Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vegan Creamy Broccoli Potato Soup

Night Five of Bountiful Baskets
Last night I was feeling a little under the weather, so it was a lazy Rumbi's take out night. :)

Tonight I'm making potato broccoli soup.
This is what I used:

12 small potatoes, cubed
1 32 oz box veggie broth plus half the container tap water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1 pinch of paprika
one bay leaf 
one onion, chopped
one rainbow carrot, chopped
two heads broccoli
tablespoon ginger root, minced
two cloves of garlic, minced
Wash and cube the potatoes. Pour the veggie broth, cubed potatoes and spices into a large pot.  Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes; then add the carrots.  

 While the carrots are cooking with the potatoes, chop one onion, mince one small piece of ginger root and two cloves garlic.  Caramelize these three ingredients in a separate pan for about five minutes.  
 Add the broccoli to the caramelized onions and let cook for one more minute.
Add the broccoli and onion sauté to the soup and cook another five minutes.  Add 3/4 cup soy milk and simmer for the last ten minutes.  
 Serve in bowls, let cool, and eat up!  The ginger adds a little spice, while the potatoes and soy milk make this soup perfectly creamy. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taco Tuesday!

Day four of Bountiful Baskets
I feel a little under the weather, so I decided to make something very easy and healthy.
 Today's inspiration is from someone at my work.  Taco Tuesday is something they make every Tuesday without fail! 

This is what I used: 
  1. one head of red leaf lettuce, chopped small enough to spoon
  2. one tomato, diced
  3. one leek, diced
  4. Harmon's black bean and corn salad
  5. Two Harmon's taco bowls
The hardest part of this meal is washing, drying and chopping the lettuce.  It's very simple, and I finally used up my lettuce (something I used to waste every week with Bountiful Baskets).  

Chop and dice all ingredients, but the shell. Mix the leek with the lettuce.  Put the black bean and corn salad in the taco shell first, add the lettuce and leek mixture, topped with diced tomato.  I used raspberry vinaigrette for the dressing, Matt didn't use anything.  
This meal is so fresh and flavorful! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vegan potato leek curry

Day three of Bountiful Baskets
 I used a lot of veggies today in my curry along with the coconut milk from yesterday's blog.  This is the first time I've made curry and was very pleased.  It was really spicy, but so tasty.  I got my inspiration from this site, but changed a few things.


This is what I used:
8 small yellow potatoes cut into eighths
1 sweet onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger root, peeled and minced 
1 leek, chopped
1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar of home canned tomatoes, diced
1 head of broccoli 
1 rainbow carrot, chopped
6 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper
Coconut milk (see yesterdays blog)
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
2 mini bell peppers

Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes, add the broccoli and carrots with 3 minutes left.  

In a large cast iron pan, saute the onions, garlic, bell peppers, and leek for about five minutes.  Add the spices after five minutes of sautéing.  Let sauté
for about two more minutes.  
Add the rest of the ingredients, but holding off on the coconut milk.  Let the ingredients saute for about five more minutes and then add the coconut milk.  Let the curry simmer for about 10 minutes
 Serve up and enjoy.  This is really spicy with 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.  If you don't like it spicy, add less.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

How To Crack A Coconut (and Make Granola)

Day two of Bountiful Baskets
I received a coconut in my tropical pack and am going to show you how to make coconut milk and granola.  Before I make the milk for these meals, I need to crack open the coconut and make coconut milk. 

This is how to make coconut milk from your coconut.

Tools you will need:
Clean Phillips screwdriver
Clean flathead screwdriver
Clean, clear space on your floor or deck
Tap water

First, you will want to drain the coconut water.
To do that, hammer the Philips screwdriver into the three natural indents in the coconut.   

You will make the three holes so the water can drain. 
 Pour out the coconut water into a cup and set aside for later. 
Next, you will want to crack open your coconut.  I look for the natural cracks in the coconut and hammer the cracks.  The cracks will spread and the shell will be easy to pull off from there. 

Now you have your coconut meat with coconut water.  
I am making two different things with my coconut.  I made slices with a quarter of the coconut for my granola and will make coconut milk out of the water and remaining amount of coconut meat.
 I diced the slices and baked them at 300 F. for 30 minutes on a small baking pan.   This will go in the granola.
 To make coconut milk, cut the coconut into smaller pieces.  Put in the blender with the coconut water along with 1 cup tap water.  Blend for about one minute, or until the mixture has no clumps.
 Put the blended coconut in a wire colander and drain into a bowl.
 I like to be creative with my cooking tools.  I used a soup ladle to press out the liquid.
Now you have your coconut milk. Put the milk into a sealed container and refrigerate.  
I will now use the baked coconut in my granola.  
Granola ingredients: 
6 cups rolled oats 
1/4 cup flax meal (binding agent)
1/4 cup brown sugar (binding agent)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cocoa
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
coconut we browned earlier
 Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix together, and set aside.
Put a small pot on medium heat and add:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1/8 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup almond butter

Heat the liquid ingredients until they are homogenous.  
Mix the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients and spread out on a greased cookie sheet.  Place in your preheated 275 F. oven and cook for 30 minutes.  I sprinkle dried fruit and chocolate chips after this is done baking.  If you cook the fruit with the granola, it will burn and become hard. 
Use a spatula to put the granola in containers.  I like to use glass containers since plastic leaches to your food.  

Enjoy your coconut.

Join me for tomorrow's post.  I will be making curry with my coconut milk.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Vegan Asian Eggplant Marinara

Day one of Bountiful Baskets
Eggplant Marinara
See my previous blog post

This is what used: 
Two Asian Eggplants, sliced into rounds (from Bountiful Baskets)
1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
2 T. Corn Starch
1/2 cup Water
Cabernet Marinara Sauce (Racconto Cabernet Pasta Sauce)

Rainbow Carrots (from Bountiful Baskets)
cooked in the slow cooker with:
Olive Oil
Sea Salt  
Diced Onion

Pineapple (from Bountiful Baskets)

Slice the eggplant into rounds and dunk the eggplant into a bowl with 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup water.  Then coat with Italian breadcrumbs and place in a greased pan on medium heat.

Cook the eggplant on both sides for about 4 minutes on medium heat, or until golden-brown.

Place the browned eggplant in a greased casserole dish.

Lightly cover the eggplant with marinara sauce.

Lay down a second layer of eggplant.

Pour the marinara sauce over the top layer of the eggplant.  Lightly sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top of the dish, cover the casserole dish, and place in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 F.  After 30 minutes, uncover and let cook in the oven for 15 more minutes.  Take out of the oven and let cool. 

I like cheese baked on the top, but Matt won't eat cheese.  If you want cheese, then sprinkle a thin layer over your dish for the last 15 minutes in the oven.

These are my rainbow carrots.  I cooked them all day in the slow cooker with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, sea salt, and a chopped onion.  Matt said I could sell the carrots.  He really liked them. 

This is the full dish.  It doesn't look very pretty, but is delicious.  The eggplant has crispy edges and tastes like naughty food, but is really healthy.  
Eat up and enjoy!

Bountiful Baskets

Last night my mom called to see if I wanted her Bountiful Baskets with a tropical pack. She accidentally ordered an extra basket this week.  I jumped on her offer, and picked the basket up this morning at 6:45 a.m. 

This week I am going to prove to myself that I can use the basket in creative ways and blog about my cooking adventures to share with you.  I used to order Bountiful Baskets every week, but I wasted too many veggies and stopped ordering.

Bountiful Baskets is a volunteer-based food co-op that has locations in many states.  They try to buy their produce as locally as possible and stay with the same farmers to keep our prices down.   One regular basket costs $15.00 and comes with a basket of fruit and a basket of veggies.  If you're on a tight budget, but still want to get your veggies in, this is a great deal!  Check out their website to learn more.

 Every time I pick up Bountiful Baskets, I feel like a kid on Christmas morning.  Each week the baskets have different items, and sometimes you get unique fruits and veggies most people have never heard of.

 This is what my Bountiful Basket surprised me with today: 
Rainbow Carrots
Head of Lettuce
Bok Choy
Asian Eggplant
5 lb. Bag of Golden Mini Potatoes

My mom also ordered a tropical pack.
The tropical pack had:
Two vanilla beans
one pineapple
three limes
bag of fresh mint leaves
one lemon
two kiwis
one coconut 
two mangos

This may take a couple of weeks for two people to consume, but I am determined to use it all up.  I'll keep you posted to show you what dishes I come up with. 

Monday, February 18, 2013


This is Dorothy.  She is my new best buddy.  

When I am sad, she is there to pick me up. When I am happy, she is there to enjoy the moment with me. When I have no motivation, she is there to tell me to go out and walk. 

I grew up with dogs and have grown to love their companionship.  The past ten years, I haven't had a dog and have felt a void in my life.

Matt and I went to Trolley Square on 1/25/2013.   We walked in the animal shelter at Trolley Square, admired the dogs and then started to leave.  On our way out we looked at the last cage and saw a sad tiny black dog hiding behind a boxer.  She was in the same cage as the boxer.  The tiny dog was shaking and looked so sad.  I had to pet and comfort her, and when I did, she started to calm down.  That's when Matt and I fell in love.  She had to come home with us. 

These are from the day we adopted her.  As you can see, both her and I are smiling.
Dorothy fits in very well. 

 She hangs out with Bella.
 She loves to work out with Matt and I.  Dorothy is really good at yoga, especially downward dog. 
 She works hard, plays hard and knows when to relax. :)
  I've had Dorothy for about a month now and can't imagine my life without her, but Dorothy is not what I expected.  I always imagined myself having a large, male dog that I bought from a breeder.  

I now think the pound is an amazing place to adopt a new dog or any animal you are thinking of getting.  The animals are so appreciative and loving.  They may need a little bit of work from the trauma of their past, but it's worth it.  Dorothy is perfect.  

Dorothy has her own Facebook page.  If you want to check it out, go to Dorothy's Facebook.