Tag Archives: Vegan

A. Soup. A Week. Roasted Tomato and Garlic

This week, the weather outside had been too cold for comfort. Artic chill with below freezing temperatures. This soup is delectable and spicy and the perfect remedy for a cold winter’s day!

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To me, tomato is the most refreshing, juicy, colorful, luscious and  delicious vegetable out there.  You can add it to  any dish,  and only enhance the flavors. Garlic is my favorite too… Mix them together and you got me hook, line and sinker!

This is the best soup I have made so far during A. Soup. A. Week.

It was so tasty, I just couldn’t stop eating it.

I came across this recipe a while back and have been wanting to cook it. After all the beans I ate last week during the Green Smoothie Challenge, this was a perfect non-bean soup to try this week. The original recipe that this is based on was wholly vegan. So you can make it vegan or use dairy like I did.

Ingredients:
2 lbs roma tomatoes (about 10-12)
1 large onion
1 head of garlic
1 can of coconut milk
1/2 cup cream (or just use more coconut milk)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp  tomato paste or I used two crushed roma tomatoes
a little olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups water or broth

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.

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Prepare a baking pan. Slice onion and lay out on the baking pan. Cut the head of the garlic, drizzle some olive oil and place in aluminium foil and cover. Place the garlic on a baking dish. Wash and slice the tomatoes and lay out on another baking dish. Lightly drizzle the onions and tomatoes with oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Bake all three in the oven. Each takes different times so monitor. In my case the garlic and onion was done in about 40-45 minutes. Depending on whether you slice the tomato in half or smaller slices the time for baking differs. It can take an hour to hour and 10 minutes.

Transfer the onions, tomatoes and as much garlic as you want ( I used 3-4 roasted cloves) to a large pan. Add coconut milk and water (or broth) and tomato paste or crushed tomato and bring to a boil. Add garam masala, salt and pepper. Always adjust salt and spices by personal preference. Reduce flame and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. 5 minutes before removing from the flame, I added 1/2 cup sour cream. Use a hand blender or food processor to gently process for a second or two. Enjoy warm!

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Day 2-7: Green Smoothie Challenge Conclusion

Although I had lofty intentions of daily blogging my progress while doing the Green Smoothie Challenge, life, work and other matters intervened. The past week was extremely busy. Anyway the only reason I wanted to blog daily was so I could stay on track.

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Turns out I did not really need to blog daily to stay on track. I did keep to the challenge for 6 full days. My daily meal plan included 2 green smoothies, 1 soup and 1 large salad. All filled with plenty of fresh vegetables, green leafy vegetables, fruits and almond or soy milk. I snacked on carrots and celery. I was not as aggressive with the fitness and only did 1 hour of cardio on 4 days due to my hectic schedule. Also my diet was only 98% vegan and not completely caffeine free. I had my daily cup of coffee with skim milk and instant coffee.

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Results: Overall I weighed in 3 lbs lighter on the 8th day. While I might not have lost any inches, my clothes don’t feel too snug.

Here are some thoughts on the whole experience:

On the positive side, the whole experience was good for achieving some discipline in eating habits and also getting back to working out on a regular basis.

On the negative side, it might be a while before I have my next smoothie or eat beans! While starting out it felt really good, by the 4th and 5th day my body was in denial. Although being vegetarian I do eat plenty of beans, I might have overdone it during this challenge.  I decided to quit after the 6th day. On the 7th day I did eat in moderation but did not limit myself to a vegan meal plan.

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A. Soup. A. Week Chickpea Soup for the Soul

It has been a dismal week. Cold, cloudy and gloomy. Even days forecast to push temperatures into the 60s proved false. Cold and flu season is rampant. This week’s soup is simple and soothing for the throat and the soul.

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I rarely use chard greens, so when I came across this recipe I thought it would be a perfect addition to my A. Soup. A Week. Also this was the week I went almost vegan to follow the VedgedOut Green Smoothie Challenge. The recipe for this soup with some slight modifications perfectly fit the parameters of the challenge.

Ingredients:
1 cup raw chickpeas
1-2 cups of chard greens
1 carrot diced
1 celery stick diced
1-2 garlic cloves minced
1 jalapeno pepper thinly sliced
1 shallot minced
a piece of ginger
1-2 roma tomatoes
some lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 cups water or broth
1 tsp dry parsley

If using raw chickpeas, soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. Pressure cook and set aside. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse chickpeas.

As I was doing the challenge, I did not use any oil. But you can saute the vegetables in oil. Add onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, celery, and tomatoes to a large pan or dutch oven. Add broth or water and bring to a boil. Add chickpeas. Reduce flame and cook for about 20 minutes. Add chard greens. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until the greens wilt.

Serve warm. Makes 3-4 helpings.

This is adapted from Eat Live Run. Oh…. I let the Chicken out 🙂

Day 1: Green Smoothie Challenge

Waking up on a Saturday morning, sipping coffee and browsing the updates on WordPress reader I saw the Day 5 update to the VegedOut 2013 Green Smoothie Challenge by Somer. I saw talk of this earlier this week on her blog but was having a very busy week to give it any thought. Seeing the progress being reported today, it was highly encouraging. Seeing Somer run on a cold, snowy winter day definitely inspiring.

The past year or so I have been struggling to get rid of the excess weight I had gained over time but with little luck. It’s already the middle of January and  the scale was still stubbornly tipping on the higher side. It was time to try something different.

I decided to stop by the grocery to pick up lots of fresh greens, fruits and other vegetables to last the week.

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It was also time to soak  fresh raw beans (black, kidney, chickpea and whole green peas) in water, since I rarely use canned stuff.

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And time to prepare the dressing and sauces and keep them handy to last the entire week.

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Here I want to record my progress each day with the hope there will be less chance of quitting mid stream. I don’t intend to post any recipes only log my daily four meal plan and exercise routine. You can find all the details about the challenge along with recipes and calorie counts on Somer’s website. My plan is to take it easy and follow the recipes as is. Although I might improvise here and there to substitute equivalent ingredients when I need to, I don’t expect to make any changes to the original recipes. Here is a link to her complete guide to the Green Smoothie Challenge.

After a quick hour at the gym, I had a refreshing Mango Madness Green Smoothie with fresh mango, banana, and spinach.

Lunch was a refreshing salad of red leaf lettuce, chickpeas, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion and vegan balsamic vinaigrette.

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Evening snack of Razzleberry Lemonade Smoothie with fresh kale, banana, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and lemon with some hemp seeds.

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Topped this off with a dinner of vegan fresh whole pea soup with carrots, celery and tomatoes.

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 Oh… and I did have a cup of coffee in the morning…