Quinoa, Sweet Potato, and Zucchini Soup. Easy, Filling, and Delicious! (And GF and Vegan!)

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Friends, today I’d like to share a tasty, easy, and hearty soup that’s been a a hit in my house. It’s easily made with whatever veggies you have a round the house and the quinoa makes it a great source of protein. Also, sweet potatoes are magical. Let’s just acknowledge that now.IMG_9223IMG_9229

What you need:

1 large onion, chopped

1-2 large carrots, chopped

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 inch piece of beautiful, gorgeous fresh ginger chopped

3 Tbsp Olive oil

1.5 cups quinoa

3 cups spinach, kale, chard, or whatever green you have on hand, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large zucchini, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes (I used a 15 oz can)

8 cups of water or low-sodium veggie broth

1 Tbsp cumin

1 tsp thyme

A dash of paprika to taste is also luscious in here

salt and pepper to taste.IMG_9222What to do:

Put the olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, carrot and sweet potato in a large soup pot on medium heat and sautee until soft and slightly brown. Once browned, add cumin and tomatoes. Stir for 1-2 minutes, then add water and bring to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa, cover and let cook for about 30 minutes until the quinoa is ready. Reduce heat and add the zucchini and let the pot simmer for a few minutes. Add greens and your salt and pepper just prior to serving.ย IMG_9219

This soup keeps very well in the fridge, but just remember that the quinoa will soak up some of the water during storage. I just add a little water right before reheating to keep it good and brothy. Eat up and enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Buckwheat + Cranberry = Magic (or just Buckwheat Cranberry Bars). Vegan, Gf, and Tasty!

IMG_9207Happy 2014! I feel like this is going to be a good one, friends. Granted, I did wake up with a body full of aches and angry sinuses, but let’s look on the bright side: It was a cold, not the flu. Nailed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

This year I want to try more, do more, see more, and get the nasty loose ends that I tend to have floating around all tied up. I want to spend time with the people that I really care about and enjoy what I have. The last couple of years have been a project in trying to live more simply, and that project is going to continue. It’s been a productive first week of the year and I predict it will only get better.

You may ask, what does this have to do with buckwheat cranberry bars? Absolutely nothing, except that I had cranberries and buckwheat and I wanted some bars. I’m just jamming here. Making something delightful with what I’ve got. With that in mind, enjoy and I hope you all have a happy, healthy, lovely-all-around year!IMG_9217

What you need for the base:

1.5 cups gf oatmeal

1/2 cup walnuts

3 Tbsp hemp seeds

2 Tbsp chia seeds

2/3 cup buckwheat flour

1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup (depending on the level of sweetness you like)

dash of cinnamon and nutmeg

2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

What you need for the cranberry topping:

1 package cranberries

3 Tbsp gf all-purpose flour

2-3 Tbsp maple syrup

2 Tbsp lemon juiceIMG_9201First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.ย For the base, combine all ingredients except buckwheat in a food processor or magic bullet and mix until a thick paste is formed.ย IMG_9202Once the paste is formed, mix with buckwheat as above. Spread into a loaf pan lined with parchment. Prepare the cranberry topping.IMG_9204Mix cranberries, syrup, flour, and lemon juice and spread over based.IMG_9206Next step: bake for about 40 minutes, until a fork comes out clean. Eat and enjoy!IMG_9210Noodles also wants to wish you a happy new year. He’d also like to get his grubby little paws on some bars. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_9199