Tofu, Shiitake & Noodle Hot & Sour Soup

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So… it’s been about a year and a half since I have posted to this blog. I’m making an early New Years resolution to post on this most. I’ve cooked up some VERY tasty lactose free goodies over the past year and a half, but I always forget to take pictures until I’ve already stored the leftovers!

It’s been UNSEASONABLY warm in Boston, squashing my hopes of making hearty stews, but on a 70 degree December day, I set out to make a light spring soup and found this delicious recipe. I did not follow the recipe to a t, so below find my variation!

Ingredients:

  • One package of sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 2 in x 1/2 in slices
  • 2 8-ounce cans bamboo shoots, rinsed
  • 2 14-ounce packages extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 4 1/3 cups water, divided
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 6 ounces of dry vermicelli noodles
  • 1/2  cup sliced scallions

Directions:

  1. Rinse the mushrooms and cut into 1/2 pieces. Spread the mushroom pieces in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add carrots and bamboo shoots. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch pieces, add to slow cooker and sprinkle with white pepper. Top with cabbage.

img_42312. Combine 4 cups water, broth, both vinegars, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce and ginger in a bowl; add to the slow cooker.

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3. Cover and cook 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.

img_42344. Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup water, cornstarch and sesame oil in a bowl. Stir into the soup as well as the scallions. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes. Add the noodles, cover and heat through for 15 minutes. Serve with more soy sauce and chili-garlic sauce, if desired. I also flavored it with a little garlic powder to taste.

ENJOY!

Have a happy rest of 2015, and here’s to hoping that I actually keep up with this blog in 2016!

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White Bean and Artichoke Dip

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Sorry it’s been a bit since I posted – life has gotten a little insane and I haven’t had time to cook new dishes. A lot of the recipes on my blog are my go to staples so it takes a bit of effort to try something new and then remember to actually post it.

This was a dip I made for a Potluck that was for a good-bye party for a co-worker. The recipe initially came from FineCooking.com, but I changed some of the ingredients.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15-1/2 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika and adobo seasoning
  • Cayenne

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Directions:

In a food processor, blend the beans, artichoke hearts, garlic, and lemon juice to a smooth paste. With the machine running, add the 2 Tbs. oil. If needed, add 1 to 2 Tbs. water to get a smooth consistency. Season with salt, pepper, adobo and paprika. Transfer to a medium bowl, sprinkle with 2 generous pinches cayenne and drizzle with oil. Serve with crackers, pita chips or carrots.

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Cauliflower-Asparagus soup

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I made this soup as a little taste of spring! A delicious cauliflower-asparagus soup. Not only is it lactose-free but it is vegan as well!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • head of cauliflower
  • half a bunch of asparagus
  • 32 oz of vegetable broth
  • one large sized onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste

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Directions:

  1. Cut up the cauliflower, asperagus, garlic, and onion.
  2. Put in the soup pot with a little bit of oil on a medium heat for 5 minutes or so
  3. Add the vegetable broth and bring the soup to a boil
  4. Once it is boiling, let it simmer for 15 minutes or so – until the vegetables are soft
  5. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and chili powder
  6. Let the soup cool a little bit and then use an immersion blender until the soup is smooth- if you do not have an immersion blender you can use a regular blender
  7. Serve and enjoy! If you are a big fan of spicy food, you can add siracha or a different type of hot sauce.

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Strawberry and Spinach Salad

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This is another recipe from my family cookbook, which also happens to be one of my favorite salads.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
  • 1/3 cup grape seed oil
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar (strawberry is ideal, but it’s really difficult to find)
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 1 pound of strawberries (halved and sliced)
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced (I don’t like shallots, so I leave them out
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
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vinaigrette

In a small bowl, whisk together the strawberry preserves, grape seed oil and raspberry vinegar. Divide the spinach onto 4 serving plates, arrange the shallots and strawberries over the spinach. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salads and sprinkle with pistachios.

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Dairy-Free Stuffed Shells

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Another food that I miss like crazy is stuffed shells. I can still eat ricotta cheese in moderation- but let’s be real… who actually can eat stuffed shells in moderation- normally I eat them until I’m stuffed.

This recipe is great! One thing I would recommend for the next time I make them is having more pasta sauce to cover the shells afterwards. The recipe comes from Oh She Glows

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Yield: approx. 30 shells or 6 servings

  • 3.5 cups pasta sauce
  • Box of jumbo shells (I cooked them all and then used as many as I had ricotta for) 

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Tofu Ricotta:

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 (14oz) package extra-firm or firm tofu, pressed
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4-1 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Rinse block of tofu and wrap with paper towels followed by 2-3 tea towels. Place it on a cutting board or plate and add several heavy cookbooks on top. Press tofu for about 20-25 minutes to drain out the water. Alternatively, you can use a tofu press.

2. Grease a very large casserole dish. I used about 30 shells, but you’ll need to cook more than that as some shells will break during the cooking process. Cook shells in a pot of boiling water until al dente, about 8-11 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. Drain shells and set aside to cool.

3. Preheat oven to 400F. For the tofu ricotta: In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in the oil for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the chopped celery, basil, and parsley and sauté for another 5 minutes or so. Feel free to throw in some spinach for extra greens.

4. For the tofu, you can either crumble it into the skillet with your hands or you can give it a whirl in the food processor and then stir it into the skillet. If you use the processor, the texture will be very creamy like ricotta cheese and if you crumble it with your hands it will be more chunky/crumbly. It’s up to you how you want to make it. I usually opt to crumble it by hand so I don’t dirty the processor. Stir in the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, lemon, and cayenne all to taste. Over medium heat, cook for about 8-10 minutes or until most of the water cooks off.

5. Spoon about 1 cup of marinara sauce into the casserole dish and spread around. Add about 2 tbsp of tofu ricotta into each stuffed shell and place shells on top of marinara sauce. Cover shells with the remaining 2-2.5 cups marinara sauce and any leftover tofu ricotta. Cover dish with tin foil and poke several air holes. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes or until heated throughout.

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Pasta and Veggies Galore!

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When I cook- pasta is normally the last starch I consider using. I love rice and quinoa, and often do not even use a starch. I used a bunch of random vegetables that I had in my fridge for this- the measurements are approximate so feel free to change it accordingly!

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Ingredients:

  • Pasta
  • Tomatos
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Snap Peas
  • Spinach
  • 1 egg
  • Olive Oil

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Directions

  1. Start cooking the pasta of your choice – following the instructions on the package.
  2. Peel/chop the carrots, and cut up the mushrooms, snap peas, garlic and onion.
  3. Put them in a pan with olive oil on medium heat- season accordingly. (I use adobo, salt, pepper, chili pepper, and cajun seasoning)
  4. Once they are cooked to your liking add the spinach and tomato.
  5. Combine the pasta and vegetables- then add an egg (that was whisked in a bowl previously). Cook on low heat until the egg is fully cooked.

photo 2 (6)Serve and enjoy!

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Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

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I found this recipe off Yummly, and it comes from Steamy Kitchen. It is extremely easy, healthy and a great snack. I changed a few minor things, but the recipe is almost the exact same.

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One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Spice blend of your choice (I used cajun seasoning)
Lime Juice
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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Drain the can of garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse with water for a few seconds to clean off the beans. Shake and tap the strainer to rid of excess water. Lay paper towl on a baking sheet, and spread the beans over. Use another paper towel to gently press and absorb the water on the beans. Roll the beans around with the paper towel to also remove the thin skin from any of the beans. Discard the skins and the paper towels.

3. Drizzle the olive oil over the beans and use your hands or a spatula to toss around and coat. Season with salt and spice blend. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy. Make sure that the beans do not burn.

4. Top with lime juice and serve!

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