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Brunch, Budget, Cleanse, Detox, Dinner, Frugal, Kale, Lunch, Main Dishes, Recipe Makeover, Salads, Sides

Not Your Mother’s Coleslaw

Inspired by the currently-trendy Dole chopped salad kits, this dairy+egg free coleslaw eschews the sugar-laden and oft-dairy-based dressing packet. A while back, I came across two of these salad kits at a remarkable discount. Though I don’t think I’ve made a salad from a store-bought “kit” since 1999, at $1 for both I had little to lose (and inspiration to gain). Continue Reading

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Broth, Brunch, Budget, Cleanse, Detox, Dinner, French, Frugal, Lunch, Main Dishes, Medicine, Recipe Makeover, Sides, Soups

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

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< 5 ingredients, #camplife, Brunch, Budget, French, Frugal, Main Dishes, Recipe Makeover

Cauliflower-Cashew Creamed Spinach + Roasted Tomatoes

Cauliflower cashew creamed spinach

Creamed spinach is one of those recipes that seems mutually exclusive with vegan or paleo, perhaps first made popular by Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Now a steakhouse staple across the United States, creamed spinach is traditionally made with heavy cream and butter. This significantly lighter version does utilize a relatively high-fat ingredient [cashews] but the bulk of the “cream” is a virtually fat-free vegetable [cauliflower]. Continue Reading

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Dinner, Frugal, Global Fusion, Holiday, Indian, Lunch, Main Dishes, Society, Stews

Curried Coconut Butternut Bisque

curried-coconut-butternut-bisque

I’m kind of obsessed with winter squash right now. Need proof? See my last post. Expect a plethora of squash-based recipes in the near future. Squash soup should be considered a comfort food, and roasted squash seeds are a bona fide healthy-ish binge food. To combat depression stemming from the results of the 2016 election, I’m eating a lot of squash. Because I feel sort of…squashed. Please enjoy this recipe, and use it to sooth your soul. Continue Reading

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< 5 ingredients, Blogosphere, Broth, Budget, Cleanse, Culture, Detox

But, Beans Aren’t Paleo!?

fava_beansI’ve recently received a lot of messages and comments regarding how “un-paleo” my recipes are.

Yes, I cook with beans. No, I’m not sorry. Nor do I claim them to be “paleo”, because nothing we eat today is actually paleo as in “things people ate during the paleolithic era”. The concept of a “paleo diet” in popular culture is not informed by anyone familiar with the archaeological record.

Here’s the SparkNotes version:
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< 5 ingredients, Budget, Recipe Makeover, Soups, Uncategorized

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

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