Vegan Broccoli & Kale “Cheese” Soup

This soup may not sound delicious, but it is. I’ve already made it twice this year. I think this might be the only dish that I’ve made twice too, so it’s a big deal.

Forget detox diets, this soup is a detox. You get an incredible amount of vegetables in a tiny little bowl. You aren’t eating real cheese, so you have nothing to “feel bad” about. My boyfriend made some Broccoli Beer Cheese soup for us the week before, and this actually tasted just like it. I added a bit of gluten free beer to one of my batches because I had it at the house. So feel free to add that as well.

Vegan Broccoli & Kale “Cheese” Soup

Adapted from: Blissful Basil

Ingredients:

  • 4 small heads broccoli, de-stemmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces (you should have approximately 8 cups of florets)
  • 1 large leek, thoroughly cleaned, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 head of lacinato kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 2½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups plain, unsweetened almond milk, divided
  • ¾ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1½ – 2 teaspoons large grain sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: dash of cayenne pepper & paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the broccoli florets and leeks over the large baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  4. Roast the broccoli and leeks in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until just starting to turn golden and brown.
  5. While the broccoli starts to roast, spread the lacinato kale over small baking sheet. Drizzle with ½ tablespoon olive oil and massage oil into kale.
  6. Roast the kale in the oven along with the broccoli for 5-7 minutes or until just barely turning golden.
  7. While the veggies are roasting, add 3 cups almond milk, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, garlic, paprika, turmeric, salt, and black pepper to a high-powered blender (I used an immersion blender). Blend for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.
  8. Heat a dutch oven or large stock pot over medium-low heat. Add the almond milk soup base to the pot.
  9. While the soup base starts to cook, add the broccoli, leeks, kale, and 1 cup almond milk to a very high-powered blender or food processor (again, I used an immersion blender) and process until as smooth as possible. This will take 10 minutes or so — patience is a soup-making virtue!
  10. Pour the blended broccoli mixture into the pot and whisk into the almond milk mixture.
  11. Add in a pinch of cayenne if desired, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  12. You may need to use an immersion blender to get the soup as smooth as desired.
  13. Serve and enjoy. (It’s great with corn bread!)

Chicken Piccata with White Wine Lemon Sauce, Garlic Zucchini, & Capers

For some reason, I was craving this dish. Chicken Piccata is lovely and probably pretty hard to mess up. It’s also very easy (always a plus). I think someone came up with this recipe because they only had these ingredients left in their kitchen. I feel like every Italian home has flour, olive oil, lemon, white wine, and capers.

I borrowed the recipe from Elise Bauer who started Simply Recipes, and adapted it to make it gluten free. I also made it dairy free by excluding the Parmesan cheese, which I thought I would miss, but it honestly doesn’t need it. I also added the addition of zucchini and pasta, which I feel completes the dish perfectly. (PS: I don’t usually eat butter, but there are times when it works better for a dish and I use it. Just use it this time. It won’t kill you.)

Just a note: When I tasted this dish, I described it as “life-changing.”

You should try it.

Chicken Piccata with White Wine Lemon Sauce, Garlic Zucchini, & Capers
Adapted from Elise Bauer

Ingredients:
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if you can find thin cutlets, do it! Go for 4 or more in this case.)
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional, I did not use)
1/3 cup gluten free flour
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter (or substitute, I used Soy-free Earth Balance)
1/2 cup of white wine (or chicken stock)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup brined capers
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1-2 zucchini, chopped into spears
1 tbsp garlic
Gluten free corn pasta (mine was penne from Trader Joes)

Directions:

  1. Cut the chicken breasts horizontally, butterflying them open. You want your pieces to be as thin as possible, about 1/4 of an inch thick. If they are not, place between plastic wrap and pound with meat mallet.
  2. Mix flour, salt, pepper, and parmesan, if using. Rinse the chicken pieces in water and dredge them in flour mixture until well coated.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add chicken pieces to the pan and cook until brown on each side, about 5 minutes each.
  5. In the mean time, start to boil pasta water and cook by the package’s directions. **With gluten free pasta, ALWAYS rinse the pasta in strainer with cold water immediately after cooking.**
  6. Also heat smaller skillet over medium heat, spray with cooking spray, and cook zucchini spears and garlic until slightly browned.
  7. Remove chicken from pan and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm while you prepare the sauce. You might have to repeat this step for the chicken that wouldn’t fit in the pan.
  8. After removing the chicken, deglaze the pan with white wine, then add lemon juice and capers.
  9. Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits. Wait until the sauce has reduced down by half and whisk in 2 tbsp butter.
  10. To serve, plate the pasta with zucchini and chicken, then top with the sauce. Garnish with Parsley.
Cheers!

Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa

This recipe is delicious and healthy.

So, why wouldn’t you try it?? It’s easy too, so skip that excuse as well.

Wild Caught Salmon is full of Omega-3s, which help reduce inflammation (the basis of every disease and illness), promotes brain function, and assists cell production.

Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa Recipe
Adapted from: Alison Needham

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pound salmon filet with skin on
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
corn tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
feta cheese, optional

Salsa:
1 mango, skinned and cut into small dice
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
handful chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 juice lime
pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Pat the salmon dry. Combine the chili powder, sugar, salt and cumin in a small bowl and sprinkle over the surface of the flesh-side of the salmon. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the salsa. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste for seasoning, cover and refrigerate.
  3. Spray the grill with cooking spray and light a medium-hot flame. To test heat on a charcoal or gas grill, hold your hand about 5 inches over the flame. You should only be able to keep it there for 3-4 seconds.**
  4. Place salmon skin side down on the grill, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish (cook fish about 10 minutes per inch of thickness). Flip salmon over, peel off the skin and cook for 3 minutes more, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from heat and place it pink flesh up on a plate. (The underside of the skin will be an unattractive gray color).
  5. Place the corn tortillas on the grill for a few seconds a side to warm up. Flake fish and divide evenly between the tortillas. Top with mango salsa, sliced avocado, and feta cheese. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

**You can also prepare the Salmon in a pan on the stove. Cook as stated above over Medium Heat with olive oil in pan.