Classic Tomato Soup with Pepper Relish

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There is nothing better than a hot bowl of tomato soup. On occasion, I will buy cans or cartons of tomato soup from the store and am usually disappointed with the product. While making your own can take a few more minutes, if you have the energy, it’s totally worth it.

Once you get everything into the pot, you simply let it simmer until the veggies are tender. There is very little labor necessary for this recipe. With most soup/stew recipes, feel free to get creative – add cream or fresh herbs, or incorporate a fun spice like berbere!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 6 Tbls butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbls flour (optional, it just helps thicken the soup a bit)
  • salt, pepper, thyme, paprika to taste
  • 1/2 c tomato sauce (optional, I just happened to have some leftover that I wanted to use)
  • 3 small sweet peppers
  • olive oil and balsamic

 

  1. Melt the butter in a pan – please feel free to reduce this amount as I went a little stir crazy with the amount… although if you keep it at 6 Tbls, you won’t be disappointed
  2. Sauté the onion and carrot for 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic. Once this becomes fragrant after a few minutes, add the flour, spices, herbs, and tomatoes. Make sure to crush the whole tomatoes with your spoon. Bring so a simmer, then cover
  3. While the soup is simmering, roast some sweet peppers at 400F until charred. Once they cool, peel the skins and slice them. Dress them with a little olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper
  4. When the soup is ready, garnish with sweet pepper relish

Almond Thumbprint Cookies with Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt and Cinnamon

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Food52 has some of the best recipes. When I saw this recipe for Almond Thumbprint Cookies, I immediately bookmarked it. The only issue I had in making this was my own personal error – when thinking I was using bittersweet chocolate for the filling, I was actually using unsweetened. I was able to adjust the sweetness, or lack thereof, by adding more sugar into the filling. Needless to say, I was skeptical how they would turn out…

Fortunately the cookies tasted amazing. My word of advice – try and stick to the original recipe listed below.

I topped the cookies with flaked sea salt, cinnamon, and turbinado sugar!

Ingredients:

  • 1 c flour
  • 3/4 c almond meal (ground almonds is what I used)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 Tbls butter
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate broken into pieces
  • 2 tsp corn syrup
  • Sea salt, cinnamon and sugar to top
  1. Mix the dry ingredients – flour and almond meal, set aside
  2. In a mixer, add the sugar and lemon zest. Next, cream the stick of butter and lemon zested sugar for 3-5 minutes. Once the mixture is whipped, add the vanilla extract
  3. Now, slowly add in the dry mix and mix until just combined
  4. Scoop the cookies onto a lined baking sheet. I used a tablespoon to scoop my dough out. Make a thumbprint in each cookie
  5. Bake the cookies at 350F for 10-12 minutes
  6. While the cookies are baking, make your chocolate toping. In a double boiler, melt 2 Tbls butter, corn syrup, and chocolate. Set aside once melted
  7. Let cookies cool complete, fill with chocolate and top with sea salt, cinnamon and sugar

Layered Veggie Enchiladas

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Normally when I make enchiladas, I make them one by one: warming the tortilla, drenching it in enchilada sauce, filling it with veggies, then rolling them into place.. This time, I deconstructed the process a bit. Rather than filling and rolling, I layered it like a lasagna. It worked wonderfully!

I still warmed the tortilla, then I started each layer with enchilada sauce – tortilla – more sauce – veggies/beans/cheese – repeat. The middle layer, I omitted the sauce and put a thin layer of chili – I had some on hand that I wanted to use up. If you don’t have chili, you can just add more beans. This enchilada powder mix from Simply Organic is my go-to sauce.

Have fun with this recipe – feel free to get creative with the layers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of frozen tri-colored peppers (red, orange, yellow)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • Chili
  • Cumin
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 c chili (optional)
  • Enchilada sauce – Simply Organic powder mix and 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • Small corn tortillas
  • Cheese (optional)
  1. First, prep the veggies. Sauté the onion in some oil for about 5 minutes, then add the peppers. If using frozen peppers – be ware the skillet might sizzle a bit
  2. Next, add some seasonings – I used a few pinches of chili and cumin – taste and adjust as needed
  3. Get the enchilada sauce together – following instructions on the packet
  4. Heat the tortillas in a skillet
  5. In a casserole dish layer enchilada sauce, tortilla, sauce (enough just to cover/saturate tortillas), veggies, beans, and cheese (if using). The top layer should be tortilla, sauce and cheese.
  6. Bake at 350F until cheese is melted – it took about 45 minutes for ours to heat all the way through

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Red Curry Soup

Winters in Minnesota are brutal. Soups and stews are my go to meals for the next 4 months. I was inspired by a recipe from Budget Bytes. Feel free to omit the fish sauce or make a vegan fish sauce. You can also try subbing in Worcestershire for the fish sauce as well.

I particularly like this Red Curry Soup – it has some heat and is loaded with veggies and protein.

I layered my soup with what I had on hand – basmati rice, spinach and tofu:

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The tofu was marinated in a mix of grated ginger, minced garlic, mirin, shoyu/tamari, curry paste and some maple syrup. Then I fried the tofu cubes in coconut oil.

My soup had a few different veggies. Here is the recipe I followed:

  • coconut oil
  • 3 small sweet peppers, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • grated ginger
  • minced garlic
  • red curry paste, approximately 1 Tbls
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • spinach
  • tofu
  1. Saute diced peppers, sweet potato, and onion for 5-7 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and curry paste, cooking for another 1-3 minutes
  2. Once spices are fragrant, add the coconut milk and 2 cups of veggie broth. Cover and simmer until veggies are fork tender
  3. In a separate pan, fry the marinated tofu. If using spinach, saute in the same pan as the tofu
  4. Layer ingredients in a bowl and top with the soup

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Grilling Meatless Burgers

I’ve tried a lot of great meatless meats in my day, and I must say, the Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis has a burger that will make anyone say, “wow!”

I was able to grill these burgers, which was a huge plus. When I make bean/legume based burgers, they aren’t always grill friendly. You can tell there are some hearty ingredients keeping it all together.

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I topped my burgers with their dill havarti cheese.

Processed with Snapseed.

I am so lucky to live in a state with a vegan butcher shop! They do offer shipping of some of their products, so if you aren’t within driving range, there is still hope!

Vegan Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

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As someone that still consumes dairy cheese, I forget how delicious non-dairy cheese is, especially when melted!

I made a very simple lasagna with pre-cooked noodles, a delicious pasta sauce, vegan mozzarella, and a must make layer of cashew ricotta. This meal was tasted by omnivores and given excellent feedback.

To make this lasagna, I first made the cashew ricotta. Once this was complete, I put a layer of pasta sauce down, then noodles, then ricotta, then sauce, then noodles, then ricotta, then sauce, etc.. by the time you reach a top layer (I layered about 4 times) top with the mozzarella cheese. I baked the lasagna covered at 350F for about 25 minutes, then uncovered until cheese was fully melted and pasta was cooked.

Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo

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This Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo recipe from Half Baked Harvest is serious business. While their post gives the option for a fried cheese, I skipped that part and focused on adding some greens to the dish as it’s already pretty stocked with dairy. I slightly modified the ingredients so feel free to view both versions. This is a great way to utilize a portion of canned pumpkin as I can never seem to use one can on one recipe.

I hope you enjoy this delicious meal as much as I did!

Ingredients

  • 4 tbls butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 c whole milk
  • 1 c cream
  • 3/4 c pumpkin
  • 2 c grated parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb pasta noodle of choice – or keep it in the squash family and use the sauce over spaghetti squash!
  • 12-16 oz fresh spinach
  1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, once browned, add the minced garlic
  2. Next, add the milk, cream and pumpkin. Whisk until everything is well combined. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, then add the parmesan (or other cheese of choice)
  3. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta/squash. *Note, spaghetti squash will take a pretty long time to roast in the oven. Either way, once preferred noodle is cooked, add this to the sauce
  4. Wilt spinach by setting in a strainer over the cooking pasta – or sauté spinach in olive oil
  5. Serve pasta in a bowl and top with spinach

Thanksgiving Dinner!

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year – specifically for sharing food and being thankful.

This meal is made of a Field Roast Celebration Roast which I put in a casserole dish and surrounded it with a veggie mix (potatoes, green beans, carrots, mushrooms, and onion which were coated in oil and seasoned with salt and pepper). I covered this, cooked it at 350F and occasionally added veg broth to help with the cooking of the veggies.

The mushroom gravy is from Simply Organic. I added some sautéed mushrooms which were browned in olive oil and garlic; and deglazed with red wine.

The stuffing is from Arrowhead Mills – I added sautéed celery and onion to this.

I kept it very simple this year folks! What are you serving up for your Thanksgiving meal(s)?

Mushroom Loaf

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Mushrooms – people either love them or hate them. I absolutely love them. Hence, the mushroom loaf. Tasting Table came out with a wonderful recipe for a Mushroom Loaf.

I served this to my parents and they said it tastes like Thanksgiving, aka stuffing. The downfall to my first attempt was over dicing my mushrooms – the consistency was pretty….soft. Next time, I will follow the recipe more closely and do a fine chop/dice – but don’t bring out the food processor to do this. Oops.

I love the flavor and texture of this – the oats, breadcrumbs and walnuts; along with the topping of ketchup, remind me of everything I want a “meat”loaf to be.

Have you tried any meatless loafs before? Whether you have, this one is definitely worth a try (unless you fall into the anti-mushroom category…then stick with a lentil loaf!)

Honey Sesame Cauliflower Bites

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I followed this recipe from So Beautifully Real and am in love. While I typically like roasting my cauliflower and using the sauce – sans breading – this breading is spot on.

What I also like about this recipe is you can bread it, then dress it up with whichever sauce you would like (I’m thinking hot sauce/bbq…).

Two ways I deviated with this recipe was using fresh honey and panko bread crumbs rather than rice crumbs. I think it would be equally great with maple syrup. I just happened to have a large amount of honey on hand, thanks to all of my beekeeper friends.

I strongly recommend you try this recipe!