Herby Brothy Soup

This is a simple soup that’s packed with greens for those days when you mostly just want a hug in a bowl – without feeling weighed down.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Herby Brothy Soup

1 package broccolini, chopped

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 c. parsley, chopped

1/2 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 c. basil, sliced

1 package baby spinach

Salt, pepper, citrus juice

Olive oil

Thick yogurt (I used a Skyr-style soy yogurt)

Avocado

4 c. vegetable stock

I’m a large pot, sweat the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until translucent.

Add the broccolini, chickpeas, parsley and stock. Season with salt & pepper and simmer :20.

Turn off the heat, mix in the basil & spinach, taste for seasoning and add more salt & pepper if necessary.

Cool a bit and pulse a few times in a food processor.

To serve, squeeze with a little citrus, add a little chopped avocado, a dollop of yogurt and a swirl of olive oil.

Serves 4-6

Vegan Taco Soup

This is a great can’t-believe-it’s-vegan weeknight soup that tastes even better as leftovers.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Vegan Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef analog (I used Gardein precooked crumbles)

14 oz. can diced tomatoes

14 oz. can Rotel with chilis

2 tsp. oregano

1 Tbsp. smoky Chipotle seasoning

1 Tbsp. cumin

1.5 Tbsp. granulated garlic

1.5 Tbsp. granulated onion

2 dried ancho chilis

2 dried New Mexico chilis

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

Veggie stock

Salt & pepper

To serve: avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro, shredded cheddar-like cheese analog, fresh jalapeños

Chop the onions & garlic. Add everything but the stock and toppings to a slow cooker.

Add enough broth to your desired thinness. You can make this more of a stew with less water, or stretch it with more.

Cook on “soup” setting for an hour or simmer on the stovetop for :30.

Top as you wish.

Serves 4-6

Smoky Roasted Tomato Soup

This is a good one – smoky, satisfying, and just the thing when you’re craving some veggie goodness – or when you’ve found a cache of almost-bagels and need something to dunk them in.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

Smoky Roasted Tomato Soup

28 ounce can whole tomatoes

1 yellow onion

4 cloves garlic

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup vegetable broth

Salt & pepper

1 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)

1 Tablespoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons curry powder

Preheat oven to 400F/220C. Pull the tomatoes out of the sauce and place on a prepared baking sheet with the garlic cloves and the onions (chopped roughly). Bake 30 – 45 minutes or until the tomatoes are a bit blackened on the top. My onions were a bit burnt on the outside layer, but I think that added to the flavor. I chucked about half the burnt outer layer parts.

Cool and add to a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Whiz until smooth.

Add to a saucepan and simmer 20 minutes or so, stirring semi-frequently, and tasting to add salt & pepper.

Serves 4

Lamb Meatballs with Sticky Tamarind Sauce

Yes, more meatballs. I’m on a kick. This recipe also reminded me why I no longer cook meat on the stovetop. I’ll bake these instead of pan frying next time, basting the meatballs halfway through cooking.

gluten-free, paleo

Lamb Meatballs with Sticky Tamarind Sauce

1 lb. ground lamb

2 Tbsp. curry powder

1 Tbsp. turmeric powder

1/2 small onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water

Salt & pepper

Set a large frying pan over medium-high heat with a Tablespoon or so of your favorite neutral oil.

Combine all ingredients by hand and form into meatballs, dropping into the pan as you go.

Let fry until the first side has released from the pan and is browned. Flip.

While those are working, prep the sauce.

Combine:

3 Tbsp. tamarind paste

2 Tbsp. brown sugar (or honey or date syrup)

2 Tbsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

1 Tbsp. neutral oil

2 tsp. ground ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. red chili flakes

When the meatballs are about 3/4 done, scootch over to the sides of the pan and dump all the sauce ingredients in the center. Stir, coating the meatballs, and finish cooking over medium heat.

Serves 4

An optional side (pictured)

500g microwave bag small potatoes

1/2 c. frozen peas

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1 Tbsp. mustard oil

2 Tbsp. curry powder

1 Tbsp. butter

Salt & pepper

Cook the potatoes through and then chop. In a large pan over medium-high, warm the mustard seeds in the oil until they start to pop.

Add the curry powder to bloom.

Add the potatoes and peas and hit with generous salt & pepper. Stir well to combine.

When your meatballs are 3/4 of the way done and your potatoes & peas are getting a little browned, add the butter and stir again to combine.

Pull at the same time as the meatballs.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I love it when a recipe turns out exactly how I pictured in my minds’ eye. I was craving buffalo chicken dip and wanted to give my Ranch powder a whirl – and I’m glad I did. This dish held up really well as leftovers.

gluten-free, paleo (if you use paleo ranch seasoning), low carb

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

1 lb. ground chicken

3 Tbsp. ranch seasoning powder

1 rib minced celery

An equal amount grated carrot

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. onion powder

4 Tbsp. buffalo hot sauce

2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water

2 tsp. butter, softened

Generous pinch salt and generous dusting pepper

Prepare a baking sheet and preheat your oven to 200C/375F.

Mix all ingredients by hand, form into golf ball sized meatballs, and place on the baking sheet.

Bake 15 minutes.

I served these with Ranch sweet potato fries (pictured).

To make, peel 2 small sweet potatoes and cut into fry-shaped sticks. Toss with a little oil or ghee, salt & pepper and 2 Tbsp. ranch powder. Arrange in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.

Flip, scootch over to the side, add the meatballs and bake another 15 minutes with the meatballs.

Serves 3 – 4 for dinner/lunch

Pomegranate Beef Meatballs

Another Middle Eastern-inspired meatball recipe, this time with beef. Do you see a trend here? I’ve got a lamb version coming soon (hopefully – if my idea works out).

gluten-free, paleo

Pomegranate Beef Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef

1/3 c. slivered almonds

3 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses

3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp. pomegranate arils

3 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

1/2 small onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. turmeric

2 Tbsp. fish sauce or Worcestershire (check labels if paleo or gf)

Salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F and prepare a baking sheet.

Combine all ingredients with your hands, mixing well.

Form into meatballs – mine were roughly golf ball shaped.

Bake about 15 minutes.

Great alongside last week’s recipe for Pomegranate & Fig Salad.

Makes enough to serve 4

Pomegranate & Fig Salad

I made this as an accompaniment to some killer meatballs (recipe coming next week), but this dish as it is would be great as a holiday side or studded with any protein of choice for a rounded out meal.

Note: I completely forgot to do so when making this recipe, but chucking a couple big hands of baby spinach was a fantastic way to dress up the leftovers and add a nutrient punch.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Pomegranate & Fig Salad

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into inch-ish chunks

6 figs, sliced (I had dried on hand but fresh would be even better)

1/4 c. pecans, chopped

1/3 c. pomegranate arils

Tahini & pomegranate molasses to drizzle

Salt & pepper

Your favorite seasoning – I used a spicy creole mix

Oil

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F. Prepare a baking sheet.

Chop the sweet potato into inch-ish chunks, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper & seasoning, spread out onto a baking sheet and bake until your desired level of doneness is achieved. I let mine go until the pieces were almost crispy.

Toss with the rest of the ingredients and drizzle with the sauces.

As noted in the head notes, a good couple hands of baby spinach and your protein of choice would round this out to a great meal.

Serves 2- 3

Middle Eastern Spiced Meatballs

This is a good one – baked meatballs are quick to make and last in the fridge for days – a great meal prep component or emergency snack to keep on hand.

gluten-free, paleo, low carb

Middle Eastern Spiced Meatballs

1 lb. ground chicken

3 Tbsp. zaatar

1/4 c. slivered pistachios

2 tsp. sumac or lemon powder

1 small onion, grated

4 cloves garlic, grated

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water

Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F. Prepare a baking sheet.

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix with your hands to combine.

Form into meatballs and bake 15 minutes.

Makes enough for 4 servings

Bonus Recipe: A quick side salad to go with

2 cucumbers, cut into small moons

15 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 Tbsp. green onions, minced

2 cloves garlic, grated

1/4 c. parsley, chopped

Hand full of olives, sliced thin

Hand full of your favorite salty cheese (I used an aged provolone tasting vegan cheese)

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. your favorite mustard (I used Dijon)

1 Tbsp. zaatar

Salt & pepper

Whisk together all ingredients from the olive oil down. Pour over the rest.

Salad serves 2-3

Halal? Legal? Everything But The Bagel Seasoning Avo Brekkie

Everything But The Bagel Seasoning is on it’s way out of the zeitgeist, but I’m behind the times. EBB seasoning has been causing a stir as of late where I live, with warnings going out left and right to not try and smuggle illegal items into the country while coming back from your Summer vacations.

Whaa?

Where I live, poppy seeds are illegal. I thought this had something to do with them not being halal, but according to Islamweb.net, they are fine to consume as food. The Global Arabic Encyclopedia says that the seeds have no narcotic properties, and are fine for both human and livestock consumption. [Source]

No idea why they’re illegal where I live, but they most certainly are.

In a 2019 bulletin, they were still on the banned import list.

“All Types of Papaver or Opium poppy seeds with or without mixing with other substances and all foodstuff include Papaver or Opium poppy seeds as ingredient.” The reason given was “Precautionary measure due to possibility of non-food prohibited use.” [Source]

Which is a total bummer, since I’ve been dying to get my hands on an EBB seasoned avocado toast (I know, stick me in Uggs and gimme a PSL at Target).

I was not about to risk going to jail for a seasoning, so I indulged during my trip to the US and then made plans to make my own when I got home.

I’m glad I did. Yum. I remember liking EBB seasoning on bagels, but it’s a nice way to dress up an otherwise pretty plain breakfast (unless you top it with Tajin, that is – my other go-to).

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Legal Everything But The Bagel Seasoning Avo Brekkie

seasoning:

2 Tbsp. granulated onion (chunky dried onion)

2 Tbsp. granulated garlic (chunky dried garlic)

1 Tbsp. black sesame or nigella seeds

1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

2 tsp. flaky salt

the rest:

2 tsp. oil

1/2 shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3-1/2 c. frozen spinach

Dusting nutmeg

Dusting smoked paprika

Salt & pepper

1 small avocado

2 slices toast

Heat the oil in a pan over medium. Sauté the shallot and garlic until soft. Add the spinach, and let go a minute or two to start thawing.

Add a couple dashes of water to steam the rest of the spinach thaw.

When thaw, add the spices and stir. Let cook a minute more to combine. Hit with salt & pepper.

To serve, mash the avocado lightly and spread in a thick layer on the toast. Add the spinach and sprinkle the whole thing liberally with the EBB Seasoning. Add a little more flake salt to the top. Enjoy.

Breakfast serves 1; the seasoning makes extra

Roasted Veggie Coconut Curry

This is a good one and fine for a nice light Summer dinner. I think I also finally licked the issue with having my coconut curries turn out too bland – I think I *finally* added enough spice!

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Roasted Veggie Coconut Curry

2-3 c. pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and chopped

1 c. broccolini, chopped

2 green chilis, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, chopped

15 oz. can coconut milk

2 empty cans’ worth your favorite stock

4 Tbsp. curry blend

1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes

Protein of choice

Rice noodles

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 scallion, sliced

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Bake the pumpkin at 400F in a little oil, seasoned with salt & pepper, 20-30 minutes or until soft.

Add the rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker or Instant Pot, minus the protein, noodles, lime juice, scallion or cilantro. Set on “Soup” or “Stew” and let cook. If you are using chicken, add the protein at this step. If you’re using something like seafood or tofu, cook separately and add at the end with the noodles.

Prepare your noodles separately.

When the curry is done cooking, tase for salt & pepper and top with the lime juice, scallion and cilantro.

Serves 4