This is one of my favorite additions I gained from meeting my husband. This rice porridge has become a comfort food for me on a rainy day (although not a favorite of his). I either make the base plain or get plain congee from my local Chinese restaurant. Pictured is plain congee (about 2 cups) I added to a field roast apple sage vegan sausage and 3oz of white button mushrooms sautéed in 1 tsp avocado oil and 1-2 tbsp soy sauce. If I am having it for dinner I usually add about 1/2 cup canned white beans.
I am always trying new recipes, however unless I am baking I never follow a recipe to the letter. I made this stew from a recipe I found on the Vegetarian Times website (search “spicy tofu stew”). I substituted about 1 lb. of sliced white button mushrooms for the spinach (added some broth to sauté them in at the beginning), used 1 sliced red, 1 orange and 1 orange pepper (about 2 cups), and added (at the end) 1 tbsp sesame paste, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp sesame oil. One night I served it over pasta one night over roasted potatoes. For the carnivores out there, feel free to add any cooked protein of choice (however the tofu was lovely all by itself). Enjoy!
Whole Wheat Orzo with Kale, Chickpeas and Tomato Cream Soup
The vegetables don't need to be chopped finely or perfectly, most will go in the blender anyway. Feel free to pass this along
Optional: My family enjoys this meal with sausage instead of the chickpeas. I just prepare the sausage in the toaster oven to bake while I make the soup and orzo. You could also opt to use any leftover over protein you may have in the refrigerator like tofu, beef, or chicken. I serve all the ingredients separately and let everyone make their own bowls with as much or as little as they would like.
- 16oz package of whole wheat orzo (I use Delallo Organic but feel free to use any other small shaped whole wheat pasta)
- 4 tbsp of Earth Balance Butter (however feel free to use regular butter or other butter substitute, ah, heck olive oil will do)
- 2 Celery Stalks, scrubbed and roughly chopped
- 1 small onion or 1/2 of a large onion roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2-4 tbsp dried basil or 1/2 cup fresh basil (depends on how much basil you like, I go all in)
- 2 cups of vegetable broth (chicken broth will do)
- 2 cans of whole or crushed tomatoes (28 oz each can)
- 8 oz of vegan cream cheese (feel free to use regular cream cheese)
- 1-2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 bunch of kale, rinsed and roughly chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cook the whole wheat orzo according to package directions while you make the tomato cream.
- Melt the Earth Balance Butter over medium heat.
- Add the celery, onions and garlic and saute for approximately 5-6 minutes (add the salt and pepper here).
- Add the basil and broth.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the canned tomatoes and cream cheese.
- Puree the mixture with a food processor or blender (in batches) until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender, however remember it may have a chunkier consistency.
- Return to the stove and reheat on medium setting. Once the soup boils, add the kale and continue to heat until the kale wilts.
- To serve, plate approximately 3/4 cup of the cooked whole wheat orzo, 1/2 cup chickpeas and top with 1-2 cups of the tomato cream (add as much or as little as you would like).
Usually I take the time at the end of every December to write up a blog that gears me (and my readers) up for the year to come. I did not make any resolutions last year, and truth be told, I never do. Rather, I embarked on a journey into self discovery and converted to a more compassionate lifestyle including my diet and behavior.
In 2012, I learned to:
- Toss away the storybook notions I thought dictated how my life should be. Instead, I embrace the uniqueness of how beautiful things have become no matter how tattered their appearance.
- Accept the beauty of the hiccups and bumps I encountered in the road. I wear my battle scars proudly!
- Go through life knowing things are going exactly how they destined to be. There is a purpose for all I experience.
Let the journey continue and happy 2013 to all of you!
Yvonne, Nutrition Map
Mango Avocado Salad
It is that time of year again. Time for summer salads. Share often! I love making this recipe for parties because of all the bright and vibrant colors. It incorporates many of my favorite fruits and vegetables. It makes about 8 cups of dip. I usually save one cup to enjoy throughout the week. For example top 1/4 cup over a Veggie burger, have 1/4 cup over 1 slice wheat toast for breakfast or a snack, enjoy as a side dish, garnish over fish tacos, or use as a dip with tortilla chips, wheat crackers, rice chips, or a crusty sliced whole-wheat baguette.
Let me know if you make it at home.
- 2 mangos, cut into cubes
- 2 Haas avocados (if using organic Haas avocados you will need 4), cubed
- 1 medium sized red onion, chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 6 cloves of garlic, smashed and finely chopped
- Juice of 2 limes (approximately 1/4 cup)
- Cilantro (1/2 cup packed), finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt (1/4 – 1/2 tsp maximum) and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours prior to serving (however can be served immediately).
- Serve with sturdy tortilla chips, wheat crackers, crusty bread or toast.