Happy Monday! Hope you all are enjoying your three-day weekend. I love weekends most when they are a combination of both productive and relaxing.
Saturday was very productive for us. Started out with a nice, long run around the city and spent the rest of the afternoon finalizing our lodging for Europe. We are still trying to figure out where to stay in Paris & Venice so if you have any ideas or suggestions,please let me know.
Sunday was a bit more relaxing, baking a bit in the morning and then hanging out with friends for the afternoon and evening. I am really looking forward to using today to finish running errands and prep meals for the week.
I can’t believe it’s already time for January’s Recipe Redux! I feel like only a week ago we were celebrating the holidays, and now it’s almost February.
This month’s theme is: “A Trend in Every Pot”, combing 2013 food trends in everyone’s favorite winter dish, soup!
I love reading all the predicted food and restaurant trends for 2013. I am happy to see that there is more of an emphasis on vegetables, especially vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Restaurants, if you’re listening- keep bringing on the inventive vegan fare. Nothing is more boring that pasta and red sauce or a grilled vegetable sandwich. Get crazy!
If 2012 was the year of Kale, then 2013 is slated to be the year of cauliflower. Great! Bring it on. I love cauliflower, whether it’s placed into tacos, pureed as a creamy base, roasted and tossed with pasta, it’s all good. Remember when mashed cauliflower became all the rage? My mom was on the south beach kick for a few years, and we ate a ton of mashed cauliflower. Ever since then I realized that cauliflower is so much more than a steamed side dish.
My favorite way to enjoy it is roasted with curry powder. You were warned that I’ve been on an indian kick lately, and thought it would be the perfect partner for this dish.
Roasted, spiced cauliflower, onions and shallots pureed with almond milk, more spice, and topped with sunflower seeds and cilantro.
The thing I most love about this soup? While it feels and looks like a heavy cream soup, it’s actually very light. Perfect for a light lunch, paired with a sandwich, or served as an appetizer for a fancy dinner, this soup will definitely be on trend for 2013.
Happy Tuesday! The worst part about being off for the holidays and then only working 3 days last week is that I feel very OFF. The weekend seemed like it came way too soon and it just doesn’t feel like a Tuesday. Perhaps a Thursday?
Did you have a nice weekend? Thanks to everyone who emailed and/or commented on the new 12 week running series! I am very excited to get this started. Did you use the weekend to start your goal? I went on a nice, long run on Saturday and a much slower one on Sunday, (thanks mostly to the new wine bar that we hit up on Saturday night). I hate feeling rushed in the mornings when I try to run and am always fortunate for leisurely weekends.
Have I mentioned to you that my mother is my BFF? I’m not even embarrassed to admit that I talk to my mom about 5 times a day, wayyy more than I talk to anyone else, especially BL. Does that make me weird?
I think it makes me cool (And maybe just a little bit weird). The best thing about this wonderful, obsessive relationship? Our conversations are 75% about food.
What are we making tonight? What did you eat today? Did you see that new product demo at Whole Foods on Saturday? No food topic goes untouched.
And really, my other relationship thanks me. I try, I really try to get BL to talk food with me. After years of silently and not-so- silent begging, I’ve given up. Why fight it? I have my wonderful, food-loving BFF Momma who thinks my 5th phone call that day about the right way to slice Brussels sprouts is completely normal.
A few weeks ago, while we were discussing curries, Triple D episodes, and Christmas cookies, she turned me on to this soup that she made over the weekend. Creamy, coconut Thai soup filled with vegetables and chicken.
Mmmm, sounds delicious. Bet I can make it healthier & veggie-friendly, which wasn’t too difficult to do.
So, thank you mother, for another fun project. Hope you enjoy my take on it.
Thai Coconut Soup
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 heads baby bok choy, thinly sliced
3 tsp. fresh grated ginger
3 tsp. green curry paste (or more. or less. it really depends on what brand you use and how much curry you like)
2 tsp. lemongrass paste (or 1 stalk finely minced lemongrass)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
12 oz. cubed firm tofu
1/4 cup thai basil (finely shredded)
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
2 cups vegetable brown
2 cups lite coconut milk
In a soup pot, heat 1/4 cup vegetable broth over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, garlic, carrots, celery, ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste.
Cook 8-10 minutes until fragrant and vegetables are soft. Add more vegetable broth if needed to prevent sticking.
Add soy sauce and brown sugar to the pot, stir. Add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Add bok choy, tofu, mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes until vegetables soften.
Reduce heat to low and stir in coconut milk. Taste- does it need more curry paste depending on the brand you used? Does it need more soy sauce? Adjust for taste. Stir in thai basil.
Pour into bowls, preferably over brown rice or noodles. Garnish with cilantro and a big squeeze of fresh lime.
Eat. Now, call you mother and tell her how delicious this soup was and how she needs to make it too. Enjoy the bond : )
Well, it is officially here, and I don’t mean just the holidays. I mean the time of year when everyone pulls out that special recipe, the traditional food that comes around just once a year. If you’re anything like my family, we pretend like we have never seen (insert food item of the day here) before and end up eating until we are stuffed, retiring to the couch, promising not to do that again tomorrow.
Well, even if you don’t celebrate the holiday food craze like my family does, I am sure everyone has a favorite side dish that is so indulgent, so wonderful, it must only be brought out on feasting days. As I was racking my brain for this month’s Recipe Redux theme- vintage family favorites- this recipe landed quite literally in my lap.
This soup, a knock-off of Olive Garden’s creation, was developed by a dear friend to both BL and my Momma-in-law. As Thanksgiving is only a day away, it’s the perfect time to stop and reflect on those people (and food, it’s OK to reflect on food right?) who mean the world to us. Rita, who originally crafted this wonderful recipe, prepared everything with love. Because she is no longer with us, what better way to pay tribute and honor the legacy of a woman so revered for her cooking than by re-creating one of her classics. Whether it was an extra half cup of this or a dash of that, she turned any recipe into her own.
Let’s get to it, shall we? Here is the Original Recipe:
Zuppa Tuscano Soup by Rita Mae Greisen
1# Italian Sausage or links
2 medium potatoes diced
¾ cup onion diced
6 slices bacon
1 ½ tsp minced garlic
2 cups kale leaves cut up
2 T chicken base
1 ½ quarts water
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp or 1 tsp red pepper flakes depending on how hot you like it
Cook sausage. Place onions and bacon in frying pan over medium heat and cook until the onions are transparent, add garlic and stir. Remove and crumble bacon. Put the water in a kettle and add the chicken base and potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Add all of the other ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes.
Clearly, a few changes had to happen. First, making it vegetarian. I swapped the Italian sausage for soyrizo. Don’t like or can’t find soyrizo? You can either omit it or sub baked tofu, tempeh sausage, or the like.
I also swapped out heavy cream for cashew cream, a simple trick I often do to mimic the taste of real cream without the extra cholesterol and calories. If your reading this and thinking “Cashew cream? Girl, you’re crazy”. Well, yes but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. While it may not be as low in calories as some other cream swaps, the mouthfeel and texture can’t be beat.
I also like things a tad on the spicy side. Whether it increases your metabolism or not, I notice that I eat less and feel more satisfied if food has a spicy kick to it.
I really, really enjoyed this soup. A perfect addition to my ‘I now make a soup every Sunday’ routine. BL enjoyed it too, although he said there was too much kale in it.
I simply looked at him and in my deepest, scariest voice said: “there is never too much kale.”
It is officially soup season! The chill in the air is finally, finally here and I am more than ready to break out my soup pot and begin making some fall meals. I cannot believe that it is already November 1st but I am a big fan of celebrating each transition of the seasons. We have spent the last few weekends apple picking, pumpkin carving, hiking, perfect ways to wind down.
I went to the farmers market without much of a plan and ended up choosing kale, spinach, and sweet potatoes for this soup. I love the hearty addition of sweet potato, and the bright orange and green make for a beautiful meal.
Broth based soups make for a filling meal for few calories. It’s also a great way to increase your intake of nutrient-dense vegetables. You really can’t go wrong with soup- I rarely have a plan and usually end up making up ingredients as I go.
Sweet Potato & Spinach Soup
1 bunch spinach, washed and torn into pieces
1 bunch kale, washed and roughly torn in pieces
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 large white potato, cubed
1 cup uncooked Acini Di Pepe pasta
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried oregano
8 cups vegetable broth
In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp. Earth Balance butter and 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, salt, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add potatoes, sage, oregano, cayenne pepper and another pinch salt/pepper. Cook for another ten minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the vegetable broth and reduce heat to low. Add Acini Di Pepe or other small pasta, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in spinach and kale during last 10 minutes of cooking. You want the greens to just be wilted, not overcooked.