Monday, May 26, 2014

Vegan Curried Broccoli Soup

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend. I've had some excellent meals—Park's BBQ (my fave Korean BBQ joint), Hungry Cat (killer fresh seafood), and last night we dined at Night + Market (super spicy amazing Thai). It wouldn't be a holiday without excellent eating, right?

After I returned from Italy, I made this soup as part of my post-trip detox. I shared photos on FaceBook and received many recipe requests. 

So... here it is!

My Vegan Curried Broccoli Soup. It's a nice variation on traditional broccoli soup, which is usually loaded with cream and often topped with cheese. This healthier version gets its creaminess from potatoes (a very traditional Indian ingredient). The Indian spices and flavors like ginger make sure this soup packs a big bunch.

Did you know that many of the spices in curry are super good for you? In fact, I might have a turmeric addiction. I eat it every single day, adding it to scrambled eggs for breakfast and other dishes throughout the day. 

So without further ado... here you go!

Vegan Curried Broccoli Soup
Serves 4 to 6 people
Cooking time: about 30 minutes
Vegan; gluten-free

2 bunches of broccoli
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
1 russet potato, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
salt and freshly ground pepper
pinch of chili flakes (optional)
chopped cilantro for garnishing (optional)

Directions1. Remove the tough lower stalks from the broccoli. Roughly chop the florets and stalks. 

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until beginning to soften, about five minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chili flakes (optional), and curry powder. Stir to combine and cook for another two minutes.

3. Add the stock and potato and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for about fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the potato and broccoli are tender. Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. 

4. To serve, drizzle with good olive oil and top with cilantro. Enjoy!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Healthy Yogurt Dill Potato Salad

Summer has arrived in Southern California!

It's going to be 100 degrees this week.

Needless to say, I haven't been wanting to cook lots of hot food. I had some friends coming over for dinner, so instead of my usual roasted potatoes, I decided to make potato salad. I used a mix of heirloom potatoes, but normal red ones or Yukon golds will do. Other fun ingredients included dill and shallots. I like to leave my potatoes unpeeled for a more rustic feel to the dish.

This recipe is simple yet delicious.

My big substitution was using nonfat plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream for a lighter yet still yummy flavor. I often sub yogurt for sour cream. It's one of my recipe tricks. This dish is perfect of summer entertaining, or just a fun addition to lunch. I love it as a side dish with anything grilled.

Summer Yogurt Dill Potato Salad
Serves 6 to 8 people
Cooking time: about 25 minutes
Vegetarian; gluten-free

2 pounds small yellow, red or white potatoes
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon or whole grain mustard
1/4 cup shallots, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup fresh chopped dill or 1 tablespoon dried dill
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. To cook the potatoes, add them to a large pot and cover them with 1 1/2 inches of water. Season the water with salt (1 teaspoon for every quart of water). Bring water to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and add to an ice bath or rinse them with cool water. 

2. Once cooled, chop the potatoes into cubes and add them to a large bowl. Toss them with the vinegar and a little salt (the vinegar really brings out the flavor in the potatoes). 

3. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, shallots and dill. Add the dressing to the potatoes and gently stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with more dill and a pinch of paprika, if desired. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Notes: This recipe can be made a day in advance. The flavors really blend together that way. Keeps for up to three days in the fridge.