Thursday, August 20, 2015

Potato & Bean Soup

Emma brought home some fresh potatoes from her grandparents' house, so I wanted to incorporate those into dinner. The original plan had been black bean soup, but I decided to go with something a little more delicate to highlight the freshness of the potatoes.

Emma thought it was great, but that the beans didn't match. Aaron really loved the beans (which is rare, he is typically pretty lukewarm about beans). I loved it, but I haven't met a bean or a potato I didn't like, so that was easy. :)

It would be cool if food looked as good as it tasted,
but that's not always the case. See above!

1 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup thinly sliced carrot
1 clove garlic
1 tsp dried dill weed
3 cups potatoes, peeled & diced
3 cups collard greens, sliced
2 un-chicken bouillon cubes
5 cups water
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 TBS flour mixed with 1/2 cup vegan sour cream (cashew cream would work here too, I'm sure)


Warm the olive oil over medium heat, then add in the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the carrot and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, until the carrot is soft. Toss in the dill, potatoes, greens, bouillon and water and cook (covered) for 40 minutes.

Once the potato is at the stage where you could obliterate it with the back of a spoon, take an immersion blender and blend briefly - you want to have a thick and creamy base, but you also want to leave some texture. If you don't have an immersion blender, take 2 cups of the soup and put it in a regular blender until pretty smooth, then return to the pot.

Add in the beans and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add in the flour-cream mix and cook until heated through.

Serve with biscuits!

Makes about 6 cups.

Nutrition is per 1/6 of the recipe:

Calories: 224
Fat: 5.3 g
Carbs: 38 g
Fiber: 5.3 g
Sugars: 3.9
Protein: 7.1 g
Vitamin A: 92%
Vitamin C: 25%
Iron: 8%
Calcium: 7%

Friday, August 14, 2015

Easiest Ever Cashew Cream Sauce

I made some pasta tonight and decided to make a creamy sauce layer and then a spicy tomato sauce layer. The tomato sauce was a basic jarred marinara, some Boca crumbles, cayenne, and some chili oil.

The cream sauce, though, that was where the real magic was! It was good enough that Aaron insisted I write down the recipe. Sometimes simple is best!

1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp lemon juice (I used the kind from a lemon-shaped squeeze bottle)
1 tsp nutritional yeast

Take the cashews and the water and put them in a pan. Boil for 5 minutes. Add this and the rest of the ingredients to a high powered blender (Vitamix or something similar) and blend for a few minutes until it's smooth and creamy. If you don't have a strong blender, it might turn out gritty, though boiling the cashews longer could help.

The sauce will already be warm and ready to serve!

Nutrition (per 1/6 of recipe - about 1/4 cup per serving):

Calories: 109
Fat: 8 g
Carbohydrates: 6.3 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 1.4 g
Protein: 3.6 g
Calcium: 1%
Iron: 7%

Sunday, August 2, 2015

My Mom's Apple Crisp

My mom makes the BEST apple crisp. I have tried many variations and nothing measures up. This is a very slight variation to accommodate more apples than her recipe calls for, but if you have fewer apples, you can use 4 cups of apples, 1/4 cup of water, an 8x8 pan, and the same topping recipe. It'll be thick with topping this way, and that's the way her recipe reads. My way below is healthier per serving and is still plenty decadent, but if you want the real mom experience, that's the way.

 I had a bunch of apples that we hated to eat out of hand - they were mealy and the skin was thick and the taste was that of an apple that lost some of its joy in life. They were sitting on the counter, getting sadder each day, when I had the idea that I would turn them into something wonderful. I figured if they couldn't be saved by becoming apple crisp, they were not salvageable. It turned out wonderfully, so I highly recommend using this method to prevent wasting apples you wouldn't otherwise eat. It also works well with delicious apples you want to turn into dessert, obviously. :)

Heat the oven to 400.

Make the cumble topping:
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar

Mix those 4 things together in a mixing bowl, then cut in 1/3 cup margarine (I used Earth Balance) until it is well mixed in and the mix looks like the world's most delicious gravel.

Put into a greased, 11x7 baking dish in this order:
6 cups of peeled, sliced apples
1/3 cup water
all of the crumble topping

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until bubbly and beautiful. Good luck not eating the whole pan!!