Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

From the moment I created this blog, I knew I wanted to post this recipe….I’ve made it many times but never seemed to have the patience to take pictures prior to pigging out….it’s just that good!  The soup is actually called “African Yam and Peanut Soup” from the wonderful book, Rebar.  I like to call it “Party In Your Mouth Soup” because that’s just what it is!  The combined flavors of yams, peanut butter, lime, and cilantro create an explosion of zingy deliciousness!  I’m not exaggerating….it’s so good, that if I could pick my “last meal” before I head up to the spirit in the sky, I’d choose this soup…hands down…without a doubt…”Party In Your Mouth Soup” is at the tippy top of the “to eat” list!

By the way, this soup pictured below is from a batch that I froze 2 months ago…it came in handy when the snowpocalypse arrived a few days ago!

Those little grainy things are called “hemp seeds” they have a nutty flavor and pack in the protein per tablespoon!  Give them a whirl in your next soup!


8 Cups of vegetable stock

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 tsp salt

6 tbsp minced ginger

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp ground cumin

2 tbsp ground corriander

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 red bell pepper, diced

4 medium yams, peeled and roughly chopped

14 oz can of pineapple with juice

3 ripe tomatoes, chopped

5 tbsp natural smooth peanut butter

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

limes to juice into your soup


Heat stock and keep it warm on the back burner while you assemble the soup.  In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and a pinch of salt; saute for 10  minutes, stirring occassionally. Next, add garlic, ginger and spices and saute until soft and golden.  Stir in red pepper, yams, and salt and continue cooking until they start to stick to the bottom of the pot.  Add vegetable stock, cover, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cover partially and simmer until the yams are tender.

Add pineapple with juice, tomatoes, peanut butter and simmer 30 minutes.  Puree the soup until smooth, either directly in the pot with a hand blender, or in batches using a food processor.  To keep the soup slightly chunky, fill a bowl with the chunks prior to blending.  If you have a hand blender, USE IT…it’s far less messy than a food processor!

Return soup to the pot and simmer for a final 10 minutes.  Season to taste with more salt, pineapple juice and/or hot sauce.  Just before serving, add chopped cilantro and fresh lime.


Of all of the recipes I’ve posted, this one is by far the best….If you haven’t made anything from any of my posts…I encourage you to try this one…and I hope you will leave a comment on your thoughts!  Does it go on your “last meal” list?


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With a very heavy heart, I write this post honoring my favorite little carnivore…Elmo.  The day after Christmas I got the call I’ve been dreading…my parents had to put Elmo to sleep after he suddenly took a turn for the worst.  This came vey unexpected as Elmo has been very healthy all of his life.  This past summer he was running 2 miles/day with me like it was nothing on his stubby little basset legs.  But when a mass showed up over Christmas weekend and Elmo couldn’t walk…let alone eat his favorite treat (ham) my parents knew it was time.

This little guy had an impact on numerous lives.  He was the focus of the neighborhood parties…the topic of conversation was often about what kind of treat each neighbor would give Elmo when he stopped by to say hello.  One neighbor called my parents to see if ELMO liked ketchup on his hot dogs!  While Elmo loved food, he loved walks, chasing bunnies, and he LOVED boat rides!  He was a summertime dog for sure.  I’ll miss watching his big ears flop in the wind at the bow of the boat.  Elmo brought my family closer.  Before my Grandpa passed, he even talked about how Elmo changed my Dad’s rough exterior to a much more open and loving exterior.  He was truly an angel brought to us from GOD, but leaving us has created a hole in each of our hearts.

Luckily, when I got the bad news I was with some really special people…we were in the car heading to Leavenworth, WA.  Sitting on one side of me was my husband and on the other a very dear friend of mine…Kelly.   Kelly’s husband and mother-in-law were in the front seat.  Needless to say I was in good hands.  Kelly, is a vet and a dog lover so she’s been on both sides of the equation…and assuring me and my parents that they did the right thing made a huge difference.  They kept us busy in Leavenworth, so getting the first day over with was really helpful.

Patton and I after going on our first sleigh ride!

Kelly and Ron…my support crew :)

So, in honor of changes and focusing on the good….I’m ready to bring in the new year…I’m going to continue documenting our lives with photos and videos because some day, we will all lose someone we love with all of our hearts and while we can’t fill the void, we can always return to memories….The video below was never meant to be shared on a blog…I made it for my Dad’s Birthday last November.  It’s just a summertime home video  highlight of my family on the lake…Elmo of course is included…keep an eye out for his soft little ears flopping in the wind at the bow of the boat….he even goes tubing with my mom….and lastly, the end 3 shot shows me with my parents….the first just my parents and I, but then ending with Elmo…because our family just wasn’t complete without him.  Give your furry friends some extra love tonight, we just never know.

Stay tuned below for a New Year’s Soup that is believed to bring good luck into the new year…I’ll be sure to devour it on Jan. 1, 2012!

Onto the soup….and some really good luck :)

This is from “Clean Start“…if you’ve been reading my blog for a while…you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Terry Walters and her two books.  Terry mentions that “In the south it’s believed that eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day ensures good luck and prosperity in the year ahead”.  I could use some good luck….and good nutrition….and….it tastes really good!  So give it a whirl, start 2012 off with a New Year’s Soup!

Collard greens are good sources of vitamin C and soluble fiber…it’s also a good preventer of cancer.

Black-eyed peas are also rich in Vitamin C as well as fiber, protein, potassium, zinc, and iron.  *  Iron is one of those curiosities for non-vegans…”where do you get your iron from”….black-eyed peas help :)



1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3 carrots, cut into 1/8 inch rounds (about 2 cups)

3 parsnips, cut into 1/8 inch rounds (about 1 cup)

1 bunch collard greens, stems removed

3 cups cooked black-eyed peas

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

4 cups vegetable stock

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


In soup pot or large Dutch oven over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil 3 minutes or until soft.  Add carrots and parsnips and saute 3 minutes.  Chop collard greens into bite-size pieces and add to pot along with black-eyed peas and oregano.  Add vegetable stock, bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes.  Stir in apple cider vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and serve.


For a healthier meal, stir 1 cup cooked quinoa or millet into soup before serving.

*  This recipe was SUPER easy…I was able to talk on the phone the entire time with my sister-in-law and make the recipe…kudos for simplicity and taste :)  It’s also Patton approved…he snuck a bite and gave me a thumbs up…I love that man :)

Thanks for letting me share my woes about my little carnivore and all the joy he’s brought to my life and others…If you have furry friends who’ve crossed over…leave a comment and tell me about them.  It really does help with the grieving process….at least for me :)

*  If you happen to read the comments about this post, you’ll notice that my friend Linda mentioned the “Rainbow Bridge“….Here is how the poem goes…be sure to grab some tissues:

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…. 

Author unknown…




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Although I haven’t gone into great detail about why I became vegan, for me it was strictly based on health reasons.  I know a lot of vegans stand up against animal cruelty (which I agree is tragic), but it’s not the answer I give when someone asks me about my vegan lifestyle.  The reason I’m committed to being vegan is an insurance policy.  I don’t want to live a long life…..unless it’s a LONG and HEALTHY life.   There is plenty of research out there that supports the fact that fruits and vegetables do wonders for your health…and prevent cancer and other diseases!  So my insurance policy is, if I eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and deal with stress the best way I can….then I’m doing everything I can to help prevent disease.  If I end up getting cancer or some other disease, then I know I’ve done my best and I’m at my healthiest going into whatever disease I may have.

I’m still learning a lot of things, but lately I’ve discovered a little cheat sheet that I got from a book called “Anti Cancer“.  Garlic seems to be the winner in the area of cancer prevention…and there is a lot of it in the soup I’m going to tell you about :)  While the majority of people are starting to think about their new year’s resolutions…maybe you can consider adding a few of these powerful little guys to your dinner table?

The following images focus on specific types of cancers…Notice how the level of prevention changes depending on the type of cancer…Prostate cancer has a pretty decent size army helping out :)

Now…onto the SOUP!  If you’ve tried my Chunky Winter Vegetable Soup, then you are well on your way to some anti-cancer goodness! This “Tuscan White Bean” soup has come from the same source as Chunky Winter Vegetable, Rebar a cookbook that’s not entirely for vegans but it has vegan suggestions for those of you who are afraid of taking the plunge into plant protein :)

It’s simple…it’s good…it’s anti cancer!  Just for the fun of it, I’m going to bold the anti-cancer ingredients that are listed in the above charts…and, I will say this…eating raw is the best way for you to get the most out of your fruits and vegetables…but having a hearty soup in the winter can also warm the soul…Gazpacho is great in the summer for that sort of thing :)


2 cups (480 mL) Cannellini Beans, soaked overnight – I cheated…using the canned kind.

10 cups (2.4 L) water…I used 8 cups for fear my water would boil over in my medium sized pot

4 bay leaves

1tbsp (15 mL) salt

1 tbsp (15 mL) minced rosemary

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

8 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) red chile flakes

4 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced – oops…I forgot to seed them

1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cracked pepper

2 tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar – which I always up the ante on :)

1 bunch of kale, or spinach


1. Drain and rinse soaked beans and place them in a pot with bay leaves, 2 tsp rosemary and cold water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the beans are tender.  In the last 15 minutes of cooking, add 2 tsp salt to the beans.

2.  When the beans are tender, heat olive oil in a soup pot and add the onion, remaining 1 tsp salt and chili flakes.  Saute until the onions are lightly golden, then add the garlic and remaining rosemary.  Cook several minutes, then add the cooked beans and their cooking liquid.  Bring to a simmer, add the tomatoes and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, remove the stems from the kale, tear or roughly chop the leaves and rinse well in cold water.  Add the leaves to the soup and cook until wilted.  Season the soup to taste with balsamic vinegar, cracked pepper and more salt.  Garnish with fresh garden herbs if you like or add 1/2 cup orzo or other small pasta shapes for a thick and hearty minestrone-style soup.

Lastly, we’re in the last couple of days before the “Juice Plus+ Complete” GIVEAWAY!!!  Have you posted your comment here?  You should…because even if you’re a subscriber to the blog, your name will not be entered unless you comment…so…comment :)  And please please please feel free to share the giveaway with friends and family…I’m half-way to my goal of comments from 50 people….my comments in response to your comments do not count toward my goal…please help :)

Lastly, I’d like to thank my newest subscribers:

Sheri Ohly – We go back to Junior High!  Sheri has one of the kindest hearts..although we’re not as close as we used to be, I know that if I ever needed anything, Sheri would be a person I could truly count on.  She’s amazing.  A mother of 3 adorable girls…you should see the clothes she puts these cuties in!  Sheri also has a blog called “Designing Dreams on a Dime“…check it out!  The girl can work some magic!

Cherie Robbins – I hope to one day have a link you can click on for Cherie because her dream is to open a catering business with her best friend!  They do some small parties together complete with wine pairing.  Cherie’s background is interior design combined with a love for cooking she’s got the complete package.  If you’re in the Seattle/Tacoma area look her up to put together a killer party for you…She’s also a social butterfly…maybe she should also start a business doing tours around the state :)

Joanna Polk – A friend for life.  We’ve known each other since Hawaii, survived a 15 month deployment and an Earth Quake together with some other amazing girls while our hubbies were in Iraq.  The military separates friends too often, but you know you’ve got a keeper when you still visit each other in different states…and now countries!!! Jo and Greg are heading to Germany with their 2 kiddos!


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Chunky Winter Vegetable Soup

Oh friends…THIS is a good soup!  It may not look good, but the taste has winter embedded in it!  Nice and hearty with pumpernickle bread.  I’ve got to hand it to the writers of “Rebar“….they know taste!  While I’m guilty of repeating 2 of their recipes…over and over again, I know there is bound to be some winners through the rest of the book!  So stay tuned, I’ll be cooking up more of theirs soups for sure this winter and also delving into some other chapters…maybe some wraps :)

Something to keep in mind….The majority of the ingredients in here are among the most effective foods for all cancers…meaning they inhibit cell growth in certain cancers…SO EAT UP!  Garlic, Leeks, Savoy Cabbage, Onions, Turnips, and carrots are at the top of the list…all of which are included in this recipe!


8 cups (2L) vegetable stock

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 leek, mostly white parts, chopped

4 bay leaves

1/4 tsp red chile flakes

1 tbsp salt

8 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp chopped sage leaves

2 tbsp thyme leaves

1 acorn squash, 1/2″ cubes

1 turnip or rutabaga, 1/2″ cubes

2 carrots, half moon slices

1/2 small Savoy cabbage, shredded – I used the entire cabbage…glad I did!

1 15 oz can white kidney beans

4 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 bottle dark beer

1 tsp cracked pepper

4 tbsp apple cider vinegar – naturally I used more :)

pumpernickel bread


Warm the stock while preparing the soup.  Heat oil in a soup pot and add the leek, onion, bay, chilies, and half of the salt. Saute until onions are translucent.  Add the garlic, herbs and saute several more minutes.  Next, stir in the vegetables, remaining sale and saute, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.  Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low to let the flavors mingle.  Enjoy with pumpernickel bread :)

Lastly, I’d like to give Kim Chapman a warm welcome!  She’s new to being vegan.  I’m really excited about her journey as she’s already discovered some amazing improvements in her health.  I’m also really excited because she’s a marathoner….proving you can get enough plant protein in to fuel the machine on those extremely long runs!  Thanks for subscribing Kim!

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