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

  

Spicy Kale and Coconut with Shiitake Mushrooms and Leeks!

009Kale and coconut PD

I am in love with kale!

I am deep into experimentation and I am sure that I haven’t even scratched the surface.

Today I was thinking stir fry but as I ate this meal I felt as though the kale was the “pasta”; carrying the weight of the flavors while not offering much more than nutritive value; which “ain’t a bad thing”.

I could definitely taste the kale but it wasn’t the dominant flavor, however, all the while offered texture and surface for the earthy shiitake, sweet leeks and creamy coconut.

If you read here often you know that I like spicy so there was a lot of crushed red pepper, some red chili paste, and I also threw in the last of a jar of peanut sauce; about 1 tablespoon. And, it goes without saying, lots of garlic! ¼ cup of coconut milk rounded out this dish.

This was very easy and quite filling. It was more delicious than I thought it would be and that was because I underestimated the power of the leeks.

I sautéed the leeks , garlic, mushrooms and red pepper flakes in about a ½ tablespoon of coconut oil.

This process bought out a creamy texture and caramel –like sweetness of the leeks which added a whole new dimension to the overall dish. The garlic and mushrooms became just the slightest bit crispy and the crushed pepper infused into everything.

I added the chopped kale and let everything cook to perfection.

Just as everything was just about finished I added ¼ cup of coconut milk to bring it all together.

Just before serving I squeezed a half of a lime over the dish….gorgeous!

Total calories: about 425 Delicious and nutritious meal: Priceless!

011Kale and coconut PD

Ingredients:

1 bunch of organic kale
1 large leek
4-5 large shiitake mushrooms
4-5 cloves of garlic sliced
As many shakes of crushed red pepper as you like
About 1 TBSPN peanut sauce (peanuts/peanut butter would work)
1 TBSPN red chili paste
¼ cup coconut milk
½ lime juice
1/2 TBSPN coconut oil

005Kale and coconut PD

  

Green and Clean!

003Kale asparagus, avocado, pine nuts spinach basil pesto

I love kale and have become obsessed with it since discovering Dr. Alejandro Junger’s book, CLEAN.

Dr. Junger refers to green foods as the royal family of nutrition and kale is the king.

This dish includes all of my favorites; kale , asparagus, broccoli, garlic, spinach, basil, and a tablespoon of toasted pine nuts and half an avocado for garnish.

I steamed everything and topped it with a spinach, basil, and oilve oil pesto.

What I like about the pesto is that it incorporates spinach and garlic which are raw, thereby adding important enzymes to this meal.

These foods are great for the cleansing program, to be sure, however, I like to include these super foods into my everyday meals.

Making healthy highly nutritious foods a part of your daily diet ensures that you are are getting high quality, nutrient rich food and that you are functioning at optimal levels.

I am attemping to make these dishes easy for everyone to enjoy with recipes that don’t compromise quality and which satisfy the palate and the senses.

004Kale, asparagus, spinach pesto and pine nuts

  

…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

  

Don’t Hide the Kale!

009 Kale PD

…And don’t believe the “ it’s bitter” complaint often levied against this healthy nutrient packed green.

So many of the kale recipes I find utilize this green in soups and rightfully so, it stands up to lots of heat and long cooking times.

But one of the things that I like best about kale is the fresh “greenness” of its taste and the robustness of its texture.

This green stands up to some intense flavors like garlic and tomato which are the ingredients I used today.

This would make a great side dish with beans or on a bed of polenta for an entrée.

It would also be great with pasta.

I enjoyed mine au naturel!

002Kale PD

Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale
5 cloves of garlic
1 fresh tomato
2 tbsp olive oil
Splash of balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Add olive oil, thinly sliced garlic, and chopped tomato to a warm skillet and sauté.

Add roughly chopped kale and let simmer and reduce over medium heat 10-15 minutes.

Add the splash of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

  

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