RECIPE: Pat’s Tomato Basil Bisque with Roasted Garlic

I created this soup for my uncle who came up with the concept but didn’t have a recipe. I created it by morphing several recipes I was able to find for tomato basil soup, tomato bisque, and roasted garlic soup. I omitted the cream found in traditional bisque due to keep my own tummy happy.

1 head garlic
1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 lbs ripe Italian plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil, loosely packed
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Whole basil leaves, to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Remove loose, papery skin from garlic, leaving heads intact.
3. Place garlic on a sheet of heavy-duty foil; drizzle with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
4. Loosely wrap foil around garlic, folding foil edges securely.
5. Roast until garlic has softened, about 40 minutes, and then transfer to plate.
6. Open carefully and discard foil; let garlic cool.
7. Separate garlic into cloves.
8. Squeeze soft garlic from each clove into a small bowl; set aside.
9. Heat about ¼ cup water or broth in a large saucepan until simmering

10. Add the onion and roasted garlic. Cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the onion is softened.
11. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, then add the stock, white wine and sun-dried tomato paste, with salt and pepper to taste.
12. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, half cover the pan, and simmer gently for 20 minutes, shirring occasionally to keep the tomatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
13. Process the soup with the shredded basil in a Vitamix or food processor until smooth and return to the pan.
14. Do not allow the soup to approach the boiling point.
15. Check the consistency and add more stock if necessary, then season with salt and pepper.
16. Pour into heated bowls and garnish with basil.
17. Serve at once. (Can also be frozen and served later.)

Each pot contains about 13 servings of vegetables, or 2-3 per bowl.

RECIPE: Luscious Tomato Basil Dressing

1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic
6 tbsp. fresh basil
6 sun dried tomato halves
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. tarragon
1 tsp 100% pure maple syrup
2 splashes Tabasco or other hot sauce
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup flax oil

Soak tomato halves in boiling water to soften. Drain. In Vitamix or food processor, combine vinegar, garlic, basil, mustard, tarragon, oregano, tamari, maple syrup, Tabasco, and tomato juice. Blend until smooth. Slowly add oil in a steady continuous stream. Store in a sealed container in the fridge to protect delicate Omega-3’s in flax oil.

Recipe: Vanilla Rice Cream with Blueberries

Too orgasmic to keep to myself, this recipe is taken directly from “A Celebration of Wellness” By James Cederquist and Natalie Levin. A BIG ‘thank you’ to them both!

  • 1 cup organic brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vanilla coconut milk, rice milk, or almond milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • maple syrup or honey to drizzle on top

Toast the dry rice in a medium hot skillet until evenly browned, stirring constantly, about 2-3 minutes. Grind in a Vitamix or coffee grinder until fine and powdery (I left mine with a few chunks).
Bring water and dairy-free milk to a boil in a pot, whisk in rice cream, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes (I think it took about 20 with the chunky bits) or until desired consistency is reached.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and blueberries. Drizzle with sweetener of choice.

Serves 3 to 4 (It took me three tries to finish the pot)

RECIPE: Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

t’s really criminal how the brain tortures us. My chocolate cravings have given way to macaroni and cheese. I did not grow up on the “good stuff”, but rather the boxed Kraft brand that is Cheeto-orange and probably stains one’s intestines.
Regardless, I have been wanting it all – boxed mac and cheese, frozen mac and cheese so I can put it in the oven and gnaw on the crispy burnt edges, and the ultra-greasy, mega-cheesy variety in the Whole Foods hot bar that, until now, looked positively disgusting (I’m not a fan of greasy food).

I had forgotten about the recipe from my vegan days for a cheese sauce until a new review for it was posted on Recipezaar. Now that it has come across my path again, I see rice elbow noodles and carrots in my future….

Shockingly Good Vegan Mac and Cheese Sauce

I obtained this recipe from someone named Tracy over the vast Internet, at a website I cannot recall since I was doing a search through many at the time. Combining the below ingredients sounds wretched, but it was shockingly good! Could this be Kraft’s secret?

6 servings

time to make 15 min 10 min prep

2 cups water
1/3 cup carrots, peeled and cooked
1/3 cup white flour (I used half of that amount of cornstarch so that it would be gluten free)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt

  1. Blend all ingredients together in a Vitamix or blender.
  2. Pour into pan and stir until boils and thickens.
  3. Take off heat and pour into rice noodles, over broccoli or potatoes, etc.

Recipe: Amaranth Corn Chowder

A few weeks ago I was caught red handed.

I was explaining to a client the benefits of whole grains and was showing a list of whole grains to try.

“Amaranth, what is that?” she asked.

I stumbled a bit. I know amaranth – in some ways more than other grains. It’s the one grain I can recognize without a doubt when I see it growing – the long, magenta “muppet fur” tail is a dead giveaway. I knew it to be originally from South America. And I knew it was a small grain – smaller than millet and more often found in a mix of grains than as a featured solo.

But what did it taste like? I couldn’t tell her. What made it special? (It looks like Muppet fur!) I drew a blank.

Now motivated to be more informed, I turned up a little information and a recipe featuring the unobtrusive, easily dismissed amaranth.

Amaranth is, in fact, another ancient South American grain (It was also a featured crop halfway around the world in the Himalayas). It was a staple of the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans. Like quinoa, it all but disappeared in the region after a Spanish ban enforced by the Conquistadors. The Aztecs mixed amaranth with honey, shaped it like gods and ate it in ceremonial rituals. The similarity between this ritual and Catholic communion was too eerie for priests, thus the grain was banned for centuries.

Amaranth is rich in calcium, B-vitamins, vitamin C and antioxidants. It is also a source of harder to find minerals such as copper and manganese. Like quinoa, it is a rich source of easily digestible protein and also contains a good amount of fiber.
For more information on the rich history of amaranth, visit wikipedia.

Amaranth recipes are not easy to come by. The recipe below comes from Vegetarian Times. While it is a hearty fall stew, our recent bout of cool weather may be suitable enough to try out a test batch.

Amaranth Corn Chowder
Vegetarian Times Issue: March 1, 2000 p.48

6 servings

  • 6 cups Vegetable Stock or vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup uncooked amaranth, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 tsp. canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. umeboshi vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. umeboshi paste
  • 1 Tbs. tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • Cilantro sprigs and lime slices for garnish

Directions

  1. In large pot, combine stock, amaranth and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in large heavy skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add cumin and stir 30 seconds. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, bell pepper and oregano; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups corn, chipotle and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Stir corn mixture into amaranth mixture. Cover partially, increase heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
  4. Preheat oven to 450F. In small bowl, combine remaining 2 cups corn, 1 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in freshly ground pepper. Spread in nonstick baking pan and roast until beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove soup from heat. Stir in roasted corn, chopped cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, umeboshi paste and tamari. Transfer to blender or food processor (in batches if necessary) and puree until almost smooth, or puree directly in pot with immersion blender. Let stand, covered, at least 30 minutes before adjusting seasonings.
  6. Rewarm over low heat. Ladle into bowls, garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime slices and serve.

Ginger Sesame Dressing/Sauce

This versatile recipe can be used as a sauce for noodles or as a dressing for salads and steamed greens. It’s full of heart-healthy fatty acids, powerful antioxidants, and has a fantastic flavor. I’ve been using it as a salad dressing the last few weeks, but am eager to try it with rice noodles when the weather cools off!

Ginger Sesame Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp. tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • water to desired consistency

If you own a standard blender, finely chop the garlic and grate the ginger. Add all ingredients, except water, into the blender and mix until liquid. Add water to desired consistancy – more for dressing and less for sauce. If you own a Vitamix, throw everything (but water) in and liquify. There is no need to chop the garlic or ginger. Technically, you needn’t peel them either, but I would leave skins on only if ingredients are organic.

Serve over steamed greens, toss in a salad, or mix in with rice noodles and stir-fried veggies for a special treat!
Makes approximately 1 cup.

A Beautiful Sedative:

Fresh Salad Greens with Lavender Vinaigrette

6 cups fresh salad greens (ideally purchased from local Farmer’s Market)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 miniature yellow sweet pepper, sliced into thin rings
1 miniature red sweet pepper, sliced into thin rings
1/3 cucumber, halved and sliced thinly
OPTIONAL: edible flowers
Dressing:
5 tbsp. rice vinegar or champagne vinegar
5 tbsp. flax oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 -1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tbsp. fresh parsley
1/2 tbsp. fresh lavender, or 3/4 tsp. dried lavender

Blend all dressing ingredients in a Vitamix or blender.
Toss salad ingredients together.
Drizzle dressing (to taste) over salad, toss and serve.

RECIPE: Fastastic Spicy Sesame Ginger Sauce:

I started to create this from a recipe in the Whole Foods Cookbook and found out I was missing a key ingredient! So I added a little extra this and that, and voilà – ecstacy in the kitchen yet again!

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 chunk fresh ginger, about 1/4″ thick, peeled
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sucanat or mild sweetener
  • 1 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. GMO-free cornstarch* or arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp. black or white sesame seeds

If using a Vitamix, place all ingredients except sesame seeds in machine. Begin to blend on low, gradually increasing to high until ginger and garlic is pulverized. (about 3 sec.) If using a conventional blender, you may wish to dice the ginger and crush the garlic before blending.

In a saucepan over low heat, begin to sauté vegetables and protein of choice. Add sauce and stir until thickened. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over brown rice.

Alternatively, you may wish to prepare the sauce alone by adding the sesame seeds to the blended sauce heating it in a small saucepan until thickened. Let cool and keep refrigerated for about one week. You may also wish to use this as a marinade for tofu or meats. Omit the cornstarch or arrowroot if you choose to do this.

Michael, my Love, called it “The Best Chinese-style dish you’ve made yet!”

*Rapunzel is a great brand. Look at your local health food store for organic or GMO-free cornstarch.

Recipe: Red Lentil Dal

Lentils are a fabulous food. Like all legumes, they are rich in soluble fiber, heart-friendly B vitamins, and are a wonderful source of cholesterol-free protein. However, unlike their cousins, they require no soaking time nor do they cause as much gas as many other beans! This Indian inspired dish tastes wonderful over a brown basmati rice or folded into a tortilla with some crunchy veggies. If you do not feel like pulling out your blender or Vitamix, add extra broth or water at the onset of cooking, leave the lentils whole and enjoy a lovely Indian Lentil soup.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño chili, seeded, chopped

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup onion and 1 minced garlic clove and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Combine 3 cups water, lentils, remaining 1 cup onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, turmeric, cumin and ginger in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer half of lentil mixture to Vitamix; purée until smooth. Return purée to same saucepan. Mix in sautéed onion mixture. Simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon rice into bowls. Spoon dal over rice. Top with tomatoes, cilantro and chili.
Per serving: calories, 410; total fat, 5 g; protein, 18g; fiber, 9g; cholesterol, 0. Serves 4.

Fruity Protein Pops

Great for those with blood sugar issues and as a post-workout recovery treat!

This recipe was modified in response to a client’s request for a Cold Fusion Bar replacement!

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh strawberries, peaches, nectarines, melons, or berries of your choice
  • 1 cup Water or 100% juice (try a mix of the two if the fruit is slightly underripe)
  • 1.5 – 2 scoops Whey Protein
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or soy yogurt
  1. Prepare the fruits for the blender by hulling, removing the seeds, and peeling if necessary.
  2. Combine all ingredients in an electric blender and puree.
  3. Divide among eight 5-ounce paper cups, filling them about 3/4 full.
  4. Place in the freezer until partially frozen, 60 to 90 minutes.
  5. Insert a plastic spoon, handle up (or popsicle stick) in each the center of each cup and freeze until solid.
  6. To serve, peel the paper cup away. Makes 8 popsicles.