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Hearty Beet, Cabbage & Potato Soup

15 Oct

Holy smokes, folks! It’s been a whole two months since my last post and a whole lot has happened since then! I’ve relocated to central NY, changed jobs, am raising an abandoned 1 month old kitten, and am temporarily living in a house with four other awesome vegans (hallelujah!). In just a few short weeks, I’ll have my own place and my own kitchen again. Woohoo! The recipes should surely abound then! But even that may be short lived as the west coast is calling my name, still, and the opportunity to answer has finally arrived. Warm weather means a whole different kind of eating, but at the moment the weather in the woods of NY is a little too frigid for my liking. Fall is in full bloom here and just a few days ago, we had some light snow. My heart sank. I detest that fluffy, cold white stuff and even more so now that I work outdoors. The only thing that redeems this weather is the promise of warm, hearty comfort food to come home to and this is a recipe that hits the spot!

There’s not a whole lot of complexity to this recipe. Beneath all the color, it’s a pretty basic potato soup–which is why I think it’s so great. If you want something easy to prepare, tasty, presentational, and filling then I think you’ll like this soup quite a bit. My very favorite thing about it–besides the simple, salty, starchy flavor and the big chunks of potatoes, cabbage, and beets in it–is of course, the vibrant color that comes from adding the beets and red cabbage to it. The beets also counteract the “soupy” flavor by adding just a hint of sweetness to the pot. If you want, you could peel the potatoes, but since it won’t affect the color of the soup, as it normally does in white potato soup, it’s really just an extra step you can avoid doing. See? I’m so thoughtful sometimes. I don’t want you to have to work too hard to enjoy delicious vegan food. And you shouldn’t have to so, what are you waiting for? Soup’s on!
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Three Bean Slow Cooker Chili

5 Oct

Hello MoFo’ers, after a lovely day off for cooking and baking, I’ve returned with a new comforting recipe for the season! Besides my toaster (I really love toast), there is no other kitchen appliance I love more than my slow cooker. I think it’s because both of these appliances make the kitchen smell great when they’re doing their job right. Also, they make tasty things to put in my mouth. But slow cookers are particularly awesome because they’re the only necessary kitchen tool for making great food if you’re someone who is often too busy to be home or stand over a stove.

Years ago, my mom gave me her cool, ugly, orange slow cooker manufactured and purchased in the 1970s. When I was growing up, I remember it always being kept in our basement and never in our kitchen. Every time we moved, it came with us for some reason, but it wasn’t because it was being used. I didn’t know what it was until I was older and it’s not because my mom decided to bring it upstairs and make something incredible. It’s because I saw one of the potpourri slow cookers and I put two and two together (it equals four, by the way). I’m not sure if it’s something my mom had ever used, to be honest. I don’t think she grasps the concept of how awesome it is to have an entire meal cooking slowly while you do something else. I keep telling her, it’s multi-tasking at it’s finest, but I think she’s scared of cooking in a way she’s not used to.

Anyway, when I moved to NH last year, I finally made use of it because I’d be gone for long hours at a time for class or work. I wanted to come home to something hot and ready to eat. And this is one of the recipes I would often put together because it’s simple and easy, and lasts a long time if you’re only one person. Oh, and of course, it’s delicious! I know, it’s not really “chili” if there isn’t a ground up dead animal in it, but I didn’t even want to take the steps to fake it. This is just a really vegan, product free, easy to make meal. Anyone with a crockpot can make it. I know it doesn’t look like much, but I swear, if you have a slow cooker, it’ll be one of your basic go-to’s too. Enjoy!

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Creamy Tomato Basil Soup and Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

11 Aug

Even in the summer, I can’t help but crave piping hot soup. I love soup. In fact, it’s my favorite food. Yes, it really is. I think it’s because it’s really the one dish that can be made so many different ways out of so many different ingredients — isn’t that the idea behind “stone soup”? But seriously, soup is comforting every time. And when you’re lucky enough to be sitting in an air conditioned home, then it really doesn’t matter if it’s 90 degrees outside. When I was younger I used to have these “episodes” (I guess one could call them that) where I needed to have soup, like, on our way up to the White Mountains to go hiking, I’d suddenly need soup — mid-drive. My mom is the same way, it’s very much like, “Pull the car over at the next restaurant! I need soup!” It got to the point once when we would bring thermoses of soup if we were going on long weekend or day trips. My mom calls these episodes “soup attacks.” They seem to be less frequent these days, I don’t know why, but neither of us is ever far from the urge to make or eat soup, regardless.

That being said, it’d been a while, but this little concoction came about when I was having a soup attack. I didn’t even know it until after I was done eating, of course, when I’d successfully licked the bowl clean. This soup is thick and smooth in flavor, thanks to the addition of cashew cream. The use of whole tomatoes makes it just a bit chunky and hearty, the way I like tomato soup to be. The beauty of this soup is that you can make it as chunky or smooth as you’d like, it’s just a matter of blending less or more. I used only half a cup of basil, but you can use more if you want a stronger basil flavor.

The beautiful grilled cheese is the usual salty, cheesy goodness that compliments any tomato soup well. Is there anything Daiya can’t do? I doubt it. Continue reading

Curried Asian Sweet Potato Lentil Stew: Two ways!

12 Feb

About a month ago, my wonderful newly vegan mother (I’ll never tire of saying that), in an effort to help with my cooking endeavors, cooked a massive amount of brown lentils. And then a few weeks after that, she bestowed me with an Asian sweet potato. Mothers. What would we do without them? Starve, probably. Anyway, since then, I’ve been saving lentils in my freezer not exactly knowing what to do with them. Since I’ve never been a fan of lentil soup, I thought that would certainly be out. But then it occurred to me, that the reason I’ve never liked lentil soup wasn’t because I didn’t like lentils, the flavors just never appealed to me. So, I decided to get creative and play with the flavor of my favorite cuisine, curry, and this is what came of it! Continue reading

Winter Squash, Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup with Collards and Thyme-Sage Croutons

8 Jan
Oh, Frankensquash, there will never be another like you!

Back in September I was given a nameless, misshapen organic squash that I’ve since named my “Frankensquash.” I’d never cooked with squash, but I’ve always liked it. I was reluctant to use the squash until recently because I had no idea what to do with it and I thought that whatever I came up with  would be time consuming and difficult. But my stomach soon took over as I’m a big fan of squash. And an even bigger fan of squash soups. And an even bigger fan of collard greens. And you guessed it, an even bigger fan of ginger. I was lucky enough to have nothing much on hand but all three of these on a very cold night and came up with this easy, spicy, soothing, and filling soup! I also had some ciabatta bread lying around that was a few days old and perfect for croutons.

This soup pleases everybody. Make this for your sick loved ones, make it for a hungry winter guest, make it for yourself!

Do they have crouton eaters anonymous meetings somewhere?

Just make sure you taste it as you go, making sure the ginger flavor is to your liking. A lot of ginger is never a bad thing, but it can make your soup too spicy and nearly inedible if you add too much, and too little ginger is no fun at all!

Also, beware the croutons! They are delicious for snacking and highly addictive! Don’t eat them all before you put them in the soup!

I would certainly serve this to my hungry prairie guests!

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