Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Roasted Carrot Soup
Roasted Carrot Soup
Roasting Carrots before using them in a soup is a great way to intensify their flavour and bring out their natural sweetness. This roasted carrot soup is one that I make specifically when I want to feel great. It's incredibly delicious and made from predominately whole foods. This carrot soup is also perfectly spiced with a bit of cumin & coriander. I often add cashew cream or nut butters to my soups for added richness/creaminess but this one doesn't need it. This soup simply starts with carrots roasted in olive oil, then I also use a generous amount of olive oil for sweating the onions and garlic (a whole head of garlic in fact). The result, dare I say, is a luscious soup that I find to be addictively good. A touch of maple and a squeeze of lemon adds the right balance of sweet and acidity.
Roasted Carrot Soup Garnish
To garnish my carrot I don't want much. I had it with a bit of chopped parsley and I found it only detracted from the flavours I was loving in my carrot soup. I opened my cupboard and found a bottle of generic lemon oil I had unopened, a drizzle of that and a sprinkle of cracked pepper was the perfect finish. Of course, alongside, I always want a good loaf of multigrain bread. I ripped off rustic chunks, drizzled them with olive oil, and popped them in the oven at 425F. I just make sure each side is toasty and golden. A few minutes per side.
For the Best Roasted Carrot Soup use homemade Veg Stock
If you want your soups to be really good, starting with a homemade vegetable stock is key. I simply save scraps of onion, celery, carrot, garlic, mushroom, tomato, parsley in a 10 lb bag in my freezer. Once it is mostly full, I dump the contents into a large stock pot, top with water, and simmer gently for at least 45 minutes. I often turn it off and go accomplish other tasks or errands, then I'll fire it back on awhile later, strain, discard solids and reserve the liquid for whatever purpose. I like to keep stock in my freezer for soup making. I typically add my veg stock to the pot again after it is strained (cleaning out any veg scraps that have stuck to the sides first), then I put it back on the heat to simmer and reduce. This accomplishes two things. 1. You are left with a smaller amount of liquid which takes up less space in your freezer. 2. It creates a concentrated flavour base that to me is irreplicable. Store bought stock is never as good...and I doubt it is as nutritious either. You have the added benefit of reducing kitchen waste by using scraps, not to mention utilizing all of the nutrients in the veg scraps that would otherwise hit the bin. I don't know about you, but with the cost of groceries these days I am always keen to save wherever I can.
Final Consistency of Soups
I'm picky about the final texture of pureed soups. Pureed soups in my mind should be thick, creamy, but also fluid. I like it to easily pour from my ladle, not stick to my spoon. If it is too thick, I feel like I am eating just a bowl of pureed vegetables.
If I were trying to be really precise about the texture, I'd strain the soup through a chinois. (fine mesh strainer) Then, probably put it back on the stove to reduce a bit. You can get really smooth silky texture by straining your soups, but you are losing out on some of the fiber, of course.
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
This noodle bowl starts with one of my favourite vegan cheese products. Chili Lime Fauxmage. It might seem strange to use vegan cheese in an asian inspired bowl, but this one is different because it uses fermented chili paste to pack a flavour punch. It adds creaminess and depth to the simple sauce that gets drizzled all over noodles and crisp sauteed veggies.
So, if you can, get your hands on some chili lime vegan cheese made by my friends over at Fresh Start Fauxmage, and make this recipe. It is a product available Canada wide, you can check their webpage for locations to purchase. The sauce is simple and addictively good. Soba noodles (or your favourite noodle) are first tossed with sesame oil and crisp sauteed veggies. Then you drizzle everything with the sauce made with the chili lime fauxmage over top.
In this delicious sauce you'll find chili lime fauxmage, coconut milk, red thai chili paste, fresh ginger, garlic, brown sugar, lime, soy sauce & sesame oil. You really have to try the chili lime fauxmage to understand it, but put it this way, it basically has a cult like following.
To garnish I really like toasted cashews, sesame seeds and scallions!
Feel free to substitute your favourite noodles and veggies in this recipe. The sauce will be amazing drizzled over practically anything!
The sauce gets heated a bit first, you want it to be really "drizzly", if it is too thick, your noodle dish will taste dry. You can just add a bit of water if it reduces too much. If you're digging into you're noodles and you find it needs moisture, I just sprinkle in a few tiny drips of hot water and toss.
Shop the Chopsticks that I use in my photo. I bought and love this variety pack with different colours of wood.
Ingredients (Veg & Noodles)
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Fajita Bowl Recipe Notes
Hey friends! I'm so excited to share this recipe!!!! I'm obsessed. I love fajitas, but do you know what I love more? This fajita bowl. I had decided I wanted to create a fajita bowl using my Tofu Beef recipe, and I stumbled upon an image from the Half Baked Harvest food blog. A blog with beautiful images that I can get inspired from, but definitely not vegan. I happen to have a knack for veganizing things and making them taste great, and this fajita bowl DOES NOT disappoint.
The History of Fajitas
Fajitas, a Tex-Mex dish that typically consists of grilled, sliced meat served in a flour or corn tortilla with vegetables and various other condiments, are believed to have originated in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The word "fajita" is derived from the Spanish word "fajita", which means "little belt" or "stripe". It is thought that the term was originally used to describe thin strips of beef that were used to make "tacos al carbon", a traditional Mexican dish.
This is why I love fajita bowls. (Maybe you can relate)
1. I stuff my fajitas with way too much filling to the point I can barely wrap it up haha. (I can't change, I won't change) This isn't a problem in a fajita bowl. 2. You don't necessarily want 2 fajitas, because maybe you only want to eat one tortilla, but you eat two because how can you have only one? Well, you get all the delicious filling you want plus a tortilla. It's the best of both worlds.
What you'll find in my fajita bowl.
Cajun Spice Mixture
I used my cajun spice mixture to cook the bell peppers and onions because it is something that I have on hand. I use it to make Cajun Tofu. If I can repurpose things that I already have, it makes mealtime easier. Use whatever your favourite taco seasoning mix is in place of the cajun spice blend if you'd like!
For this recipe you just crumble 2 blocks of tofu, and mix with olive oil, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, garlic & onion powder, then bake in the oven. The texture really does mimic ground beef and I love it in this recipe. To reheat, I just add a tiny amount of oil to my nonstick pan and add the tofu beef until it is hot and sizzling.
Mojo Verde is a simple green sauce made from chopped cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt and chopped jalapeno. I left out the jalapeno this time because I didn't have any, and also because I really like pickled jalapenos with this fajita bowl. I linked the recipe below. I don't think you need to make this to have a delicious fajita bowl. Sour cream & smashed avocado kind of act like the dressing. With that being said, having a batch of Mojo Verde in your fridge is never a bad idea.
I just picked up a package of organic tortillas to use. I just heated them in a cast iron pan until each side got a bit blistery. Use corn tortillas for a gluten free option.
I actually really love using these in this recipe, they add heat, but also, I find them to have great flavour. You should be able to find jars of them in most grocery stores. I find them to be an important component in this dish, but if you aren't a fan of heat you could leave them out. (I don't find them too spicy when I'm mixing bits of them in with other bites.)
Hey! I'm Trisha