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Oh my. Would you look at all that vegan sushi?

We had a party a little while back. I have always wanted to learn to make sushi, and found a friend who was willing to teach me, and a few friends who were willing to eat my homework.

We started with a big pot of cooked brown rice (because it’s healthier than brown rice, of course, and gave it a really hearty flavor), as well as some tofu strips fried in a little bit of canola oil:

My teacher brought a fabulous selection of roasted veggies. Those eggplants were the best!

We also had radish sprouts and avocado, as well as some roasted broccoli and sauteed portabella mushrooms to roll with. I would have taken pictures of the rolling procedure so as to teach you too, but after making my first roll, I was absolutely smitten. I loved the challenge of making neat and tidy little concoctions. I love how well contained the sushi roll is. I felt I had a gift for it, and wouldn’t stop to give anybody else a turn. Luckily we had two little rolling stations set up, so others were able to make a few rolls beside me.

Here are a few of my favorites (basically anything with a radish sprout or avocado gets that title): Broccoli with red pepper, tofu, and radish sprouts. WIN!

One of our guests made miso soup! She thought she might have gone overboard with the nori, but I don’t think so. Seaweed is really good for you! And look at those little baby mushrooms.

This was one of the best nights of my life. Learning something new (that I felt I was actually pretty good at right off the bat), eating A TON of food made from scratch that’s really good for you, and making something beautiful; all things I really enjoy. And, with people that I love! It was a pretty small party, but there were no leftovers. That’s just how we roll. AH-HAHAHA!

from Apron Strings

You’ll find the recipe here!

I’ve had this recipe printed out and lurking next to my grocery list for the longest time. But then the holidays got in the way, and then I wasn’t in the mood for cauliflower… but finally, the time came. It was a super cold day, and I felt a bit like I was coming down with a cold. Thankfully I didn’t- perhaps because of this soup? I busted out my big soup pot, as this was a recipe to be doubled. Again, so glad that I did! What a hearty bowl of soup to cozy up to. Mike had seconds, but one bowl was super filling for me. Perhaps it was the rice? I used a brown and wild rice mix, which was super yummy- adding some texture to this smooth soup. The funny thing about this soup is that it isn’t overly sweet potato flavored, nor is it cauliflowery. I’d say it’s mostly a savory curry veggie flavor, very mellow. I might even guess that there were garbanzo beans in it, if we were playing such a game. It’s pretty thick- I ended up needing extra broth to cover the veggies before I could simmer them, but that was easy enough. And Daiya cheese? Heaven. I didn’t have enough of the mozzarella style, so I did a mix of both mozzarella and cheddar style. Ungh. So glad there’s still some in the fridge; I know what we’re having for dinner tonight. Thanks for the great recipe, Lana!

from Vegan Italiano by Donna Klein

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
12 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion (about 6 ounces), chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 c low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 c quick-cooking barley
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage, or 1 tsp dried ground sage
pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes, adding the garlic the last few minutes of cooking.

Add the broth, roasted peppers, barley, sage, cayenne (if using), salt, and black pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring a few times, until the barley is tender, about 25 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

I am so glad that I made a double batch of this! Normally I wouldn’t do that with a new recipe, especially from a new cookbook, but I just had a good feeling about this one. You know me, I love to have soup ready for lunches or a quick dinner awaiting me in the freezer, and I now have a batch of this fabulous hearty soup doing just that. I think I used a little extra barley- I bought in bulk and just eyeballed it; maybe that’s why this soup ended up so thick. I love it that way though. And the cayenne pepper! It adds a delightful little kick to the sweetness of the roasted red peppers. We all know it’s a good soup when the 18 month old says “Soup! Yummm! More!” and the husband has eaten so much that she can’t have any more. It’d be a sad story if there weren’t more of it lurking in the freezer.

adapted from Martha Stewart– a recipe card my mom picked up when she bought that fabulous pot for my birthday!

1/4 c olive oil
2 medium red onions, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary, or 1/2 tsp dried
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (14.5 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 head Savoy or green cabbage (1 pound), cored and thinly sliced
2 cans (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced

In a large (really large…) pot, heat oil over medium. Add onions, carrots, celery, red-pepper flakes, rosemary, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn golden, about 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes; cook until some of the liquid evaporates, 1 to 3 minutes. Add potato, cabbage, cannellini beans, and 3 quarts water; bring to a boil. Stir in green beans.

Reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; stir in garlic. Serves 12.

This recipe makes a HUGE batch! I’d say that it’s more like 14 or even 16 servings… and it’s even better as leftovers. Soooo…. hello freezer! I served this with Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds, which melted beautifully into the soup. It is also really good by itself. The next day, the soup is even better, as the potato thickens up the broth a bit, and the garlic and red-pepper flavors come out very nicely. Our countertops are very tight on space, so this felt like a lot of prep work, until I realized how far this recipe was going to take me. It’s also a recipe that you can change depending on what veggies you have leftover in your fridge or what’s in season… upping the potatoes would make for a heartier soup. More beans? Yes please. Just DO NOT leave out the garlic. Adding it in at the end is brilliant. This is a soup I would love to always have stashed away in my fridge for nights when I’m feeling to lazy to cook. And there are plenty of those…

from ExtraVeganZa by Laura Matthias

2-3 tbsp oil (coconut oil was a delicious option)
1 medium whole leek, finely diced
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 jalapeno pepper, diced; stems and seeds removed
14 oz can garbanzo beans
1 each medium red and yellow pepper, seeds and stems removed and thinly sliced
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
1 c corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned
2-14 oz cans coconut milk
2 c water

Thoroughly clean the leek before chopping. I find that slicing it lengthwise and rinsing the insides is an effective way to clean it.

In a medium pot, fry the leek, carrots, garlic, cayenne and jalapeno in the oil on medium-low heat. Stir the ingredients so that they do not stick to the bottom of the pot. When the leeks begin to soften, stir in the garbanzo beans, salt, red and yellow peppers, corn, coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Serves 4.

This is one of the best soups that I have ever had. EVER. I topped it with avocado, and oh my. It reminded me of an avocado curry that I used to get at our favorite Thai restaurant before we went the vegan path. The soup itself is pretty sweet, with just the right amount of salty, and a little bit of zing, thanks to the cayenne and jalapeno. Baby liked it… Husband loved it. It would serve 6 if you had a side dish for it, 8 if you served it as a side; it’s so rich! And really, it was pretty easy to make. I do love a one-pot meal, and I love a meal that makes for good leftovers, which this one most definitely did. Again, like a good curry, it was even better the next day. I will keep coconut milk in my pantry just to make this when the mood strikes…

from The Garden of Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer

1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
3 1/2 c cooked or canned chickpeas
1 14-oz can crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Braggs
2 c vegetable stock
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 c fresh parsley, minced

In a large soup pot on medium heat, saute the onions, garlic, and carrots in oil until the onions are translucent. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, cumin, mustard, cayenne, pepper, vinegar, Braggs, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until carrots become tender. In a blender or food processor, blend 1/2 of the soup and tahini until smooth (be careful when blending hot liquids); return to pot. Stir in parsley and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Here is a list of reasons that this is my new favorite soup.
1. Sun-dried tomato chunks.
2. Beans!
3. I love the opportunity to use my immersion blender.
4. Perfect balance of sweet and savory. I think the fire-roasted tomatoes really added to that.
5. Thick and stew-like; with just a bit less vegetable stock, it could be a rice topper. (Beans and rice!)
6. The rest of the chunks. Not just of sun-dried tomatoes, but of the carrots and bean too.
7. It’s good for you!

from O Magazine, January 2010

2 tbsp canola or olive oil
2 leeks (white part only), split, rinsed, and sliced
2 cloves garlic (I used 4, as we love garlic around here)
1 medium bunch chard (I used cabbage, as the store didn’t have chard)
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4 oz buckwheat (soba) noodles
1 c edamame
1/2 c miso
2 scallions, finely sliced

Set a large pot over medium-low heat. Add oil and heat for 1 minute. Add leeks and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, while preparing chard (or cabbage). Remove stalks and ribs from chard; set leaves aside. Coursely chop stalks and ribs, and add to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add 2 1/2 quarts water to pot. Increase heat, and bring to a boil. Add carrots, then reduce heat to simmer. Continue simmering until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Add buckwheat noodles, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes (do not cook in soup pot because they will soak up too much broth). Drain with a colander and run under cold water; set aside.

Coursely chop reserved chard leaves, and add to soup along with edamame. Cook until just wilted, then quickly increase heat and bring liquid to a boil. Remove 1 cup boiling liquid and swirl into a bowl with miso; set aside.

Add noodles, and whisk miso mixture into soup. Serve immediately: divide soup among bowls, and garnish with scallions. Serves 6-8.

This was pretty tasty! My husband suggested that mushrooms and tofu be added to it. This healthy soup would be a superior alternative to chicken noodle soup when feeling sickie, or just anytime. I might add more noodles next time, as I’m a noodle freak!

from ExtraVeganZa: Original Recipes from  Phoenix Organic Farm by Laura Mattias

2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium yams, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh gingerroot, grated
1tbsp sea salt
1/4 tsp dried dill weed
3 cups water
1 bunch fresh spinach
1/3 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
8 oz firm tofu chunks, water squeezed out (my addition)

In a medium pot, fry the onion, yams, garlic and gingerroot in the oil on medium-low heat. Stir the ingredients so that they do not stick to the bottom of the pot. When the onions become translucent, stir in the salt, dill and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Blend this mixture on high until a creamy and smooth consistency is reached. (Yay for immersion blender!) You may need to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your blender. Pour all of the blended soup back into the pot (and plop in the tofu, if you’re into that). Add the spinach and orange juice, and cover the soup, allowing the spinach to wilt in the steam. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

This was SO GOOD. I will definitely make it again. I was so pleased that the first recipe of the year was a good one.

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