Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 chopped yellow onion, medium
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and small diced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced white sweet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups diced zucchini
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Directions

In a large pot heat oil over medium heat,  Sauté the onions and garlic until fragrant.  Add peppers, sweet potatoes, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and sauté until vegetables begin to soften.  Add the zucchini and wine and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, chicken, salsa, cashew butter & lime.  Cover and cook about 10 minutes until vegetables are soft and chicken is warmed through. 

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Vegan Queso

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup peeled and grated russet potato 
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked, rinsed & drained
  • 1½ cups water, more as necessary
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 rinsed oil-packed sun-dried tomato
  • 1 teaspoons hot sauce (more if you want spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained and pressed 
  • chopped pickled jalapeños, optional
  • Optional toppings: additional fire-roasted tomatoes or salsa or chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, thinly sliced fresh jalapeños or pickled jalapeños, and/or finely chopped red onion

Directions

In a large saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender and turning translucent. Add the grated potato, garlic, paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Stir to combine, and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes to enhance their flavors. Add the cashews and water, and stir to combine. Let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring frequently and reducing heat as necessary to avoid a rapid boil, until the potatoes are completely tender. Pour the mixture into a blender and add the nutritional yeast, sun-dried tomato, hot sauce and vinegar. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. If the mixture won’t blend easily or if you would prefer a thinner consistency, add water in ¼ cup increments, blending after each one. Taste, and season with salt.  Pour the mixture back into the pot and add the tomatoes or salsa and jalapeños, if using. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very warm. To serve it as a dip, transfer to a serving bowl and top with any garnishes you’d like. 

 

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Toasted Sesame Hummus

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided, more to taste
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon raw sesame seeds, toasted

Directions

In a food processor or high-powered blender combine the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and ½ teaspoon of the sesame oil. Process, pausing to scrape down the sides and bottom as necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process till smooth scarping down the bowl as needed then add the remaining chickpeas and process until the hummus is thick and smooth. While running the food processor or blender, drizzle in 2 to 4 tablespoons of water, until it reaches your desired consistency and level of creaminess. Taste and season with additional salt and toasted sesame oil,  Scrape the hummus into a small serving bowl. Lightly drizzle 1 teaspoon sesame oil over the top. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds and a light and finishing salt if desired. Serve with accompaniments of your choice.

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Cyclone "the Bomb" Tofu Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • For the Tofu ‘Chicken’
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, frozen, thawed, pressed and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • For the Soup
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 and ½ cups finely chopped carrots
  • 1 and ½ cups finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups vegan chicken broth (I use Imagine No Chicken low sodium) 
  • 4 to 6 ounces angel hair pasta, broken into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Prepare the Tofu: warm the oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. When hot, add the tofu; it should be hot enough that the tofu sizzles. Make sure that you don’t crowd the tofu. You can cook it in batches if necessary. Allow it to cook on each side for about 5 minutes, until crispy and brown, then transfer to a medium size bowl. Pour the tamari on top and use a spoon to stir until it’s evenly coated. Then sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top and continue to stir until it is well distributed.

Prepare the Soup: warm the oil in a large pot of medium heat then add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook while continuing to stir for about 5 minutes, until the onion starts to lightly brown. Add the bay leaf, thyme, parsley and a few grinds of black pepper. Next add the broth and then bring to a boil. add the pasta to the pot, decrease the heat to medium and cook for about 6 minutes, or until angel hair is tender. Stir in the reserved tofu and any traces of nutritional yeast in the bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and cook for a few more minutes, until heated through. Season with salt and/or pepper to taste then serve warm and enjoy! *To press the tofu, place it between two dish towels on the counter and stack a few heavy books on top. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes to an hour to help draw the liquid out. I also recommend using organic tofu when possible.

Recipe adapted from makingthymeforhealth.com

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Baby it's cold outside...Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (substitute vegan)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 quart chicken stock or water (I use vegan chicken broth)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes. In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade then puree in vitamix. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

Note: I deglaze the pan with a little white wine before I add the tomatoes, basil thyme & stock.

 

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Too Hot to Cook!

Grilled Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, sea salt, pepper, and olive oil. Mix until combined.
  3. Rub mixture over both sides of the chicken.
  4. Place chicken on grill and grill each side for 4-6 minutes depending on thickness until cooked through.

Fresh Tomato, Basil & Garlic over Angel Hair

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed or thinly sliced (I preferred pressed)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 oregano sprig
  • Pinch chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound dried angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chiffonade basil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice water bath. Cut a small "x" on the bottom of each tomato. In batches, place the tomatoes in the boiling water and blanch them for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the skins are easy to peel away. Remove and immediately plunge into the ice bath. Peel the tomatoes and halve horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds, using your fingers to get them all. Roughly chop the peeled and seeded tomatoes. Set aside.

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add the thyme leaves, oregano sprig, and chili flakes and saute until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Add the tomatoes and the sugar and stir well. Lower the heat and cook slowly until the mixture is fairly dry, about 15 minutes.

Cook the angel hair pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Add the Parmesan and basil and toss well. Place in a large pasta bowl to serve.

Worth all the Effort Chili

CHILE POWDER

  • 3 medium dried chili pods, stems and seeds removed, spread flat
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

CHILI

  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 8 ounces bacon
  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 medium white onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ¾ cups beef broth
  • 1 28-ounce can puréed tomatoes
  • 2 poblano chiles, stems and seeds removed

    PREPARATION

  • For the chile powder: Place the chiles flat in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and cook, turning as needed, until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool. Put the cumin seeds in the hot pan and stir until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  • Using scissors, cut the chiles into small strips. Using a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder, grind in batches into a powder. Pour into a bowl. Grind the cumin seeds into a powder and add to the bowl. Add the oregano and garlic powder. If the mixture is still coarse, grind again until fine. Reserve 3 1/2 tablespoons for the chili; save the rest in a jar.
  • For the chili: In a Dutch oven over medium heat, stir the cumin seeds until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour onto a work surface and using a small, heavy skillet, crush them coarsely. Set aside.
  • Return the pot to medium-high heat, add the bacon and fry until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  • Increase the heat to high. Working in small batches, add the beef cubes to the pot and cook, stirring, until well browned on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions to the remaining bacon drippings and sauté until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the crushed cumin, reserved chili powder, paprika, oregano, black pepper, thyme, salt and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Crumble in the bacon and add the broth, tomatoes, 1 cup water, poblanos and the browned beef. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to low, cover partly and simmer for 2 hours, until the meat is very tender. Add water as needed to maintain a good chili consistency.
  • Remove the poblanos, purée them in a food processor or blender and return the purée to the pot. Stir well, simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors and serve.
  • Serve with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and slice of sourdough bread
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Tuscan Vegetable Soup (Vegan Option)

I am not a bean fan but I know I need the protein.  I love this soup because you can mash half or all of the beans so it becomes part of the broth. I also put Nutritional Yeast instead of Parmesan for me.

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium canellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced, (about ½ cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional

Directions

In a small bowl mash half of the beans with a masher or the back of a spoon, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, garlic, thyme, sage, ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and tomatoes with the juice and bring to a boil. Add the mashed and whole beans and the spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes more.

Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired.

Family's Favorite Soup

Whenever my family isn't feeling well and I don't have time to make homemade chicken noodle soup, this is my go to soup. It is quick and easy and so delicious!

 

Italian Red Lentil Soup

  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped (I prefer to use a garlic press)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups water
  • 3/4 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed & drained
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons small pasta shapes (for gluten free use quinoa or white basmati rice)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

In a large sauce pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil over high heat until the onion becomes translucent.  Pour in the water, cover and bring to a boil.  Stir in the carrots, lentils, and salt and simmer partially covered over moderate heat for 10 minutes.  Stir in the pasta and continue to cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes until creamy.  Remove from heat.  Stir in parsley until well combined.  

My guys add hot sauce for a little kick.

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No voice....no problem!

I did a pop up shop this weekend and after a 15 hour day backed up to a 9 hour day I totally lost my voice.  I adapted this soup from the Oh She Glows cookbook. This soup always hits the spot with its creamy broth and smokey kick. It is a personal as well as a family favorite. I am not a bean fan (I know shocking & tough being a vegan) therefore I only use half a can.

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours or overnight, drained & rinsed
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (1 cup reserved for the cashew cream)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 white yam, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 2 tablespoons 10-Spice Mix, to taste
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • few handfuls of torn kale or spinach
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Homemade 10-Spice Mix (makes 1/2 cup):

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews with 1 cup of vegetable broth and blend on the highest speed until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and season with sale and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. 
  3. Add the carrots, bell pepper, potato, celery, and diced tomatoes with their juices, the remaining 5 cups broth, and 10-Spice Mix and the cashew cream mixture. Stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add bay leaves. Season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Simmer the soup uncovered for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.  During the last 5 minutes of cooking, remove the bay leaves and stir in the kale or spinach and drained beans. 

Cashew Coconut Coffee Creamer

I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years.  I went vegan about 3 years ago.  One of the hardest parts for me was giving up half and half in my coffee.  I did not like any of the store bought vegan creamers.  They didn't stay "up" in my coffee and I did not like the flavor...I missed the creamy deliciousness of my morning cup of coffee.  After experimenting with many different recipes here is where I found my "half and half" minus both halves...I hope you enjoy.

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight then drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/4 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 of a can of full fat coconut milk; open the can and blend well preferably in a nutribullet
  • pinch sea salt
  • optional: flavoring ie. vanilla extract, almond extract

Place cashews and water in a blender and blend on high until smooth (you may need to add more water if the consistency seems to thick....it will thicken in the refrigerator slightly.)  Add pinch of sea salt and coconut milk and continue to blend on high. Lower speed and add your flavoring.  Pour in airtight container and store in refrigerator.  Lasts about a week.