Garlic and Greens Soup

1 bunch Swiss Chard, stems chopped

1 bunch Kale, de-stemmed and chopped

1 bunch Mustard Greens, de-stemmed and chopped

1 bulb of garlic, whole peeled cloves

1 cup chopped Carrots

1 Leek, chopped

1/2 cup Basil, fresh

pinch nutmeg

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1-3 Tablespoons Nutritional yeast

fresh ground Black Pepper and Sea Salt to taste

Veggie Broth (8 cups)

Throw everything into a large pot and bring to a boil.  Once boiling lower heat to medium/medium low and let simmer covered for 1-2 hours.  The lower the heat the longer this can sit on the stove.  After an hour or so, use a hand/immersion blender to puree all solids.  If you do not have an immersion blender you can pour the soup into a blender in batches until it is all pureed.  Serve immediately or store for later use.

This is an extremely easy and healthy recipe which I often like to use to jump start my spring cleanse.

Vegan Peanut Butter Bars (No Bake!)

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Courtesy of Detoxinista who creates amazing healthy recipes that taste exactly like their unhealthy counterparts 🙂

Ingredients:

Crust:
3/4 Cup Almond Meal/flour
2 Tbsp  Maple syrup
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
2 Tbsp Cocoa
Pinch Sea Salt

Filling:
1/2 Cup Creamy Natural Peanut Butter
Pinch Sea salt
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
3 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup

Candy Coating:
1/4 Cup Raw Cocoa
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted

Supplies:

Parchment paper (which is NOT wax paper)

small dish or pan (I used 8×8 doesn’t matter the type)

1 or 2 mixing bowls

spatula

whisk

spoon

**Note: this calls for melted coconut oil, not the solid form it usually takes in colder months/climates/environments.  If you need suggestions for how to melt your coconut oil, you can find many of them online.  Some suggestions include putting the coconut oil container in hot water, melting it in a pan on the stove top, placing the jar on the oven when it is in use etc.   Coconut oil will turn liquid around 76 degrees, so on a warm day you can just set it out in the sun, and on a cold day your heater may very well do!  I simply took a microwave safe container and nuked the oil for 10 seconds at a time until it was fully melted, but I image there are other healthier methods.

Made in three easy steps!

1.  Place parchment paper in bottom of pan or dish.

Combine ingredients for Chocolate Crust in a medium bowl.  Mix until texture of “crust” is consistent and lump free.  It should somewhat resemble a ball of gooey dough.  Scoop into parchment paper and flatten evenly to cover the bottom of the dish.  If you are using your hands a bit of the coconut oil will keep the crust from sticking to you!

Once in place put entire dish in freezer and start on step 2!

2.  In the same or different bowl, mix ingredients of peanut butter filling until well combined.  Remove dish with crust from freezer and pour peanut butter filling on top of chocolate crust.  Using a spatula spread evenly and return dish to freezer.

3.  Wash bowl or take a clean one out to make chocolate candy coating.  Combine all ingredients and whisk into a smooth chocolatey sauce.  Pour sauce on top of the peanut butter filling and return to the freezer for an hour or two to let the three layers set together.

Once time has elapsed you can remove these from the freezer and cut into small bars or squares.  The author recommends storing them in the refrigerator for short term enjoyment or in the freezer for a longer period of time.  I did not have any left over, so I don’t know how well they last at room temperature, but you can certainly experiment should you find yourself lucky enough to have left overs!  Next time I want to incorporate these into some ice cream….  Stay tuned for that recipe!!!!!

Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

I totally FAILED in getting a picture of this super yummy salad, but that might just tell you how delicious it tasted!  It was gone before I could document it!  You can eat this on its own, as a dip, wrapped in greens, or spread on your favorite sandwich.  However you enjoy it, it is tasty, filling and energizing!

I adapted this from two recipes, one at thekitchn.com and PostPunkKitchen.com, because they were so similar!

 

2 Cups Chickpeas (I used dry, but if you use canned please drain and rinse)

1/4 cup or so Mayonnaise or substitute

1 Tbsp Brown Mustard (recipe calls for whole grain)

1 1/2 Tbsp Umeboshi Vinegar (which is easier to find than you’d think and really makes the taste of the whole salad)

2 Tsp Celery Seeds

1 rib Celery chopped

1-2 Scallions, chopped

pinch Cayenne Pepper

Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Hey:  If you really want to simplify things throw everything in your food processor and let er rip.  Once things reach the texture you like, you’re done!  If you like to have a smoother less chunky salad, follow the steps below…

Step 1:

Place Chickpeas into food processor and pulse until beans start to break down.

Step 2:

Add all other ingredients and continue to pulse until well combined and the texture you like.

 

Eat or store, and enjoy!  I ate this with other salads, on its own, and wrapped in kale!

Spring Macrobiotic Bowl

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Ginger Dressing (recipe here)

Boiled Chickpeas with Kombu

Greens sauteed in Garlic and Ginger (recipe here)

Avocado, sliced

Carrot, shredded

Radish, shredded

Quinoa (boiled in vegetable broth)

Shitake Mushrooms, pan fried (for tips see this recipe).

 

A macrobiotic bowl is a dietary staple of the macrobiotic diet which aims to create balance.  I am not going to go into the theory behind the diet but you can read more here.  This is MY VERSION and may not be an accurate macrobiotic bowl as I did not include any fermented ingredients, which are a true component of a macrobiotic meal.  I also did not use a ton of seaweed in this recipe (only with the chickpeas and as a condiment on top) so please do not treat this as a true macro dish.  However it is vegan and does have the major components of a macro bowl: Greens, grains,  & veggies so this is my variation upon the theme, and can really be made of any veggies, beans or grains that you like.  I like ginger miso dressing, but lots of people prefer Tahini or simply Soy Sauce.  I encourage you to do your research if you are new to this dish to see the creative possibilities!

 

A few notes on my preparation:

*I used dried beans instead of canned which are way healthier for you for so many reasons  When using dried beans you need to let them soak in water for at least 12-24 hours, then drain them and boil.  I boiled my chickpeas with kombu for added flavor and to infuse the seaweed’s nutrients into my chickpeas.

*I cook my quinoa in veggie broth.  The only difference from how you’d normally cook it is that I use broth instead of water, which adds a bit more flavor.

*The more color the better!  You know you’ve got a balanced macro platter when every color of the rainbow is represented!

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Savory & Detoxifying Mushroom and Kale Soup

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6-8 Cups Veggie Broth

1 Medium Onion, diced

1 clove Garlic, pressed

3 Stalks Celery, diced

3 Carrots, sliced

1 bunch Dinosaur Kale, de-stemmed and cut into bite sized pieces

2 packages of Shitake Mushrooms

1 package Crimini Mushrooms

1-4 Tbsp butter or high heat oil for frying

Fresh ground pepper and sea salt for taste.

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Part 1: Fry the Mushrooms

Pan fried mushrooms have a wonderful smoky woodsy taste that I wanted to infuse into my soup!  Instead of washing my mushrooms I have started to wipe them clean with a damp paper towel, to reduce the overall amount of moisture they are exposed to (since they create so much of it on their own!).  Once wiped clean, remove the stems from the shitakes and leave whole.  Slice the crimini’s  (1/8-1/4 “) thickly so that they can be fried flatly, and proceed to cooking your shrooms.

Now place a large pan on medium high heat and use butter or high heat oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Let the butter or oil heat and then place mushrooms in pan with a lot of room to sizzle.  Cook mushrooms for 3-5 minutes on either side until they begin to carmelize and darken.

Cook mushrooms in batches until they are all browned and tasty.  Make sure the pan continues to have enough oil, and that you give all mushrooms enough room to cook properly.  Take a minute to enjoy the aroma of all these lovely cooked mushrooms!

After cooking let sit to cool and de grease on paper towels.  Then either store for later cooking or chop up to prepare for soup making.

 

Part 2:  Make the soup!

Place 1 tbsp butter or oil in the bottom of a large soup pot placed over medium medium heat.  Once butter melts add Onion and Garlic and let cook for 3-5 minutes until aromatic.  Then add Carrots and Celery and cook for another 5 minutes stirring to prevent sticking and to coat all veggies with butter.

Once veggies start to cook through add mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes.  Then add broth and bring to a boil. Lower temperature to medium, add Kale and let soup simmer for 20-30 minutes covered.  Once all veggies are cooked through soup is finished!

 

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!  This soup has a savory and filling flavor while being light, detoxifying and so healthy!  Yum.

 

 

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Broccoli

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3-4 Tablespoons Salted Vegan Butter (or real butter if you prefer)

1 bunch Scallions, thinly sliced

3 cloves Garlic, pressed

1 pack Cremini Mushrooms, sliced

1 pack Shiitake Mushrooms, stems removed and sliced

2-3 cups Broccoli Florettes, separated

2 stalks Celery, sliced

1 Carrot, sliced

1 cup Cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed & drained

4 cans Veggie Broth

1/2 Cup of dried Shiitakes, soaked in 2 cups water to add to broth

1 Tablespoon ground Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground Thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried Rosemary

1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke

fresh ground Pepper and Sea Salt for taste.

 

Step 1: Soak Cashews overnight in preparation.

Step 2: Soak dried Shiitakes with 2 cups warm water in a small bowl and let sit for at least an hour.  Do not drain, as the entire bowl will be added to soup!

Step 3: Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat.  Add Scallions and Garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes until fragrant.  Add Cremini and fresh Shiitake mushrooms to pot and saute for another 3-5 minutes.  Then add Carrots, Celery and Broccoli and Saute for an additional 7-10 minutes until all vegetables have started to cook through.

Step 4: Add 4 cans of Broth, Shiitake water and rehydrated Shiitakes to the pot.  Add seasonings and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add drained Cashews and lower heat.  Allow pot to simmer covered for 30 minutes to an hour.  Everything is likely cooked through at this point, but if you prefer to let your flavors simmer longer, feel free to.

Step 5: Once cooking is done, remove from heat and use immersion blender to puree.  If you do not have an immersion blender, you can place your soup in a blender in batches to puree.  You can probably also eat this soup as it is, although I would imagine that the soup tastes better with the Cashews as a part of the broth rather than in the soup… but you can do whatever you want!  That’s the beauty of cooking, just because there is a recipe does not mean that you have to follow it!  Get creative!

 

 

Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad With Hazelnuts, Pears, and Cranberries

Kale Salad with Brussles Sprouts, Pear, Hazelnuts, and Cranberries

Kale Salad with Brussles Sprouts, Pear, Hazelnuts, and Cranberries

 

 

1 bunch Kale

2 Cups Brussels Sprouts, thinly sliced

1 medium Pear, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 Cup Hazelnuts, roasted lightly and roughly chopped

1/3 cup dried unsweetened Cranberries

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Sea Salt and fresh ground Pepper

From Mind Body Green

Step 1 Wash and dry Kale.  Remove the middle stem and rip into bite sized pieces.  Place Kale in a large bowl and massage for 2-3 minutes until noticeably darker in color and softer in texture.

Step 2 Toast Hazelnuts in toasted on light until slightly browned.  Make sure to watch Hazelnuts as they toast as they can burn quickly.  Once toasted chop roughly and add to bowl with Kale.

Step 3 Add Cranberries, Brussels sprouts, chopped Pears to Kale and Hazelnuts and mix well.

Step 4 Whisk Olive Oil and Vinegar together with Salt and Pepper.  Then add to salad bowl and mix well so that all veggies are coated with dressing.

Serve and Enjoy! So easy, simple, and yummy!  I eat this as a side salad at dinner or for lunch and it lasts for a few days in the fridge.

Raw Vegan Fudge Brownies (GF too!)

Raw Vegan Fudgey Brownies

Raw Vegan Fudgey Brownies

2 Cups Walnuts

1 Cup Medjool Dates, pitted

1/2 Avocado, cut into small chunks

2 Tbsp raw Honey

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

1/4 Tsp Almond Extract

1/2 Cup raw Cacao Powder (unsweetened)

Pinch of salt

adapted from livesimply.

Step 1 Place nuts and dates in a food processor and pulse until well processed.  Add all other ingredients and process until the mixture becomes dough like.

Step 2 Roll dough into balls or cut into squares.  For squares spread flat and even into the bottom of a pan, and allow to set for a few hours before cutting.

I found that there was some excess liquid that I needed to allow to drain off and dry out overnight before serving.  I coated the bottom of a rectangular baking pan with the brownie “dough” so that it could sit, solidify, and so I could remove the liquid.  In the future I plan to play with the recipe to remove this liquid!

Update:  I just made these without the Coconut Oil and found that they were perfect in consistency and way less liquid-y.  I also ended up using half raw honey and half maple syrup based upon what I had in my kitchen and it worked well, so substitute away… Up next raw ginger snaps!!!

Lentil Soup for a Cold Winter Night!

1 pound lentils

1 large leek, sliced into slivers

3 carrots chopped thinly

3 celery stalks sliced

3 plum tomatoes, diced (should be about 1 cup)

Veggie broth or water

Salt

Pepper

1 Bay Leaf

1 Tsp Cumin

1 Tsp Liquid Smoke

1. Rinse lentils well in cold water and pick through to remove any stones, dirt or other debris.

2.  Place in a large pot covered with 6 inches of water and add bay leaf.

3.  Bring to a boil, skim off foam (if there is any), lower heat and simmer at low heat, partially covered, until lentils are tooth-tender (20-30 minutes)

4. Add Carrots, Celery, Leeks, Cumin, and Liquid Smoke (as well as any other spices you wish to get creative with!), and cook for another 20-30 minutes partially covered until carrots are tender.

5.  Add diced Tomatoes, Salt and Pepper and simmer at medium heat, partially covered, until lentils become creamy and soft, stirring to prevent sticking.

6. Remove bay leaf, add vinegar if you like, and serve with crusty bread!

I love lentil soup and find it to be the most comforting thing on a cold night!  I failed again at photographing this soup so forgive me, but know that it is so tasty!

Adapted from Dr. Andrew Weil

CSA Salad!

Instead of sticking with what I like and am used to, this CSA is forcing me to try some new veggies in new ways.  Some days I just want to keep it simple and so I have been adding all kinds of raw veggies to my daily lunch salad.  I realized that this entire salad (except the cherry tomatoes which are organic) is from my Neighborhood Farms CSA share.  Hooray for local, organic and delicious.  You can make a salad out of anything if the ingredients are fresh and of good quality!  YUMMY, simple and easy (not to mention nutritious).

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1/2 Zucchini sliced to be bite sized

8-12 organic cherry tomatoes whole

2 easter egg radishes in match sticks

1/3 cup shelled fresh peas

1 cup mixed baby lettuces

use dressing of choice and enjoy!