Browse Tag by low fat
< 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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< 5 ingredients, #camplife, Appetizers, Asian, Budget, Cleanse, Culture, Detox, fermentation, fermented, Frugal, Lunch, Main Dishes, Medicine, Russian, Salads, sauerkraut, Sides, Snacks

Beet & Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

beet and red cabbage kraut

Beet & Red Cabbage Sauerkraut especially when paired with avocado is a food often touted in the same respect as cheese *both have probiotic qualities—and since the advent of the raw vegan sauerkraut phoenomenon—both have a veil surrounding them regarding the fallacy of their difficult-to-make-yourself psychological red tape [we think we can’t make it ourselves, or aren’t supposed to]. Continue Reading

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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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Budget, Guatemalan

Vegan Backpacker’s Guide, part 3

vegan backpacker hierbas

If you’re on a budget, this post will be of use to you. Whether you’re a staunch vegan, a vegan-leaning vegetarian, a pescetarian, a semi-vegetarian, or an omnivore who simply wants to learn more, you will benefit from the consumption of hierbas when traveling or living in Guatemala. Hierbas translates from Spanish to English as “herbs”, but the actual term pertains more to weeds. Hierbas, in Guatemala, generally equate dandelion greens, red clover greens, or other things considered a nuisance or thrown away (the supposedly-unusable parts of root vegetables like beets, for example). In Guatemala, the women who sell vegetables in or outside the local markets will throw away nutritious vegetables such as beet greens and broccoli leaves because culturally they were never taught to keep them, thereby knowing nothing about the nutrients the leaves provide. The “hierbas” that a parent or older sibling often cooks and serves to their child or younger sibling, typically come from the tops of root vegetables, or the weeds that grow in their backyard. Few people ask sellers of vegetables in or outside the local markets if they can take or buy the greens they would otherwise toss. You can ask the vendedora if she wouldn’t mind giving her vegetable greens aka her basura, but know it’s not likely to guarantee results on the first try. Befriend her, and utilize tactics I wrote about in previous articles i.e. research in an internet cafe or on a laptop if you have one. Ask about her daughter who works as a temp in Guatemala City, or her husband who occasionally visits. Once you know who she is and she knows who you are, you can pose the question: Can I take the trash for you?. If that doesn’t work, ask if you can take the rubbish for your horse. If her expression continues to be skeptical, ask if you can take the greens for yourself. If that fails, offer 3Q for all of it. If this doesn’t work, try 5Q. These nutritious greens are tossed by the wayside normally, so an offering of $0.50 to $0.75 will help get the point across that you actually want to buy the greens/leaves.

Cook the greens, or weeds, or whatever you want to call them, as you would cook kale, collard greens, or chard. Use a bit of salt to tenderize, after thoroughly rinsing and blanching, in order to remove any bits of rock or bacteria.

Serve with sliced beets, and/or use in place of analogous greens in your favorite vegan recipes. If you want to really take it to the limit in terms of border crossing regarding not only country lines but also culinary…then make a vegetable broth of it and diced onion.

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