Friday, September 28, 2012

Mushroom Soup

This soup is my new go-to for a decadent-feeling treat. It's creamy, earthy, and at 49 calories per cup it's really, really low-calorie-- woohoo for that!

It's also really, really easy to make. That makes it just about the best soup ever. But don't take my word for it-- try it and let me know what you think!


  • 1/2 cup diced onion (I like to dice up a large onion when I get back from the store and just keep it in the fridge in tupperware for use throughout the week-- just don't store it in a plastic baggie or your entire fridge will smell/taste like onions)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 pound cremini, button, or portabella mushrooms, sliced thin (about 5 cups)
  • 2 cups veggie stock (I like Swanson Flavor Boost mixed with water for a super quick, cheap stock)
  • 4 cups Original Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almond Milk (or any other plain, unflavored milk)
  • Add onions and oil to a soup pot. Turn heat to medium low.
  • Once the onion start to color just a bit and get fragrant, add the mushrooms. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  •  Turn heat up just a bit and stir occasionally until the mushrooms release their moisture. They'll get smaller and browner-- this is what you want. The pan shouldn't dry out or burn but if it gets dry, add a little water and keep going.
  • When you think your mushrooms are done, add the broth and milk and bring to a slow boil.
  • Add a bit more salt and pepper!
  • Once it starts boiling (don't let it get too fast or you'll curdle your milk-- it'll just make the appearance a little less creamy, it's not really a big deal) turn it off.
  • Transfer about 1/2 of your soup to a blender and blend away (this could take a couple of minutes).
  • Transfer it back to the pot, stir, and check and adjust your seasonings.
  • Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh cracked pepper.
  • Makes about 7 cups.
Per 1 cup: cals: 49kcal | fat: 2.82g | carbs: 5.08g | prot: 2.22g

 Also, it can be made with unprocessed ingredients if you make this with homemade veg stock and almond (or other) milk!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kale, Chorizo, and Beans

This recipe is pretty easy, pretty yummy, and pretty well... pretty-- look at those hearty fall colors!

It makes 3 big bowls of comforting, cozy yum. I use vegetable flakes in this, but you could totally substitute a cup of veggie stock if you can't find them.

  •  1 package soy chorizo (the kind I use is by Cacique and it's only $1.08 at Walmart for 5 servings-- woohoo!)
  • 5 tightly packed cups of kale (I use the kind that comes in a big bag and just go through it to pick out the stem-y parts and wash it)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable flakes, re-hydrated in 1 cup warm water
  • 1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • Brown the chorizo according to the package directions in a non-stick skillet or wok.
  • Add the kale and beans and the veggie flake water.
  • Cover and simmer a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is bright green and everything is warmed through.
  • Enjoy with a piece of crusty bread-- so yum!
For 1/3 recipe: cals: 306kcal | fat: 7.81g | carbs: 39.86g | prot: 22.29g

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Yogurt Review!

So I went to Whole Foods a little while ago and got some vegan yogurt. I'd only ever tried non-dairy yogurt once, so I got a couple of different ones to try. Greek Style So Delicious Chocolate, WholeSoy Lemon, and Amande Coconut. 

Sorry for the eh picture, I took it quickly and then ate the yogurt, so.... They were all pretty high in calories, but I figured, if it's good, it'll be worth it. The So Delicious was... not good in my opinion. The Greek Style-ness was weirdly thick and it didn't really taste like chocolate. The Amande was pretty good, but I didn't think it was super special. Anyway, the best by far was the WholeSoy Lemon-- it is amazing! It's creamy and lemon-y and all around great. I had it with fruit, and it's especially good with pineapple and blueberries. So seriously, if you're looking for some tangy vegan creaminess, this is the way to go. So go ahead, enjoy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Carrot-Cake Muffins with Molasses Buttercream

Just look at these. The bits of raisin and carrot, the crystallized sugar on top, the swirl of caramel-y molasses buttercream. Wow, they're good. And perfect for ushering in the fall. Nights are starting to cool down (which for us means getting down to 80 every now and then) and bugs are making their merry little way into the house (not the best harbinger of fall). Soon, we'll be able to wear jackets and snuggle up on our couches with mugs of hot tea. Maybe it's not blazing hot where you live and you already do this. Either way, these carrot-cake muffins are delicious.

The recipe for the muffins is from Simple Vegan!, which was in a giveaway package I won from Your Vegan Mom. She even wrote about this recipe here! I think this is the first thing I've made from here, and if it's any indication of the rest of the recipes, I'll be making more! It was already pretty healthy, so I didn't feel like I needed to substitute anything. This book seems like it's filled with really simple (hence the name), relatively healthy recipes. The only negative I'd give it so far is that it's so simple in terms of vegan knowledge-- for example, in one of the asides it mentions that the only chocolate vegans can eat is some kinds of dark chocolate. No mention of all the lovely vegan products out there that are milk or white! I think this could be off-putting to old vegans who know better or new vegans who might feel more restricted than they need to. We have lots of options, new vegans!

Besides that, it looks like a really good resource and was published by the folks at Good Housekeeping, which means both that the recipes have been extensively tested by vegans and non-vegans, and that vegan eating is continuing to make it's way into the mainstream-- two very awesome things! The buttercream is my own recipe, and it is flipping delicious if I do say so myself. Which I do. Now, after all of that chatter, on to the recipes!

Carrot-Cake Muffins
makes 6

  • 1/2 cup quick oats (I think regular old-fashioned would work well too)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (recipe follows if you don't have it)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 T almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 2 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1 cup shredded carrot  (mine was 1 large carrot)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3 tsps coarse sugar (the stuff I have is from Wilton)
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  •  I almost always halve muffin and cupcake recipes, so my version makes 6. Mix all of the dry ingredients in one bowl-- from the beginning of the list through the sugar.
  • Mix wet ingredients in another bowl-- the almond milk, applesauce, vegetable oil, and molasses. The original recipe calls for brown sugar but I was out and adding the molasses here gives a brown sugar taste!
  • Mix the 2 bowls together and fold in the raisins and carrots. The optional walnuts would be lovely but I didn't have any. If you do, fold in 2 T here.
  • Fill your muffin cups (I used liners for easier portability and less cleanup!). They will be pretty darn full.
  • Top with the coarse sugar. You can use regular sugar or just omit it, but the coarse kind really gives it that bakery/coffee shop feel. And don't we all like to feel fancy, even at home?
  • Bake for about 25 minutes.
  • Eat plain, with a bit of non-dairy margarine, or with my molasses buttercream!
For one of 6: cals: 188kcal | fat: 4.61g | carbs: 34.83g | prot: 2.86g

Pumpkin Pie Spice

  • 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons ground allspice
  • I didn't have any pumpkin pie spice (you can tell I didn't plan on making these muffins, no?) but I had all of the ingredients to make it. I used this recipe and it turned out beautifully! Just put everything in a small jar and shake it up. Then it's ready to use in your muffins, plus extra for pie or oatmeal later!

 Molasses Buttercream

  • 1/4 cup of your favorite margarine
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar
  • Beat the margarine and molasses together with an electric mixer.
  • Slowly add the sugar in, mixing after each addition, until your desired consistency is reached. Mine never got as thick as a normal buttercream-- I think the liquid in the molasses changed things up a bit, but just pop it in the fridge and it'll firm up!
  • Spread on everything and eat with a spoon (I won't judge, I did).
For 2 T. Based on using 1.5 cups sugar: cals: 115kcal | fat: 2.52g | carbs: 23.07g | prot: 0.00g

And since this post didn't have very many pictures, I'll leave you with this one. This is March, one of the kitties we rescued a few months ago. I wrote about them in this post. He's normally very reserved but he loves posing for the camera-- this is his "fierce" pose. Cracks me up every time I see it. I'll be sure to put up pics of the other two soon!