Roasted Asparagus Bisque + Cauliflower-Coconut Croutons

This Roasted Asparagus Soup with Paleo Croutons is very low in carbohydrates, and contains a lesser amount of fat per gram than most blended soups. I’ve focused a lot on coconut milk-blended soups this winter, the both of which contained a much higher quantity of the aforementioned high-fat ingredient than this one. Continue reading

Share on YummlyPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someone

Coconut Cream of Mushroom Soup

Coconut Cream Chanterelle Mushroom Soup

Perfect for Thanksgiving, this soup doubles as a gravy. It is oil free, utilizing fat free sauté and grill techniques. It is also soy free, grain free, gluten free and nut free [no, coconut is not a tree nut–even though it does grow on trees–nor is it related to the legume we refer to as the peanut]. Unless you or anyone you cook for is allergic to coconut, mushrooms, or garlic, this recipe should be universally edible and a sure hit across the board (I’m serious, even the staunch meat eater or otherwise anti-vegan family among you will enjoy this). Continue reading

Share on YummlyPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someone

The Best Vegan Paleo Vegetable Soup

vegsoup1
This soup provides a bounty of vitamins, without the fat, starch, excess carbs, and byproducts that vegetable soups often (unfortunately) contain. It’s kind of similar to one of those negative Weight Watchers points soups, but (I assure you) more satisfying and nutritious. Your flavor profile and physique will thank you.
Continue reading

Share on YummlyPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someone

Sesame Broccoli with Sautéed Scallions

broccoli with scallionsThis recipe might just win the award for Most Sustainable Paleoveganista Recipe to date. I would call it radical, but then again most of my recipes fall into that category. Continue reading

Share on YummlyPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someone

Brussels Sprout Bisque


I recently watched a tutorial in which Gordon Ramsay demonstrates how to make broccoli soup. Unlike many other soup or bisque recipes, this one did not involve “15, 20 ingredients…chicken stock…shallots sweating down for 20 minutes [or] half a liter of white wine”, but rather “it’s just got broccoli and water”.




Sure enough, most of the broccoli bisque or blended brussels sprout soup recipes do call for chicken stock, white wine, butter, potatoes, onions, bay leaf, half and half and/or flour. So basically, to make broccoli bisque or blended brussels sprout soup the assumption is that one must create a roux and spend hours in the kitchen. No no no this is so illogical it hurts. And Gordon Ramsay, celebrity chef mastermind whose recipes are not typically hashtagged vegan, frugal, or basic seems to agree. As stated in the video, “The most important thing now, is keeping that water. That’s where all the goodness is. It’s got all the flavor of the broccoli in there”.

I planned to emphasize the importance of keeping the vegetable water, but now I don’t have to.

Chef Ramsay then said “We don’t need a chicken stock or vegetable stock. How can you make a broccoli soup with a chicken stock for god’s sake?”

My thoughts exactly.

Then he said “…this thing is great for vegetarians as well, bless ’em.”

Aha there it is…the vegetarian joke, to remind us all that the culinary world at large doesn’t take us seriously. It’s the sort of thing I expect to hear during a holiday dinner, and take with a grain of salt and/or see the humor in. It’s a rendition of what I hear at every holiday, with the exception of last Xmas (when I arrived after dinner) and the year before when I couldn’t make it due to car trouble, so I went to Chinese food with friends and ordered steamed vegetables (which is my favorite food anyway, although most people don’t believe me) or the Xmas four years ago when I had to work.




I’ve made blended soups using only 1 type of vegetable i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini for years, but never thought to share the recipe(s) on my blog because they seemed so simplistic and obvious. After watching Chef Ramsay demonstrate the recipe and explain each step in precise detail, I realized that single-ingredient blended vegetable soup can be more than a just a simple, frugal, no-frills meal or a means of utilizing the overgrowth of zucchini in the garden. With a bit of finesse, this basic soup becomes something of 5-star quality.

When I make this soup with broccoli, I boil the stalks along with the florets. I don’t see any logic in discarding them, especially in the case of a pureed soup. Also, with brussels sprouts, I typically don’t follow the convention of cutting them in half. I think the flavor improves when boiled whole, like in this recipe.

Seasoned with nothing other than bit of salt, this simple (but not simplistic) version is a ten-minute recipe that exemplifies just how easy it is to prepare healthy, crowd-pleasing meals for vegans and non-vegans alike.




You will need a pot with lid for cooking, a colander, a second pot for saving the water when drained from the cooked sprouts, and a blender.

Brussels Sprout Bisque

Ingredients

2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed
4 cups water
salt

Bring a pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Cover, and boil for 5 minutes. Run a knife through one of the sprouts; if it slices through easily, turn off heat. Carefully pour brussels sprouts with water into a colander over a large empty soup pot. Immediately add sprouts to the blender, and add enough broth to half-cover them. Puree until velvety smooth and thin enough to drink from a mug or a jar, yet thick enough to enjoy in a bowl with a spoon. If the result is more of a puree than a liquid, add more broth in 1/2 cup increments until desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste and blend again, if desired. Serve immediately.

brussels sprouts soup pre blend
brussels sprout bisque
brussels sprouts bisque square

Share on YummlyPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someone

Vegan Borscht + pumpkin seed sour cream

vegan-borscht
In college I worked at a global-fusion restaurant/cafe called Pangea that specialized in soups and natural/organic/locally-sourced ingredients. *If any of you dear readers go to Ashland, Oregon, definitely eat there. It even has a collection of coffee table books for your viewing pleasure, including What The World Eats, which I consider one of the best and most culturally-relevant photo essays ever made. I would’ve written a 5-star yelp review for Pangea but I don’t know if I can; I think yelp prohibits all employees (former included) from yelping about businesses they are or once were affiliated with.
Continue reading

Share on YummlyPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someone

Cheezy Cauliflower “Popcorn”

cheezy-cauliflower-popcorn-paleoveganista
Day 2 in the paleoveganista mono diet challenge. Throughout this week-long mono-diet experiment I will post a new cauliflower-based recipe daily. Like yesterday’s recipe, this one makes 2-3 portions (enough for 1 person to eat throughout the day or to share as an entree with others). As I mentioned yesterday, by embarking on this week-long diet I intend to explore the potential benefits of eating 1 local, in-season vegetable and little else—supplemented with raw greens. I will post updates to share my experience along the way.

*Update from yesterday: I ate 1/2 the whole roasted cauliflower for an early lunch, and the other half 5 hours later. Later in the evening I snacked on 2 cups raw cauliflower florets and 1 bunch green kale leaves. Today I split the batch of cheezy cauliflower “popcorn” in three servings: 1 for breakfast/before work, 1 for lunch, and another for dinner/after work. At lunchtime I also ate 2 cups steamed collard greens.

Cheezy Cauliflower “Popcorn”

Ingredients

1 cauliflower head, cored and cut into bite-sized florets
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Method

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with the oil, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and smoked paprika. Evenly spread the cauliflower onto the lined baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and stir. Return to oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden.

Serve warm or save for later to enjoy as a snack. Store in a tuperware container or ziplock bag. *Tip: sneak some into the movie theater for a much healthier, tastier alternative to concession-stand popcorn!

Share on YummlyPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someone

Nikujaga

NikujagaEntering the winter months, we can’t go wrong in preparing healthy stews and soups for ourselves, our family, and our friends. I had a nightmare last night in which a nurse held me down with a flu shot needle/syringe in her hand. No joke. I recall screaming at her “just because I passed up the free flu shots at CVS…doesn’t mean I want your injection”. Oh, the horror. My dream state (a futuristic, fantastical version of real life) mandated flu shots in an Orwellian sort of way. In other words, Big Brother finally caught up with us. I have nightmares over flu shots as a result of the time I traveled to Mexico to work and the employer required vaccinations. I was 19. As a vegan of 4 years at the time, the fact that the hospital exclusively used egg-based up-the-nose vaccinations (which I later found is also legal in the States) freaked me out. The thing was–if I didn’t comply and go through with this vaccination I would lose the opportunity to work and travel abroad. The verdict? As I predicted, I got sick. I stayed in bed for a week, suffering from influenza. In other words, I got sick from the flu vaccine.

…Moving on to the point of this post, which describes and documents my decision to eat soup every day as opposed to subjecting myself to the terror of flu shots:

Nikujaga

I first discovered the traditional recipe for Nikukjaga whilst perusing the shelves at an Asian market. I experienced this recently, and found that the market in question sells shiritaki noodles for a fraction of the price it goes for at Safeway, Lucky, Fred Meyer, HEB, or other brand-name stores. The purchase I made influenced me to study happiness economics, or the economics of happiness. As a person on a limited budget, I can identify with many other individuals in the USA, I assume. So, to avoid over-intellectualizing things–I’ll continue with the ways in which you can make this dish in a paleo-vegan fashion.Nikujaga (2)
Nikujaga or 肉じゃが is a Japanese dish of meat, potatoes and stewed in sweetened soy sauce and vegetables. Potatoes often make up the bulk of it, with meat mostly serving as a condiment. The stew typically boils until at least 90% liquid reduces.

Nikujaga is a common home-cooked winter dish, often served in place of or to accompany miso soup.

To Veganize Nikujaga:

First off, we will of course eliminate the beef. Second, make sure you have carrots, onions, green beans on hand. Preferably, you will have ginger, garlic, and onion. The paleo-vegan “cheat” I used in this recipe is diakon radish to substitute for additional potatoes. Also, daikon is often used in Japanese cuisine. The recipe for Nijujaga that I found on a package of shiritaki noodles from a Korean market did not call for it, but in my adaptation it eliminates 20 carbs per serving. If you don’t have access to that type of radish, use any other radish. Cut into bite-sized pieces.

PaleoVegan Nikujaga:

Ingredients

2 x 4″ square pieces kombu seaweed
2 cups water
1 small red potato, chopped
4 green beans
1/2 large diakon radish, chopped
1 onion, minced
1″ piece ginger, minced
1 tsp red chiles, granulated
1 medium carrot, grated
1 package shirataki noodles, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups water
1 pkg. stevia granules (equivalent to 1 sugar packet).
1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce

Method

Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add the kombu seaweed, cover the pot, and reduce heat to medium-low.

Drain and rinse shirataki noodles. Heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or your oil of choice) in a wok or soup pot over medium heat. Saute the potato, onion, carrot, ginger, red chiles, and diakon radish. Once you’ve sauteed the vegetables, reduce heat to low.

Remove kombu from the water and add water to the soup pot. Now add the drained and rinsed shirataki noodles, the 2 Tbsp sake, and 1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce. Stir. Cook until most of the water evaporates, or when the texture begins to resemble a stew.
Nikujaga (1)Enjoy frequently, especially during flu season. Add fresh-cut lime as a garnish, to improve the flavor and increase the Vitamin C content.

Share on YummlyPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someone