Curry Lime Coconut Soup W/ Chickpeas, Spinach & Squash

1 Mar

Here in Dallas, it feels like spring! This won’t last long, but it’s so lovely right now. A cool breeze, and warm sunshine. It’s just perfect timing to still be able to enjoy warm, spicy flavors, and to start mixing in some cool ones too. Enter: Curry Lime Coconut Soup! This dish packs a lot of flavor, there’s nothing mild about it. Zesty lime, smooth coconut, and lots of spice.

Before you make this dish:

I found some beautiful Italian squash on sale, bought way too much, and froze them a couple weeks ago. So here, I’m using pre-cut frozen squash. There’s no need to defrost if you do the same, just pull from the freezer when you start to saute your onion, and garlic. You can use fresh squash, just peel,and cut. The cooking times should still be about roughly the same, but just watch to make sure the fresh squash isn’t getting too soft, if so, just shave a few minutes off cooking. Also, you don’t have to use Italian squash, feel free to use any, or even some potatoes, or lightly baked eggplant! The same goes for the greens: mustard, collard, un-stemmed kale, etc will work great, but any of those will need to be blanched first.

This recipe makes two very large soup servings, with some left over, or 3 smaller servings. Feel free to adjust for bigger crowds, translates beautifully to a large batch.

Here’s what you need:

Olive oil for sauteing

I small onion (or half of a medium), finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp turmenic

1/2 tsp cumin

1 roma tomato, roughly chopped.

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3 small Italian squashes ( or other squash, vegetable of choice), peeled, and chopped into thick slices.

1/2 cup prepared vegetable broth

1 lime

1/2 can coconut milk (light or full-fat okay, full fat will make for thicker soup)

1 can chickpeas, drained ( and washed if in brine)

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2 handfuls baby spinach, washed

salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add onions, and saute for one minute, then add garlic. Saute until both are translucent.

Add spices, and tomato. Saute until thick, bubbly, and fragrant.

Add juice of one lime, and stir.

Add vegetable broth and squash/veggies, stir.

Cover, and simmer on medium for approx. 7 minutes, stirring half-way through.

Add coconut milk, and garbanzo beans, and stir.

Cover, and simmer for an additional approx. 6 minutes on medium.

Add baby spinach, salt, and pepper. Stir, and cover. Simmer again for an additional 5-8 minutes on low-medium, stirring half-way through.

Enjoy!

Garnish with fresh ginger, more limes, or some soy/coconut tart yogurt.

*Note : I know I said “stiiiiir” about a million times in this post, but that’s because you don’t want your coconut milk (or any other for that matter) to burn, it tastes icky! 😉

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Tomato Basil Cream Sauce & Pasta

25 Feb

There’s lots of options to lend a creamy texture to dishes in the vegan world. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of most. I think a lot of them from veg. sour cream, to veg cream cheese, have a bit of a strange plasticy taste. Luckily, there’s still hope in the form of raw cashews! They blend beautifully, taste wonderful, and add an instant hearty, creamy, fullness to a dish. There is absolutely no difference in this version of a tomato cream sauce, and one laden with heavy dairy cream. Plus, only one will love your body (this one!). Cashews rock!

Before you make this dish:

You’ll need to soak your raw cashews. This simply means taking the desired amount (in this recipe we’ll use 3/4 cup), putting it in a bowl, and covering with water. Put the dish of water and cashews in the refrigerator for about 6 hours or overnight.

Here’s what you need:

A blender

3/4 cup raw cashews

1 large tomato, or two small Roma tomatoes

3/4 small can tomato paste

1/4 – 1/2 cup water

1 tsp lemon juice

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1/4 of a small onion, chopped fine

2 or 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

1 Tbs dried basil

dried or fresh fennel to taste ( I prefer fresh, the dried doesn’t quite have the same result) chopped fine

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp agave, honey, or small amount of other sweetener of choice

Olive oil for sauteing

8 oz pasta

I used rice spirals today, but any pasta will work. A wheat pasta, like whole wheat spaghetti, would definitely stand up stronger to this thick sauce, the rice spirals are a bit thin, but all will still taste great.

Directions:

Boil a pot of water with salt. Add the pasta, and cook according to directions.

For sauce base, blend together the tomato(es), tomato paste, cashews, lemon juice, and water until they become creamy. Start with 1/4 cup water, and continue to add until you reach the consistency you would like. Remember, it will thicken up a bit during heating.

Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat. Add onions, cook for 1 minute, and then add garlic. Saute until both are a light brown. Please don’t over cook, no burning.

Add sauce base along with spices, and sweetener. Stir constantly on medium for about 6 minutes.

Drain pasta, and fold into sauce.

Add a bit more basil, and fennel on top.

Enjoy!

Here’s mine. I love a super thick sauce, and lots of extra fennel, and basil!