Wednesday, July 24, 2013

soup du jour: zuke soup

if there is one thing in this life i love, it is soup. wars have been fought over this steamy goodness (haven't they?). it's cozy and comforting and smooth and delicious. more, please?

with that said, when i saw jenna's recipe for zuchinni soup the other day, it looked too cozy to pass up. i don't care if it's july. less than 12 hours later, i had a burned mouth and a shiny green bowl of veganized zuke soup looking up at me. it was divine.

this soup has thick and flavorful base, with pops of texture from the wild and brown rice. what can i say, i am a sucker for texture!

vegan zucchini soup
yields 8 servings

splash of olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs zucchini, 1/2" slices
8 cups veggie broth
2 tsp dried tarragon
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried basil
.5 cup uncooked wild rice
.5 cup uncooked brown rice
1.5 cups cooked garbanzo beans (1 can drained & rinsed)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt + pepper to taste

heat a large pot over medium heat. add a splash of olive oil to coat the pan. when oil is hot, add onions and sautee until translucent. add garlic and sautee for 30 more seconds. add zucchini and broth. bring to a boil, then simmer until zukes are tender (10-12 minutes).

use either an immersion blender (my choice) or a blender to puree the soup mix. if using a blender, pour it back into the pot. add spices, salt + pepper, wild rice, brown rice, and garbanzo beans and cover. simmer for 45-50 minutes until rice is cooked. add in nutritional yeast and stir to combine. let cook for another 5 minutes.

served best over a hunk of soft french bread and an extra sprinkle of salt. yum.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

soup du jour: soyrizo tortilla

as a preamble, i would like to point out that i am not a fan of packaged meat alternatives. that being said, soyrizo makes the cut again and again. if i'm going to eat faux meat, it will be delicious and satisfying. i do normally add my own spices to really rev up the flavor, as i find it slightly unimpressive straight from the package, but in the end soyrizo just pulls through. 

this soup is how i veganized the homesick texan's black-eyed pea and chorizo soup


soyrizo tortilla soup
serves 2 makes 8 servings

olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes (with liquid)
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
24oz. soyrizo (i used trader joe's)
1 tbs smoked paprika
3 15oz. cans of black-eyed peas (with liquid)
4 c. veggie broth
1/4 c. chopped cilantro 
20 corn tortillas OR ~2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 lime
salt and pepper

if making fresh tortilla strips, preheat oven to 400F. 

heat a large pot over medium low, add olive oil. once the oil is hot, add onion and sautee ~5 minutes until translucent. add garlic and sautee ~1 minute more. 

transfer onions and garlic to a blender, and blend with tomatoes, chiles, cumin, parsley, and basil until smooth.

back in the pot, heat another splash of oil and add in the soyrizo and smoked paprika. add some salt to taste and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

add the blended veggie mixture, black-eyed peas, veggie broth, and cilantro to the pot. stir to combine. season with salt and pepper. turn up the heat until soup is boiling. turn heat to low and let simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

if making fresh tortilla strips, cut tortillas into 1/4" x 2" strips while the soup is simmering. toss with some salt and ~2tsp olive oil. spread the strips out on a baking sheet -- don't overcrowd, go in batches if you must! bake at 400F for 10 minutes, or until crispy. 

after the soup has simmered, squeeze in juice of the lime and season further to taste. the lime really balances the flavor, so don't over season before you taste it with the lime!

ladle the soup into bowls and top with a handful of tortilla strips. enjoy!

note: i originally mixed in some vegan cheese and topped with guacamole (as seen in the photo), but i actually liked it better without those things! the flavor is so good and i found the toppings to dull that a little. 

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

black on black on black smoothie

like a green smoothie, but more chic! also, it tastes divine.

the black smoothie:
(serves 1-2)

1/3 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 c. cranberries (fresh or frozen)
2-3 c. spinach
~8 oz. apple juice

combine, blend and enjoy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

viva la fiesta

here in santa barbara, old spanish days, or "fiesta" is QUITE an event in the summertime. now, as my windshield gets frosted nightly on these early days of January, i'm feeling sort of reminiscent of those times. hence, the fiesta salad. it's creamy and spicy and a fiesta in your mouth!

fiesta salad
(serves 1)

large handful (or two) of spinach
1/4 c. shredded cabbage (optional, but so crunchy!)
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
chopped onion to taste
1/4 c. prepared corn (canned, boiled, etc.)
1/4 c. black beans
1 lrg scoop prepared guacamole
salsa to taste
a sprinkle of olive oil

assemble veggies and beans, top with guac, salsa, and olive oil. pause to admire it's beauty, then toss and devour!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

sweet potato nothings

on the nights when i don't feel like spending much time in the kitchen (or my boyfriend is out of town and i just want to get back to that grey's anatomy mini-marathon asap), this is my go-to meal. easy to dress up with the stuff i already have in my fridge, or with a quick sautee, this low-effort dish is an absolute staple in my life.

this method is basically fool-proof AND IT'S DELICIOUS. also, who doesn't love sweet potatoes?

baked sweet potato for 1

1 sweet potato
coconut oil for rubbing
toppings! such as:
     - earth balance
     - hummus
     - refried black beans - i always keep trader joe's canned refried black beans on hand because they are the BEST.
     - sauteed kale + garlic (or any other greens/veggies)

wash off the sweet potato and stab some holes in it, all over. wrap that damp sweet potato loosely in a paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes, flipping it over halfway through. meanwhile, preheat the oven (or toaster oven!) to 450F. once it's done nuking, take a spoonful of coconut oil and rub it all over the skin. sprinkle with a bit of salt, place it in the oven (i put it on a piece of tin foil to minimize dishes) and bake for 20 minutes, or until the outside is nice and crispy. once it's done baking, slice it open and top it off with your add-ons!