Quinoa Minestrone Soup

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I know, I know. I was trying to cut down on the amount of soup I make but now that I am in full blown cookbook testing mode, I am whipping up all sorts of goodies that bring my soul joy. This week my best friend came over to take some glamorous shots of me cooking. It was natural, silly and just plain ol’ fun. I mean, who doesn’t love having their biffle in the kitchen with them and then sharing a fabulous meal afterwards. I was able to cook freely with lots of giggles and have my bestie snap a few pics of me in the process. Needless to say, I was in my zone. You can just tell my passion lives in the kitchen.

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Chick’n Noodle Soup

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Howdy my amazing friends! I apologize for the hiatus. I was recovering from the stomach flu and have had quite the interesting few weeks. NYC really does NOT know how to function with even the tiniest bit of snow. We are all grumpy, cold and pale (yikes). Thankfully I am heading to California for a short 5 day trip to visit my grandma in 2 weeks. I could really use some warm sunshine.

When I wasn’t lifelessly lying on my bed begging for the agony in my stomach to end, I actually got up to make some soup. I have heard about the healing properties and comfort of a good bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup. Though I have never tried chicken or chicken noodle soup, making my own version was just what the doctor ordered. My vegan and gluten free “chicken” noodle soup along with a ginger kombucha really aided in my healing process. Talk about a home remedy! Well, I hope that you make this yummy soup even when you’re not sick. From what I have heard (from my meat eating brother), it almost tastes like the real thing.

What You Need:

  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed and minced finely
  • 4 medium carrots (skin peeled), sliced
  • 4 celery ribs (or more, if you like celery like I do), sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 package of vegan chicken-less, chicken strips (try LightLife Chik’n Style Smart Strips), chopped
  • 1 32 fl oz box of No-Chicken Chicken Broth (try Imagine-if you cannot find, opt for vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbs Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 box of gluten free (and egg free) noodles (try Lundberg’s Rotini Brown Rice)
  • Sea salt, black pepper to taste
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley, optional

How You Make It: 

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot (any big pot with enough room to hold liquid works). Toss in onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Season generously with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Toss in vegan chicken strips and sauté. Add in thyme and bay leaves. Continue to stir until fragrant.
  3. Add in stock and water. Scrape whatever has stuck to the bottom of the pan to get all of the flavor.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. While waiting for the soup to boil, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Cook until slightly al dente (so that the pasta continues to cook when you add to the soup). NOTE: Please be sure to rinse the pasta before adding to the soup.
  6. Once soup comes to a boil, add in pasta and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add in Italian seasoning or more thyme if you like.
  7. Serve soup immediately and garnish with fresh parsley.

What are some of your favorite soups when you are feeling under the weather? I’d love to know!

Peace, love and NO beef!

Guramrit

Yogi Bhajan’s Pasta e Fagioli

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When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore! When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool…that’s amore! 

When I think about Pasta e Fagioli, I instantly think of that song. Then again, I start singing it when I crave pizza, pasta or anything Italian. I came across an old cookbook from my childhood, “The Golden Temple Vegetarian Cookbook” by Yogi Bhajan. I have a strong attachment to Yogi Bhajan partly because he named me. Talk about an awesome conversation starter, right? Well, long story short my mom studied Kundalini yoga with Yogi Bhajan back in the 80s and called him when I was born to give me a name. I’m really glad she did because if I wasn’t named Guramrit, I would have been a Bhupinder (sorry dad, being called Boopy for short is not cute). So back to this cookbook. My mom and I were on a hunt for a few of her yoga books since I am getting mentally prepped for Yoga Teacher Training. She came across this cookbook which really brought me back to being a kid. My mom would make some of my favorites from this cookbook (more recipes with a twist coming soon). I was searching for some inspiration and the page I happened to open up was this particular recipe for Pasta e Fagioli. Of course I always tweak, dabble, taste, sprinkle to tailor to my tastebuds. I hope you enjoy this hearty and delicious stew for lunch and dinner. I’m actually still eating this 2-3 days later. It gets better with age!

What You Need: 

  • 1 35 oz can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz can navy or white beans
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of baby spinach (I have to add spinach to EVERYTHING)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 oz gluten free (brown rice) pasta (macaroni elbows, ziti- whatever you like)

How You Make It: 

  1. In a large pan, sauté carrots, leek and garlic until translucent. Lightly salt and pepper and continue to stir. Toss in beans and stir.
  2. Toss in the rest of the ingredients except pasta. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. In a separate pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Salt generously and cook pasta according to package instructions (ideally, al dente). Drain and rinse pasta. Set aside.
  4. Remove bay leaves. Serve with beans with pasta and enjoy!

Note: By keeping the pasta and bean mixture separate, it keeps the pasta from absorbing all the liquid. Then you won’t have soggy pasta! 

Keep warm my dear friends and make yourself something comforting for dinner tonight.

Peace, love and no beef!

Guramrit

Vegan Tortilla Soup

Happy New Year everyone! I am excited for a whole new year of blogging, eating, dancing, yoga-ing and more! I am thrilled to share that for Christmas my very thoughtful (and smart) boyfriend bought me a Vitamix. As a result, I will be in the kitchen even more than before experimenting with nut milks, smoothies, soups, nut butters, sorbets and more. I cannot wait to share these incredible recipes with you. Here’s to a healthier, happier and more delicious year! 

Let’s get 2014 started with a very simple yet comforting soup. Upgrade your taco night with a soup even the meat eater in your life will love! 

What You Need: 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 ears fresh corn
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped 
  • 3 tbsp ground cumin
  • One 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped 
  • 3 cups vegetable broth/stock
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (this helps thicken the broth)
  • 1-2 cans black beans (or beans of choice)
  • salt & pepper & crushed red chili pepper, to taste
  • Bag of your favorite tortilla chips (I’m a fan of blue corn tortilla chips)

How to Make it: 

1. In a large pot over medium to low heat, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes (or until translucent). 

2. Chop the peppers, zucchini, green onion, and remove corn from cob (use a knife and slice off the cob down the four corners). Add the veggies to the pot and sauté for an additional 5-10 minutes.

3. Add crushed tomatoes, cumin, broth, beans and chia seeds. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Simmer on low-medium heat for 25-30 minutes. 

4. After the soup simmers, ladle into bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips and your favorite toppings (avocado, vegan cheese, more green onions). Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Peace, love and no beef y’all! 

Guramrit 

Vegan Broccoli Cheeze Soup

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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!

Ingredients:

  • 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):

Ingredients:

  • 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!

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Peace, love and NO BEEF!

GK