Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Creamy Curry Soup

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So. While I like to think I’m an efficient human being who gets her stuff done (and done well), I admit that lately I’ve been slacking. Okay… not slacking but just… not doing anything. Showtime is upon me, which means the end of school (THANK ALL THE DEITIES!), and time feels non-existent. Everyday seems to slip by and I feel like I’ve achieved NOTHING. That being said, at least I JUST completed the second year of my program and SUMMER IS UPON US. So here is a warming soup…

This soup, creamy due to the roasted eggplant, is best served slightly warm, in my opinion. It’s earthy and spicy and crazy refreshing. Not to mention there are SO few ingredients it’s a snap to whip up. I had leftovers over a bowl of amaranth one day, and the next I dipped crackers into it – both were awesome.

CREAMY CURRY SOUP (serves 4)

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder of choice
  • 2 cups water (or milk alternative)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Fresh cilantro, to garnish
  • 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped, to garnish

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat the eggplant rounds in the grapeseed oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 8 minutes, until they are golden and quite mushy. Remove from the oven and let cool for five minutes. Remove the skin with a knife (it should peel off easily if it roasted long enough)

In a blender, blend the roasted eggplant, shallot, curry, water (or milk alternative) and salt and pepper. Divide the blended soup into four bowl, do a final test for salt and pepper levels, garnish with cilantro and mushrooms, and serve!

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Coconut Surprise Muffins

 

 

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I did a thing.

School is exhausting. I dance all day and I come home and I’m dead. My brain won’t function well enough to create so I usually make a super simple meal and sit and watch an episode of House of Cards, read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, write, or do some housework. Essentially, I’m saying that I unfortunately haven’t had the mental capacity to invent any new and crazy food things. HOWEVER, I’m simple reinventing the golden nuggets I already have (such as the artichoke salad that’s based on the lentil salad!). Also I’ll admit this was created from some stress baking… Moving on… remember the coconut loaf I made a lifetime ago? The one that is heavenly? Well. I turned them into muffins. And I added a surprise in the middle…

 

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For Valentines Day, my parents sent me this AWESOME salted almond dark chocolate bar. It’s so decadent and dynamic (not to mention fairtrade and organic!!). Sometimes things are so good you don’t want to taint them; this was not one of those things. I wanted to give this phenomenal chocolate bar a new lease on life – let it stretch it’s legs and do some good in the world. So I plopped a nice fatty chunk in the middle of coconut muffins. BAM.

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I was inspired by this recipe for coconut muffins, but I (of course) mostly based it off my coconut loaf. I didn’t add dates or maple syrup so the coconut dough part isn’t very sweet, but that’s what makes the chocolate stand out… ya’ know? Whoa, epiphany: coconut coffee muffins – using strong coffee or espresso instead of milk alternative. As for an alternative to the surprise in the middle… good dark chocolate just seems to be the best option! Maybe a couple of berries or nuts or dried fruit? of course you could always add chocolate chips. It’s just that chocolate fulfills all desires. 🙂

SURPRISE: check the very bottom for another surprise.

COCONUT SURPRISE MUFFINS: Makes 12 medium sized muffins (15 small)

  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax + 6 tablespoons water)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 small ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk, from a can
  • 1/3 cup milk alternative (I used unsweetened almond-coconut)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup spelt flour (or all purpose)
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • scant 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 good quality chocolate bar (I seriously mean GOOD quality)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F and prep a muffin tin with coconut oil, or muffin liners (my muffin tin is oddly small so I also greased some small ramekins).

In a small bowl, mix ground flax and water to make the flax eggs, let sit for 10 mins.

In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients, including the thickened flax egg.

In another large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, including the coconut. Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. The batter will be quite thick.

Fill each hole in the muffin tin half way with batter. You’ll most likely have to use your fingers to squish it into the corners a bit. Place a chunk of chocolate in the middle of each muffin and cover with remaining batter. Squish the batter around the edges to make sure the chocolate is well contained (you don’t want it to pop out and burn!)

Cook for 20-25 minutes until the tops are slightly golden, and spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool for 10 minutes. BUT ONLY TEN MINUTES OTHERWISE THE CHOCOLATE WILL NO LONGER BE ALL MOLTEN OR SURPRISING.

Keep in a sealed container. To reheat, pop them in the oven at 200F for a few minutes (or pop into a microwave for a few seconds).

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HELLO AGAIN! Are you truly still reading after seeing the recipe? Cool! Anyway, to further convince you that I’m not creating much these days but simply reinventing, the above photo is of apple muffins. Remember my fruit explosion muffins?? Yep, I made them into apple muffins using 1 1/2 cup fresh apples and 1/2 cup dried apples. I then topped some with cinnamon, some with walnuts, and some with… you guessed it… raisins.

At this time of year, we’re all exhausted and pissed off and DONE WITH EVERYTHING. But remember that there is baking, and love, and coffee, and dreams, and passions. Being productive is difficult, but small steps still move you forward. If anything, let me inspire you to keep on moving. Even if it’s only a single breath.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

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MY SEMESTER IS FINALLY OVER. Yet I don’t feel any weight has been lifted because I know I have to go back in a few weeks… sigh. I guess all I can do to comfort me is eat some wonderfully warming food (including lots of chocolate).

I know this isn’t very festive, but I’m not in the festive mood. And I had left over pumpkin puree in my freezer. And I was craving a velvety smooth soup. I contemplated having a pumpkin and ginger soup, but I feel a bit over loaded on ginger these days so I used cayenne pepper to add a hearty, spicy punch. The leftovers thickened up very nicely; I dipped crackers and veggies into it like a dip. I also had one serving of leftovers with wild rice and cilantro and pumpkin seeds – pictured at the end (it was nice having something a bit heartier in the soup to add texture, but I liked it better without the rice – maybe on top of brown rice or quinoa would be better?).

SPICY PUMPKIN SOUP: (serves 4)

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 4 small garlic cloves
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • scallions, for garnish
  • pepper, to taste

Method:

In a medium sauce pan, heat the grapeseed oil on medium heat an sautee the onions and garlic until the onions are transparent; about 3 minutes.

In a high speed blender, blend the cooked onions and garlic with the pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, turmeric and salt until very smooth. (I let the blender run for about 90 seconds)

Pour the puree into the medium sauce pan and warm on medium heat. It’ll only take 3-4 minutes to warm the soup up.

Garnish with chopped scallions and black pepper.

Leftovers with wild rice, cilantro and pumpkin seeds.

Leftovers with wild rice, cilantro and pumpkin seeds.

Super Simple Solo Salad – Cranberry Cashew & Kale

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Have you ever had one of those days where you’re just sitting in a moment, questioning where the day has gone? You feel simultaneously worthless and full of splendor. As if you’ve accomplished nothing and everything in this day. It’s peculiar that’s for sure… so in this anomaly of a moment I realized I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and set out to make myself a filling salad. Only having to feed myself is a feat. I struggle with the serving size of a recipe and I too often make either one HUMONGOUS meal or two smaller meals… it’s frustrating to say the least. 

However, for the first time I made myself a wonderful little one serving salad that was quick to make and the perfect size. The cool thing about this recipe, some may say that this is common knowledge, is that you can adapt it to whatever you have in the fridge. Seriously, any kind of vegetables will work! It’s just a matter of throwing it together and shoveling it in your face.

I questioned myself in wanting to post this, but I think it gives a good base for salad making. I go by these simple rules:

  • 90% veggies (with a big leafy green base)/10% fruit
  • top with nuts, seeds or grains (dried fruit is common too)
  • make a dressing that has and oil base (olive oil is my go to), an acidic taste (lemon juice or any type of vinegar) and a sweet taste (agave nectar, maple syrup, honey)
  • Finish with a wee bit of salt and pepper

Salads are the best and easy and fun and nourishing. However, I’ll finish my ramble and let you get on to your own salad creations!!

SOLO SALAD – Cranberry Cashew & Kale (serves 1)

  • 1 medium handful baby kale, or spinach (or greenery of choice)
  • 2 radishes, sliced
  • 1 cremini mushroom, chopped
  • 1/4 of a medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 of a pink lady apple
  • 10 parsley leaves
  • 10 cashews, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • agave nectar

Method:

Mix the greenery, radished, mushroom, zucchini, apple, and parsley in a small bowl. Top with the dried cranberries, cashews, a pinch of each salt and pepper and a drizzle of the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and agave nectar. 

If you wish, you can mix the salad again to evenly incorporate everything.

 

Potatoes!! Pt.1

I saw some ultra nice looking baby yellow potatoes the other day and HAD to make some potato salads. Really. I just had to…

The first one, a classic potato salad (with vegenaise), got a bit spicy with horseradish and curry. The second salad was a pesto based salad, it was more laborious to make but definitely worth the effort. Also, forgive the tupperware containers, I packed it for lunch!

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Curry Classic Potato Salad (serves 4 as a side):

  • 1 lb baby potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • large pinch of fresh dill
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • small handful snow peas or snap peas, chopped (about 15 pods)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons vegenaise (or other vegan mayonnaise alternative)
  • 1/2 teaspoon horseradish (this is all up to personal taste, I added an extra 1/2 tsp because I like it hot)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (or paste) *
  • pinch of dried chili flakes
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Method:

1) Place the whole baby potatoes into a pot of boiling water. Cook for 15-20 minutes (until they’re soft but not falling apart). Once cooked, drain the potatoes and place into a large bowl. Once the potatoes have cooled briefly, as hot as you can handle, cut each potato into two or four (half or quarter depending on size) then pour the apple cider vinegar on the steaming potato chunks, add the dill and stir to coat evenly.

2) Add the chopped onions and pea pods to the bowl with the potatoes.

3) In a small bowl mix together the vegenaise, horseradish, mustard, curry powder, and chili flakes. Add mixture to the potatoes and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste.

4) Allow salad to cool in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving.

note*: Since “curry” is a blanket word and each curry is different, you’ll have to experiment with the amount of curry needed for your salad. You can always make your own blend including cumin, turmeric, coriander, ginger, mustard seed and cayenne pepper.

I ate this salad with a big garden salad on the side. Even though there was a lot of salad going on, it was a nicely filling lunch.

Check the next post for the other salad!