Squash and Carrot Soup with Spicy Cilantro Corn and Pumpkin Seeds

Photo 2014-09-16, 2 19 52 AM
Todays post will be a short one as I have had a super busy week and am quite exhausted! Lots of teaching, tutoring, cooking and catering and I have barely any steam left. But, I don’t want to leave you with no post this week so this one mostly be recipe.

One of the best parts about the cooler weather is cozy sweaters and comforting food (although we are getting one hell of an indian summer here in Montreal). I love making hot soups that both fill and heat you up. I love most soups, but squash and carrot soups are two of my favourite. I had both options in my pantry so I figured why not combine the two? I have started ordering produce from any amazing farm here in Montreal called Lufa Farms.  The produce is beautiful and always in season. It has actually helped inspire me to use ingredients I don’t normally buy and combine ingredients I hadn’t thought of before.

For this soup, I spiced it up with fresh ginger, turmeric, cumin chilli flakes, garlic and creamy coconut milk. I love different textures in my food so I topped my soup with fresh corn sautéed with cumin and fresh cilantro and some toasted pumpkin seeds. This soup is a meal in itself as it gives you loads of vitamins, good carbs, protein and healthy fats. Have a great weekend! Bon appetit!
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Soup Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
• 2 leeks (chopped)
• 1 sweet onion (chopped)
• 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
• 1 tbsp turmeric
• 1 inch knob of fresh ginger
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tbsp cumin
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tbsp paprika
• 1 acorn or butternut squash (chopped)
• 1 lb carrots
• 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock (preferably homemade or low sodium organic)
• 1 can coconut cream

Topping Ingredients:

• 3-5 ears of corn (kernels cut off the knob)
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1.5 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
• 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
• a few drops stevia (optional)
• 1/2 tsp chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add leeks and onions, sautée until tender and translucent. Add your garlic, ginger and spices. Cook for 1 minute.
2. Add your squash and carrots. Allow to cook in the spices for 5 minutes. Add your stock and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat and cook with the cover on for about 25-30 minutes. You want the squash and carrots to be super tender and easily pierced with a fork.
3. Add your coconut cream and taste. Adjust any seasonings and then carefully transfer the soup into your blender with a ladle. (Make sure to hold the top of the blender with a dishtowel to save yourself from being burned!) Puree until reached desired consistency.
4. For the topping: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan on high heat. Add your corn, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, stevia and chilli flakes. Allow to sit on one side for about 5 minutes to add colour to the corn. Sautee until golden brown. Turn off the heat and add freshly chopped cilantro.
5. To serve the soup: ladle one scoop of soup into a bowl. Sprinkle about one tbsp of the corn and 1 tbsp of toasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!
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Kale, Broccoli and Minted Pea Detox Soup

Photo 2014-06-25, 3 31 26 AMWith those cold wintery nights behind us, it is nice to finally steer clear or warm oatmeal, pastas and other comforting starchy dishes. Although most people would add hot soup to that list, I on the other hand love a soup in the summer. Of course I’m not making soups loaded with pastas, potatoes and other warming ingredients, rather I am making soups that can be eaten hot, room temperature or even cold. Minestrone loaded with tons of veggies is a great way to go (will be sharing that soon) but these days I have been eating up my kale and broccoli in my soup!

Yup. This kale, broccoli and minted pea soup is insanely detoxifying and loaded with good-for-you ingredients. We know how great those green veggies are, plus I have added apple cider vinegar, ginger, lemon, onion, cayenne, garlic, and turmeric for added anti-inflammatory, metabolism boosting, antioxidant and cancer prevention benefits.

I have eaten this soup at all temperatures and have been adding a light swig of tasty extra virgin olive oil and my turmeric crunchy chickpeas as croutons for added texture. This soup was so popular amongst friends and family that I have now made 3 batches of this soup and the croutons in this week alone! It is the perfect light summer lunch or appetizer for dinner. If you had a day where you didn’t eat your best, you will feel WONDERFUL about yourself if you make this for dinner! It is incredibly flavourful (a little kick of heat in there) and creamy with perfect crunch from the chickpeas. If chickpeas aren’t your favourite add some dried cranberries or pumpkin seeds on top! As always, this recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free (this one is vegan too) and it is a perfect addition to any detox plan. Bon appetit!

Photo 2014-06-25, 2 54 53 AM

Photo 2014-06-25, 2 58 51 AM

Photo 2014-07-03, 2 44 26 AM

Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
• 1 tsp salt (kosher, himalayan or sea)
• 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
• 1/2 tsp ground ginger
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
• 1 yellow onion (chopped)
• 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
• 2 cups raw broccoli (stems trimmed)
• 1 1/2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
• 3 cups kale (packed)
• zest of 1 lemon
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 6 cups or 1 quart vegetable stock (homemade or organic, low sodium)
• leaves from 3 sprigs of fresh mint (or to taste, more for garnish)
roasted chickpeas (for garnish)

Directions:

1. In a big stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.Add chopped onion and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Then, stir in garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, freshly ground pepper and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add broccoli and vegetable stock. Then cover and allow to steam for 5-7 minutes or until the broccoli is soft.

3. Add kale and peas and allow to steam until wilted and peas turn bright green (about 2 minutes). Then add, the fresh mint, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

4.If you have a great blender, you can carefully (its hot!) ladle the soup into your blender in parts. If your blender would have trouble with the broccoli you can blend the soup in two parts. First, use a hand blender or food processor to start the blending process of soup and mint. Second, ladle into your blender and process until smooth and creamy. There should be no chunks in your soup!

5. Taste the soup and make sure to season with more salt or pepper if necessary. Ladle into bowls and serve with a drizzle of olive oil, crunchy chickpeas and some more fresh mint if desired. Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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Photo 2014-06-25, 3 31 32 AM

Even Lucy likes it!

Even Lucy likes it!

Turmeric Roasted Crunchy Chickpeas

Photo 2014-07-03, 3 37 33 AMI’ve been making these oven roasted chickpeas for years now. They are the perfect fix for that crunchy salty craving that will allow you to keep your kitchen chip, popcorn and salted peanut free (although who can resist baked kettle chips once in a while). They take on any flavour you want whether it be spicy or sweet and a great for noshing on the go. For this recipe, I’ve coated the chickpeas in insanely good for you turmeric, nutritional yeast (aka nooch, very high in vitamin b12), a touch of cayenne (a good metabolism boost), and some good quality extra virgin olive oil and then slowly roasted them in the oven. They have a cheesy spicy flavour (almost like ranch) without any dairy or loads of salt!  They’ll keep you full for hours with their high content of  protein, fiber, good carbs and loads of vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties from the seasoning.

Turmeric is gaining lots of popularity these days for its long list of benefits. You can drink it in tea or add it to a variety of dishes for its beautiful yellow colour and its mild flavour. It is a main spice in many indian curries or good quality mustards but the root of the spice is often used to make medicine. The raw material in the turmeric called curcumin can help beat stress, depression, sleep deprivation and fight off infections.You can take turmeric supplement or add the spice to your stir-frys, stews and curries; or just make these chickpeas!

Some use turmeric to help heal:

• arthritis
• heartburn
• stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite
• jaundice
• liver problems
• gallbladder disorders
• headaches
• bronchitis, colds
• lung infections
• fibromyalgia
• menstrual problems
• water retention

One word of advice, use a spoon while mixing the turmeric onto the chickpeas. I used my hands and I looked like Marge Simpson for two days and ruined a perfectly good manicure. You even have to be a little careful when eating them by the handful, I highly recommend a spoon! Although these are perfect on their own, stay tuned for some other Clean Eating Goddess recipes featuring these little crunchy guys. As always, this recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. It is also vegan! Bon appetit!
Chickpeas
Photo 2014-06-25, 2 32 12 AMroasted chickpeas 1

Ingredients:

• 2 cans or 3 cups chickpeas (rinsed well, pat dry with paper towel)
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp sea or himalayan salt
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tbsp turmeric
• 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
• pinch of cayenne (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chickpeas in a medium sized bowl and pat dry with paper towel.
2. Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, nutritional yeast, cayenne and olive oil. Toss well until chickpeas are well coated.
3. Spread chickpeas on a cookie sheet. Bake for about an hour, tossing every 15 minutes until chickpeas are crunchy! (Note: Depending on your oven, you may need to reduce heat to 350 degrees F halfway through because spices will start to burn before the chickpeas have a chance to completely dehydrate. I also keep the fan on during baking. If you don’t have a fan, bake on conventional or you may need to keep the chickpeas in for longer. I find that the crunch factor really depends on the oven. Keep an eye out when you go to toss!)

4. Remove from sheet pan and put in a bowl for serving!

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Tumeric Chickpeas