Categories: Entrees, Soups & Stews
Tags: Gluten-Free,Low Fat,Nut-Free,Refined Sugar Free,Vegan
Sometimes life pushes our limits. Sometimes just when I think I can't take anything more, it deliberately sets out to prove me wrong. I could choose to be sad, to wallow if you will, to hang my head down and just suffer. And there are times I allow myself to do just that. Mostly though, I do my best to take it all in stride and roll with the punches. I am so fortunate to have such a supportive husband who holds my hand as we weather through life's storms together, a family who is always there for me, and friends who remind me that we all have our battles. Every single one of us, without exception. When I take a minute to remember that, it puts things back into perspective. Food is one of the ultimate ways to not only comfort yourself, but comfort anyone who may need it. It is also an escape. Nothing like diving into a special recipe to forget about life for just a bit. This recipe is perfect. With a little prep work to distract you in the morning, this gets slow-cooked throughout the day, making your house smell divine, and at the end of the day you and your loved ones get to sit down to a piping hot bowl of homemade vegetable soup. Does it get better than that? This also makes a decent amount of soup, so maybe you can deliver a bowl to someone you know who needs comforting, or better yet invite them over. It's the little gestures of kindness that mean so much. Wishing you all comfort when you most need it. Peace
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 2 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 TBS canola or olive oil
- 2 lbs of frozen mixed soup vegetables, includes corn, carrots, peas, green beans, etc
- 32 oz vegetable stock or broth
- 2 cups of water
- 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 2 TBS Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
- 1 TBS red wine or Balsamic vinegar
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/2 tsp salt, more or less depending on your stock
- fresh ground black pepper
In a large nonstick skillet with deep sides, saute the onions, celery, and potatoes in the oil over medium-high heat stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes or until the onion is tender. Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Add the frozen vegetables and put a lid over the skillet, continue cooking another 6-8 minutes until the frozen vegetables are warm. Transfer to a slow cooker and turn on high.
Bring the pan back to the stove and add the stock, water, tomato paste, Braggs, vinegar, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and salt, cooking over medium-high heat. Whisk gently to incorporate the tomato paste. Continue cooking until the mixture is bubbling, about 5-7 minutes. Then add to the vegetables in the slow cooker. Using a silicon or wooden spoon stir in a generous amount of black pepper, I usually add between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Add the lid and let cook for about 6 hours over high heat, stirring occasionally. Serves 6-8. Please note that you can really use whatever vegetables you have on hand. In the past I have used squash, peppers, cabbage, lima beans, etc. so feel free to improvise.
Tags: Corn-Free,Gluten-Free,Low Fat,Refined Sugar Free,Vegan,Whole Grain
Dear summer, thank you for the beautiful bounty of sweet, juicy peaches... Seriously, this summer has produced an incredible crop. They are so tender and lush I can literally just peel the skin right off. They are the kind of soft, ripe peaches that when you eat them by hand you pretty much need a bib to catch all the drippings. This is when I am glad I don't eat the sugar load that too many of us do. It really allows me to savor and appreciate the natural sweetness of fruit. Each mouth-watering bite can be credited to dew filled mornings, sun drenched days, and the perfect balance of rain... and of course our local farmer that tends to them so carefully. It's truly harmonious. I haven't even delved into the pretty blushing fuzzy skins that each peach seems to proudly wear. They really are little globes of happiness perched on my counter top. Sigh... it's good to be vegan This is one of those recipes I dreamed about. Between alien attacks, solving some bizarre crisis, laughing with long-gone friends and relatives, etc (I have weird dreams) I manage to dream up recipes. Usually it's a recurring dream that I'll keep having until I finally break out the measuring cups and start bringing the recipe to life. Hence, we have peach and pecan backed oatmeal. I made mine with white peaches because they are my absolute favorite. You really could change this recipe up and use different fruits, or whatever you have on hand. This truly is one of those recipes that causes instantaneous moaning. You know what I mean. You could even drizzle some warmed maple syrup on top if you like things a little sweeter, or gulp, add some vegan whipped cream. Maybe tonight, when you drift off to sleep, you can dream about sweet summer peaches. I know I will be
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a glass 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, oats through nutmeg, and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla until the maple syrup is dissolved. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until well mixed. Add the chopped peaches and pecans, again stirring gently to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and use a spoon to make sure everything is evenly distributed. The mixture will be fairly wet so it's easy to move peaches and pecans around. If desired, add the sliced peach to the top in an artsy pattern. Place onto middle rack in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden and the oatmeal is firm (no more liquid in the dish). Remove from the oven and let cool at least 15 minutes. The longer the oatmeal sits, the better it gets. You can cut it into squares or just spoon it out. I like mine with a little almond or coconut milk on top, my hubs prefers his without. If serving to a bunch of guests pour some milk into a pitcher and each guest can easily add milk if they like. This serves 6-8 people.
Categories: Breakfasts, Desserts
Tags: Low Fat,Low Sugar,Soy-Free,Vegan
As many of you know, I try not to eat much sugar. I admit that sometimes I miss those clueless younger days when I would eat a donut for breakfast, or coffee cake, or some crazy sugar filled monster muffin. *Sigh* Back then I couldn't even recognize the sugar rush for what it was, because I was constantly loaded up on the stuff. Now I know better. Now, I actually can't stand super sweet things, to the point that I will spit something out if it's too sweet (great visual, I know). Maybe it's because I am older and my body does not take the rush as well, maybe it's because most of the time I can't actually taste the food when it's loaded with sugar. Really, what's the point of eating a donut if all it tastes like is sugar? Maybe that is the point... I'd rather just eat the sugar. But, I am human. Thus my constant quest to create scrumptious breakfast and dessert items that look every bit as amazing as those headache inducing sweets of the past, but taste sophisticated, complex, and most importantly indulgent. This recipe is a composition of beautiful textures and a symphony of flavors wrapped in a pretty package. Food is my music and my art, meant to be savored and shared. This will make you and anyone you serve it to feel special. And shouldn't we all feel that way? Yes we should. Tell someone you love them, tell yourself for that matter. This recipe is actually really, really easy. The trick is day old bread. What is day old bread? I have seriously asked myself that question many times. It's stale. It's not moldy, just stale. You could do some serious damage with that french loaf if someone tried to rob your pantry, or you could teach your kids how to play ball with your baguette... you get the idea right? For this recipe I used 2 sub rolls that were packaged in a brown paper bag. The best breads for this are baguettes, sub rolls, or a french loaf. The kind of bread that you get in the grocer that comes in a breathable plastic or paper bag. The kind of bread that has a short list of ingredients (minus the 20 weird preservatives so it looks fresh long into next week), the ones made everyday in their bakery for quick sale. Just neglect it on the counter an extra day or two until it's hard. Ideally you have some leftover bread, like me. Use a good serrated knife and get your arm ready for a work out. A pep talk may be needed
- 5 cups day old or stale bread, cut into 3/4" to 1" cubes
- 2 cups coconut milk or other non-dairy milk, divided, I used SoDelicious unsweetened
- 3 TBS cornstarch
- 1 TBS maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 pinches turmeric
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 1/8 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened, divided
- 2-1/4 tsp canola oil, optional
- maple syrup for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 of the wells in a muffin tin with cooking spray. Put cubed bread in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 1/3 cup of the milk until the cornstarch dissolves and there are no lumps. Then add remaining milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and turmeric whisking until everything is completely incorporated. Pour the milk mixture on top of the bread, add the chocolate chips and all but 1 tsp of coconut (this tsp will be sprinkled on the top before baking). Toss gently with a wooden spoon or spoonula until all the bread gets coated with milk. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes, stirring once or twice until most of the milk is absorbed by the bread.
Use a large spoon to scoop the bread and milk mixture up and distribute evenly among the 9 muffin wells. While scooping, please make sure to grab the chocolate chips which generally hang out at the bottom of the bread bowl. You want everyone to have equal amounts of chocolate so there is no fighting I make sure the muffin cups are filled about 2/3 full with liquid and generally not more since these do expand a bit while baking. You may have some leftover liquid, that's fine, it just depends on how much moisture your bread absorbed. I drizzle 1/4 tsp of canola oil over the top of each, but this is optional if you are watching your fat intake. Sprinkle the top of these with the reserved tsp of coconut. In the remaining 3 wells of the muffin tin, carefully pour water into them and fill at least halfway full. This helps everything bake evenly in the oven. Bake these 35-40 minutes until the tops are lightly golden and crispy. Remove from oven and let sit on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes. Carefully use a spoon or small spatula to remove each pudding to plate. Drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy! This makes 9 mini puddings, and is perfect for 4 people.