NO CHEESE SAUCE – EASY AND DELICIOUS AND NO OIL

Here’s a “to die for” no cheese sauce that can be used on baked potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, tacos, burritos, chili, nachos or in your next mac and cheese dish.

Easy No-Cheese Sauce

Makes about 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups steamed and mashed cauliflower (I use my Insta-Pot, steaming on manual for 1 minute)
  • 1 cup peeled, chopped, and steamed carrots (I use my Insta-Pot, steaming on manual for 1 minute)
  • 3/4 to one cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4 cup plant based milk (to help thin if too thick)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to your taste)

DIRECTIONS

Steam the cauliflower and carrots until tender. As mentioned above, I use my Insta-Pot and steam the veggies at the same time for 1 minute. Loosely measure out the carrots and toss into high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix). Mash and pack the cauliflower into a measuring cup and add to blender.

Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high for 30 seconds to one minute or until the mixture is completely smooth. Serve immediately. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If it lasts that long!

Cheers, Karen

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Meatless Monday: Easy Tomato Spinach Rice

Good Morning! Are you wondering what to eat for dinner tonight? Don’t worry, I have you covered!

IMG_3475How about a yummy bowl of chunky tomato and spinach rice? Doesn’t that sound pretty good right now? It’s so easy to make, and it’s super comforting for the whole family after a busy day!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time:  45 minutes
Total time:  50 minutes
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • Chunky tomato Primavera sauce; 5 cups (I used a favorite recipe from the book Better Than Vegan you can use store-bought, or your favorite recipe.)
  • Textured soy protein (TVP) ; ½ cup
  • Cooked brown rice; 2 cups
  • Raw baby spinach leaves; 8 cups
  • Pepper; ⅓ teaspoon or to taste
  • Nutritional yeast; ½ cup

DIRECTIONS

  1. Start cooking a batch of brown rice until rice is tender, about 35-40 minutes.
  2. While rice is cooking, heat up your Primavera sauce in a 5-quart saute pan. Heat, and bring to a slow simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the TVP and simmer slowly for 5 additional minutes.
  3. When rice is done cooking, add it to the Primavera sauce and stir to mix well.
  4. Add baby spinach leaves and stir until just slightly wilted. If you prefer your spinach softer, cook longer.
  5. Serve immediately and sprinkle each serving with 1 to 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

It couldn’t be any easier to plantify your plate! It’s an easy clean up, it’s delicious and it’s a super nutritious meal your whole family will love!

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Cheers, Karen

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Meatless Monday – Starts in the Garden! And Quinoa Beyond Chicken Wraps

For Meatless Monday, there’s no better place to start than your own garden! First off, your food is fresher, you can control that your veggies will be 100% organic and you can’t beat the price. Take herbs for example, at $2 to $6 a package, growing herbs is a great place to start especially for the beginner. They’re easy to grow so you’ll have no reason to feel overwhelmed.

IMG_2592With my shoulder not up to par I finally got my garden started this last weekend and to start things off, last Saturday I went out and picked up some of my favs which include Sweet Basil and Tarragon, two varieties of Kale, Rainbow Swiss Chard, two kinds of lettuce, yellow and green zucchini, and lemon cucumbers.

IMG_2593I picked up 4 different kinds of tomato plants and 2 sweet banana pepper plants

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For Mother’s Day, my daughter gave me a beautiful mini planter which had a mixture of herbs — Rosemary, Basil, Sage, Chives, Oregano, Curly Parsley and a new one for me Blood Dock Red Sorrel– I love it in salads and soups. Boy did they take off, so I split them into three containers.

IMG_2587When I started separating the plants, I found one Variegated Thyme plant that didn’t make it! So I was very glad I split them up into three containers.

IMG_2608They are so pretty on my back deck and so handy for me to grab, rinse and toss into my veggie creations!

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Next, with the help from a good friend who is strong and still under the age of 20! (thank you Saylor!) I got my raised garden beds turned over, and then added some new organic compost.

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By Sunday,  I was able to get down to the business of planting my first batch. You can see that my blueberry plants have some nice looking berries. This is their third year, and I can’t wait to pick my first “real” crop.

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The strawberries look great too. I added a few new plants to round out the corner of this bed.

IMG_2601Lettuce and kale grow well with strawberries, and this weekend, I added the lemon cucumber plants to the middle row of the bed (cucs not pictured).

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My dad would be proud!

IMG_2594In a couple of weeks, I’ll be adding additional plants so I can have veggies coming on all through the summer. In the third bed (not pictured) I planted the zucchini plants. Those should be fun.

Now, for a quick Meatless Monday treat …. if you haven’t tried a lettuce wrap, you have got to try this simple wrap I just whipped up the other day.  It’s so easy and you can make them with quinoa and tempeh strips … or … I’ve recently found a product when shopping at Natural Grocers in Eugene, OR called Beyond Chicken. It’s 100% plant protein made from NON-GMO soy and pea protein — a single 3 ounce serving has 20 grams of protein — and there are several flavors to try. My favorite is the Southwest Style Strips.

Quinoa Beyond Chicken Wraps

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For the wraps:

Rinse and set to drain some Boston Lettuce leaves. The outside leaves are large and ruffly and make a perfect wrap.

Cook up a batch of quinoa, and while that is cooking, saute (I used vegetable broth and Tamari sauce) 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons minced chives, 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped and 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms. Place sauted veggies into a 2-quart bowl.

Next saute several strips of Beyond Chicken. If you like thicker slices serve each strip as it comes out of the package. I sliced them in half, lengthwise, and found them to be a perfect size for my lettuce wraps. Also, since quinoa is packed with protein, it wasn’t necessary to serve a 3-ounce serving size per person — so with this recipe it makes the package go farther!

Southwest Style StripsWhen the quinoa is finished cooking and fluffed, take 2 to 2-1/2 cups and add to the bowl with the mushrooms, garlic and onion and toss gently. Add your favorite wrap sauce and enjoy. Or if you’d like:

For a quick creamy sauce which can be made in advance: In a medium bowl, combine until blended: 1/2 cup Vegenaise with 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard with 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

I really enjoyed this meal.

Cheers!  Karen

 

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Memorial Day Meatless Monday – Grilled Veggies, Grilled Tempeh

Grilled Veggie MedleyGoing meatless doesn’t mean you have to cut out the grill! In fact, this Memorial Day Meatless Monday, will be the perfect time to make some grilled veggies and bring out the tempeh which can be paired wonderfully with your grilled veggies, next to a wonderful salad, or eaten on a whole grain bun!

Grilling basket - veggies includedI’ve found using a grilling pan or tray works best for veggies or tempeh on an outdoor grill – gas, charcoal, electric, or portable. These tools are awesome for two reasons:  1) veggies too easily fall through the grates on most grills; and 2) It makes it much easier to flip the veggies for even cooking. If you use a grill basket it flipping becomes a snap.

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So go for it! Pick up your favorite veggies today and enjoy!

Basic Instructions:

Preheat the outdoor grill for medium-high heat at least 30 minutes before cooking.

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Take a grilling basket or grilling pan and fill it with your favorite sliced vegetables, or make vegetable skewers — mushrooms, onions, peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and summer squash all combine well, but get creative and go with the season.

Veggie skewersThe beauty here is you don’t have to use oil to grill veggies! Toss with a little water, balsamic vinegar, and one of your favorite mixed herb season blends –  like Spike or Mrs. Dash – or reach into your cupboard for favorite dried herbs such as basil, oregano or rosemary.

Take a blender and add your favorite spices and a handful of walnuts to your favorite vinegar. Brush it on the veggies frequently while grilling.

(If you grill any starchy vegetables like potatoes, soak or marinate them first in a water-vinegar mix to add to their water content to minimize the production of acrylamide, which is a cooking-related carcinogen formed when starches are cooked at high temperatures.) Also, it’s best to avoid grilling any type of your favorite food or veggies until they are blackened. So keep an eye on the grill.

Once preheated, place the grilling tray or basket with your veggies onto the grill and monitor closely to prevent your veggies from burning. Grill over medium heat anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning occasionally. Some vegetables, such as thinly sliced onions or peppers, take a minute or two to cook, while dense vegetables like potatoes take longer, 10 to 15 minutes depending on the heat.

As my veggies grill up I move them over to a sheet of foil set up on a cooler section of the grill and wrap them up to keep them warm and ready to serve on a platter.

Be sure to watch your veggies carefully. Grilling vegetables over too high a heat for too long will char them on the outside and they’ll stay raw on the inside.

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As an alternative to burgers, I love grilled portabella mushrooms marinated for 20 minutes in balsamic vinegar, grilled, and served with or without a toasted whole grain bun with sliced tomato, raw onion and all the trimmings. Try a pesto dressing made from basil, avocado and walnuts.

Grill marinated mushrooms for approximately for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once. Remove from grill to a platter. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over mushrooms, and scatter on fresh sage or oregano. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Another favorite is of mine? Grilled BBQ Tempeh!

DSCN1850Cut the tempeh into ½ inch strips or into triangles – you have the option to cut the tempeh lengthwise to make it thinner, just keep a watch on the cooking time as this will cook faster. Place the tempeh into a baking dish and spread with a favorite seasoned vinegar or Annie’s BBQ sauce. Being careful not to break the tempeh, stir lightly to. Let them marinate for about 15 or 20 minutes.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

Cook the tempeh on grill pans for 4 to 5 minutes each side – turning carefully for even heating.

Whatever you choose get out there and enjoy. Practice makes perfect. Whatever you choose to toss on the grill, you will become a grill master!

Cheers, Karen

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Why Meatless Monday? Try Easy Baked Tofu!

IMG_2329Over Mother’s Day Weekend, I spent some wonderful quality time with my beautiful family in Portland, OR where we got a chance to hike to Horsetail Falls. We are so blessed to live close to one another in one of the most beautiful areas of the United States. Nothing beats the beautiful outdoors of the Pacific Northwest!

The entire family is excited to be living what feels to be the perfect life. We’re all striving to live a healthy lifestyle — we eat well, we exercise, we continue to learn new things, and we play hard. I don’t think anyone could ask for more.

So why Meatless Monday?

An average American eats an awful lot of meat, about 8 ounces per day. That’s 180 pounds a year, twice the amount Americans ate in 1960! 45% more than the USDA recommends. Research shows that a  meat heavy diet can lead to higher body weight, obesity and eventually diabetes. Diets high in red and processed meats are likely to cause cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Starting your week right, with a Meatless Monday, is a great way to change your mind and menu one step at a time. Every little bit helps. It helps your health. It helps the environment. Monday is the first day of the week, the perfect day to reevaluate your food and exercise choices and help you to set goals for healthier intentions for the rest of the week. One step at a time you will create a better future.

If you’re worried about losing out on protein, don’t. You won’t suffer from protein deficiency because you go meatless one day each week. Besides there are some wonderful protein substitutions you can enjoy by adding protein rich beans, legumes, nuts and seeds (like quinoa) grains (like barley and bulgur) tofu, and tempeh.

You can feel assured that plant-based foods are healthy for your body. They tend to :

  • be higher in fiber
  • be higher in antioxidants
  • be lower in carcinogens we know to be present in meat
  • reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes
  • cut your weekly food budget.

Now that’s pretty nice all the way around, don’t you agree?

Several years ago, my family and I chose to move to a complete plant-based diet. We eat no animal products which includes no red or white meat, poultry, fish, eggs or dairy. For many, that’s too radical of a change and most people are not ready to take that big of step. But I hope to change your mind and menu for at least Mondays. Going meatless one day a week isn’t hard. Every small change will make an impact on your health. And it will can encourage you to try foods you might otherwise pass up in favor of a burger or steak.

If everyone in the U.S. ate meatless just one day per week – at home, at work, at school, at restaurants it would make a huge impact on their health and on our environment.

So in the spirit of Meatless Monday, here’s a great recipe for Easy Baked Tofu that I find very delicious and easy to put together. You can’t beat that, because let’s face it, Mondays can sometimes be hectic. If you’re prepared with menu ideas that aren’t difficult to make and are satisfying, you’ll be more likely to give it a try!

Now I know some people who absolutely hate tofu. Although it’s been around for centuries, sadly it’s gotten a pretty bad reputation because it looks funny, has a funny texture and basically has no flavor. There are a lot of reasons why people say they hate tofu, but I feel that can be avoided when tofu is prepared and cooked properly.

I enjoy tofu scrambled with veggies and use it to make sauces. But, I think my favorite is  baked tofu. It’s great when warm, and makes a great, easy-to-transport snack to eat on a long hike, between classes, or your commute home. I like to marinate my tofu, and often use Tamari Sauce. A while ago, I tried adding Annie’s Organic BBQ sauce. On my recent trip to Portland, I shared some with my 24-year-old son who loved it. Being a busy full-time student at PSU, who also works half-time at OHSU, he’s always looking for quick and easy, tasty recipes. The key to this recipe is just a few hours of time to marinate the tofu or prep the night before.

Enjoy!

EASY BAKED TOFU

  • Servings: 2
  • Prep time: 30 minutes to press the tofu, a few hours to marinate or overnight.
  • Cook time: 25 to 30 minutes

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INGREDIENTS

  • Tofu, extra-firm, 8 oz
  • Tamari Sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water
  • Annie’s BBQ Sauce, 2 tablespoons

DIRECTIONS

Take the extra-firm tofu, wrap it in a paper towel and press it beneath a weighted plate for about 30 minutes to remove the excess water. Next, cut the tofu into one-half inch cubes, slices, or sticks and place into a glass dish.

In a shallow dish, whisk together the Tamari sauce, water and BBQ sauce. Pour the sauce over the tofu being sure to drench each piece. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven at 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray (I use my Misto oil sprayer). Lay the tofu on the baking sheet and spray with a bit of oil. Bake for 12 minutes, flip each piece and continue to bake for additional 12 to 15 minutes until puffed and golden.

When done baking, add to your meal. It’s great in salads, stir fry, rice bowls, sandwiches, and crumbling into sauces served over pasta. Pack what doesn’t get eaten for later in the week.

IMG_2416Cheers, Karen

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Meatless Monday: Black Bean, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Mushroom and Kale Chili

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Sorry I’ve not posted for a few weeks. For the past two months I’ve been suffering from some pain in my right shoulder that radiated down into my right arm, along with some numbness and weakness in my right hand. And so working at a keyboard was a task that was, unfortunately, inflaming the condition. I’m happy to say that after easing up on keyboard typing at home, along with: acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, making major changes at workstation at my day job, working on exercises, and using a combination of Turmeric  (Curcumin ia a key chemical in turmeric that reduces pain and inflammation) and Bromelain, (a protein extract derived from pineapple that reduces pain and swelling) to help reduce the inflammation — (instead of ibuprofen, which causes me stomach pain) it has all finally helped me to move toward recovering and feeling better. I’m not totally pain or numb free, but I’m getting there!

Dealing with pain is just plain hard. It makes it hard to think, to do the easiest tasks, to keep up with exercise, to eat well — all things that are important to do so your body can heal and you can get well.

These past several weeks, I’ve kept up my exercise regime; and in the food arena, I feel I’ve kept up with eating healthy. I pulled out a lot of my pre-made soups and chilies from the freezer. And to help with eating fresh, I picked up some prepackaged things like bags of prechopped coleslaw, broccoli slaw, and prewashed greens — I love the BIG $5 bag of organic kale that my local Safeway offers!

Whenever I make a smoothie, I make a triple batch and pop individual servings into the freezer. So, I kept up with that. Being prepared is always a great way for me to go, especially when I need to grab something quick before heading out the door for work or for a rehearsal like I’m doing now for Les Misérables at Cottage Theatre. That’s right! We are rehearsing for Les Mis which opens April 10! You don’t want to miss this fantastic show. Tickets, which go on sale March 10th, will sell FAST; so I’ve set up an easy link for you to click here for tickets!

So now for the fun part of this post! Here’s one of the simple meals I cooked up to help me eat up my BIG bag of kale. It’s a delicious, meatless chili with black beans, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and of course kale. It’s so easy to make. Every ingredient is packed with nutrition, the meal leaves you completely satisfied and it’s also easy to freeze in individual servings for lunch at work or when you don’t have an hour to prepare a home-cooked meal.

Here you go:

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Black Bean, Broccoli, Cauliflower Mushroom and Kale Chili

Servings 5 to 6     Prep time:  20 – 25 minutes          Cook time 25 – 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • Tamari sauce; 2 tablespoons
  • Water or vegetable broth; ¼ cup (use as needed when sauteing)
  • Onion; 1 medium, diced
  • Mushrooms; 8 ounces, sliced
  • Garlic; 1 tablespoon, minced
  • Chili Powder; 2 – 3 tablespoons
  • Cumin, 1 tablespoon (ground)
  • Tomato Paste; 3 ounces
  • Crushed tomatoes; 1 can (28 ounce)
  • Black Beans; 2 cups, cooked (scratch or canned)
  • Nutritional Yeast; ½ cup
  • Kale; 2 cups chopped, packed
  • Broccoli; 2 cups, small flowerettes (instructional video on how to cut broccoli)
  • Cauliflower; 1 cup, small flowerettes
  • Garnishes of your choice:  grated non-dairy cheese, non-dairy sour cream, toasted pepitas, chopped green onions, sliced avocado or cilantro

DIRECTIONS

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the tamari sauce with about a tablespoon of water. Add onion and cook over medium heat until softened, add mushrooms, a bit more water and saute about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional one minute. Add chili powder and ground cumin. Stir until blended and fragrant. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, stir well and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gently stir in the black beans, the nutrition yeast and blend with sauce. Next, add the kale and stir until it starts to wilt. Last, add the broccoli and cauliflower and cook for about 15 more minutes or until broccoli and cauliflower are tender.

Serve in bowls as is or with a favorite garnish; such as, grated non-dairy cheese, non-dairy sour cream, toasted pepitas, chopped green onions, avocado or cilantro.

This meal would also be wonderful served over ½ cup quinoa or brown rice.

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Cheers, Karen

 

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Love Your Heart, Love Yourself, Love Your Greens

Green_Veggie_Heart“Greens, greens and nothing but greens: Parsley, peppers, cabbages and celery; Asparagus and watercress and Fiddleferns and lettuce! Rudding through my rutabaga, raiding my arugula, ripping up the Rampion; MY CHAMPION MY FAVORITE!”**

Mess around with your greens because green vegetable, especially leafy green vegetables are one of the most powerful foods on the earth AND they protect your heart!

According to research on phytochemicals, a greater intake of leafy greens, because of their superior nutrient density, is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

There are many ways to eat your greens …. without having to go “into the woods…” yet most of us struggle with the idea – for some it just seems too overwhelming. So here are just 5 easy ways, besides eating them in a mixed green salad (which can be pretty awesome), to incorporate more greens into your daily intake:

Add them to your favorite fruit smoothie. Try one for breakfast, lunch, or a mid-day pick-me-up. You can easily add any variety of kale or spinach, you might try a mix of chard or collards, give it a try and see how tastes.

Berry smoothie with greensAdd them as a topping to your home-made pizza. I love adding chopped spinach or kale to my pizza creations.

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Healthy chips! Simply tear up kale or collard greens, toss them with a small spritz of oil with your oil sprayer sprinkle with a small amount of your favorite herb blend of Mrs. Dash, Spike or nutritional yeast, a bit of lemon juice and cook at 300 degrees for 25 minutes on a baking sheet.

Kale Chips.vegan

Add them to your soup. Adding chard, spinach, kale, are delicious, easy additions. I added chard to this yummy soup.

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Add them to your stir-frys. This stir-fry contains a mixture of delicious Asian greens – Komatsuna, (a Japanese Mustard Spinach), Mizuna (another Japanese Mustard with a frilly, light green leaf), and Pac Choy (looks like mini, dark green Bok Choy), celery, and peppers with a splash of yellow squash.

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So there you go! There are just 5 simple ways. And once you get started, I bet you’ll be surprised how easy it will be, and you’ll be adding enjoying them Yes, leafy veggies may be green but if you don’t think about it too hard, they’re really not difficult to add to your diet!

So, what’s stopping you — just do it!

Cheers, Karen

** Lyrics from the prologue of the musical, Into the Woods, written by Stephen Sondheim.

 

 

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What You Need To Know About the Food Industry

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When so many Americans want to be thinner and healthier, why is junk food so inexpensive, so widespread and so easily obtainable?

Why are children in America getting fatter and fatter?

Why are we getting sicker and sicker when we know how to prevent so many lifestyle – food induced diseases that are growing at an epidemic rate?

The majority of us feel it’s our fault. We feel we don’t have enough willpower; but truthfully, it’s not our fault. It’s not that simple.

I recently watched an ABC News special report food industry expose – How To Get Fat Without Really Trying.  It first aired in 2003, but sadly, the information holds more true today because although the food industry has known for years that the food they produce is making people sick and fat, they continue to produce it, fill our grocery stores with it, and offer it to our children at school!

Why?

Many people feel that personal food choices, health and well-being are a matter of personal choice and responsibility, but I believe there are other reasons. The vast majority of people don’t know any better. And worst of all even when people think they’re purchasing “healthy” food, they’re not. There are hidden ingredients that sabotage their efforts.

Take the time to be informed. Click the links below to watch the report produced and hosted by Peter Jennings. The entire program is only about 45 minutes long. But I have posted it to view in five parts.

Part 1

Part 2:

Part 3: 

Part 4: 

Part 5: 

2015 is the year for a better you, a healthier you. Keep learning as much as you can and become better informed and YOU CAN DO IT!!

Let me know what you think!

Cheers, Karen

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A Secret on Losing Weight Can Help You Keep Your Promise To Feel Your Best In 2015

Fiber-Weight-LossAccording to a new online advance meta-analysis published on Thursday, January 22, 2015, in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Physicians Committee recommends consuming close to 40 grams of fiber a day as a secret to losing weight on a plant-based diet.

It’s easy to do when vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds become the center stage of your plate!

The mega-review analyzed 15 studies, conducted with 755 participants in Finland, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. The studies varied in length, from as short as four weeks to as long as two years, with an average weight loss of 10 pounds over a 44-week period.”

So keep your promise to feel your best in 2015! Go Plant-Based!

Cheers, Karen

 

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Easy Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup

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This satisfying soup is very thick and creamy – just the way I like it! It’s especially yummy on a cold winter day, incredibly easy to make, and quick to come together. You can whip it up on a busy weeknight, for the family. Or if guests drop in unexpectedly, it’s a snap.

If you own a Vitamix, once it’s going in the blender, you don’t need to constantly stand over it. Once the ingredients are blending it only take about 10 minutes to heat.

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If you don’t have a Vitamix, simply transfer from your blender to a pot and heat over medium heat on the stove until piping hot. Once it begins to heat start fixing your salad, come back and stir once in a while; and in no time – it’s dinner!

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Since I like to be prepared for the week, I’ll cook up a batch on weekend for extra fast weeknight dinners.  The soup keeps well in the refrigerator. It’s easy to set up for no-fuss lunches – and freezes very well too.  I’ve a few servings the freezer right now.

So, here you go!

Easy Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup

Prep time: 5 minutes        Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes        Makes 8 cups

  • yellow onion; 1 medium, chopped
  • garlic; 2 large cloves, minced
  • *tamari sauce, low-sodium; 2 tablespoons
  • shredded carrots; ¾ cup
  • organic vegetable broth, 2 cups
  • organic stewed italian tomatoes; 28 ounce can (5 or less grams sugar per serving)
  • organic tomato paste; 2 tablespoons
  • crushed basil; 2 teaspoons
  • organic garbanzo beans; 1 cup
  • basil pesto sauce; 3 tablespoons, oil drained
  • nutritional yeast; ½ cup

In a medium pan, saute onion, garlic and carrots in tamari sauce and 2 – 3 tablespoons of the vegetable broth for about 3 minutes. Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender. I used my 8 cup Vitamix and the container was very full. If you own a Vitamix, blend for about 10 minutes and serve piping hot from the blender. If not, after blending up all the ingredients transfer into a pot and heat over medium heat on the stove until piping hot. Serve plain, with a sprinkle of black pepper and a garnish of Cashew Parmesan Cheese. A chiffonade of basil looks pretty when serving to guests!

Let me know what you think!

Cheers, Karen

*I’ve been asked why I use tamari sauce to saute. With some added vegetable broth or water, it’s a great flavor and way fewer calories than sauteing with oil. Japanese tamari is thicker, darker, richer and less salty than  soy sauce.

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