Cream Of Asparagus

The stuff my husband brings from farmers markets nowadays makes me want to shake the winter hibernation off with some fresh healthy recipes.  I know, right? What’s happening to me?!  Well, I guess all the things green and juicy and flavorful, and not kale are quite inspiring. Plus they are reminding that there is a slight (very slight, but…) chance of sunny days on the horizon, and low possibly (but still a possibility!!!) of a t-shirt-kind of day, and that perhaps we should get into a t-shirt appropriate shape!

Here is something healthy and delicious to celebrate the spring!

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Vegan Cream Of Asparagus

From While Chasing Kids | Soups | American

This soup is so creamy and smooth you would never guess it’s vegan!
Serves: 6

00:45
00:10
00:35

cal Calories 245kcal

Low fat Total Fat 8g

Low sat-fat Saturated Fat 1g

chol Free Cholesterol 0mg

High sodium Sodium 1030mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 39g

Serving size 419g Calories from fat 72kcal Fiber 8g Protein 9g Sugar 14g
6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 bunches fresh asparagus, chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 steam fresh rosemary
  • 6 cups lowsodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven and sauté cumin seeds for about 3 minutes till fragrant. Add garlic and onion, sauté, until onion is golden yellow. Add asparagus and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add cauliflower, cilantro, chopped rosemary leaves, and vegetable broth. Bring to boil and cook on medium low heat for about 25 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Pure soup in a blender. Pour the pure back into the Dutch oven and add lemon juice, salt and pepper, bring to boil and take off the heat.
  4. Serve hot; garnish with a few drops of vinegar and pine nuts.

Tips

  • Add cumin seeds for a slightly nutty flavor.

If you liked this recipe you may enjoy:

Quinoa salad

In Russia we say that the way to man’s heart goes through his stomach.  If that is true, the road to my husband’s heart is paved with vegetarian burritos, pizza, and this quinoa salad.

Quinoa_Salad_WM (1 of 1)

It’s perfect for winters when all you see at the farmers markets are chard and kale.  It’s so hearty, it could be served as your main dish.  We use whatever there is in the fridge – I chop up fresh vegetables that we like to eat raw and top them with cooked ones (doesn’t matter hot or cold). Voilà!

If only I had Dave’s taste buds and didn’t crave a dessert after this….

A very healthy dinner or lunch idea – this salad is a meal on its own

00:55
00:15
00:40

cal Calories 276kcal

High fat Total Fat 14g

Low sat-fat Saturated Fat 2g

chol Free Cholesterol 0mg

Low sodium Sodium 54mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 34g

Serving size 362g Calories from fat 126kcal Fiber 5g Protein 7g Sugar 7g
6 servings

Ingredients

  • salad
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rainbow quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 bunch kale
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 strings green onion
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus
  • 2 tbs pine seeds
  • dressing
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Wash brown rice and quinoa. Place the grains in the rice cooker, cover with water, and cook until done.
  2. Chop all the vegetables and cilantro.
  3. Saute or steam the vegetables you want cooked until tender
  4. Once the rice-quinoa mixture is ready, open the lid of the rice cooker and let it cool for just about 5 minutes.
  5. Make the dressing. Whisk all the ingredients together.
  6. Combine all salad ingredients and toss with the dressing.

Tips

  • This salad has no limits! Don’t waste anything in your fridge. You can use your favorite veggies and fruit, sprinkle nuts or seeds over it, and dress with your favorite salad dressing!

Minestrone with White Beans

While the food blogs are overtaken by sweets and flowers, and my own Valentine’s chocolate cake is sitting in the fridge awaiting the second coat of ganache; I decided to write about something less festive today. After all, most likely tomorrow is still going to be February; most likely – cold; and most likely you will be ready to jump back on a diet following the sweet Valentine. 

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/The recipe is adopted from Williams-Sonoma Italian Favorites/

 

 

Print this recipe

MINESTRONE WITH WHITE BEANS

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup dried cannellini beans
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 lb (500 g) canned tomatoes with juice
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cabbage, shredded
  • 1 ½ tsp dried basil
  • 1 ½ dried oregano
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley for garnish
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Yelds: 6-8 servings

DIRECTIONS:

Pick and rinse the beans.  Place in a bowl, cover with water and soak for about 4 hours.

Drain the beans and place in a saucepan with water to cover by about 1 inch (2.5 cm). Bring to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Warm the olive oil in a soup pot.  Add onion, garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add the stock, tomatoes, carrot, zucchini, cabbage, basil, oregano, sugar, and bay leaf.  Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.  Add the potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. Drain the beans and add them to the pot with the balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot, garnishing with parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Minestrone_Soup_WM-6The lazy version of this recipe is perfect for your crock pot collection.  Saute (or not) the onion and garlic, and dump all the ingredients but parsley and cheese in a crock pot, add 1.5 cups of water and cook on low for 8 hours.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Seeded Crepes

I may sound like someone who just found out about Windex, washed the room with it, and was surprised to discover that one of the walls was actually made of a see-through glass!  I’m ready to scream like the OxiClean Man!

What can I say? I am not into infomercials, and I didn’t grow up in this country.  In Russia my dad and I were the cleaning supplies of the household.   When moved to the States, I didn’t bother testing every product available out there… 

In true spring spirits, my mom and I have been into detailed cleaning.  Well, she has been playing with the kids, while I was muscling through dirt…  Dreading stove scrubbing, I went to Google, hoping for some magic solution (like tooth paste or nail polish remover) and was shocked to discover I’ve been missing on some serious chemicals! Eureka –after simple spraying and wiping I cannot recognize my kitchen! 

Life is good!  Life is even better when French-style vegan crepes are cooked on a sparkling clean stove!

Print this recipe

SEEDED CREPES WITH TOMATO-MUSHROOM FILLING (adopted from Vegetarian Times magazine)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbs ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 ½ cup almond milk, divided
  • 3 tbs raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • 2 tbs flaxseeds
  • 3 tsp poppy seeds

FILLING

  • 3 stalks fresh parsley
  • 3 large springs fresh oregano
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 tbs olive oil divided
  • 2 lbs button mushrooms, cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 6 tsp goat cheese (optional – skip for a vegan version)
  • Handful of sprouts of alfalfa sprouts
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Make crepe batter: mix ground flaxseeds with warm water and let rest for about 15 minutes.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour and salt, add olive oil, flaxseed mixture, and 1 cup of almond milk.  Once all ingredients are incorporated, mix in the seeds, cover the bowl, and let rest in the fridge for 30 min-24 hours.

Make filling: tie parsley, oregano, and bay leaf with kitchen twine to make bouquet garni.  Grease frying pan with 1 tbs of olive oil, and sauté mushrooms, onions, and garlic for about 10 minutes. Set aside.  Grease a pan with the rest of the olive oil, and sauté tomatoes with the bouquet garni in them uncovered, so that most liquid evaporates (for about 10 minutes).  Discard bouquet garni, and mix the tomatoes with mushrooms.

Make crepes: Preheat the oven to 200⁰F/90⁰C.  Preheat a crepe pan, remove batter from the fridge, and thin it with remaining almond milk.  Whisk well.  Pour about ¾ cup of batter on the pan, and bake for about 2 minutes on each side. Once the crepe is done, place it on a baking sheet, and leave in the oven until ready to serve.

 

To serve: lay a crepe on a plate, place filling in the middle, sprinkle with goat cheese and add sprouts.  Fold the crepe, and sprinkle it with fresh chopped parsley.

Bon appetite! 

 

 

If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy:

Chocolate-Orange Mousse

Another day and another attempt at guilt-free desserts.  This little chocolate fella was found on Handle The Heat last Friday, and immediately got my attention.  Today I put my skeptic hat on and decided to try the recipe.   To be honest, I wasn’t really planning on making a pretty mousse; I didn’t even believe there is a slight chance it would end up tolerable: never had a tofu dessert before, and always thought there was a good reason for that.

I just wanted to experiment how much chocolate you really need to kill that blah flavor of tofu.  The fact, that my husband is obsessed with dark chocolate, and we have Endangered Species stashed in every corner of our house, helped a lot – I felt no guilt in wasting one bar on a potentially tragic dish.    

Surprisingly, the amount specified by the original recipe was quite sufficient!  Furthermore, the dessert quickly passed Milton test!   Even my men liked it (the 3-year old only after he was… misinformed… that it was ice-cream)!  This chocolate mousse was  super easy to make and even easier to devour…   Hope you give it a try!

Print this recipe

CHOCOLATE-ORANGE SILK MOUSSE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (14-ounce/abt 400 g) package silken tofu
  • 4 ounces/abt 110 g extreme dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 oz/85 g chocolate wafer

DIRECTIONS:

Crumb the wafers in a food processor.  Set aside.    Using food processor’s grater attachment, grind the chocolate.

Boil the water.

Combine cocoa powder, grated chocolate, and water, mix well, till everything dissolves.  Add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract and mix till incorporated.  Add orange zest (this ingredient was suggested to be left optional by the Awesomest Neighbor).

Puree tofu in a food processor till smooth.  Add the chocolate mixture and blend till everything is well incorporated.

Assemble the mousse by layering wafer crumbs and tofu mixture in a cup.  Decorate top with a few left-over crumbs and orange zest.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Kale Salad

“Well, if you like burgers give ’em a try sometime. Me, I can’t usually get ’em myself because my girlfriend’s a vegetarian which pretty much makes me a vegetarian. But I do love the taste of a good burger.” 

I don’t even like them, but I was dreaming of a Big Kahuna Burger, as my husband turned all vegetarian on me last weekend.  Our good friend from Denver was visiting, and instead of barhopping with my man every night (like they always do when Jayson flies in), he brainwashed Dave on healthy lifestyle and hit every vegetarian joint in the area.

After long negotiations, we agreed that at least our weekend diet remains unchanged.  However, weekdays are vegetarian.  Ouch!  While mourning my beloved chicken, fish, and occasional beef, I got totally high on ice cream and chocolate. Which I think is a good start to any diet, since I cannot look at chocolate.. nah… more than 4 pieces of chocolate at once.

This Kale salad (Whole Foods recipe) was our first vegetarian dinner.  It turned out tolerable I suppose… The husband ate two bunches of Kale, and I didn’t turn green after eating a bowlful either.  I paired the salad with baked sweet potatoes, which complimented the dish very well. 

Print this recipe

KALE SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bunches kale, stems and tough ribs discarded, leaves very finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seed discarded, cubed
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, chili powder and salt. Add kale and avocado, toss to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Make ahead: this salad will keep well refrigerated in an airtight container for a couple days.

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