VEGAN THAI COCONUT SOUP (TOM KHA TOFU)

When I was younger and unattached, I spent close to a year in Thailand. I loved a million things about the country –  the warmth, the people, and the food. The spices were so varied and complex, meaning I could eat the same type of food every day (soup) and yet always enjoy a variety of flavours. A good amount of food in Thailand is vegetarian, so I happily ate my way through the country without a problem. I remember it as being incredibly family friendly, so I’m dreaming of the day when I can take my little ones there on a holiday.

What I love most about this Tom Kha Tofu recipe is how easy it is to make: from pot to bowl, we’re talkin’ 10-15 minutes. What I also love about this soup is how spot on it is in terms of tasting exactly like thai takeaway. Everyone is hella impressed when I serve this! It’s pretty light, so I find it’s best to eat/ serve as a starter vs. a main.

It’s also a very clean recipe, and will definitely be a staple during my upcoming 2 week cleanse with naturopathic doctor Christina Carreau. Subbing in almond milk vs. pure coconut milk reduces the fat content.

(note: I doubled the recipe below so i had leftovers for lunch).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 3/4 cups of almond milk (original)
  • 3 tbs green curry paste
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 cup thin sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli
  • 8 oz tofu, cubed
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 4 tbs lime juice
  • Fresh cilantro as a garnish

Directions

In a large pot, mix the coconut and almond milk, the green curry paste and the tamari. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli, mushrooms and tofu. Cover again and cook for 10 minutes.

Turn off the stove and stir in maple syrup and lime juice. Serve and top with cilantro and a sliced lime

 

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CLEANSING DETOX SOUP

I’m about to embark on a 2 week cleanse with my naturopath Christina Carreau from Degen’s Health Group in Scarborough and the recipe below is part of her meal plan. To me, a spring cleanse is a great way to press the reset button in my body. I feel like I’m down with the clean eating part, but not drinking coffee (and, who are we kidding, wine) for 2 weeks is really challenging for me.  I do it because the benefits are remarkable – after a cleanse I feel lighter, have more energy, I sleep better (and wake up easier…normally we’re talking multiple hits of the proverbial snooze button each morning), and develop a stronger connection to the food I’m preparing and eating.

The recipe below makes an enormous amount of soup. Enough to last you for several meals through out the week. Enjoy a large bowl with a side salad for dinner, or pack it up for lunch. Between meals, this is a great soup to warm up in a mug for a quick snack. It’s packed with veggies, so you know you’re getting ample nutrients.  I tried to let the spices do the talking in this dish – the cinnamon and cayenne added such a great kick that I didn’t have to add much salt. I threw in a can of chick peas for an added fiber / protein boost.

Recipe from Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows Cookbook. 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water (or vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 of a red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 small head of broccoli, florets
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (I used powdered)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
  • fine-grain sea salt (I used a few cranks of Himalayan pink salt ) and black pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups water (or 4 cups vegetable broth + 2 cups water)
  • 2 cups kale, de-stemmed and torn in pieces
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
  • juice from ½ of a small lemon (or a whole lemon, depending how much lemon flavor you like)

 

Directions 

In a large pot, add the water and turn on the heat to medium-high. After it’s hot, add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes and fresh ginger. Stir and cook for 3 minutes, adding in extra water or broth as needed (another ¼ cup). Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper plus salt and pepper to taste. Add in the water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10- 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add in the kale, cabbage and lemon juice near the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Enjoy!

Feeling Lawless? 

No one’s gonna call the cops on you if you switch up the kale for a gorgeous bunch of rainbow chard (or at least I got off lucky when I did this). I also threw in a can of chick peas, for kicks.

EASY GINGER-GARLIC CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE

I admit it, I’m a bit obsessed with the humble cauliflower. But it’s really a magical veggie and its uses  in vegan cooking are endless. Imagine my surprise when my mother-in-law taught me how to make fried “rice” using cauliflower! Not that there is anything wrong with rice but cauliflower offers some added nutrition and a bit of variety to your usual veggie bowl.

This recipe is so simple – only 10 minutes to prep (most of this is spent grating the cauliflower, but this task will take less and less time the more you do it) and 15 mins to cook. It’s great as a main or a side and is perfect re-heated for lunches during the week.

Yield: 3-4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 whole head of cauliflower, leaves and stem removed and discarded
1 inch piece of ginger, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
3 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 pkg Yves veggie ground
1/2 cup Bragg’s or soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

DirectionsBreak cauliflower into large chunks and grate using a cheese grater. You may need to use a knife with the end pieces to save your fingers from getting cut!

Heat oil on medium-high in a non-stick skillet. Add ginger and garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add veggie ground round and cook for 3 minutes. Add grated cauliflower, frozen peas and Bragg’s / soy sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!!

 

 

Feeling Lawless? No need to add the veggie ground if you’ve got something else on hand. Another protein, such as diced tofu, would work really well too. And the veggies (apart from the cauliflower) can be swapped up too – try mushrooms, broccoli or peppers. If you have access to the famed “vegan egg” (I can’t find it in Canada!) you can add that too to make a classic Chinese Fried Rice.

 

 

TAKING “BREAKFAST FOR DINNER” TO A NEW LEVEL: CHOCOLATE, ALMOND AND POMEGRANATE DESSERT SMOOTHIE BOWLS

These smoothie bowls are the epitome of sin and redemption. Kale, hemp hearts and pomegranate make you feel virtuous, while dark chocolate reminds you that this is dessert after all. 

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients

3 green apples, cored and chopped roughly
2 kiwis, peeled and halved
1 banana
1 pear
1 cup kale, leaves removed from stems
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 cups soy or almond milk

Directions

Place all ingredients in high powered blender until smooth, pushing down sides as necessary. Divide evenly in bowls and sprinkle each bowl with: dark chocolate, pomegranate seeds, sliced kiwi, almonds, and hemp hearts.

Place bowls in a relatively flat place in your freezer (so your work of art doesn’t get mucked up!) and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy!