Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

So, pre-vegan, I used to LOVE Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheddar Bread Bowls…that thick, creamy, cheesy, broccoli goodness…yum.  Well, I found myself craving some the other day and decided to go ahead and take a crack at it.   This soup actually has no cheese…and no faux cheeses…which means no processed foods.  It has the same delicious taste of a traditional broccoli cheddar soup, but produced with all whole foods and plant based ingredients.

In good old Panera tradition, I like to eat mine with bread as my spoon, but feel free to do your own thing.  I hope you enjoy

Alt=”Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup”

Ingredients:

Broth

  • 6 cups vegetable broth  (I use Edward and Sons No-Chicken Broth)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, baked and skinned
  • 1 medium red potato, baked and skinned
  • 1 can great northern beans, 15 oz, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch

Vegetables

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tablespoon thyme, fresh, chopped
  • ½ cup carrot, matchstick
  • 2 cups red potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 8 cups broccoli, washed and trimmed into bite sized pieces

Directions:

1. To prepare the broth, put 6 cups of your favorite broth in a large pot and heat over medium high heat.

2. Place the baked sweet potato, baked red potato, northern beans, nutritional yeast, and salt in a blender or high powered mixer. Add 2 cups of the broth from the pot and mix on high until the puree is smooth. Add the mixture to the remaining pot of broth and stir well to combine. Add the red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Continue to heat over medium heat, bringing to a boil.

3. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of cold water and the cornstarch and whisk thoroughly. Slowly pour the mixture into the broth and continue to boil on low, stirring occasionally.  This serves to thicken the soup.

4. Heat a medium pot over high heat. Add the olive oil and onions. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another few minutes stirring often. Add the thyme, carrots, and potato and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into the pot of broth. Add the broccoli. Reduce the head to medium/low and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are soft. Serve hot.

(Serves 6-8)

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe Card

Alt=”Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup”

Alt=”Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you follow my Facebook, you’ll know that Sundays are my roasting days.  I’ll pick up various veggies at the market and spend the day roasting to have a ready made supply for the week.  The veggies vary depending on what looks good and what I’m craving, but usually always include potatoes and onions, bell peppers, cauliflower, and Brussels Sprouts.  Sometimes I add spices, sometimes they are plain.  Sometimes I add oil, other times I leave it off.  Today I was in a garlicky mood, so I pressed some garlic to kick it up a notch and it turned out very well…not that any kind of roasted Brussels Sprouts would be bad in my opinion.  I also did the same with the cauliflower today and made the correlating recipe found here.

Alt=”Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts”

Ingredients:

  • 20 ounces Brussels Sprouts, washed, trimmed, and halved
  • 10-15 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place Brussels Sprouts and pressed garlic in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil and toss well to coat.

3. Spread Brussels Sprouts in one layer on a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from oven, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and toss. Place the baking sheet back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven, sprinkle another pinch of salt and toss.

(Serves one if you’re me, but yields approximately four cups/servings)

Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe Card

Alt=”Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Oil Free Asparagus Soup

Lately I have become a bit lazy with my eating habits.  I was on work travel, then came home with a killer ear infection, which led to a loss of hearing, ringing, and some pain.  Then hubby was gone on work travel for a week.  Between juggling two kids and doctors appointments to try to figure out this whole ear thing, and working full time, I turned to frozen Amy’s meals, processed snack foods, and pretty much all the vegan junk food that was easy and fast.  Not really the best idea when you are trying to heal your body.

I had an ENT appointment that eased some of the ear trouble and decided I really needed to get back on track.  My body was craving fruits and vegetables.  I could almost hear it screaming, “What the heck are you doing to me,” every time I popped something in the microwave.  In the grand scheme of things, my life is not that hard…my problems miniscule in comparison with what others deal with, but I did know I needed to get back on track.

I wanted something clean and pure, so when I passed a display of perfect asparagus at the market, it clicked.  If you follow my Facebook, you may remember I made this once and forgot to clean the asparagus first and ended up with dirt soup.  Don’t make that mistake.  Clean your veggies!  Hauled back to the store to get another bunch and started over.  I didn’t want to add any more than I had to to this soup so I opted for an oil-free recipe.  The onions and garlic are sautéed in water.  I also used an oil-free vegetable broth.  If you can’t find one, no worries, just use your favorite brand.  After just one bowl, my body felt energized and happy.  It is so easy to make, it may just be a staple in my fridge.  I haven’t experimented with freezing and re-thawing yet, but I’ll update if I do.

Alt=”Asparagus Soup”

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 1 bunch asparagus, washed, trimmed, and cut into 2 inch pieces, yields approximately 4 cups
  • 2 cups oil free vegetable broth
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

1. In a medium non-stick pan, add 3-4 tablespoons of water and the chopped onion.  When the onion begins to soften, add the garlic.  Continue to sauté until fragrant and soft. Add another tablespoon of water if the pan becomes dry.  Do not let onions brown.

2. Add the asparagus and broth to the pan, stir and cover for approximately 5-10 minutes, until asparagus are cooked through.  Stir occasionally.

3. Remove pan from heat and place contents into a high powered blender or Vitamix, reserving one or two pieces of asparagus for garnish if desired.  Blend on high until soup is smooth and creamy.  Salt to taste.

(Yields approximately four cups.  Two large servings, or four small servings)

Asparagus Soup Recipe Card

Alt=”Asparagus Soup”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Cauliflower Tabouleh

So, if you know me at all, you know cauliflower is one of my favorite foods.  I can hardly go a day without it, sad, right?  And don’t get me wrong, I like the traditional tabouleh, but this version made from cauliflower is so good, not to mention it cuts down on most of the the carbs.  It is a very easy recipe to make and takes almost no time at all!  It makes a great side dish to almost every outing…barbecues, birthdays, and holidays, but I make it every few weeks just to pack in my lunch.  I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium cauliflower, pulsed in a blender, yields approximately 6 cups
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 grape tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cucumber, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 lemons, juice from. Yields approximately 1/4 cup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Clean and core cauliflower. Chop to medium sized pieces. Place in a blender or food processor and pulse until chopped to a consistency close to rice. Set aside in a medium sized bowl.

2. Add chopped garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and parsley. Stir to mix well. Adjust salt, olive oil, and lemon juice to your taste.

3. You may serve right away, but I prefer to let the flavors meld for a few hours in the fridge before serving.

Cauliflower Tabouleh Recipe Card

Alt=”Cauliflower Tabouleh”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Rainbow Beet Salad with Sesame Dressing

First of all, when your ingredients look like this, you know you’re onto something amazing…

Alt=”Rainbow Beet Salad with Sesame Dressing”

This salad is so beautiful.  The fresh beet flavor really shines and is enhanced with the light sesame dressing.  A truly divine plant-based dish!

The prep work is hard and can get messy…those red beets can make your kitchen (and your hands) look like a murder scene!  I am prepared now, though, and line my workstation with paper towels and use gloves while grating.  Your hard work will pay off, though, when you finally get to sit down and enjoy a yummy bowl of goodness

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 3 medium red beets, washed, trimmed, peeled, and shredded (yields approximately 2 cups)
  • 3 medium golden beets, washed, trimmed, peeled, and shredded (yields approximately 2 cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, washed, trimmed, peeled, and shredded (yields approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 cups kale, washed and chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, roasted, white and/or black

Dressing

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1 small shallot, grated or finely minced

Directions:

1. Make the sauce first to allow time for the flavors to meld. Grate the garlic and shallot over a small bowl.  I prefer to grate, which allows them to dissolve into the sauce, but it you don’t have a grater or microplane, a fine mince will do.  Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Stir well.

2. Wash all veggies to remove any dirt. Trim, peel, and shred the beets and carrots. Place the shredded veggies in a cheesecloth or paper towel and squeeze to drain excess moisture. Trim and chop the kale. Slice the green onions. Place all veggies into a large bowl and toss to mix well.

3. Pour the sauce over the salad and toss to coat the veggies. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Alt=”Rainbow Beet Salad with Sesame Dressing”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Vegan Mexican Potato Salad

Sometimes I get tired of the same rotation of side dishes when grilling…corn on the cob, baked beans, fruit.  Don’t get me wrong, they are all delicious, but occasionally you just need to shake it up a bit.  This potato salad is super easy, taking about 15 minutes to make, and can be served warm or chilled, both equally as good.  I prefer it warm.  My husband prefers it cold.  To each their own.

A good alternative to an all-mayo based or an all-vinegar based potato salad, this recipe encompasses the creaminess and tanginess of both, while resembling neither.  The onions give it a little crunch, the chilies give it a little bite, the citrus juice gives it a little punch, and the beans give it the creamy texture.  Together…perfection.

Alt=”Vegan Mexican Potato Salad”

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup vegan refried beans (I use Amy’s Organic Traditional Refried Beans)
  • ¼ cup vegan mayo (I use Earth Balance Mindful Olive Oil Mayo)
  • 1 tablespoon green chilies, chopped
  • ½ tomato, gutted, peeled, and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • chives, to garnish

Directions:

1. Wash and quarter the potatoes. Boil uncovered in salted water for 5 – 7 minutes until cooked through and soft. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine refried beans, mayo, green chilies, tomato, green onions, red onion, cilantro, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Stir well.

3. Add drained potatoes to the bowl and stir gently, but thoroughly. Serve warm or place the salad in the refrigerator to cool and serve chilled. Garnish with chopped chives.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Vegan Mexican Potato Salad Recipe Card

Alt=”Vegan Mexican Potato Salad”

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Garlic Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Tomatoes with Crispy Leeks

Brussels sprouts tend to be a pretty divisive vegetable, people either love them or hate them.  I fall in the ‘love’ camp.  I truly believe people that dislike them may have just not had them cooked properly or seasoned correctly…either that or they really do just hate them, but that is just such a sad notion to me so I choose to believe they just need the right recipe.

What makes everything better?  Yep, garlic and butter.  The sprouts in this recipe melt in your mouth and the pop of tang from the tomatoes make for a great combination.  The crispy leek topping is good on so many different things, my favorite being mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts.  This recipe makes enough for a side dish, however I tend to double it and eat it as a main course.  It is always a hit at holidays and pot lucks.  Enjoy!

Alt=”Garlic Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Tomatoes with Crispy Leeks”

 

Ingredients:

Brussels Sprouts

  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup earth balance
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Tomatoes

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt

Leeks

  • 3 leeks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pinches salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Half each tomato longways. Toss tomatoes, olive oil, and salt into a quart sized zip lock bag and seal with plenty or air inside.  Shake the bag to coat the tomatoes in the oil and salt. Dump the bag onto the baking sheet and make sure the tomatoes lay in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently stir. Return to the oven to continue roasting for another 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to break down and brown slightly.

2. While the tomatoes are roasting, prep the brussels sprouts, garlic, and leeks:
– Wash the brussels sprouts well. Trim off the stem and remove some of the rough outer leaves. Quarter the brussels sprouts by cutting in half vertically through the core, then in half again through the core.
– Mince the garlic
– To prep the leeks, slice off the dark green end, trimming to the part where the color is a pale green. Cut off the root end. You should be left with a stalk approximately 4 inches long. Slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Rinse well to remove any dirt between the layers. Place the stalks cut side down and slice thin half moons.

3. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and earth balance. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts, salt, and garlic powder. Stir well to coat the sprouts with butter. Cover and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. I like my brussels sprouts very well done and a bit mushy, so I cook longer. If you like them al dente, remove when the desired texture is achieved.

4. Heat the olive oil in medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and salt. Stir often and cook until leeks turn a dark brown and become crispy, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and let rest on a paper towel to continue to crisp.

5. Place brussels sprouts and tomatoes in a bowl. Toss gently. Top with crispy leeks and serve.

Garlic Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Tomatoes with Crispy Leeks Recipe Card

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Alt=”Garlic Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Tomatoes with Crispy Leeks”