Tortilla Soup

Fall is the perfect time for a nice hearty soup and this Tortilla soup is one of my favorites. It takes a bit of dicing, but is pretty simple to make. Also freezes nicely if you have any left overs. We eat this soup as a meal. Makes 6 good sized servings.

Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion, diced
3 Large Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Large Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 medium zucchinis, chopped bite size
1 (24 oz) can crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, omit if you don’t like the heat)
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

Optional toppings:
Sliced avocado, tortilla chips, squeeze of fresh lime, fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. In a large pot, heat oil, add the onion and garlic and sauté about 5 minutes. Season with Salt and Pepper.
2. Stir in Red Bell Pepper, Jalapeno Pepper, Corn and Zucchini. Sauté for 10 minutes.
3. Add crushed tomatoes, broth, cumin, chili powder, cayenne. Stir well.
4. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Stir in Black beans and cook an additional 5 minutes.
6. Ladle into bowls, top as desired and enjoy.

BLACK BEAN BURGERS

It’s taken awhile for me to appreciate veggie burgers. Store bought burgers never seemed to taste quite appealing. So I’ve tried a few recipes found online and in recipe books and found one that was appetizing, then I modified it to my tastes. Not only do I like it, but non-vegetarians like it too. We like to eat it on a half pita with homemade guacamole and sliced tomatoes. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do. Makes 4 burgers.

Ingredients
1 (15 oz) can black beans
2 TBSP barbeque sauce
1 TBSP yellow mustard
1 tsp onion powder (granulated)
1 tsp garlic powder (granulated)
¾ cup instant oats (take regular oats and process them a few pulses in a food processor to make instant oats)

Directions:
1 – drain and rinse well the can of black beans
2 – place the beans in a bowl and press with a fork to make a mash, leaving some beans partially whole
3 – mix in the remaining ingredients, until the oats are completely wet with the other ingredients. I like to refrigerate for an hour or so to blend the flavors, but this is optional.
4 – divide the mixture into 4 equal parts and form each part into a burger (if using pita, the burger can take on more of an oval shape)
5 – add a small amount of olive or coconut oil to a skillet and fry on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes a side, until nicely browned.
6 – serve up with pita or buns and your choice of fixings.

SUE’S SWEET SLAW

My sister-in-law, Sue, used to make a slaw that was the first cold slaw I ever tasted that I liked. I remember asking her for the recipe, but she was likely already in early stages of Alzheimer’s at the time and she couldn’t tell me what was in it. So over the years I’ve looked for recipes that came close to matching it and finally found one that came close and I’ve been tweaking it ever since. Here’s what I came up with so I’ve named it after Sue.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups green cabbage, chopped (approx. 1/4 of a medium cabbage)
2 cups red cabbage, chopped
2-3 carrots, julienned and chopped
1 granny smith apple, cored and chopped into 1 inch thin sticks (peel if desired)
1/4-1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
2-3 TBSP Veganaise (or mayo of choice), to taste
1 lemon, juiced

DIRECTIONS
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, mix well, adding additional mayo to taste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve.

CURRY QUINOA

This recipe is so delicious we make it on a weekly basis. It’s good for lunch or dinner and leftovers are good cold. The original recipe called for it to be made with kale, but I prefer the flavour of spinach. Paul adds feta cheese to his portion. What I like about this recipe is while the quinoa is cooking you can do all the chopping. This recipe comes together in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients:
1 (14 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup water
1 cup quinoa (white is best)
1 tsp garlic, minced (1 clove)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 TBSP curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 TBSP chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup raisins, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
3 green onions, sliced finely
3/4 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 bag spinach leaves, chopped
feta cheese (optional)

Directions:
-In a large pot warm coconut milk over medium heat, stir in ground ginger, turmeric, curry powder, cardamom, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir for 1-2 minutes until spices are well blended into the milk.
-Add water and quinoa, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, remove from heat and let rest for 5 more minutes.
-While quinoa is cooking quarter the tomatoes, chop the spinach, green onions, raisins and cranberries.
-Fluff the quinoa and add the tomatoes, spinach, green onions, raisins and cranberries and mix well. Serve immediately (top with feta cheese if you like).

ROTINI WITH ARTICHOKES, WALNUTS & OLIVES

The flavours in this dish burst in your mouth. I like to make this dish ahead and serve cold, but it is just as delicious hot. To make this gluten free, use any gluten free pasta. Our friends enjoyed this dish with us on a recent visit to Blue Sky while in Guadeloupe. Here’s the recipe Laurie. Enjoy and thanks for bringing the Red Lentil Rotini, it was delicious in this dish.

Ingredients:
12 oz. Rotini or other bite sized pasta
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and chopped
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
¼ or less cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup quartered grape tomatoes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dry white wine
½ cup vegetable broth
2 TBSP minced fresh parsley or basil

Directions:
-Cook pasta according to package directions, approximately 10 minutes, drain and rinse
-Heat oil in skillet over medium heat, add garlic & red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, approx. 1 minute
-Stir in walnuts, artichokes, olives, tomatoes, salt and white wine.
-Add broth and simmer to blend flavors, approx. 2 minutes.
-Add the cooked pasta to sauce and mix well. Adjust seasonings and add parsley/basil and let cook another few minutes to allow flavors to blend into the pasta.
-Serve immediately or store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve cold.