Summer Zucchini Minestrone


This easy soup recipe is the perfect way to incorporate fresh local veggies during the summer season.
IMG_0131

Ingredients:

  • 28 oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 4-5 small zucchinis, diced
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 large vidalia onion
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 3 fresh cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups of organic spinach
  • 1.5 teaspoons of organic chicken soup base
  • 3-4 cups of filtered water
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans of organic cannellini beans

IMG_0128

Steps:

  1. Start by taking a medium sized sauce pan and coat the bottom with olive oil, turn heat on medium and add the onions, basil and parsley stirring frequently for about 5 minutes and then add the garlic stirring for another 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes (if they are whole cut them into bite sized pieces first), beans, water, salt and pepper and the soup base.
  3. Cover the pan and let simmer over medium to low heat for 30-35 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with parmesan and red chili flakes.

IMG_0121

Pumpkin Ginger Carrot Soup


Yesterday I went to Niagara Produce and stocked up on vegetables. I realized as I was leaving that I may have been a tad overzealous when it came to the amount of carrots I bought, so I was on a mission to make an entree out of them.  I received a Vitamix for our wedding and thought what a perfect time of year to make a carrot pureed soup in that.  I added the pumpkin since it’s Fall and this soup was delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger- peeled and minced (you can add more if you like a bite) 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. chunks
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • pinch of curry powder
  • pinch of cumin
  • 2 bay leafs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sugar in the raw (sprinkle on top to serve)
  • nutmeg (grate on top to serve)

Steps:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot  over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, ginger, and garlic; saute for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, water, carrots, cumin, curry powder, bay leafs and pumpkin to the pot and heat until boiling.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor (I had to do mine in two batches)
  6. Season  salt and pepper, nutmeg and sugar  to taste.   SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Spicy Red Lentil Soup


Wegman’s always has such a great variety of soup. A few years ago I tried their spicy red lentil chili and was blown away! To my delight they had the recipe online and I have been making this soup ever since. The recipe calls for some things I don’t cook with like cornstarch and butter so I have made my own adjustments to make this soup healthier and easier to make. You really don’t need to add a thickener to this soup because the lentils expand so much it makes the soup thick on it’s own. Also always remember that food is customizable so for the tobasco and seasonings you can alter them according to your tastebuds! I added a few drop of the tobasco in each bowl I served because I happen to love spice. This large pot of soup costs under $10.00 to make and its so filling, cant beat that 😉

Ingredients:

Sorry about my kitty's head
Sorry about my kitty’s head
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 large Tbsp Earth Balance spread
  • 1/2 cup white onion- diced
  • 1 cup scallions- finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery -diced ( I throw the leaves in for flavor)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves- diced (I love garlic you can add less if you’d like)
  • 1 medium tomato- cored and diced
  • 1 large green pepper -finely diced
  • 1 large carrot- peeled and finely diced
  • 6 cups veggie stock (you can make your own or use store bought)
  • 1 Tbsp Tobasco sauce
  • 1/2 tsp  turmeric (“few sprinkles”)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (“”)
  • 1/2 tsp  chili powder (“”)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (one sprinkle)
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Start by pouring the veggie broth into a large pot along with the lentils over medium to high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring ocasioanlly and turn heat down to medium low and cover loosely.photo 2
  2. In a seperate skillet add the earth balance spread over medium to high heat let melt, add the scallions and onions and stir frequently for 3-5 minutes, add the garlic and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the finely diced carrots, celery, peppers and tomatoes into the skillet and let cook down for 7-8 minutes over medium heat, stirring freqeuntly.photo 3
  4. Pour the veggie mixture into the pot with the lentils. Add your spices; tumeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add the tobasco
  5. Stir all of the ingredients together, let cook over medium to low heat, loosely covered for about 40 minutes, stirring ocasioanlly. photo 4photo 5

Vegetable Stock


I normally just buy organic vegetable stock pre-made at the store, but yesterday after looking at all of the fresh produce I had I decided to make my own. It’s so easy and its great to freeze to have on hand when the recipe calls for it! I ended up using the vegetables for our dinner afterwards. I diced the veggies then added some barley, lentils, cabbage and kale to my dish with about 3 cups of the veggie broth.  When making a basic vegetable stock, you want something with a fairly neutral savory flavor. Some recipes recommend adding salt and other spices, but unless you know how you’re going to be using the broth , it’s better to add those flavors when you are making the actual dish. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 to 3 carrots
  • 3 to 4 celery stalks
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic

Steps

  1.  Roughly Chop All The Vegetables: Wash any visible dirt off the vegetables and give them a rough chop. You don’t even need to peel them first unless you really want to. Throw all the vegetables in a pot big enough to hold them plus a few extra inches of water
  2. Cover with Water and Simmer: Cover the vegetables with enough water that you can easily stir them in the pot. Less water means that your stock will be more concentrated; more water makes a lighter-flavored stock. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring it to just under a boil. Once you start to see some bubbling around the edges of the pot and a few wisps of steam on the surface, turn the heat down to medium-low
  3. Cook for One Hour or So: This isn’t an exact science, but one hour is generally enough time to infuse the water with vegetable goodness. If you need to take it off the heat a little early or don’t get to it until a little later, it will be fine. Give it a stir every now and again to circulate the vegetables
  4. Strain and Store Take the pot off the stove and remove all the vegetables with a slotted spoon. Set your strainer over a big bowl and line it with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Pour the stock through. Divide the stock into storage containers, cool completely, and then freeze.

unnamed (1)

Curried Ginger Red Lentil and Quinoa Soup


I started a ten day Kundalini yoga workshop on Tuesday night. It begins at 4:30 am in Buffalo so I have been setting my alarm at 3:15 am. It’s only been three days, but so far I am seeing incredible changes in my body and mental state. I have not had the desire to eat meat and have been eating vegan the past few days and feel seriously incredible. I highly recommend this soup for anyone, the smell filled up my whole house and was truly divine. The lentils, quinoa and chickpeas jam pack this soup with protein. I had it  again for lunch today and feel so full but in a good way, not the I need to go nap way. I hope you enjoy, happy hump day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large organic carrots, peeled and diced
  • 5 stalks organic celery, chopped
  • 3 organic cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 lb red lentils
  • 3 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 (28oz) can organic diced tomatoes
  •  2 bay leaves
  • 1 (15oz) can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked organic quinoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup of tabouleh (Optional: I went to Pita Gourmet for lunch and had a side of it, so I threw it in)

Steps:

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onions, carrot and celery, sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and curry powder, sauté for about a minute or until fragrant.
  3. Add lentils, broth, tomatoes, tabouleh  and bay leaves.
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer until lentils are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  5.  Add chickpeas and quinoa, heat through.  Season with salt and pepper, and red chili flakes (if you like spice) to taste and adjust seasoning as needed. unnamed (1)

Vegetable Rice Medley


Yesterday I drove to Pennsylvania to spend the night at Splash Lagoon with my dad, brother and his friends. The hotel room had a full kitchen so I decided to make a quick stop to Wegman’s to cook something nice for my daddy.  I was inspired by a greek stuffed peppers recipe I found, but completely changed it around. If I do say so myself this is one of the best meals that I have ever come up with, and I highly recommend trying this dish out!

  • 2 15.5 oz cans organic great northern beans or small white beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 10 oz bags of frozen long grain brown rice
  • 2 lemons squeezed
  • 5 peppers (orange, red and yellow- cut the top off, take the seeds out and wash)
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill (amount depends on your preference)
  •  1 bunch fresh curly parsley (amount depends on your preference)
  • Garlic sea salt to taste
  • 1.5 cups organic vegetable broth
  • pepper to taste
  • 6 oz can of organic tomato paste
  • 2 organic zucchinis (yellow and green) chopped
  • 1 large white onion (diced)
  • 1 pt organic cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 8oz packet of organic baby bella mushrooms

Steps:

  1. Start by preheating oven to 350, add the peppers upright and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Pour the veggie broth into a large skillet, add the onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Take the peppers out of the oven and cut into bite sized pieced and add into the pot.
  4. Add the garlic sea salt, pepper, lemon, tomato paste, beans, dill, and parsley. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Heat up the rice in the microwave (2 minutes per bag) *I use this frozen rice to save time on weeknights, and the only ingredient in it is the rice, so I’m not compromising convenience for health. However if you prefer to cook the rice, feel free!
  6. Add the rice into the pot, uncover and turn heat up to medium, cook for 5-7 minutes. Serve and enjoy! unnamed

Veggie lentil stew


After an amazing yoga class I was craving something hearty and healthy on this cold February day. I stopped at Wegman’s and grabbed a rotisserie chicken and a bag of stew veggies and headed home. The rest of the ingredients I had in my pantry and decided to throw in there to make a delicious and EASY soup. The soup took about 30 minutes to make and now I have a yummy lunch option for this week. I hope all of you are enjoying your Sunday- cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 2  15oz cans of organic lentils
  • 1 40 oz packet of stew vegetables (if you don’t have a Wegman’s nearby the bag contains  a total of 10 cups of potatoes, carrots, onions and celery) Dice the veggies to a smaller size!
  • 1 24 oz bag of french green beans, diced to your preference
  • 1 yellow zucchini, diced
  • 6 fresh garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 15oz can of organic diced tomatoes
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 32 fl oz of organic low sodium chicken or veggie broth
  • Optional item: rotisserie chicken with the skin off, and diced

Steps:

  1. Start by pouring the chicken or veggie broth into a large pot, add the diced veggies (potatoes, carrots, onions and celery), add the tomatoes, lentils, garlic, zucchini. Keep heat at medium/high.
  2. Add the garlic powder and salt, salt and pepper and cover turn heat to medium/low and let cook for 20 minutes.
  3. If you would like to add chicken to the dish, prepare that now. I used a rotisserie chicken, took the skin off and diced the white meat into smaller chunks. Add the chicken after the 20 minutes is up and uncover, continue cooking on low for 15-20 more minutes. photo-19

Slow Cooker Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew


Hello all- it’s Tess, Taylor’s sister here, guest blogging today! My baby sis definitely has the magic touch in the kitchen, but I am trying to keep up with her! As mentioned in her previous posts, I am currently participating in the Healthy Bitch Daily Get Healthy Challenge, which has had me experimenting more in the kitchen. Yesterday I made a yummy red lentil and sweet potato stew- check out the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, trimmed and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups split red lentils
  • 1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ box of organic baby kale

Steps: 

  1. Combine all ingredients except the kale in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. (I cooked mine for 9 hours, but it’s really a personal preference.)
  2. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, add the kale to slow cooker.
  3. Turn the slow cooker off.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I topped my stew off with vegan white cheddar kale chips for a little crunch! Some fresh cilantro would also go nice.

Note: next time around I would add some celery to the stew and maybe a little less sweet potatoes. Some people may also prefer less garlic than I added, but I love it. Either way- it was delicious!

Image

Split Pea and Lentil Soup


I made this on a Sunday night at about 9pm because I decided I wanted some ready made lunches for the week. My father constantly makes soup like this, and I can totally see why. It’s so easy you can just throw whatever you have in your fridge/pantry into the pot and it turns out delicious every single time. Also it’s one of the most affordable recipes I’ve ever made. A bag of dried lentils is $1.29 which averages to roughly 10 cents per serving! It is so filling and delicious and it’s a great staple to have in your fridge. Not to mention it’s extremely healthy, it’s extremely high in protein and fiber, you really can’t beat that! Also a little side note, I was at Trader Joe’s yesterday and came across these adorable frozen basil and garlic cubes, here’s an article about them!

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup split peas
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 large carrots, diced *I had some yellow carrots, you’ll notice them in the picture 🙂
  • 3 sticks celery, cut into 1/2 inch slices, with leaves on
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 2 garlic cubes or 2 cloves
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic (*I love Garlic, but you can modify this if you would like less)
  • 3 basil cubes or 3 tsp.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Dash of cayenne pepper if you like heat
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot of pepper!)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. cumin

Steps:

  1. Rinse lentils and split peas well then add to boiling water add ALL of the remaining ingredients and let boil for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. Cover and set on low, cook for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are tender!

unnamed

Vegan Kale Soup


I went to Trader Joe’s for the first time on Sunday and fell in love! For some reason I thought it would be more expensive than other grocery stores, but to my surprise it was significantly cheaper. I loved the market feel of it and was truly impressed with their product selection. This vegan soup took about 40 minutes to make and was bursting with flavor! My fiance and I ate this up in two days. Nom Nom, hope ya’ll enjoy 🙂

Ingredients:unnamed (1) unnamed (2)

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 leek diced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • knob of coconut oil
  • sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 49.5 oz can of veggie broth
  • 2 cans of organic canellini beans
  • 1 bag of fresh kale, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery finely diced
  • 4 small red potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 1 rosemary stalk-taken off the vine

Steps: 

  1. Start by taking the coconut oil into a medium to large skillet and turn heat on medium/high. Add the onions and let simmer down for about 3-5 minutes, then add the leeks, rosemary, paprika, chili powder, salt, bay leaves, pepper, pesto and garlic, turn the heat down to medium and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth into the skillet. Add the potatoes and carrots, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so.unnamed
  3. In the meantime take a large pot and add a dollop of coconut oil, heat at medium/high. Add the diced celery and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender, then add the remaining broth and the beans (make sure to rinse thoroughly!)
  4. Take the skillet and pour the ingredients into the large pot. Add the kale, cover and simmer for 20 minutes and let all of the flavors blend together!photo