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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spicy Chickpea and Rice Soup

Allen made this soup for dinner last night.  And today, only one day later, I made a recipe card--because this is going to be a monthly staple at our house.  I don't know when I have tasted better soup.  It was so delicious and satisfying and flavorful and different.

This is why some people rhapsodize about soup!  It can be the best meal of your life!

It doesn't hurt that it's a pretty darn healthy vegetarian soup, either.

A couple things: we couldn't find any harissa paste, so we didn't use any.  The original recipe called for bulgur wheat instead of brown rice.  Again, none to be had in our small town.  And we used sour cream in place of creme fraiche.

So yummy.  I had a huge bowl for lunch today and wished there was more.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Coconut-Vegetable Curry (with optional shrimp)

This is a vegan recipe, and is also salt-free and contains only 1 tablespoon of oil (coconut oil, which is pretty much the healthiest fat in the world).  If you are not a vegan, you can add some protein and flavor by including shrimp--which always pairs well with coconut.

I prepared my brown rice in my rice cooker (3 cups brown rice + 5 cups water) with a whole tablespoon of Mrs. Dash (garlic and herb blend) and it was a lovely alternative to salt.  I prefer it, in fact--it made my house smell heavenly while it cooked.

The dish is aromatic, savory, and spicy (but not HOT spicy--just herb-spicy), and is very forgiving if you substitute whatever veg you have on hand.  The first time I made it, I used broccoli instead of red bell peppers, and it was delicious.

In addition to being absolutely yummy and satisfying, it's also ridiculously healthy.  Bonus.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

This is, hands-down, my favorite vegetarian meal.  It is hearty, filling, and every bite is delicious.  It also happens to be salt-free and oil-free, but is still super flavorful comfort food.  Cooking the quinoa in vegetable broth is a must!  It gives the whole dish a much richer flavor.  

Allen and I have been adhering to a (pretty much) vegan diet since January began (we have been having fish once a week, and eggs every Sunday morning).  It's been tough (especially the first two weeks), but food like this makes it easy!  I have made these stuffed peppers every single week, because it's a vegan meal that I could eat every night and never get tired of.  Cilantro and lime juice is my favorite topping, but spinach and salsa is also delectable.  The original recipe called for CANNED corn (gross), but it is an easy (and healthier, and cheaper, and delicious-er, I might add) fix to use a cup of frozen corn instead.

This is the first time I have ever used "nutritional yeast" in a recipe, and though the name is totally unlovely, it's a pretty delicious substitute for cheese.  From Wikipedia: 
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast . . . in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. It has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is often used by vegans in place of cheese.
But you do not have to be a vegan to enjoy these scrumptious stuffed peppers!  However our diet changes in the future, this recipe is going to remain part of my weekly repertoire.
You can't really beat avocado and cilantro.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dr. Fuhrman's Walnut Vinaigrette

This is for YOU, my vegan friends!  No animal products dressing!  It's also gluten-free, oil-free, and salt-free.  I'm sorry if you have nut allergies--it's not nut-free, alas.  (***Sidenote: you can substitute almonds or cashews to taste, or if you have allergies to walnuts only***)
But let's say you are not a vegan, and you love creamy, zesty dressings on your salads and other foods . . . this dressing also happens to be utterly DELICIOUS.  And delicious is the number one requirement for a recipe to make it to this site.  The fact that it's totally healthy is just a really great bonus.

Raisins make it sweet, the walnuts make it--well, nutty, the balsamic vinegar gives it some bite, and the mustard and garlic smooth out the entire dressing and add a warm, mellow flavor.  An Italian seasoning blend works just fine in place of thyme.  
I store the dressing in an Adam's Peanut Butter
jar and keep it in the fridge.  It'll stay fresh for
a month in an airtight container.
It's January!  Back in the saddle!