Good Eats Good Times

I think this is going to be a blog about cooking.

Tag: dairy free

(Vegan) Creamy and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup (with ginger and a bit of sweetness, too)

Yup…another soup. I know my soups often have similar ingredients/I make them in similar ways, but they always surprise me in the end with different flavors. This one was particularly delicious (and different) and I won’t be too surprised if I make it again in a few weeks. There are a lot of flavors going on here, but I’m perfectly okay with that.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (medium sized) butternut squash
  • 3 potatoes
  • 3-5 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 inches ginger
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2-3 tbsp mimic creme (or choice of milk/cream sub; this would also be awesome with coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp earth balance (I use soy-free)
  • 1-2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • curry, paprika, cayenne, chili, cumin, salt, pepper

Prep Time: approx 40-50 mins, Serves 4-5

Peel and cut the butternut squash into smallish cubes. Wash, peel, and quarter the potatoes. Clean and chop the carrots (doesn’t have to be too finely). Set those veggies aside.

Chop the onions, garlic, and ginger and throw them into the bottom a large pot with some olive oil. Sauté them for about 4-5 minutes and add your spices. Start with .5 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of cayenne, 1-2 tsps of paprika and chili, and 2-3 tsps of curry. Add a bit of salt and pepper if you’d like. Let the spices mix with the veggies for another minute, and then throw in the potatoes, carrots, and squash. Add water; you’ll probably come close to filling your pot (but leave some room!).

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pre-blending

Bring the pot to a boil. Whenever you’d like, you can also add the agave syrup, earth balance, mimic creme, tomato paste, and bouillon cube. Let the pot simmer for just about 15-20 minutes after it boils, and your soup should be just about done! At this point I of course taste it and usually add a few more spices as necessary. You should be able to taste a bit of everything: the curry, ginger, a bit of spice, and a bit of sweetness. Delicious.

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Also, as with my other soups, I let it cool and then throw it in the blender (magic bullet for me) so it gets a nice, smooth, creamy texture! Top it with cilantro, some black pepper, and serve.

Ultimate Turkey Chili

Chili’s great. This was my first time actually making it but having eaten it plenty of times, I pretty much got the basic idea of throwing a bunch of delicious (and often spicy) things in a pot and seeing what happens. Josh and I used turkey for a leaner and still very delicious alternative and threw in some other good stuff (plenty of spices, quinoa, kidney beans). This chili was really easy to throw together and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Lots of good stuff. Lots of sustenance. Great chili.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey 
  • 1.5 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bell pepper (mix and match…we used half green and half red)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 3 cups kidney beans (prepared/canned)
  • 1.5 cup quinoa
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 27 oz can (800 ml) canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • 3-5 bay leaves
  • paprika, cumin, chili, cayenne, salt, pepper (and TJ’s south african smoke if you have it!)

Prep time: 1 hour (maybe a bit more) Serves: 4-6

Drop the ground turkey in the bottom of a large pot. Let it cook for about 5-7 minutes and most of the meat should be cooked. Add the chopped onions and garlic and let them sizzle along with the meat for another few minutes. Add the chopped bell and jalapeño peppers and let them sauté for a few minutes.

At some point also add in the first round of spices. A bit of salt and pepper, 1-2 teaspoons of cumin and cayenne and 2-3 teaspoons each of chili and paprika. Let the veggies and meat sizzle for another minute or two and then add the diced tomatoes. 1 or 2 minutes later add 2.5 cups of water and 1.5 cups uncooked quinoa. Also add the veggie bouillon and bay leaves. Also add your kidney beans. I had already soaked them (overnight) and boiled them (for about an hour) but you could always save a few steps by just using canned beans.

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Bring the mixture to a boil. Take it down a few notches and let it simmer for about 35-45 minutes (the main thing is the quinoa being fully cooked but letting it simmer won’t hurt the flavor by any means). Now, try the chili. You might want to add a bit of salt and pepper, and if you’re craving more spice, a few more sprinkles of chili/paprika.

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That’s it! Throw it in a bowl, top it with sour cream or cheese (barring any dairy allergies), dip some chips in it, and enjoy this easy and filling meal.

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Chili dinner time selfie

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

If you’re a vegetarian craving the taste of meat (without changing your diet), look no further than this recipe.

It was a Friday evening. For me, it was one of those winter nights I just didn’t feel like going out. My friend Emma, laying low after a wild night at Igloofest, asked me if I wanted to get together and cook. We’ve long talked about trying to make sweet potato black bean burgers, and these did not disappoint.

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I used inspiration from various recipes… this one is definitely a mash up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 large can black beans (28 oz)
  • 1.5 cups brown rice (cooked)
  • 1.5 onions
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • spices: salt, pepper, lemon pepper, cayenne, cajun, paprika, cumin, south african smoke

We didn’t mean to, but we ended up making a huge batch. This recipe yielded 20-25 burgers, so if you’re not looking to feed more than a few people, I think you could safely cut this recipe in half. You may still have leftovers. Prep time: approx 30-45 minutes.

For the fastest way to cook your sweet potatoes, cut some holes in them, put them on paper towel, and microwave them for 12-14 minutes. They should come out very hot, but also nice and soft. Cut them into cubes, and throw them into a large mixing bowl (we used a pot).

With the sweet potatoes, toss in the cooked rice and black beans (drain the can first). Begin to mash the mixture using a hand masher.

Chop the onions and garlic, and throw those in as well. Add the flour, worcestershire sauce, and tahini. Continue to mash as well as you can. Throw in your spices. If you don’t feel like using all of the spices we did, you obviously don’t have to. Since our recipe turned out to be massive, we threw in quite a bit of each spice (probably a few teaspoons).

Before you’re ready to make them into patties, taste it! Does it have all the flavors you want? Even after throwing a fair amount of spices in, they could’ve been even spicier.

"This semi resembles prison food, but I know it's gonna be good" -Emma

“This semi resembles prison food, but I know it’s gonna be good” -Emma

According to Emma, who was doing most of the mashing, “this semi resembles prison food but i know its gonna be good.” So if the mixture looks like prison food, you’re probably ready to form the patties.

We formed pretty large patties, probably about 2 inches in diameter (but it’s tough to say). They could’ve been smaller if you wanted to make them more like appetizer size (they’d probably stay together better, too). But we were feeling ambitious.

Since we had 23 uncooked patties on our hands, we weren’t sure what the best way to cook these the fastest. Therefore, we threw some in the oven at 350 while we were frying the first batch. I’m not sure if this made any sense or any difference, so you could probably skip this step.

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Now, to the frying. In a large frying pan, heat a layer of oil for a few minutes. Then, drop your patties in. They should take about 4-6 minutes to get nice and brown on each side. Once they’re done, I advise putting them in the oven at 200 to keep them warm and also to bake a bit of the grease off (this step I do advise).

Your burgers are now ready to be dressed. We settled on wrapping them in lettuce, with sliced tomatos, Trader Joe’s Corn and Chile Salsa, and cilantro. Feel free to add ketchup, mustard, or cheese as necessary. It was a great choice and the burgers were delicious. They were definitely a bit delicate (probably in part to the size of the patties), but nonetheless some of the most awesome veggie burgers I’ve ever tasted.

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Carrot, Potato, and Ginger Soup

After the long first day of the winter semester, and with our super-cool friend Emma over, it was the perfect time for my roommate Josh, Emma, and I to cook up this thick, carroty, savory soup. Quick and easy, this soup is a perfect, hearty, vegetarian meal for a winter night.

Not sure exactly where this idea came from, but some of the inspiration came from a Spicy Carrot Soup recipe in Gluten, Wheat, and Dairy Free, a cookbook Josh got me for Christmas. I feel like people often use butternut squash soup for a soup like this, but since we had potatoes lying around the apartment, we decided to make it work. 

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Ingredients: 

  • 8-10 carrots
  • 8-10 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 1.5 cups red lentils
  • Approx. 1 tbsp ginger
  • Approx. 1.5 tbsp Earth Balance (or other buttery spread)
  • Approx. .5 cup mimic creme (see Mushroom, Leek, and Potato Soup for more info)
  • 2-3 cubes Veggie Bouillon
  • Spices: cumin, cayenne, chili, salt, pepper

Serves 4-6, makes a BIG pot of soup!!

Prep Time: about 45 minutes (plus time to let the soup cool before you blend it)

First, in preparation, chop the onions and garlic, peel and quarter the potatoes (so they cook quicker), peel and slice (or even chop) the carrots, and peel and chop the ginger.

Sauté them in the bottom of your pot with some olive oil and good helpings of cumin, cayenne, chili, and pepper. After about 5-7 minutes, throw in the potatoes, ginger, carrots and, lentils and cover the mixture with water (at least 6-7 cups, maybe more). Bring this mixture to a boil and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes. 

During this time span, add the bouillon, Earth Balance, and Mimic Creme. You probably don’t  even need the latter two, but they are great if you want to add some richness!

Once the carrots and potatoes are nice and soft, the first phase of the soup is done. You can now let it cool for a bit (or throw it out in the snow, as we did).

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After cooling for a bit, the soup is ready to blend. Sadly, we only have a magic bullet in our apartment, and you can imagine the process of scooping the chunky mixture into magic bullet containers is a bit tedious and can get messy, but I think it’s worthy it. 

Anyways, once the soup is nice and blended (but don’t blend too long, since sometimes a few chunks can be nice), it should have a pretty thick consistency and a nice, orangey-beige color. Top with homemade croutons (refer back to my first soup posting for a quick how-to) and fresh cilantro, and the soup is ready to enjoy!

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Photos by Joshua Paul. Follow @jawshuwa

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pizza: Sausage, Onion, and Mushroom // Tonno

The other day, I did something near impossible. I created a pizza. This pizza did not have wheat or gluten. This pizza did not have dairy. And it tasted GOOD. My sisters, sister’s friend Jess,cousin, and mom can all attest to that. Although I must admit, I felt a bit lazy (I’d like to experiment with making my own crust), I was really happy with the Nature’s Hilights gluten free dough, especially since it held up well to the plethora of toppings.

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Everyone loves pizza. And having come home on Christmas break to New Jersey, which I’d like to consider one of the pizza capitals of the world, and not being able to enjoy a nice cheesy slice, I had to cope somehow, right? Of course, I had to make it interesting. Thinking about what was lying around my house, I decided to create a Pizza Tonno, inspired by a pizza I had at Vapiano’s, a popular Italian restaurant chain in Europe over the summer, and a sausage, mushroom, and onion pizza (SMO), a combination that was introduced to me back in high school and which I continue to enjoy.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package Nature’s Hilights Brown Rice (gluten free) Pizza Crust (contains 2 crusts)
  • A few tablespoons preferred tomato sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Marinara)
  • Approx. 1 cup shredded cheese (I used Trader Joe’s Goat’s Milk Gouda)
  • Pizza Tonno: .5 red onion, 1 can of tuna, 2 cloves garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper chili flakes, black pepper
  • SMO Pizza: 1.5 Trader Joe’s sun-dried tomato chicken sausage, .5 large yellow onion, 5-7 baby bella mushrooms, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, black pepper

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Prep/cook time: Approx 30 mins

Serves: 3-4, (depending on your hunger and how you want to serve it…we ate it as appetizers but I’m sure I could eat a whole pie by myself)

Instructions:

First, follow the pizza crust directions. In a nutshell, you have to let the crusts thaw, drizzle some olive oil on them and then defrost them in the oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes.

Next, shred the cheese. Obviously, if you don’t have any problems with dairy, go for a classic mozzarella or another creamy, mild cheese. I love the Trader Joe’s Goat Gouda. I am a cheese lover. And since I stopped having dairy, goat cheese (which I used to think kind of icky), has become a staple in my diet. I really miss Trader Joe’s when I’m in Canada and their goat cheeses kick ass.

After you stop reading about my love affair with cheese/goat cheese, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on each crust. Since we’re using a lot of toppings and the crusts are thin, I recommend not going to sauce-heavy. Then sprinkle a good-but-not-to-much layer of the cheese on the sauce. Save a bit of the cheese for after the toppings go on. At this point, both crusts have been preheated, and sauce and cheese have both been applied.

Now, move onto the preparation for the SMO pizza. Slice the onions and mushrooms, and sausages thinly, and sauté them in a pan with olive oil, dried basil, oregano, salt, and pepper (chili flakes too if you like spice like I do). This is a really important step since the veggies and sausages need this extra cooking in order to come out of the oven perfectly. After about 5 minutes on the stove, you can put this mixture right on top of the pizza crust. Then, sprinkle the remaining cheese over this pizza, which is now ready.

For the Pizza Tonno, chop the garlic and slice the red onion, and once again, sauté them in a pan with some olive oil. You can also add basil, oregano, and I really like this one to be spicy, so plenty of chili flakes. After a few minutes in the frying pan, you can spread this over the other pizza. You can also put the tuna (which I recommend putting in a bowl and mashing a bit first) right onto the pizza. Since the tuna gets a bit dry, you might want to sprinkle a bit more olive oil on top.

Both pizzas are now ready to go in the oven. Bake them at 425 degrees F for between 8-10 minutes. If you want them to be crispier and the cheese to brown, 1-2 minutes on broil never hurt!

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