spicy vegan spinach + white bean soup
the weather in new york has been just miserable this week. so miserable that i’ve had some serious trouble getting out of bed in the morning [the sound of rain hitting my window can keep me in bed all day if i don’t have anything to do], i’ve skipped a few of my workouts and literally all i want to do is lay in my bed, listen to serial [if you guys haven’t checked this out yet, get on it] and eat soup. so, last night, i did just that.
i threw together this vegan spinach and white bean soup in under 30 minutes, so it’s quick and only requires a few ingredients, but still has lots of nutrients and health benefits. spinach is full of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and believe it or not, protein, the beans add even more protein [yes, you can get protein from non-animal sources] and the cayenne pepper is great for clearing out the sinuses, revving up the digestive system and warming the body up while packing a little punch. the coconut milk makes it rich and creamy, giving it that homestyle comfort food feel we all love, especially during the cold winter months. the recipe makes about two servings, so feel free to double or triple it if you want to make a big batch to have on hand for the week! you will need:
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- 1 c. coconut milk
- 2 handfuls of raw baby spinach
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
- 2/3 c. cannelli beans, drained and rinsed [about half of a 16 oz. can]
- 2 gloves of garlic, minced
- 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- cayenne pepper to taste
- in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
- add onions and garlic to pan, stirring over medium heat until the onions start to turn golden-brown.
- place the spinach in the saucepan, stirring until the leaves begins to wilt.
- add the vegetable stock, beans and cayenne pepper and stir.
- bring the soup to a boil over medium heat. once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- after 15 minutes has passed, add the coconut milk and ginger, stir, cover and allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- remove the ginger, serve hot and enjoy!
happy thanksgiving + apple pie dip
happy thanksgiving! the holiday season is officially upon us and i hope that everyone will be spending the long holiday weekend celebrating and spending time with family and friends. my family is arriving from pennsylvania this afternoon and i couldn’t be more excited to cook dinner at my apartment with them and for all of the other fun things we have planned for the weekend. when i first moved to new york city i worked in retail which meant i had no choice about working on black friday, so going home for thanksgiving was never an option. even though i no longer work for a company that requires their employees to work on holidays [and any companies that do are jerks], it became our little family tradition to spend this holiday in new york and i have to say, i love it.
- 10 dates, pitted and soaked in water for about an hour
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 4 apples of your choice, sliced
- combine dates, chia seeds and cinnamon in a food processor until well blended. [the mixture will be thick, so you might need to stop, move things around with a spoon a little bit and start up the food processor again.]
- slice apples.
- place on serving platter and serve!
image #1 courtesy of popsugar
fall favorites: vegan butternut squash soup
in addition to apple crisp and all pumpkin errthang, butternut squash soup is one of my favorite seasonal dishes. i wanted to make a vegan butternut squash soup and since i’ve never made it before, i followed a recipe from vegan holiday kitchen, which is what i’m sharing with you today! this recipe makes about 6-8 servings of soup and is a liiitttttllllleee time consuming, so make sure you start about an hour and a half before you actually want to eat. you can also make this ahead of time and re-heat later for a quick and easy dinner on nights when you don’t have time/are too lazy to cook!
you will need:
- 1 large butternut squash
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium apple, peeled and sliced
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- pinch of nutmeg
- 14 oz. can light coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. kale leaves for garnish
first, you will need to prepare the squash:
- preheat the oven to 400° and line a glass baking dish with aluminum foil.
- slice the stem off of the squash [if applicable], peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise [you will need a fairly large/sharp knife to do this].
- scoop out the seeds and place both halves face down in the baking dish, covering with aluminum foil.
- bake for 45-60 minutes or until the meat of the squash can be pierced easily with a fork.
- remove from the oven and once cooled, slice into large chunks and set them aside.
once the squash as been prepared:
- heat about half of the olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onion over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- add the apple, squash, broth, curry, ginger and nutmeg and bring to a steady boil. cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
- transfer everything into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
- transfer the puréed mixture back into the pot and stir in the coconut milk, bringing to a gentle simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- while the soup is cooking, sauté the kale leaves in a saucepan with the remaining olive oil until cooked through and slightly crispy.
- ladle soup into serving bowls [or mugs!], season soup with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with a couple of kale leaves and enjoy!
happy halloween + healthy candy recipe
halloween is tomorrow and over the last few years, it’s become one of my favorite holidays. i usually know what i’m going to dress up as months and months ahead of time and I’ve gotten really into making/building my own costumes rather than buying something pre-packaged at the Halloween store… it’s more fun that way!
another thing i love about Halloween? the candy. duh. unfortunately, the typical halloween candy that you find in stores and probably remember eating as a kid is just… sh*t. sorry, there’s no way around it. so, instead of buying yourself an industrial sized bag of absolute garbage this weekend, you should try making your own healthy candy! the recipe below is incredibly easy to follow, takes about 10 minutes to prepare and is customizable based on what you have on hand/what you like. i can’t stand milk chocolate because a] it tastes like wax and b] it’s terrible for you, so I used dark chocolate [which actually has some health benefits when eaten in moderation] to make my own healthy versions of crunch bars, almond joys and chocolate turtles… with some other variations in there, as well!
for about 24 pieces, all you need is:
- 1 bag of vegan dark chocolate chips [i used these from enjoy life]
- your choice of fillings [i used pecans, almonds, and brown rice cereal]
- your choice of toppings [i used pepitas, coconut flakes, goji berries, caramel sauce, and fleur de sel]
there are just a few, really easy steps to this:
- line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
- place your fillings in little piles on the cookie sheet in whatever arrangement/combination you would like.
- using a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, stirring constantly, until fully melted and smooth.
- drizzle the melted chocolate onto your fillings, covering the piles completely and then add the toppings.
- place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before devouring… and be sure to share!
what are your halloween plans? what are you dressing up as?! i’m off to new orleans for the weekend… i’ll be sure to share the details of my trip [and my costume] next week.
first image courtesy of cute autumn
fall favorites: vegan apple crisp
apple crisp is one of my favorite fall dishes that i had never made myself… until this week! since i was an apple crisp rookie, instead of experimenting and creating my own recipe, i followed one from damy health that I found on pinterest [because where else do I find anything of value these days?] and just swapped out some of the ingredients to suit my preferences.
this is a vegan apple crisp that contains no refined sugar [just raw honey!] and can easily be made gluten-free if you just swap out the flour and oats for gluten-free variations. here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 medium apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- pinch of ground ginger
- 4 tbsp. raw honey [or other natural sweetener of your choice]
- 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil [melted]
- pinch of salt
- optional: your favorite non-dairy vanilla ice cream
pre-heat the oven to 350° and lightly grease a 9×4 bread pan with coconut oil.
- in a large bowl, toss the apple slices with lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and 1 tbsp. of the honey.
- place the apple mixture into the bread pan and bake for 10 minutes.
- in the meantime, mix the remaining honey, flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, coconut oil and salt together in the bowl.
- when the apples are done baking, remove them from the oven and sprinkle the oat mixture on top of them, distributing evenly.
- bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
- remove from oven and let cool [but not too much, this is best served warm!].
- place on serving dishes, top with a scoop of non-dairy ice cream and enjoy!
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