BUTTERNUT, APPLE, RED LENTIL SOUP

The weather is turning a bit cooler lately and I really wanted soup. Held off on posting to the blog today until it was finished and I could actually give a recipe, not just some general idea. This soup is vegan and oil free!

Butternut, Apple, Red Lentil Soup

Butternut, Apple, Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

½ of a small onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 teaspoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon curry powder

Apple Juice (I used Cawston Press, Cloudy Apple, in a tetra pack on the grocery juice aisle)

Veggie Broth or water

16 ounces cubed butternut squash

2 Honey Crisp Apples (medium size), cored, quartered, and sliced thinly crosswise

1 cup red lentils

1 heaping tablespoon Patak’s Indian Curry Paste (For oil-free, sub additional curry powder)

Salt/Pepper to taste

Cawston Press Cloudy Apple Juice

Cawston Press Cloudy  Apple Juice

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Patak’s Mild Curry Paste

Directions:

In the Instant Pot, using the sauté function, dry sauté the onion, celery and ginger until onion is translucent. Add a little apple juice and then the curry powder, sautéing until dry. Add about 4 cups veggie broth (or water) and about ½ cup apple juice (this is not exact; you’ll just need about 4 cups of some liquid.) Stir well and make sure all the little bits are up from the bottom.  Add squash, apples, and lentils. Lock lid in to place, select Manual or Soup (I used Soup) function, and adjust time to 6 minutes. Once cooking is finished, allow for at least 10 minutes of natural release (I did 15 minutes) and then release remaining pressure. Remove liner from pot and set on something heatproof. Add curry paste. Using a stick blender, blend until mostly smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowl and garnish with a swirl of almond milk or a dollop of non-dairy yogurt. Makes about 6 servings.

Enjoy!

Options:

  • Try subbing the butternut squash with pumpkin or sweet potato.
  • Omit curry powder and curry paste and sub with apple pie or pumpkin pie spices, or just some cinnamon and ginger.

Recipe and photos are the property of “LivingaRadiantLife” and may be used only with permission of the author. You may link to this page if you would like to share this recipe. Thank you!

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RECIPE FRIDAY: FAST MINESTRONE

What? Recipe Friday? What’s going on here? Well….I’ve had a rough and busy week…away from the computer. And after thinking it through, I thought Friday might really be the better day for a recipe anyway. Sorry for the confusion; I know you were all so looking forward to what recipe I was posting this week (at least in MY dreams).

With life being so hectic for me recently, as I’m sure it is for many of you on a regular basis, I thought I would put something together that didn’t require chopping, dicing, or much prep work at all. This recipe comes together with canned, frozen, and grocery prepared items. It’s quick and easy, warm on a cold night, healthy, and very comforting. Please note: it’s not salt-free, because I can only find a low-sodium variety of veggie broth. If you have unsalted veggie broth (homemade!), please feel free to substitute that.

FAST MINESTRONE

(Vegan, Nutritarian, Low-Sodium, Sugar Free, Can be Gluten-Free)

Serves 2 – 4 (Depending on serving size)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped green onion or onion of your choice(already chopped from the grocery!)

2 Tablespoons dry Sherry (use real Sherry; cooking sherry contains salt) or other wine or water

2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning (or seasoning of your choice)

16 oz low sodium veggie broth

1 can salt-free pinto beans,  rinsed and drained (other beans will work well, too)

1 can diced salt-free tomatoes

1/2 12 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables

1/4 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni or other pasta (for gluten free, use a gluten free pasta, cooked quinoa or brown rice, or just leave out)

Directions:

Saute onion and herbs in sherry. Add broth, beans and tomatoes. When this mixture comes to a boil, add the frozen veggies. Return to boil and add pasta. Cook 6 mins (or recommended cooking time of pasta). Remove from heat and serve. I like to add a little more sherry to my bowl.

Easy Minestrone

I had eaten most of the minestrone before I remembered to take a photo. Told you it was good!

NOTE: Using a little wine (and my favorite is the dry sherry) to saute the onions, etc., adds an extra flavor dimension. It’s really a good substitute for the flavor imparted by cooking with oil and the alcohol cooks away. Sauteing with vegetable broth or water works fine if you don’t want to use the wine.

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: PEACH SMOOTHIE

Yes, it’s cold….even in Houston. But I still start most days with a smoothie in the morning; in fact, I start the day with a HUGE smoothie. This one was put together yesterday and I really enjoyed it. It may look green (see the picture below), but peaches are definitely a huge part of the finished product.

PEACH SMOOTHIE

(Vegan, Nutritarian, Fat-Free, Salt-Free, Sugar-Free)

Makes one LARGE Smoothie

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla

2 Tablespoons hemp hearts

3 medjool dates; remove the seeds!

3 large kale leaves, stems removed (save the stems for juicing if you have a juicer that handles greens)

1 lemon, peeled and quartered

10 oz. frozen peaches

Cinnamon or Nutmeg, as desired

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender until well-blended. (You can definitely use any blender; blending time will be longer and the end product may not be as smooth.) Add ice if desired to get a thicker texture.

Notes:

This would also work well using nut milk or coconut water. Other greens, like spinach or collards, would be an excellent substitute for the kale. Add some raspberries and make it a Peach Melba smoothie.

Peach Smoothie

Please try it and let me know what you think….

Happy Sipping!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: BLACK BEAN CAKES

This was my lunch yesterday. Although the recipe isn’t perfect yet (see notes at the end), the flavor is so good I needed to go ahead and share. Besides, if I didn’t, there would be no recipe today…..none of us want that, do we?

Finished with salsa

Black Bean Cakes

(Vegan, Nutritarian, Salt-free, Oil-free, Sugar-free …… Makes 6)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon flax meal combined with 2 tablespoons water; let this form a gel while you’re making the rest (this acts like an egg)

2 cups cooked black beans (I used ones I cooked but you can use 1 can, drained), mashed. Some chunks are okay, but make sure they’re mashed well.

1/4 cup green onion, chopped (I happened to have green on hand, but regular onion would work fine, too)

1/2 medium green pepper, minced

1/2 cup corn kernels (use organic to avoid GMOs; I used frozen, right from the bag)

2 medium mushrooms, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced (if you don’t like cilantro, leave it out or substitute fresh parsley)

1 tablespoon (or to your liking) chili powder

1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (see note below)

1/4 cup medium ground cornmeal (see note below)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, adding the flax meal/water mix last. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour (overnight is fine, too!).

The Mix

This is the mix before I put it into the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Form bean mix into patties and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 10 minutes. I also ran mine under the broiler for 3 minutes on each side because I wanted a really crispy exterior. Serve and enjoy!

Tray of 6

The tray of six prior to baking.

Just One

Just one, prior to baking.

Notes:

Cumin: I prefer to grind my own. Simply toast cumin seeds lightly in a skillet over medium heat. Then, run them through a coffee grinder used specifically for herbs and spices. You’ll notice a difference!

Cornmeal: I used Bob’s Red Mill medium grind. This gives a bit of a gritty texture to the bean cakes. A finely ground cornmeal or a flour (wheat, brown rice, garbanzo, etc) would work well, too.

The Cornmeal

Bob’s Red Mill Cornmeal

Spices: I like mild spices for this recipe because I was topping with a spicy salsa. Feel free to adjust the heat to your liking. You can also try Mrs. Dash’s Southwest Chipotle seasoning in lieu of the chili powder….it’s good stuff, and spicy!

These bean cakes can be a little crumbly. That’s where I need to perfect the recipe a bit, but…. try them crumbled with salsa and avocado in a lettuce wrap. Totally delicious!

Finished no salsa

Here’s a pic of a finished bean cake without the salsa.

HOPE YOU ENJOY THESE! If you try them, please let me know….and I’d love suggestions for improving them!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: HOLIDAY COUSCOUS SALAD

Sorry to be so late posting today. I have a potluck church function tonight and was busy putting together my dish. I’ve been dreaming about how to put this together and, in the end, it’s not exactly a recipe. You can use whatever amounts of different ingredients you want; if you don’t have or like an ingredient, leave it out or substitute something else; and if you want, add ingredients I didn’t think of. It’s fun! And, I promise you, it will turn out just fine! Another plus: You can make as much or as little as you need so there’s no number of servings listed (mine is for a large group and the bowl in the pictures is quite large!)

Here's the salad before the dressing. The peas and currants were an afterthought so they're not showing.

Here’s the salad before the dressing. The peas and currants were an afterthought so they’re not showing.

HOLIDAY COUSCOUS SALAD

(Vegan, Nutritarian, Salt-free, Oil-Free, can be Gluten Free)

 Ingredients:

Cooked Couscous (Brown rice, barley, or farro would work, too; Lundberg Farms also has a rice couscous)

Sliced green onions

Coarsely chopped carrots

Coarsely chopped steamed green beans

Green peas

Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)…mine were cooked in my trusty Instant Pot, but the canned variety is just fine; any type of bean will work, too!

Dried cranberries

Dried apricots, chopped

Dried currants (mine had dried out a bit so I soaked them for a few minutes in hot water)

Sliced Almonds

Directions:

Combine everything together in a bowl and leave as is, or dress with a dressing of your choice. I used a curry dressing which, I regret to say, I kept playing with so I lost track of the ingredients. I do know that I used plain coconut yogurt (So Delicious brand), a little salt-free ketchup, a little regular mustard, a little rice vinegar, and 2 different brands of curry powder (I haven’t yet found a curry powder I truly love)….mixed it all together and added just a tad of agave syrup (date or maple syrup or even apple juice would work well, too)…. Be adventurous! I’m sure you’ll come up with something very, very tasty all on your own.

And here's the salad with the curry dressing....again, without the peas and currants...told you they were an afterthought...they went in after I snapped the picture.

And here’s the salad with the curry dressing….again, without the peas and currants…told you they were an afterthought…they went in after I snapped the picture. And the almonds aren’t in yet, either….I’m waiting until just before I leave the house to add those so they’ll still have their crunch.

Do you have a commercial curry powder that you love? A blend that you create yourself? Help me  find a curry powder blend I can’t live without!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: PINEAPPLE COLE SLAW

Last week I presented a Baked Falafel recipe; today I’m sharing a side that goes well with the falafel (and it works well as a picnic side, as well).

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PINEAPPLE COLE SLAW

(Vegan, Nutritarian and oil-free)

Makes 8-12 good-size servings

Cashew Dressing (make this ahead):

1/2 cup raw cashews soaked 2 hours (at least)
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons date or maple syrup (I used date syrup)
Dash of salt, optional
1/4 – 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice (depending on how thick you want it; I used a bit more than 1/2 cup)

Combine the above in a blender (preferably a high speed blender, but a regular one will work; processing just takes a little longer) until smooth. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight before using.

Cole Slaw:

2 bags angel hair cabbage
1 small can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup (or more) unsweetened dried coconut
3/4 cup chopped raw nuts (I used pecans)
Cashew Dressing, as desired

Combine everything with the dressing and refrigerate at least a couple hours. If you make the night before, don’t add the nuts until close to serving time.  Use as little or as much dressing as you desire. And if you’re not vegan….you can substitute mayonnaise, commercial coleslaw dressing, or lemon poppyseed dressing for the cashew dressing.  Make this more festive by adding dried cranberries and/or yellow raisins.

ENJOY!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: BAKED FALAFEL

I kept pondering what to make for myself for Thanksgiving. Hubby wanted his traditional turkey (breast only) and since I don’t eat meat, I needed something I could bake relatively quickly right after the turkey came out of the oven. I adapted this recipe from one I used as a vegetarian; it’s now vegan, nutritarian, and oil-free (except for a small amount on the baking pan, but that’s optional).

 

BAKED FALAFEL

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (chick peas)…I cooked a 16 oz bag in my Instant-Pot and used roughly half of the cooked beans

1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 2 tablespoons of water (let sit until it gels a bit; this replaces an egg)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, minced

1/4 cup minced green onion

1 1/2 tablespoons tahini

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 1/2 tablespoons garbanzo flour

1/2 teaspoon red pepper

black pepper and salt, as desired

Mash the garbanzos really well (a few chunks are okay, but you want most of them pretty well mashed). Add remaining ingredients and combine with the mashed garbanzos. Chill for at least a couple hours. (I chilled overnight.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Lightly grease a cookie sheet (or line with parchment paper for an oil-free option). Remove garbanzo mixture from refrigerator and form into 6 patties. (Or form them into any shape you want….you’ll need to adjust baking time a bit, though.) Bake 10 minutes and flip the patties; bake another 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!

That’s it! Mine don’t last very long, but I think these could be frozen successfully. If you try freezing, please let me know! And keep reading below for some serving ideas….

I like to eat falafel, sans bread, with a little German-style mustard. I’ve also thrown into an Ezekiel Wrap and added lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Try them in a pita with some chopped cucumber, chopped tomato, alfalfa sprouts and a little cashew mayonnaise. Whatever you do, ENJOY THEM!

And please, do let me know what you think and any modifications you made.

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: THANKSGIVING

No recipe from me today. Sorry. Traveling has taken all of my energy; besides, I just went grocery shopping yesterday and I had a meeting last night. BUT, I do want to share a Pumpkin Pie Filling recipe with you from Carrie. This young lady has created some wonderful recipes and this one  looks scrumptious; it’s also the one I’ll be trying today for the big meal tomorrow. I’ve never been a fan of crusts, so baking it up in little ramekins appeals to me. (And I DO recommend following Carrie’s blog!)

http://www.carrieonvegan.com/

If you would  like a crust, this one looks appealing:

http://food.dailybuzz.com/blog/45672-not-so-traditional-pumpkin-pie?utm_campaign=dailybuzz&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

And if Carrie’s Pumpkin Filling and the above crust don’t get you excited, here’s another pumpkin pie recipe that looks delicious (it’s the one I was going to make until Carrie posted hers):

http://veganspoonful.com/2007/12/27/traditional-vegan-pumpkin-pie/

All of the above are vegan and nutritarian friendly recipes. Have fun creating your feast!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: ASIAN SALAD WITH PEANUT SAUCE

As promised last Saturday, here’s the recipe for the salad I put together for my church picnic. This makes a bunch, so be prepared to share it, pare it down, or eat it all yourself. (I personally opt for the latter!)

ASIAN SALAD WITH PEANUT SAUCE

(Vegan, Oil-Free, Added Salt-free, Nutritarian)

Ingredients:

2 good size broccoli crowns, pulled into florets (I cut off  most of the stems for use in a broccoli slaw later)

2 red peppers, coarsely chopped

1 lb carrots, sliced

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1 16 oz bag frozen green garbanzo beans (or 2 cups canned or home-cooked regular garbanzos)

1 full recipe of Chef AJ’s peanut sauce (see link below)

Directions:

Steam broccoli florets for 1.5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool a bit.  Steam green garbanzos for 4 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. (Steaming is not necessary for canned or home-cooked garbanzos.)

Make the peanut sauce. Recipe, from Chef AJ’s book, Unprocessed, here: https://sites.google.com/site/hgkprintablerecipes/spicy-peanut-noodles-with-broccoli (The rice noodles in Chef AJ’s  recipe work well with all of the other veggies above, too!)

Combine all of the veggies with the peanut sauce in a large bowl. (I usually have too much sauce so I save it and use later over steamed veggies.) Put into your desired container and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. I let mine sit overnight so the flavors mingle really well.

I don’t know how many servings this makes, but it’s at least 10 regular serving sizes. If you’re using as a main dish, it’s at least 4-6 servings.

ENJOY!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: PURPLE LIME SMOOTHIE

I start my day with a smoothie. On the days I do have something different, I wind up “starving” all day….meaning I want to eat constantly. My smoothies manage to fill me up and keep me satisfied for hours. Each day’s smoothie is a little different, but today’s made me extremely happy…so I thought I’d share it. (Keep in mind that some of the measurements are approximations….I just throw things in to the Vitamix!)

Purple Lime Smoothie

(makes about 40 ounces)

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut water (or almond milk)

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon hemp hearts

1/2 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla

2 Medjool dates, pitted

2 celery stalks, cut into chunks

3 medium size kale leaves, stems removed and torn in pieces

1 cup red seedless grapes

1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries

1-1/4 cup frozen blueberries (Costco has organic wild blueberries which I use)

1 lime; slice off the ends and peel with a knife

Directions:

Put everything in to a high speed blender and whirl until smooth. Add ice to the consistency (and coldness) you desire. Pour into a glass, add a straw, and sip away.

I can drink a whole smoothie by myself, but feel free to share with a friend or two!

About my straw…..this is a glass straw made by Glass Dharma and available on Amazon here (lots of choices): http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=glass+straws