Soups & Sides

Homemade Guacamole

One of my favorite foods, if not my absolute favorite, is avocado. Today I’m sharing with you this delectable guacamole by Sid Ali. His dishes are Paleo and healthy, and his photography is absolutely stunning. For us food bloggers, he also offers tips to make our photos stand-out, and you will definitely walk away with something new to ponder and try. I’m honored to be able to feature his dish with you, and I know that you won’t be able to put down your tortilla chips; it’s also fabulous on a slice of gluten-free toast! Make sure you’re hungry before you visit his site because he will make you want to eat!

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Homemade Guacamole (Vegan & Paleo)

  • Difficulty: easy
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Simple, delicious, Paleo, and Vegan homemade guacamoles perfect on toast or served with tortilla chips.

Tips: add red bell peppers and green bell peppers or poblanos for less spice, jalapeños for medium spice, and cayenne and serrano peppers for a very spicy option.

Credit: Sid’s Paleo Blog

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 chillis
  • 1 lime
  • 30g fresh coriander (5/8 cup, 1.1 oz fresh cilantro)
  • extra virgin olive oil


Directions

  1. Roughly chop red pepper, red onion, garlic, chillis, and coriander. (Save 1/4 of the chopped red pepper for later).
  2. Destone avocado and add flesh to the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Add a squeeze of lime juice (to taste) and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Blitz in a hand blender for just a few seconds or until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. Add the remaining chopped pepper for garnish.

Don’t forget to visit Sid’s Blog for more great recipes and gorgeous food photography !

Warming Vegan Recipes To Eat This Week

If you are a recent addition to the vegan world, you might have found the vegan lifestyle and food habits easy during the summer months with fresh salads and pasta dishes, but when the weather turns and we face colder nights you may miss an easy crockpot roast or warming stew. The good thing is that you can still enjoy vegan and healthy comfort foods! 

Vegan Curry

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For something warming that hits the spot, nothing can be better in fall than a good old curry. Now that ‘going vegan’ is becoming popular in the world there are loads of curry recipes which are vegan by nature and this makes it much easier for you to find a great spicy dish to enjoy. In previous posts, I shared a Creamy Curried Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup and Hearty Vegetable Lentil Stew with Goda Masala, but here is an additional yummy vegan curry recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas (15.5 oz) 
  • ½ cup red lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green chili
  • 1.8 oz (50g) chopped ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 13.5 oz (400 ml) passata
  • 3.38 oz (100ml) coconut milk
  • Rice to serve

Start off by pulsing the onion, garlic, ginger and chili in a food processor. Place into a pan and fry for 10 minutes until fragrant. Add all other ingredients and simmer for 40 minutes. Serve with rice!

Tomato Soup

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Tomato soup is a classic comfort food and it’s one which absolutely anyone can enjoy. The fresh, warming flavor is perfect after a cold day and this recipe is simple and delicious. I prefer mine served with a vegan grilled ‘cheese’ gluten-free sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium (500g large) tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 handful basil
  • 16.5 oz (500ml) vegetable stock.

To start off, score a cross into the top of each tomato and boil them for a few minutes in a pan. Place directly until a bowl of ice cold water and allow the skin to peel off. Sauté onions and garlic until translucent, add all other ingredients and simmer for 1 hour. Blend until smooth.

Butternut Squash Risotto

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For a fall time classic which makes the most of the squashes we have available this season, a comforting bowl of risotto cannot go wrong.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200g) butternut squash, diced and boiled
  • 1 cup (200g) arborio rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 25.36 oz (750ml) vegetable stock

Place some oil in a pan and add the garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in rice and coat with the oil. Pour in the wine and stir until absorbed. Add the tomato purée and a ladle of stock. Stir until combined. Add cumin and some more stock. Repeat adding stock until all has been absorbed. Add in the butternut squash and cook for 10 minutes before serving with a crisp salad.

There are loads of tasty plant-based meals to enjoy as the weather cools so have fun with a few different recipes and you could end up with some new family favorites! What are your favorite fall favorite comfort foods?

Roasted Figs (Paleo & Vegan)

Figs have a short season so get to your nearest grocery now! I got mine at Trader Joe’s. I’ve been trying lots of new things with the Blonde Coconut Nectar since I used it to create my Blackberry and Blueberry Crisp. I love that its flavor doesn’t compete with the food and it doesn’t have a strong coconut taste either, just a nice sweetness. So I used it to roast the figs with a little cinnamon; sometimes the simplest ingredients are the tastiest.

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I’ve been enjoying them on oatmeal, on salad, pizza, and even a sweet potato with a little vegan butter. Just can’t get enough of these delectable figs! Plus, they are ready in a snap!

Roasted Figs (Vegan & Paleo)

  • Servings: 9
  • Difficulty: easy
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Simple, delicious, Paleo, and Vegan Roasted Figs with only three ingredients. Check out the recipe ideas for ways to eat these figs!

Tips: Figs will stay fresh in the fridge for a week or so. I like to pull out a couple every day to add pizzazz to my typical staples.

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Slice the figs in half.
  3. Place on a baking pan.
  4. Coat with coconut nectar and cinnamon.
  5. Arrange the figs cut side up.
  6. Cook for ~15 minutes until they are tender and slightly caramelized.
  7. Serve warm, and store leftovers with sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

roasted figs

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I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. However, the product I am recommending in this post is one of my personal favorites that I frequently eat, make and enjoy.

Purple Sweet Potato Soup

This crazy cold April weather made me take advantage of making a warm soup while I still can! Trader Joe’s has purple sweet potatoes and they called my name! This soup has only nine ingredients; it’s delicious and EASY! Sometimes the simplest dishes are the tastiest!

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Purple Sweet Potato Soup

  • Servings: 3 large servings
  • Difficulty: easy
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This Purple Sweet Potato Soup has only 9 ingredients, it's easy, filling, delicious, naturally gluten-free, vegan and paleo.

Tip: This dish serves three large portions or can be a side dish for 6. I ate this as a main dish with Schar Gluten Free Baguettes. I love to dip the bread in the soup!

Credit: My Real Dish

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1 bag baby carrots (16 oz / 1 lb)
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon Redmond Real Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil


Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400.
  2. Wash, peel and slice potatoes about 1/4 inch thick
  3. Chop the onion and mince the garlic
  4. Place half of the onions, 2 teaspoons of garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sweet potatoes in a glass pan, add a pinch of real salt and pepper. In a second small glass pan, add the baby carrots with the remaining 1 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon garlic, and add a pinch of real salt and pepper.
  5. Roast sweet potatoes for 20 minutes (until they are tender), and remove them from the oven. Roast carrots for ~25 minutes or until they are tender. Turn after 10 minutes.
  6. Add roasted veggies (including the onion, olive oil, garlic) to slow cooker along with salt, pepper, and cinnamon (if desired) and vegetable stock – cook on low for 1.5 hours. Or, put roasted veggies in a pot on the stove, with vegetable stock, cinnamon (if desired), bring to a boil and then turn to simmer on low for 20 – 30 minutes stirring frequently.
  7. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Or, transfer soup to a Vitamix or blender to puree.

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Roasted Carrot Soup With Chickpeas, Pumpkin and Butternut Squash

In St. Louis we are having this rainy cool weather and I felt like it was my last week or so to make a soup before it starts getting warmer. So I made this easy creamy soup with 10 ingredients, and I served it with a gluten-free vegan baguette from Schar. It is a filling veggie soup that doesn’t leave me starving! Since it’s perfect for Easter, I’m going to bring it to my Dad’s house this weekend.

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Roasted Carrot Soup With Chickpeas, Pumpkin and Butternut Squash

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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This easy creamy roasted carrot soup is easy, filling, and delicious with 10 ingredients. It is naturally gluten-free, vegan and paleo.

Credit: My Real Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 can 15 oz Butternut Squash
  • 1 can 15 oz Pumpkin
  • 1 can 15 oz Chickpeas / Garbanzos
  • 1 can 15 oz can coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Redmond Real Salt
  • 5 grinds of pepper


Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400
  2. Chop onions, carrots, and garlic
  3. Place onions, carrots, garlic, and toss with olive oil on a cookie sheet; roast for ~20 minutes until onions are translucent and carrots are tender.
  4. Drain chickpeas (I like to keep the brine in the fridge to make a vegan meringue) and rinse the chickpeas until the water runs clear.
  5. Combine roasted veggies with all other ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 1.5 hours. Or cook in a pot on the stove on low for 30 minutes stirring often.
  6. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Or, transfer soup to a Vitamix or blender to puree.
  7. I served with a dash of cinnamon and a toasted gluten-free baguette. Roasted chickpeas on top would also be scrumptious.

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What are your Easter food traditions? Making anything special this weekend?

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Vegan Cole Slaw

This recipe is an easy traditional Vegan Cole Slaw. I made it for my son’s birthday party, family parties, and brought it to the Super Bowl Party tonight. Of course, I’m lazy and bought a bag of Cole Slaw today, I decided to go to yoga instead of making my own. However, if you decide you want to make your own cabbage, you can process 1 cabbages and 2 carrots in a food processor. Sometimes I finely chop a zucchini that I stir in after, but my husband is not a fan so I have to hide it in tiny pieces!

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Vegan Cole Slaw

  • Servings: ~7
  • Difficulty: easy
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This easy Vegan Cole Slaw tastes like traditional cole slaw with a hint of mustard. It’s naturally gluten-free.


Credit: My Real Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 – 14 oz bag of Cole Slaw. (I used one with cabbage and carrots).
  • 3/4 cup vegan mayo (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ( I used Bragg Organic)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard (dijon also works)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Xylitol (Sweeten to your preference. I bought the XyloBurst Brand made from birch sugar at swansonvitamins.com)
  • pepper to taste
  • salt to taste (I used 4 dashes)
  • Optional: Cayenne (I used 2 dashes of Red Pepper)


Directions

  1. In a liquid measuring cup, measure the vegan mayo, and then add the apple cider vinegar, mustard, and xylitol.
  2. Stir and mix 1/3 of the mixture blending throughout the cabbage at a time, in order to evenly distribute.
  3. Then add the cayenne (optional) and salt and peppered to taste.

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Peach Mango Rice with Chipotle Lime

Tacos are a staple in our house. I once read about a lady who went on a taco diet – I could easily do it. Every taco needs some rice, and this Peach Mango Rice with Chipotle Lime is tasty with any taco or taco bowl, and sometimes I add a cup of canned black beans and have a complete meal!

This Chipotle Lime Rub from Wildtree is my favorite spice. I’ve been putting it on everything from tacos to butternut squash. This is the fourth dish in my Wildtree Chipotle Lime Rub Series, you can find the other dishes here: Chipotle Lime Chickpea Salad and Southwestern Chopped Ranch Salad. and Chipotle Lime Roasted Sweet Potato Salad.

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chipotle lime peach mango rice

Peach Mango Rice with Chipotle Lime

  • Servings: ~8
  • Difficulty: easy
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This flavorful peach mango rice chipotle lime is a perfect side-dish for tacos or can be eaten as a main dish with black beans. It features Wildtree chipotle lime seasoning.


Credit: My Real Dish

Tips: you can use frozen or fresh mango, if you use frozen just sauté them a little longer with the bell peppers, for approximately 4 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ teaspoon Wildtree Chipotle Lime Rub (You can buy it here.)
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 mango (~1 ⅓ cup chopped mango)
  • ½ peach (½ cup chopped peaches)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 2 cups rice


Directions

  1. Prepare rice per instructions.
  2. Chop red onion, mangos, peaches, bell peppers, and slice cherry tomatoes.
  3. Heat olive oil in medium skillet.
  4. Sauté onion and bell peppers over medium heat for 6 minutes until slightly tender.
  5. Add mango, peaches, and tomatoes and sauté for 2 more minutes if fresh (see tips about frozen fruit)
  6. Stir in cooked rice, chipotle lime seasoning and serve.

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Okra Corn Tomato Soup with Jackfruit

What is going on with this crazy weather? It’s been unseasonably hot here, but once it slightly felt like Fall last week – I had to make a soup. I’ve been rushed for time recently, with my children’s soccer, diving, and gymnastics practices; why did I let them do this to me?! So when I saw this can of Tomatoes, Okra and Corn by Margaret Holmes at Deirbergs (a local St. Louis grocery store), I was inspired to use it to make an easy crockpot soup. They had a recipe on the back of the can, but I thought that it would be nice with jackfruit!

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This is the third dish in my jackfruit series; you can read my other two recipes here: BBQ Peach Jackfruit With Chipotle Avocado Slaw and Pineapple Jackfruit Tacos With Pineapple Lime Slaw. I personally like jackfruit best in the crockpot. It pulls apart like pulled pork or chicken, and its slight pineapple-ish taste goes well with the sweetness of the corn and the raisins in this soup.

My husband is not vegan, and he never lived in the South where okra is common like I did. He isn’t a connoisseur of vegetables; he sticks to the basics like broccoli, green beans, caesar salads, and peas. He was very apprehensive to try my soup. After trying it he said that he was surprised that it actually had flavor, and ate it for 3 days. I tried not to be offended by his compliment/insult, and instead, realized that he gave me his picky stamp of approval. Essentially, if you are a meat and potatoes fan like my husband, don’t be scared of the okra and jackfruit in this soup!

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Okra Corn Tomato Soup with Jackfruit

  • Servings: 12 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
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This easy crockpot okra corn tomato soup is a savory dish with jackfruit, edamame, and chickpeas. It's sweetened with raisins and flavored with curry.


Credit: My Real Dish

Tips: I served this soup with a gluten-free vegan cornbread. I used this Gluten Free Yankee Cornbread Mix from Glutino Gluten Free Pantry Mix, but made it vegan by using almond milk (instead of buttermilk), 1/4 cup applesauce (instead of an egg), 6 tablespoons vegan butter (instead of dairy butter) and then added 1 can corn. I baked it for 25 minutes at 425 degrees and served it drizzled with agave syrup and a tab of warm vegan butter.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (~1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 cans okra corn and tomatoes (I used the Margaret Holmes brand)
  • 1 container gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (~1 lemon, squeezed)
  • 2 teaspoons Redmond’s Real Salt 
  • 30 grinds of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-20 oz can jackfruit, drained and rinsed (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame (without the pods)
  • Gluten-free macaroni shells for serving (I used Tinkyada


Directions

  1. Chop onion, mince garlic.
  2. Juice lemon into a measuring cup in order to easily remove the seeds.
  3. Drain and rinse chickpeas and jackfruit.
  4.  Empty the 2 cans of okra corn of tomatoes into the crockpot (with juice).
  5. Add lemon, vegetable stock, curry, pepper, salt, bay leaves and jackfruit.
  6. Cook for 4 hours.
  7. Add the raisins, frozen edamame, and chickpeas and cook for 2 more hours.
  8. Prepare the gluten-free noodles by the instructions on the box.
  9. Serve soup over gluten-free macaroni shells with cornbread (if desired).

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Southwestern Chopped Ranch Salad (Vegan)

This summer I discovered Just.Ranch – it’s a fabulous vegan ranch dressing. I’ve been indulging in it a lot! I love combining ranch with flavors that you wouldn’t expect!

Recently I’ve been trying to meal prep by roasting vegetables ahead of time for salads, bowls, and pasta. This week I marinated 18 ounces of chopped butternut squash in agave syrup, olive oil, and Chipotle Lime Rub by Wildtree. I’ve been using this rub in soups, on tacos, and even veggies. This salad has so many of my favorite flavors! I’m going to use the rest of the quinoa and chipotle lime butternut squash for some other dishes this week.

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Southwestern Chopped Ranch Salad

  • Servings: 1 full meal
  • Difficulty: easy
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This Southwestern Chopped Ranch Salad is filling and flavorful with chipotle lime butternut squash, quinoa, black beans, avocado, and cherry tomatoes.


Credit: My Real Dish

Tips: (1) Prepare quinoa per bag. I made 1 cup in order to use it with the Roasted Butternut Squash in another vegan bowl this week. (2) I purchased 18 oz of butternut squash, roasted it with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Lime Rub, 1 tablespoon agave syrup for 25 minutes in a 425-degree oven.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 3 tablespoons of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons quinoa
  • 5 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 2/3 cup Roasted Butternut Squash (Chipotle Lime Rub, agave syrup, and olive oil – see tips)
  • Vegan Ranch Dressing (I used Just.Ranch)


Directions

  1. Prepare quinoa and Butternut Squash per tip recommendations. Or the desired equivalent.
  2. Chop vegetables, drain and rinse the beans.
  3. Place romaine lettuce in the salad bowl and top with ingredients.
  4. Serve with Vegan Ranch Dressing.

What are your favorite salad combinations? Let me know in the comments!

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Summer Squash and Edamame Salad

Last week when I was at Sam’s club, this magazine From Garden to Plate caught my eye, probably because of the color on the cover – turquoise is my favorite color!
620_1_.jpegThis magazine is “both a resource for creating an organic, edible garden as well as a cookbook for making the most of the harvest.” I don’t have a garden. While I love the idea of fresh organic produce, since I killed some cactus recently – it’s probably a horrible idea. I’m aware of my skills and time constraints. However, these recipes had tons veggies and perfect for summer! I felt like I didn’t have to tweak them too much to make them vegan or gluten-free! I’ve made three recipes so far and they are delicious and easy!

For this Summer Squash and Edamame Salad, you just chop….

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Sauté…

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and voilà!

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  • Servings: 8
  • Print

This Summer Squash and Edamame Salad is vegan, gluten-free and a perfect bbq or picnic dish.


Credit: Country Living

This recipe called for butter, but I changed it to make it vegan by preparing it with olive oil. It also called for thinly slice red onion, and I chopped it.

Ingredients


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped yellow summer squash
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 2/3 cup red onion (chopped or thinly sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar or champagne vinegar (I used white vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper



Directions


  1. Heat skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil to medium heat
  2. Add yellow squash, zucchini, edamame, red onion and garlic.
  3. Sauté for 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender, but still crisp.
  4. Stir in vinegar, basil, salt, and black pepper.
  5. Serve at room temperature, or cover and chill up to 24 hours before serving.


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