Lucky Leek Soup

Lucky Leek Soup

My Dad frequently made Potage Parmentier or Leek and Potato soup. He was often whipping up soups for weekend lunches for us throwing in what ever we had on hand and needed to be used up. This soup was on regular rotation as soon as the cooler weather set up. Though I am usually not a fan of heavier potato based soups, this one is a different story. It is incredibly filling, smooth and creamy, despite having no dairy of any sort in it. It’s thanks to the potatoes that it has the consistency it does. Plus it is quick to put together and only contains a few ingredients. My challenge with this soup was getting the kids to eat it. Like many kids, they turned up their nose at this bowl of cream stuff. Immediately saying they didn’t like it even though I promised they would. I even added a little extra salt to their bowls given their love for anything salty! But every time there was a fight. Then one day I had left over pasta from last night’s dinner and I thought, would they eat it if … [Read more...]

Thai Veggie Burger

Thai food if a regular theme of our menu board. The girls have grown up eating Thai, largely because hubby and I love this delicious cuisine and in part because we had a Thai nanny for a while when the girls were young. She loved talking to the girls about her home country and to take the girls out for Thai with us. Now at first the girls version of Thai was chicken satay and plain rice or bean thread noodles, but over time they graduated to Pad Woon Sen (bean thread noodles stir-fried with bean sprouts and veg), spring rolls, Tom Yum soup ( sweet & sour broth soup with veg and noodles). I love watching their taste buds develop, flourish and get used to spicier meals. With two parents who LOVE spicy foods, it was only a matter of time before these kids embraced spices! Slowly we are getting there and it has been fun watching them try and love new dishes. Back to today’s inspired meal! We saw a Thai flavored turkey burger on a menu recently and the flavors looks (and smelled) … [Read more...]

Quinoa Cakes

I was recently re-tested for food sensitivities. I have been battling with inflammation over the past few months and what I was doing/trying didn’t seem to reduce things. So this time I did a much more in-depth test and the results were, well shocking. I feel a little like I am allergic/sensitive to all of my favorite foods (apples, pears, beets, avocados, dates, spinach, kiwi, tomatoes, etc.) only to name a few. I was left shocked, pissed off and not really sure what I was going to eat for the next 3-6 months (the time period recommended to “cleanse” system from such sensitivities). A day or so later, as I was still digesting what I was and was not allowed to consume, I flipped open one of my cookbook to find a recipe to make for dinner. I was truly surprised to find that most of the recipes that I had created over the years, are recipes filled with ingredients I am not sensitive to.   Going back to what I did years ago when I first starting creating these recipes, I would once … [Read more...]

Tortilla Soup

This weather has been all over the place this summer. One day its 88F the next its 68F, my system and meals don’t know if they should be warm or cold. Luckily we have lots of options and fun things to prepare with the seasonal summer treats. My Gabi requested a tomato soup last weekend, something I usually serve in fall or winter but I was with her on craving something warm plus I had a handful of veggies that needed to be used. Decided on creating a tortilla soup! Mexican inspired meals are so popular at our house. We do a lot of vegan bean-based meals for my husband and I but then throw in some organic chicken or ground beef for the little ladies. Such meals are great because we are eating (and I am preparing) one dish but get to add our own toppings. Hubby will add some extra jalapeños, salsa or Tabasco and a little cheese and I’ll throw in some extra avocado and cilantro. Gabi will have hers with some cheese too. Plus with a soup like this I will serve it with a big bowl of … [Read more...]

Pomegranate Baby Kale Salad with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

In spring-summer my go-to lunch is a salad. Rarely the same one, often thrown together with last night’s left-overs or veggies and beans we prepped Sunday night. I love creating a pseudo-salad bar in my fridge where I can just reach in and throw different items together for lunch. Today’s lunch is an example of that. I had bought pomegranate arils for Twin A who put them in our cart at Trader Joe’s on Sunday but hasn’t “been in the mood” to eat them all week so not wanting them to spoil I threw them into our salad! Love the pop of color and crunch they provide plus the hint of sweetness.   These little gems are known to be one of the oldest fruits, originally found in Persia. It has long been toted as a fruit very rich in antioxidants, nutrients and a symbol of vitality, fertility and health. A delicious add-on to today’s lunch! I have always loved mushrooms and often pick them out of a stew or tomato sauce when no one is looking. I just love ‘em!! Portobellos though, were never a … [Read more...]

Fiesta Quinoa Salad

I had some girlfriends over for lunch last week, something I love to do. Entertaining is a different story when it’s a smaller group of adults versus a few families. I love to do both but it was bit more relaxing to just prep food for a few other moms. One of my friends is vegetarian and another is a tri-athlete often training for the next big race. I wanted to make something that would suit everyone, taste delicious and not require a lot of heavy lifting in the kitchen. I drafted up several menus beforehand, which is typical me, even for a casual small lunch I still had so many ideas and plans, but I kept coming back to this easy, delicious quinoa salad. I love quinoa for so many reasons: taste, texture, its filling, quick to cook, very versatile, gluten-free, a great source of vegan protein, plus it is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Quinoa, unlike most grains (though technically it is a seed) is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino … [Read more...]

Vegan Buckwheat Coconut Risotto

When we used to eat out more often, Risotto was one of those dishes that my husband jumped at ordering if he saw it on a menu.  It was always made with butter, cheese and sometimes a cream or milk that put this dish on the “do not eat” list for someone like me with dairy allergies.  When we first starting dating I thought he ordered this because he didn’t want to share his food, which was fine because to me it was just a bowl of rice sometimes topped with a seafood or meat.  It didn’t entice or appeal to me much but I’d be a little curious when I watched his reaction to this dish.  For the good risottos, his reaction reminded me of an Italian operatic “AHHHHHH AHHHHH”!!  Pure delight, satisfaction and culinary bliss.  He would rave about the risotto and savored it with his wine.  Was it really that good?  What makes this rice dish so amazing?  We tried a few times to make a vegan version at home but I was never blown away by it nor could I make a meal of our it.  Rob reported that … [Read more...]

Red Lentil Dahl with Baby Kale

This weather thing has me and my body never knowing what to expect!! This year’s spring and summer so far, have been all over the place. Lots of rain with bouts of sunshine then colder days, then repeat with the rain again. Can’t we just have a hot and sunny summer universe? We didn’t complain too much about the horrible winter you gave us, Mr. Sun please shine down on me! I came downstairs this morning to a super cold kitchen after leaving the kitchen window open last night. It was +87F degree yesterday after all. But this morning it was chilly, rainy and grey. Today was my “rest day” from working out with Tracy Anderson, so my body really craved something warm and healing for lunch. The girls slept in and the hubby is out of town for work, so I got some time this morning to myself, sacred time for me! My favorite time to prep things is in the morning in a quiet kitchen. This gives me time to think, plan and just start the day out on the right foot. Washing, chopping, prepping food … [Read more...]

Blueberry Frozen Greens Smoothie Bowl

After the kids went to bed last night, I chopped and prepped a bunch of veg to go into my vitamix, then poured a huge glass of water and put it next to nice big lemon. I had the good intention of starting my day out by detoxing my liver with a refreshing lemon water followed by a very green vegetable smoothie.   Instead, Gabi woke up at 5am telling me her tummy was requesting breakfast, specifically “mommy waffles”. When a hungry tummy speaks we must listen, especially when it speaks for homemade waffles! So did I do this while sticking to my good intention set the night before? Well I had half the glass of water (16 ounces) but without the lemon and only after I guzzled down my left over milky iced coffee from the fridge!! Smelling the waffles and also having an opportunity to have breakfast alone with my youngest daughter while her sister and dad still dozed, it was a no brainer, I had to share in the waffle fun instead of my green smoothie. Plus I didn’t want to wake up the … [Read more...]

Rainbow salad

With two young girls, our lives are very colorful to say the least. It’s hard to imagine life without them.  My twins are very colorful little people and big artists, always creating something...very colorful of course!  To play on their love of color, I like to talk with them about why it important for us to eat lots of colorful foods, and play the "rainbow plate" game (see past post) or when we go to the grocery store or market to pick out the most colorful fruit and veggies they can find.  It’s a fun way to teach them about healthy food and for them to try new versions of things, something which is not always easy with young kids. I love coming back from the store this time of year and throwing to together what ever I have and making a “rainbow salad”, sorry not always good at coming up with names for my salad bowls but they really are rainbow salads!  One tip I'll pass on which is nothing new but that I have found to be incredibly helpful is to pre-chop some items ahead of … [Read more...]