Sunday, February 23, 2014

Vegan Cheezy Broccoli Soup

This soup was delicious and simple! You need to make sure to start the cashews soaking ahead of time, but besides that it's one of the quickest things I've made in a while. So refreshing in so many ways : )

Something that will never get old about my new place: using the Vitamix blender.

Vegan Cheezy Broccoli Soup

2 servings

3 cups broccoli
2 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup raw cashews
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional, for cheezy flavor)
salt and pepper, to taste
smoked paprika, to garnish

Soak raw cashews in salted water over night.

1. Set a pot of water to boil for steaming broccoli.
2. Wash broccoli and peel stem. Cut stem pieces into 6ths width-wise (so they steam quicker) and cut the head into large florettes (these will be blended, do not need to be perfect).
3. Steam broccoli stems for 5 minutes then throw in florettes and steam for another 5 until bright green. Reserve a couple small florets for garnish, if desired.
4. Mince garlic and drain and rinse cashews.5. In a high-speed blender, blend together broccoli, vegetable stock, cashews, garlic, and nutritional yeast. Salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with paprika.

Chocolate Candy Filled Chocolate Cookies

Now this is not my usual: I have been trying to avoid processed sugars and unhealthy food. In fact, one of my friends has persuaded me to try a juice detox coming up here soon! That being said, we had a couple of cool Canadian associates doing some training at my work for a couple weeks. A group of us locally-based associates took them out for a bar tour of Kansas City last weekend and good times were had by all. One of them who was sweet and vegetarian was leaving this last Friday, and for his departure I wanted to make a truly American cookie. In my mind this means extremely unhealthy. My first thought was chocolate chip, as to me this is very American but I was unable to find my chocolate chips and I ended up finding this recipe.

I put dark-chocolate covered salted caramels as the center for these bad-boys (since I had a Costco-sized container that's been living in my room, so many bad choices there I know). The original called for Snickers bites, but I have boycotted candies like that in recent years. A home-made snickers would be a fabulous cookie filler though. I also used craisins instead of chocolate chips since I was unable to find my chocolate chips this time and, somehow, all of my 85% bars have migrated to work <.<

I definitely plan to make this one again, but cutting the caramels in half and squishing them into a ball. There was way too much caramel and the cookies too large. It also meant I only had 13 to share which, among my self, my co-workers, and my house mates, isn't as much as I'd like to have.

Chocolate Candy Filled Chocolate Cookies
from Pretty. Simple. Sweet.
makes about 18 cookies

125 g. flour (I used whole-wheat flour and it was fine in these)
42 g. cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
113 grams butter, softened
100 g. brown sugar
100 g. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup small chocolate chips
16-18 candies
coarse sea salt, to sprinkle


make dough
1. In a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars for 3 minutes using electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in egg and vanilla to combine.
3. Add dry ingredients and gently mix with by hand or wooden spoon until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, cover with damp towel, and chill for 1-2 hours or overnight (helps with cookie spread-age)
assemble and cook
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F and line a baking pan with a silicon mat.
2. Take 1 Tbs of cookie dough, press candy on top of it, and take another Tbs of cookie dough and press edges together until candy is completely sealed in dough.
3. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt (if desired) and bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges start to set. Let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Roasted Eggplant with Tahini Sauce

Delicious and easy eggplant recipe, with a delicious sauce involving ingredients you probably already have on hand! It's amazing how thick the tahini makes the sauce, I had to add more water to mine for consistency sake. I packed leftovers for lunch today with sauce on it. Eggplant lost its nice dry baked texture, and the sauce soaked into the eggplant slices but still delicious : )

Also: Google? HOW do you not have tahini in your dictionary? Seriously? How many food blog do you host??

Roasted Eggplant with Tahini Sauce
from LaaLoosh
1 serving (or 2 as a side)

1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/2" thick
1 Tbs tahini
1 Tbs water
1 clove garlic, minced
2 pinches smoked paprika
1 Tbs lemon juice
salt and pepper
olive oil, to brush
parsley, to garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with a silicon mat.
2. Place eggplant slices evenly on baking sheet and brush with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20-30 mins, flipping half way through.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together tahini, water, garlic, paprika. Add more water if needed for consistency.
4. Plate eggplant, drizzle tahini sauce over, and garnish with parsley.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Brussel Sprouts with Craisins and Walnuts

Delicious, fresh, and simple! This is a great side dish for color, taste, and health! I've generally only had roasted brussel sprouts,  and I feel like this quick sautee is a great middle between that and raw.

The original recipe used dates and slivered almonds. I happened to have these on hand, but I feel almost anything would work! Prunes and pine nuts, sesame seeds and minced raisins. Will definitely make something like this again with variations like that, to get people to like brussel sprouts!

Brussel Sprouts with Craisins and Walnuts
adapted from the tolerant vegan

 1 lb brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
 1/4 cup craisins
 1/3 cup walnut halves, toasted
 2 Tbs olive oil
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 salt and pepper, to taste

 1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet on medium heat.
2. Toss in brussel sprouts and saute for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently, until sprouts are browning on multiple sides.
 3. Toss in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring, until garlicbis fragrant.
 4. Dump sprouts, nuts, and craisins into a bowl and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chipotle Sweet Potato Hummus

I wanted a healthy (vegetarian) alternative for a Super Bowl party, and I found this little gem. It's a non-chickpea based hummus, using sweet potato instead. Extremely quick to make (I didn't even peel the sweet potatoes, just scrubbed) and it has a great thick texture. I didn't add much olive oil, just a little for taste.

Serve with cut vegetables, pita triangles, or use as a sandwich spread.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Hummus
from The Fitchen

2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed small
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
olive oil as needed for consistency

1. Steam the sweet potatoes until fork-tender (15-20 mins)
2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse in 5 second bursts until desired consistency is reached, drizzling in olive oil as needed.
3. Garnish with olive oil drizzled on top and a couple dashes of ground chipotle pepper.