Thursday, May 26, 2011

Soup, Salads, and Breads

I have a new Thin Mint Smoothie addiction. I think I have had 5 in the last three days! :) What can I say, I love smoothies. There are worse things in life.

I got the urge to bake the other night, which is odd, because I don't fancy myself a baker. I don't like the precision that baking requires. When I do bake, I often curse. A lot. I don't curse much in regular life. But when I bake, I become this whole other person. Unhappy baking lady. It's not pretty.

So, yes, I was surprised I got the baking bug. I wanted to make some cornbread and some pumpkin muffins for the freezer. I actually prefer the cornbread when it's frozen - not sure why, but I do love the frosty texture!

My favorite recipe is Grandma's Cornbread Made Vegan from I have doctored this recipe a dozen different ways, and somehow, it always comes out delicious. It's truly idiot-proof. I always sub ground flax for the egg replacer, agave and maple syrup for the white sugar, and whole-wheat pastry flour for the white flour. I have served this "healthy" cornbread to countless people (omnis and vegans alike), and everyone loves it. It is fab-u-lous!!

I also baked up a dozen Pumpkin Spice Muffins. I substitute agave for the sugar, but otherwise follow as directed. These are quick and easy to make, and my hubby and son both love them!

I really liked the Caesar salad recipe I made recently from Appetite for Reduction, so I made that for dinner the other night, topped with some Basic Baked Tofu, also from AFR. Basic baked tofu is as easy as:

Step 1 - Press your tofu in the morning while you're making your breakfast smoothie:

Step 2 - Slice your tofu, then marinate it all day:

Step 3 - Bake your tofu while you're drinking your afternoon smoothie :) Then slice it into strips and adorn your beautiful salad at dinner time:

Some steamed cauliflower rounded out the meal. I put some salt and nooch on my cauli.

Last night, I made Gena's Moroccan Spiced Carrot Soup for dinner, along with some salad. Moroccan food is perhaps my favorite ethnic food - I just love it. The spices, the flavors, the veggies, everything. Love it, love it, love it. I hope to visit Morocco some day - it's probably number one on my bucket list. But anyway, back to the soup. I've been making this soup for over a year now, and I've always liked it. But I've been on a recipe-tweaking-kick lately, so I decided to make a few changes to the soup. I added a chopped zucchini, a couple of scallions, a little knob of ginger, and some cilantro to the mix. I also topped the finished soup with a smattering of raisins and pumpkin seeds. I think the raisins were a great touch, because I always love having raisins or dates in my Moroccan stews and tagines. The zucchini also added some thickness to the soup, which was cool. I think I'll make it this way from now on!

Finally, tonight I made one of our favorite raw salads, a raw taco salad using two recipes from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen. I make the Taco Nut Meat and the Red Pepper Corn Salsa, then add both to the top of some raw greens (I used spinach tonight) and cucumber slices. The Taco Nut Meat takes literally 3 minutes to make, and it is incredible how you can blend up walnuts, almonds, cumin, coriander, salt, olive oil, and Bragg's, and have it taste like taco meat, but it does. Ani is a genius! The Red Pepper Corn Salsa is also really easy to make. I think this entire meal takes me less than 30 minutes to make.

Here's a close-up of the salsa:

Doesn't that look delish? It's so fresh-tasting. It has tomatoes, bell pepper, cilantro, scallions, salt, garlic, and corn in it. So simple, but so good. That's why I'm such a big fan of simple raw foods recipes - I have a dehydrator but I hardly ever use it. I prefer simple blended soups and salads like these. They don't take a lot of time to make and they are healthy and filling. With the warmer weather approaching, it's a good time to incorporate more raw foods into your diet. Check out your local farmer's market and get inspired!

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