Paprika Spiced Cauliflower Soup


INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 egg
1 ½ tbsp. Hungarian hot paprika
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
1 small head cauliflower, large stem removed, cut into florets
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Make the dumplings: In a bowl, stir together flour and salt; add 2 tbsp. butter, and using your fingers, rub into flour until pea-size crumbles form. Add egg, and stir until dough forms; refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Heat remaining butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add paprika and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock, cauliflower, and carrot; season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Using a ½-tsp. measuring spoon, portion out and drop all dumpling dough into simmering soup; cook, stirring occasionally, until dumplings are cooked through, about 3 minutes.

3. To serve, ladle soup and dumplings into 4 serving bowls, and garnish with parsley.

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The Ultimate Veggie Fried Rice


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 small carrot, diced (¼ cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (¼ cup)
  • 1 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, crumbled or broken up
  • 2 cups leftover vegetables, beans, etc., optional

1. Heat skillet over medium-high heat, and add oil. Sauté onion, carrot, celery, herbes de Provence, and salt 10 to 15 minutes, or until well browned. Add a little more oil if pan seems dry. Add cooked rice, and stir-fry 5 minutes, or until mixture is hot and well combined.

Per 1-cup serving:

  • Calories: 189
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Total Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 308 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 3 g

Banana Pudding….


Coconut milk beverage adds a hint of sweet flavor to this classic dessert.
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 4 Tbs. cornstarch
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 3 cups (coconut) milk beverage, such as Silk, divided
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 very ripe bananas, sliced
  • 48 (vegan) vanilla wafer cookies
  • (Nondairy) whipped topping for garnish, optional

1. Place sugar, cornstarch, and salt in saucepan, and gradually whisk in coconut milk. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-low heat. Cook 5 minutes, or until thickened, whisking constantly. Stir in vanilla, then banana slices.

2. Line bottom of 11- x 7-inch baking dish with 24 cookies. Spread hot pudding over top, making sure bananas are submerged to prevent browning. Top with remaining 24 cookies, cover with plastic wrap, and cool. Refrigerate until cold. Top with whipped topping (if using).

Eggplant Curry


This  version of Thai curry is made with “lite” coconut milk, which has the same flavor but one-third the calories and one-third the fat than regular coconut milk. For a milder taste, substitute green or yellow Thai curry paste for the red, or reduce the amount of red curry paste to 1 tablespoon. This curry is excellent on its own or spooned over basmati rice.
  • 2 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 10-oz. pkg. frozen peas
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 12-oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu
  • 2 (14-oz.) cans lite coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs. red Thai curry paste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant (1 ½ lbs.), cut into 1-inch cubes
  1. Wrap tofu in several layers of paper towels. Place in colander in sink. Set plate on top of wrapped tofu, then weigh down with large, heavy can (such as a can of tomatoes). Let stand at least 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, shake cans of coconut milk well, then open. Pour 1/2 of 1 can into large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in curry paste until well blended. Add onion, eggplant and bell pepper, stirring well with rubber spatula (to prevent breaking tender eggplant during cooking) and scraping bottom of pan.
  3. Add remaining 1 1/2 cans coconut milk, sugar, vinegar, tamari and salt, stirring with spatula to mix well. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
  4. Unwrap tofu and cut into bite-size cubes. Add to curry mixture, stirring with spatula to mix. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add peas and warm through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Twice Baked Potato Bites


Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. red new potatoes (about 14), halved
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup (vegan) chive and garlic cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives, plus more for garnish  

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each potato half so they rest flat. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil; season with salt and pepper, and arrange bottom side down. Bake until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on sheet.
  2. When the potatoes are cool enough, scoop out about a teaspoon from the center of each potato into a medium bowl. Add cream cheese and chives, and mash; season with salt and pepper. Stuff potatoes with filling. (To store, refrigerate stuffed potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, up to 1 day.)
  3. Bake potatoes at 450 degrees until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Garnish with chives.

Sesame-Ginger Steamed Broccoli


No steamer basket required for this recipe. A modest amount of liquid in a standard skillet steams the broccoli to perfection.

  • 1 lb. broccoli, cut into medium florets (6 cups loosely packed)
  • 2 Tbs. mirin or sake
  • 1 Tbs. tamari
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds

Place broccoli, mirin, tamari, ginger, oil, and 1/4 cup water in large (2- to 3-qt.) skillet. Cover, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Steam 4 minutes, or until broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender. Sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds.

Per 1-cup serving:

  • Calories: 57
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Total Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat: <1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 264 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 1 g

Emerald Veggies with Honey-Sesame Dressing


A bamboo steamer is used to lightly cook an assortment of vegetables that are then tossed in a dressing with ground, toasted sesame seeds.

  • 1 medium bok choy, separated into leaves (¾ lb.)
  • ½ lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1 cup small broccoli florets
  • ⅓ cup hulled sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs. low-sodium tamari
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar

1. Set bamboo steamer over 1 inch simmering water in large skillet. Fill medium bowl with ice water.

2. Arrange bok choy leaves in steamer. Cover, and steam 5 to 6 minutes, or until leaves turn bright green. Plunge bok choy into ice water. Drain, and pat dry. Slice, and transfer to serving bowl.

3. Arrange green beans in steamer. Cover, and steam 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove with slotted spoon, plunge into ice water, then drain, and pat dry. Cut into 1-inch pieces, and add to bok choy.

4. Arrange broccoli florets in steamer. Cover, and steam 3 minutes, or until tender. Plunge into ice water, then drain and pat dry. Add to bok choy mixture.

5. Toast sesame seeds in small skillet over very low heat 5 minutes, or until golden, gently shaking pan often. (Watch closely—seeds can scorch quickly.) Grind toasted seeds with mortar and pestle or in food processor until just flaky, about 12 seconds. Transfer ground seeds to small bowl. Stir in tamari, honey, vinegar, and 1 Tbs. water. Toss vegetables with sesame seed dressing.

If you don’t have a steamer, you can blanche the vegetables for the same length of time for the same effect. 

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 127
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Total Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: <1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 417 mg
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 7 g

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly…. the Banana


Americans like their bananas, eating more than 10 pounds per person a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Like other fruits, bananas make a healthy addition to your diet. They are a good source of energy and contain nutrients that keep your body healthy.  Bananas are packed with benefits for your body, and they make a convenient snack for any time of day. Bananas may even be good for your brain and help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. They benefit athletes, too, since they can help prevent muscle cramps

Nutritional Highlights…

One medium-sized banana contains 110 calories. Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. Each banana holds about 3 grams of fiber, which is 12 percent of your daily requirement. Bananas contain the minerals potassium and manganese. They also contain B vitamins, including folate, riboflavin and niacin. They’re a particularly good source of vitamin B-6, which helps produce antibodies and hemoglobin while maintaining healthy nerve function and blood glucose levels. One medium banana contains 15 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Potassium is required for healthy functioning of your nervous system and muscles. If you’re deficient in potassium, your muscles can get tired and weak, and you may experience painful cramps.

Medicial Highlights…

In a study published in the “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture” in 2014, scientists investigated the effect of bananas on glucose levels. In an animal study, they induced diabetes — a condition of glucose levels being too high — and then gave the rats banana extract. They concluded the banana extract hindered carbohydrate absorption, which has an anti-diabetic effect. But the effects of eating bananas on diabetes in humans hasn’t been examined. In another study on rats, published in the “Journal of Dietary Supplements” in 2009, scientists found that banana flavonoids lowered levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids and fatty acids. This effect hasn’t been tested in humans.

Simple Garlic Confit


Garlic confit, a silky, spreadable condiment, relies on a French technique for gently poaching peeled whole cloves in oil or fat. The process caramelizes the cloves and concentrates their sweetness while infusing them with the oil or fat that renders them rich and creamy.

MAKES ABOUT 2½ CUPS

INGREDIENTS
2 cups canola oil, lard, or rendered chicken or duck fat
1 cup garlic cloves, peeled

INSTRUCTIONS
Simmer oil, lard, or fat with garlic cloves in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-low; cook until garlic is tender, 35–40 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Anything can be made into a confit, even carrots. The process is the same as outlined in this simple recipe, just replace the garlic with whatever you think sounds good.

Flavored Salt…


Just a quick salt recipe. These are easy to make with whatever flavor you want to incorporate. It will help elevate your food and provide an extra layer to your flavor profile. Here is my favorite

Porcini Salt
1 handful of dried porcini
1 large handful of sea salt

Blitz a handful of porcini mushrooms up to a fine dust in a spice grinder or food processor then add in an equal amount of sea salt and give it one final blitz. Store in an airtight container.