Tag Archives: basil

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Soup (Vegan)

It is officially winter! So cold outside! Nothing feels more satisfying in this weather than something warm and filling and hearty. This recipe hits the spot! I roasted up some sweet red bell peppers with some garlic  and onion and blended it together with cashews. It is sweet, garlicky, rich from the cashews, and still very healthy! It’s everything you want on a cold winter’s day. I served this with some multigrain toast drizzled with olive oil. Yum!  You can roast the veggies in advance, and then preparing the soup should take you only about 10-15 minutes. I can’t wait for you to try it!

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Quick and Easy Japanese Eggplant in a Green Curry Sauce

I’m not much of an eggplant person. I’ve learned to like it more over the years, but it will never be my go-to choice. But I was at the farmers market the other day and I saw these beautifully vibrant purple japanese eggplants. Japanese eggplants have a tougher, less mushy consistency. They hold their shape well and go great with asian dishes. I decided to make a quick and easy green curry. Quite honestly, this recipe is quick! I find that most of my cooking time is used with prep. In this dish I only used eggplant, and some shallots and red pepper. I served it with Trader Joe’s quick-cooking brown rice.  I was super excited to use my fresh thai basil that I have growing out on the balcony as a garnish. It was delicious! If you don’t have thai basil, you can use cilantro or regular basil. This dish was a true testament to the fact that a healthy meal can be done from start to finish in under 20 minutes.

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You will Need:

  • 2 Japanese Eggplants
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a small nub of ginger (optional)
  • Green Curry Paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Soy sauce
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Thai basil (optional)

To prepare:

  1. Cut the eggplants in half length-wise. Then cut them on the bias, meaning at a diagonal so you get nice little pretty angled pieces. DSC_0032
  2. Next, chop the garlic, shallots, and slice the red pepper.
  3. In a wok, heat some oil, add the garlic and shallots and stir.
  4. Add in the eggplants and saute for 5 minutes on high heat.
  5. Add in the red peppers and stir.
  6. After 2-3 minutes, add 1 can of coconut milk, a dash of soy sauce and a pinch of sugar. Take a tablespoon of green curry paste and dissolve this in the milk. You can optionally grate some ginger over the top for added flavor at this stage.
  7. Reduce the flame to medium and allow the curry to simmer for another 5 minutes, adding water as necessary, depending on how you like it. The eggplants are cooked when they are no longer white, but have a more eggplanty color.
  8. Taste the  curry and make sure it has enough salt.
  9. Sprinkle some chopped or julienned thai basil over the top and serve with steaming brown rice!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes.

Makes 3-4 servings.

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Make Your Own Pesto! Spinach-Basil Almond Pesto (Vegan & GF)

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I am sold! For the past few weeks I’ve been making more and more vegan choices and cooking fully vegan at home. This pesto was so creamy, flavorful and delicious that I don’t think I’ll need the parmesan in my pesto again! I made it right in my magic bullet cup. Spinach is one of the world’s most nutrient-rich foods, packed with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and rich in Vitamin K, which helps with bone health. Since pesto is usually served raw, you’ll be getting the full benefits of these nutrients.  And for this recipe I used a whole bag of spinach. I also added an entire bunch of fresh basil from the farmers market, a handful of whole unsalted almonds, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Somehow, adding the spinach takes a bit of the edge off the basil and makes it nice and creamy. The pesto takes just a couple minutes to prepare and makes about 8 servings. Use it on pasta, zucchini noodles, sandwiches, or whatever suits your fancy!  Hope you try it out!

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You will Need:

  • 1 bag or 1 bunch of fresh spinach
  • 1 large bunch of basil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves depending on how strong you’d like it (I used 1 and a half)
  • Two handfuls of almonds (probably around half a cup), toasted  for a few minutes gently over a med-low flame
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt n peppa!

To Prepare:

  1. I made this dish right in my magic bullet cup, but use the blender of your choice Just add in the spinach, garlic, basil and a couple drizzles of olive oil. About 2 tbsp of olive oil should be enough.
  2. Now I like to add a little bit of water to cut down on the amount of oil I use and start pulsing with a flat blade.
  3. As the pesto breaks down, add the rest of the spinach and basil. Add a drizzle of olive oil and some water if necessary.
  4. It should be smooth enough to coat pasta, but not too much that it becomes fully a puree
  5. Taste the mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  6. This should take you no more than 5 minutes to make! Enjoy with a pasta of your choice!

*Tip: Try not to cook  the pesto, as it wilts very quickly and the color darkens. Toss with pasta right before serving! 

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