Like a Cannonball

Thai Corn Soup

thai_corn_soup

 

Welcome to my first of five posts for #FreshTastyValentine!  I’m starting things off with a simple and delicious soup that’s delicious hot or cold, so perfect for the insane weather that has been happening here on the East Coast.  This soup also works well with my New Years resolution to keep things quick and simple as it comes together super quick – partially because of the fantastic herb pastes from Gourmet Gardens.  Inspired by a vegan soup I made years ago from a cookbook Joe had, one that apparently did not make the move to Baltimore, I knew that that lemongrass paste would be the perfect addition.  I also used the Thai Seasoning paste in place of the curry seasoning (tho I think the original original recipe called for paste) – always better to go organic and natural!

Like a Cannonball

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 bunch spring onions, sliced white and greens (separated)

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 tsp Gourmet Garden lemongrass paste

1/2 tbsp Gourmet Garden Thai seasoning paste

2 cans coconut milk

2 1/2 cups 2% milk

4 cups frozen corn

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the white part of the spring onions along with the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the two pastes and cook for an additional 5 minutes stirring frequently to preventing burning.
  2. Add the coconut milk and regular milk and bring to a hard simmer before adding the frozen corn. Cover and reduce heat to low, cooking for 20 minutes.
  3. Serve and enjoy topped with the green pieces of the spring onions.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/like-a-cannonball.html

As a bonus, this soup is super easy to clean up from as the pastes mean no cutting board and the soup is made in one bowl.  Perfect recipe for a crazy weekday (or weekend) night.    I love that with these pastes all I have to do is unscrew the lid – one less step is always welcome.  Huge THANK YOU to Gourmet Gardens for sending me such incredible items.  For your chance to win the Gourmet Gardens herb package (or one of the many other prizes) be sure to check out my intro post to Fresh Tasty Valentine!

 

Quick note that the Gourmet Garden pastes do contain whey so they aren’t vegan but they are gluten free.  However, their dried herb are just that making them vegan, gluten free, and perfect.

Thank You

#Fresh Tasty Valentine

If you saw Wednesday’s post than you know that I’m participating in what will be an epic collection of healthy treats to enjoy on Valentine’s Day – or any other day starting on February 1st.  Along with the recipes from the 22 (!!!) participating bloggers there are also 14(!!!) prizes to be won thanks to the fantastic sponsors.  This post is all about those sponsors, many of whom sent some beyond incredible treats and toys to test out.   All of this is thanks to the fantastic Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Cam – who also brought a bunch of us together last year for TripleS.

 
#FreshTastyValentines is almost here. A group of 22 talented food bloggers who will be posting recipes for an entire week that, we hope, will inspire you to make some healthy Valentines treats for your loved ones. Here we are…
 
The Bloggers
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)
 
From February 1st through February 8th, not only will you find nearly a hundred recipe posts, but you can enter to win our awesome giveaway, courtesy of some amazingly generous donations from sponsoring companies. See details below.
 
The Sponsors
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)

 


The Prizes

Thank you to #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #FreshTastyValentines recipe development without additional compensation. All opinions stated are those of the bloggers.


BenBella Vegan is a division of BenBella Books, a boutique book publisher located in Texas. BenBella Vegan has published over twenty plant-based books and cookbooks in the past
decade.

They are providing a prize package that includes five different cookbooks from their 2015 publishing releases! One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive a print copy of the following cookbooks: The Plant-Based Journey, Dining at The Ravens, Plant-Powered Families, The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, and The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook.


While there’s been a growing awareness of whole grain
benefits in recent years, Bob’s Red Mill been providing whole grain
products to customers since 1978. Their philosophy: provide whole grain foods that have
endured the test of time. They are providing one #FreshTastyValentines winner with a package of Hulled Hemp Seed Hearts. With a nut-like
flavor and creamy texture, their hulled hemp seeds are a nutritious, healthy, and delightful addition recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Keep an eye out for event recipes that feature the hulled hemp seed hearts!




Casabella grew out of the idea that housewares
and cleaning products could be great looking, fun and functional simultaneously. And, to that end, they strive to deliver products that are attractive, intuitive and functional.
Additionally, all of their products are designed and assembled in America. They are providing a prize package of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for your Valentine cooking and for the rest of the year as well. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive: Casabella’s Clip n StripShears and a Garlic Roaster.

 



Envy Apples were born in New Zealand using natural plant-breeding methods by cross-pollinating Braeburn apples with Royal Gala apples. They have since planted trees in Washington state and Chile. They are providing a prize package for one #FreshTastyValentines winner that will include Envy apples, an apple corer, and more.



Gourmet Garden loves herbs and spices and strives to make everyday cooking easier and more enjoyable. Their herbs and spices are washed, chopped and prepped within 18
hours of harvesting through patented processes that seal in the natural essential oils to maximize the fresh flavor and aroma of the herbs. They are providing one #FreshTastyValentines winner with each of their stir-in pastes (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, dill, Italian herbs, garlic, chunky garlic, ginger, lemongrass, oregano, parsley, and Thai seasonings), each of their lightly dried herbs (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, ginger, and parsley), and two Gourmet Garden logo coolers.


KitchenIQ is the new houseware branch of Smith’s Consumer Products, Inc. and embraces their long-standing reputation
for innovation and quality, reflecting their commitment to producing
smarter products for the kitchen. They are providing a prize package of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for your Valentine cooking and for the rest of the year as well. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive: KitchenIQ’s Strawberry
Tool
and Better
Zester
.
 
 
 
Mann Packing was founded in 1939 and is now a third
generation, majority women-owned company. Their mission is: Fresh Vegetables Made Easy™ and they value honor, passion, quality, and vision. Additionally, they support local school and donate generously to numerous charitable organizations throughout the community and the industry. They are giving one #FreshTastyValentines winner a $25 gift card. Keep an eye out for event recipes that feature the Mann Packing vegetables!
 



Not Ketchup was created by Erika Kerekes who also writes the kitchen blog In Erika’s Kitchen. She shares: “When we think of ketchup, we think tomatoes. But it hasn’t
always been that way. The first ketchups were actually made several centuries
ago from pickled, fermented fish in China, Malaysia and Indonesia.” Not Ketchup got its name because the United States has bizarre regulations about what can be labeled as ‘ketchup.’ Since Not Ketchup does not contain
any tomatoes, according to the powers that be, it’s Not Ketchup. Not Ketchup is providing one #FreshTastyValentines winner with a bottle of their NEW No-Sugar Added Tangerine Hatch Chile fruit ketchup. Keep an eye out for event recipes that feature the newest flavor of Not Ketchup!


Pacari Chocolate is a family owned business created in Ecuador by Santiago Peralta and Carla Barbotó. They wanted to revolutionize the chocolate industry; pacari means “nature” in Quechua, and was selected to embody everything that Pacari Chocolate represents. They are providing one #FreshTastyValentines winner a package of their premium organic chocolates!
 

 

Sun Basket is a convenient ingredient delivery service that was created by a top San Francisco-based chef and approved by an in-house nutritionist. Each delivery includes easy, delicious recipes and seasonal, sustainably souced ingredients from West Coast farms. Sun Basket has generously donated THREE prize boxes. Winners must reside in the following states: CA, WA, CO, UT, OR, AZ, NV, & ID to win these prizes.
 
T.Lish began because each Christmas, Tiffany Denson would make dozens of mason jars filled
with her signature dressing and marinade for her neighbors, friends, and family. Then, they began requesting the sauce throughout the year; a neighbor recommended she start selling it retail. She did. And word spread. T.Lish is Tiff’s line of all natural and extremely
versatile dressings, marinades and sauces. They are providing a prize package of their three marinades and dressings to one #FreshTastyValentines winner. Keep an eye out for event recipes that feature the T.Lish dressings and marinades!
 

 

 

UncommonGoods was founded by Dave Bolotsky who, at a craft show at the Smithsonian in 1999, was captivated by the unique handmade goods and the craftsman behind them. He had a vision to create an online
venue to connect makers to individuals searching for special and uncommon goods.

UncommonGoods (www.uncommongoods.com) is an web-based marketplace offering creatively designed, high-quality merchandise at
affordable prices. They are providing one #FreshTastyValentines winner a $150 gift certificate for a shopping spree at the online marketplace. Particularly timely for this time of year – glassware for when you uncork a bottle of wine with you sweetheart (here), or the corkcickle in case you forget to put the beer or wine to chill ahead of time (here). And I might just have to leave this link – for Valentines’ gifts – open on my computer!

 

 

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi began over thirty years ago, when Robert Mondavi had a goal of getting great California wine on every table in America. In
1979 he established the Woodbridge Winery near his childhood home of Lodi,
California to make fruit-focused wines for everyday drinking. They are providing a prize package for the raffle. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive two bottles of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi wine – one bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and one bottle of Pinot Noir. Cheers!


The Giveaway
For FOURTEEN Different Prizes
begins February 1st and ends February 8th
If you are visiting before the rafflecopter opens, please check back!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So make sure you come back on the 1st to check out the first round of recipes and to enter the giveaway for one of the incredible prizes listed above.  Camilla, thanks again for making this possible!!!

Your Love

#FreshTastyValentine

I’m so beyond thrilled to be involved in this blog event which is featuring treats and toys from a large number of awesome companies.  A few of them I’ve worked with before (Gourmet Gardens!) while others are totally new (UnCommonGoods) but totally incredible.  I’ve been planning these recipes ever since Camilla invited me to join this party back in December and can’t wait to share them.  First tho, I want to use this post to THANK all the incredible sponsors involved in #FreshTastyValentines and acknowledge all the other bloggers who are participating in this event.  Make sure you go all the way to the bottom to see the surprise that goes alon with this post!

 
#FreshTastyValentines is almost here. A group of 22 talented food bloggers who will be posting recipes for an entire week that, we hope, will inspire you to make some healthy Valentines treats for your loved ones. Here we are…
 
The Bloggers
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)
 
From February 1st through February 8th, not only will you find nearly a hundred recipe posts, but you can enter to win our awesome giveaway, courtesy of some amazingly generous donations from sponsoring companies. See rafflecopter below.
 
The Sponsors
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)

 

The Giveaway
For FOURTEEN Different Prizes
begins February 1st and ends February 8th
If you are visiting before the rafflecopter opens, please check back!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #FreshTastyValentines recipe development without additional compensation. All opinions stated are those of the bloggers.

Can you see why I’m so excited about this?!?  I’m all about healthy food and since having my little girl (2months today), eating healthy is even more important.  So stay tuned for a bunch of tasty and delicious treats!

Brought to Life

Vegan Sugar Cookies 

vegan_sugar_cookies

Many moons ago, or about 5yrs ago, I found an incredible vegan sugar recipe.  This past year I went to look for it again and could not locate it!  So I decided to come up with my own recipe based on a “normal” sugar cookie recipe and what I know about vegan cookie.  One of the biggest issues I’ve had with vegan baking is the missing butter taste as well as the not always awesome aftertaste some vegan “butters” offer.  With that I decided to add a bit of cinnamon, not enough to cross into snickerdoodles territory but enough to add a bit of something to the recipe.  I also added a touch of cream of tartar in order to counter the melting point of vegan “butter” and keep the cookies from spreading too much – another problem I commonly have.  I wasn’t going for a super fluffy cookie but I didn’t want them to be as crispy as a rolled cookie.

Brought to Life

Serves: makes 48 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup vegan "butter", softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup applesauce (no sugar added)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extra

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Cream together the sugar, cinnamon, and butter for 10 minutes until nice and fluffy. Add in the applesauce, vanilla extract, and salt and blend for another 3 minutes.
  3. Stir together the flour and baking soda and slowly mix in with the wet ingredients until just mixed.
  4. (Optional: place in fridge for one hour)
  5. Form dough into walnut size balls and drop onto cookie sheet leaving space for the cookies to spread.
  6. Bake for 11 minutes, allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then move to a cooling rack.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/01/brought-to-life.html

These cookies were a huge holiday hit!  Husband enjoyed them so much he had a hard time believing they were vegan, which is the ultimate compliment in his case.  For a real treat, form the dough and then freeze in a plastic cookie “tin” and bake when you’re getting a craving for something sweet.

2015 in Review

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already over – in so many ways this year has just flown by!  2015 was a BIG year for my family as we welcomed our little girl at the end of November.  It was also a year where I learned to let go and accepted that I can’t control everything, a lesson that I’m sure will be repeated over the next 18+ years or so.  I wasn’t able to post nearly as much as I had hoped (curse you HG) but I was able to catch up with some of my older cookbooks and make some great plans for the future.  There are about 21 freezer meals that will be reviewed between now and March (!), a return to the Secret Recipe Club, and a rather awesome Valentine’s Day series.  However, this post isn’t about what’s coming but rather a look back on the top posts of the year.  So without further delay the top three posts of 2015:

seitan_mac_cheese

Cheese “burger” Mac & Cheese

cheese_cake

Mini Ginger Cheesecakes

cherry_chipotle_brussel_sprouts

Cherry Chipotle Brussel Sprouts

Not at all surprised that two of these posts are from February’s Triple S Bites!  That was so much fun to participate in, and so many of the posts from that week really pushed me.  I still can’t believe I made mini cheesecakes!  This year my focus is going to be on quick and easy meals as I don’t see myself having that much spare time.  I also hope to get back on track with eating seasonal vegetables as well as local and sustainable goodies.  2016 has a lot to live up to after such a fantastic 2015 – I can’t wait to see what happens!!!!