White Cauliflower Gazpacho

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Aaaand action! After a well deserved summer break, I’m finally back for more delicious recipes. Prepare yourself for many new culinary experiments over the coming year. Starting today actually, with this new twist on an old classic.

My love for gazpacho started back when I used to spend my summers in Spain. Growing up, we would go down to my grandparents’ beachhouse with all of my cousins. Those were the best days, when we would lounge by the pool or the sea, and play all kinds of games together. I remember long meals where the eight of us would sit around the kids table, and have conversations that were (obviously) much more interesting than our parents’. Our staple meals always included my grandmother’s homemade gazpacho, which was a true house favorite. She’d start preparing it bright and early, giving the soup just enough time to chill in the fridge before lunch. I would watch and try to help her with an “essential” step or two, like soaking the bread in ice cold water.

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Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Sweet Hungarian Paprika

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“I said Brrrr, it’s cold in here!”…

…is all I can think about as soon as I step outside of my house. It is very cold here in Philly, and as always when winter comes around, I get sick and I get pale. Now when it’s cold or if I’m sick, my favorite thing to eat is homemade soup, and when I’m pale I stock up on carrots to soak up all that beta-carotene and (hopefully) get a nice halo. So without further due, please welcome: carrot soup! aka. my favorite kind of “cure”! Continue reading “Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Sweet Hungarian Paprika”

Chilled Mint and Pea Soup with Baby Scallops

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Another day, another chilled soup? In case you didn’t get the chance to read it, my last post was about a chilled tomato-yogurt soup I love to make when the weather warms up.
This time around, I want to share another one of my summer favorites with you: my chilled minted-pea soup!

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Veggie Chili with Quinoa, Mixed Potatoes, Carrots, and Beans

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I know what you’re probably thinking: “Who eats chili during Spring season?” Well, if you knew Philly weather right now, you’d understand. It’s been cold, rainy, gray, and anything but spring-like. So when the weather brings me down, my favorite way to warm up is to eat a big bowl of soup, or chili. These are my go-to options, and since I’ve already posted a soup recipe, I thought I’d share a chili one for today. This veggie version really hits the spot, and the beans and potatoes completely make up for the meat. Though the list of ingredients may look slightly intimidating at first, it’s a mix of canned ingredients, and common fresh produce. Plus, the recipe is basically a “one-pot stop”, and the only tough thing is to wait for it to cook, and hold yourself from eating out of the pot when your whole house starts to smell deliciously yummy. Bon appétit!

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Recipe inspired by Ambitious Kitchen.


Prep Time: 40 min

Ingredients: Serves 2 people (at least)

  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • a handful of baby carrots
  • 1/2 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 small yellow potato
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a pinch of cumin
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • plain yogurt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cover the dried quinoa with a cup of water, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender (about 15 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onion and the carrots in small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, and add the diced onion with the carrots and some salt. Sauté until the onions become translucent and soft.
  3. Next, add the tomato sauce, black beans, vegetable stock, quinoa, and spices. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat before you add the mixed potatoes. Bring back to a simmer, cover, and let it cook until the potatoes are done (about 30 minutes).
  4. To plate, scoop the chili in a bowl, and top with a dollop of plain yogurt, fresh salt and pepper, and a healthy drizzle of olive oil!

A Midwinter Night’s Baked Sweet Potato

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Ahhh baked sweet potatoes… So simple, yet so satisfying. I don’t know why I like them so much. But there’s just something comforting about them. Sure, when I think about “comfort food”, they aren’t the first thing rushing through my mind. I tend to immediately picture a steaming bowl of mac n’ cheese, or lasagna. But they definitely come as a close runner-up. Our heater broke because of the cold last night and I couldn’t think of anything else to warm me up. This dish was just prime comfort food with ingredients that I had on-hand. Additionally, it turned out to be a great way to use some left-over beans and onions. The dressing made it all come together nicely. It added this great sweet and savory taste to the dish. All in all, this one’s a keeper if you’re looking for some warmth on a cold winter’s night. Bon appétit!

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Prep time: 35-40 min 

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 yellow onion (chopped)
  • olive oil

Peanut-Honey Mustard dressing:

  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • salt, pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the sweet potato with a fork. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until you can pierce through the flesh easily with a fork.
  2. Once the sweet potato is in the oven, make the peanut-honey mustard dressing by mixing all the ingredients together until the mix is homogenous.
  3. Also meanwhile, sauté the onions with olive oil, on high heat, in a small pot for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water and let it evaporate to further soften the onions. Add the black beans and cook for about 5 more minutes on medium heat.
  4. Once the sweet potato is done, cut it in half with a knife, but not all the way, and spread both sides apart. Stuff with the black beans and onions, and top with the mashed avocado. Drizzle with the sweet and savory dressing and enjoy while it’s hot!

TIP: you can substitute lentils or chickpeas for the black beans and you can also sprinkle with cheese for extra comfort food!