Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

I've never been struck by pumpkin fever like everybody else during the fall. I suppose having crappy pumpkin pie as a kid (read: not vegan, all processed) turned me off to all things pumpkin. This year I rediscovered the magic of pumpkin through many different preparations and was intrigued by the concept of making a pumpkin smoothie for breakfast. I drink smoothies 3-4 times a week as my first meal of the day and the nutritional value of pumpkins made this an easy choice to mix up my repertoire. It might seem weird to add salt to a smoothie but it's key in bringing out the rest of the flavors, trust me.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1 can refrigerated organic pumpkin
2 frozen bananas
2 cups non-dairy milk
1/2 cup So Delicious vanilla coconut yogurt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash of salt

1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Drink immediately.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 16oz smoothies

Chick Pea Rice Soup

Every once in a great while you find yourself with leftover rice in the fridge but no craving for a stir-fry. What is one to do?! Why create a soup, of course! Most of my recipes are born out of random ingredients laying around in my fridge, like half a can of tomato paste, a handful of fresh herbs, a glass of wine (the sin!) or in this case, leftover cooked rice. I looked around and saw the leftover rice, some cooked chick peas, a small can of tomato sauce and the squeaky wheels started turning in my head. I happened to be in Puerto Rico at the time and had access to my favorite herb on the planet, culantro (known as recao in Puerto Rico). Though different than its Puerto Rican incarnation, culantro is more fragrant that cilantro, with a pungent aroma and taste. I was able to locate some at a Vietnamese market in Portland since some people use it for pho. I assure you the search is worth it. You can substitute cilantro in this recipe if culantro is not available.


Chick Pea Rice Soup

2 tbsp of olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1/2 bulb of garlic, minced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 tsp salt 
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
7 oz can spicy or plain tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups cooked chick peas
1 3/4 cups cooked rice
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
large handful chopped culantro
Fresh ground pepper and sea salt, to taste

1. Warm olive oil in a soup pot. Add onions, celery and salt. Stir and cook until fragrant. Add garlic and cook for an additional two minutes.  Splash 1/2 cup of water or vegetable stock in pot to deglaze vegetables.
2. Add remaining water or vegetable stock and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Add chick peas and reduce heat. Simmer until broth is fragrant and flavors are combined.
3. Add rice and corn. Cook for an additional five minutes then add fresh culantro. Turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Servings: 4-6 bowls

Seitan Potato Hash

After thirteen years of not eating meat, I have come to realize I am over tofu. Don't get me wrong, I love it as much as the next person but I fell into a rut of cooking everything with tofu, ordering everything with tofu, and basically not expanding outside of my tofu bubble. This past summer I started having issues digesting soy so I cut it out from my diet. The result is better health and a new outlook on my food options. I've never made my own seitan, bought it to make at home or ordered it in dishes while out because good ole reliable tofu was always there instead. With tofu out of my life, seitan has snuck in and become my new best friend. My options for breakfast have definitely been limited by eliminating tofu from my diet. Enter seitan to save the day. This seitan potato hash hit the spot like the millions of tofu scrambles I've made in my day. The options are endless but this is the version I put together this morning.

Seitan Potato Hash

2 tbsp grapeseed oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
5-7 red potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups seitan, cubes or strips
2 tbsp coconut amino acids or soy sauce
fresh ground salt and pepper

1. In a cast iron skillet warm 1tbsp of oil on medium high heat. Add onions and peppers and some fresh ground salt and pepper. Saute for 4-5 minutes.

2. Add potatoes and a 1/4 cup of water. Mix well then cover to create steam. Stir occasionally.  
3. While the potatoes are cooking, heat remaining tbsp of oil in a separate cast iron skillet. Add seitan and quickly saute to brown on all sides. Once browned, splash with coconut amino acids or soy sauce and toss until absorbed. If you don't have two cast iron skillets, you can perform this step before cooking onions and peppers and set aside until needed. 

4. When potatoes appear almost done, add seitan to main skillet and mix well. Cook until potatoes are softened and flavors are combined. Add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

Italian Peasant Soup

I love making extravagant meals as much as the next person but every once in awhile something simple, warm and delicious is all I crave. I created this recipe to be the least amount of work with the most amount of flavor using staples I always keep stocked. I use diced tomatoes with basil and oregano instead of adding my own herbs in order to keep it simple and consistent. You are welcome to used plain diced tomatoes and add your own fresh or dried herbs. This soup comes together really easily and feels warm and comforting after a long day. Serve with a green salad and some crusty bread.

Italian Peasant Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
One medium onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 celery rib, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
1/2 can tomato paste
4 cups vegetable stock
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup green beans or peas
1/4-1/2 tsp salt & 15 cranks fresh pepper
1 tsp Red pepper flakes

1) Warm olive oil in a large soup pot.
2) Add onions, garlic, celery and salt. Saute until fragrant and translucent.
3) Add tomatoes, tomato paste and vegetable stock. Bring to a light boil.
4) Add potatoes then reduce heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes.
5) Add the green beans or peas and simmer until potatoes are tender.
6) Add the rest of the spices according to taste. Serve hot.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Servings: 3-4 bowls

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