Split Pea & Potato Soup (slow cooker)

Split Pea & Potato Soup (Slow  Cooker)

split pea and potato soup

We love split pea soup but sometimes it’s a little too thick and heavy for Spring/Summer.  Here’s a recipe for a lighter version that’s just as delicious, has very few ingredients and cooks in the slow cooker.

This recipe is great for vegetarians, it’s also economical and very simple to prepare.  Enjoy!

Recipe

  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 cups yellow split peas (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 cup diced potato
  • I cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (or substitute 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours.

Add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

Variations:  Add chopped celery and/or carrots.

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Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa

 

I love it when I come across a recipe that is not only delicious, healthy and easy but its also made in one pot in 30 minutes!

Mexican Quinoa

  • 1 tbsps Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 jalapeño (minced)
  • 1 cup quinoa  (rinsed well & drained)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can black beans  (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (can use fresh peeled & diced)
  • 1 can kernel corn
  • 2 tsps chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1-2 avocados (diced)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Chopped cilantro or green onion to garnish
  1. Heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and jalapeño and cook for 1 minute stirring frequently.
  2. Stir in quinoa, broth, black beans, tomatoes, corn, chilli powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer until quinoa is cooked, approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in avocado and lime juice.
  5. Garnish with cilantro or green onion.

I can think of so many ways this recipe can be changed to suit your needs and leftovers can be stuffed into green peppers or squash, or try adding shredded cheese.

 

 

Adapted from Damn Delicious

 

 

Spaghetti with Garlic & Olive Oil (Vegan & Gluten Free)

One of my favourite vegan, gluten free meals to make is Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil.  Its so quick and easy to make that you’re almost forced to make a beautiful salad to accompany it to make up for how easy this meal is (notice I said almost.)  The only thing you have to cook is the spaghetti so its a no-brainer really.

DSC_0005

Spaghetti with Garlic & Olive Oil (serves 2)

  • 1/2 package Gluten Free Spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small garlic cloves minced (I keep a jar of  minced garlic in the fridge and use 1 tsp)
  • 1 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp parsley

Cook spaghetti according to directions until al dente.

While spaghetti is cooking, in a small bowl mix together rest of ingedients and set aside.

Drain spaghetti and add the oil mixture.  Stir to coat the pasta and distribute flavours.

Serve with a side salad and a nice chunk of bread to make this a complete meal.  (Don’t forget the nice glass of wine too, this will step it up another level and you’ll look like a star! )

Variations –

  • Add crumbled feta cheese or parmasan cheese (for non-vegans)
  • Sprinkle with nutitional yeast for a nutty cheese flavour to boost protein.
  • Add chopped walnuts
  • Add sauted onions and mushrooms

 

 

Chocolate Cake with Coconut Icing (Gluten-Free)

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

This delicious gluten-free chocolate cake is for those of you that want a real moist chocolate cake. We do not eat dessert very often (unless you count chocolate as dessert which I do not) so when hubby asked for a chocolate cake I decided to make the best gluten-free version I could come up with. I searched the web and through trial and error and tweaking (I made 4 before I was completely satisfied) we have declared this the winner!
This is not a healthy recipe for chocolate cake by any means but that wasn’t my goal. This is a special occasion cake that you make for family and friends who will love it despite the gluten-free label.  No more making a cake for gf people and another one for everyone else 

Chocolate cake (gluten-free)

1/3 cup milk (or milk alternative)
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups cooked quinoa
3/4 cup coconut oil melted (or melted butter)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
¼ cup hemp seeds (optional)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

Place milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor and pulse to combine.

Add cooked quinoa and coconut oil and puree until very smooth and the consistency is thick and creamy.

In a separate bowl combine sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and hemp seeds.

Add quinoa mixture to the bowl and stir until combined.

Bake in 2 greased cake pans at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

 

Coconut icing

2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp milk

Combine in bowl and beat until consistency is soft and easy to spread.  Add more milk if required.

 

NOTES:

  • I used coconut oil because I love the subtle coconut taste it gives to the cake and icing plus I use it in most of my baking in place of butter.
  • Hemp seeds were added for additional protein and it adds a very slight nutty texture to the cake but omitting them from the recipe make no difference in the final product’s taste.
  • I admit that the recipe calls for a large amount of sugar but I wanted the cake to taste like a real chocolate cake and not be short of sweetness. This amount tastes just right to us and I’m not sure if sugar alternatives could be used.
  • This recipe can be easily made vegan.

My Top 10 Tips on Juicing

If you had said to me last year that I would be drinking veggie juice everyday, I would never have believed you.
But here I am four months in and loving every minute of it.

JUICE

Here are my top 10 tips on juicing the easy way.

1.    Buy a good juicer.  A mediocre juicer will not only produce less juice, but will cost you more in the long run as it uses more fruit and veggies to produce the same amount of juice as a good juicer.  You can buy a good juicer for $150.00 and up.

2.   Juice whatever vegetables and fruit that you like.  If you don’t like a certain vegetable don’t juice it and choke it down.  Juice should taste great and if it doesn’t then you won’t keep it up.  Celery is on my No list.

3.    You don’t always need to follow a recipe.  Experiment with your own combinations and you’ll soon have some favourites that are easy to remember, delicious and super healthy.  Remember to add an apple to a juice if it’s not sweet enough for you.  If you are the type that needs a recipe, there are tons on the internet including my blog.

4.   Add a slice of lemon and a small chunk of fresh ginger root to every juice.  I don’t like the taste of ginger but I can’t taste it in the juice and the health benefits are huge.  Lemon makes every juice taste fresh and clean.

5.   Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables when they are on sale.  Inexpensive produce like apples, carrots, spinach and kale are always good to have on hand and make simple delicious juice especially during winter.

6.   When you start juicing, try and aim for at least 50% vegetables / 50% fruit in each juice especially if you have a sweet tooth like me.  The more vegetables the better so gradually increase the ratio to 70% vegetables/30% fruit.  I know some people can drink straight vegetable juice but that’s not going to happen for me and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

7.    Try and buy organic produce if you can but depending on where you live this may not be possible or cost-effective so don’t worry too much about it. I barely wash my produce and don’t seem to suffer any ill effects 🙂

8.   Wash all the components of your juicer with hot soapy water as soon as you can.  I don’t run my dishwasher every day so I don’t use it to clean my juicer.

9.   Find a routine that works for you.  I juice in the morning and make a breakfast and lunch juice at the same time.  Some people find it easier to juice in the evening for the next day.  Remember that juice loses nutrients over time so keep it refrigerated in a sealed glass container (Mason jars work well).

10.  Remember…. You can’t juice a banana!

Roasted Vegetables

roastveg

You know those days when you need to hit the Farmers Market to replenish your fruit and veggies but you still have a few vegetables left that you need to use up first?  (Sorry that was a really long winded question).

Well, I love those days.  It’s the perfect excuse to make roast veggies… so easy, so delicious and no recipe to follow.  Use whatever vegetables you have available but I especially love roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, squash etc.

I used leftover red potatoes, onions, cauliflower, carrots, cherry tomatoes and even a granny smith apple.  Chopped them into bite sized pieces, placed them in a bowl, tossed them with extra virgin olive oil and lots of salt and pepper.

Cover a baking sheet or pan with tinfoil, add the veggies and cover with more tinfoil and seal.  Roast at 400 degrees for approximateley 45 mins and you’ll end up with delicious roast veggies, it’s that easy.

Serve with a couple of  fried eggs…. yum!  You can add them to so many things like omelettes, frittata, pasta or blend them up with some vegetable stock and make a great roasted vegetable soup.

Oh the possibilities 🙂

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

For me, nothing beats the comforting warmth of Shepherd’s Pie.

This version is vegetarian which makes it an easy choice in this house, plus it’s so simple to make its a win win really.   The beauty of making this for tonight’s supper is that I already had left over mashed potatoes from last night (actually it was a potato, cauliflower & garlic mash so bonus!)

Veggie Shepards Pie

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 package of veggie ground round
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (gluten free brand)
  • 3/4 cup of warm water

Heat oil in pan over medium low heat.  Add vegetables, salt & pepper and sautee until onion is soft and clear.

Add veggie ground round and heat through.  Stir in corn starch until blended.

Stir in soy sauce and water stiring until it thickens slightly.

Add mixture to a medium casserole dish.  Top with mashed potato and heat in oven at 375 degrees for 20 mins or until heated through.

Serve with a fresh green salad for a balanced meal or if you’re like me just dig in, stuff your face and enjoy!

If you are interested in making the Potato, Cauliflower & Garlic Mash I have included the recipe below.  

Potato, cauliflower & garlic mash

  • 4 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter (substitute – vegan butter  of choice)
  • 1/4 cup warm milk (substitute – vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh parsley (optional)

Place potatoes, cauliflower, garlic and salt in a pot of water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium and cook until potatoes are cooked though.  Drain water.

Add butter and milk and mash together with vegetable masher until fairly smooth. Add parsley and mix through.