Holy cow…last week was such doozy. I don’t remember the last time I was horribly sick like I was last week. Fever, cough, mucus, all that soreness and muscle aches. The whole shebang. I had it. It sucked. I was out of commission and felt completely tortured. I have a confession to make. I don’t know what it means to take a break. I LOVE to work. Well, I love to cook, coach and share my wisdom and it’s not really work when you love it, right? But I am such a go, go, go person. Gotta do this, gotta do that. And my body said, “hey girl it’s time for a vacay.” Also known as “be on bed rest and do absolutely nothing and catch up with the Kardashians on the couch.”
As I continue to heal and recover from my concussion, I am really fond of making soups. I have little to no energy to create extravagant meals and soups are the best. One of the things I miss about pre-veganism are creamy soups so I decided to take on a vegan version of one of my favorites: Broccoli Cheese. This vegan take is sure to have you convinced that this is JUST as good as the dairy version and just a tad better for your health!
Here is my adapted version of a recipe I found on my favorite Vegan blog, Oh She Glows. Check it out!
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 large heads of broccoli, chopped (or 2 bags of precut broccoli from Trader Joes)
- 2 large peeled & chopped potatoes
- 2 cups vegetable broth, 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)
- Vegan cheeze sauce, divided (see below for recipe)
- Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
- Daiya cheese, to garnish
- Smoked Paprika, to garnish
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, onion, and garlic over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Cook for about 5-6 mins.
2. Add in the celery, broccoli, and potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Now, add the broth, nutritional yeast, and cayenne pepper and simmer for another 15 mins or so until the potatoes are just fork tender.
3. Meanwhile, prepare your cheeze sauce (see below) while the soup simmers.
4. Carefully transfer the soup (in two batches) into a blender. Blend until almost smooth and place back into the pot. Stir in the cheeze sauce. **PLEASE BE CAREFUL AS SOUP WILL BE HOT**
5. Top the soup with Daiya cheese and serve immediately!
Cheeze Sauce (yields just about 1 2/3 cup of sauce):
- 1.5 cup unsweetened, unflavoured coconut milk
- 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp cashew cheese (optional, not needed)
- 1/4 cup Daiya cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp Earth Balance or other non-dairy buttery spread
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1. In a skillet or pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium heat.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/4 cup milk until all clumps are gone.
3. Whisk in the remaining milk (1.25 cups) as well as the milk and flour mixture into the pot. Now whisk in the nutritional yeast, cashew cheese and Daiya cheese. Reduce heat to low-medium.
4. Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste and whisk frequently over low heat until the sauce thickens up, for 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn it. Remove from heat once thick.
I made a few adaptations to this cheeze sauce recipe since I’m not a huge fan of mustard and I really, really love the flavor and creaminess of cashew cheese. I’m sure this will be a hit at dinner tonight!
I hope you all enjoy this fabulous and delicious recipe. I enjoyed it twice, for dinner and lunch! Yum!
Peace, love and NO BEEF!
“Everything we do is an investment of who we think we are.” These words strongly resonated with me as listened to the minister at Unity of New York speak this past Sunday. I got lost in this one sentence (literally got lost because I was completely absorbed into this thought provoking statement). As I thought on the things I do, what I spend money on and who I spent time with, I wondered how that reflected my vision of who I am.
As you all know I’m an advocate for organic, whole, healthy and nutritious living. Part of living a whole and healthy life is taking care of you besides those foods you put on your plate. There are multiple sources of energy and nourishment besides those which modern nutrition provides. This is what Integrative Nutrition calls: Primary Food. Each element, each part of our lives are interconnected. It truly is a great circle of life. Everything we do impacts another aspect of our life determining where and how we seek out nourishment. For example: If there is discontent in our home life or relationships we may seek to find nourishment (for that which is lacking) through food (emotional eating). I know I literally feel “sick to my stomach” if I am overcome with negative emotion. Taking a moment to focus on spirituality, relationships and the things I invest in provides a grand perspective.
After Sunday’s service I really have stopped to think about the things I devote my time and energy to. I think on those moments when I spend precious energy on being angry or negative (which is rare, since I try to be as optimistic and positive as possible). So does the energy I waste on negativity reflect a negative view of myself? I find myself to be a pretty positive person. I must admit acknowledging that where I devote my energy reflects who I think I am, made me a little upset. I wanted to avoid thinking that the vision of myself isn’t always reflected through the things I invest in. But we are all victim to succumbing to those moments of darkness. It doesn’t mean we will get stuck there. Or at least I don’t allow myself to get stuck there. I know that I value myself highly enough to remove myself from a faulty investment.
Think of your life as a stock market and you are a trader or a business woman/man. Everything in life is a stock. There are many options from who you choose to be friends with, the restaurants you go out to eat at, your hobbies, your attitudes and feelings. Whatever you invest in either brings you great benefit or can ultimately lead in a crash. Your life is a reflection of your choices. Sure, there are many things out of our control, part of the journey’s we decided to embark upon prior to being born. Yet there are SO many things within our grasp that are waiting to be chosen. I have chosen an organic, wholesome and clean lifestyle with a vegan diet. I value myself and my body so I only invest in what makes me feel the best. Why treat yourself or make investments in things that won’t uplift or empower you? I make a conscious effort to take care of myself and put the most productive and supportive investments first. In my weakest moments and my moments of shadow, I hope to choose only those things which uplift my vision of myself.
I wish you choose similarly for yourself. Choose the most productive investments. Let your life reflect a pure, wholesome, happy and healthy life.