Simple Creamy Asparagus Soup (with no cream!)

Simple Creamy Vegan Asparagus Soup (with no cream!)

Some days only a simple meal will do. I do love fancy complicated dishes but don't forget that I'm also a mother who is too dang busy to cook a lot of the time. I have to throw stuff together real fast but that doesn't mean that I have to skimp out on health and flavors. 

I've been getting asparagus on sale this week (I'm buying it compulsively because it's so cheap!) so what better thing to do than throw together a soup that cooks in 20 minutes! It's simple, creamy (but still vegan!) and super low calorie (you know, so you can eat doughnuts later!!) 

Since it is very simple you can look at is like a primed canvas to build upon. Add extra vegetables, fresh herbs, different spices, or just leave it simple because simple doesn't mean bland. Spring asparagus is so incredibly flavorful that you may not want to add a single thing! 

Simple Creamy Vegan Asparagus Soup (with no cream!)

Simple Creamy Asparagus Soup

  • 2 lbs asparagus, wood ends trimmed off
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium is best!) 
  • 3 shallots or 1 small onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Cook the onions in a nonstick pan over medium high heat until they become translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute or so, or until fragrant.

Add the broth to the pan along with the cauliflower. Chop your asparagus into 1-2 inch pieces and add to the pot as well. 

Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes

Blend up with your immersion blender, high speed blender or whatever you've got until it is silky smooth. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste! You could also add any fresh herbs that you enjoy here such as dill, parsley, basil or thyme. 

To make the fancy asparagus tip garnish cut the tips off before adding to the soup and set aside. Blanch them in a separate pot of boiling water for 60 seconds and then dunk into ice water to stop the cooking process. Garnish your soup with them and feel ultra fancy-pantsed! 

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Spinach Salad with Strawberry Basil Balsamic Dressing

A few days ago I got a brand new Blendtec high speed blender and I've been enjoying it so so much! Smoothies, juices, almond butter and everything else I can think of has gone into that thing. Today I was inspired to make a dressing in it and I was not at all disappointed. And that's coming from someone that says that they are not into salads. I LOVE this salad! 

I used some of the Vegan Garlic Dill Havarti and I swear that just took this salad from "wow this was good!" to "HOLY MOLY I could eat this every day!!!" This salad just screams "SPRING IS FREAKING HERE, FINALLY!!!" and I really needed that to be screamed at me because I am fully ready for spring. Okay, tomorrow is the official first day of spring so just go get the stuff for this today and make it tomorrow. You will have spring fever in no time!! 

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Basil Balsamic Dressing

You don't have to have a high speed blender to make this dressing so don't get too worried. Just follow the directions for using juice instead. It will still taste fan-freaking-tastic (I actually wrote fan-freaking-tasty on accident but that's an even better description!) But you DO have to make the Vegan Dill Cheese because it is amazing on a salad! 

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Basil Balsamic Dressing

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Basil Balsamic Dressing

Dressing:

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 peeled orange (or 1/4 cup orange juice if you don't have a high speed blender)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 

Blend everything in a high speed blender (I used my new Blendtec! Loving it!) If you don't have one you can use the orange juice and use an immersion blender or a regular blender. It should keep in your refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Salad: 

  • Vegan Garlic Dill Havarti (recipe here!)
  • washed baby spinach (several cups per person)
  • 4-5 sliced strawberries for each salad
  • several slices of red onion
  • Strawberry Basil Balsamic Dressing (above)
  • sliced toasted almonds, if desired

Toss your spinach, sliced strawberries and red onion together. Use a small spoon and dollop some of the Vegan Garlic Dill Havarti all over your salad. Sprinkle with a few almonds and pour on a bit of dressing (as much as you like!) Enjoy! 

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Chocolate Orange Overnight Oats

Chocolate Orange Overnight Oats

I've got another super lovely overnight oatmeal for you here that has really opened my eyes to even more possibilities with these! Can you tell that I am totally obsessed with having these for breakfast? It's by far my favorite meal of the day now. Just a year ago I was complaining about how much I hated breakfast and now I want to eat it all the time. Since I love variety I just keep coming up with new fabulous ways to eat overnight oats!! 

This was the first time that I've soaked my oats in juice instead of a vegan milk and let me tell you what - it is crazy delicious! I didn't think so. If I had stopped to think about it, I might have actually not even tried it because I always said "ew!" when people said they poured juice on their cereal. Well oats are just unprocessed cereal, right? Oh anyway, now I have a whole new world to explore in overnight oat recipe creation! 

Oh by the way, that's a blood orange in the pictures! They were actually the oranges that were on sale at the store (though usually they are really overpriced) so it's what I wanted to use. Besides, they are really beautiful, aren't they? 

Chocolate Orange Overnight Oats

Chocolate Orange Overnight Oats

(one big serving!) 

  • 1 cup Chocolate Sweet Potato Pudding (I recommend making double the recipe and always having some ready for you to eat when you get the craving! Of course that is coming from a chocolate pudding addict!)

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 3/4 cup orange juice (fresh is great but I also LOVE to use Columbia Gorge Organic Juices)

  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds 

  • 1 large orange, peeled and chopped up 

If you haven't made your chocolate sweet potato pudding yet then go ahead and get that out of the way first. 

Before bed - The mix the rolled oats, orange juice, and chia seeds together in a jar. Cover it and stick it in the fridge.

When you wake up the overnight oats will be nice and thick. Layer them with the chocolate pudding and chopped orange. 

 

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Pineapple Collard Greens - Simply Healthy

Pineapple Collard Greens

Are you in love with collard greens yet? If not, this is the dish to make your heart do somersaults!  It's a sweet and sour dish with just a few ingredients. It's a super effective and easy way to make a huge pot of greens that you will gobble down.  Your family might just gobble them all down too. 

I posted the nutritional information for collards on this post for Quick Collards and Jalapeno Garlic Polenta. Just so you know, they are awesome nutritional powerhouses! Calcium, Vitamin A, Protein and Fiber plus so much more!!! You've got to jump on this collard green bandwagon.

Pineapple Collard Greens

These are super good as a side dish to these vegan Buffalo Chickpea Burgers with some baked fries. My 3 year old has been asking to have it on brown rice every day since I've started making it. She absolutely LOVES them. So do I!  

Pineapple Collard Greens

Pineapple Collard Greens

  • 12 cups collard greens (about 2 bunches), stems removed and leaves chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 can pineapple rings in juice, 3/4 cup juice reserved 
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar (like this one!)
  • 2 Tablespoons low sodium tamari or soy sauce

Chop up the pineapple and measure out 1 cup. If there's some leftover eat it! (or share I guess...)

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add the collard greens, chopped pineapple, 3/4 cup pineapple juice, rice vinegar and tamari. Bring to a simmer, put a lid on it and turn it to medium-low. 

Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Check every now and then to make sure that all of the juice hasn't evaporated (and add some water if necessary.) Let it cool slightly once it's done and serve! 

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats

Get ready to wake up to another mouthwatering breakfast -chocolate covered strawberry overnight oats! For breakfast?! Loving this! You're getting fruit, oats, chia, sweet potatoes and a good dose of happiness all in one jar. You can even make these several days in advance so you can just wake up, grab it, run out the door and eat it at work or wherever you're on the way to! I've even eaten it while driving though I don't highly recommend that (I felt distracted!) 

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats

If you thought that having a plant strong vegan breakfast would be just boring old bowls of oatmeal or just tofu scrambles you have got to try these out. You're going to be jumping out of bed extra early just to eat it! (Okay, maybe you won't but I'm always excited when I have breakfast waiting for me in the morning.)

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats

one huge serving

Blend the strawberries and soy milk together with an immersion blender or regular blender. Stir in the oats, chia seeds and sweetener to taste. Put in the fridge and leave it overnight to thicken up. 

In the morning layer your bowl or container (I like to use wide mouth mason jars!) with chocolate sweet potato pudding, sliced strawberries and the strawberry overnight oats. Devour! Think what breakfast would be like without the option of having chocolate ... yum!  

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