sweet and creamy coconut squash soup

i’ve been on spring break around here y’all!! heeeeeeeeeyyyyyyy!!!! (that’s as rowdy as my week’s been, right there.) BUT i have had a chance to do a TON of cooking! and, (like mcdonald’s) i’m lovin’ it.

this soup was made in a double batch on monday and was COMPLETELY GONE by wednesday. i. cannot. get. enough! and, if you aren’t a lover of coconut–fear not! i’m not either! but somehow the flavor just blends into this soup, making it extra creamy and delish. give it a try! you will not be disappointed!

and if you live in twin cities, today is, (rather unfortunately) the perfect day to make soup. so let this be the bright spot on this otherwise snowy day!

the original recipe comes from here, but i made some changes, per usual. :)

ingredients:

3 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato

3 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash

1 yellow onion, diced

1/4c earth balance butter (or whatever dairy/non dairy butter you want to use)

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups coconut milk, in a carton.. (not from the can)

1/2-3/4 tsp cumin

4 Tbs shredded coconut (*unsweetened!)

1-2 Tbs olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

how to:

in a large pot over medium high heat, saute the sweet potato, squash, onion and salt and pepper, until onions are translucent and squash and sweet potatoes are soft. add in the broth, butter, coconut milk, coconut flakes, and cumin and bring to a boil. turn heat to medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes until the flavors blend.

for the next part, you can use an immersion blender if you have one (which would be super easy!) or, like me, scoop the soup into a food processor and blend in batches until it’s smooth and creamy. garnish with additional coconut flakes and serve hot!

i have been serving this with the dinner rolls from yesterday and it’s a perfect pairing! creamy, comforting, and oh-so-good.

 

 

savory gluten free dinner rolls

okay. these are amazing. so, usually ‘grain free’ or ‘gluten free’ things like this are dry and crumbly, but not these babies! they would also be delectable with fresh herbs or garlic salt on top….and they are E. A. S. Y.

enjoy! since it’s SNOWING HERE (UGHAHHHHHHHH IS THIS REAL LIFE??!) i think i’m going to try more varieties now!

the original recipe can be found here, but i change it up a bit.

ingredients:

1 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 egg, whisked

how to:

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

in a large bowl, combine tapioca flour, coconut flour and salt. add olive and coconut oil and the whisked egg. mix until well combined. form into small rolls and place on a nonstick sheet pan. the rolls will not really expand while they bake.

bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

i do recommend eating them warm…because…warm rolls…come on….

marinated portobello fajitas

pauly and i just got back from a glorious weekend up north! it was so relaxing and refreshing. however, after a long weekend of eating diner food, popcorn, swedish fish, and peanut butter cups (also: have you tried the easter eggs?! my personal fav.), we are in NEED of some good-and-good-for-ya dinner.

i asked pauly what sounded good to him for this week and he immediately said “those veggie fajitas”. now hear me out, we are not big ‘shroom lovers in the plerg household…but these puppies are TO DIE FOR. there’s just something about the marinade….and the grilling….and the garlic….okay gotta post this quick so i can go chow down!

the original recipe hails from “forks over knives, the cookbook,”  however i made a few changes in the seasonings for mine. sidenote: if you have not seen “forks over knives” the documentary, i HIGHLY recommend it. it’s what got pauly on the path of righteouness-healthy eating… and the cookbook is amazing! it makes cooking, eating, and living healthy so doable!  here is the official website so you can check them out for yourself!

okay, enjoy! ::said through a mouthful of fajita::

ingredients:

marinated portobellos:

4 large portobella mushrooms, rinsed of any dirt and stemmed

3 (generous) Tbs soy sauce

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 Tbs brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup…any sweetener

1 Tbs grated fresh ginger

veggie fajitas:

1 package of corn tortillas, or whatever are your favorite

1 large red onion, sliced

1 large red pepper, julienned

1-2 jalepenos

2 Tbs fresh lime juice

1tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp oregano

olive oil

salt and pepper

cilantro, garnish

vegan sour cream, garnish

shredded spinach, garnish

salsa, garnish

how to:

start with the marinade for the mushrooms. combine all ingredients, except the mushrooms, in a bowl and whisk to combine. place the mushrooms in a large plastic bag and pour in the marinade. refridgerate for at least an hour.

meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add a little olive oil and saute the onions and red peppers about 5 minutes or until they start to soften. add in the jalepenos, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. stir to combine. squeeze the fresh limes juice over the top and mix.

on a grill, grill pan, or even on a hot skillet, grill the portobellas about 5 minutes per side. remove from the heat, slice into thin strips and add to the fajita veggie mix.

heat the tortillas in the microwave or oven until soft and warm, then fill with the fajita mix and top with your favorite toppings! i served mine with a rice and quinoa combo from costco!

this is so simple and so delicious! and it makes 6-8 large tacos!

 

 

 

 

garlic butter mashed cauliflower

there are few things i love more in life than potatoes. sad. but true. french fries, baked, mashed….doesn’t matter. it’s comfort food at it’s finest.

when i first heard of this mashed cauliflower thing i hated it because it seemed sacrilegious to compare cauliflower to potatoes…  however, after discovering that cauliflower is much lower in carbs, and doesn’t spike your glycemic index–meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar like white potatoes, it seemed worth trying.. FYI: it also has more calcium, B2, and vitamins K & C than potatoes.  but really, who gives two rips about any of that if it doesn’t taste good?!

and that’s the best part, my dear friends. the very best part of this whole thing is that these taste as good as real mashed potatoes.  i swear. i would never lie about anything concerning potatoes. oh, and it’s inSANEly easy. hashtag: boom.

try it for yourself! i guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised!

ingredients: 

this serves 4-6 people easily. 

2 heads of cauliflower, core removed and chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic (or more! or less!)

2-3 Tbs butter or earth balance, or more/less to taste

almond milk (or whatever milk you use), to taste/desired consistency–i add a splash at a time to make sure it’s not too much

salt and pepper, to taste

how to: 

i use a steamer to soften the cauliflower. you can do this with a stove top steamer, or even in the microwave by placing the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl, adding a little water,  and covering with cling wrap. any way you do it, heat until the cauliflower is fork tender.

once tender, place cauliflower in a food processor or blender and add the butter, garlic, and milk. blend until the mixture is creamy and smooth, adding more milk if needed. taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

*side note: my food processor isn’t that big so i had to do this in batches…just in case it happens to you….solidarity.. and also remember to then adjust your measurements. so don’t add 3-4 Tbs of butter to each batch. and don’t salt and pepper each batch….that’s why i recommend to add salt/pepper at the end. you don’t want these too buttery or salty….or maybe you do! *

of all the things you just need to trust me on and try, this is it.

very good! happy friday! enjoy!

buttery, creamy goodness

buttery, creamy goodness

buttery, creamy goodness

buttery, creamy goodness

 

 

delicious “feel better” soup

disclaimer: i wasn’t quite sure how to punctuate this title….just know i am not telling Soup to feel better….nor am i suggesting with the quotations that this is a sarcastic title, and i’m somehow trying trick you into drinking this soup under the guise of ‘feeling better’………this is a soup, to help you feel better.

i have been making the soup weekly it seems. this hot and savory soup seriously helps kick start my wellness whenever i feel a cold or flu coming on. usually within a day or so of drinking it, i will notice a significant difference in my energy, a decrease in my body aches, and overall i will just feel better.   of course it will depend on what you have and how severe your symptoms are, but this stuff really works for both paul and me whenever we have a cold or flu.

the garlic is incredibly antiviral and antibacterial , the ginger is an antiviral and antibacterial root, and can help to inhibit mucous production and clear up congestion. the green onions are a rich source of vitamin K, as well as support for the immune system. i drink this several times daily until i am feeling better. and then i mix noodles and veggies into any leftover broth and make an awesome veggie noodle soup! win. win. 

the key is to drink it as hot as you can handle it. drinking it super hot will help you sweat out toxins, and get the healing process started. 

here’s to health!

ingredients:

3 cups water

2 vegetarian bullion cubes

1/2 to 1 inch peeled ginger root, minced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 green onions, chopped

how to: 

place all ingredients in a large pot over high heat. bring it to a boil for about 5 minutes. reduce heat to a simmer, and let the soup simmer for 5 more minutes.

again, drink this soup as hot as possible without burning yourself! drink this several times a day and feel better quick!

better picture coming soon. just wanted to get this recipe up asap!

better picture coming soon. just wanted to get this recipe up asap!

guest post: quick and easy pico de gallo

hi friends! i’m very excited to introduce you to a fabulous blogger and guest writer here on my little corner of the internet! rachel’s blog, RachMariePR, is incredible– i highly recommend checking it out! she blogs about everything from fashion, to food, to friends, and fellow bloggers :)

here is her amazingly yummy pico de gallo recipe, and i am making it as we speak! (well, shortly before typing this..)

i will be posting more of rachel’s yummy recipes soon, and hopefully we will be seeing more of her here in the future!

Rachel’s Perfect Pico de Gallo

Who doesn’t love a quick and easy salsa recipe?! Here is my delicious recipe for a very quick and easy pico de gallo. It is pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Every time I bring this salsa along to a gathering of friends or family, or any one tastes it, everyone raves about it and can’t get enough. Try it out and let us know what you think!

I use all of these ingredients to taste – I LOVE cilantro and red onion so you may decide you want less of each, but I have included a guideline for how much of each I use.

1 Red Onion
Cilantro – to taste
6 Tomatoes
1 tbsp Lime Juice
3 cloves of Garlic minced
Salt and Pepper – to taste
3-4 Jalapeno Peppers
1-2 Serrano Peppers

Chop the onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and peppers. Put everything into a bowl and mix together while adding garlic, lime juice and salt and pepper.

Tip: When I cut the tomatoes I cut the juicy, seedy center out and do not add to the salsa.

pico-de-gallo

amazing chocolate cake…listen: amazing.

i don’t know about you, but after the holidays i think i need to go on a sugar detox. and by sugar detox i mean i need to immediately find a ‘healthy’ chocolate cake recipe that i could eat guilt-free……enter stage left: this amazing chocolate cake. sweetened with honey, gluten free, and (and i hesitate to even say this for fear it will turn people off…) black beans. yes. black beans, but just go with me here. you can’t taste them, it gives the cake an amazing texture, and you can feel good about eating piece after piece because, come on…black beans.

this is so easy, and i guarantee you have all these ingredients in your pantry now!

the original recipe can be found here. i have adapted it slightly.

ingredients:

one 15 ounce can unseasoned black beans, drained and rinsed well
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons coconut oil, in it’s solid form, not liquid
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons honey or agave syrup
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
powdered sugar or xylitol powder

**xylitol is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits, as well as birch bark.  it is a very low calorie sweetener, and has been said to be safe for diabetics, because of it’s extremely low count on the glycemic index. (obviously check with your doctor to see if this applies to you, if you’re a diabetic).  xylitol has also been said to be great for your teeth, and if you look in many natural tooth pastes, mouth rinses, and gums, you’ll find that this is used. **

how to:
preheat oven to 325 degrees. grease a 9″ round cake pan with cooking spray, butter or coconut oil.

in a blender, combine beans, three of the eggs, vanilla, and salt. blend on high until beans are completely liquefied. be sure there are no lumps!

next, in a separate bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder.

using a kitchenaide or hand mixer cream together the coconut oil and honey until fluffy. this doesn’t take too long, and be sure not to over mix so the coconut oil turns completely liquid-y.  beat in the remaining two eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. beat the bean mixture into this batter. finally, stir in cocoa powder and beat the batter on high for one minute, until smooth.

scrape the batter into the pan, and smooth the top, and rap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. remove the cake and let it completely cool. dust lightly with powdered sugar or xylitol, if desired.

again, i cannot say enough good things about this cake! i passed it off to my family as ‘regular’ chocolate cake, and everyone was shocked when i told them it was healthy. they loved it. like, lick the bowl, love.

enjoy!

moist, delicious, and healthy. happy new year, y'all.

moist, delicious, and healthy. happy new year, y’all.

cakecousins

cakecousins

but what do you eat?!…vegan parmesan cheese, that’s what

a LOT of people have been asking me “okay, but what do you eat?!”  valid. and really, i don’t know most of the time…. honestly, most of the stuff i post on here is on our weekly dinner menu, but over the next few weeks i am going to try to take pictures of my meals as a sort of  food diary  so both of us can see what my diet consists of…..minus thanksgiving because no one should eat as much pie as i will on thursday….or at least no one should document it… :) so if you don’t follow me yet on instagram, now’s the time to do it!

okay, so.. YOU GUYS. OMG.  this parmesan cheese is RIDICULOUS! i got the recipe from my friend’s mom yesterday, and have been eating it literally by the spoonful ever since.  if you are looking for a delicious topping for…..well….anything….this magic little concoction is it!  its delish on eggs, pasta, as a soup topper, by itself… it’s easy, tastes great, and is waaaaaaaaaaay (listen) WAY better for you than whatever we are made to believe is in the green shaker bottle of parmesan from the grocery store. just. try. this!

ingredients: 

1/2 cup raw brazil nuts

1 clove of garlic

2 T nutritional yeast (okay don’t give up on this right here bc you don’t know what this is. you can find it at most grocery stores in the health food section and it’s amazing. it’s chock full of B vitamins and it has a cheesy flavor that is really delish. i use it to make healthy mac and ‘cheese’, but that will be for another day..)

1/2 tsp salt

how to:

place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it looks like bread crumbs. i store mine in the fridge and it keep for at least 2 weeks…if i don’t eat it all first.

fyi: in a pinch i have used other nuts, like almonds, but brazil nuts are the best, if possible.

i could eat this every. single. day.

i could eat this every. single. day.

you'll love it! i promise.

you’ll love it! i promise.

 

creamy homestyle pot pie

i mean, let’s get real: is there anything more comforting than pot pie? it’s warm, it’s creamy, it’s just delish in a dish. and lucky for you, this one’s good for you! :) so eat to your heart’s content. well. be reasonable. moderation is always the key. but really. go hog-wild. this is perfect for the holidays too! A nice big scoop of creamy pot pie goes well with any thanksgiving meal!

ingredients:

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced

1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

3-4 redskin potatoes unpeeled and diced

1 large white onion chopped

1 cup chopped carrots

2 medium zuchinni chopped

5-6 garlic cloves, quartered

2 tbs garlic powder

4-6 tbs olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

frozen gluten free pie crust, thawed ( i like the ‘immaculate’ brand-actually it’s sold at target!)

sauce:

2 cups almond milk

1/2 c. white or wheat flour (or for a gluten free option use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cornstarch dissolved in water to create a paste then add to milk)

2 tbs garlic powder

1 vegetarian bullion cube

salt and pepper to taste

how to:

preheat oven to 400 degrees

in a large glass baking dish, or two baking pans, combine butternut squash, sweet potatoes, redskin potatoes, onion, carrots, zucchini, and garlic. cover in olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper and toss together, making sure all the veggies are coated. bake for 45 minutes or until all veggies are soft and starting to brown.

sauce:

over medium heat, whisk milk, flour, garlic powder, bullion cube, salt and pepper together until free of lumps. allow to thicken over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until thick, adding more flour/cornstarch  if needed to thicken into a creamy sauce.

when veggies are done roasting and still warm, pour sauce over veggies and top with thawed pie crust. (if veggies were roasted on two baking sheets, pour all veggies into one glass baking dish first).  i usually need to roll the dough a little further to fit the pan and cover the veggies completely.

bake according to the pie crust directions, until the crust is golden brown. serve warm!

yes. it is as good as it looks...... even better.

ah. sweet comfort.

and a close up of the goodness, for good measure...

and a close up of the goodness, for good measure…

perfectly simple pesto pasta

pesto used to scare me. it seems so hoity-toity. but this is SO simple and SO delicious. you HAVE to try it! i make a few batches at a time and freeze or refrigerate the extra because it lasts such a long time. honestly, i eat this pasta cold, straight from the tupperware. hashtag: not ashamed.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups chopped basil

1/3 cup almonds (or combination of nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pine nuts..)

1/3 cup olive oil

1-2 garlic cloves

salt and pepper to taste

your choice of pasta ( i use rice pasta)

cherry tomatoes, to garnish

HOW TO:

in a food processor, combine basil , almonds/nuts of choice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. pulse until well combined.

cook pasta according to the package directions. pour pesto over top of drained noodles and mix to combine. top with cherry tomatoes to garnish and serve. great served with garlic toast!

just...yum.

just…yum.