Thai Butternut Soup

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To celebrate my next abroad adventure I made a Thai butternut soup. Ingredients that make it Thai-inspired include lime juice, coconut milk and ginger. I add extra sriracha to give it a bigger kick, but feel free to omit that part. The soup turned out creamy and full of flavor which makes it a recipe you must try!

Ingredients

– 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
– oil
– 1 small onion, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 Tbls fresh ginger, minced
– 1 Tbls tomato paste
– 2 Tbls lime juice
– 1 1/2 c coconut milk
– 3/4 c water
– sriracha to taste

1. Heat the oven to 400F. Coat the butternut cubes in a little oil and pour onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until soft 2. Sauté onion in a little water. Once soft, add the garlic and ginger. Cook for a few more minutes
3. Add remaining ingredients, including roasted butternut. Using an emersion blender, puree everything together. Top with srirarcha and serve immediately

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Homemade Seitan with Braised Brussels Sprouts and Cheezy Roasted Cauliflower

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I bought a package of vital wheat gluten over a year ago…and I am now getting around to making Isa’s homemade seitan. It was much easier to make than I had thought. I will definitely be making this again in the future. I served the seitan with braised Brussels sprouts and cheezy roasted cauliflower. The combination of vegetables, sauce, and protein created a plate of deliciousness.

Isa’s Seitan
– 3 Tbls nutritional yeast flakes
– 1/2 c cold vegetable broth
– 1/4 c soy sauce
– 2 Tbls fresh lemon juice
– 1 Tbls olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, pressed

For the simmering broth:
– 4 c vegetable broth
– 4 c water
– 1/4 c soy sauce

1. Add the broth ingredients together and bring to a boil
2. While broth is heating up, add the seitan ingredients together. Kneed for a few minutes
3. Tear the seitan protein into 3 pieces. Kneed each piece. Let it sit until the broth is boiling
4. Add the seitan pieces to the boiling broth, slightly cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, while turning seitan a few times
5. Remove from heat, let sit for 15 minutes. Then, I let my seitan sit out before putting it in the fridge/freezer for later

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Braised Brussels Sprouts
– Reserved broth
– Brussels sprouts
– 1 onion, diced

1. Cut ends off brussels and add to a pan with chopped onion and enough broth to cover half of the brussels
2. Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. Roast at 400F until brussels are tender

Cheezy Cauliflower
– Cauliflower florets
– 1 c unsweetened non-dairy milk
– 1/2 c Daiya vegan cheddar cheese
– 2 1/2 Tbls nutritional yeast
– 1 tsp dijon mustard

1. Roast cauliflower with brussels, at 400F until tender
2. To make the sauce, bring milk to a simmer, add remaining ingredients. Once it thickens, remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste
3. When cauliflower is tender, add sauce to cauliflower florets. I used a small portion of florets and had a lot of sauce left over

Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Cookies

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I stumbled across this recipe a few weeks ago and have been waiting to eat through my other cookies before making a new batch. I have never baked a flourless cookie before. I was a bit skeptical at first because I couldn’t tell if they were done and at first taste they seemed super doughy. However, after they cooled the texture stabilized quite a bit. These cookies are very rich and flavorful. I’m not sure if it’s my favorite cookie, but they were fun and easy to make.

Ingredients
– 1/2 c cocoa powder
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 2 Tbls flax plus 6 Tbls water, whisked and set aside for several minutes
– 2 c peanut butter (I used natural pb from the co-op)
– 2/3 c agave
– 1/2 c chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Mix flax mixture, set aside
3. Whisk the dry ingredients together and add into the wet ingredients, including flax mixture. Blend everything with a hand blender
4. Once the mixture has come together, stir in the chocolate chips
5. Scoop onto cookie sheets and flatten out. Bake for about 10 minutes

Caramelized Pineapple

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I’ve heard of grilling pineapple before, but I never thought to cook and caramelize a pineapple. While I prefer pineapple in its raw form, it was fun experimenting with this new way of preparing it. You can serve it warm or cold. You can also get creative with spices. I used some cracked black pepper and think other spices like cayenne or even nutmeg could be fun!

Ingredients

– 1 pineapple, sliced or diced
– 1 stick of butter, halved
– 2 Tbls sugar
– 1/4 c orange juice
– zest of an orange
– cornstarch or arrowroot for thickening (optional)
– spice of choice

1. Put half of the butter in a large skillet and heat to medium
2. Melt the other butter half in a bowl, add sugar, orange juice and zest. Set aside
3. Saute the pineapple in the butter for about 5 minutes
4. Add the orange juice mixture to the skillet. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. If using thickener, add. Once you have the desired texture, remove from heat. Season with spices of your choice
5. Serve warm or cold

Chickpea Rissoles

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These chickpea rissoles made for the perfect appetizer. They are very similar to chickpea fritters or falafel patties. Next time, I would play with the spices and maybe add some cayenne for a touch of heat. Feel free to get creative with the dipping sauce as well. I decided to use fresh salsa that my parents make every summer. You could make a nice tzatziki or a cumin parsley sour cream dip.

Ingredients

– 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 1 large onion, diced
– Olive oil
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 3 Tbls fresh parsley, chopped
– 1/4 c cake flour
– 1 egg, beaten
– 1 Tbls cumin

1. Pureé the chickpeas in a food processor until smooth
2. Sauté the onion in oil until soft
3. Add the garlic, parsley and cumin. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the chickpea blend
4. Now, combine the flour and egg with the chickpea blend. Form patties and fry in oil over a medium-high heat. Once they are browned, remove from the skillet and set patties on a platter lined with paper towel
5. Serve immediately

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Banana Pancakes for One

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I’m flying solo this holiday season and I stuck to tradition by making a breakfast feast. These banana pancakes definitely were the highlight of the meal. Feel free to get more creative by adding nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips to the batter.

Ingredients

– 1/2 c whole wheat flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– dash of cinnamon
– 1/2 c non-dairy milk
– 1 Tbls maple syrup
– 1 ripe banana, mashed

1. Mix all ingredients together to form your batter
2. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop out portions, pour into a skillet which is at medium-heat
3. Flip. Cook. Pour. Repeat
4. Butter and syrup away. Makes about 4 scrumptious cakes!

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Happy Holidays!

Sweet and Spicy Stir-Fry

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I have a few random veggies in my crisper that aside from roasting or making a stew, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. Then a light bulb went off, STIR FRY! I’m not sure why I always forget that one… My bowl came out a bit bland, so I am adjusting the recipe. If you’re looking for a simple, non-threatening recipe, this is definitely one to try. You can’t really go wrong with this. And if you’re worried about overdoing it with the spices, add them to taste at the end.

Ingredients

  • 1 c short grain brown rice (or whatever you have on hand, really)
  • 2 c water
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • sesame oil
  • tamari (or shoyu, coconut aminos, soy sauce)
  • 1 carrot, sliced in half moons
  • 1/4 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 10-20 brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1 egg (I’d have used tofu, but I was out)
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  1. Start by getting your rice cooking. I rely solely on my rice cooker, but stove top works fine as well. Follow package instructions for cooking
  2. While the rice is steaming away, sauté the onion and garlic in sesame oil
  3. Once the onion is soft, add in the remaining veg, along with a little water. Keep heat at medium, cover, and stir occasionally to check the tenderness of the veg
  4. When the veg is soft, and the rice is finished, add in the rice
  5. If using egg, I like to scramble mine in a separate pan, then add to the rice mixture
  6. Finally, add in the remaining sauces and spices. Remember to taste as you add, using more or less to your liking

Vegetable Garam Masala

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Today was calling for something healthy with a kick. This vegetable garam masala hit the spot. It has the perfect assortment of vegetables with just the right spice. In fact, there is room for a little more heat, but you can leave it as-is so the dish is adaptable to sensitive palates. Remember, the longer the masala sits, the stronger the flavor (heat) profiles become. Feel free to play with the vegetables used, just keep an eye on how much liquids you use.

Cheers!

Ingredients
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1-2 tsp chopped ginger
– 1/2 tsp cayenne
– 15 oz can diced tomatoes
– 1 yellow onion, diced
– 1 red pepper, diced
– 1 potato, diced
– 2 carrots, chopped
– 1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
– 1 tsp chili
– 3/4 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
– 1/2 c water
– 1 c light coconut milk

Directions
1. Add garlic, ginger, cayenne and tomatoes to a food processor. Let the mixture blend for a minute or two until everything is well combined. Set aside
2. Sauté onion and red pepper in oil or water. Once soft, add carrots, potatoes, and spices. Cover and let cook on low for about 10 minutes
3. Next, add the cauliflower florets, water and tomato mixture from step 1. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes
4. Before removing the Masala from the heat, add the coconut milk. Let flavors sit longer to strengthen flavors, otherwise serve right away

Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Cookies

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Ask anyone, I cringe when I hear salt. I omit it from most of my recipes and never season a meal with it. Yet, for some reason, when it comes to chocolate I love the salty pairing. So when I came across this recipe, I couldn’t wait to taste them. I must say, they are pretty spectacular. I’ve already had 3 and the night isn’t over yet.

Ingredients

-1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
-1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 stick plus 3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
-2/3 c packed light brown sugar
-1/4 c granulated sugar
-1/2 tsp fine sea salt
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3/4 c chocolate chips

1. Sift together the dry ingredients, set aside
2. In a mixer, cream the butter, then add the sugars, salt and vanilla. Mix for 2 minutes or until the ingredients are creamy
3. Turn the mixer off, add the dry ingredients, cover the mixer with a towel and mix until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated
4. Split the dough in half, wrapping each portion in plastic wrap and rolling it into a log
5. Chill in the refrigerator overnight
6. Preheat oven to 325F and cut the dough into slices. The dough may break while cutting, just mash the broken pieces back together. Bake for 12-14 minutes

Enjoy!

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Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

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!

Ingredients

  • 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
  1. 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

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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

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