Tag Archives: vegetarian times

Kabocha Soup

Want something cheery to fill up your belly in these cold winter months? Okay, well, it was actually about 70 degrees here in Tempe today, but still–for most of you, I’m sure this sunshine yellow soup would hit the spot.

Plus, it’s made with the king of all squash: kabocha!

Sherried Kabocha Soup with Spiced Pepitas
(from The Vegetarian Times, January 2009)
Serves 6

Spiced Pepitas:
½ cup pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. agave nectar
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro

Soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1½ pound kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

To make Spiced Pepitas: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together pepitas, olive oil, agave nectar, paprika, and salt in small bowl. Spread on prepared baking sheet, and bake 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally. Cool. Break pepitas apart, and toss with cilantro.

To make Soup: Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, sauté 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in garlic, smoked paprika, and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute more. Add sherry, and cook 2 minutes. Add squash, vegetable broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.

Remove bay leaf, and purée soup in food processor or blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve sprinkled with Spiced Pepitas.

This recipe is soup-er easy to make, but with its vibrant colors and fancy pepita-cilantro garnish, everyone will think you’re a culinary genius. The leftover spiced pepitas would be delicious atop salad too!

Ginger-Miso Yam Wraps and Giveaway Winners

Yes, I said winners, plural! I decided I’d give away two boxes of Weil bars given that they’re in anything but short supply around here. The winners are Ruby Red Vegan and aTxVegn. I don’t know how to do the screenshot of the random number generator, so please just believe me! Respectively, their ideal bar flavors were fig/almond and tart cherry/coconut. Simple, but delicious combos, if you ask me!

Oh, and did I say there were two winners? Because there are actually three! Surprise! I decided to pick the final winner based on whose ideal bar most piqued my interest – and my appetite! The best idea for a bar flavor award goes to Pistachio and Cardamom, who in keeping with their name, came up with “pistachio cinnamon fig with white chocolate chips!” I just might have to make that sometime…

Congratulations, guys! As it turns out, you can have any of the five flavors (Goji Moji, Chia-Razz, Banana Manna, Chocolada Walnut, or Pistachi-Oh!) of the Weil bars, so please leave me a comment with your email address so we can connect!

For my post-run breakfast today I had the only thing more refreshing than watermelon: frozen watermelon! Seriously, pop some watermelon chunks in the freezer for 45 min to an hour, and you’re golden (don’t put them in overnight – or if you do, thaw them for a while before eating – or they’ll break your teeth!)

Okay, so I know you all want to see another way to eat God’s gift to earth that is the sweet potato! When I saw the recipe for Ginger-Miso Yam Wraps in the September issue (September already?! Jesus…) of the Vegetarian Times, I knew I had to make it. I mean, sweet potatoes mashed with peanut butter, miso, ginger, edamame, cilantro, and tofu, all wrapped in a deliciously fresh collard green leaf? Um, hello!

Okay, they look like something my dog threw up, but they tasted even better than I’d imagined–the perfect combo of sweet, salt, and even spicy, thanks to the ginger and cayenne. Plus, they were perfect for a light summer meal.

Also, last night I helped my sister and her friends make a berry pie with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, using the Oil Crust recipe from The Voluptuous Vegan. I promised I’d blog it for them, so here you go!

I bought ingredients for yet another sweet potato dish for this week!…

Nut Butters, Moroccan Tagine, and Oat Bars!

Hello joyful vegans! (and curious omnivores, vegetarians, flexitarians, etc.)

I got an exciting delivery a few days ago! Three Naturally Nutty Nut Butters! I’ve been super excited to try these ever since Shelby at La Belle Vegan has raved about their Vanilla Almond Butter, so I finally ordered their 3 jar sampler pack:

Gosh, I’m so glad I did! First of all, I really appreciate that each flavor contains flax and hemp seeds–it’s a great way to sneak in some healthy omega-3 fats and extra fiber into whatever nut buttery meal or snack you have! I thought the Cinnamon Cherry would be my favorite, but the cinnamon and cherry flavors aren’t quite as pronounced as I would have liked! Still it’s delicious, and I like how it only has 6g of sugar/serving. It reminds me of a less sweet version of PB & Co’s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, though if I have to be honest, not quite as delicious. The Mocha Peanut Butter is good, but similarly not sweet at all, and the coffee flavor is VERY strong–it’s almost like fine coffee grinds mixed into peanut butter–so it’s not the best on its own, but I think it’d be delicious stirred into something, or spread on toast, waffles, muffins, or bagels. And yeah, the Vanilla Almond Butter is the star. Just the right amount of sweetness and kinda tastes like cake batter!

Overall, I really like these nut butters, but they’re just not quite as addictive as PB & Co’s Mighty Maple, Dark Chocolate Dreams, and Cinnamon Raisin Swirl. However, the fact that they have a lot less sugar is worth it if you’re in the mood for something slightly less decadent.

A couple days ago, I made the Moroccan Tagine with Spring Vegetables from Vegan with a Vengeance. What attracted me to this dish–and the reason I loved it–was that it contained so many flipping vegetables! (Isa does say in the intro that it’s a “veritable powerhouse of nutrition”) Seriously, onions, carrots, zucchini, grape tomatoes, green beans, and spinach, and herbs like cilantro and mint! Plus, who doesn’t love lentils. And raisins. Okay, I’ll stop.

Served over fluffy quinoa with a lemon wedge for squeezin’ of course.

Finally, Apple Rosemary Oat Bars from the May/June issue of the Vegetarian Times! I love exotic ingredient combinations, so I knew I’d be making these from the moment I saw them. They lived up to their name, and I loved the kick they received from the lemon zest and juice.

My only complaint was that there is NOT enough oat mixture to form two layers in an 8 1/2 X 11 pan, as the recipe claims. I used a smaller pan, and it was still a reach. Also, I added an extra half of apple grated because I thought the filling was too sweet. So do that, or just cut down on the agave! But seriously, a big winner!

Till next time…

Sweet Potato Soup, White Bean Hummus, Pretty Pasta, Fruit Tart, and Pudding Cake

Sometimes there’s just no way to group the subject of your post into anything more than an eclectic title. This post is kinda just a buildup of the past couple days, so you’ll just have to deal with it!

A couple days ago, I made the Nutty Sweet Potato + Kale Soup from Kath Eats Real Food after seeing La Belle Vegan enjoy it! :) I followed the recipe except I added a Tbs of PB into the actual soup because, well, why not?!

This soup is insanely wonderful. It’s really thick and creamy, and it has so many yummy ingredients–sweet potatoes, peanut butter, vanilla, raisins, kale, garam masala–what’s not to like? Don’t let the fact that vanilla and kale are in the same recipe scare you! Also: it tastes way better the next day!

Next up are a few things I made for a dinner party for our friends, the Levenbergs (This is a little shout out to you guys if you read this! We had so much fun last night!). For an appetizer, I made the White Bean Hummus with Thyme and Basil from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan (and Dreena just posted the recipe on her blog. Coincidence?), and my sister and I made homemade whole wheat pita chips for dipping (just cut up some pita into triangles, brush it with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder, and bake at 350ish for 20 or so minutes, flipping halfway through).

It comes out a lovely pale, almost sea-foam, green color, and it tastes as good as it looks! Bursting with the flavor of fresh herbs.

The main course was Whole-Wheat Shells with Asparagus, Peas, Feta, and Mint from the April issue of the Vegetarian Times. I’m always a bit skeptical making magazine recipes because I feel like they’re not as tried ‘n true as cookbook ones and I’ve had a couple so-so magazine meals, but I’m glad I went for it here because this dish came together beautifully. I used Sunergia Mediterranean Herb Soy Feta (I wanted to make my own–there’s a recipe for almond feta in the same issue, but I neglected to notice that it had a shiitake load of prep time until the day of, so that was a no go). On a quick side note, I can’t recommend Sunergia enough! Their feta is possibly the best soy cheese I’ve ever had in terms of how well it resembles the real thing. It has a nice salty, tangy bite to it, and the same crumbly texture. Definitely try it out if you can!

My favorite part of this recipe was that every ingredient was green. Asparagus, peas, basil, mint, green onions. The varying verdant shades were really gorgeous, and the dish was light and fresh.

For dessert I made the Fruit Tart from the Joy of Vegan Baking. It has a Shortbread Crust (with only 3 ingredients!) that is brushed with jam (I used strawberry), topped with Pastry Cream (I made the banana variation, which I highly recommend), decorated with fresh fruit, and finally, glazed with more jam. Here she is half naked:

And fully clothed:

You almost don’t want to cut it up. Almost.

Last, but not least, and from a completely different night, Chocolate Banana Pudding Cake! I know, I know, calm down. Try to resist jumping up and down with excitement. This is a recipe that will be in Dreena Burton’s new cookbook that she was kind enough to let me test as a veganversary present of sorts. Thank you so much, Dreena! I wasn’t able to make it for my veganversary because of school work at the time, but I made it last night to celebrate my 21st birthday…3 weeks late, haha. It probably seems weird that I made my own birthday cake, but I love baking so much, that it would have been torture for me to sit back and watch someone else make it! I’d never made a pudding cake before, and the concept of pouring boiling chocolate water over a pan of cake batter just prior to putting it into the oven was intriguing to me.

Here it is fresh out of the oven:

You’d never know there was any pudding-y goodness lurking under there, would you? At least until…

Wha-BAM!

God bless you, Dreena. My mom said this may have been the best vegan dessert she’s ever had–and with me as her daughter, she’s had A LOT–and I just might have to agree.

Lazy Yet Gourmet

Today was one-a those days when you don’t really put that much effort or thought into your food, but the results are so tasty that you kinda feel like you cheated–like, at any moment, foodie justice is going to smite your plate of yummies onto the floor because you don’t really deserve it.

I woke up feeling less than great (I’ve been sorta sick off ‘n on since Santorini 2 weeks ago). In addition to a sore throat, I felt stuffy, overheated, and a bit nauseated. Luckily, I remembered that there was a recipe for “Stomach-Soothing Papaya Smoothie” nestled within the April issue of the Vegetarian Times. I changed the recipe up a little bit, replacing the strawberries with their raspy cousins, adding the almighty banana, and upping the ginger because, from my Dr. Weil experience, I know that ginger is a powerful natural remedy for colds, inflammation, and nausea. ;)

My version:
1 1/2 cups cubed frozen papaya
1 banana
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Beverage
1 Tbs fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
a couple fresh basil leaves

So refreshing. It hit the spot and really made my throat and stomach feel better. Food as medicine. I’m telling you.

Lunch at work was leftover cornbread waffles and mole if you must know, but when I got home, I was craving sweet potatoes. Like whoa. Of course I coulda just thrown my sweet taters in the oven, but I felt like trying a unique spice combo, so I made the Oven-Baked “French Fried” Yams from The Vegan Table, which are coated in olive oil and seasoned with paprika, garlic and chili powder, dried parsley (I subbed cinnamon), salt, and pepper. I decided to try the “roast” setting on our oven insteada using the regular “bake” function because my mom said it worked well, but apparently it cooks stuff much faster because, after 25 (of the 45) minutes, I opened my oven to find almost burnt SP fries! Thank gosh I got there just in time! I guess it gave them a nice “just-off-the-grill” flavor? Eh, debatable.

Served with Annie’s Organic Ketchup and Annie’s Smokey Maple BBQ Sauce! Perfect.