Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vegan Baked Mini Donuts

I made mini baked donuts to take to a meeting at work this week. They were a hit! The recipe is from Vegan Yum Yum and is pretty easy to make. You do need to buy egg replacer, but all the other ingredients are pretty basic. You just mix the batter, spoon into a pan, and bake for 12 minutes. I made the chocolate iced ones once before. This time I tried the glazed too. The glazed is my new favorite! You can find the recipe over at the Vegan Yum Yum blog.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Smoky Split Pea Soup

This weekend I tried the Smoky Split Pea Soup from Appetite for Reduction. It was easy to make, thick, and very hearty. The flavor--made smoky by lots of smoked paprika--was good but not to die over.

I'd probably make it again. It's a good, low-fat, simple soup to have in my soup arsenal and is great for lunch in winter...but I wouldn't break it out for guests.

I like my legumes to be extremely soft and not hard at all so I cooked it for 50 minutes instead of the recommended 40 minutes. Even then, some of the split peas were a little firm, so I'd add more water and cook for at least an hour next time. I used bullion cubes to make the vegetable broth. Between that and the additional salt, this was really salty. I like that, but if you don't, use less salt or don't use bullion cubes.

Smoky Split Pea Soup
Serves 6
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced small
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups dried split peas
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste (I didn't use this)

  1. Preheat soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions in the oil until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the garlic, pepper, and salt; saute for another minute. 
  3. Add the paprika and thyme, stirring continuously for about 15 seconds to toast the spices.
  4. Add the carrots, split peas, and broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 40-60 minutes, until split peas are soft enough for you. If necessary, thin the soup with water. Stir occasionally to prevent the soup from burning at the bottom.
  5. Add lemon juice if using. Let set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Lentil Tomato Soup

This soup saw me through the polar vortex. It's hearty, comforting, and has just enough Indian spices make the flavor really interesting without being overwhelming. This is definitely one of my favorite soup recipes, and it's easy to make with just a few ingredients. I used split red lentils, but if you use regular lentils you'll want to cook it longer and possibly puree some or all of it to get the creaminess of the red lentils.

Lentil-Tomato Soup
Adapted from a very old Cooking Light magazine; I ripped out the recipe and don't know the date but probably circa 2000.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (add or subtract to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/3 cup dried split red lentils
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 6 cups veg broth
  • 3 cups water (use more or less water for desired consistency)
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Chopped fresh tomatoes (optional)
  • Cilantro sprig (optional)

  1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add the onion; saute for 5 minutes or until tender. 
  3. Add the turmeric and the next 6 ingredients (turmeric through garlic); saute for 1 minute. 
  4. Add lentils and next 4 ingredients (lentils through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes until lentils are very soft and soup is thick and creamy. If you want it creamier, puree some or all of the soup.
  5. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and a cilantro sprig if you want to be fancy pants about it.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Arizona Hippie Soup

This is another fabulous soup I first tried at my friend's soup party. Note that she adapted it from the Oh She Glows blog (I'm not sure what the adaptations were). The toppings for it were awesome, but I think the soup is perfect as-is without toppings. I cooked it for a really long time to get all the veggies nice and soft. While I don't usually like sweet potato in soup, the sweet potato in this added just the right amount of sweetness.

Arizona Hippie Soup

Adjusted from:


    • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa, rinsed and drained
    • 1TBS coconut oil
    • 3-6 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 cup diced sweet onion
    • 1 jalapeno, seeded if preferred and diced
    • 1 large sweet potato peeled and chopped
    • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
    • 6 cups vegetable broth
    • 1.5 cups cooked black beans (one (15-oz) can rinsed and drained)
    • fine grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste (
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes) 

Toppings: Spinach, avocado, chips, cilantro, cashews, lime


1. In a medium-sized pot, add quinoa along with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cover with tight fitting lid. Simmer covered for about 17 minutes or until the water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and keep it covered until ready to use.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large  pot. Add garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Now add in the jalapeno and sweet potato and sauté for 5-7 minutes more.

3. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, coriander, and broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 18-20 minutes uncovered, or until the potatoes are tender.

4. Just before serving, stir in the cooked quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to taste, adding more spice if desired.

5. Garnish soup with Spinach, cilantro, chips, avocado, cashews, lime.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

African Peanut Soup

With the polar vortex and general despair over the bone-chilling weather since the beginning of the year, I've wanted to eat nothing but soup. The first one I made was this African Peanut Soup, which I first tried at my friend Melissa's soup party in December. Since 1993, Melissa and her husband Stephen have been hosting this party. The party was a lot of fun and the soups were all really delicious, but it's the charity component that is the most impressive. Guests are asked to bring a donation for the Greater Pittsburgh
Community Food Bank. This past December they had 262 guests and raised more than $4,000 for the Food Bank!

I'm just getting back to blogging so didn't take pictures, but trust me--this soup is amazing! It's not overly peanuty and doesn't have sweet potatoes that are in a lot of African soups (and which I'm not a huge fan of). It's just really delicious. Here's the recipe, and see my notes at the end.

African Peanut Soup

Serves 8
The recipe was found in the November 1994 issue of Vegetarian Times and is copied from the Big Soup blog. Enjoy.

  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 2 large red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 to 3 large garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. Canola oil
  • 28 oz. can tomatoes with juice, chopped
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (bouillon is best--see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup uncooked short-grain rice
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (non-natural is best--see notes)
  • chopped roasted peanuts
  1. In a large soup pot, sauté onions, bell peppers, and garlic in oil until onions begin to brown around the edges, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and juice, broth, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat about 15 minutes.
  3. Add rice, cover, and simmer until rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Add the peanut butter; whisk until smooth. Heat to a simmer and serve immediately, garnished with chopped roasted peanuts.
  1. When I made this, I thought it didn't taste like the soup at the party. I thought Melissa's tasted better. I brought it into work for her to taste, and she confirmed it tasted different. We concluded that it was the difference in the broth and peanut butter. I used store-bought ready-made broth, and Melissa used Knorr vegetarian bouillon cubes. I used a natural style of peanut butter, and Melissa used Jif. If you make this, use bouillon and a non-natural style of peanut butter.
  2. I don't like cooked bell pepper and considered leaving them out. But I liked the soup so much at Melissa's party, I decided to leave one in. I didn't taste the pepper at all (which is good for me.) 
  3. I used long-grain rice, and it was fine.
  4. Melissa's soup was much thicker than mine. She said she let it simmer a lot longer than the recipe calls for, so I'll do that next time.