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.
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.
Here’s a fresh take on the classic pizza pie. Bring in some spices from Southeast Asia, add some fragrant chopped up Thai basil, top it off with some cheese (in this casem, Daiya, the best dern non-dairy cheese) and you’ve got yourself a Thai Pesto Pizza. Who knew peanut butter would ever find itself on a pizza?
Wake up your tired nostrils with shot of Caribbean sunshine (in spice form). This all-purp marinade goes well with any kind of squishy, absorbent protein, particularly tofu! Freeze your tofu (in its package) and let it thaw out completely the next day, gently squeeze out most of the water and you’ll have some nicely textured protein, ready to be marinated and grilled or fried. Yes… there are a lot of ingredients, but it’s worth it!
1 large white onion, chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lime
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon young ginger, grated
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons allspice
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablesoon olive oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 habanero peppers, seeded and chopped
1. Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender.
2. Slice your tofu into triangles (more surface area equals more flavour!).
3. Combine the marinade and tofu in a bowl, cover and let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Give it a stir and let it marinade for another 30 minutes, or if you are in a pinch for time, just get cookin’.
4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add a small amount of canola or vegetable oil to coat the pan, and add the jerk tofu in a single layer. Fry for 5 minutes on each side, or until a nice crust starts to form.
Spice up your rice with some fantastic Jamaican flavours. The dark red kidney beans or “peas” make this a hearty dish that can stand on it’s on own or paired with anything from a spicy Jerk Tofu to a hot Vegetable Rundown. If scotch bonnet peppers aren’t available in your area, a habenero works just fine. Crank up the heat and leave in the seeds, or omit it all together if you’re a spice-a-phobe.
1 cup of brown rice
1 cup wild rice
1 can coconut milk
3 cups water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can of red kidney beans
1 scotch bonnet (or habanero if not available)
½ tablespoon oil
Salt to taste
1. Drain the liquid from the can of beans into a measuring cup and add the can of coconut milk and water.
2. Place liquids in a pot with beans, onions, garlic, thyme and oil, bring to a boil. Add rice and stir for a minute. Reduce heat to Medium-Low.
3. Place scotch bonnet pepper on top of liquid and cover tightly for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked. Remove scotch bonnet pepper before serving.