Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

Crock pot of Borscht

Crock pot of Borscht

What type of foods do they eat in Alaska? I would guess they eat a lot of hot soup because it’s cold. When I researched info about Alaskan cuisine online, Borscht came up several times. Makes sense because Alaska is only separated from Russia by a narrow body of water, and Russians and East Europeans, including the Polish, favor this dish.

Borscht is a hearty, nourishing hot soup. It contains a powerhouse of healthy ingredients. I found several recipes online and created a version for the crock pot. It turned out great. I highly recommend this savory soup for a cold winter evening.


2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/3 head of green cabbage, chopped
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 cup (about ½ can) white beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup canned beets, cut into bite-sized pieces
32 oz. container of low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 tbsp. chopped dill
1 tsp. onion powder
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper

  1. Place all ingredients except canned beans and beets into crock pot. Stir to mix them together. Set to low heat and cover. Crock for about 5-6 hours.
  2. About 20 minutes before serving, add the white beans and beets.
  3. Serve. Delicious with a veggie Reuben sandwich!
    Makes enough soup for about six or seven people.
Hot bowl of Borscht and a veggie Reuben sandwich

Hot bowl of Borscht and a veggie Reuben sandwich

* This is week 3 of my “quest” to make a vegan recipe from every state in the U.S. during 2015. Since there are 50 states and 52 weeks, the first week is a Native American recipe and the last week will be a holiday recipe. Inspiration for my quest came from Chris Guillebeau and his recent book The Happiness of Pursuit. Check them out!


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Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder
with Black Beans and Spinach

While researching the foods of Native Americans, corn kept appearing as a common ingredient. Other vegetables eaten by early Native Americans included sweet potatoes, squash and beans.  I thought about making a fry bread, which seems to be a popular Native American recipe, but decided instead to make a chowder. I used ingredients that would have been available to Native Americans hundreds of years ago.

The chowder turned out great. I put all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and cooked it on low for about five hours. Native Americans might have left it stewing over a fire for a while and gotten the same effect.  This is a heart-healthy, gluten-free, vegan dish. Enjoy.

Sweet Potato/Corn Chowder with Black Beans and Spinach

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into square chunks
1 cup frozen baby corn
½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh baby spinach
½ onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. cilantro
1 tbsp. parsley
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper

  1. Place all ingredients except spinach and black beans into crock pot.
  2. Cook in the crock pot on low heat for about 5 hours.
  3. About 15 minutes before serving, stir in the black beans and spinach.

Makes 3 servings.

* This is week 1 of my “quest” to make a vegan recipe from every state in the U.S. during 2015. Since there are 50 states and 52 weeks, the first week is a Native American recipe and the last week will be a holiday recipe. Inspiration for my quest came from Chris Guillebeau and his recent book The Happiness of Pursuit. Check them out!

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GreensCover_pngWhile working on the cookbook Fifty Plates of Greens, I experimented with different recipes and ate a lot of greens. I have found that I love greens! The more greens you eat, the more you like them. Any trip to the grocery store now includes a purchase of some kind of greens. I usually buy what looks good and fresh: kale, mustard greens, bok choy, collards. If all other greens look wilted, I can usually count on finding some pretty good organic baby spinach greens. And spinach is so versatile.

Here is a recipe from my just released heart-healthy cookbook Fifty Plates of Greens. It is now available in pdf format. All recipes are vegan, low-fat, and designed to promote good health. What’s more, most of the recipes are gluten-free, and the few that aren’t include gluten-free substitutions. The majority also consist solely of whole food ingredients, sure to please anyone trying to eat a “clean” or unprocessed foods diet. And since none of the recipes contain added sugar, cheese or butter, they are ideal for anyone watching sugar intake or trying to control weight.

Check it out. I think you will find some recipes you will love.

Rustic Kale Soup with Cauliflower, Carrots & Barley

(if following a gluten-free diet, substitute brown rice for the barley)

10-15 kale leaves
1 ½ cups chopped cauliflower
2 large or 3 small carrots, peeled and
½ cup (uncooked) barley
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 leek, white & light green, sliced
1/3 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 quarts low-sodium vegetable broth
½ tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. smoky paprika (or any paprika)
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. celery flakes or celery seed
2 bay leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste

Rustic Kale Soup with Cauliflower & Barley

Rustic Kale Soup with Cauliflower & Barley

1) In large kettle on medium-high heat, add a couple tbsp. of olive oil and the onion and
leek. Saute about 5-7 minutes.

2) Next add the cauliflower and carrots. Saute about another 5-7 minutes.

3) Add all spices to the kettle. Stir in the chopped celery. Add more olive oil, as needed.

4) Meanwhile, cook barley according to package directions in a separate pot.

5) Chop the kale leaves and remove the stem. Add to the main soup pot. Stir for about 5
minutes. The greens will cook down. Add the garlic.

6) Pour in the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about
20-30 minutes. Add the barley when it’s tender.

 Makes 4-6 servings.

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If you are like me, you ate too much this holiday season and probably spent too much money also. This recipe will help you satisfy three resolutions: eating healthy, eating low fat or losing weight, and saving money. Plus it’s easy to make (saves time), and delicious!

Savory Bean and Hominy Soup

Savory Bean and Hominy Soup

Savory Bean and Hominy Soup (vegan)

3 15 oz. cans of Great Northern Beans, drained
1 15 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
1 15 oz. can of hominy
1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles
½ cup of frozen or drained canned corn
About 2 cups of water
2 tbsp. cilantro
1 tbsp. cumin

1) Mix all ingredients together in a very large kettle.
2) Bring to a quick boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer.
3) Simmer for about 20 minutes.
4) Serve steaming hot by itself or with your choice of toppings: cheese, sour cream, olives, diced red onion, diced avocado, or tortilla chips.


Happy New Year!

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Yummy Veggie Soup

At this time of year when the crisp evening air makes you pull on a jacket, it’s time to make a big pot of soup. And since the farmer’s markets are still in full swing, there’s plenty of fresh produce. The weather and abundance of vegetables make vegetable soup the perfect choice for dinner on a chilly night.

The beauty of vegetable soup is you can make it with pretty much any type of vegetables. Start with onion, and then choose whatever you love, what looks good at the stand, or what you already have in your fridge. Use the recipe below as a guide, but feel free to mix it up, as you like!.

Vegetable Soup

1 medium-sized Vedalia or other sweet onion, sliced very thin
1 leek, wash and remove roots
2 celery stalks, leaves included, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
¾ cup chopped cabbage
½ green or red pepper, sliced thin
1 cup broccoli florets
½ cup shitake or button mushrooms
About 10 green beans, ends removed and cut in thirds
½ of a 12 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can stewed tomatoes
32 oz. reduced sodium vegetable stock or broth
1 cup water
½ cup orzo or other small pasta
1 tbsp. oregano
Olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
½ tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp. parsley
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper

Red Wine Vinegar

(other good ingredients might include: fresh corn off the cob, 1/2 cup of cooked barley, cauliflower, chard or other greens….)

1) Prepare onion and chop leek. It’s okay to use some of the dark green portion of the leek, just don’t use about the top 1/3 of the green part.

2) Heat 2-3 tbsp. olive oil in large pot on medium-high heat. Add onion first and sauté a few minutes. Then add leek and sauté both together about 5 more minutes or so. Add all spices (except red wine vinegar).

3) Add celery, cabbage and carrots and sauté about 7 minutes.

4) Add broccoli, red or green pepper, green beans and mushrooms (mushrooms last) and sauté about 5 minutes more. Add more olive oil if needed.

5) Add chickpeas, stewed tomatoes and water. Then pour in vegetable broth. Add red wine vinegar.

6) Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Add pasta and boil about 6 or 7 minutes or until pasta is tender.

7) Reduce heat to low and simmer about 20 minutes more. Remove bay leaf before serving. Pasta absorbs liquid, so add water or more broth, if needed.

8) Serve with fresh bread or crackers.

Makes a big pot of soup.

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup

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My friend Shobha is from India and she is also a fabulous cook. She frequently makes a delicious, spicy lentil soup, and if she comes to town, she will sometimes bring me a big container of it. I love it! The other day I was craving that lentil soup, and unable to reach Shobha for the recipe, so I looked up a few recipes online and came up with a soup that turned out great. I used red lentils I found in the bulk food section of Whole Foods, some select fresh veggies, and a bunch of spices. Oh–and don’t forget the fresh cilantro. It really brightens the soup.
Spicy Red Lentil Soup

Spicy Red Lentil Soup

Spicy Red Lentil Soup

1 cup red or yellow lentils
2 carrots, sliced
1 tomato
3 cloves garlic, diced
½ small onion, chopped (small chop)
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (if you don’t like spicy food, you can omit the jalapeno)
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 ½ cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tsp. curry
1 tbsp hot curry
1 tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. garam masala (optional)
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
2 handfuls of fresh cilantro

1)    In a large pot, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil, chopped onion and sliced carrots. Saute a few minutes.

2)    Add all spices, except fresh cilantro and stir.

3)    Add garlic, fresh ginger, and jalapeno and stir. Add lentils and stir.

4)    Add vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.

5)    Pour into bowls and top with fresh cilantro leaves.

Makes 3 servings. Serve with crusty bread, garlic naan, or basmati rice.

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Introducing the Vegetarian Light Cookbook!

Vegetarian Light Cooking (the Cookbook!) After being repeatedly asked when I was going to put together a cookbook with recipes from the website, I decided to do it. And here, at last, I present to you Vegetarian Light Cooking!

Vegetarian Light Cooking contains 133 easy-to-follow, delicious, low-fat recipes that feature ingredients vital to physical wellness and energy, along with information about their unique health benefits.

What you eat plays a significant role in creating energy, preventing and managing diseases, and enjoying mental and physical stamina. If Spinach Lasagna, Roasted Red Peppers in a Tomato Cream Sauce, and Jambalaya sound good to you, you will have no trouble incorporating these recipes into your healthy lifestyle.

Click here for more information and to order Vegetarian Light Cooking.

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Soup is an awesome dish to make when you need to feed a crowd. You can make it ahead of time and have it simmering on the stove when your friends arrive, freeing you to spend the time with them, instead of in the kitchen. If you need to double the recipe, it’s easy to do.  And it usually is fairly inexpensive to make.

This soup is filled with really healthy ingredients and the tortellini makes it hearty enough to serve as a main course. If you like Italian foods, you will really enjoy it.

Top it with a little parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread and a crisp Pinot Grigio. It easily converts to Vegan fare when you switch pasta for the tortellini.

Tortellini Soup with Spinach, White Beans and Red Peppers

Tortellini Soup with Spinach, White Beans & Red Peppers

Perfect Soup for Entertaining

1 onion, finely sliced
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 leek, white and light green parts only, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3-5 tbsp. of olive oil, more if needed
4 cups of low sodium vegetable stock or broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian style stewed tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can cannellini beans or small white beans
1 (14 ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2 ½ cups of baby spinach
2 cups cheese tortellini
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp. parsley
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
½ tsp. garlic powder 
Salt & pepper to taste

1)    In large kettle, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add onion and cook a few minutes. Next add leek. Stir both together and cook about 5 minutes.

2)    Add carrot and celery. Then add red pepper and garlic. Stir fry together about 5 minutes.

3)    Add parsley, oregano, basil and garlic powder.

4)    Add stewed tomatoes, cannellini beans, artichoke hearts, vegetable stock, water and red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

5)    While soup is simmering, cook tortellini in separate pot, according to package directions.

6)    Drain tortellini and add it to the soup and stir. Add spinach just a few minutes before serving and stir.

7)    Top with parmesan cheese, if desired.


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Pho for Vegans

It was a dark and stormy night. Tired and bedraggled after a long day at the office, I pushed through the wind and rain and finally arrived home. Laying my umbrella aside and shaking the water from my coat, I wanted something warm and comforting. Something like a steaming bowl of pho. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually created in a beef broth. I had checked the restaurants near my house in the past, and they did not serve a vegetarian version of this soup. But I wanted some, so that night, I made it myself at home. It turned out really good, except I added too much hot chili paste and it had a little more heat than I wanted. Word to the wise: add in the hot stuff gradually until you get it to the desired heat. I’m posting the recipe for you here. 

Vegan Pho

This vegan pho will comfort you on a dark and stormy night.

Vegan Pho: perfect comfort food for dark and stormy nights

 ½ onion
1 clove garlic, minced
4 or 5 mushrooms (your choice), sliced
½ cup broccoli florets
1 carrot, cut in one inch long strips
½ pkg of extra firm tofu, patted dry and cut in cubes
1 eight oz. pkg. House foods brand Tofu Shiritaki angel hair noodles (or use 3/4 cup cooked angel hair pasta)
2 ½ cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 tbsp. lemongrass
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground mustard
½ tsp. chili paste (or to taste)
½ tsp. garlic powder
2-3 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
Fresh basil, optional (as a garnish)

Tofu Shiritaki angel hair noodles

House Foods brand Tofu Shiritaki angel hair noodles

1) Saute onion in 1 tbsp. canola oil and 1 tbsp. soy sauce in wok on medium high heat for 5-8 minutes.
2) Add vegetables (except spinach) and remaining canola oil and soy sauce to wok and sauté 5-8 additional minutes.
3) Add tofu cubes and spinach and stir.
4) Meanwhile in medium-sized kettle, heat vegetable broth on medium-high heat. Add seasonings. Then add pasta and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reduce heat to a simmer.
5) Add cooked vegetables to heated broth. Stir and serve. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.

Makes 2 servings.

(check out www.dailyvegetarianrecipes.com for more recipes)

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