Slow-Cooker Ginger Miso Shiitake Soup

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3” knob of ginger root, minced
unreal quantities of garlic (I think I used about 25-30 cloves), minced or mashed
1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
4 cups veg broth and/or water (I went half and half)
1/2 cup miso (I used red miso)
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp sesame oil

optional:
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 block tofu, diced
scallions, finely chopped
several handfuls of spinach leaves
cooked noodles (I used soba)
sriracha
anything else you want in your soup!

Melt the oil in a pan. Saute the onions and ginger for a few minutes, then add the garlic. Put this mixture in the slow cooker. Add mushrooms and broth/water. Stir in the miso, then the turmeric. If you’re adding ingredients that you want to cook with the broth, add them now. (For instance, f you want your tofu softer and more flavorful, add it now; if you want it firmer and more “tofu-flavored”, add it later.) then turn the slow cooker on. I cooked mine on low for 6 hours.

When the broth is ready, add whatever additional ingredients you’d like, stir it up, and serve!

(adapted from: http://mountainroseblog.com/shiitake-mushrooms-wellness-miso-ginger-soup/)

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Sweet’n’Sour Pad Thai

A friend made me some really good Pad Thai the other night and I’ve been wanting to play around with my go-to Pad Thai recipe for a while, so I came up with this. I made it in the middle of the night, so I was kinda just throwing stuff together, but it came out so well I really wanted to share it. Here’s what I think I did!

marinade:
2 Tbsp tamarind paste
2 Tbsp miso paste (I used white miso)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used Bragg’s liquid aminos)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1-2 Tbsp sriracha (leave it out if you like it mild)

everything else:
1 block (14oz) tofu, cubed
~8oz noodles (I used brown rice noodles)
oil for sauteeing (I used peanut oil)
12-15 cloves garlic, minced
a whole lot of ginger (I used about a Tbsp ginger powder)
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
~10 scallions, chopped
3/4 cup coconut milk (I strongly recommend full fat, from a well-shaken can!)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup peanuts (you can chop or crush them if you like!)
mung bean sprouts (optional)

Combine the marinade ingredients in a container that has a lid you can shut (like a tupperware). Put the tofu in the container with the marinade. Shut the lid and shake it up really well! If you wish, dance or twirl or roll around your kitchen while you do this; it will make it taste better. Put the container in the fridge for 4 hours (if you need to eat this TODAY) or overnight (if you’re planning ahead for somethin’ extra-special).

Cook the noodles according to package instructions. When they’re done, drain them and set them aside.

In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the garlic and ginger. (If you’re using fresh ginger, put them in at the same time; if powder, put the garlic in first and give it a minute or so.) Get your tofu out of the fridge and dump the entire contents of the container (sauce and all) into the pot. Stir. Add the cilantro and broccoli. Let this cook for 5 minutes or so, then add the scallions. After another minute or so, add the coconut milk, stir for a bit, then add the nutritional yeast. Now put the noodles in the pot with everything else and stir really well to combine all the ingredients with the noodles. Add the peanuts. Garnish with mung bean sprouts if you’re into that.

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Crockpot Chili, Ropa Vieja Style

I adapted this recipe from the Ropa Vieja recipe in Robin Robertson’s cookbook The name “ropa vieja” translates as “old clothes”, referring to the texture of shredded meat in the traditional preparation of this dish, whose origins are traced to Sephardic Jewish kitchens in Cuba and Spain. Shredded seitan will give you that texture; I’ve also added red cabbage which will do the same thing, and you can add more of that if you’re not using seitan but still want to get a similar mouth-feel.

Traditionally this dish would include bell peppers; I can’t eat those, but if you can, go for it.

1 medium onion, chopped
12-15 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
1-2 cups portabello mushroom, diced
olive oil (optional)
1 25oz can tomato sauce (any kind you like – I use Whole Foods brand Italian Herb)
1 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder (I use Vulcan Fire Salt, which is an in-house blend from the Spice House in Chicago, but you can use any chili powder or no chili powder or…whatever you like)
1 tsp smoked paprika (I use smoked hot paprika; if you don’t like things as spicy as I do, you might used smoked sweet or just leave this out)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
cilantro (to your liking)
salt (to taste)
1 15oz can black beans
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
1lb seitan OR 1lb tofu OR another can of beans OR 1 cup soy curls or TVP (add an extra cup of water or veg broth if using dehydrated protein)
chopped greens — as much as you like, any kind (I usually use something hearty like kale or collards)
lime juice
nutritional yeast (optional)

Put the veggies in the crockpot. Drizzle olive oil over them if desired. Add all the other ingredients except the greens and nutritional yeast. Stir. Cook on low for 4-6hrs. Add greens, lime juice, and yeast. Taste for seasoning; adjust as needed. Cook on low for another 30 minutes. Serve with grain of your choice (I like brown basmati rice).

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Creamy Root Veg Soup with Chickpeas and Greens

I adapted this recipe from I used yam, beet, and ginger root in the base instead of sweet potato, carrot, and celery. I was planning to use a sweet potato, but when I went to the store last night there were no sweet potatoes and there was exactly one yam, which I snatched up promptly, and it worked very nicely. This soup goes well with quinoa and is a delicious wintry treat.

BROTH
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
12-15 cloves garlic
1 large yam
1 beet (save the greens!)
1/4 – 1/2 cup ginger root
teeny tiny pinch of cloves
salt & pepper
6 cups water

Heat the oil in your soup pot. Chop the veggies coarsely — everything’s going in the blender at the end, so don’t worry about making the bits bite-sized. You can peel your root veggies if you want to; I usually don’t, especially since they’re going in the blender. Saute the onion for a couple minutes, then add all the other solid ingredients and stir for another couple minutes. Add the water. Turn the heat up high and bring it to a boil, then turn it all the way to low. Cover the pot and let simmer for 30-35 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 15-20 minutes. Put everything in the blender or food processor (you may need to do this in batches unless your device is enormous), and process till smooth. You can freeze whatever you don’t use right away.

SOUP
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cardamom
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
ground red pepper powder to taste (I used 1 tsp Vulcan Fire Salt)
1 can coconut milk
4 cups creamy root veg broth (see above)
greens (use the beet greens you saved, and add any other leafy greens you like)
2 cans chickpeas
lemon juice, toasted sesame oil, nutritional yeast as desired

Melt the coconut oil in your soup pot. Add the spices and let them toast for a minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the coconut milk, broth, greens, and chickpeas. Simmer for 15-30 minutes. You can leave it alone for a while, but check it periodically to make sure it’s not burning on the bottom. Add lemon juice, toasted sesame oil, and/or nutritional yeast to your liking.

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Indonesian-Inspired Curry Soup with Hazelnut Base

This recipe was loosely inspired by this recipe from Spice Island Vegan. I had quite a few toasted hazelnuts left over from an adventure with homemade nutella a few months ago, which turned out to be perfect in this recipe. I highly recommend using coconut oil if possible, as it brings out the flavors really optimally and gives the soup a nice rich texture, but if you prefer to use soy butter, or even ordinary olive oil or vegetable oil, that will work just fine too.

1 medium onion
12-15 cloves garlic
1” knob ginger root
1 cup toasted hazelnuts
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
8 cups veg broth
2 cups dry TVP chunks or soy curls
1 bunch chopped cilantro
2-3 medium potatoes, chopped into bite sized chunks
~2 cups red cabbage, chopped into bite size chunks
any veggies you want, really
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
soy sauce and lemon juice to taste

Combine the onion, garlic, ginger, and hazelnuts in a food processor. Process into a paste.
Melt the coconut oil in your soup pot. Saute the paste for 5 minutes or so. Add the spices, let them toast in there for a minute or two, then add the veg broth, TVP, cilantro, and whateever veggies you’re using. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast (if using) and soy sauce and/or lemon juice to your heart’s content. Serve with brown basmati rice or noodles or whatever grain you prefer.

 photo 2EF50007-E137-47A8-B4AE-0760901C734E-148-0000000CAE332DA8_zps39696372.jpg

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Pumpkin-Chickpea Scramble

My wonderful friend Simone is here visiting me this weekend! The morning before she arrived, I made a batch of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins. Whenever I make those muffins, I end up with the rest of the can of pumpkin and I have to figure out something new to do with it. I often like to make Pumpkin Tofu Scramble for breakfast, but today I wanted to try something different, and I was really in the mood for chickpeas, so I got the idea to adapt it for a chickpea scramble. Here it is!

close-up on a bowl of pumpkin-chickpea scramble with spinach leaves and brown basmati rice, and a fork

1 Tbsp or so olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 15oz can chickpeas (~2 cups cooked chickpeas), drained and rinsed
a few tablespoons apple cider vinegar
some form of soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 Tbsp powdered sage
2 tsp powdered thyme
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup nutritional yeast or more if you feel like it needs it
hot sauce, chili powder, whatever you like to use to make things hot (I use Vulcan’s Fire Salt or nothing at all if you’re not into that
a few handfuls of spinach leaves or whatever veggies you like in your scramble

Heat the olive oil over medium to medium-low heat. Saute the onions for a few minutes. While the onions are sauteing, put the chickpeas in a bow with some apple cider vinegar and soy sauce or liquid aminos, and mash them up. They don’t have to be completely mashified, just as mashy as you want them. Add the garlic to the saute pan, give it about a minute, then add the chickpeas and the spices (including hot sauce if you’re using it). Stir this all together. Add the pumpkin puree and some more apple cider vinegar and/or soy sauce, and the nutritional yeast. Continue stirring and adding liquid and/or nutritional yeast until it reaches the texture you want. Stir in the spinach leaves (if you’re using tougher veggies, you might want to add them sooner so they have a chance to cook more). Serve with toast, rice, or whatever grainy thing you enjoy.

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Toasted Sesame Infused Chocolate Chip Cookies

I always love chocolate chip cookies, and I always love finding little ways to make them just a bit more interesting. This was today’s adventure.

I got exactly 15 cookies out of this recipe.

1/2 cup soy butter
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or equivalent amount of additional soy butter)
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
3/4 cup sugar (I used about half brown, half white)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (maybe a little less than that, definitely not more)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F. Soften the soy butter and coconut oil. Combine thoroughly with the sesame oil and sugar. Add the applesauce and vanilla extract, stirring all ingredients together to make a creamy batter. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Once these are all stirred in, add the chocolate chips. Scoop approximately-tablespoon-sized blobs of batter onto a cookie sheet, leaving room between the blobs as they will spread quite a bit. Bake for 10-14 minutes.

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