Carrot-Ginger Soup

I have been wanting to make this soup for some time, ever since we first had some at The Black Cat in Boulder. My friend Jessie, gave me this recipe. I tweaked it a little, and in fact, I may tweak it a bit more next time I make it by using canned coconut milk instead of coconut meat or shreds. Either way, this is a fantastic soup for any carrot lover. It can be served warm or cold—both ways are delicious. We enjoyed this with the tasty tomato tarts.

INGREDIENTS:

3 C carrot juice (I juiced 12 large carrots)

1 avocado, peeled and pitted

3 Tbs freshly grated gingerroot

1/2 C unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

2 dashes of nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 C almond milk

Optional: cayenne pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth (you may have tiny specks of coconut). If you’d like it warm, transfer to a large sauce or soup pot and heat. Enjoy!

Yields: 32-oz

Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times Quick & Healthy 30-Minute¬† Meals that I picked up at the grocery store. The recipe is actually entitled: Fusilli Bucati Lunghi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, but that’s a long title, plus, you can use any pasta you’d like.

It’s full of some really outstanding meals and I like that they’re done in about 30 minutes (ideally). The Sixth Grader loves to cook so I’ve been having him help me in the kitchen as much as possible. For those of you with middle-grade kids, this recipe is a good one to let them do—that is, if you trust them with a sharp knife. :) When the onions made him cry, he didn’t let it detour him—a sure sign of a dedicated chef! There’s some chopping of vegetables involved, plus some simmer time for the sauce, so this recipe definitely took longer than the 30 minutes the magazine claims. 45 minutes was more like it. Regardless, it was still easy and very delicious; something we’d make again. The kid got to partake in the full culinary experience, by not only cooking dinner, but cleaning up when he dropped the leftover sauce container and creating a quite a mess. Ah well, all part of being a master chef.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbs garlic-flavored olive oil (I just use regular olive oil and added 2 tsp of minced garlic)

1 C jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained, and chopped

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (you’re going to puree this later—we just chopped it)

1 large carrot, finely chopped (Save yourself some time—especially when letting the kids help—and use the food processor)!

8-oz dry fusilli bucati lunghi (or any other pasta you’d like)

DIRECTIONS:

Look at him go . . . chop chop!

We’d still be in the kitchen if he had to finely chop the carrot by hand. I know it’s an extra thing to clean, but use the food processor.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil (add garlic, if using). Add the peppers, onion, and carrot; saute 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of water, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Remove the sauce from heat. The recipe says to use a hand blender to puree the sauce until smooth. Not having this handy appliance, I used the food processor. Season with salt and pepper, if you’d like.

Drain pasta and add to saucepan with sauce. Toss well and enjoy!

Asian Coleslaw

We received another head of cabbage from our CSA this week and I wanted to try making an Asian version of coleslaw.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cone-headed cabbage before. . .anyway, this is would great as a side dish, in a wrap with Asian-spiced seitan, baked tofu strips, or with plum sauce and sauteed tempeh.

INGREDIENTS:

1 head of cabbage, sliced thin/shredded

3 Tbs rice vinegar

3 Tbs vegetable oil

1-1/2 Tbs Shoyu (you can also use tamari or soy sauce)

1-1/2 Tbs brown sugar

1 Tbs grated ginger root

1 tsp garic, minced

1 large carrot, grated

1 yellow or red bell pepper, sliced thin

1/2 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1/8 C Vegenaise

3 green onions, sliced thin

1/4 C sunflower seeds

1/4 C slivered almonds

DIRECTIONS:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, vegetable oil, shoyu, brown sugar, ginger root, Vegenaise, and garlic. Add cabbage, carrot, bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, sunflower seeds, and slivered almonds. With a rubber spatula, fold and stir all the ingredients together until well combined. Enjoy!

For this, I layered on some plum sauce, the coleslaw and some teriyaki baked tofu on a tortilla, then warmed it in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  Fold in half and enjoy a quick and tasty lunch or dinner!

Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

These have always been a favorite of mine and are great for a big crowd. I won’t lie—there is a bit of prep work. Fortunately, you can chop up ingredients either earlier in the day, or even the day before. It also doesn’t hurt to enlist some help. The recipe is inspired by The Vegan Table, but I deviated off her recipe a bit and made some changes. These are definitely worth the work and can be served as an appetizer or light meal (depending on how many you put away)! ;)

INGREDIENTS:

20 rice paper wrappers

8-oz rice noodles

14-oz extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into strips

1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into strips

3 large carrots, peeled and grated

1 can water chestnuts (I steamed them for about 10 minutes, but that’s optional)

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1/2 C fresh mint leaves

1 cup chopped peanuts

2 avocados, sliced thin (optional)

Peanut Dipping Sauce:

1/2 C peanut butter

1/4 C water

3 Tbs tamari soy sauce

2 Tbs lime juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbs ginger, minced

DIRECTIONS:

Saute the tofu in a pan with a bit of oil:

Cook noodles according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water. In a pie plate or other large plate, add some warm water and place a rice wrapper in it–let it absorb the water for about 30-45 seconds. Lay it onto a clean, dry surface and add another sheet to the plate of water so it’s ready to go when you’re done making the first roll.

Layer on noodles, carrots, tofu, cucumber, peanuts, water chestnuts, avocado (if using), 2 small basil leaves, and one mint leaf.

I found that it’s best to tightly fold over one side (top), then fold each side (on the left and right), then fold remaining side (bottom). Place onto a large platter. I got roughly 18 rolls.

Peanut Dipping Sauce:

Blend all ingredients. I used a food processor. The sauce is a little thick for my taste, so I added some more water. I think it’s easiest to spoon the sauce onto the rolls, otherwise, the innards will fall out. Slice in half to serve as appetizers or enjoy as they are!

Sauce recipe: The Vegan Table