Saturday, March 26, 2016

Potato, leek, and lentil soup

 Potato, leek, and lentil soup

I am always looking for new soups.  Sometimes it is as easy as transforming a recipe I already have.  Sometimes I combine recipes too.  Today was kind of a combination of both.  I wanted lentil soup, but I also wanted some new flavors.  

Here is the simple recipe.  It is for the Instant Pot®.  If you don't have an IP, just follow the additional notes at the end. :)


1 cup brown lentils, washed and drained
3 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.  (you don't have to peel if you don't want to)

1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 medium leek, green part removed, slice the white part in half lengthwise and slice thin.

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 15.5oz. can of great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tsp. onion powder
6 cups veggie broth
2 cups water

Put all of the above into your IP.  
Stir to combine.
Place lid on, and turn nob to pressure.
Turn IP on, and turn on manual mode.
Adjust the time down to 26 minutes, and walk away.
When the time is done, let NR.
When you can open, stir well and serve right away.  Check the seasoning.

***Traditional method***

In a large pot, combine all the above.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stirring occasionally.
When it comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.  Let cook on low for 35-40 minutes.  Try not to disturb too much, stir maybe 1-2 times. 

When the time is up, check the lentils to see if they are done.  If not, cook another 5-10 minutes and check again.
Serve right away.
I hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as I did.
I had lots of leftovers, so it was a good recipe for the week.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Orange tempeh

Orange tempeh

My mouth is still happy as I write this.  I love oranges, and I especially love when I can cook with it.  It adds such a great flavor to the food.
I also have a new love affair with tempeh.  I never liked it before, but I found a few tricks and now it tastes so good.  Nutty and flavorful, and the perfect addition to this recipe.  I will share the simple trick to make the tempeh turn out without that "beany" flavor.

I have included many pictures for this recipe, so I hope it is easy to follow.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, just let me know and we will figure it out.
Ingredients: (2-3 servings)

1 small onion, or half a large onion, peeled and sliced into thin half moons
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks (see illustration)

4 oz. enoki mushrooms (if you can't find enoki, any type will work, just cut thin)
1 8oz. block tempeh, washed

4 cups water
1 tsp. salt

For the sauce 

In a blender, combine the following ingredients:

2 cups orange juice.  Make sure its is freshly squeezed or 100% orange juice with no added sugars.
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
8 large medjool dates, pitted

3 tablespoons tapioca starch 
zest of 1/2 orange (about 2 teaspoons)
Blend for about a minute.  You can strain if you want, I didn't, the dates broke down so much that it was smooth.  Set aside.

Place a pot on the stove big enough to hold your tempeh.  Pour the 4c water and 1 tsp. salt into the pan and add the tempeh.  Place on medium high heat, and bring to a soft boil.  When it starts to boil, start a timer for 10 minutes.  Let simmer for the 10 minutes, uncovered.

After 10 minutes, turn off heat and let sit for another 5 minutes.  Drain carefully and slice into bite sized pieces.
Place a large, nonstick pan on the stove over medium high heat.  Place the cut up tempeh in the pan and start browning.  They will not stick if you let each side brown long enough. 

If it doesn't move easy, let it brown a bit more.  It will move.  Brown all sides, making sure to be gentle, you don't want to break the pieces up.

After all pieces are browned, remove from pan (into a bowl or plate) and set aside.
Place the pan back on the heat, and add the onions.  Stir fry for 1 minute.  Add the garlic and stir fry another minute.

Add the carrots, and stir fry for 2 minutes.

If anything is sticking, add a little water.  Otherwise keep going.  Add the peppers next.  Stir fry for another minute or so, until they are starting to wilt.

Finally, add the mushrooms, and stir fry for 1 minute.  Now reduce the heat to medium low.  

Add the sauce, and stir well.  It will start to thicken almost right away.  Keep stirring, and add the tempeh.  Let it cook, while stirring the whole time for about 2 minutes.  It will be thick and almost creamy looking.

Check seasonings, and serve hot.  I garnished with a few mushrooms, and green onions.  Serve over your favorite rice. 

**(Note) If you don't like tempeh, you could use tofu or even cauliflower as a sub**

Monday, March 14, 2016

Asparagus mushroom soup

Asparagus mushroom soup

I love when I wake up from sleeping, and a new recipe is in my head.  I especially love it when it turns out amazing the very first time. :)
This was the case today.  I woke up from sleeping and I had a wonderful idea for soup.  I love soup and so I am always thinking about some new recipe I will want to try.  I went to sleep with that very thought on my mind, and I must have had a dream about it, because I woke up with a very detailed recipe.

I went downstairs and discovered I had all the ingredients, and so execution was simple.  I hope you like this one, because I really loved it.


1/2 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped small
3 stalks celery, cut in half lengthwise and diced small
1 lb. cremini mushrooms (or you can use button mushrooms) sliced thin
1 lb. asparagus, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces 
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt (optional, adjust as needed)
1 14.5-15 oz. can of great northern beans, drained and rinsed 
1/2 cup orzo
1 quart (4 cups) good veggie or mushroom stock (unsalted)

Place a large pot on the stove over medium heat.  Add the onions and celery and saute for 5 minutes. 

Add the mushrooms and asparagus and saute for another 5 minutes.  Make sure to stir well.  Add the seasonings (garlic, onion powder and salt) and stir in well.

After 5 minutes, add the orzo and again, stir well.

Add in your beans after 5 minutes, and gently stir in.

Add in your stock, and stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer and cover.  Simmer for 12-15 minutes.  Stirring once or twice.
Check for seasoning and serve hot.  

I hope you enjoy this soup and if you can, leave a comment. :)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Simple udon miso soup

Simple udon miso soup

This is one of my favorite soups.  It is so easy to make, and the flavor is simply delicious.  One of the things that makes this soup "pop" is the miso.  It just adds that amazing, earthy flavor, and in the end, its good for you too. :)
This is a basic recipe, you can add more to it.  Tofu, different veggies, anything you would like in soup.

Ingredients: (makes 2 servings)

4 cups water
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/2 large onion, peeled and sliced into thin pieces 
1 clove garlic, minced fine
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced thin
3 cups tightly packed baby spinach
2 servings of fresh udon noodles. (if you cannot find fresh, you can use dry, just boil and rinse with cold water before making this soup)
2 tablespoons yellow or white miso.  (mix the miso with 1/3 cup water until it is fully dissolved) Set aside

In a medium saucepan, combine the water and soy sauce.  Place on the stove, over medium high heat.  Add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms, stir and cover.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low.  Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, add the baby spinach and stir in well.  Allow to cook for 2 minutes.  
After 2 minutes, add the noodles and stir carefully.  Allow to heat up for about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, and add the miso.  Stir in well.  You don't want to add the miso to boiling liquid, as this kills the good probiotics.
Serve right away with a side of rice.  
I have this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  It is good soup and I love it a lot.  I hope you give it a try and enjoy it too.
Happy eating and happy heart!