This soup looks creamy and it has a creamy flavor without adding milk. I think if you wanted an even heartier flavor you could add orecchiette pasta. Those pasta cups would gently cradle this roasted flavor goodness.
Go for it!! Make soup!
2 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste, for seasoning tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 cup freshly chopped basil
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes.
2. In a large stockpot, heat the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, fresh basil, and vegetable broth. Stir in the oven roasted tomatoes. Cook for about 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
3. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the stockpot, or transfer soup to a food processor or blender to blend. The soup should be smooth, with a few tomato chunks. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve warm.
Note-be careful when transferring the soup to a blender or food processor. You may want to wait until it is at room temperature to blend. Blend the soup until it’s more smooth than it is, but not to a silky purée (You want to keep some of the chunky tomato flavor).
If you have a case of the Mondays, breakfast for dinner can help. It’s like ending the day from the beginning except better because it’s over in a matter of hours and you are at home. Boom.
One of my favorite things for breakfast is grits.
What are grits? You’ll have to excuse me as my gaze hazily travels off in the distance… I love grits. They remind me of my mom cooking weekend mornings, Sunday brunch, cold weather and jazz. If you’ve never had them, this probably gets you no closer to knowing what they are. About Food gives a more substantial definition:
Grits are confusing to both the Southerner and non-Southerner alike, so let me break it down for you. According to The Food Lover’s Companion, the word “grits” is really a shortened way of saying what it really means, “hominy grits.” Grits are derived from hominy. The Food Lover’s Companion further cites hominy as being one of the first foods that American Indians gifted to the colonists. Hominy is dried corn kernels with the hull and germ removed. When this dried hominy is ground, it turns into what we know as grits.
Fun Facts About Grits
The annual World Grits Festival is held in April at St. George, South Carolina. The town claims to be the ‘Grits Capital of the World’, eating more pounds of grits per capita than anyplace else in the world. Via Food Reference
Three-quarters of grits sold in the U.S. are sold in the South, throughout an area stretching from Texas to Virginia, sometimes referred to as the “grits belt”. The state of Georgia declared grits its official prepared food in 2002. Similar bills have been introduced in South Carolina, with one declaring: Whereas, throughout its history, the South has relished its grits, making them a symbol of its diet, its customs, its humor, and its hospitality, and whereas, every community in the State of South Carolina used to be the site of a grits mill and every local economy in the State used to be dependent on its product; and whereas, grits has been a part of the life of every South Carolinian of whatever race, background, gender, and income; and whereas, grits could very well play a vital role in the future of not only this State, but also the world, if as Charleston’s The Post and Courierproclaimed in 1952, “An inexpensive, simple, and thoroughly digestible food, [grits] should be made popular throughout the world. Given enough of it, the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. A man full of [grits] is a man of peace.”
People who love grits take them very seriously. Trust. I grew up eating grits for breakfast. For most of my life I was a grits purist and would only eat them with a dollop of butter, salt and if I was feeling jazzy some pepper. When my mom added cheese to the mix I definitely changed my tune. I have heard that there are people out there who eat grits with milk and sugar like cream of wheat. I do not understand these people.
That’s cool, they get to live here too. (side-eye)
This recipe is fast and delicious.
You should use whatever veggies move n’ groove you and your family. When I was grocery shopping I grabbed a few things that were on sale:
Heirloom cherry tomatoes
Italian spice blend
Shredded cheese (1/4 c)
Pat butter (optional)
For the grits
Prepare according to package.
For a extra blast of flavor you could:
substitute veggie broth for water and…
after the grits are done toss in 1/4 c of shredded cheddar cheese
go the extra mile and sprinkle crushed red hot pepper and a dash of smoked paprika
If you like your grits super creamy stir, stir, stir while they cook. For thicker grits use a little less liquid.
Keep it vegan and leave out the cheese… there are always choices. See your case of the Mondays is fading away.
For the veggies
I halved the baby tomatoes and roasted them with olive oil and italian seasoning- roasted them in a 375° oven. I roasted the veggies while I cooked everything else. You could easily sauté the tomatoes- I am just a fan of roasted tomatoes.
I put the brussels sprouts in the food processor and pulsed a few times
Sliced the peppers and onions into strips
Minced fresh garlic
Heat 2 T. olive oil in a pan or skillet
Sauté veggies starting with the onions and garlic
Add the peppers and spices
Add the brussels sprouts
Add enough liquid to steam the sprouts (maybe 1/8 c. I used a splash of broth and lemon juice)
I love eggplant. I once someone who hated eggplant. We broke up. Not because of the eggplant. But it definitely should have been a warning sign.
Eggplant is delicious and versatile! It can be roasted, baked, grilled, sautéed, stuffed and in honor of this Meatless Monday- it can be blended into a delicious soup. I’ve paired the soup with an open-faced sandwich. The soup is substantial enough to have as a meal but dunking things into soup is a fun pastime.
Let’s stop the chit-chat and get down to business.
This soup does require a little more work than many soups which you can throw into a pot and simmer. The layers of flavor will make you glad you took the time to roast the veggies first. I’d never steer you wrong when it comes to soup. My soup game is pretty serious.
One whole eggplant peeled and cubed
One pound of tomatoes (of your choice) quartered
Two red potatoes cubed
One large onion- roughly chopped
Four cloves of garlic
Four cups of stock or water (but stock is yummier- for real)
One tablespoon flour
Italian seasoning – 2 heaping tablespoons
Crushed red pepper (optional)
Large pinch of salt
For the sandwich
Roasted red peppers (I used the kind in a jar)
Lettuce (your choice I had Boston on hand)
Lemon garlic aoili
Bread – baguette (or your favorite sandwich bread)
Coat veggies with olive oil and spices.
Roast all veggies in a pre-heated 375° oven.
Transfer veggies to a large soup pot that has been heated with one tablespoon olive oil.
Add stock bring to boil add flour, stir and reduce to very low heat
Cook for another 45 minutes.
Transfer to blender in small batches and blend until creamy.
Return to pot and reheat for five minutes.
Use whatever ingredients move you.
I’ve had people say that they miss protein on a sandwich- add a bit of feta or mushrooms.
I love summer. The sun on my face and heat on my skin make me feel alive. It’s a time of year when ice clinking in tall glasses of water and taking big bites of fresh tomatoes off the vine is an acceptable dinner.
May-August is my time.
September is beautiful but makes me sad because cold weather is rolling in. You can’t see it but it’s there, hovering in the background.
But, I must admit there is something vaguely sexy about the fall. Turtlenecks and flip-flops are standard uniforms. It’s still warm enough to grab a drink outside, but you can rock a hat. The heat of summer still lingers in the air like perfume at the end of the day…
And while I miss summer, soup season makes it bearable. I am nothing if not a lover of soups.
This roasted cauliflower and carrot soup I found in the New York Times is a perfect blend of summer and fall flavors. The lemon keeps it light as the rooted flavors of carrot and cumin keep it grounded. It’s yoga, for your mouth. The miso adds umami. Its a soup that makes you want to lay down on your back and exhale… I took the liberty and added (and subtracted) a few things to suit my palate. Not that the Times doesn’t know their stuff but hey, I like things the way I like them.
All jokes aside, this is a great meal for after a long yoga practice or any kind of workout. The soup is filling without being heavy and the carrot salad has crunch with layers of sweet and savory because of the dressing. I had mine with bread because I’m a girl who likes to sop things up.
Don’t judge. Sometimes a dish is so good you want every drop. And the truth is, it’s much classier than me licking the bowl. I’ll let my dog keep that party trick.
Enjoy. Happy Meatless Monday.
cauliflower- one head choped
carrots – one pound chopped
onion- one large chopped in chunks
garlic – one head unpeeled
celery- one stalk – roughly chopped
4-5 cups stock or water
corriander seeds- one tablespoon
cumin- one tablespoon
juice from one lemon
cilantro (dried) – one tablespoon
miso- 1 tablespoon
Ingredients for Salad
honey- one teaspoon
dijon mustard- one teaspoon
garlic- minced one teaspoon
Place veggies in a pan and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Makes sure to coat the garlic bulb with oil so it doesn’t burn.
Roast veggies and garlic bulb in 425° oven for 35-45 minutes (check frequently- I like veggies roasted but not mushy)
Transfer veggies to a large heated soup pot that has 2 tablespoons olive oil
Add spices and sauté veggies for six minutes
Add miso and broth
Bring to a simmer and then lower heat
Cook for 10 minutes
Blend until smooth in very small batches
For the salad
I spiralized the carrots and cucumbers.
To make the dressing put all of the ingredients into a blender (or whisk in a bowl if you are looking for a forearm workout)
I cut the scallions into the thin slices and and tossed with the dressing.
I just read an article about the damaging effects of dividing time between a computer, phone, tablet and TV. It apparently shrinks the brain. So I’ve decided to put my phone away while I bounce from laptop, TV and kitchen while I type this post. I already feel smarter.
Earlier this week the mail delivered a treat. I’m now the proud owner of a spiralizer. Oh sure, many people have been using this for years, but since it’s new to me dear reader, it’s now new to you. This gadget has already changed my life. It transforms veggies into ribbony strands and curly shapes. And trust me, this isn’t just cool, the shapes allow for dressings and sauce to cling.
I spent my weekend enjoying this amazing east coast ‘pre-fall’ weather, bike riding, doing yoga and spiralizing everything I could get my hands on. On Friday I made a spiral cucumber, carrot, red onion salad. I added a bit of my lemon tahini dressing and tapped my toes as I chomped away. And since I’m pretty real with you when I write, I’m not ashamed to say that when I woke up at 3am for water, I had a large bite. I may or may not have had said salad for breakfast on Saturday.
Or do. I can take it.
No matter what your feelings, I’ll still share this easy Meatless Monday recipe.
squash zoodles (you can also use a mandolin- but I can’t really be trusted with one)
red onions, very thinly sliced
mushrooms sliced (I used shitake, but hey grab whatever you have)
garlic minced (3 cloves)
spinach or any greens that are handy
olive oil- three tablespoons
splash quality balsamic
salt, pepper and white pepper
lemon juice from one lemon
In one pan sauté all of the veggies and ingredients except the zoodles.
Heat the pan (with 2 tablespoons olive oil) over medium heat first add the onions, then garlic, then the mushrooms.
In a second pan heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and quickly toss the zoodles for two minutes.
Combine the sauce and zoodles
Fair warning. Stay tuned for spiralizer recipes. If you see me running through the farmers market with loaded down with veggies and laughing with crazy eyes, keep movin’. It’s safer that way.
This week you may want to try lentils. My recipe this week is brought to you by the blog Zenfully Delicious. I love Indian food and Daal is an easy way to try something new. For those of you new to the idea of removing meat from your diet creating interesting meals is good plan to keep you on track. Finding ‘meat’ substitutes wash’t something that worked for me. Generally speaking, I found that having great meals that didn’t need meat was the best way to me to enjoy a meatless lifestyle. While Daal is considered to be an accompaniment to an Indian meal, I had it as a main dish with some salad.
The key to Daal is the tempering of the spices at the end. Tempering spices in Indian cooking is an essential step and depending on the dish is either done at the beginning of cooking or at the end. In the case of Daal it is done at the end.
With Daal you can spice this up as much as you want. I added Garam Masala, smoked Paprika and a few drops of mustard oil to my tempering mixture.
Today’s Special is a cute indie flick I saw on Netflix. The scene with the tempering of the spices is particularly funny.
Anyway, back to the recipe.
1½ cups yellow split lentils or toor lentils
½ a medium onion, finely chopped
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of half lemon
3-4 cups cups veggie stock (or water) (this depending on how soupy you’d like your daal. More liquid = more soup)
Tempering ingredients: 2 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 clove or ½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 whole Serrano pepper
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
In a large pot add 2 tablespoons olive oil ( you could also use butter or ghee but I’m keeping the dish vegan).
Saute onions, tomatoes and garlic
Add the rest of the ingredients except the cilantro
Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat.
I deviated from the recipe here and added a little more spice. I like lots of flavor into the pot went more cumin, curry powder, red pepper flakes, freshly grated ginger and lime juice)
Prepare tempering ingredients by measuring them out first. Don’t mix them all together. I placed them on a flexible cutting board. The process happens quickly and it will burn if you try to gather the spices and temper at the same time. Ask me how I know this.
Simmer lentils for 20 minutes (or longer if you like them softer)
Temper the spices and add to the daal as it is finished cooking.
Stir in the tempered spices.
Serve over rice immediately.
Heat canola oil in a pan on a stovetop till it shimmers (should be hot). Turn off the heat. To this hot oil, add the cumin seeds, garlic, Serrano pepper and dry spices. Everything should sizzle in the pan. (Watch out for splattering spices during this process.)
I added a dollop of cilantro chutney which can be found in most grocery stores. In my pantry I also had some chickpea chips. Perfect for a garnish!
In the world of southern and soul food, collard greens are a staple. They are typically cooked with ham hock and lots of fat. And since the leaves are fairly tough cooking greens long and slow is what is thought to make them delicious.
Not so it seems.
While doing training at Integral Yoga, I’d pop downstairs to their grocery store for some tasty food cooked with love. One afternoon I discovered sautéed greens and haven’t looked back. They take 15 minutes and have a fresh, vibrant taste. You would think that with so few ingredients these would taste boring. You would be mistaken.
2 tsp olive oil
Big bunch of greens – stems removed and shredded. (I used my bare hands and made it mini playtime)
5 garlic cloves minced
coarse salt (Maldon is my fave)
1/2 c water (or veggie stock)
Heat oil over medium heat. Cook garlic by stirring constantly until it’s just about golden brown.
Add the greens, baby!! Stir in salt.
Reduce the heat to medium low and add liquid.
Cover and steam for 10 minutes.
If liquid is left in the pan turn heat to medium and quickly stir until liquid evaporates.
These are so good I’ve been making batches and having them for lunch and with dinner. Tons of greens are available at farmers markets this time of year- so stock up!!!
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my friend Patrice. Fate has a way of bringing people together and from the moment I met her I knew we’d be friends. She listens to my rants, tells me when I’m being silly (as in stubborn) and makes me feel better if I’m feeling low. So when she asked if I’d do the Whole 30 with her I said yes instantly. A program that helps you feel great and focuses on real food? That’s what I preach, bring it on!!!
And then I saw what I couldn’t have red wine (or any alcohol, boo) for a month and was less enthused, but sticking together and all that I’m still on board. I like the idea of doing something for 30 days. In a week I’m launching a 30 Meditation Journey- it’s for folks that want to try meditation, but have felt a little nervous about doing so. Partnering meditation with whole eating sounds like a fine way finish up healing from abdominal surgery.
So back to the Whole 30. Here’s some scoop from the site.
The Whole30 Program Rules
Yes: Eat real food.
Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed. Don’t worry… these guidelines are outlined in extensive detail in our free shopping list.
More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.
Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits (chips and fries) and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold, and fingerling potatoes off your plate.
Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
No Paleo-ifying baked goods, desserts, or junk foods. Trying to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold will ruin your program faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” This means no desserts or junk food made with “approved” ingredients—no banana-egg pancakes, almond-flour muffins, flourless brownies, or coconut milk ice cream. Don’t try to replicate junk food during your 30 days! That misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.
One last and final rule: You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program. This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, however, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)
I’m skeptical about some of this. I’ve read through the site and some of the language is a little too tough love for me. I’m already the chick who used to live her life without moderation- so I’m not really sure if the Whole 30® program is a good fit for someone like me. Life in extremes can play to my addictive nature and if I’m not careful I could be looking down the abyss. So, I’m keeping a watchful eye on me. This isn’t to say that this isn’t a great thing for lots of folks who need a serious kick in the ass to stop some healthy habits and/or thinking.
My eating habits are pretty good- but keep a mindful eye on what I’m eating may be a kind of food meditation. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.
I’ll keep you guys updated weekly.
Let the games begin.
Have any of you done The Whole 30? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Ten days ago I got my period. Not such a big deal (and you may wonder the reason for the ‘overshare’) except, that I’d just had it a few weeks prior. Along with excessive bleeding came pain so intense that I could no little more than teach my classes and roll on the floor hoping someone would kill me. The cramping was even too much for this masochist so I went to my Gyn. I have endometrosis and a history of fibroids, so pain isn’t unusual. But dealing with an extra period- um- I don’t think so. I don’t think so. Not happening. No way.
Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus (womb). Another medical term for fibroids is “leiomyoma” (leye-oh-meye-OH-muh) or just “myoma”. Fibroids are almost always benign (not cancerous). Fibroids can grow as a single tumor, or there can be many of them in the uterus. They can be as small as an apple seed or as big as a grapefruit. In unusual cases they can become very large.
There are factors that can increase a woman’s risk of developing fibroids.
Age. Fibroids become more common as women age, especially during the 30s and 40s through menopause. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink.
Family history. Having a family member with fibroids increases your risk. If a woman’s mother had fibroids, her risk of having them is about three times higher than average.
Ethnic origin. African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids than white women.
Obesity. Women who are overweight are at higher risk for fibroids. For very heavy women, the risk is two to three times greater than average.
Eating habits. Eating a lot of red meat (e.g., beef) and ham is linked with a higher risk of fibroids. Eating plenty of green vegetables seems to protect women from developing fibroids.
I must admit I’m not so sure about the green veggie thing. My diet is 70% plant-based. I don’t eat meat. I’m not overweight. However, there is a family history of fibroids.
My doctor was great and after an exam I was sent off to get an ultrasound to get the bottom of the problem.
Fibroids themselves are usually benign and don’t cause problems unless they push on something or get embedded in a way that may cause pain.
There’s tons of talk about how to ‘cure’ your fibroids, but I give serious side-eye to anyone who says that they can ‘cure’ anything. There’s no cure for the common cold but eat a can of kidney beans, hop on one leg while drinking turmeric milk and I’m cured of fibroids. Yeah, sure.
However- yoga helped some. A few restorative versions of the following poses helped get me through the rough patches:
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) – resting with a block under my sacrum was such a relief for my sacrum.
Vaparita Karani (Legs against the wall)- this pose is said to be an attitude adjuster (of which I was greatly in need), relieves mild back pain and helps with tired legs and cramped feet.
Once the tests come back, I’ll know more. But in the meantime- it’s yoga, yoga and more yoga. With some Motrin when absolutely necessary.
Are there yoga poses that you use to help alleviate physical pain?
There’s a nifty fact sheet about fibroids here. Check it out.