Thursday, 19 September 2013

cashew pesto

This is really nice with pasta and sauteed vegetables.  Tonight my boyfriend and I had it with pasta, sweet potato, broccoli, zucchini, red peppers and onions.  Requires a blender or food processor.  If your  blender isn't very powerful, you may want to reduce the amount of cashews slightly to 1 1/4 cups.
Serves 3


2 cups basil leaves
2 T Olive oil
1/2 cup veggie soup stock
1 clove chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups cashews (before soaking)
salt and fresh pepper (to taste)

If necessary, soak the cashews in water first to make them easier to blend.  If you have a food processor, you can probably just put all of the ingredients in and blend without soaking the nuts.  If not, to make it easier you can blend the cashews, soup stock, and olive oil first, adding the cashews a little at a time.  Wash the basil and prepare the other ingredients, then add them and blend.

Meanwhile you can cook some pasta and lightly saute some vegetables, if you desire.  Serve when everything is ready.

Note:  If you'd like a cheesy pesto you can substitute 1/2 cup feta and use 1 cup cashews, or sprinkle feta on top when you serve it

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

chickpea salad

This salad makes a good snack or little meal on days like today when it's too hot to cook! It's also portable (in a leak proof container).  If you want to keep the salad in the fridge for a couple of days, keep the dressing, avocado and cheese (if using) separate and add them just before you serve it/take it to work/etc.            Serves 2-4


1 tin chickpeas
1 cup each chopped cucumber and red pepper

Optional:  1 ripe avocado
                chopped fresh herbs, if on hand (parsley is nice)
                goat cheese or feta

Dressing:    2 T Olive oil
                 2 T Pure blueberry juice
                 1-2 t  pure maple syrup
                 2 pinches each dried spices such as parsley, italian spice, and dill
                 salt and fresh pepper (to taste)

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them in a large bowl. Wash and chop the cucumber and pepper, add to the bowl. Add the avocado, if using. I find it easiest to slice it in half with a sharp knife and then cut it into cubes with a butter knife while it's still in the skin. Add the herbs and goat cheese, if using.  Make up the dressing and toss the salad.  If it sits for a little while the dressing will sink to the bottom, so just toss it again before serving.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

butternut squash bisque

A deliciously creamy, rich and sweet soup.  Great with fresh baked bread or salad.        Serves 4-5


Half of a medium size butternut squash
1 small sweet potatoe, or half of a large one
1/3 cup yellow onion (optional - if tolerated)
1T Olive oil
2 Cloves garlic
3-4 cups veggie broth
1 tin coconut milk
1 t pure maple syrup
Cinnamon, nutmeg, tumeric (to taste and if tolerated)
fresh thyme, chopped fresh parsley, fresh ground pepper (to taste)

Boil the squash in a pot of water for a few minutes to make it easier to peel.  Carefully remove it from the pot and dump the water.

Meanwhile, wash and chop the sweet potatoe into cubes, dice the onion (if using), smash and chop the garlic.

If using onions, heat up some olive oil in a frying pan or cast iron skillet on a very low heat and add the onions.  Let them cook slowly and stir with a flipper occasionally.

When the squash is cool enough to handle, carefully peel, cut in half, and de-seed the squash.  Cut it into cubes.  You can put the other half of the chopped squash in the freezer for later use.

Put the sweet potatoes and squash into the pot and add enough veggie broth to just cover them, about 3 or 4 cups.  If you are using boullion cubes, use a bit more of the boullion than you normally would.  For example, if the box calls for 2 cups water per cube, then use two cubes for three cups of water (or two and a half cubes for four cups of water. You get the idea.)  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

When onions are translucent, add the garlic and thyme to the pan and saute for another minute or so, then empty the contents of the frying pan into the pot.  Simmer a few minutes more.

Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. You can do it in batches if it doesn't all fit into your blender.  Open the lid periodically to release the steam.  Then pour the soup back into the pot.

Add coconut milk, spices, and maple syrup.  Simmer for a couple more minutes.  Have a taste to test the seasonings and see if it needs more of anything.  Add some chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
Serve :) .