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(Cream of) Broccoli Soup

I was feeling sad about not eating dairy again, so naturally I stumbled on this: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-broccoli-soup/

I had my doubts, to be honest, especially because there were a few reviews that said the soup was bland, but I did not think so. Probably could use a bit more salt, to be honest, but that's about it. Very easy recipe with little clean up afterwards -- if you have an immersion blender. Also, makes a lot, so think about halving it if you're cooking just for yourself. I would venture so far as to say that it's not too far from the original. Or maybe, as a vegan once said to me, it's just been that long since I had cheese....


  • 1 cup raw cashews

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 2 medium-sized turnips, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (original recipe called for potatoes but I wanted to sub in a healthier root, I think rutabaga would also work well)

  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped

  • 4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli (about 1 med-large head with stalk)

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Blend cashews and almond milk in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute.

  2. Pour the 4 cups vegetable broth into a large pot; add turnips/rutabaga/potato and onion. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in broccoli and basil; return to a simmer. Cover and cook until turnips are tender, about 10 minutes.

  3. Stir cashew mixture into soup; add salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and immediately remove from heat. Blend until as smooth as desire (you can make it completely smooth or you can leave some rough chunks as well). Serve immediately. (preferably with a nice crusty bread, which I unfortunately did not have)

Haak-Kashmiri Style Collard Greens

My friend shared her farm share with me and one week we got Collard Greens. She didn't really like them so I was searching around online to see what I could do with them when I came across this recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/haak-kashmiri-style-collard-greens-486371
I love it, so simple and yet so tasty. The spicier, the better =)


1 3/4 lbs tender young collard greens, thoroughly soaked, washed, and dried
1/2 cup mustard oil (I used olive oil, although mustard would probably taste better)
1/4 teaspoon asafetida powder (only a pinch!)
1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
5 small dried red chilies (Indian,or you may use chile arbol) (I substituted with about 1/4 – 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper)
5 fresh green chilies (Indian,or use serranos) (I think I left this out and just used black pepper to make it spicy)
3 1/2 cups water


1. Chop the greens coarsely.
2. Heat the oil over medium heat; add asafetida and when it sizzles for 5 seconds add greens.
3. Cover the pot for 10 seconds to wilt the greens. Remove cover, add salt and saute for 1 minute.
4. Add chiles and water, cover, lower heat and simmer 1 hour. Serve hot.
I accidentally bought Swiss Chard instead of Collard Greens at the farmer's market, but fortunately stumbled on this recipe at epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Garbanzo-Beans-and-Garlic-with-Swiss-Chard-241110
I've made a few modifications (some of which I haven't fully tested yet namely around the amount of oil, but I think they should work):


Garbanzo Beans:
1 15.5-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained (about 1.5 cups)
5 garlic cloves, peeled (leave them whole)
1/2 large sweet onion, cubed
1.5 small bay leaves, preferably fresh
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
1.5 small bay leaves, preferably fresh
1/2 large onion, cubed
1 bunches Swiss chard, stems separated and sliced into 1 inch pieces and leaves roughly torn
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon asafatoeida
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)


Garbanzo Beans:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine first 5 ingredients in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish or round pie pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Pour oil over; cover dish with foil.
4. Roast until garlic is tender, about 45 minutes.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, cover, and chill.

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, bay leaves, onion, and chard stems. Cook until onion is tender.
2. Add half of chard leaves. Toss until chard wilts and volume is reduced by half. Add remaining chard. Toss until chard wilts.
3. Add water and season with asafatoeida, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cover and cook until chard stems are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Most of the water should be reduced by this point.
4. Add garbanzo mixture to the chard. Toss over medium heat until warmed through. Season with salt/pepper as needed to serve.


Easy overnight steel cut oats

Notes: Mostly I'm posting this because whenever I want to make this recipe, it's late at night because I need a pre-made filling breakfast for the next morning and I'm stressed out and can't find it online.

1 c steel cut oats
3 c water
1 c milk
1 tsp cooking oil


  • Heat up oil. Add oats and cook on medium until they smell toasty, about 2-3 minutes.

  • Add water and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 1 minute.

  • Remove from heat and leave outside, covered, overnight.

  • Add milk the next morning and heat up.

  • Serve with your favorite oatmeal toppings. You can fridge leftovers; they last for a few days.

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

Notes: My favorite pancake recipe. A slightly modified version of the Moov Frozen Blueberry recipe. Some tips: to make fake buttermilk, but 1 tbs lemon or vinegar in regular milk. If the blueberries are frozen, it is worth thawing them before use for aesthetic reasons. The excess moisture will turn the pancake batter an unflattering green, but will not effect the taste.


1.25 c all purpose flower
3 tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 c plain yogurt (you can also use the same quantity of buttermilk or fake buttermilk)
2 tbs oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one lemon (or orange for variation)
juice of 1/2 lemon (or 1 tbs orange juice if using orange zest)
1 c fresh blueberries, or thawed frozen blueberries


  • In a medium bowl mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).

  • In a large bowl, beat egg. Stir in yogurt, oil, vanilla, and zest. Stir in flour mixture just until combined (avoid over mixing).

  • Brush a large non-stick skillet with a little oil. Heat over med-high heat.

  • Fold blueberries into batter.

  • Pour 1/4 c of batter into pan (for thinner pancakes, add a little more milk). Cook until bubbles appear on the surface (approx. 2 mins). Flip and cook about 1 min longer.

  • I like to serve these with blueberry syrup: in a small saucepan, heat up a small amount of maple syrup on a low heat. Add blueberries. Heat until syrup is warm. Drizzle over pancakes.

Easy Home-made Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese (the quick version)
Notes: Also posting this for basilthyme. I asked her for this recipe for my wisdom teeth extraction. This is just a very simple way to make mac n cheese. If you like yours with a thin sauce, add as much milk as you want. If you like a thick tangy sauce, try substituting some of the milk with yogurt. you can do this with all butter for a more delicious taste or you can do all olive oil for a more healthy meal.

4 servings of your favorite pasta shape (cut cooking time short by 1-2 min)
1/4 cup milk
4-5 slices of American cheese
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil


  • Cook pasta.

  • Sautee garlic with olive oil and butter. Once the garlic is done to your liking, add milk. Once the milk is heated (does not need to boil) add cheese and melt into milk. Once the sauce is a thickness of your liking, add pasta and serve immediately.

Serves 3-4

NB: this is the cheaters version of mac n cheese. The true version is made with a rue using flour. If you are going to use any cheese other than American, you need to make a rue (see recipe below) or the milk will curdle. So if you want cheddary mac n cheese, make the rue or you will be eating something that looks like baby spit-up. . .

All of the above ingredients plus 1 tbs of  all purpose flour
After sauting the garlic, add flour and saute until slightly fragrant (you don't want it to brown). Then add milk and heat till warmed. Add cheese of your liking and let the sauce thicken up.

Lentil Soup (Sweet/Tomato-y Version)

Notes: posting this for basilthyme. This is just lentil soup but with a very sweet taste to it from the pepper and carrots. The tomatoes add to the sweet flavor with a slight acidic kick.


1 large onion, chopped
3-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 large bay leaves
1 red bell pepper chopped into large chunks
2-3 large carrots chopped
1 pack of mushrooms, chopped into large chunks
1 28 oz can plum tomatoes roughly chopped (save liquid)
1 cup lentils
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4-6 cups water


  • Soak lentils  at least 1 hr.

  • Saute onion, bay leaves and garlic until garlic is browned and onion almost caramelized.

  • Add lentils, saute for 3-5 minutes, until softened.

  • Add all vegetables (including liquid from tomatoes), salt, pepper and water. Thin the soup to your liking. It will cook down a lot as the lentils cook.

  • Bring to a boil and simmer until lentils have cooked through (about 30 min).

Serves 4

Three Mushroom Vegetarian Nabeyaki Udon

From La Fuji Mama

For the mushroom stock:

7 cups water
1 piece kombu (approximately 12-square inches in size)
1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms

For the soup:

1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 rounded tablespoon grated fresh ginger
6 ounces spinach
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
10 ounces king trumpet mushrooms, sliced lengthwise
pinch of sea salt
14 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 leeks, cleaned and cut into 1-inch slices on the diagonal
21 ounces fresh udon noodles
1 package enoki mushrooms (approximately 7 ounces), ends trimmed
6 — 8 large eggs (depending on how large you want your servings to be)
shichimi togarashi, to garnish

1. Make the mushroom stock: Place the dried shiitake mushrooms and kombu in a pot with the water. Bring the water almost to a boil and then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the stock stand for 3 minutes. Squeeze the mushrooms to release the stock they have soaked up and set the stock aside. Cut off and discard the shiitake stems, then cut an “X” into the top of each mushroom cap and set aside.

2. Prepare the spinach: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and cook the spinach for one minute. Quickly drain the spinach and plunge it into a bowl of cold water. Drain and rinse with cold water until the spinach is completely cold. Squeeze out the water, then cut into 1-inch lengths. Set aside.

3. Prepare the king trumpet mushrooms and tofu: Heat the sesame oil in a saute pan, then add the sliced king trumpet mushrooms and pinch of sea salt. Saute until the mushrooms are cooked through, browned, and starting to become crispy in places. Remove the finished mushrooms to a bowl and set aside. Add the cubed tofu to the pan, adding additional oil as necessary to prevent the tofu from sticking to the pan, and saute until the tofu is browned. Set aside.

4. Make the soup: Mix the mushroom stock, soy sauce, mirin, and salt together in a 4-quart saucepan, then stir in the garlic and ginger.

5. Add the sliced carrots, leeks, and shiitake mushrooms, then bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until the carrots are tender.

6. Add the udon noodles, king trumpet mushrooms and tofu, then place the spinach in 5 small bundles on the top. Simmer for 3 minutes.

7. Separate the enoki mushrooms into 5 bundles and place them on top of the soup. Gently crack the eggs, one at a time, into the soup. Cover the pot with a lid, and let simmer for 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit to allow the eggs to finish cooking. Serve hot. Garnish with shichimi togarashi, if desired.

Penne alla Vodka

From Lidia's Italian-American kitchen.

One of my favorite recipes that I unfortunately cannot make any more due to the high dairy content. :(


  • Salt

  • One 35-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) with their liquid

  • 1 pound penne

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled

  • Crushed hot red pepper

  • 1/4 cup vodka

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil for finishing the sauce, if you like

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for passing if you like


Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8-quart pot over high heat.

Pour the tomatoes and their liquid into the work bowl of a food processor. Using quick on/off pulses, process the tomatoes just until they are finely chopped. (Longer processing will aerate the tomatoes, turning them pink.)

Stir the penne into the boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until done, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Whack the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and add them to the hot oil. Cook, shaking the skillet, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Lower the work bowl with the tomatoes close to the skillet and carefully — they will splatter — slide the tomatoes into the pan. Bring to a boil, season lightly with salt and generously with crushed red pepper, and boil 2 minutes. Pour in the vodka, lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer, and simmer until the pasta is ready.

Just before the pasta is done, fish the garlic cloves out of the sauce and pour in the cream. (I generally chop up the garlic cloves and put them back in because I like a lot of garlic.) Add the 2 tablespoons butter or oil, if using, and swirl the skillet to incorporate into the sauce. If the skillet is large enough to accommodate the sauce and pasta, fish the pasta out of the boiling water with a large wire skimmer and drop it directly into the sauce in the skillet. If not, drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and pour in the sauce. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, stirring to coat the pasta with sauce. Check the seasoning, adding salt and red pepper if necessary. Sprinkle the parsley over the pasta and boil until the sauce is reduced enough to cling to the pasta.

Remove the pot from the heat, sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cheese over the pasta, and toss to mix. Serve immediately, passing additional cheese if you like.

Escarole and Bean Soup

Notes: Posting a recipe for basilthyme. This is a lovely light soup. The olive oil is one of the dominant flavors in this and you can choose to add more. I prefer to add the olive oil at the end to prevent heating it too much, but you can just sautee all the ingredients in it in step 2 for convenience.

3 heads escarole
garlic, 5 cloves minced
1 tbs crushed red pepper (to taste)
1/3 c olive oil
2 5-oz cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
10 cups water
salt to taste

1. Cut off the bottom 4-inches or so of the entire head of escarole to eliminate the hard spine and extra sandy area. Wash escarole leaves carefully and thoroughly as it tends to be *very* sandy. Chop escarole coarsely (roughly into fourths)

2. Saute garlic (1 min) on medium. Add pepper and escarole. Saute for approx. 10 minutes.

3. Add beans and water. Bring to boil and then simmer for 1-1.5 hours. Salt to taste and add olive oil if needed and serve.


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