WARMING CAULI-SWEET SOUP RECIPE

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BUSY? That’s an understatement for many of us, and especially as the holidays approach! When I came to do this post, I noticed how it’s been almost 4 weeks since my last post…whhhaattt??? How did that happen? Well, like your life, it’s been really, really busy around here.  So, my apologies for taking so long to come back to post something of help to you!

So, how do you cope when life is running way too full and way too fast? One thing I do when time is short is make soup – quick, easy, and yummy soup! Lots of it, all at once, using my pressure cooker. Then I use the left overs for lunches, and sometimes I can even squeeze another dinner out of this recipe, as it makes 12 cups.

About 8 years ago, when we lived in Calgary, Alberta, our second rice cooker decided it was done. A rice cooker was one kitchen tool I decided I couldn’t live without, so we drove over to a large Asian market and were looking at all the rice cookers available.  A minute Asian woman came up behind us and she tapped me on the shoulder, pointed to one cooker, and told me: “You buy. Very fast. Very fast!”  “This one?” Her head nodded, and she again said, “You buy!” So we did…we bought the model she recommended, and it turned out to be a pressure cooker quite similar to the InstaPots you can get most everywhere today.

What a GREAT buy!!! It has a large capacity stainless steel interior, and cooks basically anything and everything you can think of. I had to learn how to use it by trial and error as the directions were in Chinese…but as more and more videos came on YouTube and more and more recipes became available on Pinterest, I learned how to use my pressure cooker to save me tons of time and lots of money. That’s always a win!

So, to help you through the crazy business of the holiday season, here’s a recipe you will want to make over and over. It takes very few ingredients, very little prep, and cooks all by itself while you get to do other important things.

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Place these ingredients into your pressure cooker

1 head of cauliflower, about 2 lbs.  (Wash and cut into 4ths if you wish. No need to peel outer leaves or to core unless you want to)

2 pounds of sweet potato, washed and cut into large pieces (Your choice as to the kind of sweet potato. I like the orange fleshed in this soup.)

1 – 3  or more cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped into large pieces

1 large onion, peeled and cut in half

spices of your choice : I use 2 Tbsp. organic dried dill

2 Tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

2 Tbsp. Kirkland no salt spice

2 tsp. tumeric

salt and pepper to taste

Add 8 cups of vegetable broth. If you don’t have veggie broth, use water or a combination of veggie broth and water to equal 8 cups.

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Secure the lid on your pressure cooker, and choose the manual setting so that you can set the timer for 10 minutes.  Once the liquid comes up to temperature, the ingredients will cook for 10 minutes. Once the soup has finished cooking for the 10 minutes, allow it to vent on its own for at least 10 minutes, or until all the pressure has released on its own.

If you only wait 10 minutes after the soup is cooked before you vent the pressure cooker on your own, be sure there is no pressure left when you remove the top. Your veggies will be firmer than if you wait for 20 minutes, as they continue to soften even when the machine is no longer cooking them.

At this point, you should add:

  • 2 Tbsp. to 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast (optional – but makes the soup taste amazing)
  • 4 Tbsp. or more of Dijon mustard
  • 2 – 4 cups of plant “milk” of your choice (almond, hemp, oat, coconut, etc.)
  • Use an immersible blender or a high powered blender to make a smooth soup. If using the immersible blender, you can do it right in the pressure cooker. If using a high powered blender, do it in smaller batches rather than filling the blender full.  And that’s it! Your soup is ready – smooth, hot and very yummy!

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“I’m allergic to eggs! What can I use?”

These days many people are finding themselves acquiring allergies they didn’t have before, and often panic can set it. After all, if you are suddenly allergic to eggs, your processed and prepared food choices are greatly reduced, and you wonder how you can use those favorite recipes you make for your kids and for special family gatherings?

Do not despair though! There are several options you can substitute for eggs, with great results. In fact, you may find that you prefer the substitutes, and have friends and family commenting on your successes, wanting to know your secret ingredient. 🙂

Here are 6 simple, quick replacements. I’m sure you’ll find one or more that work in all of your recipes which have eggs as an ingredient.

Flax egg: Place 1 Tbsp. of ground flax seed (either golden or brown) in a small bowl and add 3 Tbsp. of warm water. Stir to mix, and set aside to thicken for approximately 15 minutes. Use as a 1 – for 1 replacement for the eggs in your recipe. Flax eggs are good for making muffins, cakes, and bars like brownies.

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Chia egg: Grind the chia seed in a spice or coffee grinder until it is no longer seed, but mealy in texture. Place 1 Tbsp. of the ground chia in a small bowl with 3 Tbsp. of warm water. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Use as a 1 – to – 1 egg replacement in cakes, muffins and bars.

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Banana: Banana can be used as an egg replacement in baking cakes and muffins which are more dense or “heavy”. Generally, use one ripe and mashed banana per egg called for in the recipe.

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Applesauce: In the same way as banana can be used in cakes and muffins, you can use applesauce instead of eggs. Applesauce will give  slightly less sweetness than a banana. You can use up to 1/4 cup of applesauce per egg called for in the recipe. If the applesauce is sweetened, reduce the amount of other sweetener you use in the recipe.

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Yogurt: You can use 1/4 cup of plain (organic, please!) yogurt per egg in a recipe. Yogurt makes pancakes and waffles light and fluffy!

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Silken Tofu: And finally, you can replace the eggs in pastry and in homemade mayonnaise with the soft tofu known as “silken”. Blend 1/4 cup of the tofu per egg, until it is completely smooth and then proceed with your recipe.

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Grain Free Pumpkin Bars

As the weather is turning cooler, pumpkins are ripening in the fields, which makes me think of this recipe. For those of you who are looking for a gluten free, grain free. something sweet to have with your coffee, this has been a fail-proof recipe for me. Try it once, and it will become a favorite. I’m not sure where I found this recipe…so unfortunately I can’t give credit to the creator of this cake. 😦

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GRAIN FREE PUMPKIN BARS

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup almond butter

2/3 cup honey

4 eggs (you can try using flax “eggs” instead)

4 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (Try making your own by combining 2 tsp.ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg and 1/2 tsp. ground cloves)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease an 9″ x 13″ glass pan with coconut oil or butter.

Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix well until a smooth batter forms.

Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake at 350*F for approximately 25 minutes, or until the centre is firm and a tester (a toothpick, a sharp small knife or a skewer)  inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cool on a rack before cutting. You can top this with a whipped topping if you wish.

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