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. 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! 🙂

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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. 🙂

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. For the base, combine all ingredients except buckwheat in a food processor or magic bullet and mix until a thick paste is formed. 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. 🙂IMG_9199

Buckwheat Chocolate Gingerbread. Festive, Gluten-free, and Vegan!

P1040410It’s holiday time again, my friends. How that happened, I know not. There’s something about the passage of time that shocks me literally every second. For instance, it’s now 10:21am. WHERE DID THE REST OF THE MORNING GO? I went for a long, long walk, made pancakes, and did some work and *poof*, the time is gone. Sigh.

Anyway, the festive spirit often eludes me because of this whole vortex of time issue. So, gingerbread.  🙂P1040395This gingerbread is spicy, chocolatey, and because of the buckwheat, it’s makes you a veritable tower of jollyness.P1040407What you need:

1.5 cups finely ground buckwheat flur

0.5 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (such as Bob’s or Arrowhead Mills)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

3 Tbsp chia seeds (mixed with 6 Tbsp warm H20 to form a gel. You could also use two eggs instead if you’re not going vegan)

1.5 cups almond milk or other non-dairy milk, unsweetened

0.5 cups grade B maple syrup

0.5 cups organic, unsweetened applesauce

3 Tbsp ground ginger

dash of nutmeg and cinnamon

1 85% dark chocolate bar, smashed to bits

2 Tbsp raw cacao, 1 Tbsp ground ginger, 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (all reserved for sprinkling on top)P1040398You guys all know my thoughts on buckwheat. To briefly reiterate: I love it.

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Whisk together chia gel.P1040399

Add all dry ingredients to a bowl. Add all wet ingredients to a bowl. Combine wet into dry, mix, and add chocolate chunks.P1040400When well combined, pour into a pan of your choosing, just remember, the thicker the layer of batter, the longer it takes to bake. I use a 9×13 pyrex dish lined with parchment and it made some nice-sized little slices. Also, parchment paper is so nice because there’s very little pan washing to do. For those of you who don’t know me, I really, really don’t like washing pots and pans. I don’t mind other dishes, but there’s something about a pot or pan that just puts me off yet I like making the messes. I know, I’m a weirdo.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, until a fork comes out cleanP1040403Put together your magic cacao, ginger, cinnamon dustP1040405Sprinkle that delicious fairy dust and eat, eat, eat! 🙂P1040417P1040408P1040416

Romesco Sauce, White Beans, Roasted Veggies for the Virtual Vegan Potluck!

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Hooray for another Virtual Vegan Potluck! It was such a blast participating in potluck last spring that I couldn’t pass up a chance to do it all again. So many incredible vegan recipes out there brought to you by some equally awesome bloggers and I’m proud to be a part of it!IMG_9171

For my entry, I present to you delicious, spicy Romesco sauce. It’s good with roasted veg, pasta, rice, crepes, pretty much most things. It’s also relatively easy to whip up is great at a party, not only for its mad skillz as a dip, but it’s a pretty great dancer too.

IMG_9191What you need for Romesco:

2 slices of gluten-free bread, pan-toasted in a little olive oil

2 large slicing tomatoes, cut in half and roasted

2 red bell peppers, cut in half and roasted

5-6 cloves of garlic, cut in half and roasted

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup pecans

1 handful italian parsely, chopped

3 Tbsp sherry vinegar

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp (or more, in my case more like 1 full tsp) red pepper flakes

Pinch of chili pepper

salt and pepper to tasteIMG_9154IMG_9158Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While heating, slice your tomatoes, peppers, and peel garlic cloves. Lay all on large baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, until soft, but not mushy.IMG_9156While roasting, toast thy bread to a lovely golden brown! Just make sure it’s in a non-stick skillet and with about 2 Tbsp olive oil. I used Essential Baking whole seed bread, but any non-glutinous (and non-sweet) bread will work. Focaccia would be primo!IMG_9157Gather the rest of your beautiful ingredients, such as lovely pecans. You could also use almonds or cashews here, but there’s something about the earthiness of pecans that I think really works.IMG_9168Put everything in a high speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. If you need more moisture, add 1 tbsp of water as needed, but it should be good, thick sauce. It’ll keep about a week in the fridge if you decide to make it beforehand.

Now, for the veg part! I apologize, because these photos were taken at night, which is always kind of a shame. What can you do? Seasons will be seasons after all.IMG_9152IMG_9160What you need:

1-2 shallots

1 bunch kale, chopped

1 handful white mushrooms, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

1/2 cauliflower head, chopped

1-2 potatoes, chopped

2 beets, chopped

1 head romanesco broccoli

2-3 tsp olive oil

3 cups cooked white beans (I used some baby lima lovelies) or 2 cans, drained and rinsed

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 10.32.08 PMWhat to do:

First, soak your beans for at least 6 hours, then cook until tender. The water in the pot with the beans should be about 3 inches above the beans, and cooking will take about 45 minutes. If using cans, just drain and rinse.

While the oven is still nice and hot, toss your chopped potato, cauli, beets, and romanesco with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread evenly on a large cookie sheet.

Place the shallots, zucchini, and mushrooms in a non-stick skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute until brown and tender, then add kale with a handful of water. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove lid of skillet and cook to desired level of tenderness.IMG_9196Once roasted veggies are done, toss with sauteed goodies then pour on your lovely romesco sauce. If you made it ahead of time just be sure to reheat it before putting it all together.IMG_9185 IMG_9172

Enjoy the rest of the potluck and happy cooking!!!!!

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Easy White Bean Soup. It’s everything bean soup should be: Warm, delicious, and full of beans.

IMG_9146Today I bring you another soup, my interweb friends. Our fall here in Seattle has been insanely good until literally November 1st, when one wicked wind storm blew all the leaves off the trees and brought back our rain. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s kind of nice to be all cozy like in the house, wearing the crap out of some sweaters, and simmering a little something on the stove. In fact I’ve got a big pot of chai base bubbling away right now and it smells epic. That, however, is not the recipe I want to share with you today.

Last night was a rainy, bone-chilling kind of night, and heading to the store sounded like pretty much the worst idea ever.  As such, this here soup was born. I don’t have more photos of prep because I honestly didn’t think it would be so good. IMG_9152Sweet baby lima beans are highly underrated (or lowly underrated). They’ve replaced great northern beans as my favorite white beans. WHAT?! YOU’RE SHOCKED! Just imagine how shocked I was when I realized that I actually spend enough time thinking about white beans to EVEN HAVE a displaced favorite. Yeah.

What you need:

2 cups white beans, soaked for at least 6 hours and cooked. (cans also fit in just dandy here)

3-4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 potato, chopped

1 can of whole, peeled tomoatoes (the big can, that is)

4 cloves garlic

1.5 inches of fresh chopped ginger

6 cups of water

3 bay leaves

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 – 1 cup chopped kale per bowl

IMG_9150IMG_9149To make:

If soaking and cooking beans, soak your beans in water, making sure they’re covered by at least 1 inch. Drain and rinse, then place in a pot with enough water to cover them by 3 inches. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook until tender, making sure not to cook to mush. Ain’t nobody got time for mush.

Place olive oil, onion, carrot, garlic, and ginger in a soup pot and saute until tender and slightly brown. Add potato and saute for another 5 minutes, adding some water to deglaze the pot as necessary.

Once soft, add your can of tomatoes and water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and add beans, herbs, and bay leaves. Simmer for about 10 minutes (or longer if needed). The longer it simmers, the more the flavors will integrate. Add salt and pepper to taste.IMG_9153When ready to serve, place chopped kale in the bottom of a bowl and ladle on over some of your hot, beany soup. Enjoy and stay warm!IMG_9143

 

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. It’s delightful AND autumnal.

IMG_9124It’s been a while my food-loving friends, and I apologize! Late summer was filled with travels and basking in abundant laziness with my Master’s degree finished. Sure, I’m working full time, but man oh man, days off are sweet when they don’t have to be full of lectures and papers. I’ve been cooking all the while, but haven’t felt much like taking photos or writing anything. After a long respite, I’m happy to share this tasty little dish with you all.

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Ooooh, fall. How I love your colors and many squashes.

This soup is very simple to make, filled with spicy and sweet notes, and smooth as butta (as in buttanut…). It’s great for warming up after a chilly day outside.IMG_9109

What you need:

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 butternut squash, halved and roasted

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large apple, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

3 tbsp curry powder

1.5 cups de puy, brown, or red lentils, cooked

4 cups water or vegetable broth

Salt and pepper to tasteIMG_9120

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prepare the butternut by slicing it lengthwise, removing seeds, rubbing with olive oil, and laying flesh down on a baking sheet. The roasting will take 25-30 min, but it’ll be done when it’s soft and the flesh side is browned.

At the same time, cook your lentils by adding 2 cups of water to a pot, bringing to gentle boil, and adding rinsed lentils. Cover and let simmer until tender.IMG_9121

While the squash is roasting, add the chopped garlic, onion, and apple to a soup pot with the olive oil. Saute until lightly browned, then add curry powder and brown for 1 more minute. Add the water or veggie broth to deglaze.

Simmer until the squash is ready, then chop the squash into large chunks (including the skin). Add squash to the pot. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth in batches (or use an immersion blender). Return blended soup to pot, simmer, and salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked lentils. Eat and be happy!IMG_9130

Summer Rolls! Fresh, tasty, fast, easy, and cheap! YES!

IMG_9085Summer in the PNW is the best. Days are long, luscious fruits and veggies are plentiful, and this has been a particularly sunny one so far. Warm days mean light fresh meals and one of our favorite summer dinners ins also one of the cheapest, easiest, and fastest things we make around here. Even better, it’s full of veggie goodness and can be based around whatever you have on hand for the most part.

IMG_9075Even just looking at the stuff that goes into it is nice!IMG_9081What you need:

Buckwheat noodles (if you’re doing this gluten-free)

Rice paper wrappers, about 3-4 per person

1 red bell peppers, sliced

1 carrot, sliced

1/2 cucumber, sliced

1 avocado, sliced

1 small head of green leave or romaine lettuce

1 package extra-firm tofu (I got mine at Trader Joe’s – the organic sprouted kind is so good!)

Handful of fresh cilantro

Handful of fresh basil

Hot (HOT!) water to soak the rice papers in

Peanut sauce!!!! – San J gluten-free peanut sauce is AMAZING!!!!!!IMG_9077Slice all them veggies just like you see here in this picture. Prepare your noodles per package instructions, normally about 8 minutes in boiling water will get them set.IMG_9083Soak a rice paper in HOT water. Add veggies, noodles, and tofu to taste, wrap it up and dip it in some peanut-y goodness. IMG_9087This one looks a little sad because by the time I remembered to take a picture, I was in a state of blissful unawareness of how badly my roll-making skillz had gotten. They’re just that tasty.

I’m Back! And With Chocolate Zucchini Bread (Gf, vegan, delicious!)

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Dear blogasphere, it has been waaaayyyy too long! I’ve been traveling, finishing up my degree (10 days to go!), leraning about the world of real estate, and getting  acquainted with my new clinic, and these last few months have flown. It’s been a trying summer in many ways, but a good one too.

So, now that life is finally settling a bit, I can get back to cooking and blogging. Hooray!

And with that, I present to you some lovely chocolate zucchini bread. Tasty, tasty, but not too sweet. And I won’t lie, it goes mighty nicely with a little vegan ice cream right on top. Or by itself. Really, whatever you do, as long as it involves eating zucchini bread, it won’t be a wrong decision. 🙂

What you need:

1 cup superfine brown rice flour

2/3 cup sweet sorghum flour

1/2 cup potato starch

3 Tbsp chia seeds (plus 6 tbsp water, all whisked into a gel)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup raw cacao

dash cinnamon

3/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened

11/2 cup grated zucchini

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IMG_9069What to do:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Mix chia gel and let sit for about 10 minutes. While that’s setting, sift together dry ingredients in one bowl and mix together wet ingredients, including chia gel, in a separate bowl.

Pour wet into dry and mix thoroughly and mix in zucchini shreds, then transfer to a greased bread pan.IMG_9071Bake for about 45 minutes, maybe more, until the a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. IMG_9072IMG_9074

Glooooooorious Morning Everything Muffins – Vegan, Gf, quick and easy!

IMG_9058This week I found myself with an abundance of beautiful zucchini, apples, carrots (I know, it was a good week). While I totally love those fine veggies in their natural form, I also am a huge fan of the veggie+fruit+seed muffin, and so it only seemed right to make some of that magic happen.

Also, excitement! I have 3 weeks off from school and the end of my degree is in 3 months. WOOOOOO! Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled programming.IMG_9044What you need: Makes 12 muffins

1 cup of buckwheat flour

1 cup of oat flour (gf oats)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup cacao nibs

1/3 cups pumpkin seeds

1 zucchini, grated

2 carrots, grated

1 medium apple, chopped,

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 6 tbsp water to form a gel (this is the egg replacer)IMG_9049Preheat to 350 degrees. Start by making your chia gel, it should take about 5 minutes to set. Continue by combining dry ingredients (I ground my own buckwheat flour and oat flour in my magic bullet) in one bowl. In another, combine the wet ingredients (including sugar, oil, and chia gel here).IMG_9053Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stir, and then add veggies, seeds, apple, and nibs. Stir until well combined.IMG_9054In a greased muffin tin, fill each cup.IMG_9057Place in oven and bake for about 20-30 min. When a fork comes out clean, your muffins are done!IMG_9061IMG_9060Enjoy! 🙂

Pom-Berry-a-Gogo Smoothie (gf, raw, vegan, and crazy tasty!)

IMG_9040Spring has finally sprung here in Seattle, and while smoothie season never really ends at my house, it’s definitely back in it’s fully glory. This is a little bit of a smoothie departure for me because it occurs to me that I tend to get an upset stomach and headaches after I eat more than 1 or 2 bananas per week. Does this make me sound a little kooky? Possibly. Does slowing down on the bananas make my head feel better? Absofruitly.

So anyway, this is a mango based smoothie made with the sweet, tart, magical elixir that is pomegranate juice. I’ve also been adding hemp hearts to everything lately, and between a little almond milk for added creaminess and the hemp hearts, there’s a delicious nutty flavor that pops up.IMG_9038What you need: (Makes two little smoothies or 1 Mandy-sized smoothie)

3/4 cup frozen mango chunks

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

a few frozen dark sweet cherries

1/2 cup of spinach

1-3 Tbsp hemp hearts depending on how hempy your dream smoothie is

1/2 cup of cold Pom juice (more if you like a thinner smoothie consistency)

about 1/2 cup unsweetened organic almond milkIMG_9037Now what?! Don’t worry, just put your goodies in your blender (or magic bullet, which I have linked to because I love this crazy little gadget and it’s an excellent choice when the infamous Vitamix is just a little out of reach price wise).IMG_9039Add the liquids and ready….set……….go! Er, blend!IMG_9042Partake of the sweet, sweet goodness that is your smoothie!IMG_9043IMG_9040