Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Slow-Cooker Split Pea Soup with Garlic Croutons

Palm Springs, CA

If your looking for a great soup that you can prepare in no time, and let your slow-cooker do all the work, try this wholesome flavorful dish.  Put it all together in the morning, go outside, get a nice hike in or a run.  Get your errands done, do some grocery shopping, take your kids to the park, or go to work.  Come home to a dinner that is ready for you.  That is what I call multi tasking!  Top with garlic croutons and crispy smokey coconut bacon!

gluten free split pea, egg free split pea, meat free split pea, crock pot split pea, oil free split pea

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
vegan, gluten free, oil free
serves 4
prep time: 10 minutes, cook time 6- 8 hrs

1 cup split peas
4 ½ cups water or vegetable broth
1/8 cup liquid aminos (only if using water)
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp celery seed, or 2 stalks celery, sliced
½ tsp marjoram
½ tsp onion powder
¾ cup yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp liquid smoke

Put all ingredients except liquid smoke in slow cooker.  Cook 6-8 hours on low.  Add liquid smoke before serving.  Add garlic croutons and serve immediately.

Garlic Croutons
2 slices of thick cut bread
1-2 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper

Let slices of bread dry out on a paper towel for about a ½ hour (or use day old bread, bread going stale).  Cut bread into 1inch squares.
Drizzle each square with olive oil, and sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Toast in oven or toaster oven, turning once until crispy and golden brown.  You can also opt to pan fry them over med-high heat until crispy and golden brown.

Coconut Bacon (makes another wonderful soup topping)
Easy, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Salads, Toppings, Vegan, Oil free*

1 cup unsweetened coconut (flakes or shredded)
1/8 cup tamari
1 tbsp maple sugar or 100% real maple syrup
1 tbsp liquid smoke

Preheat oven to 300º.  In a bowl, stir well to combine all ingredients.  Spread into a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake 10-20 minutes, stirring it up every 5 minutes or so, until dry and crispy.  Allow to cool.

*You can also make this in a nonstick pan over medium heat, instead of the oven.  It may take a little dash of olive oil to get it crispy.  Sauté about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Raw Super Pesto

"Let food be thy medicine & let medicine be thy food" -Hippocrates

Obviously nobody enjoys getting sick.  You know by now I'm a firm believer in using food as preventative medicine.  If I get sick, which is very rare, it lasts about 1 day and it's over.  A plant based diet is the absolute best way to boost your immune system.

This is a delicious way to prevent or battle a cold or worse.  The superfood antioxidants and vitamins in kale, spinach, garlic, and lemon work together with the probiotic active cultures and nutrients in miso and nutritional yeast.  I guarantee your cold doesn't stand a chance.  Consider it like a tasty edible flu shot!

Try this pesto mixed into a bowl of cooked brown rice, spread on crostini, or tossed with some cooked squash or sweet potato.  It balances great with a sweeter cooked vegetable or grain. The possibilties are endless, and the flavor is excellent.

vegan pesto, raw pesto, gluten free pesto, spinach pesto, kale pesto, oil free pesto
Raw Super Pesto with Crostini

Raw Super Pesto
makes 2 cups, ready in less than 10 minutes
vegan, oil free, gluten free, raw

- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 1½ Tbsp miso (I use red miso)
- 3-4 leaves kale, de-veined
- handful of fresh spinach
-¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/8  tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender.

If you don't have a processor or blender: Mix the lemon juice and miso together first until smooth.  Make sure the garlic is grated on the smallest size grater like a zester or a hard cheese grater.   Hand mince the greens very fine and stir to combine.

*If you're battling an illness that happens to include nausea, add about an inch of fresh grated ginger to the list of ingredients.  This will help settle your stomach.  I recommend mixing with cooked rice afterwards.

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