Thursday, February 4, 2016

12 Easy Vegan Soup Recipes

Vegan soups make it easy to stay hydrated and eat more veggies-- two things that are hard to do in winter months. Plus, since you can make a big pot of soup using inexpensive, (mostly) unprocessed whole foods, vegan soups can help you to save money on groceries and take out while you spend less time cooking.

Pictured: Secret Weapon Purple Miso Soup, Spicy Pumpkin Chili, Curry Cauiflower with Spinach Soup, Blender Borsch, and Spiced Red Lentil Tomato Kale Soup.

I love vegan soup so much I created the 21 Day Vegan Soup Challenge. Every February I lead a group though the challenge. You can also do the challenge on your own at any time of the year. (Click here for details and registration.)

The first day of the 2016 guided group challenge is Sunday, February 7, 2016. The last day of the guided group challenge is Saturday, February 27, 2016. 

Here are recipes I featured during last year's challenge. They were selected because they all include nutrient-dense whole foods. Many also include orange root veggies, healthy fats, and protein-- three important factors in reducing cravings for unhealthy sweets. 

12 Easy Vegan Soups (featured during 2015 Vegan Soup Challenge):

Friday, January 29, 2016

How to Freeze Leftover Vegan Soup

One of my favorite things about the 21 Day Vegan Soup Challenge is the bestovers (that's what I call leftovers). Personally, I could eat the same yummy thing every day. However, if you like variety it's a good idea to cook two or three pots of soup each week during the challenge. This means you're likely to have leftovers.

Freezing soup is the best way to deal with leftovers. Most vegan soups will still taste fine when thawed and enjoyed after 6 months. Here are some tips for freezing soup and ideas for what to do when you have no freezer space or hate leftovers.

General Tips for Freezing Soups
  • Soups that freeze best: Bean soups, vegetable soups, broth-based soups, soups with brown rice or wild rice, and pureed soups. 
  • Don’t freeze herbs in soup. Just add them to reheated soup. 
  • You can, however, freeze herbs like cilantro and parsley separately: Wash and dry. Chop in food processor. Pour in olive oil as it processes. Freeze in ice cube tray or in freezer bag. (More details here.)
  • Don’t freeze cooked pasta. Instead, boil fresh pasta and add this directly to the reheated soup.
  • Slightly undercook vegetables, especially potatoes. If you're making some soup to eat now and some to freeze, scoop out/put aside the portion of soup you plan on freezing before finishing/fully cooking the soup you plan to eat.
  • Freeze in quarts or in single portion sizes. This makes it easier to tote to work, store in the freezer, and reheat.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pantry Essentials for Excellent Vegan Soup

The Vegan Soup Challenge starts soon. It's a challenge to enjoy one delicious bowl of homemade vegan soup every day for 21 days in February. (It's free to join so check out the details here.)

During the challenge, I'll give you a weekly grocery shopping list of specific ingredients needed to make the two featured recipes. Still, it can be helpful to have a general idea of the kinds of things you should have stocked in your fridge and cabinets. At least, that's what one past participant told me so I figured maybe more folks would like this too. 

Perhaps having on hand the foods listed here will inspire creativity and cause you to cook soup without a recipe, but just based on what calls to you. That's always fun!

Below are the building blocks of vegan soup. You should absolutely always have them on hand during the challenge:

Monday, January 25, 2016

Salted Chocolate Almond Chia Muffins [Dairy-Free]

OMG, these muffins! Salty, sweet, and moist with a slight crunch. In a word: heaven.

Salted Chocolate Almond Chia Muffins [Dairy-free, Vegan optional]

To make these with a somewhat healthier twist, as I did, you'll need the following:
  • whole wheat pastry flour
  • fair trade sugar: I used a half & half mix of regular cane sugar and coconut sugar
  • unsweetened fair trade cocoa powder
  • baking soda
  • kosher sea salt
  • chia seeds
  • roughly chopped almonds, divided
  • fair trade chocolate chips
  • dairy-free buttermilk: I whipped 1 TBS apple cider vinegar into 1 cup almond milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • canola oil (used in place of butter) or melted coconut oil if you want a slightly coconutty taste
  • egg from pasture-raised hen, lightly beaten: Want vegan? Whip or blend 1 TBS of ground flax seeds into 3 TBS water and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • almond extract
  • I just used more kosher salt for sprinkling, but I wish I had the recommended flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Essential Kitchen Equipment to Cook Delicious Vegan Soup

The Vegan Soup Challenge starts soon. It's a challenge to enjoy one delicious bowl of homemade vegan soup every day for 21 days in February. (It's free to join so check out the details here.)

When developing my first wellness challenge in 2015, I knew that vegan soup would be the perfect food to focus on. Besides being easy to cook and a good source of veggies, I believe the fact that you don't need fancy equipment, expensive ingredients, or lots of cooking space makes vegan soup accessible to almost everyone.

Here are things you should have in your kitchen to cook souper awesome vegan soup:

Big bowl: Handy for washing greens and for holding chopped ingredients before they go into the pot.

Big pot with lid: 6 qts is ideal. If you only have space or budget for one pot, I recommend getting a dutch oven because it can be also be used to braise, saute, and bake.

Cutting board: To chop veggies.

Colander: To rinse and drain beans and veggies.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Secret Tool to Save, Plan, and ACTUALLY Cook Instagram & Pinterest Recipes You Love!

Make 2016 the year you actually make all the healthy and yummy recipes you discover on Pinterest and Instagram.

To save, organize, and literally plan to eat recipes you discover online right from your smartphone, you need my secret tool: Plan to Eat.

If you don't already have an account, join Plan to Eat for free now. (You can do this from your phone or computer.) Once that's set up you're ready to find recipes, plan meals, make grocery lists, and cook from your phone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


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