In Pictures: Plum Tomato Soup

As promised in my last post, today I’m excited to share my recipe for homemade, fresh tomato soup. This soup uses plum tomatoes that are easily found in the colder months. The best part about this recipe is that it doesn’t require exact measurements and can be easily adapted to use up however many pounds you’ve got on hand.

Ingredients

 

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  • Three to four pounds of plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. After washing tomatoes, slice into quarters longways IMG_1897 (1)
  2. Place quartered tomatoes into a large soup pot
  3. Fill pot with just enough water to cover the tomatoesIMG_1899
  4. Add cloves and cinnamon
  5. Bring to a boil
  6. Let boil for 5-7 minutes
  7. Reduce to a low simmer, cover pot with lid and let simmer for 20 minutes
  8. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutesIMG_1901
  9. Use an immersion blender or food processor to blend tomatoes into the consistency you preferIMG_1903
  10. In a small sauce pan, heat butter or ghee on medium-high for 1 minute and add in cumin and remove from heat.
  11. Add butter/ghee and cumin mixture to soup
  12. Bring soup to a low simmer and stir well
  13. Serve with black pepper to tasteIMG_1907

 

Enjoy! And let this soup keep you warm in the cooler days ahead.

Noshin’ on Nachos

Sometimes I’m hungry for a snack a bit heartier than an orange. I scavenged around the cabinets looking for something to satisfy my hunger. A bag of tortilla chips lead me to drool as I remembered my favorite after-school snack. Here’s my ‘recipe’ for an easy and filling dish to keep you full in between meals. I’ve found that the best vegan cheese for melting is the Daiya brand and would recommend it for making these quick nachos.

2 Minute Nachos

Ingredients

Tortilla chips

Your favorite blend of shredded cheese–Daiya for Vegans or dairy-based for Vegetarians

½ tomato, diced

¼ bell pepper, diced

Hot sauce or salsa

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Directions

Place tortilla chips onto a microwavable plate

Sprinkle with cheese

Place plate in microwave and warm for 10-20 seconds. Cooking time varies depending on microwave. Vegan cheese may require longer time to melt–warm on 10 second intervals until it melts.

Drizzle on hot sauce

Top with diced bell pepper and tomato

An Indulgent Morning

This Friday morning, I woke up craving something sweet for breakfast. Something a little more sophisticated than the cloying Cocoa Puffs I usually reserve for dessert. I was hungry and knew that a bowl of cereal would’t satisfy my growling stomach.

Rummaging around the cupboards, I saw a box of oats. Then it dawned on me–chocolatey oatmeal. Grabbing the dark chocolate I always have on hand, I quickly went to work. It was surely a rich breakfast, and one that I’d easily whip up again for a leisurely morning.

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Serves 2

Ingredients

One cup of oats (steel-cut or old-fashioned, whichever you prefer)

Two cups water

a few squares of your favorite chocolate

Mix-ins like chopped fruit or nuts

Directions

Bring two cups of water to a boil

Add in oats and cook until soft

Break chocolate into small pieces and place into bowl

Serve cooked oatmeal in bowls while still warm but not hot

Swirl chocolate and oatmeal together

Top with your favorite fruit and/or nuts

Indulge and Enjoy!

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What’s your favorite breakfast meal? Do you save it for special days or make it frequently?

P.S. A huge thank you to my readers who took the time to comment on last week’s post. I’ve been thinking a lot about your insightful responses.

Meatless Monday: Guacamole

You might remember from this post that I live for avocados. For today’s Meatless Monday, I want to share with you my favorite way to eat these alligator pears: guacamole.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

2 ripe avocados–I know an avocado is ripe when it’s skin is mostly black rather than green and feels slightly squishy
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
one stem of green onion, chopped
chili powder, to taste
chopped cilantro, to taste

Instructions

Peel avocados, remove pits, and place in bowl
Add lemon juice, salt, garlic, onion, and chili powder (if using) to bowl
Mash the mixture with a fork, or potato masher to your preferred consistency (I like mine slightly chunky, and tend to go easy with the mashing)
Sprinkle in cilantro, if using and mix gently

Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, black bean burritos, or tacos.

Guacamole is one of my favorite sides to bring to summer gatherings–it’s so easy to make, and it’s vegan/gluten-free.

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I brought this to my friend M’s house last night and it went well with the completely vegan and super tasty dinner he made.

Do you have a go-to guacamole recipe you love?

Thursday 2Go: Breakfast Ready When You Are

Eating healthy can be a challenge in today’s fast-moving world—trust me, I know. I’m studying for a graduate degree in the evenings while working a full-time job during the day. Between work and class, sometimes I barely have time to think about cooking a fresh and healthy meal.

Today’s Thursday 2Go features a breakfast dish you can make ahead and keep refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for a few weeks. Eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast ensures that you have a solid foundation to face the day. Beat the morning rush with this recipe.

Thursday 2Go: Wheat Berry Cereal

Wheat berries are used to produce whole wheat flour, but offer many more nutrients in their whole seed form. Because wheat berries are unrefined, they retain nutrients and fiber that processed wheat products do not have. My favorite type of wheat berry to use for this breakfast cereal is called Khorasan wheat, or commercially sold as Kamut

My recipe here uses Khorasan wheat, but you can use regular wheat berries in the same way.

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Bring two and a half cups of water to boil and add in one cup of your grain in a medium-sized sauce pan. I soak my Khorasan berries overnight to reduce cooking time, but it’s not necessary.

After two minutes, reduce heat to a simmer for around 30 to 40 minutes, or until berries are chewy but not tough. It’s important to be flexible with cooking times when cooking with whole berries, as it can vary depending on the type you use. After about 25 minutes of cooking, you can begin to taste a few pieces to taste for readiness while you leave it simmering on the stove. Because wheat berries take a while to cook, the most time-efficient way to cook these is by the batch. One dry cup of wheat berries creates four servings.

I store my cooked grains in the fridge. In a separate container, I store washed and chopped fruit for my mix-ins.

In the morning all you need to do is scoop your wheat berries and favorite fruit into a bowl, mix and enjoy!

My favorite combination is chopped pear and raspberries.

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Now that you’ve got a healthy and filling breakfast in your stomach, you’ll be ready to face the new day ahead.

What types of breakfasts do you eat to start your days?

This post contains my affiliate links to products I use and recommend to my readers. When you purchase through the above link, I might get paid a commission. Whether you use the link or buy the product is entirely up to you.

This Week’s Lunches

Does anyone else go through phases of weeks (or months!) where you find yourself eating the same thing over and over again? This happens to me all the time!

I try out a new recipe/experiment that I love and then become obsessed with it.

This week the main portion of daily work lunches consisted of my latest creation: kale avocado salad.

As you can tell from my last two posts…I love these two, but never tried them together. This all changed when I thought surely my two favorite green foods would taste even better together.

To make a salad, all you do is wash you kale and put it in a bowl. Then, mash half an avocado into the kale bed and sprinkle some corn on top. I’m not much of a dressing person. I usually either drizzle my veggies in olive oil, or with this salad, a few squirts of hot sauce.

I loved this kale avocado salad and though I may take a break from it next week, it’ll definitely be a staple in my lunch rotations.

How about you? What did you munch on at your desk this week? What have you been obsessed with lately?

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kale avocado mash salad

Meatless Monday: 4 Ways to Try Kale

Kale is often touted by experts as one of the best foods for your health. Nutritionists, though, haven’t yet agreed upon an optimal preparation method for our bodies to maximize all of kale’s fantastic benefits. Switch up your routine with these 4 different and simple ways to enjoy kale, and ensure you make the most of this versatile vegetable.

1. Chips. Baking kale gives it a nice texture, akin to potato chips without the carbs. To make kale chips, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, wash and dry your kale leaves. Rip kale off of its stem into 1 inch pieces. Place kale pieces into a mixing bowl and toss with extra virgin olive oil and salt. Then, place kale onto baking sheet, taking care to evenly spread the pieces. Place tray into oven and let bake for 10-15 minutes. Kale chips are done when pieces are crisp. If you prefer your chips to be extra crispy, take the tray out of the oven, and flip each piece of kale over. Place tray back into oven, bake in oven for 10 minutes and remove.

2. Salad. You can never go wrong with a kale salad, and this one really lets the kale shine. First, wash and dry your kale leaves. Rip kale off from stem and shred very finely. Place finely shredded kale into salad bowl and toss with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes for extra kick.

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3. Steamed. Steaming kale makes the tough green softer and easier to digest. Steam also unlocks nutrients that are difficult for your body to benefit from when eating raw kale. To steam kale, first wash and dry your leaves. Rip kale into 1 inch pieces and depending on your preferences, leave stem attached, or discard. If you have a steamer, bring water in the pot to boil and place the kale pieces in the steamer basket. Close lid and let steam for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. If you don’t have a steamer, no worries! Simply fill a pot with a few inches of water. Bring water to boil and place kale into pot. Cover with lid and let steam for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve steamed kale with crushed garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

4. Juice. Juicing vegetables is a growing trend among the health conscious. Juicing kale helps your body absorb nutrients that you might miss from chewing it. First, wash and dry your kale leaves. Another benefit of juicing is that juicers are able to handle both the tough stem and the leaves of kale, doubling the nutrition you gain. Combining greens with Vitamin C aids digestion, and I love to juice my kale with pineapple and carrots. Experiment with the proportions of your favorite fruits and vegetables with kale to make your favorite, customized juice!

By mixing up the way you use kale—eating it raw or cooked, and drinking it, you ensure that your body has plenty of opportunity to make the most of this green powerhouse. Preparing kale is easy in any form, tasty and offers many of the vitamins and minerals vital to your health.