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Posts Tagged ‘coconut milk’

Creamy Cauliflower & Red Pepper Soup

In Recipe on February 25, 2015 at 5:46 am

cauliflower red pepper soup

This beautiful, pale orange, soup with pretty pink flecks is so sweet and creamy that I ate it for breakfast with smoked salmon and avocado. You’re not going to find a hater for this soup, unless it’s my 7-year-old son.

1 TBSP coconut oil

1 – 5 cloves of garlic, smashed with back of knife

1 red pepper, cored and diced

1 potato, peeled and diced

1/2 a large cauliflower, chopped

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup coconut milk (full fat)

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp cumin

cauliflower red pepper soup ingredientsHeat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper, cooking down until the pepper is softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add potato – I used a Japanese sweet potato with purple skin and butter-colored flesh but choose any potato you like – cauliflower, stock, coconut milk, bay leaf, salt, and spices.

Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing chunks with a wooden spoon as the potato and cauliflower soften.

Remove bay leaf and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add more veggie broth, if needed.

Garnish with chopped almonds and cilantro for added texture and flavor.

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Spring Pea Soup with Mint & Coconut

In Recipe on February 25, 2015 at 5:25 am

mint pea soup

This soup is ridiculously easy and so delicious you’ll be caught moaning when you eat it. And, excepting the mint, most ingredients you already have on hand making this a very spontaneous soup.

1 TBSP coconut oil
1 onion
2-5 cloves garlic
2 cups shelled fresh peas or 16oz bag frozen peas (thawed)
1 tsp sea salt
10 sprigs fresh mint
1.5 cups vegetable broth
1.5 cups full-fat coconut milk

mint pea soup ingredientsCoarsely chop the onion and smash the garlic cloves with the back of your knife.

Heat coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic and slowly cook until golden and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Take your time with this step – it adds a depth of flavor. The rest of this recipe is cinch and you’ll be done with the soup in no time at all.

Add the vegetable broth, peas, salt, mint and coconut milk and bring to a bare simmer. Turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add extra veggie broth, if desired.

Garnish with fresh ground pepper, cayenne, curry powder, or nothing at all.

Forcing the Soup

In Mindfulness, Recipe on January 24, 2015 at 3:37 am

“Be a lamp to yourself. Be your own confidence. Hold on to the truth within yourself as to the only truth.” ~ Buddha

coconut red lentil soup

Second time is the charm.

Fueled by dark chocolate coconut haystacks, decaf chai, and the Bon Iver Pandora station, I banged out this soup one afternoon mostly because the light in my kitchen was waning; therefore, my window for decent food photography was closing. That was my first red flag. You know red flags? Those super obvious banners alerting you – but only in retrospect, of course – to the situations, turns, decisions, or people you should have ran from. Well, everyone knows you can’t rush the soup; however, that’s exactly what I was doing. And the soup ended up terrible because I forced it…to be made…well, I forced it into the trash as well.

lentils colander

Split red lentils are really tiny. Like, tiny enough to fit through a colander hole.

Second red flag: attempting to rinse lentils in a colander. Those suckers are tiny. Red flag #3: I didn’t have all the ingredients I needed and was actually considering subbing goji berries for golden raisins. When a friend rushed over with her supply of raisins (who actually has golden raisins on hand?), I falsely thought “this soup is meant to be”. Final red flag: I glanced at stove clock at 5:33pm and realized that, damn it, I’d missed the sunset. I had a pang of regret that grew exponentially after a blizzard of sunset photos stormed my social media feeds.

Why did I continue on despite feeling uneasy and unfocused? I know better. I’m in tune. I’m a yogini. I don’t force things to happen. I allow things to happen. I meditate. I set intentions not goals. OK. That last part is not true and that’s where the problem lies. I had made it a goal to make a new soup every Thursday regardless of whether or not SoupAsana commenced. So…even though I was tired and had a lot scheduled for the following day and had a lot of space in my weekend (where I could make soup!), the specificity of my goal (to Thursdays) forced me to move forward with soup-making against the signs of the universe.

lentil soup - bad

Inedible. In the trash.

Perhaps I am being dramatic. A terrible pot of soup is not such a big loss. But, really, how often have you done this with important things? Like your health, your relationships, your career. We insist on things happening in a certain way, at a particular time, and we set measurable goals to make sure that it all goes down as planned. And then eventually, after enough forcing and ignorance, there’s an injury – physically, emotionally, spiritually – and you just knew it was coming. You always knew. The signs were there. You just didn’t want to see them.

Anyway, it’s just soup. And it’s also a tidy little reminder to heed the nudges of the universe and tuggings of your heart. Your ego is the one making the goals and setting the timelines but your heart can see the future and knows that timing is everything. Follow it.

I made a second attempt at this soup the following day. I tweaked some measurements and ingredients. I was more present. It made all the difference.

1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red split lentils (masoor dal)
8 cups water
2 cups carrots, cut into rounds
2 TBSP fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
2 TBSP curry powder
2 TBSP ghee (or butter or olive oil)
8 scallions, only white and light green parts, finely chopped
2/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 14oz can coconut milk
4 tsp fine grain sea salt
handful cilantro, chopped

Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse – until they no longer put off murky water – just don’t rinse them in a colander! Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft (important to test this as I charged ahead with soup-making and peas were still hard!).

chai and coconut haystacks

Dinner of chai and chocolate on the first night.

Add ghee to a pan over medium heat along with scallions, ginger, and raisins. Saute for about five minutes stirring constantly until everything is greasy and glassy, then add the tomato paste and saute for another couple minutes.

Add the curry powder (the original recipe recommends toasting curry powder. It’s stressful. Don’t do it.) to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so (this is your opportunity to make it taste good. Let it simmer. Taste it. Add salt. No texting.)

Enjoy topped with cilantro and yogurt if your curry powder had some kick!

Sweet Breakfasts

In Nutrition on January 13, 2015 at 9:10 pm
cinnamon sugar grinder

Pretty Little Grinders

It all started with an impulse buy at Whole Foods. That place makes me buy the craziest things that I sooo don’t need but kinda add a bit of joy to my life. I was totally drawn to these grinders of helpful spices combined with “unhealthy” things – aka sugar. I had a major cinnamon-toast addiction as a kid so I was instantly drawn to the cinnamon-brown sugar grinder. Growing up, my parents were so strictly No-Sugar that we didn’t even have ketchup in the house. The famous one-gram-of-sugar Cheerios were acceptable; however, Rice Krispies were banned because they had the nerve to have 2 whole grams of sugar!

fruity breakie

High sugar but also high fiber.

When my parents would sleep in on Saturday mornings, my sisters and I would turn the kitchen upside down looking for that sugar bowl reserved for guests who liked it in their coffee and tea. Upon finding the holy grail we would make cinnamon toast with an entire loaf of bread. First we would spread out all the bread on the counter and meticulously pick out all the walnuts and sunflower seeds – delicious bread for an adult but not when you’re in elementary school. Then we would generously spread Country Crock on each slice – this was the early 80s when butter was still evil and trans fats were celebrated.

The next step was somewhat delicate b/c although we were specifically looking for the sugar high you didn’t want it to taste all grainy and overly sugary. Shaking the cinnamon was tricky too…it didn’t come out evenly and getting a glob of cinnamon in a bite kinda dries your mouth out and ruins the experience. Clearly, we could have used the helpful cinnamon-sugar grinder from Whole Foods. I am pretty sure we arranged the entire loaf of bread on a baking sheet and put it under the oven broiler which is kind of dicey considering I was the oldest and still in elementary school. We were very serious – and efficient – about our cinnamon toast making.

Although I’m a sucker for pretty bottles at Whole Foods, I’m also known to be the sugar police so I shocked myself in bringing home the sugary grinders. Swearing I wouldn’t know what to do with them, it was just an impulse buy, etc., I immediately found two great uses for them at breakfast – ha! I’m not a fan of a sugary breakfast; however, these two recipes don’t actually have much sugar and are balanced with plenty of fat and/or protein to maintain steady blood sugar.

coconut rice porridge

Creamy, crunchy, sweet, salty.

Coconut-Rice Porridge

Cooked white rice (short-grain, white rice works best)

Coconut milk (not canned, try coconut/almond blend)

Chopped almonds – roasted & salted

Sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar or cocoa/sugar/chili

Simmer rice in milk. Add more or less depending on desired consistency. Top with chopped almonds and cinnamon-sugar or cocoa/sugar/chili and anything else really!

Eggy (Grain-Free) Pancakes (makes 8 smallish pancakes)

2 eggseggy pancakes2

1 TBSP almond butter

1 very ripe banana

Sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar or cocoa/sugar/chili

Mash and beat and whip all the ingredients together (except cinnamon sugar). Fry in coconut oil and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon-sugar or cocoa/sugar/chili on one side before you flip over! You won’t need maple syrup.

Cold-Busting, Flu-Fighting Garlic Soup

In Nutrition, Recipe on November 4, 2014 at 10:40 pm
Immune-supporting Garlic Soup

Immune-supporting Garlic Soup

So you think you’re about to get sick.

Stop. Sit down. Breathe. And check your calendar. What previous commitments are you going to cancel?

You don’t have wait until you are full-on sick to rearrange your calendar. Being bed-ridden is not the only good excuse for not following through on a coffee date or volunteer time-slot or swimming with your kids or dinner with your loved ones.

And, by the way, you don’t need an excuse. Ever. For anything. If you’ve changed your mind about something, you are allowed to state that with no explanation necessary – but that is another discussion.

Sickie Defense Arsenal

Sickie Defense Arsenal

If you start to have even the slightest bit of sniffles, sore throat, or achey-ness, it’s time to clear your calendar and break-out the Sickie Defense Arsenal: throat sprays, herbs and minerals, neti pot, and citrus juicer and make a pot of nourishing, immune-supporting soup. Traditional chicken soup is always a winner. You can also try Quinoa Chowder or Cleansing Soup. Or, if you want to go BIG, try the recipe for Garlic Soup below.

An electric citrus juicer (and 10lb bags of oranges and grapefruits) is a winter-time necessity. Once November rolls around, the apples are starting to get old and citrus is the only local, seasonal fruit left (at least in Southern California). Indulging in fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juice during the cold, dark winter months keeps you hydrated and full of antioxidant, immune-supporting vitamin C.

Vitamin C is quite fragile and quickly loses it’s effectiveness once exposed to heat, light, and oxygen – geez! It’s found in most FRESH fruits and vegetables but the longer your food has been transported, displayed, and stored, the less vitamin C it contains. Citrus, with it’s trusty, protective peel, locks in the vitamins until it’s juiced and then straight into your belly!

Head to the market for the following ingredients for GARLIC SOUP and other necessities:

grocery cart

Garlic Soup ingredients & Vitamin C-rich citrus

garlic (52 cloves, yes, 52!)

olive oil (2 TBSP) and sea salt (for roasting garlic)

ginger (1/2 cup)

onions (2 yellow)

butter, grass fed (1/2 stick)

cayenne (2 tsp or more!)

fresh thyme (lots)

coconut milk (1/2 cup)

3 1/2 cups veggie stock

If Garlic Soup sounds scary, think how scared that random virus will be and how stoked your body will be.

Sickie Defense Arsenal and Strategy:

1) Neti Pot 2x/day w Varcho Veda Neti-Wash Plus (zinc drops)

2) Throat Sprays 3-5x/day (2-3 sprays each time): Echinacea/Goldenseal/Propolis and S-Clear

3) Wellness Formula 2x/day – 3 horsepills (they suck but are so worth it)

4) TONS of fresh-squeezed orange juice (or grapefruit). Even better – try a carrot-orange-ginger juice

5) Make a HUGE pot of soup. Eat it all day long for days. Garlic Soup directions below (ingredients in list above).

To Make Garlic Soup:

Preheat oven to 350F. Get pumped for the job with positive warrior affirmations (and maybe a few warrior poses) to kick this sickness to the curb. Now put that awesome energy into your soup.

roasted garlic

Roasted garlic – olive oil, salt, 350 for 45 minutes

Place 26 garlic cloves (UNpeeled) in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes.

While garlic is roasting, take a bubble bath.

While garlic is cooling, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions (sliced), thyme, ginger (peeled and chopped) and cayenne powder. Cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.

Onions, garlic, ginger, butter, cayenne

Onions, garlic, ginger, butter, cayenne

Meanwhile, squeeze cooled garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Lick your oily, salty, garlicky fingers. They are delicious.

Add roasted garlic and 26 raw garlic cloves (peeled this time!) and cook 3 minutes. Add vegetable broth, cover, and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Puree soup with a hand blender, add coconut milk, and bring to simmer.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon on top and feel better soon!

Vegan Pancakes – 2 Ways

In Nutrition, Recipe on June 6, 2013 at 5:27 am

carrot-coconut pancake stackThese are brillant. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Reminiscent of a crepe but thicker and without the eggs! I had a bag of carrots that were getting old so I shredded them in the processor and then searched online for a yummy recipe to include them in. Original recipe here. I loved the recipe’s generous use of coconut milk and spelt flour which is lower in gluten than most wheat varieties. It just happened to be that the recipe was vegan and I was intrigued. I am always looking for ways to eat more plants and less animals. It feels better for the health of my body and better for the health of the earth. grated carrtos

Combine wet ingredients:

1.5 cups light coconut milk, canned

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/4 maple syrup

1 cup soy or almond milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1.5 cups carrot, grated

Combine dry ingredients:carrot-coconut pancake batter

2.5 cups whole grain spelt flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 TBSP chia seeds

1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground

Mix wet into dry and stir until just combined. Fry ’em up 🙂 You might need to use a lower heat than you are used to for frying pancakes as the outside seemed to cook a bit faster than the inside.

I loved the idea of this batter as a base for other variations so I experimented with subbing in some cornmeal for the spelt flour, shredded coconut for the carrots, and adding blueberries. A heartier texture but the same subtle sweetness. Delicious enough to eat plain or topped with nut butter.

Combine wet ingredients:blueberry cornmeal pancakes

1.5 cups light coconut milk, canned

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/4 maple syrup

1 cup soy or almond milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

Combine dry ingredients:

1.5 cups whole-grain spelt flour

1 cup cornmeal

1/2 tsp baking sodapancakes2

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 TBSP chia seeds 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground

I used a coarsely-ground cornmeal (b/c that was all I had) so they were a bit gritty but my kids still ate them 😉 The batter will be thicker due to the cornmeal and coconut but it thins out a bit on the griddle. Sprinkle blueberries on top and, again, you might need to use a lower heat so the inside cooks thoroughly. Really yummy the next day toasted with jam!

Cool, Summer-version of Pad Thai

In Nutrition, Recipe on May 30, 2013 at 4:31 am

pad thai kelp noodlesThis cold, kelp noodle salad has a terrible name. I wanted to call it “No-cook, No Peanut Pad Thai” but that was pretty lame too. The good news is, this recipe requires NO cooking or processing only soaking, chopping, and whisking. I used an alternative to the ubiquitous peanut butter to make it accessible to everyone and change up the flavor a bit. The whole point of developing this recipe was to find a use for kelp noodles other than in soups. I have been struggling with a decent avocado sauce and now feel vindicated that I’ve finally put kelp noodles to good use with this Pad Thai-inspired sauce. Insanely low-cal kelp noodles pair perfectly with high-calorie nut-based sauces. I’m not a calorie-counter but it’s just common sense not to overload your palate or belly with a cocktail of high-calorie items…let’s keep it all in balance, people.

kelp noodles

No caption necessary…the bag says it all.

Kelp noodles are practically calorie-free (<10 calories per serving), gluten-free, and raw. Just soak in water with an acid (citrus, vinegar) and they remind one of glass noodles. Kelp noodles are made from brown seaweed, sodium alginate (a seaweed-derived salt therefore high in iodine), and water. Clear in color and quite bland, they are al-dente-like crunchy until soaked. Kelp noodles are low in fiber so if you are using them in place of whole grain noodles, up the veggie content of your recipe for balanced blood sugar levels.

This recipe is vegan and I would love to call it ‘raw’ because it’s very, very close; however, for bestowing the raw title you must drop the tofu, sub agave or raw honey (but then it wouldn’t be vegan…so many rules!) for the maple syrup, and the canned coconut milk is suspect (I believe there are raw versions of coconut milk available). Anyway, if you are a raw foodie, I’m sure you are aware of the appropriate substitutions. If you are not, carry on…

pad thai kelp noodles ingredients2

Tofu, red pepper, lime, and mint.

Ingredients:

1 bag kelp noodles, soaked overnight in water and juice of 1 lime

8oz tofu, extra firm, drained, squeezed, and cubed

1 red pepper, diced

1 cup shredded/grated carrot

Handful of bean sprouts

(Experiment with the veggies: sliced snow peas, shredded cabbage, grated beets, etc.)

Pad Thai Sauce (enough for 2 batches of noodles & veggies):

pad thai kelp noodles ingredients

Kelp noodles, ground/crushed red pepper, tahini, shredded carrot, and ginger root.

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 cup canned coconut milk, light

3 TBSP tamari, low sodium

3 TBSP maple syrup (agave or raw honey)

1-2 TBSP fresh mint, chopped

1 tsp crushed red pepper or cayenne

1 lime, juiced

1 tsp crushed garlic

1 tsp grated ginger

Place drained kelp noodles, tofu, and veggies in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Combine 1/2 of the sauce into bowl of noodles, tofu, and veggies. Mix well and refrigerate for 1-3 hours. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds when ready to serve. Cool, creamy, and layered with flavors and textures…yum!

Curried Sweet Potato & Kale Stew

In Nutrition, Recipe on April 10, 2013 at 3:52 am
Curried Sweet Potato & Kale Stew

Curried Sweet Potato & Kale Stew

This stew debuted at SoupAsana and was a hit (even with the picky eaters!). The combo of hearty veggies in a light, deliciously-spiced broth was a perfect post-yoga meal. Prep is minimal and the slow cooker does all the work for you!

Ingredients (Serves 6):

2 cups onions – diced

2 large celery ribs – finely chopped

2 14oz cans of garbanzo beans – drained & rinsed

1 14oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes

1 can coconut milk

4 cups vegetable broth

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp cayenne (if you like heat!)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 large sweet potato – peeled and diced

1 bunch kale – chopped

Place all ingredients except kale and sweet potato in slow cooker on high for 2-3hrs. Add kale and sweet potato and cook for another 1-2hrs (until sweet potato is soft). Season to taste with tamari. Serve over short-grain, brown rice.

Chia Pudding

In Nutrition, Recipe on April 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm
chia pudding

Chia pudding with blueberries

Why all the chia and coconut, you say? Well, both chia and coconut contain healthy fatty acid profiles. Chia’s omega-3s are more accessible than flaxseed because the seed can be consumed whole as opposed to flaxseed which must first be ground. I have found that adding unsweetened coconut and vanilla to recipes enhances the sweetness without any additional sweetener! It’s the aroma, perhaps. There are a lot of versions of chia pudding on the internet. This one from yourbuddhi.com is my favorite. This is NOT super sweet but resist the urge to pile on the honey and instead top with mango, pineapple, or another sweet fruit.

Ingredients:

1 can of lite coconut milk

5 TBSP chia seeds

3 TBSP honey

1 tsp vanilla and/or 1 tsp cocoa powder

Swirl honey into coconut milk until fully dissolved. Stir in chia seed, vanilla, and cocoa (if using). Wait 10 mins, stir again, then place in fridge for another 10 mins. Done! Top with fruit, coconut flakes, nuts, or cacao nibs.

Makes 4 – 4oz servings.

1 serving = 159 kcals + 9g fat + 4g fiber + 2g protein.