Soup seemed like the best idea to use up my thanksgiving leftovers. Thus came two soups: cream of butternut and whirled pea soup. I don’t know which one I prefer better, the creamy, nutty taste of the butternut or the spicy split pea. Try them both! Or try hosting a soup party. We did this once and it was a lot of fun and a perfect to get friends together before the holidays. Have everyone bring over a soup or an appetizer and dig in.
Cream of Butternut Soup
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup warm water
1 butternut squash, cubed
5 stalks celery, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. sage, (fresh or dried), chopped
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
Tempeh bacon for garnish, optional
Begin by placing the cashews and warm water into a blender. Puree until mixture becomes smooth, set aside. Heat a small amount of broth or 1 tbsp. oil and saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add carrots and squash and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add vegetable broth, curry powder and sage to the pot. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. With an immersion blender or stand blender, puree soup until creamy. Return back to pot and whisk in cashew cream. Continue to stir over low heat 5-10 minutes until cashew cream is incorporated and thickens the soup. Ladle into bowls and top with crumbled tempeh bacon.
W.P. Whirled (Split) Peas Soup
Split Pea and Seitan Soup
1 package dried green split peas (I’ve also used yellow. Use what you have on hand)
1 package seitan or homemade seitan
2-3 4 0z. cans chopped green chilies
4 carrots, sliced
3 celery ribs, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper
4 cups vegetable broth or water
In a stock pot, heat 1 tbsp. oil or broth and cook garlic cloves and onion until translucent. Add carrots and celery, stir and let cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Add peas, water or broth, spices and simmer for 1- 1 1/2 hours until peas are cooked and soup has thickened. Stir, add chopped seitan and cook an additional 20-30 minutes until seitan is heated through.
* For a creamier soup like pictured here: before adding the seitan, puree the soup in batches in a blender. Return to the stove and add seitan. Cook an additional 20-30 minutes.
I made this the day before Thanksgiving. It was easy, quick and of course healthy and satisfying.
Tofu with Sesame Soba Noodles
1 package soba noodles
1 block tofu, cubed
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup flour- for frying- use any kind you have available
4 tbsp. sesame seeds (black or white)
2 tbsp. sesame oil
1/8 cup nutritional yeast (optional but I love the flavor it adds to the tofu)
3 cups broccoli, raw or if frozen, thawed
1 1/2 cups chopped raw carrot
1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and toss hot noodles with sesame oil, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, and sesame seeds. While noodles are cooking, steam or heat in a large skillet the broccoli, carrots, and edamame. Toss the cubed tofu with the flour until well coated. Fry the cubes in a cast-iron pan or skillet sprayed with oil. Fry until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Toss the fried tofu with nutritional yeast and 2 tbsp soy sauce.
Combine the noodles, vegetables and tofu. Add more soy sauce if you’d like to taste.
Yum! The ultimate holiday indulgence… pumpkin cheesecake. Although this isn’t exactly calorie free, this recipe is much healthier than a traditional cheesecake. Most are made with 4 packages of cream cheese! I’m all for a treat or two over the holidays, but I prefer to make better for you items that are just as delicious as the “real thing.”
I made Morgans Pumpkin Buttera few weeks ago and was looking for a fun way to use some of it up. You don’t have to make the butter to enjoy this recipe, but I highly recommend it. Not only will you get to use it in this cheescake recipe, but you’ll also have leftover pumpkin butter to spread on other holiday fare.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Crust
1 cup gingersnaps, finely crushed
1 cup walnuts, finely crushed
4 tbsp. Earth Balance margarine, melted
In a blender or food processor, finely combine the walnuts and gingersnaps. Empty into a bowl and add the melted maragine. Quickly stir to distribute the margarine amoung the crumbs. Empty the crust batter into a 10″ springform pan and press crust into the bottom. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until set. Remove from oven and combine ingredients for filling.
1 1/2 cups Morgans Pumpkin Butter *
1 package silken tofu
1 8 oz. container tofutti cream cheese or other cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar or maple syrup
2 tbsp. corn starch or arrowroot powder
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine until creamy and smooth. Pour ontop of the crust and bake for 45-50 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Mine came out a bit cracked ontop but you can avoid this by baking in a water bath. Simply cover the seals of the springform pan with aluminum foil (so the water doesn’t seep in and make the crust soggy) and place in a larger baking dish filled a few inches deep with water. Bake as directed above.
*No time to make pumpkin butter? No problem. Just combine a cup of pumpkin puree with 1/2 cup sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and a touch of ginger. Process with the other filling ingredients.
Whenever I do cooking demonstrations or talks on whole grains, I try to push quinoa as much as I can. I LOVE this grain. I made this and the tempeh salad cups for fun Sunday lunch with friends. Nothing fancy, just a yummy herb dressing tossed with quinoa. I used red because I liked the color contrast, but any variety of quinoa will do. Remember to wash it before you cook it, otherwise it might taste bitter.
Red Quinoa with Herb Dressing
1 cup quinoa
Handful basil leaves, minced
Handful parsley, minced
4 springs thyme, minced
1 tsp. dried sage
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients together except quinoa. Bring 2 cups water to a boil, add rinsed quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10-13 minutes. Add warm quinoa to dressing and toss to combine. Good warm or cold!
Easy and Delicious!