Meatless Monday – Spinach Mushroom Soup!

 

spinach mushroom soup

 


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

There’s nothing like a cup of soup to set the world right. There are so many great things about soup:

  • It can be an entire meal
  • It can be rich and creamy
  • It can be slim and lean
  • It freezes well

This recipe was inspired by Veggie Belly! The trick of adding a pinch of baking soda to keep the spinach green.

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Spinach is delicious and so good for you. It has a healthy dose of vitamin A and is known for being high in iron. Remember Popeye the Sailor who got his super strength from spinach? Well, brain pickings.org had some interesting information about the cartoon hero. I always wondered why he ate so much spinach…

 

Popeye, with his odd accent and improbable forearms, used spinach to great effect, a sort of anti-Kryptonite. It gave him his strength, and perhaps his distinctive speaking style. But why did Popeye eat so much spinach? What was the reason for his obsession with such a strange food?

The truth begins more than fifty years earlier. Back in 1870, Erich von Wolf, a German chemist, examined the amount of iron within spinach, among many other green vegetables. In recording his findings, von Wolf accidentally misplaced a decimal point when transcribing data from his notebook, changing the iron content in spinach by an order of magnitude. While there are actually only 3.5 milligrams of iron in a 100-gram serving of spinach, the accepted fact became 35 milligrams. To put this in perspective, if the calculation were correct each 100-gram serving would be like eating a small piece of a paper clip.

Once this incorrect number was printed, spinach’s nutritional value became legendary. So when Popeye was created, studio executives recommended he eat spinach for his strength, due to its vaunted health properties. Apparently Popeye helped increase American consumption of spinach by a third!

– Via brainpickings.org

 

popeye1

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • onions – 1/2 cup chopped
  • garlic cloves – 2 peeled and minced
  • potatoes – 1 cup peeled, diced
  • spinach – 4 cups tightly packed fresh, tender  leaves
  • fresh oregano – 2-3 sprigs  (or freshly dried oregano)
  • baking soda – A pinch of  optional
  • button cap mushroom tops – 15 large
  • dried mushrooms – 2-3 soaking in 4 cups of hot water (for at least 30 minutes)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preparation 

  1. Heat a medium, heavy bottom sauce pan with the olive oil.
  2. Add the onions, and sauté on medium heat until translucent.
  3. Add the minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add the mushrooms and sauté on medium heat till they brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Then add the potatoes, a pinch of salt and 4 cups mushroom water.
  6. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until the potato cubes are cooked.
  7. Add washed spinach leaves, oregano and salt to the pot (keeping in mind you’ve already added a little salt to the soup in the previous stage).
  8. Immediately add a pinch of baking soda to the spinach; this will keep the spinach green when cooking; but this step is optional.
  9. Boil for about 1 minute or till the spinach is wilted.
  10. Turn off the heat. Using a hand/immersion blender, puree the soup till smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour the soup into a regular blender and carefully puree. If the soup is too thick, add ½ cup water and blend again.
  11. Serve warm, with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.

 

 

It’s soup yoga!!!

Sometimes you have to hold it around your hands and take a big warm sip.

 

Namaste y’all.

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Meatless Monday – Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup with Roasted Pepper Sandwich

Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup

 

 

 


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

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.

 

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Olive oil

 

For the sandwich

  • Roasted red peppers (I used the kind in a jar)
  • Sautéed onions
  • Lettuce (your choice I had Boston on hand)
  • Lemon garlic aoili
  • Cucumbers
  • Feta
  • Bread – baguette (or your favorite sandwich bread)

 

Directions

  1. Coat veggies with olive oil and spices.
  2. Roast all veggies in a pre-heated 375° oven.
  3. Transfer veggies to a large soup pot that has been heated with one tablespoon olive oil.
  4. Add stock bring to boil add flour, stir and reduce to very low heat
  5. Cook for another 45 minutes.
  6. Transfer to blender in small batches and blend until creamy.
  7. Return to pot and reheat for five minutes.

 

Sandwich directions

  • Use whatever ingredients move you.
  • I’ve had people say that they miss protein on a sandwich- add a bit of feta or mushrooms.
  • A dollop of hummus or pesto also adds depth.

 

Happy Meatless Monday!

 

Namaste y’all.

Food Yoga! Meatless Monday – Mushroom Tagliatelle

Mushroom Tagliatelle

Happy Meatless Monday!!


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

I know it may be hard for you to give up meat completely. Like everything else we learn, it takes practice. I have had my own struggles with going meatless. The reasons that we may or may not choose to eat meat is person. But I do think it should be a choice that we make. Being informed about what we are putting in our mouths is our responsibility. My practice has led me to examine my decisions about my carbon footprint.

By actively choosing to cut out meat one day a week, you are taking a step to help the planet. That small act of kindness may not seem like a big deal, but it is. So, try it. Cut out the meat one day a week. I’m hear to help!

Before I dive into the recipe, check out this interesting video from MeatlessMonday.com

Mushroom Tagliatelle

Ingredients

  • mushrooms of your choice- I used shitake and baby bella (about 2 cups)
  •  onions – chopped
  • garlic- three cloves minced
  • mushroom broth- one cup
  • juice from one lemon
  • splash white wine (optional)
  • olive oil- one tablespoons
  • flour- one teaspoon
  • Italian seasoning- one tablespoon
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • salt and fresh black pepper
  • Tagliatelle enough for 4 people (or any wide flat pasta)

Directions

  1.  Get salted pasta water going in a large pot
  2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat
  3. Add garlic and onions. Sauté until onions are translucent
  4. Stir in flour and spices until it becomes ‘roux-like’ (smooth and pasty)
  5. Add mushrooms and broth- stir. Add optional splash of wine
  6. Add lemon juice and three tablespoons of parsley
  7. Stir once more and turn off heat
  8. Cook tagliatelle
  9. Drain pasta (reserve a few tablespoons of liquid if your sauce is too thick)
  10. Toss pasta in skillet with sauce
  11. Serve!!

I gobbled this immediately and can’t wait for leftovers…

Namaste y’all

Cucumber Gazpacho

cucumber gazpacho

 


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

Summer weather.

It’s my favorite time of year. Not just because I can zip around on my bike without a balaclava but because summer veggies make dinner easy and delicious. Gazpacho is refreshing dinner that can double as lunch the next day. Though traditionally made with tomatoes I decided to green it up a bit with tomatillos and cucumbers.

Whaaaaat? So good. So healthy.

Ingredients

  • Cucumbers- 3 roughly chopped
  • Green bell pepper- 1 roughly chopped
  • Green chiles- 2 chopped
  • Tomatillos – 4 medium
  • Garlic- 2 cloves
  • Shallots- 2
  • Lime- 2 juiced
  • Mint- one bunch
  • Broth- 1/2 (I used veggie)
  • Balsamic vinegar (use a higher quality if you’ve got it- definitely can taste the difference)- 2 tablespoons
  • Cilantro- one bunch
  • Black pepper
  • Coarse sea salt- Maldon is my fave

*Optional 1/2 cup of white wine in place of 1/2 cup of broth

 

 

Directions

  1. In a food processor or vitamix blend the veggies, mint, cilantro, balsamic, lime juice. (You’ll have to do this in batches as it won’t all fit.)
  2. Once one batch is done pour into a large soup serving bowl- if the soup is more smoothie like- add more liquid…
  3. Refrigerate for 45 minutes
  4. Stir before serving- I garnished with mango and cilantro- but whatever floats your boat will do just fine!
  5. Serve with salad!

What are some of your favorite cold soup recipes? I’m always looking for new ones!!

 

Namaste y’all.

Renewing Your Spirit – 5 Ways to Do It

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” 

– George Eliot

There’s something about autumn that I love and loathe. As a kid I loved the crisp mornings getting excited because I knew that I’d soon be able to break out my new sweaters. Warm weather still peeks through the day and it’s cool enough at night to get a morning chill. Fall is associated with renewal and that makes sense. We can shed old ways or reconnect with our pre-summer selves. Once the kids are back in their routines and beach days are gone we begin our own version of molting.

 

Here are 5 ways that I get back to me:

1. Reconnect with my practice

September is a big fitness season. As the family calendar takes over we get back to the business of health. For some this means actually working out again (you know who you are) and for others it means switching up the routine. I’ve never run outside in cooler weather, so I’m doing a little homework.

Fall is a time when I take a look at my practice. The change in seasons wakes up different parts of my senses. My asana practice took place mostly in the evenings. Since I teach most evenings, it was scattered. But I’ve sat my butt down to plan out my practices a few weeks out at a time. Incorporating

2. Jump start healthy eating

Eat seasonally!!! Eat seasonally!!!  My cooking shifts from grilling to roasting. I swap out fresh tomatoes for squash and mushrooms. Quinoa begins to make regular appearances and what I love most of all, SOUP SEASON!!! There is nothing like a hearty soup to make me giggle like wanda the witch from Sesame Street (which is creepy and cool at the same time). Renew your love of the kitchen by pulling down the crock pot and making soup. Crowd pleasers and freezer friendly. This fall and winter you’ll see a bunch of soup recipes  so get ready.

I’m now meatless every day of the week, but before I was I started participating in Meatless Monday. I’d say it was the first thing that really helped think about my carbon footprint.

3. Read a good book

All of the best books come out in fall!!! If you are a book nerd like me, this is your time to find a stack (or queue) of things to get you through the cold winter months. Reading is great stimulation for the brain and a soothing activity. Kids who see their parents read are more likely to read themselves.

4. Make time to make time

Did you know that a 2006 study said that meditating can be better for you than sleeping? Taking even a few minutes to collect your thoughts is great for you and others. I love early morning when I walk Dakota. It allows me to set intentions for the day and reflect on where I am. Take a minute in the shower just to pause can be beneficial. I’ve actually been thinking about my time in the Catskills surrounded by silence. I’ve gotten away from finding a few quiet moments to let go. Seems like the right time to re-commit.

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, because it’s all small stuff…” Cliche and overused, maybe. That doesn’t mean it’s untrue. Maybe it was the heat and  (and don’t get me wrong I’m a summer kind of chick) but the little things were getting under my skin. The cool crisp air of fall allows me to exhale.

How do you welcome fall into your life?

Namaste y’all!

Vegan Diaries – Pizza Treats

I feel like the toughest part of a diet that is 80% plant based is creating tasty snacks or appetizers. Let’s face it, there’s only so much crudite a person can eat. I mean how many carrots sticks and cucumber slices can you serve before getting an eye roll (my everlasting love of cucumbers not withstanding).

People operate with the best of intentions, right? That extends to healthy eating. If options were out there, we would snatch them up like a lion chasing its prey.

Well Simba, the search is over. Mama’s got a little something I think you’ll enjoy!

These treats are great for movie night or a slumber party. They’re gluten-free low and fat and really delicious. And at 21 calories each you’re not breaking the calorie bank. The only thing you’ll likely need to buy is cauliflower so on top of all that, it’s economical too!!!

I know the good times are rollin’.

Let’s get down.

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 2 c cauliflower
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 c Tofutti Better Than Ricotta (I actually can’t believe how good this is…)
  • 1 T oregano (I went very heavy with the spices, you can adjust but I feel the spices give it that pizza taste)
  • 1T red pepper flakes
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 oz Vegan Parmesan shredded
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Non-stick spray for muffin tin (or muffin wrappers)
  • Pasta sauce or pizza sauce for dipping

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. In the food processor, chop the cauliflower and garlic until it’s the consistency of rice
  3. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or pot
  4. Saute the cauliflower and add the spices
  5. Cook for 4-5 minutes
  6. Transfer mixture to bowl
  7. Fold in ricotta
  8. Chill mixture in frig for 1 hour
  9. Use muffin wrappers in tin
  10. Mixture should be packed down into tin so they don’t fall apart
  11. Cook for 30-40 minutes (check at 25 minutes)
  12. Cauliflower should be brown and crispy
  13. Make sure muffin tin cools or appetizers will break apart
  14. Serve with pizza sauce!

These much more decadent than they should!

Namaste y’all!!

Vegan Diaries – Stuffed Zucchini

inspired recipes, summer squash

 

I wish I had a garden. I just know that I have a green thumb. It’s genetic. My mother has a green fist and my Dad is a scientist so c’mon that’s got to mean something. But all this city livin’ has left me without a backyard. That’s okay, I’ll get my garden one day.

 

As a kid my mom grew a bunch of things but I remember zucchini. Any kid who had a garden with zucchini remembers it, because it grows easily. It can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out what to do with the glut of squash you may have on your hands. Let’s face facts there’s only so many ways you can sauté it. So try this stuffing. It’s perfect for Meatless Monday! And the stuffing freezes nicely.

 

 

 

Check out Patrick’s video on zucchini! He has a beautiful garden- and he shoots the whole video with one hand.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis halved lengthwise scooped out (save pulp for filling)
  • 1 pint mushroom package
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • roasted red peppers 1/2 jar (I used Cento’s tri-color)
  • 1/2 cup plum tomatoes (I used Muir)
  • 3-4 scallions
  • 1 T oregano (dried)
  • 1 T basil (dried)
  • splash of red wine
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 t salt
  • pepper to taste

 

Preparation

Pre-heat oven to 325

 

inspired recipes, summer squash, zucchini,

 

1. Put the following in a food processor 1/2 of the mushrooms (roughly chop first), 1/2 of the roasted peppers, garlic, onion (roughly chop first), spices, scallions, olive oil and zucchini pulp.

 

inspired recipes, summer squash, zucchini,

 

2. Pulse until combined (don’t turn it into mush)

3. Place a pan on medium heat. Add 1 T olive oil.

4. Cook stuffing mixture from food processor in pan.

5. Add remaining mushrooms and roasted peppers. Cook for two minutes.

6. Add sauce. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.

7. Add wine. Cook for 1 minute

8. Add spinach cook until wilted. Remove from heat

9. Gently spoon filling into zucchini ‘boats’

 

inspired recipes, summer squash, zucchini,

 

10. Cook for 40 minutes

 

Serve immediately and enjoy!!!

 

Namaste y’all!!!

Vegan Diaries – Pasta and Spring Veggies

HAPPY SPRING!!!!

I was going to whip up a healthier version of Pasta Primavera for Meatless Monday post. It’s really warm here on the East Coast and a creamy but vegan dish didn’t fit the weather. Plus I was beat and wanted something easy peezy.

Pasta.

With so many quality dried pastas available, it’s easy to spend less and get something yummy.

Pasta though, should be eaten in moderation. Paired with veggies it’s a perfect easy Monday dinner. The linguine should play second fiddle to the veggies which are the main attraction.

I used what I had in my fridge. I would encourage you to do the same. The recipe also calls for a splash of white white. Don’t have any? Meh, not a biggie. Use some stock. So let’s get to it!

Ingredients

  • 2 c kale rinsed
  • 1 c spinach
  • 1/2 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 c mushrooms chopped
  • 1 carrot shaved
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c white wine (or reserve 1/4 of pasta liquid)
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • fresh basil chopped
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 parmesan cheese shredded (vegan or regular)

1. Prepare the spinach linguine according to package directions. I cut the serving size down a bit I could really show off the veggies, again that’s up to you.

2. Blanch the kale and place in an ice bath (or if you’re not up to it- toss in the microwave in a bowl of water for 30 seconds)

3. In a skillet heat the olive oil and saute all of the vegetables

4. After 5 minutes add the linguine and pasta liquid or wine

5. Add the basil, salt and pepper

6. Add most of the parmesan (reserve some for garnish)

7. Stir quickly but gently for two minutes or until everything is combined

Serve immediately!

You can really play with different kinds of vegetables. I can’t wait to make this with sugar snap peas, corn and carrots in the summer. I’ll use basil and mint! Yum!!!

 

This is yoga, on the tasty and cheap.

Namaste y’all.