Join us friends in celebrating three years of plant based recipes from The Green Blossom Kitchen! These past three years have taught us a lot, both in the kitchen and out, about the ways we can continue to inspire others through plant based eating and healthier lifestyle. We so enjoy hearing your stories about how our recipes have helped you and changed your experience with food for the better. With your support we hope to continue this journey for years to come. So how do we celebrate such a big event? With food of course! This year a homemade pound cake with flavors of orange, pistachio, and chocolate. Though not technically a health food, this cake is still made with whole food ingredients and is 100% homemade. All the ingredients are pronounceable and recognizable unlike what might be found in a boxed cake mix. We hope you love this cake as much as we do.
Celebration Pound Cake
PREP TIME: 40 mins
TOTAL TIME: 2-2.5 hours
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups whole wheat flour or gluten containing flour of your choice
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cup cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz, 4% fat Greek or Icelandic yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp whole wheat flour
1 oz cacao butter, melted
1/3 cup powdered pistachios
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp orange zest
1 Tbsp crushed pistachios
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil or butter a 14 cup Bundt pan then dust with flour, making sure to tap out the excess. Prepping the pan is very important to make sure that your cake releases easily.
To prepare the filling, combine yogurt, egg, sugar, flour, and cacao butter in a food processor. Mix until smooth then fold in powdered pistachios and set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla together until incorporated and set aside. With the mixer on low speed, add 1 Tbsp butter at a time, mixing until crumbly. Add half of the milk mixture to the mixer and increase speed to medium-high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the remaining milk to the mixer and continue mixing until fully incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Pour half of the cake mixture into the prepared pan then use the back of a spoon to create a concave well in the center of the mixture. Spoon the filling into the well, then top with the remaining cake batter and spread evenly with a spatula. Place cake in preheated oven and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 15-20 minutes. Remove cake from the pan by inverting slightly cooled cake onto a plate and then placing on a cake plate/stand. Allow cake to continue cooling to room temperature for an additional 30-45 minutes.
Melt chocolate chips with coconut oil in a double boiler or microwave then drizzle over cooled cake. Sprinkle orange zest and chopped pistachios over the top. Serve and enjoy! Cake will keep best in an air tight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
This cake is definitely celebration worth with a taste that feels special with every bite. Starting with a bright orange and sweet chocolate flavor from the topping melding into a rich, buttery center highlighted by the tangy yogurt filling. We enjoyed this with afternoon tea but also as breakfast to make the blog's birthday week extra special.
Jess and Cecelia
In Our Cupboard
Cake making wouldn't be the same without our Kitchen Aide Mixer. Worth every penny as an lifetime investment for your kitchen. Which color matches your kitchen best?
Hi friends! Remember our homemade resolution and the goal of making more foods from scratch this year? Well, these crackers are a great example. Crackers are a snack food typically bought pre-made/processed but as we will show you, are not too difficult to make homemade. Especially if you like working with homemade bread or pasta dough, this recipe is for you! What we most like about homemade crackers is the ability to flavor them any way you like. We tried a few different flavor combinations before deciding on poppy seed and sea salt for this post. Also, don't worry about making each cracker look the same - the different shapes are unique and make the final that much more special for you or whomever you share them with.
Thin and Crisp Whole Wheat Crackers
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
Servings: 18-20 crackers
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil + 1/3 cup olive oil reserved for brushing the top of the crackers
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp room temperature water
Seasoning of your choice, we used poppy seeds and sea salt (crackers taste best with a heavy hand of seasoning!)
Add spreadable cheese or yogurt on top and sprinkle with additional toppings, whipped feta cheese and green olives with pimentos was a favorite of ours
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a bowl combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt then mix until combined. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour 1/3 cup olive oil and the water into the well. Using your hands, combine the dry with the wet ingredients until a dough is formed. Place dough on a floured work surface and knead 8-10 times or until a smooth dough ball is formed. Cut dough into 6 equal pieces then roll each piece through a pasta machine*, starting with setting #1 working up to setting #5 for extra thin and crispy crackers. Carefully cut cracker dough into pieces about 9-10" long then place on prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each cracker with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning of choice. Bake the crackers in a preheated oven for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow crackers to fully cool on a cooling rack. Once cooled, the crackers can be enjoyed right away or stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
*If you do not have a pasta machine, you can use a rolling pin, however the dough may not roll out as thin which may add 1-2 minutes of cooking time. Turn the oven light on and watch crackers closely as they can burn quickly.
These crackers are perfectly thin and crispy and can be adapted to any flavor combination your craving. They will hold up to a variety of toppings, we enjoyed goat cheese and olives for a salty snack.
Jess and Cecelia
In Our Cupboard
Though you can make these crackers with a rolling pin, the KitchenAide Pasta Roller Attachment makes the job SO much easier:
Soup's on! We had so much fun creating this soup this week. Back in the fall we used peanut in a pureed soup (recipe here) and loved it so much that we just had to do it again with a stew. One thing that really stands out when looking at the pictures of this recipe is, you got it, the colors! What a vibrant and beautiful way to brighten these dark winter days. Also more colors (natural of course) = more variety of nutrients. How much better can food really get?
Mixed Vegetable Peanut Stew
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 cups cubed sweet potato
2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 medium red onion, chopped
1-2 inch fresh jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and minced
3 Tbsp ginger root, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
32 oz low sodium vegetable stock
2 roasted red peppers blended with 2 cups water
6 oz tomato paste
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 bunch of kale or 3 large leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp hot sauce, we used sriracha
1, 15.5 oz package sprouted organic tofu
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 bunch fresh cilantro
Wash and peel sweet potatoes, carrots, and onion. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2" x 1/2" cubes then set aside. Cut carrots into 2" long matchsticks and dice the onion then set aside.
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add cubed sweet potato, carrots, onion, and jalapeno to the pot and cook stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent and the sweet potato and carrots soften, about 10-12 minutes.
Next, add the ginger, garlic, and salt to the pot and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the vegetable stock, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a high speed blender add roasted red peppers with 2 cups water, tomato paste, and peanut butter and blend on high until smooth. Add blender contents to the soup pot and stir to combine.
Add the chopped kale and tofu cubes to the pot and continue to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes on low heat.
Serve soup with chopped peanuts and cilantro on top. Any left over soup will keep well in the fridge in an air tight container for 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat soup simply allow soup to thaw and place in a pot on the stove top set to medium heat and cook until warmed through.
We hope you love the flavors of this stew as much as we do. Bold, bright and earthy all at once with a kick of spice from the jalapeno and hot sauce and a depth of savory flavor from the peanut butter. The bright colors and flavors are our survival gift to you for these winter months.
Jess and Cecelia
In Our Pantry
Less than $20 for 54 ounces of unrefined, cold-pressed, organic coconut oil. Yes please!
Hi friends! How are things going with well intended New Year's resolutions set over a week ago now? Success rates can definitely be variable, but don't be hard on yourself! Resolutions are intentions to do something differently but shouldn't be a reason to feel discouraged if you aren't always reaching (sometimes lofty) goals. Jess had a resolution last year, for example, that she is still working on this year. She wanted to make more foods homemade and use less pre-made foods. Seems like something she already does a great job at as a recipe blogger, but hey, there is always room for improvement! Last year she started making homemade bread weekly instead of buying pre-made loaves. This year she is tackling snack foods - like this week's recipe. Pre-made snack bars are abundant in stores but don't always contain ideal ingredients. Like other pre-made snacks, snack bars can contain fillers and preservatives that won't be necessary if making homemade. With homemade snacks you can completely control the quality and quantity of ingredients used and are free to use any variety of your favorite foods. These snack bars we loaded with our favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, and just the right amount of sugar ingredient to hold together. The result inspired us to keep on Jess's (and now our) homemade food journey this year. Does this sound like a resolution you might want to make (or swap for another you had)? Join us!
Also a quick note on an interesting ingredient we used this week - poppy seeds. We love poppy seeds for obvious seed reasons (plant protein, dietary fiber, etc.) but also for their unique nutty flavor and crunch. A delicious and unique addition to baked goods and homemade bars like these. This ingredient is also intriguing for the drama it can cause (yes, drama!). Because poppy seeds come from the same plant - the opium poppy - used to make heroin and opiates, poppy seeds contain trace amounts of opiate. This amount of opiate is not enough to have a narcotic affect when consumed in dietary amounts but can confuse results of drug testing. After consuming poppy seeds a drug test may test positive for opiate, which can't be distinguished from poppy seed vs opioid medication source. Also notable, the sap from the opium poppy plant is what's used to make drugs NOT the seeds though it can be illegal to grow the poppy plant. We recommend buying (instead of producing) your poppy seeds juuust to be safe. We like and use Bob's Red Mill brand.
Chewy Poppy Seed Bars
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 90 minutes
Servings: 12-14 bars
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup prunes, chopped
Sprinkle of sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper that is cut to the exact shape of the bottom of pan with a 1-2" overhang on both edges then lightly coat the parchment paper on the bottom and sides of the pan with coconut oil and set aside. This step is important in making sure the bars come out of the pan easily.
In the prepared pan, add the nuts, seeds, and chopped prunes and stir mixture to uniformly combine then set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, add the honey, coconut sugar, and coconut oil and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Continue to boil the mixture for 3-4 minutes then remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Avoid boiling over 4 minutes given you may burn the honey and the longer you boil the mixture, the harder the bars will be.
Carefully pour the hot honey mixture over the nut, seed, and dried fruit mix and stir until evenly combined. Level the top of the mixture with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with sea salt then place in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow bars to fully cool, about 45-60 minutes or overnight before cutting into them. Store bars individually wrapped in parchment paper in an air tight container for up to 7 days. Note bars will hold together better if refrigerated.
These bars are chewy but crunchy, sweet and salty, and completely satisfying from the mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and simple sugars. If you keep the ratios similar, feel free to replace the nuts, seeds, and dried fruit with your favorites and share your variations. Here's to a year of homemade food experiments in 2018!
Jess and Cecelia
In Our Pantry
You may be stocked with many of these seeds but if not here are some easy links. Remember, buying in bulk always saves money!
Happy New Year friends! As you may be able to tell from the pictures, this recipe was intended for Christmas morning. However, time got away from us at the holidays and we are finally getting to share today, as our first post in 2018. Better late than never, are we right? Same goes for any resolution or intention you set for the New Year, or that you set last year and may still need some work on (wink, wink). If there is something you want to do, a recipe you want to make, a place you want to visit (etc) that you've been putting off, the time is now! Better late than never so set your mind to it for this year. Maybe start with making this special cake and see where it leads, you never know...
Christmas Coffee Cake
PREP TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 16 Slices
1 1/2 + 1/6 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/3 cup cane sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup cooked carrot puree (pureed pumpkin, butternut squash, or sweet potato would also work)
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (or nut of your choice)
Dusting of powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan with coconut oil then set aside. Wash, peel, and chop carrots then place in a steaming basket set in a pan with water over medium heat and steam carrots until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Remove carrots from the steaming basket and place in a food processor or blender and process on high until smooth then set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon and stir to combine. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients: cane sugar, melted coconut oil, carrot puree, eggs, water, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until evenly combined, avoid over mixing. Stir in the coconut flakes, chocolate chips, and walnuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for about 15 minutes then sprinkle the top with powdered sugar and cut into desired shape (we chose diamonds - see above). Serve cake warm or room temperature. Store leftovers in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
This cake is light and fluffy though decadent with subtle sweet and spicy flavors. A treat to enjoy at holidays or anytime a treat is in order. We wish for you all a happy and healthy New Year and send a gentle nudge toward anything you may have been putting off in 2017 that it is time to just do!
Jess and Cecelia
Holiday season is in full swing and with it comes specialty foods, recipes, and what we like to call food memories. Most of us have a special food (or many!) that elicit memories and remind us of past times and holidays spent with friends and family. The senses are very tied to memory and while eating both taste and smell senses are triggered, hence, food memories! This week we explore one of Cecelia's nearest and dearest food memories, gnocchi.
Gnocchi are a type of homemade pasta though are also considered dumplings as they contain potatoes. To make homemade, gnocchi are time intensive and can take a few attempts to master the texture, though are completely worth it! Gnocchi are common in Italian cuisine and Cecelia's Italian grandmother was somewhat of a gnocchi master. Cecelia remembers her grandmother's gnocchi as perfect pillows of dough that melt in the mouth and just the word gnocchi, to this day, conjures memories of Christmas days spent cooking and enjoying this delectable dish. Her grandmother didn't need to follow a recipe and seemingly easily prepared 300+ gnocchi for a single meal. Cecelia treasures making gnocchi every year for Christmas though may never achieve the gnocchi mastership living in her "food memories." But that's okay! Gnocchi are delicious in many forms, with different recipes, and made by different chefs. We took a more nutritious take on the traditional gnocchi by using sweet potato and the results were delicious and stunning. Are you ready for some gnocchi making?
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sauce
PREP TIME: 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 60 minutes
Servings: 8-10 servings
2 lb sweet potato
1 cup all-purpose flour + 1/4-1/2 cup additional
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup full fat ricotta cheese
8 Tbsp salted butter
4 Tbsp pasta water (reserved from cooking)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
8 large kale leaves + 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil + 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
8 oz full fat ricotta cheese, about 1 oz per serving
Boil sweet potatoes until soft in texture, about 20-25 minutes. Allow cooked potatoes to cool, then remove skin and process potatoes through a potato ricer. If you do not have a potato ricer a food processor will also work*.
In a large bowl combine 1 cup flour and salt and form a well. In the center of the well, add in 1 egg, ricotta cheese, and riced sweet potatoes. Using your hands and working from the outside of the well, fold flour into the wet ingredients. Add an additional 1/4-1/2 cup flour 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead dough gently for about 60 seconds until dough comes together. With floured hands and on a lightly floured surface, pinch off 2 Tbsp of dough and roll into a long cylinder about 3/4" thick using the tips of your fingers to roll to avoid compressing the dough. Cut each gnocchi into 3/4-1" pieces and repeat until all the dough has been shaped (pictures above). Continue to add flour to your hands and work surface if dough becomes too sticky to handle while working. Keep gnocchi on a lightly floured sheet pan while you're shaping the remainder. This gnocchi dough recipe will make about 100-120 gnocchi (more or less depending on the size you cut them). We froze 1/2 of the shaped, uncooked gnocchi to use later, just make sure to freeze on a sheet pan prior to placing in a air tight bag to prevent gnocchi from sticking.
To cook the remaining 1/2 of the gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add 7-10 gnocchi to the hot water at a time and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the gnocchi float to the top. Remove cooked gnocchi from the water and set aside. Continue this process until all gnocchi has been cooked. Reserve the cooking water for use in the sauce.
To make the brown butter sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pan set to medium heat and cook until butter turns brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low then add the chopped garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add 4 Tbsp of reserved cooking water and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.
To prepare the messaged kale, wash, de-stem, and chop the kale. Add the olive oil and salt to the chopped kale and message until bright green and wilted then set aside.
In the sauce pan used to make the brown butter sauce, add cooked gnocchi, messaged kale, and chopped walnuts. Stir gnocchi to evenly coat with sauce and serve with an additional dollop of ricotta cheese on top.
*If using a food processor, avoid over processing the potatoes as this will cause them to become starchy and gummy.
After one bite of homemade gnocchi, you just might be hooked and create some special food memories of your own. And we must stress how different homemade are from prepared, store bought options are much gummier and chewier and overall just not as enjoyable (in our opinion). Each bite of this dish is loaded with sweet and savory flavor, a mix of textures including pillowy gnocchi, and a gorgeous pop of colors. We hope you're creating great memories this holiday season.
Jess and Cecelia
Hi friends! We hope you had a great holiday last week and enjoyed some great eats like we did. With it being that time of year when it starts to get colder and darker, we've noticed a shift in our recipes to some "cozier" foods. Rich flavors, warm dishes, and hearty meals are just what we are craving during this transition in seasons. This recipe for example includes hearty fall greens and starchy beans with a rich but still bright white wine sauce. Let's get to it.
Hearty Greens N' Beans
PREP TIME: 10 minutes (plus 8 hours to soak beans)
TOTAL TIME: 60-90 minutes, includes cooking beans* (plus 8 hours to soak beans)
2/3 cup dried beans, ~2 cups cooked (we used a variety of heirloom beans, however any dried bean would work)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 small red onions, diced
2 large or 4 small cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp stone ground mustard
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low sodium vegetable stock
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 large bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
3 small endive, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Shaved Parmesan to taste (~2 oz or 1/2 oz per dish)
Pre-soak beans in room temperature water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse beans, cover with water in a large pot, and gently boil for at least one hour* or until soft. In a medium sauté pan set to medium heat, add olive oil and chopped onion and sauté until translucent and golden on the edges, ~10 minutes. Add minced garlic and mustard to the pan and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add wine to de-glaze the pan, then add the vegetable stock and turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the cooked beans, chopped kale and endive, and salt and pepper then simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the greens are somewhat wilted and bright green in color. Remove from the heat, add chopped parsley and shaved Parmesan and serve immediately. This dish is best eaten the same day it is cooked.
*Cooking times will vary depending on the beans used and may take 1-3 hours to fully cook
Well there you have it, a warming and cozy but still completely nutritious dish. Though containing mostly greens and beans, this dish feels extra hearty and rich from the flavorful herb and wine sauce. If you're looking to make this meal extra cozy, serve over pasta or with fresh bread. Go on, get cozy!
Jess and Cecelia
There are many different ways to enjoy Thanksgiving. Here at TGBK we enjoy the festivities poultry free, instead opting for seasonal produce based dishes that are still gobble worthy (meaning you'll want to gobble them up!). We've picked a few of our favorite fall recipes to features here - which will make the cut for your Thanksgiving table this year?
Bright fall colors and a mix of unique ingredients create a standout starter to your meal. Originally debuted as Freaky Freekah Halloween Salad (recipe here) can easily be re-titled "Freekah-mazing Harvest Salad" for its Thanksgiving use.
An impressive, photo-worthy, and unique main vegetarian entree for your Thanksgiving table. This Brussels Sprouts Tart (recipe here) is rich and savory with bold flavors and textures. There is nothing quite like whipped ricotta to top off any dish, especially this one.
What plant based meal would be complete without a veggie based cake? Our Rainbow Carrot Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting (recipe here) provides the sweetest finishing touch to a seasonal and inspired meal.
We sincerely wish you a happy, healthy, and delicious holiday-
Jess and Cecelia
Hello friends, we've got a unique take on a classic fall recipe for you this week. Along with that we have some fun new developments that you could say are also orange in color....
Just what are we talking about, Yummly. If you aren't familiar yet, Yummly is a recipe database on which you can search for millions of recipes and save your favorites to your personal page - check it out here. We've started to add the Yum button to the bottom of our posts (look for a little orange "Yum") so that you can easily save our recipes once you've created a Yummly account. On Yummly you can begin to build a portfolio of your favorite recipes from all over the web (with a large percentage of TGBK recipes of course, wink, wink). All our new recipes will include this Yum button and we will start adding the button to older posts though this will take some time (there are just so many!). We have a few recipes published to our Yummly account which you can check out here, and look forward to "yumming" many more. We thank you for your patience as we get more added and hope you enjoy creating your own virtual recipe book.
Butternut Squash Red Curry Soup
PREP TIME: 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 60 minutes
Servings: ~ 10 cups of soup
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt + 1/4-1/2 tsp to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp fresh ginger juice (2 Tbsp chopped ginger root would also work)
3 Tbsp red curry paste
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 cups full fat coconut milk
1 package (15 oz) sprouted tofu, cubed (or protein of your choice - white beans or chick peas would also work)
1 cup dry pearl barley (or grain of your choice - quinoa, spelt berries, or wheat berries would also work)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash, peel, and cube butternut squash then place on a parchment lined backing sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes or until soft enough to pierce with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Cook pearl barley according to package instructions then set aside.
Drain tofu from water and cube into bite size pieces then set aside.
In a large pot set to medium heat, sauté onion with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Cook onion until translucent and golden on the edges, about 5-7 minutes. Add minced garlic to the pot and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the ginger juice or chopped fresh ginger and red curry paste. Stir until combined then add vegetable broth, peanut butter, and cooked butternut squash to the pot and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and work in batches to puree soup contents in a large blender on high until completely smooth. Add pureed soup back to the pot, stir in 2 cups coconut milk and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add additional 1/4-1/2 tsp salt to taste.
Pour hot soup into serving bowls and top with cubed tofu, pearl barley, a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, the juice of 1 lime wedge, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes. If you do not plan to serve all the soup at once, store soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you freeze your left overs, remove from the freezer and place in the fridge to thaw about 2 days prior to consuming. It's best to keep the toppings separate from the puree and add them in when you're ready to warm up your next bowl of soup. Enjoy!
This soup really does deserve the "Yum." Such an interesting twist on a fall favorite - butternut squash soup. Though in this preparation the mild squash is brightened by red curry and made super rich with the addition of coconut milk. Peanut butter provides a nutty finish and the various toppings can be adjusted to your liking. Why not take a risk with your next squash and try this variation? And don't forget the Yum!
Jess and Cecelia
As we celebrate all things fall with seasonal produce inspired recipes, we can't help but feel bad for the less "popular" vegetable crops. We think it's about time we invite them to fall recipe party. Take parsnip for example, an easily forgotten root vegetable that almost looks and tastes like a carrot, but isn't....
Though not a carrot, parsnips are a closely related root vegetable but have a pale color and more mild taste. Parsnips are also starchier than carrots which lend them better to cooked preparations similar to the potato. Then why choose parsnip over potato or carrot? Because v-a-r-i-e-t-y is the basis of a well-rounded, wholesome, and nourishing diet. Every plant provides its own unique profile of nutrients that we can benefit from, especially if we vary the type of foods eaten week to week and season to season. Specifically, parsnip provides double the amount of fiber per serving than potato - definitely an added bonus for a food not generally considered "healthy," fries. Though we gave them a healthier spin with the use of parsnip and a baked (not fried) preparation.
Parsnip Greek Fries
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes (includes roasting time)
1 Tbsp ghee, melted
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt (reserve 1/8 tsp to sprinkle over the top once out of the oven)
2 oz feta cheese
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Wash parsnips then use a vegetable peeler to peel off outer skin. Cut parsnips into long skinny sticks. Toss parsnips with melted ghee and sprinkle with 1/8 tsp sea salt. Roast in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, stirring once for even cooking. Adjust oven to the broiler setting and broil fries for ~2 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove fries from the oven, sprinkle with remaining 1/8 tsp sea salt, chopped parsley, dried oregano, feta, and lemon juice. Toss fries until evenly coated then serve immediately. Fries taste best hot and crispy right out of the oven. Enjoy!
If these pictures aren't enough to persuade you let us explain that these fries are the perfect combination of salty and sweet thanks to the subtly sweet parsnip. The lemon and herbs brighten each bite rounded by a richness from the feta. This recipe is truly not to be missed. After you've tried it, we hope you agree that it's about time to invite parsnips to your party.
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.