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 [Vegan]

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

I discovered this recipe on Real Simple's Instagram feed and the next day I was in the kitchen baking them (with a healthier vegan twist). Do you ever do that-- see something on Instagram and actually make it right away? In my dreams I do.

In reality, I rarely actually leave a photo, go to the poster's Instagram bio to click the link, and then leave the browser window open long enough that the recipe is available to me when I can actually use the information.

Fortunately, I recently cracked the code to getting recipes I discover on Instagram (or anywhere else via mobile) into my belly. Check out my blog post to find out how I use Plan to Eat to save and plan to make recipes I discover online.

Below is my version of the recipe. (You can check out the original muffin recipe at Real Simple.) Maybe one of these will be the first recipe you add to your Plan to Eat recipe book.

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!


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