lunch

Minestrone Soup

minestrone soup

The heatwave continues. Fans are on, shorts and tank tops are our chosen attire. Big jars of lemonade (because everything is better in a mason jar), and crisp salads for lunch. Yet it is October. And we want SOUP! Mother nature may be all over the place, but our bodies are ready for Fall, and sometimes you just have to go with your gut- and our guts want Minestrone!

Minestrone is a cold weather essential, but it is great any time of year. This is a very hearty, stick-to-your-bones soup. It is loaded with veggies, and is perfect when trying to use up all those farmers market finds that you have hanging around your fridge. You can use any vegetables you prefer, or whatever you have on hand. It is also the ideal place to use all the random bits of dried pasta taking up space in your cabinets. You can break up larger noodles, or use a variety of shapes and sizes. 

This recipe makes a very large pot, but it keeps very well. As a matter of fact, it gets even more flavorful after a day or two. Be aware that leftovers get very thick as the noodles soak up the rich broth, but adding some extra vegetable stock and some salt and pepper to taste gives you a whole new soup! It also freezes well, so if you are cooking for 1-2 people, you can easily store this in a ziploc or tupperware and have it around for a quick and hearty rainy-day meal. Just don’t be surprised if there are fewer leftovers than expected- it is just THAT good.

 

Minestrone Soup

Servings 5 | Serving size 2 cups

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 c carrot, chopped (cut baby carrots into thirds)
  • 1 c celery, chopped
  • 1 lb russet potato, chopped (washed and peel left on)
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 c chopped cabbage
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 15oz can organic tomato sauce
  • 2 TB tomato paste
  • can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c dry whole wheat pasta (I used spirals)
  • 2 c kale, chopped and packed in cup
  • 1 TB red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp himalayan pink sea salt
  • pepper to taste

 

METHOD

  1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil on medium-high heat and add onions and garlic. Stir and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Then add carrots, and celery and cook another 5 minutes, until celery becomes tender.
  3. Add in vegetable stock, water, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir until combined.
  4. Next add the remaining ingredients except kale: potatoes, zucchini and cabbage, kidney beans, pasta, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender and pasta is cooked.
  6. When finished stir in chopped kale and serve.

 

NOTE: Great served with toasted whole wheat bread with olive oil and rubbed with garlic

 

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CLASSIC Caesar Salad Dressing

Caesar_Salad.jpg

As a vegan, one of the most common things you can expect to hear from omnivores (aside from “where do you get your protein?”) is “Do you just eat lettuce all the time?”. No. We do not just eat lettuce all the time.

BUT WHEN WE DO..we like to do it right!

We have always enjoyed a good salad, which can be surprisingly hard to come by. Ever since we were children, there was always one particular salad that we were drawn to: the classic Caesar.

Rich and creamy, with the spiciness of raw garlic accompanied by the acidity of lemon juice and mellowed by parmesan cheese, this salad was at the top of our list whenever we went out to eat. It was our personal mission to try every Caesar salad that we could get our hands on. We could instantly tell if it was bottled dressing, or something they lovingly created in the kitchen. It was, in our humble opinions, the distinguishing factor between a good restaurant, and a great one.

Luckily for us, our father has always excelled at making a Caesar dressing that became our standard for all others. It was not until years later that we learned that anchovies were a typical ingredient in our number one choice of dressing. Well, as a vegetarian, that just wasn’t going to work anymore. Our loving father revamped his famous dressing to lighten up the fat, and cut out the anchovies to create a new, but equally delicious dressing. Theeeeen, vegan happened. Suddenly he was no longer allowed to use cheese, eggs, traditional Worcestershire sauce..basically any of the ingredients that make the dressing what it is. But our father loves us, and could not stand to see us go without (mostly because we insisted we still needed it in our lives). With a few substitutions, we now get to dive in a much healthier, but equally as indulgent classic Caesar salad, and all is right in the world.

 

CLASSIC Caesar Salad Dressing {recipe}

Makes 2 1/2 cups dressing.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 - 14-16oz block silken tofu (refrigerated)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 TB white wine vinegar
  • 2 TB vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TB whole grain dijon mustard
  • 2 TB nutritional yeast (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Pinch of salt & pepper to taste

 

METHOD

  1. Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.

 

NOTE: Feel free to add an additional squeeze of lemon and fresh cracked pepper to your salad, we always enjoy a little extra tang. This dressing will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.

 

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