The end of summer weather brings crisp sunny days and cool nights in New England.
And with produce from the farms and gardens still in harvest, it's the perfect time to start cooking soups!
Tonight I created this recipe because I had a lot of cauliflower that needed to be used, along with some gigantic carrots from my garden.
This recipe turned into a five C soup: Cauliflower Carrot Chickpea Coconut Curry because that is what I had on hand. And that's the way I cook.
The way I want to teach you to cook....to have the tools, the knowledge, and the passion to create delicious healthy food on a whim with what you have. I didn't go to culinary school, I just like to eat and I love to create. And that's all you need too!
So stay tuned for my upcoming Culinary Wellness Academy, videos, and ebooks so you can learn to do the same! In the meantime try out this delicious creamy rich vegan soup.
Cauliflower Chickpea Curry - makes 4-6 servings (Vegan & Gluten Free!)
1 Tbsp coconut oil (or ghee for non vegans)
1 Tbsp madras curry
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups chopped carrots
1 clove garlic minced
1/2-1 tsp sea salt (to taste)
1/2 head cauliflower (4 cups) chopped
3 cups coconut milk (not beverage)
1 cup water
1 (13oz) can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
2 tsp ume plum vinegar or lime juice
In a medium soup pot on low - medium heat add oil and spices. Stir and saute about 2 minutes or until a paste forms and the spices are fragrant. Add in carrots, garlic, and sea salt. Stir together and saute about 5 minutes to coat carrots and begin to soften them.
Add in cauliflower, coconut milk, and water and bring to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes with the lid on. (Don't let the coconut oil come to a heavy boil!) Stir occasionally. Remove cover and cook about another 10 minutes or until cauliflower and carrot are tender. Add chickpeas and stir. Cook just a couple minutes more to heat the chickpeas.
Turn off heat and add the vinegar or lime juice and adjust spices to taste. Serve with jasmine or basmati rice, or even try cooked quinoa or millet. Optionally top with toasted pumpkin seeds and/or chopped cilantro. Add a green salad and you have a healthy vibrant meal!
-chopped veggies are a bit larger in size than diced
-you can add in chopped onion (with carrot) and/or frozen peas (in the second 10 minute cook) for more protein and color
-feel free to adjust spices or just use ground cumin instead of cumin seed
-ume plum vinegar is a salty acid that adds a wonderful depth to foods. It can be found in the Asian food aisles. Lime juice would also be lovely in this. Add vinegar/juice for "brightness", depth, and to pull the soup together.
-because there is so much coconut milk, this curry is super rich so you can also do half water and half milk. I use the Aroy-D brand coco milk found in shelf stable boxes at my local Asian market. It is hands down THE BEST creamy coconut milk and is what is used all over Thailand.
Any questions about this, feel free to message me! ENJOY!
During my time this winter cooking at a retreat center in Costa Rica I realized how many people don't know how to create a healthy well balanced MEAL (especially one without meat!).
"Meal" meaning not just one dish, but two to three foods that create a well balanced and full meal. Or in other words...side dishes to accompany a main course.
As a retreat chef and nutritionist that plans meals (and a passionate foodie!) I have learned how to take a main course and combine it with sides to make a healthy vibrant meal.
It is not a lot of extra work and makes a plate more nutritious, colorful, and delicious! So if you want to impress your family (or yourself!) here are a few plant based meal ideas for you to try. The recipes are linked from some of my favorite bloggers that I think you will enjoy.
PRO TIP: do a batch cook night so that you have ingredients on hand throughout the week. For example boil sweet potatoes, roast veggies, cook brown rice and quinoa, make your fav salad dressing, and cut up any veggies on hand to make week night prep easier!
PLANT BASED MEAL IDEAS
Creamy carrot soup with vegan Thai salad in peanut sauce and optional brown rice.
Sweet potato black bean quesadillas with mango salsa and cole slaw.
Lentil soup with brown rice or quinoa and Moroccan carrot raisin salad.
Soba noodle bowl with cucumber side salad.
Fattoush salad with Baba Ganoush and toasted pita chips.
And just for fun, here is an incredibly easy dessert that received rave reviews at the retreat center in Costa Rica...
Banana nice cream with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.
Put the nice cream in a pretty glass dish, top with a drizzle of agave syrup, and then wedge in a cinnamon sugar tortilla triangle. It looks so fancy, but is oh so simple!
Do you have any favorite entree and side ideas? Please comment below!
PHOTO by Stacey Hamblett (me!) at Kindred Spirits in Costa Rica.
What do you do with all that beautiful and abundant patty pan squash that is filling up your garden? Create a delicious and refreshing end of summer salad to bring to the Labor Day weekend party!
This salad is delicious warm or can be served at room temperature. Serve as is or over a bed of fresh garden greens and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
1 cup Israeli couscous (try farro or for gluten free use quinoa or wild rice)
3 cups water
4 cups sliced patty pan squash
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
In medium saucepan on medium heat, add about 1 Tablespoon olive oil then pour in couscous. Stir couscous until coated with oil. Cook until they are lightly toasted. Pour in water, bring to a gentle boil and cook until water is absorbed and couscous is tender.
In medium saute pan on medium heat, add about 1 Tablespoon olive oil and the patty pan squash. Stir the squash to coat with oil. Add the green onions and spices and saute about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and parsley and saute another couple of minutes. When squash is lightly toasted and softer but not mushy, add almonds in.
Turn off heat in pan and add cooked couscous or other grain. Drizzle on balsamic vinegar and add any additional spices to taste.
A good sauce will dress up any meal and make it even more delicious, so it pays to have a few easy to make favorites in your culinary toolbox.
You can pour sauces / dressings on roasted veggies, raw veggies, falafel patties, bean burgers, baked tofu, pan seared tempeh, salads, macrobowls or use them for dipping anything and everything into!
Check out my 3 favorites below. All should last about 5 days in the fridge.
Creamy Tahini Dressing - makes about 3/4 cup
1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup water
1.5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
1.5 tsp EVOO
1 tsp sunbutter (optional but it makes the dressing pop)
1/4 tsp sea salt
Place all in a mini food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Green Goddess Dressing - makes about 3/4 cup
1 ripe avocado (or tahini or blend of two)
1/2 cup parsley
1/4 cup green onion
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
2.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
In food processor blend avocados, herbs, water, salt, and garlic. Slowly add in vinegar, EVOO and lemon juice, and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette - makes about 3/4 cup
1/2 cup EVOO
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tsp dried oregano
1.5 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Whisk together until thoroughly blended. Store in fridge, but take out about 15 minutes before serving so the olive oil can come back to room temp.
When it's late at night and I realize I need to prep a healthy lunch for the next day I think of soba noodles!
They are packed with nutrients, taste delish cold, and are ridiculously easy to make.
You can make endless variations of cold soba noodles or simply eat them with just soy sauce, sesame oil, and a dusting of crushed red chili pepper flakes.
When creating, use what you have in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. Examples include:
This is exactly what I did the other night and when I busted out my cold soba noodles for lunch I made everyone around me drool! And I tell you it took less than 10 minutes to chop up the veggies, boil the noodles, assemble, pop in container and into the fridge.
Give this recipe a try. Or create your own in under 10 minutes and tell us what you used!
Quick & Easy Cold Soba Noodles - makes 1 serving
1 bundle of your favorite soba noodle (I love Organic Planet)
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/3 (or more) cup of fried tofu (I have this on hand so I can just eat it as is with soy sauce and tamari or to pop into meals. Always found in fridge at Asian Markets. Here is ex.)
1/2 cup chopped bok choy
2 Tbsp chopped cashews
1 green onion, chopped
handful of fresh cilantro chopped
Optional sliced jalapenos or a sprinkle of crushed red chili pepper flakes
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce (I prefer tamari)
1 tsp agave
1/4 of a lime, juiced (I love using ume plum vinegar, so if you have that try it instead!)
In a small sauce pot bring about 3 cups of water to boil. Add soba noodles and the frozen peas. Cook about 3-5 minutes or until noodles are al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water.
Add sesame oil, soy sauce, lime and agave, and stir to cover noodles thoroughly. The noodles will soak up the dressing so don't worry if it looks soupy at all.
Add the rest of the ingredients and season to taste. Place in fridge overnight and enjoy how the flavors have come together the next day!
This blog is an exploration of life, love, adventure and art primarily through the medium of food.