Leek, Potato & Broccoli Soup {vegan}

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Fancy schmancy green smoothies are fine by me. But I like to kick it old school with my blended vegetables sometimes — with some green soup.

We get our color from broccoli and spinach and then trick it out with non-juice things like potatoes, leeks and garlic and top it all off with maple balsamic caramelized onions and some toasted almond flakes.

These onions are ideal on pretty much anything savory. I recommend adding a pinch of chili flakes to the batch for the perfect sweet and spicy mix. I love these on sandwiches, on roasted vegetable salads and stirred in to soup for extra texture and excitement.

There’s plenty of time for green juice in the future. Today, we soup!

green soup 2

Leek, Potato & Broccoli Soup

  • 1 tablespoon oil (I used macadamia oil)
  • 2 medium-large leeks, cleaned and finely sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium head broccoli, trimmed and cut into small pieces
  • 3 cups spinach
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot heat oil over a medium high heat. Add leeks and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes until the leeks soften. Add a splash of warm water to the pan if the leeks are sticking at all. Add garlic and fennel seeds and cook for another minute, stirring.

Add potato and vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling add broccoli and cover the pot reducing to medium-low. Let cook for about 10 minutes until everything cooks through and the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Stir in spinach.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Puree in a blender in batches or use a stick blender to get a smooth consistency. Season.

Serve with maple balsamic caramelized onions (see below) and toasted almond flakes.

Maple Balsamic Caramelized Onions

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 medium red onions – or a mix of yellow and red (whatever you’ve got) thinly sliced into half-moons
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • water
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • pinch of chili (optional)

In a large pan, heat oil over a medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes, until very softened and getting golden. Add a little splash of water at any point if the pan gets too dry.

Add balsamic vinegar and allow to bubble down and reduce, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for another 10 minutes (again, adding small splashes of water as needed.) Once completely softened, turn off the heat and stir in the maple syrup, another pinch of salt and chili (if you’re into that sort of thing). Stir to combine and set aside until you’re ready to serve.

I love having this on hand in the fridge for a couple of days to add to anything and everything.

Zucchini Noddles with Slow Cooker Tomato Garlic Sauce

zucchini noodle tomato garlic

I’m all about fancy kitchen gear: a colorful cast-iron pot, vintage cutlery and artfully crumpled linen tea towels. I want all of the pretty things that I can’t afford. (Williams-Sonoma, you saucy minx.)

But sometimes kitchen tools can border on superfluous – keeping it simple and uncluttered is where I’m at these days.

I’ll admit, those spiralized zucchini noodles look pretty rad. (You know what I’m talking about right? The Spiralizer is a thing.) But for now, and probably forever,  my vegetable peeler serves me just as well for similar results.

We’re going for simple here. Just you, the vegetable peeler and some zucchini with a super easy garlic-packed slow cooker tomato sauce.

I’m not joking about the garlic. I used a whole head of garlic, because that’s the kind of girl I am.

It’s cooked low and slow in the crock pot for maximum tomato-garlic goodness and minimal effort.

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Simple Vegan Banana Bread

vegan banana bread

I need to tell you about this vegan banana bread that you would never guess is vegan.

It has the perfect soft crumb, it’s moist with great banana flavor, and it’s just sweet enough with little
caramel-y nuggets from the dates. There’s no messing around with fancy flax eggs or non-dairy milks,
just straight up simple and easy banana bread. It also freezes and reheats in the toaster like a champ.

vegan banana bread


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Fajita Bowls with Cauliflower Rice {Vegan}

vegan fajita cauli rice bowl

Because of my constant need to be independent and divergent in some way I almost always choose vegetable fajitas on a standard Mexican restaurant menu. Unless I’m at a fancy taco place. Then I just eat the fancy tacos and shut the hell up.

Anyway, those veggie fajitas usually come with a pan of sizzling spiced bell peppers and onions – plus an entire plate’s worth of add-ons like guac, salsa, iceberg lettuce and a stack of warm tortillas. I’m given lots of freedom to put together my own combinations or just dig in to a pile of vegetables with tons of guacamole. Writing my own rules. Just the way I like it.

And if I find myself at Chipotle…I opt for a burrito bowl and customize the crap out of it.

Here we find ourselves somewhere in the middle with some cauliflower rice thrown in for all those fake rice enthusiasts out there. I love regular rice and especially chewy, nutty brown rice, but sometimes I find myself with a whole head of cauliflower for the fourth week in a row and I’ve gotta mix it up. Plus it’s super light and fluffy and paleo-friendly.

Let’s make cauliflower rice fajita bowls!

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Roasted Butternut & Eggplant with Tahini Miso Dressing {vegan}

roasted eggplant & butternut miso tahini sauce

Roasting brings out amazing qualities in vegetables – especially with squash and eggplant. High heat creates little cubes of excellence – caramelized and golden on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside.

This tahini miso dressing is vegan luxury. Savory and creamy, it’s a lovely way to tie together a salad of warm roasted vegetables and fresh green herbs. I used cilantro, but you can use parsley or a combination of the two.

This salad makes a great side dish or a whole meal when served over a bed of rice or quinoa with some toasted flaked almonds.

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