Roasted Kobocha Squash Soup

Any squash can be used for this delicious creamy, and simple soup. Kobocha squash has got such a lovely, sweet but not too sweet taste that pairs perfectly with ginger. I picked a beauty up at the local farmer’s market this past weekend and roasted it and have been putting it in to many meals since. As a time saver, the squash can be roasted in advance. If the squash is already roasted, this soup literally takes 8 minutes start to finish. The roasting step may even be omitted and the squash simply peeled, cubed, and cooked along with the other vegetables. Roasting draws out the most flavors and brings the sweetness of the squash to life, but it is not a necessity.

roasted-kobocha-squash-soup

Roasted Kobocha Squash Soup

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2c roasted Kobocha squash*

1/4t chipotle powder *optional

1 fresh jalapeño or cherry bomb pepper, chopped

1t cinnamon

1/4t nutmeg

3T coconut oil

6c boiling water

1 vege bouillon

1t salt or to taste

—

1/4-1/3c cashews

1″ piece of fresh ginger

1T raw agave

 

Bring 6c of water to a boil.

—

Roasting the Squash: Clean the outer shell of the squash with cold water and pat it dry well with a dishtowel or paper cloth. With a sharp knife, split the squash down the middle, creating two halves. Seed the squash using a large spoon, scraping the stringy flesh and seeds from the center. With the cleaned halves, rub with oil and salt. Place face down on a cookie sheet or roasting dish and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is tender, yielding to the touch. Let cool. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the roasted squash.Place the cashews, ginger, agave and fresh hot pepper in a blender and set aside.

—

In a large soup pot, add the oil and sauté the onions and garlic until golden and soft and aromatic. Add the yellow squash, the boullion (or powder) and the salt. Continue to sauté until the squash softens and turns bright yellow- about 3-4 minutes.  Add the boiling water to cover. Bring to a rapid boil and reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 more minutes.

 —

In batches, in a blender or vitamix*, transfer the soup pot contents into the blender and puree the soup with the contents in the blender. Adjust the seasonings if needed.

*Caution: blending hot liquids can be extremely dangerous. Fill the blender only half way and proceed in batches if necessary.

Garlic SautĂ©ed Kale with Hot Pepper

satueed-kale

One of my all time favorite go-to’s. I can easily eat a whole head of kale by myself. Make sure the pan is hot before adding your greens. The cook time should be quick-

Seriously super delicious.

Garlic Sautéed Kale with  & Hot Pepper

1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed, and torn into bite size pieces

1 clove garlic, minced

½ Cherry Bomb or Jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced

2T Extra virgin olive oil

1/4t salt

In a large skillet heat up the olive oil over medium high heat and sauté the garlic just until golden brown. Add the salt, pepper, and then add the kale. With a fork or a pair of tongs, move the kale around the pan cooking the kale until wilted and tender. I like to place mine in a bowl with a plate over top so that it continues to steam slightly, makes it even more tender. Serve immediately. Also delicious at room temperature.

Stewed Summer Tomatoes

Stewed Summer Tomatoes

Stewed Summer Tomatoes

10 tomatoes (roma or plum), split length wise in 1/2

2 teaspoons salt

1 small onion, medium dice

1 clove garlic, sliced

2T extra virgin olive oil

1 cherry bomb pepper, sliced *optional

3-4 large leaves of fresh basil

1-1/2c boiling water

Heat up a large cooking pot; add the olive oil and onions and sauté just until translucent. Add the garlic slices and tomato halves to the onions. Cover with hot water. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium to medium-low and continue to cook uncovered for 30 minutes or so. The tomatoes should remain intact. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes if not using right away to store. Remove from the pot to a jar or glass container and while still warm, add the fresh basil. If eating immediately, add the fresh basil in at the end before serving and drizzle with more salt and olive oil.

Serve fresh or you can freeze them. I eat them over crusty bread as a snack hot, warm or cold. I also use them to make a delicious dish; Baked Pasta with Stewed Tomatoes. AMAZE.

Creamy Yukon Potato Salad

Creamy Yukon Potato Salad

Incredibly delicious. Yukon potatoes have a rich nutty taste on their own- and they abundant locally now in Western Mass. In this side dish they are showcased with the perfect amount of dressing that is sure to please all kinds of palettes. There is a perfect balance between sweet, salty and sharp- the lemon is not necessary but adds a brightness to the flavor.

This salad is a winner.

Creamy Yukon Potato Salad

8-10 Yukon potatoes, gently scrubbed and washed , about 2 pounds

1 small red onion, minced

1 leafy stalk of celery, minced (with the leaves)

1t maple syrup or agave

1/2c Veganaise or another type prepared vegan mayonnaise

3T olive oil

1/4c red vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1T fresh lemon juice *optional

2t stone ground mustard

1-1/2t salt

1/2t ground black pepper

2c water

1t salt

The Potatoes:

Place the cleaned potatoes into a medium sized pot. Cover Âľ the way with water and add 1T salt. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat and cover and cook them partially covered for 10-15 minutes, until they are tender but they still maintain their shape. Make sure they are cooked all the way through.

Drain them from the water and allow them to cool slightly making them easier to handle, about 2-3 minutes.

The Dressing:

In a large mixing bowl, add the other ingredients together, the minced onion, celery, sweetener (I used raw agave), Veganaise, vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Coarsely slice the potatoes into the bowl- I like large chunks so I will quarter the potatoes depending on their size. Mindfully mix the potatoes into the dressing, trying not to smash the potatoes up to much. Adjust the seasoning before serving. Serve warm or chilled garnished with fresh parsley.

Sick White Girl Noodle Soup

So ya…I overtrained…got sick. I walked out into the cold air on Sunday and like a slap in the face, I was sick. Just like that. So now I am eating simple foods and resting…a lot. I have made this soup for the past two days and I am convinced that practice is mastery- the more you do, the better you or it becomes- the broth in this case. It is a simple, clear broth- I didn’t want tamari or that soy sauce taste and I didn’t want the bouillon taste- I wanted that full flavorful taste of asian broths that appear almost clear, nothing floating around in it, nothing to get in the way of the taste. The first night I tried with garlic and I found that, tho it was tasty, it had that raw garlic taste that to me seemed a little bit overwhelming. Last night I omitted the garlic and stuck with the ginger and onions. I think I am in love. Scallions would be even better I suspect. The broth takes less than 10 minutes to make- less even- then I added in beautiful local veggies; nappa cabbage, carrots, fresh spinach. You could definitely expound on this premise- flavor the broth with mushrooms etc- this was me, in a pinch, sick, after work- and it was D E L I C I O U S.

Sick White Girl Asian Noodle Soup

Simple Broth for Sick White Girl Asian Noodle Soup 

6c water

½ onion, coarsely chopped

2” fresh ginger, grated

1t sesame oil

1t pink salt

Put everything in a pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve into a large heatproof pitcher (I use my Vitamix container). Discard the vegetables. Pour the broth back into the pot and then proceed to add fresh veggies, cooked rice noodles. This is the simplest, clear broth and it is just so easy and perfect for a pick me up or when you are not feeling full force to sip on.

Sick White Girl Asian Noodle Soup

3-4c Simple Broth

1 carrot, cut into desired shapes

3 leaves nappa cabbage, thinly shredded

1 large handful fresh spinach, trimmed and washed well, thinly shredded

1 serving rice vermicelli

1t hot sesame oil

optional: you could add tofu cubes, mushrooms, baby corn, water chestnuts etc. While I was sick, simple was best.

Over medium heat, add the veggies except the spinach and heat up only until they carrots turn bright and are just tender. Add the noodles (uncooked if quick cooking, use cooked if it is a longer cooking pasta or noodle). Add in the hot sesame oil. Taste and adjust for saltiness.

In a bowl, place the fresh spinach in and then ladle the soup and noodles over- this will cook/wilt the spinach keeping most of the antioxidants intact.

Fricken delicious.

SautĂ©ed Lacinato Kale with Garlic & Fire Ball Peppers

Sautéed Lacinato Kale with Garlic & Fire Ball Peppers

Everything was local, purchased from the Greenfield Farmer’s market, the Lacinato Kale, the Fire Ball Pepper, the garlic…. This red pepper adds a low-heat kick, which is delicious, and not overbearing. I ate the whole bunch myself! Any kale will do, but there is something exceptional delicious about this particular variety.

Sautéed Lacinato Kale with Garlic & Fire Ball Peppers

1 bunch Lacinato kale, washed, trimmed, and torn into bite size pieces

1 clove garlic, minced

½ Fire Ball or Cherry Bomb pepper, thinly sliced

2T Extra virgin olive oil

1/4t salt

In a large skillet heat up the olive oil over medium high heat and sauté the garlic just until golden brown. Add the salt, red pepper, and then add the kale. With a fork or a pair of tongs, move the kale around the pan cooking the kale until wilted and tender. I like to place mine in a bowl with a plate over top so that it continues to steam slightly, makes it even more tender. Serve immediately. Also delicious at room temperature.

Cream of Zucchini Soup

*cream of zucchini soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup

This is the perfect way to use them, showcasing their sweet summer flavor. Roasting the zucchini first enhances the entire flavor of the soup but it is also an additional step in the preparation and is not necessary for a delicious soup.

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 large zucchini, chopped

1/4t chipotle powder *optional

3T coconut oil

6c boiling water

1 veg bouillon

1t salt or to taste

1/4c cashews

1/2-1 whole fresh jalapeño

large handful fresh parsley or basil *optional

___

Bring 6c of water to a boil.

In a large soup pot, add the oil and sauté the onions until golden and soft. Add the zucchini, salt, and black pepper. Continue to sauté until the zucchini softens and turns bright green.  Add the boiling water, the bouillon cube (or powder). Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

 —

In a blender or vitamix, add the zucchini mix, the cashews, and the jalapeño. Blend first at low speed and finally walking it up to full power. Let run for about 30 seconds.

Adjust the seasonings again after blending.

*Caution: blending hot liquids can be extremely dangerous. Fill the blender only half way and proceed in batches if necessary.

Summer Quinoa Salad

Summer Quinoa Salad

Summer Quinoa Salad

1 ripe avocado, pitted, and cubed

1 1/2c steamed quinoa

1T fresh basil

1/2c cooked, drained, chickpeas

½ tomato, small dice

2t fresh lemon juice or limejuice

1T Extra Virgin Olive oil

1/4t pink salt

Black pepper to taste

1T nutritional yeast

In a medium sized bowl, add the cooled quinoa (room temp is best), and all of the other ingredients. Toss well and season to taste. Serve with additional avocado and tomato slices. Summer Love.

Hearty Summer Black Bean Soup with Greens

*Hearty Summer Black Bean Soup with Greens

Local greens, tomatoes, corn, onions and garlic- this soup is so satisfying and absolutely delicious.

Hearty Summer Black Bean Soup with Greens

Wheat-free * Gluten-free*

1 large onion, medium dice

2c fresh tomato medium dices or crushed tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

3c black beans, cooked and drained or 2 cans

1 medium sweet potato, medium dice- I Japanese yams which are less sweet than orange

1 medium white potato, medium dice

2c fresh corn niblets

2c greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard)

2t smoked chipotle powder

2t cumin

1t turmeric

2t chili powder

1/4t black pepper

1/4t cayenne pepper

3T extra virgin olive oil

1-2 vegetable bouillon cubes

1/4c fresh parsley *optional

1t-smoked salt

6c boiling water

1t salt or to taste

Bring 6c of water to a boil.

In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic with until golden and soft. Add in the cleaned greens and sauté until wilted. Remove just the greens from the pan and set aside, reserving for later. Add the beans, spices, salt, black and red pepper, and sautéing for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and both the sweet and regular potatoes, then the boiling water, and the bullion cube (or powder). Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the sautéed greens and the fresh parsley. Garnish with fresh parsley and nutritional yeast.

Black & White Bean Soup with Greens

*Black & White Bean Soup with Greens

Black & White Bean Soup with Greens

This soup is wonderfully hearty and delicious. The rice can be substituted with gluten free pasta or another grain of your choosing. Adding in a mix of greens would be amazing but I am partial to kale.

Wheat-free Gluten-free

1 large onion, medium dice

1c tomato puree or crushed tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1c cannellini beans, cooked and drained

1c cooked brown rice

1c black beans

2c greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard)

2t smoked chipotle powder

1/4t black pepper

1/4t cayenne pepper

3T extra virgin olive oil

1-2 vegetable bouillon cubes

1/4c fresh basil *optional

1t-smoked salt

6c boiling water

1t salt or to taste

Bring 6c of water to a boil.

In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic with until golden and soft. Add in the cleaned greens and sauté until wilted. Remove just the greens from the pan and set aside, reserving for later. Add the beans, rice, salt, black and red pepper, and sautéing for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes then the boiling water, the bullion cube (or powder), smoke flavor if using. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the sautéed greens and the fresh basil. Garnish with fresh basil and nutritional yeast.