Chickpeas Rice and Gravy

When we were growing up, we would take these excruciatingly long road trips from Houston to south Louisiana to see my Mom’s family. As a reward for enduring my brother’s proud farts the whole way there, my Mawmaw and Pawpaw would cook each of our favorite meals. Mine was always Chicken Rice and Gravy which was my simplistic name for Chicken Stew. It’s a roux and cajun trinity based stew with dark meat chicken (skin on!). I would also request this meal for most birthdays. My brother, who has mastered many of the family’s cajun specialities (despite his atmospheric assaults), will make it for me as my Christmas present. And it’s a fact-based family joke that whenever my mom makes it, I sneak into an empty room to have some alone time with my Chicken Rice and Gravy.
This weekend, I woke up with a craving for biscuits and gravy but didn’t want it bad enough to go out for a cheat, so we made the Happy Herbivore version. While the biscuits need a lot of research and development, the gravy was awesome! We found ourselves making mashed potatoes that night just so we could eat more gravy. It reminded me of chicken stew so much that it spawned an idea – Chicken-pea Stew. I adapted the gravy recipe to work with a trinity, thinned it out, and added chickpeas.
As I right this, the Cheatgans are texting me to say how good it is (even my Dad!).
This recipe makes a ton. I suggest cutting it by at least half if it’s only for a couple people.

★★★★★

Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 45 mins | Makes: 15 | Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1.5 c nutritional yeast
  • 10 c vegetable stock
  • 3/4 c soy sauce
  • 6 cups total of equal parts onion, green bell pepper, and celery (our HEB sells a pre-chopped mix of cajun seasonings that we use)
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1/4 c minced parsley
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • Liberal amount of black pepper
  • Cooked brown rice

Directions:

Get the onions, bell pepper, and celery going in a pot over medium heat until they are soft. Keeping it covered with help prevent burning.

While that’s happening, gather the rest of the ingredients and measure them out. You’ll need it ready because you won’t be able to do much else for a while.

Add the flour and nutritional yeast to a big pot. Put it on medium low heat and stir almost constantly until it’s a light peanut butter color (it will burn very easily). This seems to take forever but it’s probably about 20-25 minutes, depending on how high the heat is. I like to use a whisk for this part.

Add all the other ingredients, bring to a simmer, turn it down and cook about 20 minutes.

Serve over brown rice.

Source: My Brain

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AFRICAN SWEET POTATO AND PEANUT SOUP

Notes:

I love soup! And this is my new favorite soup. It’s so good. I didn’t change much from the original source except to add a little Sriracha and combine a step to make it more streamlined.

There is something about this combination of flavors that had me playing the pregnancy card and forcing it on the menu two weeks in a row. I think I ate it for every meal the first two days.

★★★★★

Prep Time: 20 min | Cook Time: 55 min | Makes: 6 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sriracha to taste

Directions:

1. Sauté the onion 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot, and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes.

2. Pour water into the saucepan, and season the mixture with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

3. Remove the soup mixture from heat. In a food processor or stick blender, blend the soup until almost smooth (I like to leave out some chunks so my toddler can eat them). Season with cayenne pepper. Return to the saucepan. Whisk in the peanut butter, and cook until heated through. Serve warm topped with fresh cilantro.

Nutritional Info:

Nutrition Amount Per Serving (6 total) Calories 221 cal 11% Fat 8.6 g 13% Carbs 32.7 g 11% Protein 6 g 12% Cholesterol 0 mg 0% Sodium 494 mg 20% Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Source: http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/55207/african-sweet-potato-and-peanut-soup
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Thai Carrot Soup

Thai Carrot Soup

Notes: I can’t get enough of this fast, cheap, easy, flavorful soup! I’m not a huge fan of carrots but they’re so dang nutritious and cheap that I’m always looking for ways to use them. I’ve tried several carrot soups and have found them all to be utterly boring! So I made this one up. It’s basically the same flavors as my Eggplant Green Curry but they pair surprisingly well with the sweetness of the carrots. Serve with cold corn on the cob to counter the heat! Be aware that store-bought green curries can vary a lot in quality and spice level (avoid Thai Kitchen brand green curry paste, yuck). If you think you don’t like green curry, try another brand or go to a real Thai restaurant and try the real thing. Once you’ve had good Thai curry, you’ll never go back. If you can’t find the lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves, try using a few pieces of lime peel and extra lime juice.

★★★★★ Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Makes: 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
1.5lb carrots, sliced into half inch rounds
3 c veg stock
3 c almond milk
2 stalks lemon grass
4 kaffir lime leaves
.5 T green curry paste (I like Mae Ploy brand)
1 t coconut extract 1 lime (kaffir lime if you can find it)

Directions: Put everything in a pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Reduce to active simmer for 15-20 mins or until carrots are soft. Purée to desired consistency. I like to remove a few scoops of solids, purée until very smooth, then add the solids back in. Squeeze fresh lime in each bowl. Serve with cold corn on the cob. FOR KIDS: Don’t add the curry paste until the end. I scoop out some solids for my toddler, then add curry paste and purée.

Source: My Brain

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Yellow Corn Chowder

Yellow Corn Chowder

Notes: Oh my god, I’m eating this every week until corn is out of season! Normally I would make something a couple times before deeming it worthy of sharing, but I was so impressed with this that it’s going straight on the blog. This is one of the first recipes I’ve tried from the new cookbook I’m obsessed with, Bravo! by Ramses Bravo, executive chef at True North. I was really needing more gourmet food to satisfy my foodie nature and this was suggested to me by the great folks at Engine2extra.com. I did make a few minor changes but it’s pretty close to the recipe in the book. Being gourmet and written by a chef, these recipes are often more expensive and time consuming than most, but this one is neither. It was fast, easy, and cheap. And I’m SHOCKED I didn’t have to add salt!!! I did use a store bought veg stock, but still… I didn’t add salt, that’s crazy. Although, Nathan did add a pinch to his. Like most soup, the flavor got even better the next day. We gave the baby the solids from this soup, he gobbled up every last morsel and signed for more. The only bad thing about this recipe is that it’s not very calorie dense and even though I had three bowls I was hungry a few hours later (I’m still nursing and get hungry very easily). Next time I’ll have some toasted bread with it and/or add more avocado.

★★★★★ Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Makes: 6 servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
2 leeks, thinly sliced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Kernels sliced from 4 ears fresh corn (4 c frozen and canned could sub but I haven’t tried it)
2 medium yellow potatoes, diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
.25 t red pepper flakes
6 cups vegetable stock (homemade preferred but I used Central Market Organics brand)
1 c almond milk, unsweetened
1 T chopped fresh chives

Directions: Add leeks, shallots and garlic to a dry pot and heat on medium low for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add corn, celery, potatoes, and pepper. Stir frequently for 15 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t brown. Add stock and milk. Heat on medium high for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Skim any foam off the top. Add chives and serve.

Serving suggestions: chopped avocado and toasted bread.

Source: Bravo! Cookbook by Ramses Bravo

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Roasted Asparagus Soup

Roasted Asparagus Soup

★★★★

Prep Time: 5 minute(s) | Cook Time: 25 minute(s) | Makes: Number of servings 4 | Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 small onion, sliced
2 cups warm vegetable broth or “no-chicken” broth
1/2 ounce raw cashews (1 heaping tablespoon) or 1 tablespoon cashew butter
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
salt to taste
grated peel of 1/2 lemon or orange

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Place the asparagus spears on a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Roast for 10 minutes. Turn asparagus and sprinkle the onion and garlic over it. Roast for about 10 more minutes, until asparagus is very tender. If anything looks like it’s browning too much, take it out. (Important Note: These directions are for thicker asparagus. Thin asparagus may take much less time so start with 6 minutes, turn and add onions and garlic, and check again in 5.)

  2. While the asparagus is roasting, blend 1/2 cup of the broth with the cashews and pepper until smooth. Leave it in the blender.

  3. When the asparagus is done, select several of the best-looking spears, remove the tops, and set aside to use as garnish. Cut the remaining asparagus into pieces and put it and the onion and garlic into the blender, along with the remaining broth. Cover the blender and blend on high until perfectly smooth.

  4. If you’re using a Vita-Mix, you can blend it on high for a few more minutes until piping hot (remove the center cup and cover with a kitchen towel to allow steam to escape). Otherwise, pour the soup into a saucepan and heat until hot, stirring frequently. Add salt, if needed, to taste.

  5. Pour into bowls and sprinkle with grated lemon or orange peel. Garnish each bowl with the reserved asparagus spears and serve hot.

Nutritional Info:

Yield: 4 cups

Source: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2010/05/roasted-asparagus-soup.html

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Miso Soup with Vegetable Dumplings

Miso Soup with Vegetable Dumplings

★★★★

Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins | Makes: 4 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

8 cups water

2/3 cup miso (any color/flavor)

6 green onions (scallions), chopped

2 tbsp shredded nori or wakame seaweed

1 block firm silken tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes

As many frozen vegetable dumplings as you would like

Handful dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)

dash soy sauce (optional)

1 tsp sesame oil (optional)

Directions:

Bring water to a slow simmer and add seaweed and dried mushrooms. Allow to simmer at least 5-6 minutes. The longer you simmer the seaweed, the less of a salty fishy flavor it will have.

Reduce heat to very low and add the rest of the ingredients. When adding miso, mix it with hot broth in a separate bowl until it is well dissolved, then add to pot.

Its best not to boil the miso, as this will ruin some of it’s healthy properties as well as change the flavor of the soup.

Notes:

This is very quick and easy. It uses mostly pantry and freezer stuff so I use it when I’m running low on fresh produce.

Source: vegetarian.about.com

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Christy’s Lentil Soup

Christy’s Lentil Soup

★★★★★

Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Makes: 6-8 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

1 lg onion chopped

3-5 cloves garlic chopped

1 T fennel seed

1T yellow mustard seed

8-10 c water or veg stock

1 large sweet potato or 1 small butternut squash cut about 1″ cubes

2 cups rinsed red lentils

.5 cup shredded coconut

Salt or Bragg’s to taste

Directions:

Cook onion till soft. Add garlic and spices and heat for a minute. Add the rest of the ingredients except coconut. Cook about 20 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are done. Salt. Add coconut and serve.

Notes:

I make this soup a little different each time, so play around with it.

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aarti-sequeira/indian-summer-stew-butternut-squash-coconut-and-lentil-stew-recipe/index.html

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Broccoli “Cheese” Soup

★★★★★

Prep Time: 0 hr 0 min | Cook Time: 0 hr 0 min | Makes: 6-8 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

8 cup vegetable stock or water, divided

1 rounded cup Raw Cashews

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 celery stalk or kale stems, finely chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 large fresh red bell pepper or jarred roasted red pepper, chopped

2 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed

1 large head broccoli, including peeled stem, chopped (about 4 cups)

.5 t dried parsley

.5 t marjoram

.5 rosemary leaves

1t yellow mustard seeds

2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 T Dijon mustard

2 T nutritional yeast

Directions:

Puree 1 cup of vegetable stock with the cashews, dijon, and nutritional yeast in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside.

In large pot, cook onion, celery, and carrot over medium heat in 1 cup of vegetable stock for 5 minutes or until soft.

Add the garlic, bell pepper, and potatoes and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the herbs, remaining vegetable stock, the broccoli, salt, and black pepper, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer until the broccoli and potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the cashew mixture, Dijon, and nutritional yeast to the soup and stir until mixed. Remove the pot from heat and puree about half the soup, in small batches, until smooth. Return pureed soup to the pot and reheat, stirring well.

Don’t cook too long or too hot or the broccoli will turn an ugly shade of brown/green.

Serve!!

Source: FOK Book

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