Yummy, Spinach and Cannellini Soup

With a few staples in the pantry you can create fresh and filling healthy meals by adding a seasonal ingredient or two.

Cannellini or white kidney beans, garlic, yellow onion and coconut oil are always on hand.

A bunch of fresh spinach added to a few simple staples puts this meal over the top.

Coconut oil, garlic and yellow onion sauté until soft and then add spicy and beans.

Add a few cups of water and allow the everything to simmer together.

I have been avoiding soup bases and bullion because they contain MSG…even the vegan brands, for the most part.

This dish doesn’t need it.

The richness of the coconut oil makes this soup tasty without any added chemicals.

This meal is very clean and filling.

Talk about cheap!

There is no excuse not to eat well when you can have a meal like this in minutes.

Enjoy and share!

Who Knew? Miso Soup is so Quick and Easy on a Cold Winter Day!

031misoo soup

I have always loved miso soup. The richness of the broth lead me to believe, in my early uninformed years, that there was a meat base to the broth.

I was so happy to learn that this is not the case.

Dashi is the base of many Japanese soups and sauces and can be made from dried sardines, mushrooms, and in my case sea weed.

I used 2 “leaves” of Kombu Sea Vegetable to 12 cups of water. ( I made a big batch; we’ll discuss this later).

The sea vegetable expands greatly in the water so I would suggest breaking it into small peices before boiling.

This saves time cutting it up later.

You can also purchase the kind which is cut or shredded.

Boil until soft.

You can buy Dashi but it is not always easy to find and making it yourself is so easy…why not?!

Now, making this soup in large quantities is not the best idea and I now know why.

You should not boil the miso.

And if you have to warm leftover soup you won’t be able to avoid over cooking.

Also, the scallions which add such a nice delicate flavor would not taste great or retain their texture if submitted to too much heat.

I wish that I would have known this befor I started.

I now know why cooking suggestions were given for one and two cup servings.

I would highly suggest making this soup in small portions for optimum flavor and quality.

011miso soup

Ingredients

3 cups dashi soup stock
1 block tofu
3-4 tbsps miso paste
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Method

Put dashi soup stock in a pan and bring to a boil.

Cut tofu into small cubes and add them to the soup.

Simmer the tofu for a few minutes on low heat.

Scoop out some soup stock from the pan and dissolve miso in it.

Gradually return the miso mixture in the soup.

Stir the soup gently.

Stop the heat and add chopped green onion.

Remember not to boil the soup after you put miso in.

*Makes 4 servings

010miso soup

Making the Dashi.

017miso soup

Measuring the Miso.

022miso soup

Mixing the Dashi with the Miso.

023miso soup

Disolving the Miso in the Dashi before adding to the Dashi Broth.

028miso soup

Mixing everything together in the soup pot.

040miso soup

I always need to add alittle heat!.

Baby Lima Bean Soup with Kerrygold Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich!

099kerrigold grilled cheese and baby lima bean and potato soup

Chilly outside and only soup and a sandwich will do!

073winter flowers

I picked up these flowers at a local market and they completely set the tone for the weekend.

Even the colors inspired this Sunday’s menu.

Creamy baby lima bean and yukon gold potato soup with Kerrygold cheddar grilled cheese.

Fragrant rosemary and roasted garlic add to the rich creaminess of this meal.

019soak the beans overnight

Start by soaking the beans overnight.

027second water add the onion

Pour out the water and add fresh water for quick boiling.

When you’ve brought these beans to a boil pour out this water, as well.

For the final cooking add enough water to cover plus about 4 cups.

Add a large sweet onion and allow to cook until the onion is soft and translucent.

Meanwhile, roast a head of garlic in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes

036garlic onion rosemary and olive oil

When the onion is done remove and place in the food processer with the roasted garlic, about 2 Tbspn of dried rosemary, 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 Tbspn flour.

Blend until creamy.

Add this to the boiling beans.

Add 2 Tbspn of vegetarian boullion and salt and pepper to taste.

043yukon gold potato for bean soup

Chop 5-6 Yukon Gold potatoes and ad to the soup and allow to cook on medium heat for 2 hours.

071winter flowers

081Kerrigold cheddar cheese sandwich

Grilled cheese is perfect with this soup!

This is the perfect winter meal for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

099kerrigold grilled cheese and baby lima bean and potato soup

Enjoy!

Meatless Monday! Kale and Potato Soup with White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Crostini!

024kale potato soup with crostini PD

Meatless Monday! was a huge hit tonight. It may have been the best to date.

The soup and sandwich idea was inspired by a cold and rainy day

This meal was not just meatless but vegan deliciousness.

My kale obsession continues and I have made it kid friendly and so satisfying.

I had planned to put the white beans in the soup and serve with a gourmet toasted cheese sandwich. When I mentioned this to my daughter she turned up her nose at the cheese sandwich idea, which actually made me happy as I am all about vegan meals.

So I began “deconstructing”. What to do with the beans? What do we get from cheese that we like so much? The creamy, filling, salty goodness! I can do that with white beans!

011crostini with roasted red pepper basil pesto and white bean

A baguette thinly sliced and lightly coated with fragrant organic olive oil was the beginning.

I then lightly toasted them and put them aside.
I sautéed ¼ of a white onion with 5 cloves of garlic and about 2 big tablespoons of rosemary in ¼ cup of olive oil until the onions were transparent.
Then I placed the cooled mixture into the food processer with 2 cans of white northern beans and pureed and set this aside, also.
I then sliced 1 large roasted red pepper.

I also had a large bunch of fresh basil. I used 5-6 cloves of garlic and toasted about a half cup of pine nuts and combined in the food processer with ¾ cup of olive oil and set that aside to assemble right before dinner so that the crostini did not become soggy.

018crostini with roasted red pepper basil pesto and white bean PD

020kale potato soup PD

The kale soup was easy plus I cheated with vegan soup bullion.

In a large soup pot I sautéed ½ a white onion with 5-6 cloves of garlic and about ½ cup of olive oil.

I chopped the kale and sautéed it for a bit, then added cubed yellow organic potatoes.

I then added about 8-10 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vegan bullion and allowed it to cook for about an hour and a half.

022Kale potato soup PD

Parmesan cheese tops my daughters soup.
027kale potato soup with parmesan PD

029white bean basil pesto and rosted red pepper crostini PD

This wine was great with the soup.
038 Pinot with kale soup PD

This was my “cheat” ingredient!035vegan boullion PD

My food processor was my best friend today. I couldn’t have done it without her! I could have but it wouldn’t have been as easy or as fun!
042food prosseser PD

…It all started with cake!

006 Chocolate Cake with raspberry and whipped cream PD

It all started with cake and a snow storm and the gorgeous organic produce in my refrigerator.

Sometimes when I’m shopping I don’t have any particular recipe in mind. I simply pick up things that catch my eye, are in season, especially ripe, smell good or are just pretty.

So that is how I ended up with a coconut, that gorgeous ginger root and a million organic carrots!

What to do with carrots on a cold snowy day in the middle of winter? Soup, of course!

But to begin my day, baking a cake seemed to be the most natural thing in the world to do to get things rolling. Chocolate, raspberry and fresh whipped cream was beckoning.

Cake would be a nice treat at the end of a long day.

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate (cool)

Method

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour baking pan, 13x9x2 inches, or two 9-inch or three 8-inch round layer pans.

Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly.

Beat 3 minutes high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.

Pour into pan(s). Bake oblong 40 to 45 minutes, layers 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool.

013Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup PD

Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients

About 20-30 carrots
5-6 cloves of garlic
A nice sized piece of fresh ginger root 5-6 inches long
2 tsp ginger powder
1 can organic coconut milk
One whole coconut ( use the water and flesh)
2-3 cups vegetarian stock
2-3 Tbsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro, for garnish
Avocado, for garnish

Method

Peel and chop the carrots then sauté with garlic and coconut oil.

Start grating the ginger and add to sautéing carrots.

Add the ginger powder.

Let things start to lightly caramelize then add the stock.

Allow to cool then transfer the mixture to the food processor and puree.

Add the coconut milk to the mixture and continue to puree.

Transfer to a soup pot and add the coconut water and flesh.

Add ginger powder if necessary.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm with fresh cilantro and avocado garnish.

Enjoy!

037 Carrot soup and empenada PD

Empenada dough PD
I added curry powder to the dough
017 Kale potato coconut Curry PD
Kale, yellow waxy potatoes, garlic, coconut oil, coconut milk, red curry paste, curry powder

Courtesy of Laylita’s Recipes

Making empanada dough is not as hard as it sounds, especially if you have a food processor, and even if you don’t it is still pretty easy because the dough should not be overworked and requires minimal kneading. Also, these days it is very easy to find the empanada discs already made (frozen) in Latin grocery store, and even though I was skeptical at first they are actually quite good, but it also always fun to have them homemade and you can also customize the dough by adding spices, herbs, etc that will complement or contrast with the fillings.

Ingredients for 15 medium size or 25 small empanada discs:

3 cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
6 oz unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), cold and cut into 12 pieces
1 egg
4-5 tbs water
Mix the flour and salt in a food processor.
Add the butter, egg and water until a clumpy dough forms.
Form a ball and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).
Use immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer to use later.

042 Kale Potato curry empenada PD

032 Empenada PD

035 Carrot inger Coconut soup and empenada PD

044 Chocolate raspberry cake PD

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