Roasted Garlic and Vegetable Soup

I love soup. Hot, steamy, and healthy soup. Everyone at my school seems to be sick. There was something like 6 teachers out yesterday and who knows how many kids.  So with the slightest hint of a sore throat and something a little “funny” with my stomach, I knew I needed a soup night.  A hearty nutritious vitamin and mineral packed soup. I didn’t have a recipe but I knew I had a ton of veggies in the fridge that needed to be used and a craving for some roasted garlic. Here’s what I came up with…

Roasted Garlic and Vegetable Soup

1 head of garlic – wrapped in tin foil and roasted with the veggies

2 large potatoes, one zucchini and half an onion – all diced and thrown on a cookie sheet with salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Roast until a fork goes in easy.

Finely chop and saute carrots, onion, and celery until soft. Add 4-6 cups of vegetable stock, chopped spinach, a can of your favorite bean, frozen corn and bring to a boil.  Add in spices of your choice – I used Italian seasoning. And simmer till the other veggies are done.

I had some cooked grains in the fridge so I threw those in too! Then I took the roasted veggies and dumped those in – as well as the entire head of roasted garlic!! Garlic has immune boosting qualities, right???

All I can say is YUM! I ate a gigantic bowl and have a feeling it’s going to taste even better tomorrow. Sorry it’s not exactly a “recipe.” I threw in what veggies/grains I had. I think the roasted veggies and garlic take more time but are worth the extra effort. The garlic gives a delicious flavor. Happy cooking – let me know if you whip up a batch of your own!

Roasted Garlic and Veggie Soup

Meatless Makeovers

This past Sunday I attended Mimi Clark’s cooking class called Meatless Makeovers.  See the class description here. As usual Mimi’s class was filled with delicious recipes, tons of samples and coupons.  She skillfully veganized Baked Ziti, Chicken Parmesan, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Shepard’s Pie and more.   I intend to cook my way through the recipe packet in the next week or two. I’ll add photos to this post as I make them.  See the Baked Ziti below. The Ziti turned out pretty good….I think I’ll make a few tweaks next time I make it to suit our tastes, but overall a success!

Where I’ve been…

Working. That’s the short answer. I have been totally swamped with teaching and grading. I’ve also taken on a second job of tutoring in an attempt to earn more money. So I haven’t been cooking as much as I’d like.  We’ve been eating quick, not so balanced meals. I’m trying to be better.

For starters we had house guests recently who are not vegan and one thing I did for breakfast was make a Oatmeal bar.  I made a big pot of basic oatmeal and then put that out with a variety of toppings. It was easy and everyone loved it!!

Oatmeal Bar

We love LOVE pizza in our house and my husband is not vegan.  So that can make things difficult on pizza night.  Here is a photo of a compromise that happened one night a few weeks ago. It just makes me smile because it’s yet another example of how my husband and I are so different! We are the “opposites attract” theory in practice. That’s pizza hummus as a base on mine. It’s AMAZING!!!

Finally, it’s Halloween and I’ve been craving candy!! I happened to have some Sweet and Sara Marshmallows which I covered in vegan chocolate. Then I sprinkled some chopped pecans on top and the results were divine! I am having a hard time not eating them all…

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow candy

Dinner and Dessert

Tonight for dinner I ate a salad. (Cue the vegan “rabbit food” jokes!!) It was a hearty salad though and I had a veggie burger on the side so it wasn’t “just” a salad.  Both the hubs and I like fruit and nuts in our salad so tonight we had dried cranberries and both sunflower and hemp seeds.  I was seriously wishing for some avocado but we didn’t have any. 😦

I grew up eating dessert, so it’s no surprise to me that I want something sweet after dinner. Honestly I have a wicked sweet tooth so I could eat dessert anytime and not think twice! But since I have some serious weight loss goals for this year, I have to start thinking twice.  In the previous post I talked about the gingersnap sandwich cookies that I made.  These are change your life cookies.  So I thought twice… and ate one anyway.  I patiently waited while my chai tea steeped and then sipped my tea and ate my gingersnaps…yummmmmmm

I actually think I enjoy my food more and eat a more diverse diet now that I am eating vegan.

Cooking and Football

It’s become a bit of a tradition that Sundays are for cooking and football.  The Mr. watches football all afternoon and I cook/bake away in the kitchen.  I have come to really enjoy this time actually.  I don’t particularly enjoy football and my husband doesn’t really cook so it’s a time when we can both enjoy our hobbies.

In the recent issue of VegNews there is a recipe for Triple Threat Gingersnaps and I had been itching to make them since I saw the recipe. So this weekend I compiled all the ingredients and got to work.  The results were amazing and complete heaven. They are not fatfree so definitely a treat, but totally vegan! I left some without the creme filling but couldn’t resist the option to create a creme filled gingersnap sandwich. Divine. 🙂

For dinner I made a batch of Italian tomato white bean soup. I adapted a recipe I found in Cooking light awhile back. I made it vegan and added a bunch of kale, so I’m calling it Italian tomato kale soup. It was hearty and delicious. I used an immersion blender to puree it but this step is entirely unnecessary. I mostly do it to make the texture more appealing to the Mr. He neither likes beans or kale so I kind of have to hide them and make the flavor mask those ingredients.

I am still working on my food photography and my camera doesn’t always cooperate but I want to get as many pictures as I can on my blog to show how amazing and diverse vegan eating can be.

** Sorry I didn’t have the soup recipe ready yesterday when I posted but here it is! Cooking light is great resource for soup recipes, well really  all recipes. Often veganizing them only takes a few changes and the results are fantastic!

Italian Tomato and Kale Soup

You can substitute navy beans for the cannellini beans, if preferred.
Yield:  4 servings (serving size: 2 cups soup)

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 (16-ounce) cans cannellini or other white beans, drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon Italian seasonings
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper

1 bunch of green kale or spinach

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes and next 5 ingredients (tomatoes through pepper), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Wilt in the kale until cooked.  If you want – use immersion blender to puree for a “creamy” soup. Stir in the nutritional yeast.  Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

Adapted from Cooking Light recipe, OCTOBER 1997

Sunday Breakfast

I have been working on perfecting the vegan breakfast sandwich and this weekend I think I may have come close.  The savory salty goodness definitely satisfied my craving for an egg sandwich.  I didn’t have any vegan cheese so instead I took the marinade from the tofu and made a delicious gravy. The gravy ended up looking strikingly close to egg yolk so that’s what you see oozing out of the sandwich.  It was heaven. I can’t say it enough, it just tasted so good.

Vegan Breakfast Sandwich

I also made a batch of Cinnamon Swirl Muffins to snack on while I made the sandwiches. The sandwiches take a bit of work so it was good to have the muffins in the oven first so we could eat them while I constructed the sandwiches.  The muffins came out delicious. I adapted the recipe from Fatfree Vegan. Here’s the original recipe, see mine below.  I only made a few changes. I used brown rice syrup in place of agave, and added a hearty scoop of wheat germ for more nutritional bang.  I also used vanilla yogurt and vanilla soy milk for a more vanilla cinnamon flavor. So I’m calling mine Vanilla Cinnamon Swirl Muffins!!

Vanilla Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Vanilla Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds

2 tablespoons wheat germ
1/3 cup Vanilla soy yogurt
2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Vanilla soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown rice syrup

4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray – no liners!

Mix together dry ingredients (flour through wheat germ) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix wet ingredients (yogurt through brown rice syrup). In an even smaller bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.

Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until thoroughly moistened. Do not beat or overmix. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle each half-full muffin with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar and fill with remaining batter. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over each muffin. Take a toothpick or thin knife, insert it into the batter and swirl gently.

Bake for 17-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before serving.

I am still working on writing the Breakfast Sandwich recipe. I will post later when it’s done!

A New Name…

I decided my blog needed a new name.  The old blog was a good idea but really all I ever want to write about and discuss are cooking and eating!! And since I’ve really committed to eating vegan, I needed a tribute to that in the title.

I’ve imported in all the old posts about food and my vegan journey so if there’s something you liked, you should still be able to find it here.

Happy reading!