Creamy Wild Rice Soup

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Colorado weather has been staying true to form, showing us just how schizophrenic it can be in the springtime. We’ve had 70 degree days and suddenly, we’re hitting the 20s and getting snow. Yesterday was one of those bone-chilling days which always makes me want to put on a pot of soup. I love experimenting with soups because it’s so easy. I have to say, this is probably one of my favorites—rich, creamy, and flavorful. I was already told that I need to make it again soon, and the Eighth Grader actually took leftovers to school today for lunch. He never takes leftovers! After a warm up this weekend, we are expected to get some more rain/snow next week, so I just may have to make this again. Darn. ;-)

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced

2-3 celery stalks, sliced thin

1 medium onion, diced

7 C vegetable broth

1 C wild rice mix (I used Whole Foods 365 Everyday brand)

1 large russet potato, peeled and diced

1 carrot, grated

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

1 Tbs nutritional yeast

4 Tbs Earth Balance

6 Tbs flour (any variety)

2 C almond milk

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DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil then add the garlic; cook 1 minute. Add the celery and onions and cook 3 minutes, or until they begin to soften.

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Add the broth, rice and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook another 15 minutes, or until they soften, but are still a little firm. Stir in the carrots and nutritional yeast.

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Meanwhile, to make the roux, melt the Earth Balance in a medium pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, one tablespoon at a time. You’ll have a thick, batter-like consistency. Slowly add the almond milk—a little at time—and continue to stir until it is all incorporated and thickens. This shouldn’t take more than 8-10 minutes.

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Remove and discard the bay leaves, then slowly pour the roux into the soup and combine well. Reduce the heat to low and let it cook 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

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Lime and Veggie Fajitas

These colorful fajitas are so quick and easy to make. If you’re like me and tired of the same old fajita seasoning packets, I think you’ll love this change up.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil (I used chipotle-flavored)
1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
2 C mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 C fresh cilantro, chopped
Flour tortillas

Seasoning:

1/2 C lime juice
1 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cumin

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the seasoning ingredients and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook 5-7 minutes, or until slightly tender.

Add the bell peppers and cook another 12-15 minutes, or until they are softened.

Stir in the mushrooms. These will cook fast, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the cilantro and lime juice mixture and combine thoroughly. Cook until the sauce is heated through.

Scoop onto the tortillas and if you’d like, add some Daiya cheese and/or Tofutti sour cream. Enjoy!

Caramelized Onion Dip


Love onions? You’ll love this dip. Caramelizing the onions brings out a rich sweetness in them and are ideal for a dip—served hot or cold. Serve with potato chips, veggies or crackers.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs yellow onions (about 3 large onions) sliced thin

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp sugar

3 Tbs Earth Balance

1 Tbs olive oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

8-oz Tofutti cream cheese

1/2 C Vegenaise

3/4 C Tofutti sour cream

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbs fresh thyme, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Over medium heat, melt the Earth Balance in a large skillet. Add the onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook for about 12 minutes, then stir in the sugar and increase the heat. Cover and continue to cook another 20 minutes, or until the onions are browned and caramel-y.

Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer the onions to a large cutting board and chop them up. You can also use a food processor.

In a small saute pan, heat the oil and garlic until the garlic begins to brown, then remove from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, Vegenaise, sour cream, nutmeg, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the onions and thyme. Puree half of the dip, then stir back  into the other half.

Cover and chill or put transfer to a baking dish and warm. Enjoy!

Field Roast with a Coq Au Vin Sauce

Not only do I love the taste, I have always enjoyed the smell of coq au vin when it cooks. It goes beautifully with a sliced Field Roast and served with a mushroom and herb pilaf.

INGREDIENTS:

6-8 mushrooms, sliced

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs butter, divided

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 C red wine

1 C  vegetable broth (plus more for thinning out sauce, if needed)

3 Tbs flour

3 Tbs water

1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 one-pound Field Roast, thawed if frozen

DIRECTIONS:

Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until it starts to pop. Add onion and cook until tender. Add mushrooms and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add broth and simmer until it reduces a little, then add the wine. Cook for about 5 minutes until it, too, reduces a little. Combine water and flour (it will be pretty thick) and stir into the mushroom mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and stir in parsley.

I then transferred the sauce to a saucepan and kept it warm over low heat. It may thicken up more, so you might want to add some broth to it until you’ve reached the desired consistency. In the same skillet (wipe out with a paper towel) add remaining tablespoon of butter.

Place slices of the Field Roast in pan and brown on both sides, about 3-5 to minutes per side. Ladle sauce over a slice or two of the roast and serve with the pilaf. Enjoy!

Personal Pizzas

You can easily make your own dough or use a pre-packaged kind, but those typically have egg or milk in them. I have a very basic recipe that I use when I don’t have a lot of time, but if you’re in a pinch and don’t mind a tiny trace of milk, Jiffy makes a good pizza dough mix. When the weather is warm, we love to throw these on the grill.

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

2 1/2 C flour

1 C hot tap water

2 Tbs quick, dry-active yeast

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried rosemary (optional)

The Rest:

Rice mozzarella cheese

1 onion, sliced

black olives

artichoke hearts, diced

3/4 C walnuts, chopped and toasted

1/4 C balsamic vinegar

1-2 Tbs olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine all dough ingredients and let rise for about an hour. Punch down and knead for 5 minutes.

Caramelize the onions in olive oil and balsamic vinegar–it will take about 10 mins. In the meantime, toast the walnuts in a dry skillet, about 5-7 mins on medium heat.

Divide dough into 4 small sections, roll out each one to about 6″ in diameter. Butter up a large cookie sheet or pizza pan and place the rolled out pieces on the pan. Stick each piece with a fork several times and bake for 4 mins.

Then layer on the toppings. I start with a tiny bit of rice mozzarella, onions, olives, artichokes, more cheese, then sprinkle with walnuts. Bake 12-15 mins.

I then like to drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on top before devouring! Enjoy!