My blender has a cozy spot on my space challenged kitchen counter. It gets me going in the morning by whipping up a quick breakfast smoothie. And in the evening, if I’m feeling a bit lazy (which are most evenings), my blender is quickest route to a solid dinner alla salad and bread.
Here’s a base I use for a hearty, creamy soup. Just add your favorite root vegetables and play with the heat. Top it off with some cashew cream, fresh herbs, something crunchy to kick it up a notch.
Spicy Sweet Potato, Carrot, Yam or Parsnip Soup
1 pound sweet potatoes, carrots, yam or parsnips, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons oil (I like coconut)
1-2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup of coconut milk, cashew cream, cream
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add your onion and garlic. Saute for about 5 mins or until soft. Add curry paste and stir for another minute. Add your root veggies and stock. Bring to a boil. Bring it down to a simmer for 20 minutes, or until the veggies are soft.
Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down slightly. Puree with your blender or immersion blender.
Add salt and pepper to taste and lime juice right before serving. Top with fresh cracked pepper, chopped cilantro or mint, and crunchy bits like toasted seeds or croutons.
Waffles – the fluffy breakfast food of the Gods! Gabe and I whip up a batch of basic animal-free waffles that are just as tasty as the conventional Eggo, with the added perk of adding a bunch of delicious ingredients into the batter (we opted for blueberries and coconut).
Top it off with your favorite yogurt, granola, fruit, or get fancy with a Coconut Rum Syrup and you’ve got a breakfast fit for a king, queen or family of picky royals.
If you don’t eat dairy for whatever reason, because you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or just trying to cut down on animal products, chances are that you’ve forayed into the world of non-dairy cheeses. You’ll know that not all non-dairy, vegan cheeses are made the same – they melt differently than dairy cheese, often have… unique textures, and more importantly, they vary in taste. For me, the ultimate test of a good alternative to conventional cheese is none other than the grilled cheese sandwich – a classic comfort food (especially if you’re in college).
I think the best non-dairy cheese on the market is currently made by Daiya, Deliciously Non-Dairy Cheese. Why? It makes a dern good grilled cheese sandwich and doesn’t taste like I just licked a orangutan’s foot.
Here are my steps for a perfect grilled cheese sandwich (great for Daiya cheeses, but also works for your regular shredded cheddar too):
1) Butter both sides of two pieces of nice bread. I like to use Earth Balance.
2) Heat the pan to medium-high heat before putting in the sandwiches.
3) Add your sandwich and turn down the heat to medium.
4) Put a lid over your sandwich, this is trap the heat and guarantee melted cheese-y goodness.
5) Grilled on each side until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes per side).
Nothing beats a nice hot soup, especially on moist, gross Vancouver day. Here’s a easy soup that will warm up yer insides and remind you of the better weather to come. Goes great with a grilled cheese, cheeze, or sheeze (?) sandwich – a classic pair.
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots or 1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons flour or tapioca starch
8 vine tomatoes, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or tablespoon fresh thyme)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup non-dairy creamer
2 tablespoons salsa (for an extra kick)
2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce (for some heat)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (more tomato flavour)
1) Heat up the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. 2) Add the garlic and onions and saute until tender (about 6-7 minutes). Add the flour and stir for a minute. Add the rest of the ingredients (including your add-ins) except creamer.Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
3) If you’ve got an immersion blender (or a regular blender), give the soup a whirl and add the creamer at the end. Serve with a salad and nice grilled cheeze sandwich.
Spanakopita is awesome. It’s a Greek appy made with a flaky filo with a wicked tasty feta and spinach filling. Here’s my lighter, lazy man take on the Greek must-have. To make these vegan (totally animal-free), replace the eggs with 2 tablespoons of all-purp flour and use non-dairy yogurt and cheese. Continue reading →