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smoky split pea soup

8 Feb

This recipe was conceived because it’s forkin’ cold outside, naturally I wanted a rustic soup. Maybe, I really just wanted to eat green food tonight, because I also had a serving of crispy, toasted, brussel sprouts. I served the soup with a buttered mini-marbled rye slice. This soup was really comforting and a perfect companion to the below zero temperatures.

Split Pea Soup

serves 4.

  • 1 1/2 cup dried split peas, washed and sorted for gross bits
  • 1/4 medium sized onion, diced
  • 1 or 2 celery ribs diced
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1 TB olive Oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 5 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 TB nutritional yeast
  • S & P to taste

Heat olive oil in a medium stockpot. Add onions and celery, saute until onions are tender. Add paprika, bay leaf, thyme and garlic. When the paprika becomes really fragrant (about 1-2 minutes), add vegetable broth, split peas, and nutritional yeast. Bring to a boil, check for salt and pepper, and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue cooking until the split peas are tender, about 40-45 minutes.


(vegetarian) buffalo chick’n dip

8 Feb

We watched the Super Bowl, which is highly unusual. Last year was actually the first time I had even seen an American Football game, and of course, it happened to be the Super Bowl. The last few years I have become increasingly more interested in watching sports, but this hasn’t really expanded to the NFL. Alas, I bring you this updated, less saturated with grease or fat, dip. Oh, it doesn’t look super pretty when it comes out, but it is mighty tasty!

    buffalo chicken dip-serves 8

  • 8 gardein crispy tenders
  • 1 12 Frank’s Red Hot (feel free to use less if you are sensitive to spicy foods
  • 13 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 8 ounce packages low-fat cream cheese softened
  • 12 cup skim milk mozzarella.
  • 12 TB Earth Balance or butter
  • Preheat oven to 420. Cook Chick’n Strips to package requirements, make sure they are crispy. Set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients, mix well until sauce is smooth. Put sauce and strips in a baking dish. Lower Temperature to 350 and bake for 20-30 minutes, until set.

    While this might not be the most healthy thing to eat, this version (per serving) has 188 calories, 9 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat, and 17 grams of protein. It makes a whole mess, so the serving sizes are much bigger than the typical 2 TB.

tomato soup with grilled cheese

3 Feb

Last night I promised you new upcoming recipes, which I am going to be much more diligent to post. Or at least take snapshots of at least 1 meal daily.

We had a really great tomato soup served with balsamic caramelized onion and crimini grilled cheeses. If I had any adjustments to make, I would have used fresh roma tomatoes and roasted them in the over for about an hour. That is my absolute favorite way to make tomato soup, it adds an intense burst of flavor. Also, I would have used a multigrain or whole grain bread, but the boyfriend came home with a white sourdough. Alas, that is what he wanted and requested!

Tip: It is not super important to get all the vegetables uniform or chopped up small, because you will blend this at the end.

creamy tomato soup

serves 6.

  • 2 TB Olive Oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks, plus the green leafy bits at the top diced
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1⁄2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • dash of sweetener of choice (i used sugar)
  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth (with 1 TB nutritional yeast)
  • 1⁄2 cup skim milk
  • 2 TB cream

In a stock pot heat the olive oil, add onions and celery–about five minutes. Sauté until onions are translucent, add carrots, spices, and garlic on medium heat. When garlic is tender and the spices fragrant– about 2 minutes, add diced tomatoes and paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes; add three cups of broth. Cover and simmer for twenty more minutes, taste for sweetness (should have a nice balance) and add salt. Using either a blender or immersion blender, blend until smooth. If you used a blender, return to pot. At this point, check for consistency, and add more broth if needed. Add cream and milk.

As previously mentioned, we served this with a delicious grilled cheese consisting of balsamic caramelized onions, baby portobella mushroom, and swiss cheese. (this is for two sandwiches) I caramelized 1⁄2 thinly sliced onion adding a splash of balsamic vinegar, added 4 ounces sliced mushrooms, another splash of basalmic and when those were cooked, I lightly buttered the bread. Put each slice butter-face (hah!) down in a pan, arrange 1 slice of swiss cheese on one slice and the mushroom/onion mixture on another. When cheese is melted, bread toasted, put the two together!

the latest sensation: brussel sprouts

26 Jan

We seriously eat brussel sprouts almost weekly, we just love them! Only fresh ones will do for us, and luckily a local grocery store has them frequently in stock. Perfectly shaped little bundles of joy, they are! Is it a little creepy that I now think of little baby heads whenever I look at them (Cabbage Patch Kids).

On tonight’s menu brussel sprouts sautéed in a wee bit of olive oil until they get a delicate little crust on them. Then we always use the tongs tediously turning them over onto the rounded side and cover. One must be careful not to over-cook, as they are best with a bit of crunch. We are also having Gardein Multigrain Tenders which I tossed with wing sauce.

october unprocessed

12 Oct

So, I was the 250th person to take the pledge to consume no processed foods for the month of October. So far, it has been coming along swimmingly, with only minor setbacks. Let’s see if I can remember what I’ve eaten:

lots of salads with loads of nutritious greens, nuts, veggies, and seeds.

autumnal chili which has also been repurposed into taco salads

pizzas made from teff and amarynth flours

vegetable sandwiches on ezekial bread (i allowed myself this luxury, as it is nutritious)

amazing french onion soup

whole wheat pastas with various sauces

eggs poached in salsa verde with a mushroom quesadilla on a corn tortilla

palaak paneer with home-made paneer

tomato tofu

mushroom stroganoff over fragrant brown rice

it’s been really fun, challenging and rewarding. I have taken away a deep intention and appreciation for food, that was always there, but has been renewed! Everything I consume has an intention and a purpose, rather than just eating whatever is in front of me or that i have access to.

biscuits and wavy

31 May

Last night I made a batch of VWAV’s tempeh sausage, and it turned out wonderfully. I made a late night SOS with it. I planned to make biscuits for biscuits and gravy this morning, but the late night SOS sufficed my craving. I never knew that I liked biscuits and gravy until my mother made it right before I went vegetarian. She used home-made venison sausage and made the white gravy in a crock pot. Before this I had tried it in diners, but they were always cold or the gravy far too thick and gnarfy. Now I am a bit obsessed with the dish, but because of our current small town location I have to make them on my own. No diners/restaurants in town have faux meats except for some mock duck and a couple of places have garden/boca burgers.

I just did a quick 30 minute yoga practice, but it was sweaty and flowy. So, my body feels quite refreshed and some what flushed of toxins. Even though things haven’t changed on the job front, I am trying to stay positive, and exercise is helping with that. It really does help my moods, and in this current financial crisis I need it!

summer time, like the fresh prince

17 May

The school year is done, and I received 3 A’s and 1 B. The B was in a political science course that was heavily statistics based; at least now I feel confident interpreting data in social science-based scholarly journals. I still need to find a job, but I have not really been looking. There was a short period of time where I just got really discouraged, depressed, and all sorts of anxious, so I did not really do anything about it. My moods have brightened, and tomorrow I am starting the process all over again. The next two weeks are going to be filled with research and my study for my major project. Tomorrow morning I begin with my first subject, and I am a little nervous about being as professional as possible. I really want this to be an example of my capabilities as a marker to show what I’ve accomplished in my undergraduate career. It’d be nice to use it as a showpiece when applying for graduate schools in the fall. When I finally get a job, I will set up a date for the GRE. I’ve requested study materials through inter-library loan, because my library’s copies are missing. I am mostly nervous about the mathematics portion, so I will be really brushing up on that.

As for the cooking, we been eating a lot of simple foods, that are nourishing but inexpensive. We scored some really fabulous priced organic imported cheese from Holland, which ended up being around 4 dollars a pound. We’ve used it in plenty of things, and still have the two variations around. Apparently, we got a really good deal because the same product is available for like 20 dollars a pound at other institutions. Right now I have a pot of beans simmering along with another pot of wheat berries, which I am going to use both in a chili. If it turns out I will post the recipe. After this, I want to make a tater-tot casserole either with crumbled tempeh, tvp, or grillers. Oh, and I forgot that I checked out Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry from my school’s library. It has made me rethink my aversion to cornmeal, grits, and polenta!

I’ve managed to stay active even though school has been out for one week and I haven’t found job. After going to subject #1’s house to begin the project, I am going to apply at about ten locations. Wish me luck! In other news, I am committed to catching up not only on some academic reading (for my project in nutritional anthropology) but also on for-fun reading. I am currently reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It is my first book by the author, and even though it is stark, grim, and demonstrates humanities capacity for destruction, it also speaks to the bonds of love, and a slight hopefulness in a post-apocalyptic America. If there are any followers of this blog left, would anyone like to participate in an online sort of reading club? I think it could be fun..