Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin soup

For Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I re-post today this entry, which I originally wrote in October 2009, it's still as good as then, I tweaked the recipe to accommodate vegetarians as well. 

Everywhere in my blog neighborhoods appear dishes and recipes. See here and here... The season invites for home cooked meals, friends around the table and the splendors of autumn to be enjoyed. Last Saturday's market stroll yielded many fruits and vegetables, among them a sumptuous heirloom pumpkin, which begged to be made into a lovely soup for Sunday nights family dinner, book club guests snack later and follow up lunch on Monday.

My youngest stood by when I carved the top off and deep into the orange flesh to reveal a wonderful terrine for the soup later on.
It smelled delicious and we first roasted the pumpkin seeds as a snack.

Recipe for heirloom pumpkin soup:

1 medium size pumpkin
2 apples
1 medium size onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
5 carrots
1 quart of vegetable or chicken broth
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1/4 stick butter or 3 tbs olive oil, thyme, parsley, ginger, chopped raw spouted almonds, pepper and sea salt.
1/2 cup half and half

To sprout almonds: soak raw almonds for about three hours, rinse, drain and put in a glass jar to sprout for a few hours, small tips will appear on the small end of almonds, use as usual or dry in dehydrator until dry. If you want them raw, do not roast them.

Carve the pumpkin carefully, let there be enough flesh be around to keep the pumpkin as a serving bowl.
Set aside.
Cut flesh in to smaller pieces, take out some of the stringy pumpkin fibers, sort out seeds for roasting.
Spread seeds - washed and dried - on to a baking sheet, bake @ 350 degree for about 15 min, until crispy.
Cut apples, onion, garlic and carrots in smaller pieces and roast in butter or oil for a couple of minutes. Do not burn the garlic and onions. Empty chicken or vegetable broth in large stockpot, add pumpkin pieces and all the gently roasted vegetables and bring to a boil, add thyme, gently cook for about 30 minutes, until all is soft.
In Blender blend small batches of soup and return to pot. Add fresh ginger, pepper and salt and keep warm. Reduce to a comfortable thickness. Take off the heat.
Add half and half. (Or leave that out) Serve with chopped almonds and a good measure of parsley!
For added drama serve in your pumpkin!

Bon appetite!

It lasted until today, when the last soup was finally eaten for another lunch!
All what's left now is a pumpkin waiting to get a happy face!


All images by V.Zlotkowski

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mother Earth drink

I call this one Mother Earth for its lovely mild and earthy taste. I freshly squeezed two apples, two handful of mixed greens (left over from my salad greens) one medium beet, 1/2 lbs of carrots and one tsp Udi's oil.

It's yummy and so good for you! 

I took this picture, when I was already more then half way done....it's of course much larger a drink to begin with...


Image by V.Zlotkowski

Friday, November 16, 2012

Julius Kefir...

This is another really lovely drink. Kefir based and deliciously refreshing.
Take 2 cups (lactose free) kefir, 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice, add two frozen bananas and 1tsp vanilla powder extract, mix in blender and serve immediately.
These recipe comes from Diane Stobo's wonderful book 

The easiest way to freeze bananas: 

First peel ripe bananas, cut into 1 inch pieces and lay open on top of a paper towel or thin plastic sheet in freezer. After they are frozen transfer into freezer bag, remove air and store in freezer until use.
They come in handy in every smoothie, which needs a little added frozen coolness. Better then ice cubes.


Image by V.Zlotkowski

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Refreshing breakfast drink

Often I substitute typical morning fare with a smoothie. It's fast and loaded with healthy goodness, which keeps me going for a good while. This one is vegan and utmost delicious. You can of course substitute fruits or add sweetener, but I feel this is not even necessary. 

The recipe is enough for two portions.

Take 2 1/2 cups of almond milk (Fresh or store bought)
pour in blender and add the following

2 tsp raw cacao powder
2 tsp lucuma powder
2 bananas 
1/2 cup frozen aronia berries 
(They add antioxidants and vitamin C and the gorgeous color!) 

Blend on high for 1 minute, enjoy!

Image by V.Zlotkowski

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Raw diet

My diet has been far from raw over the last weeks, due to the fact that I am in greater need for warm, cooked food in the approaching winter season and additionally to the circumstances of hurricane Sandy which left us, like so many others, stranded without electricity.
And smoothies and juices simply cannot be done without it.
Of course there is still the option to eat fresh raw fruits and veggies, which we did, but one can only do this for so long in a cold house, which forces you eventually out into restaurants and any kind of food place to satisfy your hunger. Which gave me again another look into the mostly unhealthy and /or one sided approach to cooking and eating in restaurants in general. 
Of course we were grateful for the multigrain sandwiches and soups, salads and fish dishes, but overall the choices for truly healthy eating are still rather slim. So we were absolutely delighted, when we came across the Hudson Grille in White Plains, which offers, apart from their delicious burgers and other regular fare, an extended gluten free and vegetarian section on the menu. I can report it can be done satisfactory.
Let's hope these offers become even more mainstream and restaurants will pick up this trend, as more and more customers are willing or in need for alternative food offerings.
They even had soy milk for my coffee, still often unavailable at many restaurants and even coffee shops and other breakfast venues.
Here is to healthy eating....


Image via website, as indicated.
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