Category: Vegan

Vegetable Soup Two Ways

Vegetable Soup Two Ways

There are simply days when it’s time to eat lightly or cut back a little. Even if you’re not on WW (Weight Watchers) or following some other sort of weight-loss program, a few bowls of colorful all-vegetable soup might be just what you need today or even exactly as the doctor ordered. (“Eat more fiber!”) Maybe you overdid it at the restaurant Saturday night or at the neighbor’s brunch on Sunday; you could have skipped your workouts last week. Whatever…I’m guessing this could be your soup this week–great for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow.

I have made this easy potful for years and it’s even been blogged before. Today it was time to rewrite the recipe and add its second-day version (baked in a bowl with an egg in the middle!) right here in the same post.

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Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup for Lunch

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup for Lunch

A stocked pantry is something like a gold mine when you’re hungry and you have no idea what’s for lunch. A peek into one big drawer of mine includes several kinds of dried beans, at least 5 kinds of rice, bulgar, barley, polenta, oats, couscous, farro, quinoa, a variety of dried fruits, and usually a couple of kinds of lentils. (A big bank account makes a lot of people feel secure, but I’m rich when my cabinets are full.) When I have no idea what’s to eat, lentils are my go-to. They’re easy, fast, filling, healthy as can be (see below), pair with nearly anything and in many a direction, and they’re even pretty darned inexpensive.

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INSTANT POT: Black Bean + Butternut Squash Soup

INSTANT POT: Black Bean + Butternut Squash Soup

                Need Thanksgiving ideas? Scroll down to near the bottom of the post. 

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Thanksgiving Granola–The Easy Holiday Gift

Thanksgiving Granola–The Easy Holiday Gift


TIME TO PLAN, CLEAN, SHOP, COOK AHEAD for Thanksgiving. Scroll down to bottom for a list of ideas to get you going.    

                                                        OR….

 READ UP ON MORE TIME’S THANKSGIVING BASICS HERE  (includes links to my baking post, sides recipes, Thanksgiving for two, turkey thoughts, music, movies etc.)

VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE THANKSGIVING HERE

Looking for something to take to friends or family for Thanksgiving? Crunchy dried apples, chewy sweet cranberries, toasted nuts, and warm spices (all the usual suspects plus a tad cayenne pepper) make this the perfect little take-along, especially if you’re traveling for the holiday. And, you know what? Granola doesn’t go bad, won’t melt, smell, crack, or crumble (much), is fine at room temperature, goes in suitcase or tote bag, and is the quintessential snack if you get hungry on the road. And really easily, (see recipe for changes and notes), this adaptable food makes a hearty vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten free breakfast. It also solves the, “What’s for breakfast?” that everyone except the cook asks on Thanksgiving morning. Add yogurt, fruit, milk, or top a big bowl of oatmeal or other cereal with this crunchy goodness.  In fact, it’s great on ice cream!  Sorry, we were talking breakfast. Have time to get fancy?  Make my Bacon-Granola Pancakes with Fried Egg.

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Italian Butternut Squash Soup

Italian Butternut Squash Soup

Being a butternut squash devotee, but far from being an Italian, I had no particular idea of whether or not my silky orange fall favorite was much of a thing in the country of mozzarella, artichokes, popes, cappuccino, pasta, beautiful fish, red wine, gorgeous shoes, shining lemons, and pizza.

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Cauliflower-Ginger Soup

Cauliflower-Ginger Soup

I definitely got my love of soup from my dad, an inveterate soup maker, who would have turned 111 this past weekend were he still fishing on earth instead of on that perfect heavenly lake chock full of bass:

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above:  my proud dad in the same fishing outfit he wore for all the years I can remember

Soup is probably my most loved food if you haven’t yet figured that out. Right after pizza. Well, perhaps this is a difficult thing to discern. I could eat soup every day and sometimes do. While I lust after pizza–any kind except pineapple–I don’t think I could eat it every day.

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INSTANT POT:  Cream of Pea Soup with Mint, Scallions, and Sharp Cheddar

INSTANT POT: Cream of Pea Soup with Mint, Scallions, and Sharp Cheddar

                   Stove top version included in the printable recipe below.

A few years ago, next-door neighbor Mike brought over a big dish of peas with pearl onions and fresh mint for the Easter potluck (he did that again this year as peas and mint–mushy or not– are a standout comfort spring bonus with lamb) and Easter Monday I discovered he’d left a big bagful in my fridge. It seemed time for some sort of pea soup and you’ll find that post here.  I loved that soup to death, but had sort of forgotten about it in the interim. It wasn’t split pea, though it might have been its third cousin twice removed.  Not dark and smokey with bacon, nor a homey thick, tummy full soup you’d want in the thick of winter, this was pea soup gone light and bright–and it was a gorgeous hue. (What are mushy peas?)

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Salmon with Scallion Pesto on Broccoli-Parm Mash–Valentine’s Day at Home

Salmon with Scallion Pesto on Broccoli-Parm Mash–Valentine’s Day at Home

Mardi Gras Red Beans and Rice

Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday Bacon-Granola Pancakes with Fried Egg

Nothing says lovin’ like something from the…top of the stove. I hope you’re skipping the long wait and perhaps not-so-great-service at the restaurants on Valentine’s Day.  Go to your favorite spot some other time and give your best servers a break…  Instead, stay home and fix this luscious meal for you and your happiest partner, you and a friend, or just for yourself.

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Almond and Chocolate Shortbread Cookies (Gluten Free + Vegan)

Almond and Chocolate Shortbread Cookies (Gluten Free + Vegan)

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When you’re looking for food to fit specific diets or food preferences and you’re not used to cooking or baking those profiles, it’s best or easiest, anyway, to pick dishes that are naturally gluten free, for instance, or come perfectly vegan all by themselves, for another. Extra-Bittersweet Chocolate Pots de Crème is a simple, happy dessert for a gluten free eater.  No flour to replace there.  Sumptuous summer strawberries and raspberries glistening with finely minced mint fills the bill for vegans, I’m thinking, because who doesn’t like strawberries and raspberries?

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INSTANT POT Curried Cauliflower-Coconut Soup

INSTANT POT Curried Cauliflower-Coconut Soup

Whether or not I’ll stick to it, I don’t know. My goal is to use the Instant Pot (IP) for more than testing recipes for other people’s upcoming cookbooks. It’s not that I’m not a gadget person; I am–sort of. It’s not that I’m out of room…well, I almost am. If another pot this size arrives in my house, it’ll need to be stored in the trunk of my car.  In other words, to buy anything new and large will require a trip to Goodwill carrying a piece of equipment of equal size.   

                                 No IP? Stovetop directions included below recipe.

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