The Peanut Butter to my Chocolate It’s been ages since I’ve made brownies. Because brownies are just too delicious. I try *not* to bake all the time these days, because when I do it’s hard *not* to eat the whole batch in two days. And […]
Tag: vegan recipe
‘Cheesy’ Broccoli Soup For the Win: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo Recipe
For real guys. This creamy cheesy broccoli soup is hands-down the most satisfying soup I’ve ever made, or ever tasted for that matter. All the creaminess. All the cheesy flavor. None of the dairy or its side effects.
Can it be real? Oh yes it’s really real. It’s a vegan take on cream of broccoli soup, or broccoli cheddar soup – one of my all-time favorite soups. But the original version is quite decadent. So I made a couple swaps to keep it paleo, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
No lies: Can’t. Get. Enough. I’ve been making soup all week – this was my third recipe, yet the first to be devoured. And I want to make more. It’s *so* tasty and oh-so-satisfying.
And the best part is you can leave all the guilt at the front door: it’s free of all the not-so-good stuff that can leave us feeling bloated, heavy, and lethargic. Bonus: this version is not just cleaner, it’s jam-packed with health-boosting ingredients. For. The. Win.
Flavor-Full and Nutrient-Dense
I added plenty of vegetables in the form of broccoli, celery, leeks, and garlic, which all contain potent anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, immunity boosters, and cancer-fighting and preventative properties, just to name a few.
Then I added a little coconut milk to keep it creamy. Even though I use plenty of coconut milk in my life, I was worried the flavor wouldn’t quite strike the right balance. We want cheesiness people, not coconut. I want broccoli coconut soup. Said no one, ever.
Fortunately, with the addition of some spices and a good amount of nutritional yeast, I achieved that savory, umami, cheesy flavor we can’t get enough of.
Now I know most of us don’t want to go out of our way to get obscure, hard-to-find ingredients that we’ll never use again after making the one recipe. So for those of you who read ‘nutritional yeast’ and were like ok no can’t be bothered or thought to yourself ‘what is nutritional yeast… it sounds gross’ … hold that thought and READ ON.
Why You Should Use Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is a staple in my pantry. And I personally feel nutritional yeast should be a staple in every dairy-free pantry. Or every cutting-back-on-the-cheese pantry. Or just every pantry. Not only does it stem those all-consuming cravings for cheese to which we often surrender, it packs in a wallop of nutritional benefits. Hence: nutritional yeast. And it’s so easy to use.
It’s very unfortunate name belies its benefits: these little yellow flakes turn a palatable savory dish into a treat for your taste buds. I sprinkle it on all sorts of dishes, from soups to eggs to salads, and incorporate it into so many of my vegan sauces and dips when I want to mimic a cheesy flavor. It’s almost like magic.
Nutritional Yeast Myth Busting
If you’ve never had it, I can understand the hesitation. It sounds gross, looks weird, and seems like some fancy supplement that will set you back a pretty penny.
- Nutritional yeast is not hard to find. You can find nutritional yeast in most stores – I’ve had success everywhere I’ve gone.
- Nutritional yeast is not the bad yeast we think of. Nutritional yeast is yeast, but a deactivated form of it. Nutritional yeast is good for you.
- Per serving, it’s not at all expensive – far less so than cheese itself.
So there you have it. Every reason you should get nutritional yeast, now!
And then make this delicious, nutritious cheesy broccoli soup as soon as it’s in your possession. You’re welcome. 😉
Creamy Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Soup
Your favorite creamy, cheesy broccoli soup made dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, and vegan!
- 3 cups chopped broccoli can use stems and florets
- 1 bunch celery, chopped
- 1 leek, white and light green part, chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups broth
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 3/8 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 can coconut milk 13.5 oz
Wash and chop vegetables. For the leeks, I like to cut them into roughly 1cm thick rounds, then cut those rounds in half.
In a medium pot, steam the broccoli.
Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, and garlic and sauté until the leeks are just beginning to turn golden brown and the celery is tender. While the vegetables are cooking, be sure to monitor the broccoli and remove from heat when tender.
Add the spices and steamed broccoli to the vegetables, then pour in the broth. Bring everything to a light boil then reduce the heat. You may simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend, or simply remove from the heat as the vegetables should all be thoroughly cooked and tender.
Use an immersion blender to purée the mixture, or transfer to a high speed blender or food processor to blend then return to the pot.
Once the mixture is blended, add the coconut milk and nutritional yeast and stir thoroughly to incorporate.
Serve and enjoy! Keeps for up to a week in the fridge, or freeze any leftovers.
Kale with a Crunch Kale chips are delicious. Trust me on this one. If you’ve been scared to eat a chip made out of a vegetable, or scared of vegetables in general, stop whatever you’re doing and make these. They’re crispy, crunchy, light, and oh […]
Rosemary for the win
When it comes to fall and winter cooking, rosemary is one of my favorite go-to’s. Its warming flavors capture the cozy weather vibes so well. I feel like kale and butternut squash with a generous sprinkle of rosemary is an ideal combo when it comes to fall cuisine.
And for the holiday table, dried cranberries and pecans are the perfect compliments to add a little nuttiness and tart sweetness to the mix. Pumpkin seeds add an extra crunch and extra fall vibes.
It’s a tried-and-true combination, so when I was coming up with my holiday menu, it was a no-brainer to add this salad to the mix.
Rosemary to the rescue
But I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go with the dressing. I thought about going tart, I thought about going sweet. I even considered doing a creamy almond dressing. But none of them really hit home.
As I hinted at above, I do love roasting my squash with rosemary, however. And then it hit me: rosemary dressing. Duh! I’ve never been one to go fancy with my salad dressings – I used to hate salad dressing – so I wasn’t entirely sure what direction to go.
But then rosemary vinaigrette came into being and pulled the dish together so well. And of course, it’s pretty simple!
Health Benefits of Rosemary
I absolutely adore rosemary. This member of the herb family has flavor profile that is hard to pin down. It’s closely related to mint but with a very different flavor: it has a warming, slightly bitter, almost pine-like taste. Sometimes when I bite into it I swear I can taste butter. But that might just be my taste buds wanting it taste butter…! 😉
And rosemary just looks so cute, kinda like the needles on a pine tree! It’s pretty much the most festive edible addition to your dishes, and delivers all the dish-elevating flavor you could hope for.
And good thing it tastes so good, because although the small quantities typical of a single dish won’t deliver a significant nutritional boost, the regular addition of rosemary to your dishes will allow the benefits to accumulate.
Here are some of the ways rosemary benefits your health:
- Mood and stress balancer. It improves mood, clears the mind, and relieves stress in those with stress hormone imbalances. More, please!
- Boosts Immunity. Rosemary contains active compounds that are anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant, and perhaps most importantly, anti-inflammatory. Win-win-win. These anti-inflammatory benefits are the most notable: the antioxidants carnosol and carnosic have been associated with reducing inflammation of muscle tissue, blood vessels, and joints.
- Improves Digestion. Rosemary also soothes digestive upset, including constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and upset stomachs.
- Memory Booster. Research into the benefits of rosemary on memory is ongoing, but it has historically been used as a cognitive stimulant and has more recently been linked to cognitive stimulation in elderly patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Detoxifier. Rosemary is a mild diuretic, meaning it can aid in flushing out toxins during urination. In addition to helping eliminate toxins, pathogens, salts, and even excess fat when consumed regularly, it has been linked to improved liver health. Rosemary consumption is linked with faster healing time of the liver, which is one of the slowest organs to heal, as well as lower levels of cirrhosis.
- Skin health. Rosemary, particularly in its essential oil form, contains anti-aging benefits and helps to heal blemishes and maintain clear, hydrated skin.
Rosemary also stimulates blood flow, acts as an analgesic (pain reliever), and works as a breath freshener. Basically, what doesn’t it do…!?
How to Use Rosemary
- To Maximize flavor, cook with it. Add it to your dishes: bake with it, garnish, sautée, sprinkle it into soups and stews, and rub it into meat dishes. Basically, use it in every way you can think of.
- To maximize nutritional value: don’t cook with it. Ok ok, that’s totally contradictory. But cooking does reduce the benefits, so add it toward the end of cooking, or do both: cook with it and garnish with fresh rosemary once you are ready to serve!
- People even use rosemary essential oils to deliver a concentrated dose of the goodness.
Warm Kale Squash Fall Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette
Back to the salad. It does require a little oven and mortar and pestle action, so it’s not the quickest recipe I’ve ever done, but it’s still quite simple.
First I roast the chopped butternut squash, with – you guess it – rosemary. As the squash is roasting, I make the dressing and the rest of the salad. As it’s a warm salad, I heat the dressing in a pan then add the kale. At the end I toss in the cranberries*, pecans, and pumpkin seeds.
*A note on the dried cranberries. Frankly, I don’t eat much dried fruit these days because it contains a lot of sugar (natural sugar is still sugar). This salad works perfectly fine without it, but for the holiday table I add it in cuz it’s festive. Skip to keep it paleo-happy.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m pretty sure fresh pomegranate seeds would work really nicely too, and add a generous antioxidant boost to the feast!
Warm Kale Squash Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette
A simple yet hearty and delicious warming salad with rosemary vinaigrette. Vegan, paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free recipe
Kale Squash Salad
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 bunch kale, washed and cut into smaller pieces I use curly kale
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries *optional. may replace with pomegranate seeds
- 1/2+1/2 tbsp fresh or dried rosemary
- 1 sprig rosemary optional
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the over to 400F. Places the chopped butternut squash on a pan and toss with the olive oil, 1/2 tbsp rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, checked and tossing halfway through.
While the squash is roasting, make the vinaigrette. Place the rosemary, salt, and garlic in the mortar bowl. Use the pestle to crush the garlic and rosemary and mash them together.
Slowly add the lemon juice and olive oil and continue to mash.
Transfer the dressing to a large pan and heat over medium. Add the kale, rosemary, salt and pepper and sauté a few minutes, until the kale is bright green and soft.
Turn off the heat and add the pecans, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries if using. Toss the ingredients together while the pan is still warm. The squash should be just about ready, so add that to the pan and toss all the ingredients together.
Transfer to plates and serve.
If using fresh pomegranate seeds, top with these at the end. I also sometimes add some sliced avocado at the end if I'm eating this as my meal.
Keepin it Real Cranberry Sauce Cranberry sauce is a holiday table staple. But I’ve always been slightly weirded out by the jello-y mush that comes from a can. And which initially retains the shape of said can. Weird. And they usually contain corn syrup and […]
It’s Gravy Baby Turkey or not, no Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without gravy. Traditional gravies are obviously made with the turkey pan drippings, cutter, cream, and regular all-purpose white flour. None of which are suitable for a vegan and or paleo-friendly recipe. So here ya […]
The Main Attraction: Vegan Feast Alternative
Nothing truly replaces a traditional turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. But these days there are plenty of options that deliver all the fall feels for vegans and people trying to adopt a more plant-based. But for a lot of us out there, it’s also important for dishes to be grain-free and paleo. Which is pretty tricky for a Thanksgiving feast. Enter this baked delicata squash with paleo stuffing.
One part squash, one part flavorful paleo stuffing, without any gluten, grains, dairy, or carbs. The stuffing itself is also low-carb and keto-friendly.
Top it off with vegan gluten-free gravy, and now you’re really in business. It also works as a hearty side dish, and the stuffing can stand alone as a delicious paleo alternative to stuffing.
Thanksgiving dinner and holiday feasts are already complicated enough, I wanted something that would come together relatively quickly. The squash does require an oven, but the stuffing can be made in advance and cooks up in one pan in about 10 minutes. Boom.
And seriously the flavors are just so satisfying. I adore herbs like rosemary, sage, and tarragon, and they pair so well with the earthiness of the mushrooms and the aromatic leeks.
Paired with the hearty sweetness of the squash, it creates a tantalizing blend of satisfying flavors..
Delicata Squash: The Cheerful Holiday Guest
I don’t cook often with delicata squash, but it’s so darn cute and cheerful that it makes a great addition to a holiday feast. It’s the cute and dainty member of the squash family. It’s smaller, tending to weigh less than a pound, oblong, and has yellow and green stripes accented with orange running down the sides.
The skin is thin and actually edible. Not everyone loves to eat the skin, but it adds that visual appeal to your holiday plate. It tends to be a tad bit on the dry side, which is why I bake it with oil and top it with stuffing and gravy.
Delicata Squash Health Benefits
Delicata squash is rich in fiber and provides a healthy dose of iron, which is crucial for healthy cell production. It also provides a solid dose of calcium, so there’s no need to worry about nixing the dairy and missing out on this key nutrient for bone health.
Like other orange and yellow-hued foods, delicata squash provides a nice dose of vitamin A, as well as vitamin C, which are both crucial for immunity. Vitamin A is also essential for eye health.
Paleo Stuffed Baked Delicata Squash
A vegan, paleo main or hearty side dish for the holiday table
- 2 delicata squash
- 1+1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil coconut oil works well
- 2 cups cauliflower rice *may purchase or make by pulsing a head of chopped cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms I use cremini or button
- 1/2 cup chopped leeks
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, de-sprigged
- 1 sprig fresh sage, chopped
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, de-sprigged
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450. Cut the squashes in half from top to bottom and coat with olive oil. Bake for 35-45 minutes.
While the squash is baking, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower rice, mushrooms, leeks, and fresh herbs and sautée about 8-10 minutes, until thoroughly soft and slightly browned.
Add the apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
When the squash is ready, remove from the oven, stuff with the stuffing, and serve.
Serving size: about 1/2 squash per person. Stuffed, this alone makes for a meal for most. As a side, cut into quarters.
The stuffing may be made in advance and added about 10-15 minutes before the squash is finished.
Sweet Potatoes for Breakfast For those skeptics our there, just hear me out for a second. Sweet potato may not jump to mind as a traditional breakfast food option. But really, it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Sweet potatoes basically […]