Rice and vegetable soup

Rice and vegetable soup

This soup was the first thing I ate after 48 hours of medically required starvation. Well, technically the second, but we’re going to pretend that I didn’t go straight from the hospital, to Illegal Pete’s, to stuff my face with a burrito bowl. In my defense, I was still reeling from the morphine – which means someone, who wasn’t on drugs, willingly drove me directly to aforementioned best burrito place in the world without thinking about the ramifications of what eating something the size of my huge ass head might do to my newly sensitive gastrointestinal tract.
Needless to say, once the drugs wore off, the happy feelings went away and I started feeling a little terrible. And by “a little terrible” I mean I felt so terrible that I wanted to rip out my intestines and strangle the person who thought it’d be a good idea to take me out to eat immideately following my procedure. I feel like I should delete that sentence, but my fingers won’t let me. So, anyway, since I felt so terrible I stood over the stove and made this soup. And eating it made me feel better. Like, warm and tingly-better. But not warm and tingly like the morphine.

Rice and vegetable soup

This soup is the perfect meal for when you want to eat light, but still feel full. Feel free to choose a variety of vegetables, replace the rice with quinoa or get fancy and add a little TVP. Also, I’m well aware that using potatoes makes this an overwhelmingly starchy soup, but when you’re a 23 year old adult who can still shop in the crewcuts section, you’re allowed to eat all of the starch you want. And when your significant other tries telling you otherwise? Eat three huge bowls right in front of his face, just to spite him. Then poop and don’t flush it.

RICE AND VEGETABLE SOUP (GF)

8 c. water
2 tbsp olive oil
3 vegetable bouillon cubes
1/2 c. long-grain rice
2 small yukon gold potatoes
, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
2 mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
, to taste

In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the oil and bouillon; continue boiling until the bouillon has dissolved. Stir in the rice, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, zucchini, mushrooms and rosemary; set heat to medium-low, cover and let boil for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the salt and ground pepper.

Yield: 6-8 servings

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How to make a big ass salad

Post-cleanse grub 2

When it comes to salads, I don’t mess around. In fact, I like to think I have salad-making superpowers. Know someone who hates vegetables? Send them to me and I’ll make a vegetable lover out of them. Which, I promise, does not involve locking them in a dimly lit closet with a basket of vegetables for days on end. Well, it might. But anything to get them to eat vegetables, right?

There’s a common misconception that salads aren’t filling, which I think solely depends on where you get the salad. How many of you have ever fallen victim to those salads they serve in restaurants? Did you ever go home and make yourself a second dinner? Don’t be ashamed. I’ve done it. In fact, I think I do it every time I get duped into ordering one of those overpriced bowls of lettuce from an establishment that ropes me in becuase it’s literally the only edible thing on the menu, to me. Well, friends, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, those salads? They’re not filling becuase they’re not big ass salads. In fact, I’m 115 pounds soaking wet and I would need to eat about three of those things to get full. You’re not alone.

A giant salad chock-full of 36 grams of protein
Big ass salad

The trick to a good salad is to chop all of the ingredients – including the lettuce. That way, every bite is filled with a variety of vegetables. Not to mention, you can kiss the days of getting fork-fulls of lettuce goodbye. This recipe is for the salad in the last photo, which left me smiling and satisfied (that’s what she said). If you don’t watch The Office, you probably should. While I’m giving advice, you should also find a dermatologist who can remove a mole without leaving a scar. Mine is part of the reason I refuse to move away from Denver. 
Restaurants with big ass salads: Watercourse Foods – Denver, Colorado // Northstar Café – Columbus, Ohio
Psst, more big ass salads here and here. Oh, and sorry for saying ass so much, dad.

BIG ASS SALAD (GF)

2 handfuls mixed greens
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1 large carrot
2 stalks celery
1/2″ slice of onion
1/4″ slice of red cabbage
1/2 avocado
1/2 cucumber
1/2 gala apple
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 c. tempeh crumbles

Chop the mixed greens and romaine; add to a big ass bowl and set aside. Slice the carrots using your vegetable peeler; I usually just slice across the top so they’re perfectly round. Cut the celery into thin slices, and chop the onion and cabbage as fine as you can. Cut the cucumber and avocado into 1/4″ cubes. Slice the gala apple thinly then cut into small pieces. Add all vegetables to the big ass bowl. Top with nutritional yeast, chia seeds, tempeh and, if you’re like me, lemon juice and poppyseed dressing.

Peach galette

I’ve never met a galette I didn’t like – including this one, although it appears as though a tiny human vomited all over it. In my defense, the peaches were a little too ripe and I had to do something to mop up the extra juice. That something involved sprinkling almond meal all over the peaches, resulting in the curdled appearance. But I like galettes – a lot – even when they look like they’re topped with baby puke. And if you don’t like galettes, then.. well.. we probably can’t be friends. I wish I was joking, but I’m not.
I make galettes quite frequently (as seen here and here), but only because they’re one of the easiest (read: fool proof), most versatile desserts in existence. Not to mention, take it easy on the sugar and you’ve got yourself one bad ass breakfast; grains to keep you full, fruit to get your blood pumping and, in this case, cherry infused cream cheese to make your belly do a little dance. And by cream cheese I obviously mean vegan cream cheese. But do I really need to put vegan in front of everything? The omnivore police seem to think so. Which is why the omnivore police will will be getting a galette topped with actual baby puke. You know, so it’s not vegan. Mmm, regurgitated breast milk.

To avoid creating a galette that looks like mine, use peaches that are still firm; baking them in the oven is going to soften them considerably, so don’t worry about them not being ripe enough. If you don’t want to get all fancy with the cream cheese, feel free to spread it, as is, onto the dough. But don’t expect your belly to do a happy dance or anything.

PEACH GALETTE

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. unbleached flour
1/4 c. almond meal
2 tsp cane sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp vegan butter
4-6 tbsp cold water
1/4 c. rolled oats, optional
Filling
1/2 c. vegan cream cheese
2 drops pure almond extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 tbsp powdered cane sugar
2 tbsp rehydrated cherries
2-3 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together the the flours, almond meal, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender (or two knives), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, then mix the dough with your fingertips. Mix in the oats, if using, and pat the dough into a smooth ball. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 90 minutes, or up to two days.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, almond extract, vanilla bean and powdered sugar. Crush the cherries into the mixture, using a pestle or a fork; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle (lightly) with flour. Roll dough out into a 16″ circle and spread with cherry cream cheese, leaving a 3″ border of dough. Line cream cheese with the peaches then fold the edges of dough up around the filling, gently folding the corners. Transfer galette (on parchment paper) to a baking sheet. Bake at 350˚F for 15-20 minutes. Store in an air tight container for up to three days.
Yield: 1 10″ galette

Chili gumbo

If chili and gumbo had a baby, this would be it. Chumbo, as a certain facebook friend called it. But since ‘chumbo’ sounds more like a nickname for a baseball player on steroids than something I’d like to shovel into my face, I’m just going to call it chili gumbo. Or chiligumbo, said really fast with a Spanish accent.
To say this recipe is good is a complete understatement – I literally could not stop from helping myself to another bowl, long after my stomach was begging me to stop putting food into my mouth. If you’d prefer this to be straight up gumbo, all you have to do is replace the chili powder with a little filé powder. I didn’t have any, and was too lazy to leave the house didn’t feel like changing out of my sweatpants to go to the grocery, so I opted for chili powder instead. And I know the ingredient list is extensive, but don’t let that intimidate you because it’s so easy to make. And delicious. And healthy. And inspired by Isa! Who posted a mouth watering photo of gumbo the other day.

CHILI GUMBO (GF)

1/4 c. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 c. tomato paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
4-5 c. water
3 bouillon cubes
2 c. great northern beans
1 c. garbanzo beans
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3/4 c. sliced okra, 1/2″ thick
1/4 c. arrowroot powder
1-2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground paprika
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c. vegan sour cream
1 c. TVP
1 1/2 tsp salt
Pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan over medium-heat, bring the oil to a simmer. Sauté the garlic and onions; cook until the onions become translucent. Add the jalapenos and bell peppers; sauté for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the tomato paste and lemon juice. Add the water and bouillon cubes then cover saucepan and reduce heat to medium; bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the beans, okra, celery, arrowroot powder and spices, then cover, reduce heat to the lowest setting and let simmer for at least two hours; stir occasionally. After two hours, mix in the sour cream and TVP; let simmer for an additional 45 minutes, or until the soup thickens. Add salt and pepper. Serve with rice and garnish with chopped kale (optional).

Yield: 4-6 servings

Double chocolate chip cookies

I think the most exciting thing about these cookies (aside from the fact that they’re double chocolate) is that it only takes one bowl to make them. If you’re sitting there puzzled, becuase you don’t bake or you’re fortunate enough to have someone else do your dirty work, one bowl desserts rouse excitement becuase it means less washing. One might ask, So what difference does an extra bowl make? Umm, a huge ass difference when you only have room in your sink for SO MANY DIRTY DISHES. Not to mention, lightening my load by even one measuring cup is enough to get me excited.

So these cookies. They’re delicious. They’re made with two kinds of chocolate. They’re chewy. Go perfect with a tall glass of milk. And yes I mean almond milk. They’d probably go great with a tall glass of water, too. You know, in the event you run out of milk. Just don’t eat them with orange juice. Because bad things will happen. Trust me, I know.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (GFO)

1/2 c. vegan butter
3/4 c. cane sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp unsulphured molasses
3 tbsp vegan sour cream
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/4 c. unbleached flour
1/4 c. vegan mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, molasses and sour cream with a hand mixer, on high speed, until creamy (15-20 seconds). Sift in the salt, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder; mix on high speed just until combined. Sift in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time; stir in with a wooden spoon. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Using a medium cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, about three inches apart. Bake at 350˚F for 10-12 minutes (I prefer them slightly underbaked at 10). Store in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.

Yield: approximately 30 cookies

Tropical chia seed oatmeal

I’m very particular (read: picky) about most things in my life. Breakfast is no exception.
Most days start with a long run, a long row and weight lifting. And the only thing that gets me through that gruesome, sweat-inducing workout is knowing that I get to go home to an oversized mug of highlander grogg and a big bowl of oatmeal. If I ever think about giving up and calling it quits, all I have to do is imagine the bowl of oats I’ll get to inhale – and somehow, that’s always enough to pull me through.

Truth is, I’m a breakfast-loving kind of lady who couldn’t care less about lunch or dinner. I’d eat breakfast for every meal if I could, but someone refuses to let me exist on bran cereal and pancakes smothered in peanut butter. He says I wouldn’t enjoy the irregular bowel movements and he wouldn’t enjoy hearing about the irregular bowel movements. Which means I usually end up eating extra large breakfasts to compensate for the fact that I can’t eat breakfast all day.

This particular oatmeal recipe is one of my favorites, and I can’t resist making it when there’s an extra ripe banana hanging out in the fruit bowl. Even better? The banana provides enough sweetness so that you don’t have to sabotage your breakfast with heaping teaspoons of refined sugar. Also, feel free to double the oat/water measurements (I usually do) – just stir in some molasses to help flavor the extra oats.

TROPICAL CHIA SEED OATMEAL (GF)

1/3 c. rolled oats
2/3 c. filtered water
1 ripe banana, halved and sliced
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

In a small, heat-proof bowl, microwave the oats and water for approximately 90 seconds, or until boiling. Stir in the chia seeds, coconut, cinnamon and salt. Add the banana slices and stir together.