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.

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.

Gluten Free Flour Free Jam dots

*coconut almond jam dots gluten free

Gluten Free Flour Free Jam dots
makes 20 one oz cookies
1c coconut flour
1c roasted almonds
1 cup oats
1/4t cinnamon
1/2t salt
—-
1/2c maple syrup
1/2c coconut oil
1/2t vanilla

3T jam
preheat oven to 350º
If you are starting with raw almonds, roast them on a cookie sheet @ 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, careful not to let them burn. Cool thoroughly before running through the food processor.
In a small bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients together, the maple syrup, oil, and vanilla.
Put all of the dry ingredients into the food processor, the roasted almonds*, coconut flour, cinnamon and salt and process until a fine meal is achieved. *Be sure that the almonds are completely cooled before processing; otherwise you will end up with a pasty mess. In a large bowl, sift the flours, the salt and the cinnamon. Add the nuts to this bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a spatula until everything is well incorporated.
With a one ounce ice cream scoop or two spoons, place batter balls onto a *parchment lined cookie sheets. With a one cup measuring cup, slightly flatten each cookie-This process is a little easier when the cup is dipped into warm water between each cookie. Using a one-teaspoon measure, press the dome side into each cookie, this is where the jam goes. This process is a little easier when the teaspoon is dipped into warm water between each cookie.
Using a 1/2-teaspoon measure, scoop your choice of jam or fruit preserves into the center of each cookie.
Bake for 12 minutes and then rotate the pans in the oven (to insure even baking) and continue to bake for another 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool on the pans for another 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.

Simple Lentil Soup with Greens

*simple lentil soup with greens

I used fresh local spinach and it could not have been more satisfying. You can strip this soups down to just the onions and garlic and it would still be delicious. The turmeric adds a boost of anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties that we could all use more of and the cumin just makes it taste good. Serve topped with nutritional yeast and cracked black pepper and gluten free crackers or bread. Super fricken yum

Simple Lentil Soup with Greens

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free

1c brown lentils, washed and drained

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1-2c spinach, broccoli or other chopped leafy greens

1t turmeric

1/2t ground cumin

1/4t black pepper

1/2t cayenne pepper flakes or 1/2 of a fresh chili or jalapeño

1 vegetable bouillon cube (or 1T veggie broth powder)

2-3T extra virgin olive oil

4c boiling water

1t salt or to taste

Bring 6c of water to a boil, in case you need more

In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and sauté the onions, spices, hot pepper and garlic until golden and soft. Add the lentils, mixing them into the onion mix. Add the boiling water, the bouillon cube (or powder) tamari, and Ume. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the greens.

Adjust the seasonings before serving.

Spicy Raw Almond Sesame Sauce

*almond sesame noodles

Not all of the ingredients in this sauce are raw, however feel free to add in, subtract out what you need. Just the perfect amount of spicy heat. I sauced up some organic gluten free buckwheat noodles and sprinkled black sesames atop…nomnomnomnomnom

Spicy Raw Almond Sesame Sauce

1/2c raw almond butter

1/2t toasted sesame oil

1T sriracha or hot sauce

2T tamari

2t maple syrup or sucanat

2t hot sesame oil

1/4c sesame seeds

2T mirin

1t brown rice vinegar

1” piece of fresh ginger

1 clove garlic

1/2c- 3/4c water

3T fresh cilantro* opt

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients except the water.

Slowly add the water in, starting out with a 1/2c and adding more depending on the thickness desired, up to 3/4of a cup.

Delicious served over buckwheat soba, or with fresh shredded cabbage to make zesty coleslaw.

**Sriracha hot chili sauce can be found in most specialty markets, Asian markets, and even in some health food stores.

Banana Vanilla Power Smoothie

*banana vanilla smoothie

Tastes more like a giant vanilla milkshake!!! Usually I am not a fan of bananas in my smoothies, this…is SO DELICIOUS.

Banana Vanilla Power Smoothie

1c nut milk

1T hemp seeds

1t raw agave or raw local honey

2c chopped, frozen bananas

1 heaping T tocos

1T gold flax seeds

1T coconut oil

1t vanilla powder

1 scoop protein powder

1c ice

Blend all ingredients together except the ice and process until smooth- taste and adjust if needed

Add the ice and blend just until smooth.

Pickled Beets with Onions

*PICKLED BEETS

Pickled Beets with Onions

These keep amazingly well in the fridge- even though they may not last as long as you would like because they are SO DELICIOUS! They are a great accompaniment to lunches and sandwich type meals.

2 pounds red beets, scrubbed and washed

1 small onion, sliced very thinly

2T extra virgin olive oil

1/4c apple cider vinegar

1T red wine  or rice wine vinegar

1/2t salt

1/4t black pepper

1T maple syrup or raw agave or raw local honey

4c water

1/2t salt

Trim both ends of the beet off but leave the skin on. In a large pot, place the trimmed, whole beets and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, simmering for 30-40 minutes partially covered, until the beets are tender all the way into the center. Drain. The skin should slip off the beets, if not, using a peeler, remove the skins and set aside. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the beets in rounds, evenly and thin. In a large bowl, place the sliced beets, sliced red onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, sweetener, and vinegar. Gently toss with a large spoon. Adjust the seasonings. This can be eaten right away but it gets better as it sits- I recommend letting stand at least 6 hours before serving.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Tomato Red Lentil Soup

*tomatoredlentilsoup

This soup is so easy to make and a quick cooking source of  vegetable protein. Delicious on its own, or packed with freshly steamed, or sautéed greens.

Tomato Red Lentil Soup

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 large can or 1 jar (28oz) strained, pureed tomatoes

1 clove garlic, smashed

1t black pepper

1/2t cayenne pepper or fresh jalapeno

1c dried red lentils, rinsed

3T extra virgin olive oil

1t chipotle powder

1-2 veggie bouillons or broth equivalent

6c boiling water (in place of liquid broth)

1t smoked salt or pink salt to taste

OPTIONAL: 2 c fresh greens- 1 bunch kale, bok choy or escarole, coarsely chopped and (pan sautéed in olive oil and garlic is optional)- added in at the end

Bring 6c of water to a boil.

In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and sauté the onions with the garlic and hot pepper until golden and soft. Add the lentils, tomato puree, black pepper and chipotle powder. Add the boiling water and the bouillon. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Adjust the seasonings. You can puree the entire soup until super smooth or simply run a burr mixer through it to incorporate the vegetables and lentils or serve it as is.

To serve, in a bowl, place the greens and ladle the soup over. Top with nutritional yeast and season to taste.

Sesame Tahini Ginger Dressing

*tahini ginger dressing

This dressing is to DIE FOR! Sooooooooo fricken yummy and easy to make. Tahini offers more protein than milk and plenty of calcium to boot. The ginger has been used in eastern medicine as a natural anti inflammatory and pain killer so after a killer HERO WOD this morning this was the perfect outfit to dress my salad up in. You can feel free to omit or add other flavors to this, I love it on the lemony side. Served over fresh salad greens with avocado is my favorite but it would be delicious as a sauce for steamed veggies or for GF buckwheat soba noodles as well.

Sesame Tahini Ginger Dressing

1/2c raw tahini

1/2c water

1 clove garlic, smashed

1t raw agave or honey

1T rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1T shoyu (raw) or tamari (GF)

2T extra virgin olive oil

1/4t pink salt or to taste

1 lemon, juiced

2T sesame seeds

1” piece of fresh ginger

1t hot sesame oil

2T black or white sesame seeds- to be added to dressing after-*optional

In a blender, process all ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasonings for taste. This will set up in the fridge, you can thin it out by adding a bit more water and or lemon juice.

Roasted Spring Asparagus

*roasted asparagus

This winter took SO LONG to break…for me the 1st signs of light are tulips and asparagus- so when I walked into the River Valley Co-Op and saw beautiful bunches upon bunches of purple tipped asparagus, I knew spring had finally sprung. I am of the school that the simplicity of the main ingredient is what makes beautiful food- this is literally asparagus with a touch of garlic, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. You can put them on the grill to give an earthy char taste but they are equally exquisite done in a countertop broiler.

1 bunch asparagus- cleaned and trimmed

2T Extra Olive oil

1t pink salt

1/4t black pepper

1 clove garlic, smashed and minced

1/4 one lemon- juice

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

On a small pan or oven proof dish, lay out the asparagus, as thinly as possible. Drizzle the oil over and add the other ingredients except for the lemon. With your fingers, toss the stalks with the  ingredients. Roast for 10-12 minutes or until tender.

Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot, warm or cold.