Tag Archives: vegetarian

Market Vegetable Soup

This vegetable soup is also known as clean out the fridge soup. Every week, we go to our local farmers’ market and stock up on local produce. Why let any of that produce go to waste??

  

Before any of that produce in the fridge spoils, make soup! Sure, composting is nice and of course good for the environment, but wouldn’t you rather have delicious soup in your belly? For this batch, I literally cleaned out our fridge before shopping day tomorrow. 

Speaking of shopping, every week we go to one of our favorite markets. Either Easton Farmers’ Market (http://eastonfarmersmarket.com) or Emmaus Farmers’ Market (http://emmausmarket.com). If you don’t shop your local farmers’ market you should start! Local produce is better and most importantly, fresher! It hasn’t traveled cross country in the back of a truck. If you are lucky you will even begin to develop a rapport with the vendors like we have. I honestly look forward to grocery shopping. Can you say that?

Now, this more of a suggestion than a recipe. There are no exact amounts and it will change every time you make it. Talk about simple as well!! One tip, once all of the vegetables are in the pot bring it to a boil and then turn all the way down to low and allow it to simmer. The longer it simmers the more the flavors will develop.

For this batch, I started by dicing one large onion and six cloves of garlic. They went into my six quart dutch oven with a few turns of extra virgin olive oil to sauté over medium heat.

I followed with a bunch of carrots, some celery (which admittedly had been in the fridge way too long), several small heads of cauliflower, a few peppers, two different types of mushrooms, four yukon gold potatoes and two large handfuls of swiss chard. This is not necessarily a pretty soup. I just cut everything up and toss it in the pot. The mushrooms and Swiss chard went in last so they won’t overlook.

For the broth I used one quart of home canned tomatoes and four quarts of vegetable stock.  I like to keep the seasoning simple. Allow the taste of all the vegetables to shine. For this batch four bay leaves, salt, pepper and cayenne are all I used.

As a bonus, the house smells delicious!! There is no potpourri that can make a house smell as good a soup simmering slowly on the stove. So next time you think about tossing those vegetables into the compost, or worse, the trash give this soup a try.

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Pasta in Mushroom Spinach Cream Sauce

While scrolling around the internet one day I saw this dish that made my mouth water. It incorporated two of my favorite foods…mushrooms and spinach! I was so excited to go home and try it. Then I read the ingredients and saw cream of mushroom soup. I really try to avoid processed and canned goods when cooking for my family so I decided to create a fresh version.

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Just look at these beautiful cremini mushrooms! These are definitely the star of the dish. Any mushrooms would work, but I love the earthiness of cremini mushrooms. There are about two pounds here.

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This gorgeous fresh spinach is the costar. I think kale, swiss chard or escarole would also work very well. Two large bunches will go into the dish.

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To start, make mushroom stock. In your favorite stock pot, take the stems and a handful of mushrooms and add four cups of water. Boil for ten to fifteen minutes then reduce to a simmer. Making your own mushroom stock really adds flavor to the dish.

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Slice all of the mushrooms.

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Also slice four cloves of garlic.

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Heat a skillet over medium heat, add in one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of dairy free butter. Feel free to use regular butter if you prefer. Once the butter is melted, add in the mushrooms and garlic.

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Once the mushrooms have browned nicely, add the spinach to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper and red chili flakes to taste.

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Pour one cup of the mushroom stock into the skillet. Simmer until the spinach wilts.

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At this point, add in four tablespoons of dairy free cream cheese. Goats cheese or full dairy cream cheese would also work nicely. Sprinkle generously with nutritional yeast. Stir until melted and well combined.

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While preparing the sauce, the pasta should also be cooking. For this dish, barilotti was grabbed out of the pantry because it would hold the sauce well. Once the pasta is al dente, strain and toss into the sauce.

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Serve all on it’s own or with some crusty italian bread. This is a great week ugh dish because it comes together so quickly. In about thirty minutes, a healthy and delicious meal is on the table!


Spicy Mushroom Tofu Soup

Photo Sep 08, 12 37 14 PM

The hubby and I had this dish for lunch today and even though I forgot to take my usual amount of pictures we enjoyed it so much I decided to share it. I did remember the most important picture, the completed dish! This soup has the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. It is a nutritionally packed and a well-balanced meal all in one bowl. It is also prepared in one pot. Minimal dishes required!

Now, I know some of you are not tofu fans, but when treated right it adds a delicious flavor, texture and nutritional punch to dishes. My current favorite is Wildwood Organics Sprouted Extra Firm. It is perfect just the way it is, no need to press. When in doubt, always press to get rid of the extra moisture so you do not have mushy tofu. Mushy is not the texture you are going for.

To start, get a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil warming over medium heat in your favorite soup pot. Once the oil is warm grate in a two-inch piece of ginger and four cloves of garlic. Next, generously sprinkle in chili powder and chili flakes. Fresh sliced Serrano would be good as well but there was none in the house. How generously? That is up to you! Add in the chili to your taste. We like a little spice so I am heavy-handed.

Meanwhile shred half of a small cabbage and two bok choy. Napa cabbage would work really well here as well. I used plain old cabbage because that is what we had in the fridge. Once the aromatics have released their oils and the kitchen smells amazing, drop in the cabbage and bok choy.

Sauté until the cabbage is beginning to get tender. Then add in one pound of sliced mixed mushrooms. Use whatever you have on hand. Sauté until the mushrooms are nice and brown. Once brown, add in six cups of unsalted vegetable broth, two cups of water, one-half cup of mirin, and a few tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce. Season to taste with white pepper, black pepper and salt.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer. Once you turn the heat down, add twenty ounces of extra firm tofu cut into small cubes. Allow to simmer around thirty minutes until the flavors marry nicely. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with sriracha for a little extra heat.

Not only is this soup hearty and filling, but it will help clear your sinuses as well! Especially if you add in as much sriracha as I do!


Roasted Veggie Pasta

One of my favorite things about summer is all the fresh, delicious, local vegetables available at our farmers’ market. Since these vegetables have been winning my heart, I have been creating simple dinner dishes highlighting them.

Veggies Before

For this dish, I used four large tomatoes, one large zucchini, one large yellow squash, three banana peppers, two onions, and four cloves of garlic. The larger vegetables got quartered and sliced. The peppers and garlic just got sliced. Place the vegetables on a baking sheet.

Next I picked a few handfuls of parsley and oregano from the herb garden and tossed the whole leaves over the vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and your prep work is done.

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After thirty minutes in a 375* oven, the veggies are still slightly crisp but roasted nicely.  .

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In less time then it took the vegetables to roast, I cooked a package of quinoa pasta according to the package directions. When the vegetables come out of the oven, toss  with the cooked and strained pasta. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

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All that is left is to enjoy the flavors of the season, and we certainly did!


Ginger-Garlic Marinated Tofu

Lately, I have been trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into our diet. Not that we don’t already eat healthy, we do. This is just one more step.

So, the other night, I decided to marinate some tofu. I know some of you are thinking, tofu? Yuck. When prepared and cooked properly tofu is exceptionally yummy! Really, it is.

Marinated Tofu 1

Slice a twenty ounce package of tofu into quarter-inch slices. Depending on the type of tofu, you may need to press it. I prefer Wildwood Organic because the texture works without pressing.

For the marinade I combined one-half cup of low sodium soy sauce, one-half cup of mirin, one-quarter cup of harissa oil, six sliced cloves of garlic, three inches of ginger sliced, salt and pepper to taste. Allow the tofu to marinade overnight.

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The tofu will absorb most of the marinade. If there is still a lot of liquid remaining, transfer the tofu to another dish. If it is too wet it will not get crispy on the outside.

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Once transferred to a dry dish, the tofu bakes in a 375* oven. Flip tofu every ten minutes. My original plan was to grill the tofu but Mother Nature had other plans!

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After thirty to forty minutes the tofu will be browned nicely and crispy on the outside. This is when you will know it is done. The marvelous aroma of ginger and garlic will also give you a hint.

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Once done I plated with some fresh veggies from the farmers’ market. Combined, the tofu and veggies made for a nutrient packed and delicious meal!


Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

During the long, cold, dreary months of winter there is nothing better to me than a nice, warm, hearty pot of chili. Just the smell of it cooking on the stove warms the soul. When it is ready it warms the body as well. This chili is one of my favorite meatless versions. Don’t let the fact that it is meatless fool you, it will stick to your ribs and fill you up nicely!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili 1

To start, warm a tablespoon or so of your favorite extra virgin olive oil in a dutch oven or other soup-like pot over medium heat. Dice one large onion and one entire head of garlic.

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Peel and dice two large sweet potatoes.

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Add the onion, garlic and sweet potatoes into the dutch oven with the extra virgin olive oil. Salt well and saute until the onion is translucent.

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No chili is complete without peppers. For  this batch I used two red italian peppers, three green bell peppers and one purple bell pepper. Rough chop them, no need to be precise. I like my food rustic looking. Add the peppers into the dutch oven and continue sauteing until they begin to soften.

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Once the peppers begin to soften, add in four cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Once the potatoes begin to soften, add in two cans of unsalted diced tomatoes.Season well with salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro, ancho chile powder and chipotle morita flakes. Simmer thirty minutes over low heat.

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Rinse and strain two cans of low-sodium black beans. Add into the chili and continue to simmer an additional fifteen minutes or so until the potatoes are soft.

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Serve all on its own, over rice or with some nice crusty bread. This meal is perfect for meatless Monday or sharing with a vegan friend. Although, I need no excuse to enjoy it!


Crock Pot Veggie Chili

While pondering what to bring in for a work pot-luck lunch, I came up with this recipe. One of my co-workers is vegan and I wanted to make sure that he would be able to eat at least one of the dishes. It also needed to satisfy the non-vegan crowd. Two other criteria, it needed to be crock-pot friendly and easily transportable. Most importantly, it needed to be delicious!

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Start off with one nice size onion and a head of garlic. Yes, the whole head! It is good for you! Chop the onion. Peel the garlic and leave whole, so that it can be put through the garlic press.

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Next chop three carrots and three stalks of celery. Unfortunately, I think the celery got buried under the carrots here!

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I like my food to be colorful, so next I chopped two red peppers, two orange peppers and two yellow peppers.

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This is the only part of the recipe where we stray from the crock pot. I like to saute my veggies a little first. This can even be done the night before to make the rest of the preparation easy in the morning. All the veggies go into a skillet over medium-high heat with some extra virgin olive oil. Saute until they just begin to get tender, three to five minutes or so.

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Now, for the crock pot. First the veggies and two cans of unsalted diced tomatoes go in.

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Next add in one can each of rinsed and drained pinto beans, white beans, and garbanzo beans (also known as chick peas).

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Rough chop three zucchini, and a half pound each of shiitake and cremini mushrooms. The chopping is another step that can be done the night before. The mushrooms give the chili a meaty texture so that the non-vegans won’t miss a thing.

Also add in four cups of vegetable broth. Homemade is of course best, but unsalted store-bought works well in a pinch. It may not look like enough at first, but the zucchini and mushrooms will release some water as well.

Season with ancho chili powder, chipotle morita flakes, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Since unsalted tomatoes and broth were used, now is the time to get some salt in here.

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Sorry for the blurry picture! Simmer on low for five to six hours or on high for two to three hours. This recipe fills a six quart crock pot to the rim! More than enough food to bring to a pot luck party, or to make at home and freeze half the batch.

Serve all on its own or over rice. Great toppings include diced avocado, non-dairy sour cream, non-dairy cheddar, or whatever your heart desires. I leave out some of the ancho chili powder, chipotle morita flakes and cumin so people can add spice if they like. I know I like mine hot!


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