Over the past 5 months, I was living in paradise. Sunny skies, moderate temperatures, and a pleasant (sometimes overbearing) ocean breeze. Fast forward to the present moment, I am staring at 18″ (roughly 46 cm) of snow. It certainly looks pretty, that is until you step outside. The low last night in northern Minnesota was -33 F and tonight windchills are predicted to reach -40F.
So I figured a good soup would help ease this transition into frigid, arctic temperatures. I bought a bag of root veggies, a leek and onion. It took awhile for the soup to come together since you spend a good hour roasting the veg, but at least it warms up the kitchen. Enjoy!
- 4 large carrots (get colorful, if you can)
- 7 parsnips
- 2 sunchokes
- 2 rutabaga
- 1 Tbls oil
- 1 Tbls tamari (amino acids/shoyu/soy sauce)
- 1 leek
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 Tbls vegan chicken broth powder
- 8 c water
- pepper and smoked paprika to taste
- Chop the vegetables in bite sized pieces. Transfer to a large bowl. Coat with oil and tamari. Put the mixture on a cookie sheet and bake at 450F for about 50 minutes, or until tender
2. While the veg is roasting, sauté the leek, onion and garlic in a little water. You can give these a rough chop. Everything will be pureed together at the end. Once the onions are translucent, add the broth powder and water
3. Add the roasted veg to the pot of leek/onion/garlic broth
4. Use an emersion blender to puree everything together
5. Sprinkle some pepper and paprika to your liking
I am a caffeine phene. I was in seventh heaven when I worked as a barista a few years back. It’s not uncommon for me to pop a few roasted beans in my mouth before heading out the door. I seriously enjoy coffee.
So it’s no surprise that this new recipe has perhaps become my most esteemed cookie. I’m calling it double mocha because, well, it reminds me of a double shot mocha. I would guess that one cookie is close to the equivalent of one cup of coffee.
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 c cocoa powder
- 3/4 c chocolate chips
- 1/4 c freshly ground espresso beans
- 1/4 c brewed coffee, plus 1/4 c cold water
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/2 c canola oil
- 1/2 c dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- First, combine all of the dry ingredients, then set aside
- In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients
- Add the wet into the dry
4. Stir until everything is well mixed. Drop heaping tablespoons onto parchment lined cookie sheets
5. Bake at 350F for about 12 minutes. Let cool then transfer to a cooling rack
While in South Africa, my culinary curiosity was taken to a whole new level. I even received a fun cookbook by Evita Bezuidenhout for my birthday. I am excited to test out some of her veg friendly recipes!
The meal I made tonight is a very special one. Being abroad, one often lacks a satisfying, filled with love, home cooked meal. When my friend asked if I was keen on aubergine, my heart skipped a beat. ”Um, yes I am keen on aubergine.” I waited as patiently as possible for the meal to be complete. I noticed the beautiful presentation right away; the harmony of the red tomatoes, white feta, dark kalamata olives, and green parsley made it look almost too pretty to eat. As I took my first bite, I savored the salty and earthy flavors. I was hooked. I asked where he came up with the recipe and I was told it’s from Macedonia and is something many of the peasants would eat. I never thought the meal I’d enjoy the most in South Africa would be from Macedonia…go figure.
Since I didn’t see how it was made, we (luckily) had the dish again. This time I was sous chef and got the scoop. We didn’t really measure much, so I am doing my best with how I eyeballed everything.
- 3-4 aubergines
- olive oil
- onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 can of cherry tomatoes (I used plum, make sure they’re peeled; reserve the sauce), chopped
- 1/2 c pitted kalamata olives, chopped
- feta cheese
- fresh parsley
- Make a few slits in the aubergines and add them to a large pot of boiling water. Cover. Cook until tender. Drain them to let them cool
- Preheat oven to 350F (or about 180C)
- Sauté onion and garlic in a generous amount of oil. Once onions are translucent, add the spices
- Next, add tomatoes, olives, and a small handful of chopped parsley. Pour in some of the sauce from the canned tomatoes. I like mine less saucy and more chunky, so I didn’t add as much. Remove the sauce from the heat
- Use a cookie sheet and coat with oil. Make two large slits on the left and right side of each aubergine. Stuff the sauce into the slits. Sprinkle with feta and chopped parsley
- Bake for 10-15 minutes
After 5 months of living in South Africa, I fell in love with many new foods. One of these new dishes is a pudding (or dessert) called malva pudding. I’ve had many versions of this, but the recipe below is a definite favourite. Plus, it is incredibly simple. Malva pudding would be an excellent dessert to serve at a festive party because I’m guessing most people have never had it before. And they will be in love at first bite.
For the pudding
1 c full cream milk (I used vitamin D milk)
1 tsp baking powder
1 c flour
¾ c brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1 Tbls vinegar
2 Tbls apricot jam
For the syrup
1 c white sugar
1 c full cream milk
½ c boiling water
¼ c butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 320F
2. Mix the milk and baking soda, set aside
3. Add the remaining pudding ingredients in a mixing bowl, stir
4. Now pour in the milk/baking soda mixture
5. Pour batter in a greased 8×8 pan. Bake for about 30 minutes
6. For the syrup, bring all ingredients to a boil, set aside
7. When the pudding is done, use a fork to poke holes then add all of the syrup on top. ENJOY!!
courtesy of yuppie chef
Dear fellow foodie friends,
I had intended to create this lavish meal as a send off to my trip to South Africa. Unfortunately the holiday and last minute stresses got the best of me. I hope you still utilize this page as a guide to some really great meals. This summer has brought, by far, the most culinary excitement. I look forward to getting back into the kitchen once I return from my travels. Until then, I invite you to join me in my journey at my new blog South African Hotdish.
Remember to keep your pantries stocked and your taste buds curious…
The Veg Way
Lettuce wraps are the best of both worlds. You don’t have the heavy gluten weighing you down and it’s just enough greens without it being all about a salad. The recipe for these wraps are simple and easy. I had it ready in under 30 minutes. It makes for a great picnic treat or a quick lunch on the go.
- 1/2 pkg of tempeh, cubed
- 1/2 c vegan mayo
- 2 tsp mustard
- 2 tsp bragg’s aminos
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 pickle, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- Steam the tempeh for 15 minutes
- While the tempeh is steaming, prep your dressing
- After the tempeh has steamed, cool it in the fridge for at least 10 minutes
- Mix everything together, season to taste, and add to your favorite bread, greens or have it on its own!
Dessert is not something I take lightly. My passion with food began as a baker. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I get when the first bite results in your eyes closing and rolling towards your brain while your taste buds do a gangnam like dance. If I ever open a cafe, this will certainly be on my menu. Couldn’t be happier with it. I really hope you are able to try this recipe over the summer. It is truly spectacular!
- 1 c raw pecans
- 3/4 c raw walnuts
- 1 c pitted dates
- ¼ tsp (scant) sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 c fresh strawberries (extra for garnish)
- 3/4 c raw cashews, unsoaked
- 3 Tbls raw agave nectar
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Couple pinches sea salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest (stir in after pureeing)
- Pulse crust ingredients in a food processor. When the ingredients start sticking together, press into an oiled pie pan
2. Blend filling ingredients until smooth, stir in zest. Pour over crust
3. If using strawberries for garnish, add them to the pie after it has set. Freeze for 5-6 hours
My apologies for the low quality photo. It’s been a long day. Zucchini pasta was a nice way to end it though. I simply spiralized two zukes and poured the following sauce on top:
- 1/4 c tahini
- 1/8 c lemon juice
- 1 Tbls olive oil
- 2 tsp fresh dill
I processed all dressing ingredients in a blender and added water to thin out. About 1/2 cup gave a good consistency.
This was my last dish I made at the Green Scene. It was totally bittersweet. In just a few short weeks, the women at the shop opened their arms, minds and kitchen in allowing me to get creative. I’ve focused primarily on raw foods, but my peanut butter graham cups were a huge favorite, along with the sweet potato noodle dishes. I honestly never had more fun at work and it’s incredibly difficult leaving this wonderful work environment behind.
Using local kale and greens blend, I made a simple salad with a chickpea dressing. Here is the recipe for the dressing:
Making raw tabouli couldn’t be easier. I simply took a head of cauliflower and pulsed the florets in a food processor. Then, I added olive oil, parsely, mint, red pepper, cucumber, lemon juice and a little salt. This dish is light and so refreshing!