Wild Rice Mushroom Soup

I love the flavor of this comforting soup. A great fall recipe full of mushroomy and creamy goodness! I adapted this recipe from a cookbook called The Vegetarian Collection.

The original recipe calls for two different types of mushrooms, dried and fresh. I think you can use whatever two types of mushrooms you like, use what you have on hand.

 

- makes 6 servings -

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 cups sliced or chopped mushrooms. Use two types of mushroom.
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice (follow package directions or this link)
  • 1/4 cup plain (unsweetened) almond milk

 

If you plan on using some dried mushrooms, make sure you pre-soak them.

In a large skillet, heat half of the olive oil over medium high heat. Sautee mushrooms and 1/4 tsp of the salt until golden, about 5 minutes.

Add broth, cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute.

mushrooms in broth

 

In a large saucepan heat remaining oil over medium heat and fry onions, celery, garlic, thyme, pepper and remaining salt, stirring often until very soft, about 10 minutes.

Add broth and 2 cups water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, wild rice and almond milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Remove from heat, enjoy!

mushroom soup with broth added

wild mushroom soup

Pure delish!! Definitely a new favorite. Serve it with a salad and you’ve got a great, healthy meal.

Nothing But Good Stuff Protein Trail Mix Cookies

I think I will only make this cookie or versions of this cookie from now on. These not only taste amazing but they are full of purely good stuff. They don’t contain flour of any kind (gluten free!), no oil, and low amounts of natural sugar, plus they are packed with protein and other healthy nutrients! I would call this a Supercookie!!

Thanks Peas and Thank You for another great recipe!

Ingredients (12 cookies)

  • 3 T. flax seeds (ground into meal) or buy pre-ground flax seeds
  • 3/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened plain Almond milk)
  • 2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. pepitas – chopped if desired (these are the inner part of a pumpkin seed)
  • 1/4 c. chopped almonds (I pulsed whole almonds in my mini blender)
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. vanilla protein powder (I used Vega One All In One Nutritional Shake powder, Vanilla Chai flavor – has no added sugar and amazing flavor!)
  • 3 T. honey (I used about 4 Tbsp agave)
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. vanilla
  • stevia to taste (I used 2 packets I believe which is 4 tsp – but add a bit, mix, taste, and see how you like the flavor. Adjust sweetness if necessary)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine ground flax with milk and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.

cookie mixture

  • Add flax mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
cookie mixture before forming into cookies

Look at all that whole food goodness!

  • The mixture will seem a bit dry, but will hold together when forming the cookies.
sticky cookie hands

The mixture likes to make your hands pretty sticky. Be patient when forming the cookies, it's worth it :)

  • To make cookies, spoon dough into your hands and pack cookies. Ration the dough so you can make 12 cookies. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray or lightly greased.

mixture formed into vegan cookie
cookies on cookie sheet

  • Bake for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are slightly browned. Let them cool completely on the pan before transferring to an airtight container.
finished vegan protein trail mix cookies

They don't look much different when baked, and are super chewy and soft

I hope you enjoy these healthy treats as much as we do!

Chickpea and Broccoli Casserole

I think you could make this casserole with just about any veggies you have on hand. I might try it even with a marinara sauce on the top next time. The texture and flavor of this was great! Especially the next day after the flavors have mingled. I love how the chickpeas are mashed, it makes the casserole have a rich texture that doesn’t seem like you are eating legumes (even though I love legumes, this change was a nice way to eat them).

I came across the recipe for chickpea and broccoli casserole posted on the Vegan Mama blog.

  • Two 16-oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3 large carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (preferably whole wheat)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Roughly 2 Tbsp of powdered garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • A bit of Daiya vegan cheddar cheese mixed into the body of the casserole.
  • I also made a crumb topping–which I highly recommend–made of melted Earth Balance vegan butter combined with whole wheat bread crumbs and a little Daiya vegan cheddar cheese. I don’t know the amounts–sorry–but it’s pretty easy to eyeball and probably largely suited to individual taste, anyway.

Preheat oven to 350º F.

In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas well, using a potato masher or firm fork. It takes about 2 minutes to get the right consistency.

beginning to mash chickpeas

Beginning to mash chickpeas

prepped veggies

Prepped veggies

Add the vegetables and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and mix; then add the oil, and mix again. Finally, add the vegetable broth and salt, and mix one last time.

veggie mixture for casserole

Transfer all ingredients to a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish (preferably glass or ceramic). Press the mixture firmly into the casserole. Top with crumb topping of whatever you like. Bake for 1 hour.

chickpea and broccoli casserole ready for oven

finished casserole

CREDIT: Vegan with a Vengeance, by Isa Chandra-Moskowitz

Dairy Free Coffee Creamer

I have almond milk in my coffee often, however I love this coconut milk coffee creamer for something different. If you want something that gives you that super creamy coffee, you have to try this product. Check out the nutritional info! Just wanted to share :)

This one is the plain, but it also comes in french vanilla and hazelnut!

Coconut milk for coffee

nutritional info for coconut milk coffee cream

Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Red Lentil Soup

This soup is SO TASTY. It’s probably my favorite! It’s comforting and creamy. I love using my hand blender to puree soups right in the pot. If you don’t have one just use a normal blender or food processor – just make sure you let the steam escape or the lid might go flying!

I adapted this recipe from one I found off All Recipes. The original used dairy products.

Serves 6.
Ingredients:

1/8 cup Olive Oil (can be less, whatever you want, but it’s a big pot of soup)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled (if desired) and chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 cups vegetable broth

Directions:

Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

sweet potatoes, carrots, apples cooking
Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot.

beginning to puree soup
very creamy soup after pureeing
Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Optional: Add water/broth as needed to thin the soup to your preferred consistency.

This makes a good sized pot of soup! I have been meaning to freeze some, but we always end up eating it all up during the week. I would think it will freeze  well.

Mexican Quinoa Bake

This dish is easy, low in calories, and packed with nutrition. It’s also tasty and versatile – just add whatever other Mexican flavors you like to it! I had leftover green onion and jalapeno to use up that was already chopped up from other recipes, so I added this to the recipe as well.

I got this recipe off the Daiya website.

 

Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (I cooked the quinoa in veggie broth I needed to use up)
1 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles OR salsa (I used fresh tomatoes and mixed with some salsa)
1 Tbsp cumin
15 oz can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
10 oz frozen corn kernels
4 oz can mild green chili peppers, chopped (if you use salsa and not diced tomatoes with chiles)
2 Tbsp chili powder
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
1 cup Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds (I used about 1/2 a cup – Daiya is strong sometimes and didn’t want it to overpower the dish)
Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat your favorite casserole dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. In a mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa and tomatoes, set aside.

In a separate bowl mash the black beans with a fork. Combine beans, corn, chili powder & cumin in the same bowl and set aside.

mashing black beans

combining veggies and spices

Spoon 1 cup of the quinoa mixture on the bottom of the baking pan. Layer spinach on top of the quinoa. Scoop bean mixture on top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of Daiya cheddar shreds. Add the remaining quinoa and top with the remaining cheese.

layer of quinoa, tomatoes and spinach

layer of bean mixture added and Daiya

Bake for about 30 minutes until the Daiya has melted. Serve and enjoy!

finished Mexican quinoa bake

Dehydrated Fruit – All Natural “Candy”

My mom used to make me dehydrated banana slices as a child and I would eat about the equivalent of 8 bananas in a day or two, they are just that good. If you like candy, you will love dehydrated fruit. The food dehydrator is a small investment to make if you use it as much as we do. And if you have kids, it’s a great way to get them to eat fruit also!

Your food dehydrator will come with directions on how long and the temperatures to use for different things. I’ve done pineapple, apple, banana, and strawberries. I always take the dried fruit to work with me for a snack.

We also just bought a food slicer/chopper device. It makes things quick and easy in the kitchen – a good purchase.

apple slicer

Spray trays with canola oil and lay the slices on the trays of the dehydrator

apple slices on dehydrator tray

Run the dehydrator until they are the texture you like (takes hours but is worth it!)

dried apple slices

Nacho Dip

I’m a bit behind on posting what I’ve been cooking. I made this vegan Hearty Nachos recipe I got off the Forks Over Knives website for the Superbowl. My favorite thing of all time to eat is nachos, so when I became vegan I’ve since been looking for something satisfying like this. This will become a regular appetizer of mine for sure!

From the website this recipe was on: These nachos are a meal in and of themselves. You can also use the versatile cheese sauce on potatoes, raw or cooked vegetables, and cooked whole grains and legumes.

Cheese Sauce:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and then rinsed
1 TB. tahini
1 roasted red pepper (rinsed from jar or prepared from fresh) – with these I think less is more, add a little at first, taste and look at the color, then add more if you need
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 TB. tamari (or Bragg’s liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water

Bean Dip:
1 (16-oz.) can oil-free refried beans (plain pinto beans will work, too)
1 cup prepared salsa
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

Garnishes (optional):
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (parsley or lettuce can substitute)
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
Baked unsalted tortilla chips

 

  • In a blender, combine cashews, tahini, roasted red pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, tamari, cayenne pepper, and water. Blend on high until smooth and set aside.

blender with cashews, tahini, roasted red pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, tamari, cayenne pepper, and water

cashew nacho cheese sauce

 

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, place beans, salsa, and chili powder. Continue to stir while the mixture heats and combines. Once the beans are smooth, turn off heat.

combining refried beans and salsa

  • Spread bean dip evenly onto the bottom of a medium-sized serving bowl or baking dish. Smooth surface and sprinkle cilantro over beans. Pour some or all of the Cheese Sauce on top of the cilantro. You can serve the extra Cheese Sauce on the side for the rest of the meal or for dipping. Or you can halve the recipe.

pouring cheese sauce on top of beans

YUM! This was great and very filling!

finished nacho dip

There is really nothing bad in here. Could it be…healthy nachos?? My belly thanks the creator of this recipe :)

Thai Fried Quinoa

I love all the recipes I’ve tried from Peas and Thank You. Her recipes are usually the quick and easy kind. I’ve made this one before and it is something I will make again and again. I also think you can basically throw in whatever veggies you have and it will still turn out great! So follow along kids – here is how I made Thai Fried Quinoa today. And if you’ve never tried Quinoa, it’s about time you do!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 c. dry quinoa
  • 1 c. coconut milk (I use light)
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/3 c. chopped green onions
  • 1 T. minced ginger
  • 2 t. minced garlic
  • 1 c. frozen peas (I used shelled edamame beans)
  • 1 c. pineapple
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped (I used just a little dried cilantro – not a huge cilantro fan)
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 2 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. scrambled tofu (optional—see recipe in our book) – didn’t use
  • Optional garnishes: lime wedges, peanuts, cilantro, cherry tomatoes

food preparation

Instructions

  • Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and add quinoa, stirring every minute or so until quinoa is toasted.

quinoa

  • Combine coconut milk and vegetable broth and add to quinoa.

quinoa cooking

  • Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Meanwhile, coat a large skillet with cooking spray or a light spritz of oil and place over medium-high heat. Add green onion, ginger and garlic and sauté for a minute or two.
  • Add edamame beans, pineapple and cilantro and sauté for an additional minute.
  • Add quinoa to the skillet and cook until starting to slightly brown and crisp.

Thai fried quinoa

  • Finish with lime juice and soy sauce.

finished Thai fried quinoa

Non-dairy Milk and Breakfast Smoothie

I have a smoothie for breakfast almost every morning, so I stock up on a variety of non-dairy milk to always have on hand for smoothies. They have a good shelf life so why not stock up, especially when anything goes on sale.

non-dairy hemp and almond milk

I use unsweetened varieties in my smoothies – the fruit is sweet enough, so there is no need to add any sugar. I use the sweetened variety for coffee. If you’ve never tried Hemp milk it is definitely worth looking into; it has great nutritional content including plenty of calcium, Omega 3′s and 6′s to name a few.

When I make a smoothie, I don’t use a recipe. I basically just throw in frozen fruit and whatever else I feel like that morning, and then add enough liquid (non-dairy milk) to make a nice thick consistency smoothie. Start off with a little liquid and keep adding if it’s not blending well due to not having enough liquid. If you’ve never made your own smoothie, you get the hang of it after making a few.

Recently I’ve started adding greens into my smoothies. You can not taste them at all and it’s also a great way to not only get your greens, but use up whatever you have in the fridge!

smoothie ingredients - kale, spinach, berries, almond milk

Kale, spinach, berry blend, banana, almond milk, Vega Whole Food Optimizer (Vega One)

Usually my smoothies include Vega One (formerly Vega Whole Food Optimizer), which is a plant based nutritional supplement. You can put whatever fruit, etc. into the smoothie and it always takes on the flavor of Vega One. Meaning you could probably put a ton of greens in the smoothie and it will still have the Vega One flavor. I also put things such as cooked oats, flax and sometimes natural peanut butter in the smoothie also. So experiment with whatever you have!

smoothie