Spicy Tomato Chickpea Cure-All Soup

This spicy tomato chickpea soup is just what the doctor ordered! It makes you feel better and get over the sniffles in a fraction of the time medicine does—I swear by it every winter. I originally posted a teaser photo of me prepping this soup over a week ago on my IG—it was so well received I thought I’d share b/c no one likes to feel like sh%t :) Original recipe from Vegan Yum Yum, slightly altered by me.
Ingredients for Spicy Tomato Chickpea SoupPlaintain Chip topping

Ingredients

  • ∞ 2-3 tablespoons EVOO
  • ∞ 1 yellow onion
  • ∞ 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ∞ 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • ∞ 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • ∞ 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ∞ 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • ∞ 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
  • ∞ 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • ∞ 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ∞ 1 cup hot water
  • ∞ Black pepper, to taste
  • OPTIONAL: plantain chips, roasted/salted pumpkin seeds as toppings

Necessary Kitchen Tools

  • ∞ Large Skillet
  • ∞ Blender
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet with high sides. Add the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, cumin, and chili flakes and stir for another minute.
  2. Add the mustard seeds, turmeric, and the drained chickpeas. Sauté until the chickpeas begin to turn golden.
  3. Add the tomatoes and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked and the majority of the moisture has been absorbed.
  4. Transfer the mixture—all or half of it—to a blender. Add the nutritional yeast and hot water and blend until smooth (unless you prefer a bit of texture). Blend in batches if you can’t fit everything at the same time. Serve with fresh cracked black pepper.

In case you’re starting to feel that scratchy throat, get the sniffles out of nowhere, or are just paranoid that coworkers may be sharing more than their advice enjoy the health benefits of turmeric—not to mention the tastiness!—while you rest up this week. Pfft…who are we kidding? Hope this soup helps aid your hangover from last night’s festivities too.

xoxo,
Smooch_RED

Photos via my Instagram account

Dairy-free Sugar-free Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream Pops

Ingredients

  • ∞ 2 cans coconut milk (don’t skimp on flavor—opt for the full fat varieties)
  • ∞ 1lb bag of frozen strawberries
  • ∞ 4-6 dates, sliced or diced
  • ∞ 1-1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ∞ 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • + optional: lemon juice or mint leaves
  • + + blender
  • + + popsicle molds
  • Makes 10-12 cream pops, depending on size of molds

  1. Put coconut milk, strawberries, and dates in blender. Puree until smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually add agave nectar and vanilla extract to your desired sweetness.
  3. Pour immediately into popsicle molds. Freeze overnight.
  4. Run under warm water to loosen pop from plastic mold.
  5. Enjoy!

Photos via my Instagram account

Homemade Frozen Chocolate Truffles

As you all know, this Thursday is Valentine’s Day. To put it nicely, I detest this “holiday.” Whether you have a significant other or not, what the day has become makes me ill. Pink and red have plastered drug stores and department stores since Christmas ended. Retailers have lined their displays with overly animated cards, teddy bears that are soon forgotten, and all the while shoving lingerie and chocolate down your throat. Aside from the consumer aspect boyfriends/girlfriends act like this is the one day of the year that they have to make an effort to make their S.O. feel special—it’s an overly commercialized cop out. Aside from my rant…

Though I’m not the biggest fan of the holiday, I thought today’s post should provide you with something that can be made both this Thursday and any other day of the year you want a delectable homemade treat. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • ∞  1 bag chocolate chips (whichever variety you prefer)
  • ∞  Sweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ∞  Vanilla extract
  • ∞  Sea Salt
  • ∞  2 bananas, ripened to your liking
  • ∞  Crunchy peanut butter (or smooth if you prefer)
  • ∞  Peanut Butter & Co’s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, [if you have not tried this cinnamon raisin swirl peanut butter you may be doing your taste buds an injustice]
  • ∞  Rubber ice cube tray in heart shapes—yes, I used stars, but I was making these for a birthday :P NOTE: Standard plastic ice cube trays will not work—they crack and break while trying to remove the completed truffle. You need the rubber kind as they provide easy truffle removal. I bought mine at TJ Maxx/Homegoods, but I’ve seen them at The Container Store and Ace Hardware, too.
  • ∞  3 small separate dishes, to mix the fillings in

  1. In a small pot over medium-low heat combine the bag of chocolate chips with a teaspoon of salt. It may take 5mins or so for the chocolate to start to melt (especially if you keep yours in the freezer). Stir every 2mins or so to ensure the chocolate won’t burn or cake onto the pot. Once melted, turn heat to a very low temp. This will ensure that the chocolate still stays malleable because you’ll need it again in step 5.
  2. Once the chocolate is fully melted, add a small amount to each ice cube star/heart. Make sure to add enough to cover each inside “wall” of the shape, as this will be the bottom layer of chocolate for the chocolate. Once each is semi filled, place tray in freezer for 20-30mins. This allows the chocolate to harden to a shell.
  3. As the chocolate is hardening in the freezer, make the filling(s). You can opt to make one, but I wanted to try all three for variety. Creamy Banana Filling: dice the banana as small as you can—this will make it easy when you mash it. In a small dish pour in 1-2 tsp almond milk and add banana. Mash the two with the back of a spoon until mostly creamy with a few banana chunks left. Set aside. Peanut Butter Banana Filling: again, dice the banana as small as you can. In a small dish add a generous spoonful of peanut butter, pour in 1-2 tsp almond milk, and add banana. Mash ingredients with the back of a spoon until mostly creamy with a few banana chunks left. Set aside.  Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Filling: In a small dish combine 2 generous spoonfuls of the cinnamon raisin peanut butter with 2 tsp almond milk. Mash with the back of a spoon until creamy. Add almond milk as needed. Set aside.
  4. Remove the tray from the freezer, and put a small dollop of filling in each hardened shell. I chose to do a row for each, just to keep it organized and remember which one was which. NOTE: Unlike my picture below, try to make sure that the filling is not too high over the edge of the shape. This will make it hard to enclose the truffle in the next step—they will still be yummy either way though.
  5. Top each filled shape with a bit of chocolate. This is going to be the bottom of the truffle. Once each one is covered, pop the tray in the freezer again for another 30-45mins. Once they all have hardened chocolate shells, take out and enjoy! NOTE: if you do decide to make the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl ones, you may want to take these out 15-20mins before eating to ensure that the middle isn’t rock hard.


 

Takeout Fakeout: Vegan Pizza

Ok, so pizza doesn’t really need too much of an in-depth recipe post, but today happens to be “National Vegan Pizza Day.” I thought it would be fitting do do a pizza recipe post, regardless of the simplicity. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy looking at food photos? For those of you who aren’t vegan, think of today as a guilt-free excuse to indulge in pizza if you don’t normally ;)

I have to admit: I cheated and bought my crust in a package. (Fun fact: I happen to love a thin crust and can never get it right when I buy my own raw dough, so pre-made is the way I always go). Opt for a whole wheat crust if you can—I just happened to have this original one on hand. Making pizza isn’t exactly rocket science, but in case you’re wondering what I’ve put on the one pictured above, see the rest of the post below:

Ingredients + Toppings

  • ∞  1 pizza shell (I typically buy 16″-18″)
  • ∞  1 tbsp EVOO (may need more depending on size of pizza shell)
  • ∞  Green / Red bell peppers, sliced to your liking
  • ∞  White mushrooms
  • ∞  Kalamata olives + Black olives
  • ∞  Fresh tomatoes, cut into wedges (used as a replacement for actual sauce)
  • ∞  Baby spinach, prepped by microwaving for 15-20 seconds before putting on pizza
  • ∞  Daiya vegan mozzarella cheese
  • ∞  Fresh parsley
  • ∞  Fresh rosemary
  • ∞  Dried spices: Crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, + dried garlic

  1. Preheat oven to 450° and prep your toppings
  2. Coat your pizza shell evenly with Extra Virgin Olive Oil—this will help to brown your crust
  3. Add veggies to the pizza shell, distributing evenly…or not, if that’s how you like it
  4. Add cheese…I like a really cheese-y pizza, so I used the whole bag of Daiya
  5. Add fresh herbs and spices
  6. Place pizza in the oven for 15 minutes, but make sure to check after 8 minutes to rotate if needed. Tip: Put directly on the metal rack for a crispier crust.
  7. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for about 5-10mins.
  8. Devour to your heart’s content

All Instagrams are my own

Post-Holiday Holiday Meal

While you may want to block out your holiday experience from the past month or so (“stressful” doesn’t even come close), there is one thing that I love about that time of year no matter how much it makes me want to pull my hair out. It is a designated time for bringing people and loved ones together, despite our personal schedules. To keep that yule tide going, I whipped up my own mini-holiday meal after the holidays to do just that: bring friends together. Below are four yummy recipes to enjoy any time of year, stress free!

Spicy Butternut Squash Cubettes

  • Ingredients

  • ∞  1 package cubed butternut squash (Trader Joe’s has the perfect size!)
  • ∞  1 tsp ground cumin (or more to taste)
  • ∞  1 tsp ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • ∞  1 tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
  • ∞  Maple syrup
  • ∞  Canola oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400º F
  2. In a plastic gallon-size seal-able bag mix a tablespoon or 2 of canola oil, all spices, and squash in bag, making sure to blow air inside bag before sealing (almost to full capacity). Once bag is sealed, start turning the beach-ball like bag of ingredients around and around until squash cubes appear to be evenly coated.
  3. On a cookie sheet lined with foil, evenly distribute the squash to create a single layer. Drizzle a coating of maple syrup to your liking.
  4. Bake at 400º F for 35mins. Remove baking sheet from oven; flip or rotate squash cubes.
  5. Lower oven to 350º F for 20mins.
  6. Take out to let cool. Enjoy!

Garlicky Kale

  • Ingredients

  • ∞  1 package prepped green kale “cooking greens”
  • ∞  5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ∞  1/2 cup vegetable broth (I used low sodium)
  • ∞  1/4 slivered yellow onion (I prefer a very slender cut for onions)
  • ∞  EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  1. In a large skillet, heat 2tbs EVOO over medium heat. Sautée garlic and onions until simmering and slightly browning.
  2. Add kale and broth, making sure to lower heat and toss to coat kale with garlic evenly.
  3. Lower heat and simmer. Taste to see if its your preferred crunchiness. If you want a softer kale, continue to cook another 5-10mins, adding a tablespoon extra broth or water to the skillet.
  4. Taste test again, and enjoy!

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

  • Ingredients

  • ∞  2 cans cut green beans
  • ∞  5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ∞  1 slice vegan butter 1/4″ thick (I prefer Earth Balance buttery sticks)
  • ∞  2 tbs salted soy sauce (low-sodium will not taste the same! I made that mistake once before—not bad, but not the same)
  • ∞  1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • ∞  3 spoonfuls of flour
  • ∞  1 can fried onion topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. In a medium saucepan on the stove. Over a medium temp, heat the garlic, vegan butter, soy sauce, soy milk, and flour. Stir until mixture is liquid.
  3. Once the mixture turns into a sauce and is thoroughly heated, add in the green beans. Stir until beans are coated.
  4. Transfer mixture to casserole dish, top with fried onion topping. Put in oven and bake at 300º F for 20mins.
  5. Take out and enjoy!

High-er Protein Mashed Potatoes

  • Ingredients

  • ∞  1-2 packages of small potatoes (think fingerling size. I used red new potatoes)
  • ∞  3-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ∞  EVOO
  • ∞  1/2 can Cannellini beans
  • ∞  1/4 yellow onion, cooked (use the other half from the garlicky kale)
  • ∞  1c unsweetened soy milk
  1. Bring at least 6 cups water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Add all potatoes to pot. Boil for 20mins.
  3. Sautée onion and garlic in 1-2 tbs EVOO in a small pan until golden and slightly browning
  4. Combine onion, garlic, boiled potatoes into blender. Add 1/2 cup of unsweetened unflavored soy milk. Begin to purée. NOTE: You will want to at least cut the cooked potatoes in half so they will puree easier in your blender.
  5. Add the cannellini beans and puree again, adding additional soy milk to the blender as needed.
  6. Puree to desired texture. Serve and enjoy!

Photos via my Instagram account