How To: Big Batch – Thai Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup

IMG_2784

Have I told you how I won the cookbook lottery jackpot?

Just before we rang in 2017, I found out I won not one, not two, but TWELVE cookbooks! Do you know how many cookbooks twelve is? A LOT! So much that they are all still sitting in a pile on my bedroom floor as we have absolutely no room to put them anywhere else. I think an Ikea run may be in order soon.

IMG_2768

So, I have started to try to always go to one of these new cookbooks when I need some dinner inspiration, instead of relying on the easy Mr. google. One of the cookbooks I have been loving lately is the new Oh She Glows Everyday. Every recipe I’ve made so far has been spot on, and this soup is no exception. And no, this is not a sponsored post. I seriously am just crushing hard on this cookbook.

IMG_2777

IMG_2779

We already have a very delicious and creamy Thai sweet potato soup that uses coconut milk to add that richness. This version has a different approach – almond butter. The almond butter gives this soup a deep flavour and velvety texture without the use of any cream or dairy. Kind of like the peanut butter in our sweet potato, white bean, peanut butter stew. I would imagine peanut butter would also make a great substitute for the almond butter if that’s what you have on hand. Or if you need it nut free, try sunflower butter – but I would try to find the all natural unsweetened variety.

The almond butter also adds a boost of extra protein and fat to this soup, making it more filling than the average bowl. I also loved the crunchy almond topping – but you could also leave it off and go with a super smooth bowl of soup if that’s more your thing. Me, I’m all about the textures!

IMG_2998

My new favourite thing when my girls are napping is to curl up with a cup of coffee, a snack, and a cookbook, or two, or three…

Dara

IMG_2782

Thai Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 4-6
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Soup
From book Adapted From Oh She Glows Everyday

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 Tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 1/2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 Cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Cups water
  • 3 Cups carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 Cups sweet potatoes (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • cilantro (chopped)

Almonds

  • 1/2 cup almonds (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce

Note

The toasted almonds are also delicious tossed into a salad for some crunch. The soup freezes well - just portion in individual containers for a grab-and-go lunch or dinner.

Directions

1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large pot.
2. Add onion and sauté for a couple minutes. Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook until onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the curry paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Place almond butter in a small bowl with about 1/2 cup of broth and whisk to combine. Add the almond butter mixture, carrots, sweet potato, remaining broth, and water to the pot and bring to a boil.
4. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until sweet potatoes and carrots are very tender.
5. Using an immersion blender, puree soup in the pot until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with chopped cilantro and almonds.
Almonds
6. Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss almonds with soy sauce and spread out evenly on baking sheet.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes, until brown and toasted. The soy sauce will have dried up and the almonds will firm up as they cool.
8. The almonds will keep in a container on the counter for a couple weeks.

How To: Slow Cooker – Orange and Honey Braised Carrots

img_1618

Yup, that’s right. TWO slow cooker recipes in a row. And BOTH vegetarian. How about that?

I tend to agree with Erin – most vegetarian slow cooker recipes do result in a pile of mush. But just like our daal, I have found when treated correctly, you can still get the same oven or stove top texture, but without having to actually be home.

img_1604

This recipe comes from Ricardo magazine, who generously gifted me a copy of their November issue. When I came across this carrot recipe I was intrigued – braised carrots in the slow cooker?! It totally works! And is totally delicious.

img_1603

img_1605

img_1606

This recipe cooks in about 4 hours – the perfect amount of time when you have an errand or two to run in the afternoon, or just want to free up some oven space when prepping a meal. I followed the recipe almost to a T- I did cut the butter in half because while I wanted the flavour, I also wanted that natural and sweet carrot flavour to shine.

img_1614

Slow cooker daal, slow cooker carrots – what vegetarian recipe will we slow cook up next?!

Dara

img_1619

Slow cooker Braised Carrots

Serves 4
Meal type Side Dish
From magazine Adapted from Ricardo Magazine

Ingredients

  • 10 large carrots (peeled and sliced in half lengthwise)
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups orange juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Note

These carrots would make a delicious side dish for roast chicken or salmon. You could substitute the honey for maple syrup if you would like.

Directions

1. Butter the bottom of your slow cooker. Add carrots on top and pour the orange juice over top.
2. Drizzle with honey and season with salt and pepper. Cook on high for four hours, or until carrots are tender.
3. Plate carrots and drizzle some of the cooking liquid on top.

 

 

How to: Seasonal Cooking – Thai Sweet Potato Soup

IMG_1283

Anyone else disturbed by the amount of their grocery bill lately?

Not OK.

With the tumbling loonie, word on the street is grocery costs will continue to rise. It’s all of that fancy imported food we like. Like cauliflower, the caviar of 2016.

IMG_1251

Not to worry though, friends. I’m here to give you an insider tip on how to save some sweet cash.

IMG_1252

Buy local! Yup. Not only does Ontario still have a good variety of locally available fresh produce (check it out here), you can also buy frozen ‘product of Canada’ fruit and veg. In fact, a lot of it is on sale this time of year.  Perfect timing.

Oh, you need some incredibly well tested recipes which feature local foods? I happen to know of a cookbook that’s just the ticket.  Homegrown is selling like mad though, so you bes’ be ordering a copy STAT.

IMG_1255

This super cinch recipe makes use of Ontario roots – sweet potatoes and carrots.  I’ve added a few thai inspired ingredients because thai food kicks ass. Is there a better reason?

Serve it as a side or a starter for any of our other Thai-inspired recipes (um, it seems we’re sort of obsessed with thai food):

Thai Chicken Enchiladas

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce Pizza

Thai Kale Salad with Sesame Tofu

Shrimp and Mango Fresh Rolls

Thai Chicken Cabbage Wraps

Thai Mango Salad

Thai Turkey Meatballs

Enjoy!

Erin

IMG_1283

Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1lb sweet potatoes (approximately 2 medium - peeled and chopped)
  • 1lb carrots (approximately 4 medium - peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated or minced ginger
  • 1l low sodium vegetable stock (divided)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (plus additional lime wedges for garnish)
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup roasted, chopped peanuts (for garnish)
  • parsley or cilantro (for garnish)

Directions

1. Add potatoes, carrots, ginger, 3 cups of stock and coconut milk to a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 until potatoes and carrots are very soft.
2. Remove from heat. Using a hand blender or counter top blender, puree soup until smooth. Blend in additional stock as needed to reach desired consistency and reheat in pot if necessary. Add lime juice and salt to taste.
3. Divide soup among 4 bowls and top with parsley/cilantro and peanuts. Serve with a lime wedge.

 

 

 

 

How To: Healthy Sides – Honey Roasted Carrots with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

IMG_5982

Grilling season is almost upon us! Woo hoo!

FINALLY! After enduring a long and extremely cold winter, I can now see the light!

IMG_5969

This past weekend the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I bought my first pair of capris for this season. Spring is here! Time to break open the bbq and outdoor grills!

IMG_5970

 

IMG_5971

And what do you need to accompany your succulent grilled chicken and burgers? A tasty side dish of course. Enter these sweet glazed carrots.

IMG_5972

These honey roasted carrots come with a delicious and tangy tahini yogurt sauce that can actually serve double duty at your next dinner party. As perfect as it is to accompany these carrots, it’s also perfect as topping for your favourite grilled chicken or fish.

IMG_5974

I used these cute baby carrots because I just love the way they look. If you can’t find them, regular old carrots will work great, just cut them into large chunks or sticks.

IMG_5980

So let’s welcome patio season with open arms and a beautiful tray of roasted carrots!

Dara 

IMG_5982

Honey Roasted Carrots with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Side Dish
From book Adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound baby carrots (if using whole carrots, cut into chunks)
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 3 Sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp pepper

Sauce

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 Lemon juiced
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • pinch of salt

Note

These carrots are a great side dish for grilled or roasted chicken or fish. The sauce is also great on salmon, as a dip for other veggies, or as a sandwich spread.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place carrots in baking sheet and lay thyme sprigs on top.
2. Combine olive oil, honey, water, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and pour over carrots. Toss until they are evenly coated.
3. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until soft and brown. Serve with tahini yogurt sauce.
Sauce
4. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

How to: Quickie Meal – Carrot Ginger Soup

This past week has been a doozy.  It was insanely packed with social events, a wonderful conference put on by Ontario home economists and a trip out of town to Atikokan, Ontario for a family funeral.

DSC_5518

Atikokan is north. We’re talking 250km outside of Thunder Bay north.  It’s a very small community (and the canoeing capital of Canada!) where the loss of one of their own brings friends and family together for a lunch at the local Royal Canadian Legion.

There was no shortage of ‘funeral sandwiches‘ and church lady made desserts, or as they call them ‘dainties’.  There definitely was a shortage of fruits and vegetables in my diet though.   It can be so hard to eat healthy when travelling.

DSC_5491

When I arrived home exhausted and craving a good dose of antioxidants, I turned to this super quick, super healthy and uber delicious soup that didn’t even require a trip to the grocery store to make.

DSC_5502 DSC_5505

As a guest at the upcoming inaugural Food Bloggers of Canada conference next month, we’ve been lucky enough to get some incredible swag in advance.  The people at Nordic Ware sent us a package with some great ‘cast aluminum’ cookware that is meant to mimic cast iron in a lightweight package.  I’ve made some delicious braised greens in my braiser and in the 3 qt dutch oven, I’ve made slow cooked baked beans and this recipe for carrot ginger soup, both with great success.  The absolute best part is the easy and lightweight clean up!

DSC_5512

Blending the soup right in the pot with an immersion blender is a perfect way to save on time and clean up.  No need to wait for the soup to cool, to blend in batches or to create extra dirty dishes.DSC_5514

Serve this soup alongside a great chickpea and avocado, grilled cheese or egg salad sandwich to round out your meal.

Erin

Carrot Ginger Soup

Serves 3 - 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 Medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated or minced. About a 1" piece)
  • 3 cups carrots (chopped into 3/4" pieces)
  • 3.5 to 4 cups vegetable stock
  • juice from one large lemon wedge
  • salt and pepper to taste

Note

Top the soup with sour cream or plain yogurt and chives. Serve alongside a sandwich or salad for a complete meal.

Directions

1. Over medium heat, heat oil and add onions. Sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and sauté another minute.
2. Add carrots and 3 - 3.5 cups of stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes, until carrots are cooked through.
3. With an immersion blender, puree soup, adding additional stock until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

DSC_5540