Much like the shredded pork variety, I used onions, jalapenos, garlic, and orange juice. I also like the addition of the vegan Worcestershire sauce, and you could even use a tiny amount (1/8 tsp) of liquid smoke if you like.
The Violife vegan feta is an excellent substitution for Mexican Queso Fresco. Highly recommend it! Add some pickled red onions, avocado, and fresh cilantro, and call it a day, mis amigos!
Preheat the oven to 400°F. (220°C) Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Clean and shred the mushrooms. Slice off the mushroom caps (if using oyster or portobello mushrooms) and gently pull them apart with your fingers. I like them approximately about 1/2 wide and 2 inches long. The important thing here is to ensure they’re all the same size. Add the mushrooms to a large mixing bowl and toss with the spices. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil and toss well.
Transfer the mushrooms to the prepared baking sheet and spread them out in an even layer.
Bake mushrooms for approximately 15 minutes. Check the around the 12-minute mark. They are not heavily coated with oil and can burn if you’re not careful.
While mushrooms are in the oven, cook onions and jalapeno. Warm a medium-size skillet over medium heat. When the pan is heated, add the remaining olive oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion and jalapeno. Saute for 7-8 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
When mushrooms are done, add to the skillet with the onions and jalapeno. Mix well. Return pan to medium heat, and once warm, add orange juice, orange zest, and Worcestershire sauce. Saute until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3-4 minutes.
While the mushrooms are cooking, warm a well-oiled comal or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. You can also lightly spray the tortillas with spray oil. Add tortillas and cook until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.
While the mushrooms are done, remove them from heat.
Fill each taco with carnitas, and garnish with your favorite salsa, onion, avocado, and vegan feta!
This recipe is an oldie but goodie! It’s super easy and a perfect meal for summer. I love the mango salsa just by itself! Also, you can use butternut squash in place of the sweet potatoes, or papaya in place of the mango! The options are endless!
I have modified this amazing recipe because I am doing a Candida/Bacterial overgrowth protocol, and there are a lot of things I can’t have. However, this recipe came really close to checking off all the boxes and it is soooo good. But I must give all the credit to Food Faith Fitness for her mega talents in the kitchen! I’ve made a few modifications (chives for onions, cream of coconut for the full-fat coconut milk, and cut back on the oil).
A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Michael Greger, MD, at a conference here in St. Louis. I had read his book, “How Not to Die,” and was delighted to hear him speak. One of the biggest takeaways was learning about a sulfur-rich compound called sulforaphane. Found in certain cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, sulforaphane is a powerful antioxidant that cancels out free radicals in the body and protects your DNA.
It has also been shown to reduce certain toxins, reduce inflammation, and provide protection from cancer, specifically breast cancer stem cells. It also protects against blood vessel damage in people with diabetes and lowers the levels of fat found in our blood.
The thing about sulforaphane is that it must be developed before being eaten. The easiest way to do that is to cut up your broccoli and let it sit for at least a half-hour before eating.
Chopping and exposing broccoli to the air allows it to activate the enzyme to promote sulforaphane. And if you’re not used to getting a lot of fiber in your diet, cutting up the broccoli and cauliflower makes it a bit easier to digest!
This dish is best served cold. It can easily be made the day before and it holds up quite well! It would also be a perfect dish for your Memorial Day weekend! As always tag me and let me know how you liked it!
Rich in antioxidants, fiber, and flavor, this salad is a delicious way to get all of your nutrients and would be the perfect item to bring to a summer gathering!
12 ounces small broccoli florets (about 5 cups)
6 ounces cauliflower florets
2 (14 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup soaked cashews, drained or rinsed (or boiled for 10 minutes and rinsed) See Note
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, diced
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3 large fresh tarragon leaves, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, minced
1 ripe avocado, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
1/2 zucchini, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1/2 tsp dried tarragon (optional, but recommended)
1 tsp salt and pepper
Make the dressing first and refrigerate.
Soak cashews overnight or boil for 10 minutes to soften. Drain and rinse.
Add all ingredients, including cashews, to a blender and mix well. If the dressing is too thick, you can add about 2 tablespoons of water at a time until it thins to your preference. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
Divide broccoli in half, and pulse each half until broccoli resembles small rice grains. Note – you do not want to pulse it all at once because you risk turning some of your broccoli into a paste.
Repeat with cauliflower.
In a large mixing bowl, add broccoli, cauliflower, and tarragon.Mix well. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Add dressing, mixing well—taste for seasoning. Adjust if necessary.
This dish is best served cold. The dressing or the entire salad can easily be made the day before. Don’t worry about the vegetables softening. It holds up quite nicely!
Cashews need to be softened. You can either soak them overnight or boil them on the stovetop for about 10 minutes or until cashews float to the top of the water.
This bowl is a family favorite! I love the tofu cutlets, and the BBQ makes it sooooo good! Feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand. The great thing about a bowl is that there is no wrong way to make it! I love the Southwest flair this dish has, and it makes a perfect weeknight dish!
You can make the cilantro lime rice ahead of time, and it helps when you have several things cooking at once. I used a smoky-sweet Kansas City-style BBQ sauce, but again, it’s your preference! This dish would also be great with coleslaw instead of rice! You could also go Korean style with some Gochujang, black rice, and baked cauliflower! The possibilities are endless!
As always, tag me if you make it and let me know how you liked it!
1 (15 oz) can Pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1 head of organic broccoli
3 Tbsp water
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Pinch of sea salt
Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Montreal Seasoning in a blender.
Blend at high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
When tofu is pressed, pat dry and lay flat. Cut tofu in half widthwise. Cut each piece in half again, and repeat once more until you have eight rectangles.
Place tofu in a non-reactive, preferably glass pan or bowl with a lid. Add marinade and coat well.
Allow tofu to marinate for at least 30 minutes, (up to 4 hours).
While tofu is marinating, make your Rice. * (See note)
When rice is done, warm a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is warm, add 2 tsp of olive oil.
When oil is shimming, add tofu and any marinade that is left over. Pan sear tofu until browned on each side. About 2-3 minutes per side.
When browned, remove the tofu and add to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush one side of the tofu with BBQ sauce and bake for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven, flip tofu, brush the other side. Return to oven for 3-4 more minutes.
While tofu is in the oven, in a medium-size saucepan, add drained and rinsed pinto beans, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each, 1/2 cup vegetable stock, and 1 tsp of cumin. Cook over medium heat until warmed through.
While beans are simmering, add broccoli to the same skillet you used to cook the tofu. Do not clean the pan first. You want the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook broccoli with 3 Tbsp of water, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and sea salt, over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes until bright and lightly browned.
Remove tofu from the oven and lightly brush each side with more BBQ Sauce.
Assemble bowl, Rice first, Broccoli, Beans, and add Tofu to Rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Are you looking for an easy appetizer? Well, who doesn’t love a good dip? Admittedly, it’s one of my guilty pleasures! And this recipe is the first to come to mind! I love all things dip, hummus, queso, cream cheese, and my vegan peppercorn ranch, but I especially love this Smoky Poblano Corn Dip! It’s delicious and gorgeous and will be a hit among your non-vegan friends and family.
I like to set it out and watch people gobble it up. They will often ask who made the corn dip and when they find out it was me, they are always amazed that it is 100% vegan!
I typically use poblano peppers for mine, but you can use anaheim or hatch peppers. And for reasons of sustainability, I also use Follow Your Heart sour cream because it contains no palm oil. I use R.W. Garcia chips because they are yummy, the family has a great story, their products are organic/non-GMO, and they are a sustainable climate pledge-friendly company.
As always, tag me and let me know how you like it!
A super yummy appetizer that will leave you wanting more! You can easily use frozen organic corn in place of corn cobs. I don’t recommend canned corn because it’s usually very high in sodium, it has a metallic taste, and it’s not fresh! Trust me on this one!
4 poblano, Anaheim, or hatch peppers
4 ears of corn, husks removed cut in half (about 2 cups)
5 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced on the bias (reserve 2 tablespoons)
On a prepared baking sheet, add the poblano peppers and roast for about 5 minutes, occasionally rotating until all sides are charred. Immediately place them in a medium bowl and cover them tightly with plastic wrap.
Warm a medium-size non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When ready, add corn. Toast the corn cobs for about 10 minutes (2 1/2 minutes per side), allowing half of the kernels to get charred. Allow them to cool enough to handle, then cut the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife, place them in a large mixing bowl. (In a separate small bowl, reserve 1 tablespoon of corn for garnish)
Preheat oven to 450°F degrees.
When the poblanos have cooled, remove the stems, skin, seeds, and veins. Then chop them into ¼ inch pieces—Reserve 2 tablespoons of peppers for garnish and mince. Add to the small bowl of corn garnish. Then add the remaining peppers to the large mixing bowl of corn.
To the corn pepper mixture, add scallions, garlic, lime juice, chili lime seasoning, paprika, hot sauce, sour cream, softened cream cheese, and salt and pepper, mix well.
Transfer the mixture to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a 2-quart baking dish, and bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove when it is hot and bubbling around the edges of the pan.
Top with additional scallions, cilantro, corn poblano garnish, and a dash or two of smoked paprika. Serve with corn chips.
*I use “Follow Your Heart” because it contains no palm oil.
Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? I certainly do. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. It is the only place that I know of in the US with its own unique music, dialect, food, and cultural traditions like Mardi Gras that define the city. In fact, I wish I were in New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year.
It’s also a town that I happily eat my way through. Before becoming a vegan, I had a list of places to go and food to eat. Commander’s, Tujague’s, Antoine’s, Cafe Maspero, anywhere for a little Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, and a Filé Gumbo! I’ve been able to replicate many of my favorite dishes except for one.
The last time I was there I had the best vegan crab cakes! Made from Heart of Palm instead of crab meat they were absolutely delectable! They were flakey, moist, and full of flavor.
The problem with hearts of palm.
Harvesting the “heart of palm” kills most palms. So wild harvesting can be very damaging if done on a widespread basis. The hearts of palm that I buy is the “Native Forest” brand. Here is a quote from their website—”Here we rely upon the Euterpe precatoria, or huasaí palm tree, which grows profusely throughout this vast Amazonian rainforest.
Long-term leases secure approximately 240,000 acres of pristine native forest for the wild hearts of palm ecological project, thereby protecting the land from any rain forest-destructive development. In addition to preserving the region’s ecology, this project brings needed employment to those who live deep in the Amazon basin, providing them the opportunity to work closer to their families and their ancestral homes.”
But not all brands are as conscientious as Native Forest, and it’s best to check. The Environmental Working Group’s page is an excellent resource for studying everything from sustainability to child labor and products that contain pesticides, GMOs, etc.
So back to the recipe! The hearts of palm are a perfect replacement for crab meat. These little gems are crispy on the outside and flaky and moist inside. My mother-in-law (who is not vegan) was utterly blown away! You can pan-fry, air fry or oven fry them, whatever your preference. Just be sure to heat your oven to the lowest setting and add them to the range to keep them warm. Serve with a side of corn maque choux and enjoy!
This is a super easy recipe for making corn tortillas! I like the blue corn masa harina because it contains 20% more protein than its white corn counterparts. It is also gluten-free and has less starch and a lower glycemic index (GI) than white or yellow corn. Like blueberries, blue corn contains naturally occurring anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is the pigment that makes a plant or grain blue, red, purple, or black. These richly colored foods are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties!
Once you make homemade tortillas, I promise you’ll never want to use storebought tortillas again! You can use masa harina for making tortillas, tamales, gorditas, corn chips, enchiladas and sopes! You don’t need a tortilla press, but they are super handy, especially if you’re like me and use a lot of tortillas. You will want to buy one.
It is essential to follow these directions implicitly. While the ingredients are simple, the process is precise. A few things to note– do not press the tortilla too hard, or it will smear. And remove the parchment from the tortilla and not the tortilla from the parchment. This prevents the tortilla from tearing. I typically remove the top sheet of parchment, place the dough side down on the comal, and carefully remove the second sheet. If the dough sticks to the parchment, spray with a tiny bit of oil.
Warm a cast-iron skillet or a comal over medium heat. Prepare a clean kitchen towel to wrap tortillas to keep them warm and cut 2 10×10-inch sheets of parchment paper.
Add masa to a medium-size bowl and, using your fingers, add just enough water until well combined.* (See note).
Knead the dough well (about 5 minutes) and roll into a large ball. Cut it in half lengthwise. Cut each dough half in half lengthwise once more. Finally, cut each half in half widthwise a final time, so you have 8 small pieces of dough.
Roll each piece of dough into a ball, place it on a plate, and cover with a clean towel to prevent drying.
Place each ball between the two sheets of parchment and press into a flat disk. Using either a tortilla press or a heavy baking dish, press dough into a 6″ tortilla.
Gently remove parchment from each side of the tortilla, place it carefully on the hot skillet/comal, cook for about 40-45 seconds, then flip it up and cook for another 45 seconds.
Flip tortilla again and cook for another 15-20 seconds or until it begins to puff. ** (See note).
Place tortilla between a kitchen towel to keep it warm. Repeat the steps with the remaining dough.
*If the dough is too sticky, add just a little masa until it no longer sticks to your fingers. If it is too crumbly, add just enough water to form a solid dough so that it sticks together when firmly pressed.
** If the tortillas do not rise, you have not kneaded the dough well enough.
Keywords: Blue corn tortillas, masa, blue masa, tortillas
I love tacos. And I’m pretty confident before I die, I will have made them in every possible way. Honestly, I could eat a taco variety every day and never be tired of them. And these tacos are my new favorite. I recently discovered the versatility of oyster mushrooms and decided that they would make an excellent filling choice for my next taco venture.
The word taco comes from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word ‘tlahco,’ which means “half or in the middle,” referring to how it is formed. It is believed that the origin of the taco started in Mexican silver mines in the late 19th century. To mine the silver, Miners added gunpowder to paper which was then folded in half and inserted into rocks before detonation. Taco de minero literally translates into “miner’s tacos.” The tacos then were very different from tacos today. Typically they were made using a soft corn tortilla filled with fish or organ meat. Nowadays, there are dozens and dozens of taco varieties.
I used smoked paprika and an ancho chili powder to get a smoky cauliflower taste without pulling out the smoker. I thought the ancho chili powder would pair well with its daddy, the poblano. Made from dried poblano chilies, ancho chili powder is quite different from regular chili powder, usually, some form of a dried chili cut with cumin, oregano, and paprika. You could also obtain the same smokiness by using chipotle powder, but because it packs some heat, you need to cut the ingredient amount by half.
I have included the recipe for my blue corn tortillas. The only thing that I love more than a taco is a good tortilla. If you’ve never made them before, fear not. They couldn’t be easier to make! Only two ingredients, the key is a good masa flour, and to use only enough water to create a dough. I have a tortilla press because I generally always make my tortillas. But you don’t need a press. You only need something heavy to press them with, like a heavy baking dish. I promise once you start making your own tortillas you’ll never go back to store-bought again.
As always, tag me and let me know how you like them!
In a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch of salt. Spread the cauliflower on a lined baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes, or until crispy.
While cauliflower is roasting, warm a large skillet over medium heat and add onion, poblanos, and broth. Sauté until onions and peppers are tender and lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.
Add 1/2 cup salsa verde to mushroom/pepper mix and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove mixture from the heat and add lime juice. Adjust the seasonings as desired.
While mushrooms are cooking, warm a comal or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook each tortilla until lightly browned on each side. (To keep warm, cover cooked tortillas with a clean dishcloth)
To build each taco, add mushroom mixture, and top with roasted cauliflower to a tortilla. Garnish with cilantro, salsa verde, green onions, and vegan cojita.
With the dull grey skies of winter abound, what better way to color your world than with vibrant, nourishing superfoods! I love winter for many reasons. I love hiking, skiing, running, and eating hearty winter soups, stews, and salads. Yes! Raw salads loaded with bright, delicious, vibrant vegetables, fresh herbs, seeds, nuts, and sprouts! I love shaved Brussels sprouts and purple cabbage. Bite-sized crowns of golden and purple broccoli, multicolored carrots, mixed with a variety of dark leafy greens…does it get any better? Add some fermented vegetables and hemp seeds, and baby I’m yours!
But a big salad needs a big dressing. I wanted it to pack a punch and be as colorful and nutritious! After working out a few recipes, I finally decided on this Beet and Tahini dressing! This match made in heaven dressing is an instant love connection and the perfect accompaniment for my winter “veg fest” salad! Suffering from a little seasonal affected disorder? Adding some dark leafy greens like kale or rainbow chard to your diet has been shown to decrease the winter blues!
I always keep Cleveland Kitchen’s Beet Red Raw Gut Saurkraut on hand. It is delicious, and I use it on salads, tacos, Buddha bowls, and sometimes I eat it directly out of the bag! It also makes the best salad dressing. It is so good for you with fermented red cabbage, beets, and carrots! Did you know that eating fermented foods can also boost beneficial gut bacteria and improve digestion?
No worries, if you don’t have the kraut, add some shredded carrots, a little red wine vinegar, and a roasted beet to the blender and blend away! I also added a tablespoon of beet juice powder. Again, no worries if you don’t have it. I love it for so many reasons (it’s a great food coloring) but mostly because I wanted the added nutrition! Beet Roots Juice is a highly concentrated powder that boosts brainpower, improves athletic performance, fights inflammation, and supports liver health…the list goes on and on!
I also added ashwagandha to my dressing because, well, I add it to everything! If you don’t know it, ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub in the Solanaceae or nightshade family that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. It is used for improving blood sugar, reducing inflammation, boosting mood, improving memory, and reducing stress and anxiety!
It keeps well in the fridge, and it works quite well over roasted vegetables and white beans, too! You can even add a little stock and make soup out of it, or add some chickpeas and turn it into hummus! If you make it let me know!
2 tablespoons fresh minced herbs (I used chervil and oregano)
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2cupwater (add more depending on consistency)
If using a whole beet instead of the fermented slaw, wash and trim the beet. Rub in olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Place in aluminum foil and roast at 425°F for 45 minutes, or boil on the stovetop until fork-tender, about 25 minutes.
Let cool and add 1/3 cup shredded carrots and a teaspoon of red wine vinegar.
Add all ingredients to blender and blitz well until blended.
Taste for seasoning.
Store in an air-tight container for up two 7 days in the refrigerator.
Sometimes recipes write themselves. And if recipes were writers, this, my friend, is a Nobel laureate! Well…maybe it isn’t serving the greatest benefit to all of humankind, but it’s definitely a tasty benefit to your taste buds! And it might be something new for you. I love toasted ravioli. It was one of my guilty pleasures, especially on a football Sunday, it was also created here in my hometown, or so the story goes.
A little taste of midwestern Americana, most accounts of toasted ravioli trace its origins to The Hill, a predominantly Italian-American neighborhood in South St. Louis. Supposedly, a guy named Chef Fritz accidentally dropped a ravioli into the fryer at the legendary Mama Campisi’s. “Mickey Garagiola, older brother of Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Joe Garagiola, was actually at the bar during the mishap and was the first to witness and taste the accidental treat. Other people have tried to take credit, but being a passionate Cardinal fan, I’m going with the Garagiola’s on this one!
Traditionally toasted rav’s are served with a tomato meat sauce for dipping. And if you’ve never had them, I highly recommend eating them that way at some point. However, we will lightly pan fry them for this recipe and drop them right into a decadent creamy, cheesy fondue and finish them in the oven.
The fondue is also a treat to be savored! An apres-ski pleasure in the Alps, Swiss fondue is essentially a mixture of cheese, wine, and flour. You can use it as a sauce over pasta, a dip for veggies, and of course, as a base for these yummy ravioli. So whether you’re congregating after a day on the mountain with friends or just looking for a rich, velvety cheese sauce that cannot be matched, this recipe is for you. Oh, and don’t forget to top it with your favorite vegan parmesan!
So yummy and easy to make, these toasted ravioli can be served with a simple marinara, or dressed up and served in a creamy cheesy fondue! Make sure you use an oil with a high smoke point (over 400°F.) meant for frying.
1 (12 oz) pack of Nasoya Vegan Won Ton Wraps *see note
1 package of vegan plant-based Italian sausage (I only use Hungry Planet) **see note
1 package of vegan mozzarella, crumbled into 1″ pieces (I like Miyoko’s) ***see note
1 sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup plant-based milk
2 tablespoons of egg replacer (I like Just Egg, but you can also use aquafaba)
3 cups frying oil (I use safflower oil–510°F, or peanut oil–450°F)
1/2cupdry white wine (for non-alcohol, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar to 1/4 cup water)
1clovegarlic, whole peeled
3cupsvegan white cheese I used Violife feta, Daiya Farmhouse (block) Jalapeno, and Miyoko’s mozzarella (vegan parm and nutritional yeast would work well too)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoons Kirsch (or cherry juice)
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice (if using vinegar in place of wine, skip the lemon juice)
1 teaspoon dried basil, 2 teaspoons if using fresh
Dash of paprika
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of white pepper
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
I like to make the fondue first. You can assemble the ravioli in advance, but if not eating them the day of, put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer.
Rub the inside of an enameled cast-iron casserole with the garlic clove; discard the garlic.
Combine the grated cheeses with the wine and tapioca starch.
Add lemon juice, basil, paprika, and garlic powder to the pot and cook over moderate heat, occasionally stirring until the cheeses melt about 5 minutes.
Add the kirsch, vegetable stock, and a generous pinch each of pepper and nutmeg and cook, stirring gently, until creamy and smooth, about 10 minutes; don’t overcook the fondue, or it will get stringy. Remove from heat.
Turn on the oven. Set to broil.
Warm a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and 1/4 water. Saute onions until they soften and become translucent (about 8 minutes).
Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Add sausage, oregano, and salt/pepper. Saute until the sausage begins to brown if ingredients start to stick at 1-2 tablespoons of water.
Add mozzarella cheese and stir until melted.
Remove from heat and set mixture aside.
TOOLS–(Pastry brush, a small bowl of water. A ravioli cutter is helpful but optional)
To assemble ravioli, lay half the won ton wrappers on a flat dry surface. (Make sure you only have one).
Add 1 tablespoon of filling to the middle of each won ton wrap.
Dip a pastry brush into water and lightly brush the perimeter of the won ton wrapper.
Using the other half of the wraps, brush one side of the wrap with a small amount of water and lay the wet side down directly on top of the meat-filled wrap. Repeat until all 24 are sealed. I like to start at the top and work my way around sealing the edges with my fingers. You can apply slight pressure to the middle and press down around the filling. Take a little water and smooth it down with your finger if it tears. Make sure they are sealed well. If using a ravioli cutter, press down until ravioli is cut and well sealed. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Combine milk and egg sub in a small bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a pie pan or shallow bottomed bowl. Dip ravioli in milk mixture and coat with breadcrumbs.
In a large, heavy pan, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches. Heat oil over medium heat until a small amount of breading sizzles and turns brown. Fry ravioli a few at a time, 1 minute on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
To a medium casserole dish, add fondue and place ravioli on top. Spoon fondue sauce onto ravioli to coat. If the sauce is too thick, add 1/4 cup of water or vegetable stock to thin.
Place in oven and bake until fondue is bubbly and slightly browned. About 2-3 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese and basil!
To serve, place ravioli on a plate and drizzle with fondue. Top with parsley and additional parmesan.
*One pack of won ton wrappers makes 24 ravioli.
**I’ve tried a half dozen or so plant-based sausages, and nothing compares to the flavor and texture of Hungry Planet. It also has a whopping 17g of protein and zero fat!
***I like whole block vegan cheeses. I’m not too fond of shredded cheeses because of the taste. The anti-caking ingredients give it a strange flavor.
I tend to go with the flow regarding cooking (and most things in life). Never really having a set menu for the week, most of my ideas come from random places. The other day I saw a beautiful bunch of white asparagus and purple Brussels sprouts and loaded up my cart. I’ve also been known to buy things with absolutely no idea of what I will do with them. Other times I’m inspired by the beauty of food photographs. But most of the time, dinner is mood and taste-dependent!
Lately, and for obvious reasons, I’ve been craving warm comfort foods.
When I think of autumn, I think of hearty soups and stews. Enter the Smoky Poblano Corn Chowder. It has nearly all my favorite ingredients, corn, potatoes, chili peppers, coconut milk, and Mexican spices. I mean, who doesn’t love cumin and coconut milk? I made a tasty bouquet of roasted corn, sprouted lentils, and microgreens seasoned with the same spices as the soup for a garnish.
I love that it comes together quickly and that it tastes so damn good. You can skip the garnish if you are so inclined; however, it’s a major flavor bomb, it’s also gorgeous, and I highly recommend it. And don’t forget to give each bowl a light dusting of chili powder.
I wanted some texture, but I also wanted thick and creamy. Some recipes use corn starch to thicken, but I’m not a fan. So when the chowder was done cooking, I took about a third of it (about 3 cups), put it in the blender, then added it back into the soup. It worked perfectly. This recipe serves 4-6, but it is easily doubled and will keep in the freezer for up to two months.
As always, tag me and let me know if you liked it.
Mix all ingredients well in a small bowl and set aside.
Warm a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat, add onion, celery, carrot, chili, and 2-3 tablespoons vegetable stock. Saute for 4-5 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and spices cook for 1-2 minutes.
Stir in broth, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any browned bits.
Add potatoes and corn. Stir, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium-low.
Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are fork-tender. Reduce heat to low.
Add coconut milk and whisk into the soup mixture.
Adjust seasonings. Careful with the oregano as it can make the soup bitter.
Ladle into bowls and garnish.
Do not use canned corn if possible. Canned vegetables have a metallic taste and are often loaded with sodium (preservatives). In the winter frozen organic corn is best.
A traditional Mexican pozole or posole is a stew made from beans, hominy, and meat. Slow-simmered in a soupy broth, a pozole is traditionally served on Christmas eve, and you can trace its roots back to the ancient Aztecs! This rich and hearty dish is so flavorful and delicious, and the best part is there were no pigs harmed! Don’t worry. The white Mexican hominy gives the stew a nice meaty chew!
Hominy, if you don’t know, is dried corn, or maize, treated with lime to help soften the tough outer shells of the kernels, making them easier to digest. Furthermore, in Mexican cooking, hominy is ground down to make masa flour.
If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know that Mexican food is my favorite food. I’m pretty sure I could eat it every day. I love the addition of diced raw onions, avocado, and cilantro as a garnish. You could also add vegan sour cream if you’re feelin’ it. This pozole is made in a red sauce (Rojo), but you can use tomatillos and have Pozole Verdes if you’d like.
I made my pinto beans in my instant pot, and they were ready in 50 minutes. You can soak your beans overnight and make them according to your package directions, or you can use canned beans. I prefer to make my own and generally keep 5 lb bags of beans in my pantry. I’m not too fond of the metallic taste of canned beans, and I like to control the texture myself. However, I did use canned hominy for apparent reasons. They are great the day you make them, and they are even better the next day!
Tag me if you make it and let me know how you like it!
If using dried beans, add beans to a bowl and rinse. Sift through beans to remove any grit or broken shells. At this point, you can either soak beans overnight to make on the stovetop (follow package directions) or add to an instant pot with 6 cups vegetable stock, onion, bay leaves, and salt and pepper—Cook at high pressure for 50 minutes. Let pressure reduce naturally, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
While pinto beans are cooking, add chilies, onion, and garlic to a small pot of boiling water. Use enough water to cover the chilies. Reduce heat and simmer until chilies and onions have softened about 7-8 minutes.
When chilies are done, carefully add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add stock or water to thin. It should have a paste-like consistency. In a colander, strain sauce into a bowl.
Carefully add pinto beans (do not drain), hominy, chili paste, and remaining ingredients in a medium stockpot. ** (See note)
Simmer covered on medium-low for 20-25 minutes until hominy softened but still firm.
Remove lid and taste for seasonings.
Ladle Pozole into a serving bowl and garnish.
*I like to use a flavorful stock to make my pinto beans, but if you use water, I recommend adding a teaspoon of garlic and onion powder to your beans!
**You can also finish the pozole in the instant pot by skipping the stockpot and cooking using the saute function. I didn’t do this because I like to control my heat. But this is a viable option.
A few weeks ago, I was on the hunt for a pretty serving bowl. I wanted something classic. Something that looked old but didn’t have to be old, with good color and lines. I found one at Williams Sonoma and immediately went to work on creating a colorful salad to put in it!
I don’t know about you, but I love a good salad. I also have a thing for sweet potatoes. Truthfully, I have a “thing” for all potatoes, but sweet potatoes are my favorite. Baked, roasted, mashed, or fried, the potato is a quintessential vegetable.
I wanted to make the salad part savory, party sweet, partly cooked, and part raw. This Coriander Sweet Potato Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette and Pomegranate is all that! It’s loaded with nutrients, flavor, and texture. It’s also beautiful and ready to serve in just 30 minutes! Let me know how you like it!
P.s. I also doubled the vinaigrette dressing to use for a later date.
2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Toss potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with coriander.
Add potatoes to a parchment-lined baking sheet, roast for 30 minutes, turning potatoes once after 15 minutes.
While potatoes are roasting, whisk maple syrup, mustard, cider vinegar, shallot, garlic, herbs, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until the vinaigrette emulsifies and thickens.
When potatoes are done, remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool. Cut each potato quarter in half when they have cooled enough to touch.
In a medium-size serving bowl, layer the salad. Add a handful of mixed greens and 1/4th of potatoes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette, 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, 2 tablespoons feta, 2 tablespoons arils, 1 tablespoon cilantro. Continue to layer this way until all potatoes have been used.
Divide equally among 4 bowls.
Look for a firm pomegranate. I like to cut my pomegranates in half, and in a bowl half full of water, pull the pomegranate apart by hand, removing all of the arils. Once I have them removed, I dispose of any large pieces of the pith (the spongy white tissue lining) and rapidly stir the arils by hand to remove any additional pieces of pith that may still be attached.
Some of my fondest memories center around food. While I think that might be the case for many of us, Sunday breakfasts, in particular, have always held a special place in my heart! When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time with my mom’s parents. I absolutely loved being at grandma and grandpa’s house! Nearly every weekend, I was there with my little brother Sean and at least two of my four cousins. The weekend was even better if my aunt Tammy agreed to spend the night (I would literally beg her), and we got to add an extra chair around the breakfast table! Oh, how I miss those days.
Anyway, Sunday breakfasts are still a big deal to me, and there is rarely a Sunday morning that goes by when I’m not in the kitchen playing music and making a big ole’ breakfast. Admittedly, I get stuck and end up making the same dish on repeat. But every once in a while, a magical Unicorn comes along and becomes a part of my Sunday rotation! Enter the Shakshuka! The literal translation of the Hebrew word shakshuka means “all mixed up”! And I’d say that’s a pretty good description of this north African egg dish made with peppers, tomatoes, and eggs. It’s super flavorful and hits the spot! It also reminds me of a meal I used to eat when I was a kid.
Last week my husband found a recipe for “Eggs in a Hole” in the newspaper (remember those?) and asked me if I’d ever had it. I laughed and said, “You better believe it”! In fact, it was one of the first breakfast meals I ever made on my own, besides Quaker’s Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal (remember that?). This Shakshuka reminds me of my childhood fav in that the eggs are carefully placed in a hole and cooked until firm. Only in the Shakshuka, the eggs are nestled in a bed of tomatoes and peppers and not white Wonder bread!
I really love this simple but flavorful dish and hope you all do too! Oh, and if you can’t find Just Egg, I’ve included a delicious option in the notes section of the recipe! Be sure to tag me and let me know how you like it!
Warm oil over medium heat in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with a lid. Add onion, red pepper, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper and cook until the onion is soft and translucent about 8 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add garlic, paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Stir and let cook for about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
Make 4 wells in the sauce and add Just Eggs. Cover and cook for 2 minutes and then add feta. Cook until the eggs are set, 5 to 8 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the feta, parsley, avocado, and microgreens, if using. Serve with toasted bread for scooping.
If you would like to make this but don’t have access to the Vegan Egg product you can make your own!
6ouncesfirm silken tofu (usually found in the Asian section, not refrigerated)
Happy New Year! I hope you are well and enjoyed some form of relaxation with those you love! The holidays can be joyful but a bit of a whirlwind and are here and gone in the blink of an eye! Don’t get me wrong, I love every minute between Halloween and New Year’s, but this year was particularly busy and took a little bit of a toll on my health! I am just now starting to feel better after a rough bout of bronchitis, which I used to get all the time as a kid. Secondhand smoke is fo’ real, and my lungs are physically scarred from years and years of coughing from inhaling the toxic fog. Another reason Covid kinda scares me, ya know?
But this was also the first time I’d been sick in just over 6 years. And I can’t get sick! I have people who depend on me to cook, clean, transport, teach, write, exercise, volunteer, and well, the list goes on and on. And not to mention, cooking for me is a way of relaxing and being creative. So, what’s a girl to do if she can’t cook for nearly 3 weeks? Read, rest, and reflect—a lot. And when I got well enough to cook again, I returned to the kitchen with a significant mind shift. At the forefront was the question, “Am I really feeding myself if I’m not feeding myself well?” Deep, I know. But, alas, you are what you eat.
Listen, I am by no means a junk food vegan, but I not gonna lie. I love chips and cashew queso, like, a lot. And sometimes I get lazy. I also get caught up in convenience foods, Doordash, and sometimes, skipping meals entirely. I also give in to unhealthy cravings, and sometimes I do not feed my body well. This is a far cry from my early days as a plant-based eater–when I was all in. All. In. No oil, no processed anything, no wheat, no starchy stuff. I was a well-oiled machine, lost a bunch of weight, and felt ten years younger. I still feel 10 years younger, but the weight is slowly creeping back, and admittedly, I’m feeling a little rusty.
So the first several days back in the kitchen, I made only raw foods for 4 days. I was amazed at how light yet full and satisfied I felt. I started reading about the miraculous enzymatic functions found in whole foods and how cooking foods actually kill these beneficial enzymes that our food is trying to provide us. I’m not sure I will ever be 100% raw, but I’m definitely game for 50-75%, and who knows!
That said, I’m super excited to share this recipe with you. This oil-free soup is super healthy and completely delicious. It’s also 50% cooked and 50% raw. Part soup part salad (who says ya can’t), I added a Yukon gold to help thicken, some green peas to help brighten, and topped it with a raw zucchini salad that makes me want only to grow zucchini’s in my garden this summer! Pistachios give it a nice crunch and a little protein boost. The basil gives it depth, and the parmesan cheese, well, you know…! Let me know if you made it and how you liked it. I love hearing from y’all. Until next time!
In a medium-size bowl mix spiralized zucchini, lemon juice, garlic, basil, pistachios, parmesan, and pepper. I like to make this first and refrigerate.
Warm a heavy-bottomed stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño in 1/4 cup of water or vegetable stock for 5-7 minutes, or until fork-tender. If vegetables begin to stick, add more liquid 1 tablespoon at a time.
Add the salt, 1/2 cup stock, diced zucchini, peas, potato, and curry powder. Sauté 2-3 minutes more.
Add 1 1/2 cups of broth. Cover and simmer until the zucchini and potato are tender, about 5-10 minutes.
Add ingredients to a blender and blend on low-medium speed until smooth. (Be careful–see note*)
Blend well and return soup to the pan; add remaining stock and simmer to warm through. Taste for seasoning.
Ladle soup into a bowl, and using tongs, carefully top center of soup with garnish. Be sure to get a little bit of everything!
*When hot food is inside a blender, and a lid is placed on top, it heats the air above between the food and the blender lid, causing pressure to build up in the blender jar. This pressure can cause the top to blow right off as hot food explodes out the top of the blender jar. Trust me. It’s no fun to clean soup off everything, including the ceiling.
So I spent most of my winter break after Christmas in bed. I’m pretty sure from burning the candle at both ends and running in the rain, I wore myself down and ended up with a nasty case of bronchitis. My husband who somehow managed to avoid it insisted that I rest and took over as my personal chef and nurse. He made me this fantastic soup, and I figured it was well worth writing up a recipe! Sometimes the only thing (besides a Z-Pak) that makes you feel better is a lot of TLC and a good old-fashioned bowl of warm noodle soup.
The ultimate comfort food, this recipe uses tofu rubbed with poultry seasoning and baked until firm. It was so good and hit the spot. He drained and pressed the tofu and then pulled it apart by hand to give it that irregular shape like pulled chicken. He dredged it in a little bit of olive oil and tossed it in poultry seasoning. We use Trader Joe’s chicken-less seasoning, but alas, it’s discontinued. I liked TJ’s seasoning because it had turmeric, a great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant! But never fear. Here is another excellent poultry seasoning with turmeric that will also work! If you can’t find a seasoning mix with turmeric, be sure to add a teaspoon to your soup!
He baked the tofu for 25 minutes, turned it once, and baked for another 15 minutes. He also used egg-free ribbon noodles. But if you’re feeling somewhat nostalgic, you can use spaghetti broken into quarters for a more Campbell’s soup kinda feel.
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)
8oz. pasta of choice, broken into bite-sized pieces if applicable
Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain the tofu package, and press the tofu for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats. (We use a tofu press, but you can also wrap the tofu in a clean towel and stack something heavy like a cast iron pan on top of it).
Break the tofu apart into irregular shapes, or roughly chop it, add to a bowl.
Toss tofu in olive oil and sprinkle with poultry seasoning, coating generously.
Place the tofu pieces on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, flip the tofu and bake for another 15-250 minutes, or until firm and slightly crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Warm a large saucepan over medium heat, then add 1/4 cup of vegetable stock.
Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. If the vegetables start to brown, turn the heat to medium-low and add additional stock one tablespoon at a time. Saute vegetables until the onions and celery are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the garlic, dill, red pepper flakes, thyme, black pepper, and stir. Cook until fragrant, 60 to 90 seconds.
Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir in the soy sauce, pasta, and baked tofu chunks. Continue to cook for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
Add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Garnish with fresh thyme, dill, and parsley, if desired.