Creamy Cauliflower Soup

This cauliflower soup has a bit of spice to it from the pepper, and it’s very comforting on a rainy night!

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup chopped sweet onion (about 3/4 of an onion)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small chunks
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil on medium and add the onions. Saute for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds or so.
  3. Add the cauliflower and pour in the chicken broth. Add the salt and pepper and stir well.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  5. Once the soup has cooled, use an immersion blender to blend it into a creamy consistency. Serve with hot bread!

Sweet Potato Soup

I’m trying out lots of new soup recipes. So far, I’m happy with the carrot soup I tried a few weeks ago, and I’ve been making it nonstop. Next step: sweet potato soup! I found this recipe on Greatist. I used 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth instead of 4, and the soup came out very thick. I might add the additional 1/2 cup next time. It has a very comforting autumn-like butternut squash soup flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1-2 tsp salt (I used 1 tsp)
  • Black pepper (I used 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 shallot, diced (I omitted this)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 sweet potatoes, about 2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (I used 3 potatoes)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tsp paprika

Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Saute the onions until they are soft and fragrant, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  2. Add the minced garlic and saute another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sweet potatoes, chicken broth, cinnamon, and paprika. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork (this took about 45 minutes for me).
  4. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. I found it easier to start off with the immersion blender and then pour the half-pureed soup into a large blender, since the potato chunks can be difficult to break up with the immersion blender.

 

Carrot Soup with Cashew “Cream”

I’ve found a way to recreate the creamy soups I love without dairy! It’s called cashew cream, and there are tons of websites out there with recipes for it. This carrot soup calls for heavy cream, so I simply used 3 T of the cashew cream in place of the heavy cream. It turned out tasty!

Creamy Carrot Soup, courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped sweet onion (about 3/4 of an onion)
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Dash of ground ginger
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 T heavy cream, divided (I used 3 T cashew cream for this)

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onions and carrots. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Stir in salt, pepper, and ginger. (I added mine after 10 minutes of simmering)
  3. Add the 2 cups of water and 2 cups of chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.
  4. Add 3 T cashew cream and use an immersion blender to puree it.

Cashew “Cream”

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 3/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Soak the cashews in the water for about 15 minutes.
  2. Blend on high speed for about 30 minutes, until it has achieved a thick consistency. Replace dairy with equal parts of this cream for delicious thick soups!

Sweet Onion Lentils and Rice (Mother’s Day 2017)

For our Mother’s Day celebration this year we made a delicious recipe courtesy of Buzzfeed. Get a large pasta pot for this if you’re going to double the size! I’ve included the doubled ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 3 red onions (2 will be thinly sliced, 1 will be diced)
  • 4 T olive oil, divided in half
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 2 cups long grain rice (we used Basmati)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, for serving
  • 2 lemons, for serving

Directions:

  1. Make the caramelized onions: Heat 2 T olive oil in a large skillet on low heat. Add the onion slices, stirring for about 30 minutes, until they are caramelized and brown.
  2. In a large pot, saute the diced onion and garlic in 2 T olive oil until soft and translucent. This will take about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 7 cups of water, salt, and the lentils to the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Add the rice, cumin, cinnamon and bay leaves to the pot. Stir well and replace the lid. Cook covered on low for 15 minutes, or until rice is soft and cooked through.
  5. Fluff the lentil-rice mixture and serve topped with the caramelized onion slices and lemon slices. Top with parsley.

Steak and Bell Pepper Fajitas with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I usually buy the pre-sliced steak and bell peppers at the grocery store, but this time I wanted to find a recipe that I could make from scratch. Here it is!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds steak (skirt, flank, sirloin–I used flank)
  • 2 peppers (red, green or yellow), sliced into strips
  • 1 onion, sliced into strips
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper (I used red pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Tortillas

Directions:

  1. Combine the olive oil, lime juice, spices, and garlic in a bowl and whisk until incorporated.
  2. Place the sliced vegetables in a container with a lid or a resealable plastic bag. Place the meat in another.
  3. Pour 1/3 of the marinade onto the vegetables and another 1/3 onto the steak. Seal the containers or bags and shake. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour or longer.
  4. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil. Add the sliced vegetables and saute for about 5-10 minutes, or until vegetables are starting to get soft. Remove the vegetables from the skillet.
  5. Drizzle a bit more olive oil into the skillet and add the steak. Cook, turning every few minutes, for about 15 minutes or until steak is desired temperature. Add the reserved 1/3 marinade and vegetables and toss.

Serve on tortillas with: avocado slices or guacamole, black beans and cilantro rice, sour cream, cheddar cheese, mashed sweet potatoes (see recipe below), or plantains. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • A pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400F. Scrub the sweet potatoes and dry them. Wrap each potato in foil, making sure to crimp the top and sides so steam does not escape when cooking.
  2. Place potatoes on a lined baking sheet and bake at 400F for 1 hour 20 minutes. When done, remove from oven and let sit about half an hour.
  3. Once the potatoes have cooled, slice them lengthwise and scoop out the potato, discarding the skin. Mash in a bowl with the butter, nutmeg, and salt.

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Chicken Pot Pie (Milk-Free)

I can’t believe I found such a great recipe for a milk-free chicken pot pie! I used Puff Pastry as well, and it came out great.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped (I used 2)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter (you can also use dairy-free butter)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 12 oz. bag frozen mixed veggies, thawed
  • 3 1/4 cup chicken broth (I used 3 cups)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken first. Marinate the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic powder, and olive oil. Place in a baking pan, cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 400F for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove half of the puff pastry (for the bottom layer) from the freezer and leave out on the counter to thaw, about 40 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the oven, remove foil cover, and let cool.
  4. Spray a square baking pan (2 quarts) with Pam or other cooking spray. Press the puff pastry sheet onto the baking pan, prick holes in it with a fork, and cover with foil. Pie weights would be good for blind baking here. Bake at 400F for 25 minutes.
  5. While the puff pastry is baking, remove the second sheet from the freezer and leave out on the counter to thaw.
  6. Chop the chicken into small chunks and set aside.
  7. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the onion, celery, and bay leaf. Cook for 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft, stirring often.
  8. Discard the bay leaf. Add the flour to the saucepan and cook for another 3 minutes or so, until the mixture turns golden.
  9. Add the chicken broth and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and add the chicken and thawed mixed vegetables, stirring well. The mixture will be thick. Remove from heat.
  10. Once the baked puff pastry is out of the oven, remove the foil and let it sit for a few minutes. When the chicken mixture is ready, pour it into the baking dish, making sure to spread it in an even layer.
  11. Place the second puff pastry sheet over the chicken mixture, pressing the sides down to meet the sides of the bottom sheet. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly and the top is golden brown.

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French Lentil Soup

This lentil soup recipe doesn’t take too long and it tastes great. I used an immersion blender to get it chunky and thick. If you like tomato-based soups, you will like this one. The recipe is from Epicurious.

Ingredients:

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery stalks
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic and saute until the vegetables start to brown, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth, lentils, and tomatoes in juice and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.

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