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Category Archives: Vegan

Homemade Lipton noodle soup

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I haven’t been feeling well for a few days. A bad cold which left me nauseous, light headed and stuffy. When I’m like this, all I want is broth. Or Lipton Noodle Soup. But alas! Lipton is full of gluten. So that’s out. I cannot remember the last time I had some time. But it still stands out as my ultimate comfort food for times when I’m sick. It’s easy to eat, easy on my stomach and easy to make.

Yesterday afternoon I told my husband that I wanted Lipton soup (for the second time in two days?). He wanted to help me out but also knew I couldn’t have Lipton. So I did my research aka google for recipes.

I found a fairly simple one but it still wasn’t “Dru-able”. So I decided to make my own.

I bought a box of Pacific organic vegetable broth, Thai kitchen thin rice noodle (thin is key here!) and after searching the shelves at Whole Foods, I also found Seitenbacher Vegetarian Vegetable Broth and Seasoning.

I filled a pan with water and let it reach boiling as I cut the rice noodle into pieces with a kitchen scissor (IN the bag otherwise dry pasta will fly everywhere). I filled another pan with the broth and added two heaping tablespoons of the vegetable broth and seasoning and whisked it up. The water was boiling so I shut it off and put the pasta in (this specific kind requires only hot water to cook in).

I drained the pasta and transferred it to the broth. I then let that reach a boil to allow the flavor infuse the pasta.

Now it was time for the taste test. I took my first taste. YES! Success! I felt as if I was eating Lipton noodle soup instead of a mock version! And it’s every bit as delicious and healthier for me! Not to mention super easy to make.

I call this a win, even though I still have a box of tissues with me.

    Homemade Lipton Noodle Soup

-32 oz. vegetable broth
-One package Thai Kitchen Thin Rice Noodles (8.8 oz)
-2 heaping TBSP vegetable broth/seasoning

Cook pasta as directed. In another pot, heat up broth and add seasoning and whisk until smooth.

Drain pasta and transfer to broth.

Allow soup to reach boil before turning it off.

Cool slightly so you don’t burn yourself and enjoy!

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Beat the heat with a smoothie

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It’s a hot summery day in New England. When I say hot, I mean HOT! It’s in the 90’s and is very very very humid. We finally put in the air conditioning the other day and its at 82 degrees. Who does that? Most people I know set it to 70’s, typically 70-74? Or am I wrong?

On the top of it all, I haven’t been feeling well these days. We’re figuring it out but meanwhile it means I have a zero level of energy. For anything, especially cooking. So my apologies for not updating my blog in quite some time. It makes me sad to think how I’ve neglected several aspects of my lives these last few weeks because all I wanted was to relax. It was all I had energy for. Still is.

So what am I doing, talking about a smoothie? While kicking back, my husband and I watched a part of a Bobby Flay’s show. Addicted to BBQ I think? It’s a fun show- I love watching him work his magic. Only if I could sample everything he makes as we watch him! Bet you that’s the future of television- well be able to reach through and grab a plate of smoked salmon with a shallot and basil relish he made. Yum! He also made a smoothie, the bottom half was peach mango and something else? The top was strawberry banana… How delicious and cooling does that sound?

So my husband looked at me and asked if I wanted a smoothie. Naturally I said yes but told him not to worry. Alex then reminded me that he haven’t gone grocery shopping yet (I’ve got a husband who will go shopping for me!!!). Out came the Vita-Mix cookbook! He pointed at the very first smoothie recipe and I agreed. Banana blueberry orange smoothie. Just seeing the picture brought down the temperature in the living room by 5 degrees. It was already working its magic!

Out Alex went while I curled up on the couch, watching TV. I’m a wonderful housewife, I know. He came back with food for the week and goodies to whip up a smoothie with!

Alex froze the bananas as directed and we waited. He cooked up a storm while we waited- he made flaxseed bread so I will have a snack at work. Made himself brownies so he would have sweets (not gluten-free which is FINE by me). Then it was time!

Wanting to be a better wife, I dragged myself off the couch and offered to peel the oranges. What a difficult task (right!), but hey I wanted to feel useful. In went oranges, frozen blueberries, frozen bananas and water. No sweeteners. A CLEAN smoothie! Vegan smoothies are the way to go when its hot like this. Then we both watched as he turned on the Vita-Mix. I still get excited every time it pulverize whatever’s in it! And it works FAST!!! How exciting, this must be how a guy feels when they destroy something. Mmm essentially we’re “destroying” fruit, changing its form.

Then Alex poured the purple goodness in two tall glasses. We sat down in our air-conditioned living room and slurped it down. I remarked how it tasted of summer. Fresh. Specifically, summer at the lake where you wait on the dock, heating up underneath the rays and when you cannot handle it anymore you run and jump into the freezing water of the lake. How refreshing that is! Ah!!!

Now this is my kind of summer. I even forgot that I wasn’t feeling well! Many thanks to my handsome Alex for taking care of me and treating me to a delicious smoothie. I have to say, it might be easy to forget that we can make a smoothie but it really is fast! Vita-Mix has so many recipes, it’s amazing. You can find them online! Go to Vita-Mix smoothie recipes

Try one and let me know how you like it! I haven’t tried them all but I will definitely try a few more before the summer is out. Be sure to buy fresh fruit- hopefully get it the day you make the smoothies. Freshness counts in my opinion!

Stay cool everybody! And I will do my best to blog more regularly. Thanks!

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Spiced Blueberry sauce

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It was Easter and I wanted a nice breakfast for both my husband and I. For us, that meant pancakes. But I didn’t want the usual. I bought fresh blueberries the previous day thinking I would make blueberry pancakes. Well I did, but that wasn’t it!

I pulled out a sauce pan and put in blueberries, maple syrup, nutmeg and cloves. I heated it up until it was bubbling, using a masher to mush it up. I could have stop cooking it after a few minutes but I wanted the sauce thick. I turned the heat to low and kept stirring it while flipping pancakes (I’ve never been good at that).

Breakfast was served! Instead of regular maple syrup, I poured the blueberry sauce over it. I was very sweet! I can definitely see this as a delicious topping for ice cream. Ooh!

    Spiced Blueberry Sauce

1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used grade A)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp clove

1.) Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat to medium.
2.) When it starts bubbling, carefully mash the berries (don’t let the juice hit you!).
3.) Lower heat to simmer and keep on stirring until you reach desired consistency. I cooked for 10 minutes.
4.) Serve hot and enjoy!

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I admit I didn’t think to take a picture of the finished product. I was too busy eating!!! Just a recommendation- make this for regular pancakes otherwise it will be a flavor overload. I have a favorite recipe for almond pancakes from Elana’s Pantry- her cookbook is Gluten-Free Almond Cookbook. Yum!

Do you add anything special to your pancakes?

Irish pride

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Coming from an Irish family, I grew up on boiled cabbage, carrots, onions and corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Some of us loved it. Others, not quite so much… When I started dating my husband, I decided to try something different. Irish soup. I’ve found I enjoy it so much more and it’s actually more authentic since peasants didn’t always have beef available to them. Often it was out of their price range.

So tonight, we made potato soup with a few ingredients: potatoes, onions, vegetable broth, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and fresh chives as a garnish. That’s it. Sometimes the simpler a meal is, the tastier it is! I served it with a side of spring greens drizzled with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. YUM.

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But the celebration didn’t start today for us! We went out to this whiskey bar: Barrel House American Bar in Beverly, MA. I highly recommend it! A huge whiskey selection. I chose a Scotch, Glenlivet, aged 12 years I believe. It was surprisingly nice to have the bartender serve us complimentary sparkling water and ask us on the rocks or neat? I felt like a grown up, although it was more like I was pretending to be one…..

But what truly made it a time of celebration of being Irish? Being with family. Seeing my brother,sister in law and of course my husband. That’s what made it a special St. Patrick’s Day!

Cheers!

A dessert for a runner to go bananas over!

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I love sweets. LOVE them. Crave them actually. But I didn’t have any around the house. No candies, cookies or the likes. While musing on my cravings, I checked out Pinterest. I found something there that inspired me!

I used what I had in my kitchen and ended up having a DELICIOUS and nutritious snack for both my husband and I. It’s the ultimate runner’s dessert, I think.

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    Banana-Almond sandwich

1 banana
Almond butter
1 TBSP chia seeds
Cinnamon

1.) Slice the banana in pairs.
2.) Spread almond butter on half of the banana slices.
3.) Sprinkle cinnamon over them. Do the same with chia seeds.
4.) Cover with the remaining banana slices.
5.) Freeze on a plate or tray for 2 hours.
6.) Serve cold.

All ingredients have a remarkable nutritional value, even more so for runners. I can’t wait to make more after my barefoot runs in the summertime! It’s dessert without the junk. Yum!

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My Chi-Chickpea Carrot Salad

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My week was planned out, food wise. Except for lunch. I bought two cans of chickpeas but I had no idea what I’ll do with it. Plain garbanzo beans, maybe? With salt and pepper. Then I realized I had carrots…. Currants…. Spices…. To make the story short, my creative juice got flowing and I now have a tasty lunch waiting for me tomorrow! I snuck in a bite, of course.

Here it is!

    Chi-Chickpea Carrot Salad

2 TBSP olive oil
3 carrots, minced
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup currants
1TBSP chia seeds
1/4 cup lemon juice (or lime juice)
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
2 cans chickpea, rinsed
1/2 cup pecans, roasted, crushed
1 tsp salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)

1.) Heat up a large pan with olive oil. Sauté onions and carrots for 5 minutes, until softened.

2.) Stir in garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add spices, currants, chia seeds, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Stir until everything is coated in spices.

3.) Add chickpeas, stir. Add pecans and salt.

4.) Season to taste. Serve warm with greens on the side.

5.) Enjoy!!!!!

Delicious! Both my husband are splitting it for lunch this week. Yum!!! I love it when I’m able to come up with something tasty while using what I have. Even more so that chia is in it- some people add sesame seeds to their stir fry, stews and the likes. Why not chia? All the nutrients and none of the allergens (I’m allergic to sesame). Works for me!!!

What do you usually do for lunch?

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A quick and easy snack

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I love food. Especially food that tastes great ANd is a snap to make!!! A new addiction of mine are brown rice tortillas heated up on a flat pan, with olive oil sprayed on the TOP, not the bottom. Sprinkle adobo and red hot pepper flakes on it. Cook /toast until golden on the bottom, or crispy. Use a pizza cutter to slice it in 6 or 8 pieces.

It’s my fix for garlic bread. I used to miss it until I tasted this. So easy right!? If you don’t like spicy food, substitute red hot pepper flakes with dried oregano or any other herbs you love. My husband loves this.

I would have it every night if I could….

Oh PS if you don’t have Adobo, use garlic powder and a touch of salt. It’s pretty much the same thing. YUM!

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