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Broccoli Chickpea Soup May 12, 2013

Broccoli & Chickpea Soup topped with sun-dried tomatoes

Broccoli & Chickpea Soup topped with sun-dried tomatoes

Broccoli & Chickpea Soup
with olive tapenade & sun-dried tomatoes 

Ingredients
Makes ~8 servings 

Essentials
These ingredients make up the core of the soup
2 lbs broccoli crowns
1 lb cooked chickpeas
1 quart reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 large yellow onion
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oli (to saute onion & garlic)

Additions
These are the additional ingredients I used and recommend but feel free to taylor them to your taste
1/2 fresh avocado
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
Spices to taste (I used 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper & a pinch of paprika)

Garnish with sun-dried tomatoes & olive tapenade 

Method

1) Chop & saute onion & garlic in olive oil at medium heat until slightly browned

2) Combine all remaining ingredients (except the garnish) into large cooking pot and blend until smooth using an immersion blender (aka hand blender). Once blended, heat soup in large pot on stove top on high until reaching desired temperature. Stir well.

3) Pour soup into serving bowls and top with sun-dried tomatoes & olive tapenade. Store remaining soup in sealed container in fridge for up to one week or freezer for longer storage (anything beyond a week). If you don’t think you’ll have the garnish ingredients the next them you serve the soup, add them to the soup before storing in fridge or freezer and allow them to mix in so their flavors aren’t missing from your next serving.

 

Black Bean Salsa Verde Tacos January 25, 2013

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Black Bean Salsa Verde Tacos
with avocado, grapefruit, & lime

After a long cold day, there are some nights when–as much as I love to cook–I really just want to pull something healthy and tasty out of the freezer to heat and enjoy. With high salt, additives, and other less than optimal ingredients in most frozen meals out there, I decided to make my own.

Pictured here are two of my own black bean salsa verde tacos from freezer to hot-on-my-plate in 3 minutes. Topped with fresh avocado slices.

Make your own!

Ingredients
Makes 12 tacos (6 servings)

-12 small corn tortillas
-3/4 lb dried black beans (soak overnight or at least 4 hours)
-2/3 cup frozen corn
-squeezed juice of 1 fresh lime
-1 fresh avocado or your favorite guacamole
-3/4 cup tomatillo salsa
-fresh cilantro to taste (unless you hate cilantro–some love it, some hate it)
-squeeze juice of 1/4 fresh grapefruit (optional)
– 1/2 scoop PlantFusion Unflavored Protein Powder (optional)

Method

1) Rinse beans and soak overnight (or at least 4 hours). Drain soaked beans and bring beans to a boil (using enough waters to cover the beans) then simmer for 1 hour until soft. Rise cooked beans and drain water.

2) Combine cooked beans and all remaining ingredients (except tortillas) in large bowl and blend with an immersion blender.

3) Take a few tortillas (3-4) at a time, moisten with just a few drops of water, and microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Scoop approx 2 tbsp of your puree into each softened tortilla so that it is full but can still close.

4) Wrap filled tortillas in wax paper to prevent from freezing together or space them out so that they do not touch within sealed tupperware that can be used in your freezer. Freeze tacos immediately to keep them fresh.

5) Take out your delicious tacos as desired, remove all wax paper, and heat on a microwave-safe ceramic or glass plate for 2-3 minutes until fully cooked.

6) Enjoy! I love to top them with fresh avocado or fresh tomatillo salsa.

 

Spiced Up Split Pea January 19, 2012

Picante Split Pea Soup topped with Ancho Chile Pepper and Daiya Vegan Cheddar Shreds

Picante Split Pea
with tomatillo & jalepeño

This is not your ordinary split pea soup. Adjust the heat to your desire by adding more or less of the hot peppers. Heat it up by the mug-full to satisfy your hungry. A mild soup get’s a little kick of savory flavor with the addition of some salsa verde. I used Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde with tomatillos and jalepeños here and have also made it using Trader Joe’s organic Tomatillo & Rosted Yellow Chili Salsa. Both were delicious and kept the soup quite mild.

Ingredients
Approximately 8 servings

-1 lb dried green split peas
-1 large yellow onion (chopped)
-1 12oz jar Salsa Verde
-4 green tea bags
-2 small organic yukon gold potatoes
-Approx. 8 cups water
-1 tsp or more Ancho Chile Pepper to taste (or Cayenne)
-3 gloves garlic (minced)
Daiya Vegan Cheddar Shreds (topping
Methods
Total time Approx 1 hour, Active Time Approx 30 minutes

1) Add 8 cups water to large pot and boil on stove top. Turn off stove once water has reached boil. Add 4-5 green tea bags and allow to brew for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse split peas and potatoes and begin to chop onion and garlic.

2) Remove tea bags, add rinsed split peas and cubed organic potatoes (about 3/4 cup cubed potatoes). Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium high heat and allow to simmer for 4o minutes. After 25 minutes add remaining ingredients: chopped onion, garlic, salsa verde, and chile powder to taste. Skim off the foam while cooking.

3) When split peas and potatoes become soft, turn off stove. Using an immersion (hand) blender, blend ingredients until smooth. Serve hot topped with a dash of chile pepper and a pinch of Daiya cheddar shreds.

Store in the fridge for up to a week or stash some in the freezer for up to 6 months. Nutrition Highlights: High fiber, high protein.

 

The Best Black Bean Soup January 10, 2012

Simple ingredients. Simply delicious.

The Best Black Bean Soup
with zesty salsa & avocado

They say black is slimming. When it comes to black beans these high-fiber, high-protein, low-calorie legumes can certainly do a body good. It won’t matter however, when you taste your first spoonful of this simple, natural combination of flavors you won’t need any further convincing.

Ingredients
Makes 8 Servings

-1/2 lb dried black beans
-4-5 green tea bags
-1 cup of your favorite salsa
-1 bunch fresh cilantro
-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 ripe avocado
– 2 tsp cumin powder
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-juice of 1 lime
-1/4 cup oat bran (optional)
Topping
daiya deliciously dairy free mozzarella style shreds
-Baked blue corn chips
-1/2 ripe avocado (divide into slices)

Methods
1. Overnight: Rinse dried beans and soak overnight (or for at least 4 hours) in large saucepan.

The next day...After soak, drain most of the excess water. You will lose some water-soluble nutrients in the water but you will also lose some of the raffinose (type of sugar found in beans) that causes the discomfort known to give beans their nickname as “the musical fruit.” The majority of the nutrient quality will remain and your guests will thank you for this measure.

2. In a separate pot, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Once the boil is reached, turn off the burner and add 4-5 green tea bags. Cover pot with lid and allow to steep until very strong (for at least 15 minutes- but leaving the brew longer is even better).

3. In a large pot, combine brewed green tea (remove tea bags) and beans and add water until beans are totally covered. Bring beans to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking for approximately 1 hour until beans are soft.

4. Chop onion and add to large saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil on medium high heat. Stir frequently until onions brown to a caramelized state (but do not become black and burnt).

5. When beans are soft, reduce heat to low and stir in cilantro leaves from one bunch, caramelized onions, 1 cup salsa, cumin, cayenne pepper, oat bran (optional), lime juice and 1/2 ripe avocado. Using an immersion (hand) blender, blend ingredients until smooth.

Serve hot. Delicious topped with baked corn chips, daiya dairy-free “cheese” shreds, and a few small avocado slices. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for months. Freezer tip: If freezing, use containers that will hold only a few portions each for easy future dining.

Nutrition Highlights: This 100% vegan dish is packed with nutrients and extremely filling despite its low-fat, low-calorie profile. Black beans are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals including folate, iron, and magnesium. The green tea is high in antioxidants which help protect cells against damage (including both heart damage and wrinkles). This soup is an ideal dish for helping to lower cholesterol; The beans and oat bran are very high in soluble fiber- the type of fiber that can bind to cholesterol carrying molecules in the blood and help remove these molecules. The avocado, which adds a delicious creaminess to the soup body, is high in monounsaturated fat- the “heart-healthy” type of fat that helps to raise HDL levels and lower LDL levels.