Summer Cabbage + Vegetable Soup (Paleo, Vegan, GF, DF)

Generally, I don't eat nightshades because I have a sensitivity to them. I have, however, reintroduced potatoes and haven't had any issues with a bite of tomato something here and there. Also, it's summer and I'm dying for a beautiful summer vegetable soup with a tomato base.

If I'm being truly honest on why I made this soup (and the healthy meatballs posted previously) it's because I've been eating very poorly and not exercising. Which if you know me, is crazy because I love healthy a healthy meal and a good workout. I know exactly where things went wrong. I took a little trip to Raleigh, NC at the end of May and ate everything I could get my biscuit hoarding hands on. (Seriously, so many biscuits!) 

While it was a great trip, I returned to Brooklyn puffy as I like to call it. Somewhere around that time I lost the will to get myself to the gym. Honestly, I think I was bored with going to the same place every weekday. So I continued on with this lazy girl routine and things got a bit wider and squishier

This week is totally different. Poof! I'm excited to establish a new routine of running outside every morning, saying 'no thank you' to unhealthy foods and cooking delicious, nutritious food for Cameron and myself. It's a good feeling. 

Does this happen to anyone else? What do yo do to shake things up when your off your healthy game? 

Serves 8. 

Cabbage + Vegetable Soup

splash olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 carrots, peeled, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

2 quarts vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

4 cups shredded cabbage

2 cups chopped green beans

1 summer squash, chopped

juice of one lemon

s + p, to taste

In a large pot, over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil until soft and glossy, about 8 minutes. Add carrots, celery, tomatoes, stock, oregano and basil. Bring to a boil, add cabbage. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. Stir in green beans and squash, cook 5 minutes more. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

Picnic Recipe Round Up

It's July Fourth weekend and I know we're all ready for a cookout.  This is my favorite weekend for the year.  (This one is extra special as my lovely cousin, Tessa, is getting married!)  Every year, I go up to Ithaca, New York to see my family and we spend time driving around the finger lakes looking for wineries and farms, checking out the farmers market and wandering through beautiful state parks and of course - grilling, cooking and eating outside as much as possible. Here are some summery recipes you can try this weekend:

Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese, Nuts + Herbs (gluten free)

Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese, Nuts + Herbs (gluten free)

Cam's Freekeh + Bean Salad (vegan, dairy free)

Cam's Freekeh + Bean Salad (vegan, dairy free)

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cam's Corn Succotash (vegan, dairy free, gluten free)

Cam's Corn Succotash (vegan, dairy free, gluten free)

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Ginger Peach Pies + Coconut Crust (vegan, dairy free)

Ginger Peach Pies + Coconut Crust (vegan, dairy free)

Have a fun weekend! xo Mea

Chorizo + Tomato Vegetable Soup

A quick stroll through the farmers market will get you all the things you need to make for this soup.  It's smoky, spicy, salty and a little sweet from all the peek season summer vegetables. Chorizo is a fresh Mexican sausage made from pork and spiced with paprika.  It can be found in most butcher shops and grocery stores.  I held back on it so if you like a meatier soup use 1 pound chorizo.  

Makes 6 servings.

Chorizo + Tomato Vegetable Soup

small splash high heat oil

8oz chorizo sausage, casings discarded

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped

1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped

1 tin diced tomatoes

1 quart vegetable stock

1 1/2 cup diced new potatoes

1 teaspoon dreid oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 bay leaf

kernels from 2 ears of corn

1 cup green beans, chopped

s + p

lemon juice

Heat a pot over medium high heat.  Add oil.  Add chorizo, cook until browned and set aside.  Return pot to stove, lower heat to medium.  Add onions, cook until soft and glossy, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, carrots and poblano chile, cook 4 minutes, stirring.  Add reserved chorizo, tomatoes, stock, potatoes, oregano, cumin, paprika and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Let simmer 20 minutes.  Add corn and green beans.  Simmer 10 minutes more.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  

 

Plum Upside Down Cake

This cake is incredibly easy.  The hardest part is deciding how to layer the plum slices.   I whipped this up in between an afternoon at the beach and a backyard dinner.  (A quick one!)  It's really the perfect balance of fresh summer fruit and sweet cake.  Feel free to substitute peaches or nectarines for the plums. 

Makes 1 cake. 

Plum Upside Down Cake

2 tablespoons butter, room temp

about 1/3 cup light brown sugar

2-3 ripe plums,pitted, thinly sliced

1 2/3 cup cake flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup butter, room temp

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the inside of a 9 inch cake pan with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Make sure to get the sides and corners.  Sprinkle with the brown sugar.  Be very liberal with the butter and sugar.  Arrange fruit slices on along base of pan, extend to sides if you like. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking powder together.  Set aside.  In another bowl, whisk butter and sugar until light.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients in two or three batches, alternating with the milk, until batter is smooth but not over mixed.  

Pour into prepared cake pan, over fruit.  Gently smooth top if needed. Bake 40-45 minutes or until fully baked.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan 5 minutes.  Run knife along edges to loosen.  Invert cake onto plate and serve.  

Watermelon Salad!

What are your favorite things about summer?  For me it's going to the beach, being in the sun, fruit picking and the glorious bounty that is the green market.  I always look for watermelon.  It's such a summery fruit.  

Watermelon salad's seem to be everywhere on restaurant menus and it's no surprise to me.  They're crunchy, simple and refreshing.  Hydrating too, right?  (ha!)  I can eat a crazy amount of watermelon.  

Use whatever herbs you like.  I suggest mint, chervil, parsley, chives and thyme.  

serves 2.

Watermelon Salad + Lemon Vinaigrette

for the vinaigrette

1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon dijon mustard

s + p

for the salad

1 head bibb lettuce leaves, washed, dried, chopped

about 2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs

2 cups chopped seedless watermelon

2 oz fresh goat cheese, chopped

2 teaspoons pumpkin seeds

2 teaspoons shelled pistachios

In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil and dijon together until emulsified.  Season with salt and pepper until well balanced, adding more lemon juice if necessary. 

Toss lettuce and herbs with vinaigrette.  Pile dressed leaves onto 2 plates.  Top each with watermelon, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds and pistachios.  Serve immediately.   

 

 

Ginger Peach Margarita

A tasty margarita might be just the thing you need to cool off during these hot summer days.  For an extra kick of ginger, throw in a small slice and muddle it with the peach.  

Serves 1. 

Ginger Peach Margarita

3 peach slices

1.5 oz blanco tequila

.5 oz triple sec

1 oz fresh lime juice

.5 oz ginger simple syrup

lime wedge + thin ginger slice for garnish

Muddle the peaches in a glass.  Pour in tequila, triple sec, lime juice and simple syrup.  Add ice, shake and tumble into a salted glass.  Garnish with lime wedge and ginger slice.  

 

Street Corn

Elote, elote, elote!  It's summer and there's plenty of delicious corn just waiting to be grilled and slathered with toppings, right?  My favorite street fair snack.  

Cotija cheese is a salty, dry, firm, cow's milk cheese made in Mexico.  It can be found at most grocery stores, usually around the cheese counter.  It will most likely be sold in rounds or blocks that are easily grated.  Think of it as a Mexican parmesan cheese. 

If cooking on a grill, corn can be dipped in water and grilled in it's husks.  Cool, remove husks and silks.  Return to the hot grill for a few minutes then dress with toppings.  

Make as many servings as you need.

Street Fair Corn

fresh corn, on the cob, in its husk, stemmed trimmed

mayo or Chipotle Aoli

grated cotija cheese, about 1 oz per cob

ancho chile powder

lime wedges, for serving

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add corn cobs, husks on, and blanche 10 minutes.  Shock in an ice bath until cool.  Remove husks.  Dry.  Place in hot pan, directly over flame (gas range) or grill to blacken slightly.  

Lightly brush with mayo or chipotle aoli.  Roll in grated cotija cheese.  Season with a dusting of ancho chile powder and serve with lime wedges.  

Summer Clam Chowder

A soup for summer!  Just like a manhattan style clam chowder but a little sunnier.  

Summer Clam Chowder

3 - 4 strips bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

splash dry white wine

1 quart vegetable stock

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

1 cup chopped clams in their juices

1 tablespoon thyme

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

2 bay leaves

1 potato, peeled, medium dice

kernels from 2 ears of corn

1 1/4 cup (4.5oz) green beans, chopped small

s + p

In a large pot, over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp.  Transfer to a paper towel to drain.  Wipe out pot.  Add grape seed oil.  When oil is hot add shallots, cook until clear.  Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring, not letting garlic burn or become too brown.  Carefully deglaze pot with a splash of white wine.  Add stock, tomatoes, clams, thyme, celery seeds, chile flakes, bay leaves, potato and corn kernels.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 20 minutes, until potato and corn are soft.  Add green beans.  Cook 5 minutes, or until green beans are soft.  

Season with salt and pepper.  

 

Peach Crisp for One

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Sometimes I just want a little treat but I don't want to make a whole batch of something.  A crisp is a great solution because It's very quick and doesn't require any crazy ingredients.  It's fruit based and perfect for enjoying whatever fruit is in season.    

Bake in any small oven safe baking dish like a mini pie pan or ramekin.   

serves 1. 

 Single Serving Peach Crisp 

1 large or 2 small peaches, pitted and sliced

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

pinch sugar

pinch salt

couple turns black pepper

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons oats

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

pinch cinnamon + nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon cold butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl toss peach slices, cornstarch, pinch sugar, salt, black pepper and lemon juice.  (I just use my hands.)  Transfer peach mix to baking vessel.  Wipe out bowl and mix oats, light brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.   Work butter in with fingers until a course crumb forms.  Cover peach mix with oat mix.  

Bake 30 minutes.   

Summer Vegetable Pasta

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Change up any of the vegetables in this dish as you like.  I suggest strolling around the farmers market and see what looks good.  I added cooked lentils at the end of cooking for a little protein, as you can see from the photo.  If you decide to add lentils, about 3/4 cup french green lentils cooked in plenty of water for 20 minutes, and add one more tomato to the recipe.  

serves 6. 

Summer Vegetable + Orecchiette Pasta 

1 lb orecchiette pasta

olive oil

1 shallot, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 cup romano/flat beans, sliced

1 tomato, seeded, peeled, chopped

1 small yellow squash, halved, sliced

1 small zucchini squash, halved, sliced

juice of 2 lemons

2 handfuls fresh basil leaves, diced

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

s + p

pecorino romano cheese, grated   

Cook pasta to package directions.  Drain, rinse and set aside.  

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pan.  Add shallot, garlic, red chile flakes, romano beans, tomato, squash and zucchini.  Cook until vegetables and crisp tender, about 6 minutes.   

Add pasta, one more splash olive oil, lemon juice, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and cook until all is hot.  Serve with grated pecorino romano.   

Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

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I can't believe I'm saying this but I really prefer these without frosting because the actual cake base is so flavorful.  The buttermilk adds a little tanginess and the (in season) blueberries are juicy and sweet.  If you do want to frost these, after all these are cupcakes and what's a cupcake without frosting?  (practically a muffin.) , consider a lemon glaze or a lemon cream cheese frosting.  

I like to smash the blueberries instead of leaving them whole, they float in the batter instead of sinking.  Just put them in a bowl and smash them with a spoon, fork or masher.  

Makes 24 standard cupcakes

Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick butter, very soft or melted

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 pint blueberries, lightly smashed

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep cupcake tin with papers or oil.  Set aside. 

In a bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.   

In a large mixing bowl, mix butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs.  Mix until pale yellow.  Add flour mix and buttermilk.  Add vinegar and fold in blueberries.  

Spoon into prepared cups, filling 2/3 full.  Bake 20 minutes or until they test clean.  Carefully, remove from tin, cool completely before frosting.