Vegan Chocolate Tart (No bake!)

Well, it’s been a while and this post has been a long time in the works. I actually made this tart-that-I-turned-into-a-pie by-using-a-tinfoil-pie-pan-because-I-wasn’t-ready-to-commit-to-a-tart-pan… for “pi” day in March. It went over really well! So well in fact, that many people begged for the recipe and I promised it would be up on the blog by the end of the month.

Well, that was kindof misleading wasn’t it as here we are in August! I feel badly about that… Onwards and upwards.

So here is it, in all it’s glory. Seriously this was amazing. I even tricked a number of “I wont eat anything that’s Vegan” eaters to eat it and then come back for seconds… and thirds…

I also kind of botched the recipe a bit. I actually used .56lb of cashews (which is just over a cup) instead of the 1 1/2 cups I was supposed to use. So there’s that. But I think it worked so I’d go with it!

Now, without further adieu…

Vegan No Bake Chocolate Tart | Kalelovesquinoa

Vegan Chocolate Tart (No bake!)
Prep time: 15min
Serves 1

What you need:

Crust
2 cups organic vegan chocolate cookie crumbs or cookies you can smash (make sure they’re gluten free if you want this to be completely gluten free!)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling
1 to 1 1/2 cups of cashews, soaked in water for at least two hours (overnight is best), drained
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons light agave syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I ended up adding a little more than this, probably 1 tsp)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Almond milk (probably 1/2 cup or so)

Vegan No Bake Chocolate Tart Crust | Kalelovesquinoa

What you do:

Make the Crust

  1. To get cookie crumbs, I bought vegan chocolate cookies and mashed with a spoon. Somewhat tedious but effective.
  2. Let’s get messy. Use your hands (that I’m sure you just washed!) to mix the coconut oil cookie crumbs and salt until crumbs hold together. Press in a very thin layer in tart pan and chill in freezer before filling.

Vegan No Bake Chocolate Tart Middle | Kalelovesquinoa

Make the Filling

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Keep an eye on your consistency. This should be pudding like. Add some more almond milk as needed and feel free to mess with the sweetness/richness to suit your tastes. I like mine rich so I kept the agave as is, but you may find you need to add a little more.
  2. Fill cookie crumb crust and chill in freezer overnight. Remove tart from pan and serve. Store leftovers in freezer.

It’s delish right? I made this in a tinfoil pie tin because that’s all I had on hand and I didn’t really feel like going to the store. But I’d definitely recommend using a proper tart dish for this baby. You could actually use a springform pan to make your life way easier. Then you’d just crust the bottom and not have any peeping up the top as I did in my “fake pie” tart concoction.

I also made a couple mini versions in ramekins that went over very well.

One final comment (then you can make your chocolate tart-pie). I’d try adding a little cayenne pepper. Not much, maybe 1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp but I bet it would add some great flavor. Coffee would be a fun add in as well, just make sure you balance it out with the almond milk.

I’m out! Enjoy the chocolate deliciousness.

Adapted from this NoBake Vegan Chocolate Tart recipe.

Spicy Korean Tofu Tacos

Looking for a quick, easy, tasty dinner recipe? Like spicy? Like tacos? Who doesn’t? Look no further!

I stumbled across this taco recipe when I was browsing one of my new favorite blogs: Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth. Definitely worth checking out. There are lots of healthy recipes and treats to try! Anyway, I was home alone and hungry… as usual… and wanted to make something a little more exciting than hummus and toast. So, spicy tacos were calling my name.

I modified the recipe slightly from the original and take note this serves one! So feel free to double it to make more. Enjoy!

Spicy Koren Tofu Tacos | kalelovesquinoa
Spicy Korean Tofu Tacos
Prep time: 15min
Serves 1

What you need:
2 soft taco sized corn tortillas
1 cup chopped kale
1 cup shredded or finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 package extra firm tofu
1/2 Tbsp Sriracha
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce or Tamari
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil or maybe try some coconut oil… nom!
1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 small avocado or 1/4 of a big one

What you do:
  1. Let’s start with the tofu. Before you do anything, try to remove as much water as you can using a paper towel to absorb excess liquid. I usually wrap it in paper towel, give it a squeeze and let it sit for awhile…. like 5 mins. I have ADD.
  2. While your tofu is hanging out, chop your kale and carrots! Ok now you can chop your tofu into little cubes.
  3. Heat up a pan to medium/high heat. Mix sesame oil, soy sauce, and Sriracha add to pan. Add the cubed tofu  and cook on each side for approx 3 minutes until edges become firm.
  4. Once the tofu has finished cooking, remove it from the pan and set aside.
  5. Turn your pan down to medium/low heat and add your veggie broth. Let it heat up for a minute, then toss in the kale and carrots. Cook veggies for just a few mins or until they’ve reached desired firmness. I like em a little crispy!
  6. While your veggies cook, heat up your tortillas in another pan set to medium/high heat. You probably need 10 – 20 seconds on each side, until they start to brown just a little.
  7. Ok, ready? It’s taco assembly time! Here we go: taco, veggies, tofu, avocado, sesame seeds. Dinner. Boom. Drop the mic.

What’d you think? This yummy meal was long gone before I thought to try coconut oil with this, but you should because I bet it’d be delicious, happy cooking veggie lovers!

Picnic Pasta Salad

This weekend, I’m heading up to wine country and I’ve been charged with bringing the picnic! So I sat around and brainstormed today… sandwiches? Yeah, maybe but that didn’t sound super exciting. Veggie burgers? Those would be tricky to take in the car for a few hours. I even thought about just bringing a bunch of snacks (which I’m totally doing anyway…) and then it hit me! Pasta salad. Delish and perfect for a picnic because it can be served cold and is easy to transport!

Pasta salads typically have a whole bunch a dairy n stuff in it. Oh, not to mention pasta? Not so gluten free friendly eh? False. You fell right into that one didn’t you? Well, I’ve come up with a way to keep the awesome but ditch the dairy and not so awesome for you pasta. Let’s do this.

Picnic Pasta Salad - kalelovesquinoa

Picnic Pasta Salad
Prep time: 30min
Serves a lot! Probably 4 – 6

What you need:
1box quinoa Rotelle pasta (I like Ancient Quinoa brand, tastes just like normal pasta.)
2 zuchini
handful of asparagus spears
1 cup or so roma tomatoes
10 oz firm tofu
1/2 cup veganaise (I love Earth Balance Mindful Mayo)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
juice of half a lemon
cayenne pepper
sea salt and pepper

What you do:
  1. Cook qunioa pasta according to package directions. You know, boil some water, stick the pasta in. You got this.
  2. While your pasta’s cooking, chop your veggies into bite sized pieces. I like to cut my asparagus into slanted pieces about 1in long. I chopped the zucchini into quarters and diced. Tomatoes sliced in half or quarters depending on their size. Chop up your basil leaves as well. TIP: Roll the basil leaves into a little twig shape and chop. Makes life way easier. Then chop again into smaller pieces.
  3. Cook your veggies. I cooked mine in the microwave, quick and easy works best for me. Let those cool.
  4. Drain your pasta, take care of business and let that cool as well.
  5. Meanwhile, make your tofu sauce. Mash your tofu up so it’s crumbled then add the veganaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper… mix that all up!
  6. Once everything has cooled, mix the veggies, pasta, and tofu sauce together. Add the cayene pepper plus any more lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Viola! Picnic time and a glass of wine.

Well now I’m hungry and this is delicious so eat up!

Enjoy veg friends. XO

Creamy Baked Potato Soup

Tonight all I wanted was a big bowl of hearty soup. When I came across this recipe I couldn’t resist. Easy, filling, creamy and comforting. Perfect for a cold San Francisco evening. But how does one make a creamy dairy-free soup? Coconut milk? Almond milk? Cashews? This time my friends… the answer is almonds. Yup almonds. They add a rich creamy texture that’s hard to beat and will be something I experiment with more in the future.

Creamy Potato Soup - kalelovesquinoa

Since I was feeling more hungry than creative tonight, I didn’t experiment much with garnishes. But some nice things to try might be smashed russet potatoes, crispy kettle chips, roasted cauliflower or veggie bacon bits. Have fun experimenting and in the meantime, enjoy this soup!

Creamy Potato Soup Potatos | kalelovesquinoa

Creamy Baked Potato Soup
Prep time: 30min – 1hr …it really only takes about 20 minutes but you need to soak your almonds for at least an hour
Serves 4 – 6

What you need:

1/2 cup raw almonds (soaked and then peeled)
1 1/2 cups water (you could also use some GF veggie broth)
1 extra large russett potato (or two small) (about 3 cups sliced potato)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp  fresh ground pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt to taste
1 tsp nutmeg (literally a late-night revelation, I’d say it’s optional, but I love nutmeg and it adds great flavor!)
1/2 tsp garlic
pinch of cayenne or chili powder for some heat!

What you do:
  1. Soak almonds for at least an hour in warm salt water. If you can, it’s best to soak these overnight but if you don’t have that kind of time 1 – 2 hours should do the trick.
  2. While your almonds are soaking, prep and peel potato and boil in hot water until tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Once your almonds are done soaking, drain and rinse. Next, soak them in boiling water for 3 – 5 minutes. To peel, drain almonds and squeeze them gently between your fingers and the almond should pop right out!
  4. Now it’s blending time! Add boiled potato, peeled almonds, water and spices to a high speed blender or large food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. You may need to add more liquid depending on how thick you like your soup, I added a little more myself.
  5. Heat it up in a microwave and serve! Top with a tad more salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. and for some yummy garnish ideas try chopped cilantro, chives, warm veggie bacon bits, or crispy potato chips yum🙂
Creamy Potato Soup | kalelovesquinoa
Adapted from lunchboxbunch.com

Jalapeño Cilantro Hummus

I love hummus. I literally cannot get enough of the stuff. I eat it in the morning on toast with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes or mashed tofu. I eat it for a snack with carrots or gluten free crackers. I’ll eve use it to top off my salads or add it to quinoa to get a nice creamy texture. It’s divine. My favorite brand is Sabra’s – it’s creamy and delicious and comes in a bunch of yummy flavors, all vegan and gluten free🙂

But hummus can get expensive… it’s often at least $3 and can be up to $5! I’ve tried making my own hummus before. In fact, my friend Colleen has an amazing pesto hummus recipe on her blog, The Healthy Appetite. I’d highly recommend checking it out!

photo

This hummus however, is about jalapeños. I can’t really handle super spicy, but this recipe is delicious. The jalapeños give it just the right amount of kick and flavor. Easy, tasty, and cheap to make – I may be eating homemade hummus more often! Just don’t stick your knife in your brand new Cuisinart blender… like I did. Sometimes I don’t think things through. Luckily, I did think this recipe through so check it out and enjoy🙂

Jalapeño Cilantro Hummus
Prep time: 15 – 20 mins max!
Serves one ladies book-club or 6 girls a’ snacking

What you need:

1-2 jalepeños (I used two and took most/all of the seeds out – that’s where the spice lives! – Remember use GLOVES!)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup sesame seed oil (some people use tahini instead)
1 tsp cumin
1 cup fresh cilantro (I chopped mine a little)
pinch cayenne pepper (paprike would work too)
sea salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

  1. Chop the jalapeños and throw in a skillet with the garlic on medium heat until nice and toasted. Like I mentioned,I used two jalapeños but removed most, if not all, of the seeds. More seeds = more heat so feel free to spice it up if you like!
  2. Meanwhile, put the remaining ingredients into a food processor and blend em up!
  3. Add in the jalapeños, garlic, sea salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add in more lemon and/or olive oil (or even a little bit of water) to thin it to the consistency you like and enjoy!

Adapted from Big Red Clifford.

Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry

As a veggie lover in the fall/winter months, I make a lotta stews, soups, and the like. This isn’t really a “curry” as much as it’s just damn delicious. The sweet potato, ginger, and jalapeño basically dance in your mouth. However, you don’t want any jalapeño juice dancing on your fingertips. See unfortunate note below…

It’s also pretty easy to make, the main time consumer is just chopping up the vegetables! Get a helper. It works wonders…. Or a mandolin helps too. I also have an onion chopper. Get equipped! Now get going!

Chick Pea and Sweet Potato Curry - kalelovesquinoa

Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry
Prep Time: about an hour total
Serves 4 – 6

What you need:

2 tbsp canola oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 Thai or jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped**
1 tbsp curry powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can (14 fl. oz.) coconut milk, well shaken
1 cup water
1 cup frozen peas
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
Steamed rice for serving (optional but my favorite is brown rice, basmati rice or jasmine rice)

**Make sure to use a glove when cutting the jalapeño or be VERY VERY careful! I seriously burnt the crap out of my hand when I made this recipe and it was excruciatingly painful for close to 4 hours. No joke. In fact, not even close to being funny. Ow. It hurts just thinking about it. So anyway, put a rubber on it before you start a choppin. Don’t have a glove? Stick a ziploc bag over your hand. Just something to spare your poor fingers!

What you do:

Make the curry base

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the oil.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is nice and translucent, approx 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the veggies!

  1. Add the sweet potato, chickpeas, coconut milk and water to the pan. Raise the heat to medium-high, bring just to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the sweet potato is tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the peas and tomatoes and cook until heated through.
  3. I served mine over a warm bowl of brown rice. Enjoy!

What’d you think? The great thing about this dish is, it makes  a lot but I freeze it and save it for a rainy day.

Adapted from Williams Sonoma

Twice Baked Rosemary Maple Nut Mix

Snacks are the best aren’t they? It’s one of the reasons I typically spend 40 minutes longer in Trader Joe’s than I’d like to… they have so many snacks!?

So, I like Trader Joe’s. OK. I can also be kinda lazy… especially if it’s raining. In fact, if it’s raining I’m finding a movie on TV I can sit through, making a cup of tea and figuring out what kind of homemade snacks I can eat because I aint leaving the house.

Enter this delicious nut blend. I made these all holiday season long and they were beyond well received. They’re great to bring to a friends house or get together and they’re really great for bringing to work with intentions to share but instead eating all of them in one sitting. They’re great for that.

Best part about these nuts is they’re really easy but pack a ton of flavor. They’re sweet and salty and best warm right out of the oven. Enjoy!

Twice Baked Rosemary Maple Nut Mix
Prep time: about 1 hour
Serves: However many can get their hands on them! But makes a little over 2 cups.

What you need:

2 1/4 cups mixed unsalted raw nuts (I used 1/2 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup cashews, 1/2 cup walnuts, and 3/4 cup almonds)
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
pinch cayenne pepper
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1.5 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp Earth Balance butter

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil for easy cleanup.
  2. Spread nuts evenly onto baking sheet and toast for about 10-12 minutes. Remove nuts and let cool for about 5 mins or so.
  3. While cooling, mix rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, maple syrup, sea salt, and just 1 tbsp of Earth Balance butter in a large bowl. Then, dump nuts into mixture and stir in 1 tbsp of melted Earth Balance butter, mixing well.
  4. Pour nuts back onto baking sheet and bake for another 10-12 minutes until golden. TIP: Keep your eyes on these! I have thrown away multiple versions of these tasty nuts because I let them go for 2 minutes too long and they turned black. As long as you watch them and don’t get distracted by Anderson Cooper’s appalling daytime talk show -Long story… but really Anderson? – you’ll be fine.
  5. Cool for about 20 minutes and serve warm.

I love this recipe. The combination of maple syrup and rosemary blows my mind. These are also easily store-able and will last for a couple weeks… if they’re still around to last that long!

Will you try this recipe? What nut combination do you think would be good?

Salted Caramel Bars

Something I do… when I’m bored at home and decide I want a sweet treat but am too lazy to go out and buy something, I will go through my recipe books until I find something I can make with whatever I have in my kitchen. This is often how I find some of my best recipes  sometimes the simpler the better!

So, here’s what I found this time. Vegan salted caramel bars. You’re welcome.

Salted Caramel Bars | kalelovesquinoa.com

These ones I made are not gluten free, mainly because I’d run out of gluten free flour, and like I said the aim of the game was to not leave my cozy apartment... But it’d  be real easy to make these GF. Just sub the flour for 1 cup gluten free flour mix (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill) and 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum. Note that your baking time might change a bit, so just keep an eye on them.

Salted Caramel Bars
Prep Time: Eh
Makes approx 16 bars… depending on how many get eaten in preparation

What you need:

For the crust:
1 cup all purpose flour*
1/2 cup chilled vegan margarine, I use Earth Balance
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the caramel:
1 cup packed brown sugar, I used dark because that’s all I had but light would work too
1/4 cup vegan margarine, I use Earth Balance
4 tsp soy, almond or rice milk, I used almond milk but I bet coconut would be great

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy free)
sea salt for sprinkling, best to use a grinder so you get big chunky flakes of sea salt!

What you do:

Let’s make the shortbread:

Salted Caramel Bars prep - kalelovesqunioa

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line an 8 inch square pan with foil or parchment paper. Make sure it’s enough so that it overhangs on the edges – this will make it easier to remove from the pan.
  3. In a food processor, pulse flour, Earth Balance, powdered sugar and cinnamon until nice and crumbly.
  4. Press into your foil covered pan and bake for 18 – 20 mins or until edges golden.
  5. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 -15 mins  then chill in the fridge for 30 mins or so.

Caramel Time!

  1. Note: Make sure you’re shortbread is cooled and ready for the caramel topping before starting this step.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat brown sugar, Earth Balance and nondairy milk over medium heat until combined, stirring frequently.
  3. Once mixture comes together, bring temperature up to medium high for 1 – 2 mins until mixture begins to boil and the bubbles move into the center.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 mins.
  5. Once cooled, pour caramel over chilled shortbread crust. Let cool for 10 mins and then pop back in the fridge to cool for 30 mins or so.

Chocolate Layer:

  1. When your caramel shortbread goodness is ready for the chocolate, melt chocolate in a double broiler or just in the microwave. Tip: If you’re doing this in the microwave, microwave in 30 -40 second increments. Keep an eye on the chocolate and pause to stir often. Don’t burn it!
  2. Spread chocolate over top of the caramel layer and use a spoon/spatula to even things out a bit.
  3. Sprinkle with your sea salt and return to the fridge until the chocolate has hardened… and be patient!
  4. Once the chocolate has hardened, remove bar from the pan using the foil and remove foil. Cut into whatever sizes you want and enjoy. Oh how you’ll enjoy!

Who made these? Pretty easy right? The hardest part for me was waiting until everything had cooled down🙂 It’d be easy to sprinkle some chopped nuts on top of these to make them even tastier.

Adapted from Chloe’s Kitchen recipe.

Cheesy Kitchen Sink Quinoa with Crispy Tofu

I called this “Kitchen Sink Quinoa” because you can really add whatever you want to it. These just happened to be the veggies I had on hand so they all went in. You could add corn, peas, carrots, kale, spinach whatever. Throw it all in there. You can also make this as cheesy as you want. That’s why we taste test in the kitchen, all day, every day.

Not that you can tell from this picture because of all the avocado… but I like mine pretty cheesy.

Cheesy Kitchen Sink Quinoa with Crispy Tofu - kalelovesquinoa

I first experimented with cheesy quinoa as a potential substitute to mac n cheese. I’ve found Follow Your Heart cheeses melt quite well when you shredded and mixed into a steaming hot bowl of quinoa, delish. Although, in all honestly, Daiya cheese is even better. Both brands offer a variety of flavors, I’ve used peperjack Daiya cheese before and it was delish. Quinoa + vegan cheese = hearty mac n cheese flavor without the calorie catastrophe.

Enjoy! What other mac n cheese stand ins can you recommend  Anyone tried to make their own cheese sauce? That’s next on my list.

Cheesy Kitchen Sink Quinoa with Crispy Tofu
Prep time: 30 – 40 mins
Serves: 2 (with leftovers for lunch!) or 4

What you need:

2 tbsp Earth Balance butter
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water or vegetable broth (I used water this time)
7 oz (half packet) firm tofu
2 – 3 garlic cloves minced
1 medium sized leek
1 small/medium sized yellow onion
1 cup broccoli (I cut mine intro bite sized pieces)
1 green or red pepper (heck or throw em both in)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese (I used Follow Your Heart, cheddar)
2 heirloom tomatoes
1 avocado
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

What you do:

  1. Get the quinoa started! Add quinoa and water/vegetable broth to a large-ish pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until the water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy. Remove from heat but keep covered.
  2. Next, lets get the tofu going as this takes the longest. Wrap tofu in a paper towel and squeeze to get some of the moisture out. Cut into bite sized cubes, season with a little salt and pepper (or whatever else you like… I use garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, whatever). Heat up a small pan with a little bit of oil or cooking spray. Once nice and hot, drop the tofu cubes in and let em sizzle! Cook until nice and crispy, at least 10 mins usually.
  3. While you’re quinoa’s cooking and your tofu simmering, start chopping some veggies! Mince your garlic. Chop up the peppers, onion, tomatoes, and broccoli if you haven’t already. And now for the leeks.
  4. TIP: How do you clean a leek? First, chop off the top and bottom of the leek. You want the green leafy stuff gone. It’s OK to have a little green/white but we don’t want any of the dark green. Next, make a cut in the leek about halfway deep and slice down the middle from end to end. Be careful not to cut the leek completely in half and make sure you’re doing this longways! From here rinse under cool tap water and make sure you let the water get into the different “leek layers” as that’s where there’s often dirt. Ready?! Now, chop the leek into 1/4  inch discs.
  5. Put a large pan on medium high heat and add your Earth Balance butter. Once hot and ready, add the garlic – simmer for 30 seconds or so – then add your leeks and onions. Simmer those up for a couple minutes then add the broccoli and red pepper and cook on medium low heat until peppers and broccoli start to brown a little.
  6. Once your quinoa is all done you can start the cheesy process. Add the nutritional yeast, shredded cheese and mix well until nice and cheesy. Feel free to add more of either, just depends on your desired level of cheesy.
  7. Add your cooked veggies, tofu and mix well.
  8. Serve nice and hot and top with tomatoes, avocado, and any fresh herbs you have on hand like parsley or cilantro plus salt and pepper to taste.

I know it seems like a long list of instructions, but it’s really not.

Here’s the shorthand: Cook your quinoa, add your cheese. Cook veggies and tofu, add those too. YUM.

Carrot Soup with Avocado & Crisped Chickpeas

I love soup. I don’t really love all the extra sodium and “chemically bits” that get added to most store bought soups. So I was on a mission to find a tasty soup recipe that wouldn’t take me 5 hours to make. I also just really wanted to use the new blender I got for Christmas.

Carrot Soup with Avocado and Crisped Chickpeas kalelovesquinoa

The original recipe did not call for avocado… so I added it, of course. In fact, I think most recipes could benefit from the addition of avocado but that’s a separate issue. I eat a lot of avocado. Anyway, here it is, enjoy! Let me know if you make this and what you think.

Carrot Soup with Avocado & Crisped Chickpeas
Total prep & cook time: 1 hour or so
Serves 4 to 6 depending on serving size

What you need:

For the soup:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 pounds  carrots, peeled and diced
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 regular or 6 small garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt (I love pink Himalayan sea salt!)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground ginger
4 cups vegetable broth (make sure it’s GF!)
1 Avocado, parsley and pinch of cayenne pepper for topping

For the chickpeas:
1 15-ounce  can chickpeas – also known as garbanzo beans😉 – drained, patted dry
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or regular)
hearty pinch of cayenne pepper (gives them a kick!)

What you do:

  1. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Then add carrots, onion, coriander, fennel, cumin, sea salt, pepper and ginger. Sauté until they begin to brown, about 10 – 15 minutes. TIP: Always make sure you have a hot pan and hot oil before sautéing your garlic, onions etc. You want the garlic to sizzle when it hits the oil in the pan. That’s how you know it’s ready. Otherwise your are more likely to burn whatever it is you’re cooking if the oil isn’t hot enough! 
  2. While your veggies are cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and cayenne pepper until coated. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil for easy clean up and spread chickpeas evenly. Roast in the oven until they’re browned and crisp, which can take anywhere from 10 – 20 minuted or even longer, depending on the size and firmness of chickpeas and how much olive oil is used. For me, it actually took about 25 minutes but I like them really crispy. Just keep an eye on them and make sure to toss them occasionally, making sure they’re toasting evenly.
  3. Back to the soup! Once the veggies have begun to brown, add vegetable broth. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally, approx 20 – 30 minutes.
  4. Once carrots are nice and soft, transfer soup (in batches if necessary) to blender and puree until smooth. Note: A hand blender would also work.
  5. Serve immediately! Top with avocado, crisped chickpeas and garnish with chopped parsley and a sprinkle of paprika. Yum!

What’d you think!? Not too difficult and the results are well worth it. What is your favorite winter soup? I think celery or cauliflower might be next on my list.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.