Wellness Wednesday: Vegan Cold & Flu Blast Soup Recipe

Vegan Cold & Flu Blast Soup - aliciainwonderlandblog

I have been making this soup for years and it has always helped me recover from a cold or flu in a hurry. It was inspired by some of the advice my grandpa used to give when we were sick as kids (my grandpa was a D.O. and an M.D. and preferred to find more natural solutions for illness when possible, instead of taking things like cold medicine). Every time I have gotten sick in the past few years, I have asked my husband to go on my blog, find the recipe and make me some soup. I realized that I have never properly blogged the recipe, and the last thing I ever want to do when I am sick is stand in the kitchen and cook. When I got a particularly nasty cough/cold last week, I made a huge batch of this soup again. This time, I saved some in the freezer and made sure to get a picture so I can finally blog the recipe. 🙂

Ingredients (preferably all organic):
1 head of garlic cloves
2 yellow onions
3 lemons
approximate 3 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
4 carrots
2 bell peppers, varying colors
3 long pieces of celery
2 cans of cooked chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans)
1 package of mushrooms
4 tomatoes
leeks (optional)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
water

1. Peel and finely dice all of the cloves of garlic on a head of garlic. I know it sounds like a lot of garlic, but this makes a lot of soup and garlic is great for beating viruses.
2. Peel and chop onions.
3. Place onions and garlic in bottom of large stock pot. Add olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat until lightly caramelized.
4. Juice the lemons, and put lemon juice in pot, along with lemon rinds.
5. Drain cans of beans and add to pot.
6. Add whole piece of peeled ginger to pot.
7. Chop all remaining vegetables and add to pot. Fill up remainder of stock pot with water, and cook on medium heat until vegetables are cooked through (check carrots for softness).
8. Once vegetables are all cooked, remove lemon rinds and ginger from soup. Add additional salt & pepper to taste, and serve.

This recipe will make quite a few servings, probably at least 8-10 servings, which is great for a few days of servings, and freezing some for another time. I like to make sure all of the ingredients are organic so there aren’t any extra toxins for your body to cleanse out while getting rid of the virus in your system. This is a great vegan, gluten-free alternative to homemade chicken noodle soup! It should have you feeling better in no time and it tastes great. If you want to be super organized this fall and winter, why not make a batch now, put it in servings in the freezer, and that way you are already prepared for cold & flu season!

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Resuming My Cook-Once-A-Week Routine!

Back when we used to shoot a lot of weddings, I got in the habit of cooking lots of meals for dinner in batches on one evening, and freezing the individual dinners. It was great on the nights when I was up for all hours, working on wedding photos. We would just pull something out of the freezer, throw it in the oven, and have a healthy, homemade meal in about half an hour. Since our son was born, I somehow got out of the habit of doing that. I decided that it was time to start again! We have gotten in the habit of having too much takeout food when things get busy and I knew that this is exactly what we need.

I started by asking my husband to keep an eye on E for an hour or two so I could cook. Then I started making a huge batch of sauteed chopped veggies in my wok (4-5 bell peppers, various colors, one whole chopped onion, 4 cloves minced garlic, tomato, and a bit of coconut oil, and a tiny bit of salt & pepper). I also started cooking a bunch of rice on another burner. On a third burner, I started cooking up a bunch of lean ground beef with a bit of salt, pepper, and dried oregano. On the fourth burner, I started boiling water for pasta. I grabbed a couple of boxes of Indian food mixes that I found in the non-perishable section at Trader Joe’s, two cans of organic garbanzo beans, a jar of pasta sauce, and a can of diced tomatoes. I also had a package of marinated carne asada my husband found at Target that was set aside in the fridge, ready to barbecue. Here is what I made with the above ingredients! I made multiple batches of most of the meals, so it actually ended up being enough for almost two weeks!

Meal #1: Trader Joe’s Punjab Eggplant. Added garbanzo beans and veggie mix, served over plain jasmine rice.

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Meal #2: Gluten free rice pasta with lean ground beef meat sauce and veggie mixture. aliciainwonderlandblog.com

Meal #3: Barbequed carne asada with rice mixture. I added the can of diced tomatoes, some salt and pepper to some plain rice, and added in a bit of the veggie mix and some garbanzo beans. This marinade on the meat was amazing, and I was really excited that we found one that did not have soy in it!
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Meal #4: Trader Joe’s Punjab Choley with extra can of added garbanzo beans and plain jasmine rice.aliciainwonderlandblog.com

It was so easy, and really didn’t take that long! For each meal, I took the frozen portions out, put them in an oven safe dish and baked for about half an hour at 375 degrees F. It is such a relief not having to worry about what I am going to come up with each night for dinner. 🙂 Also, I am quite proud to say that even my meat-loving Texan husband was a big fan of the two vegan meals we had last week. Definitely a major win for me!

Homemade Protein & Fiber Snack Bars Recipe with Juicing Leftovers

Homemade Protein & Fiber Snack Bars with Juicing Leftovers - Alicia in Wonderland Blog

Like yesterday’s post (seen here), I wanted to find some uses for the leftover vegetable and fruit pulp when I use my juicer. This is the second recipe that I created to put that fiber goodness to use! They taste about 1000 times better than they sound and look, I promise! Even my mom who hates vegetables loves these bars. 🙂 They have a slightly sweet (but not too sweet), nutty taste. You would never even realize that they are full of fiber!

Ingredients:
3 cups of vegetable/fruit fiber pulp leftover from juicing (I use a mix of carrot, beet, apple, and ginger)
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsalted almonds
1/2 cup honey
1/4 unsalted, unsweetened almond butter
1 tablespoons sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Pulse oats lightly in food processor 6 times. Add oats in with juicing leftovers in large mixing bowl.
3. Pulse almonds lightly in food processor, about 5 times, and add to mixing bowl.
4. Add honey, almond butter and sesame seeds to mixing bowl, and mix everything together with stand or hand mixer.
5. Once well combined, take dough out of mixing bowl and spread out on cookie sheet. I line my cookie sheet with a Silpat to prevent sticking and burning.
6. Once evenly spread across a half sheet size cookie sheet, I cut the dough into 12 bars and spread them apart slightly.
7. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, until cooked through.
8. Cool on wire rack, and store in airtight container.

The Perfect Snack a.k.a. Street Vendor Style Chili Lime Cucumbers

Street Vendor Style Chili Lime Cucumbers

In the theme of replicating street vendor food treats, like yesterday’s post, I wanted to share my favorite easy snack. it is especially great during the summer when cucumbers are in season and plentiful. Every time I see a street vendor selling cucumbers, I cannot resist getting one. 🙂

Ingredients:
1 peeled and sliced cucumber
juice of 1 lime
salt
chili powder

When the street vendors make it, they toss all the ingredients in a bag and shake to blend the ingredients together. I usually just put everything together in a bowl and mix to make sure all of the cucumber pieces get coated, but either way works!

Tomato/Prosciutto Pizza Recipe: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Egg-free

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For the most part, our baby boy has been feeling better now that the dairy and soy seemed to have worked their way out of my system and his. However, after snacking on a bunch of tortillas one evening, I noticed that his stomach started getting really upset again. He didn’t have all of the extreme symptoms he was getting from the dairy & soy, but it was still enough to raise a few red flags for me. I decided to try to add wheat gluten to my list of potential allergens to avoid while breastfeeding. I was really craving some pizza, so I decided to try making one from scratch that would not have any gluten, dairy, soy, or egg in it. Seems like a tall order and that the result would not be worthwhile, right? It came out amazing! I cannot wait to make this again. Just as good, if not better than any “regular” pizza that I have had in a while!

Ingredients:
3 fresh artichokes
1 package Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Dough Flour
1/2 large tomato
handful of basil leaves
Earth Balance Soy-Free Margarine
Daiya dairy-free soy-free cheese
Two slices of prosciutto

I started by steaming a few artichokes from our garden. Next I started preparing Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Dough Mix, and made the dough according to the instructions. Since I have an egg allergy, I used Ener-G Egg Replacer instead of real eggs.

After the initial short baking of the crust, I brushed on some melted Earth Balance Soy-Free Margarine with a pastry brush, all over the crust. Then I sprinkled on some Daiya dairy-free and soy-free mozzarella cheese. I added some thinly sliced tomato and julienned basil. I removed the leaves from the artichoke hearts (and saved the leaves to eat while the pizza finished cooking), and broke up the artichoke hearts into chunks and added on top of the pizza. I cooked for the remainder of the time recommended on the dough flour package.

Once I removed the pizza from the oven, I finished by adding the julienned prosciutto slices. I added the prosciutto at the end so it didn’t end up overcooked. The end result was amazing…I can’t wait to make it again! On a side note, you could always leave the prosciutto off for a great vegan option. 🙂

Snickerdoodle Recipe: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free

Dairy-free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free Snickerdoodles Recipe

I had never made snickerdoodles until I found a Martha Stewart recipe for them on the packaging for my Martha Stewart Silpats. I modified the recipe to accommodate my egg allergy, and it quickly became a regular favorite in our house. Now I have modified the recipe again to cut out dairy and soy as well (since our baby has been reacting to those ingredients via breastmilk).

Ingredients:
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup Soy-Free Earth Balance Margarine, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Ener-G egg replacers (3 tsp powder plus 4 tbsp warm water)
For topping:
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar

1. Put margarine and sugar in mixer bowl (use paddle attachment if you have a stand mixer). Mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.
2. Mix in Ener-G egg replacers.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder & salt in separate bowl.
4. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add in flour mixture.
5. Mix topping sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
6. Scoop dough with cookie dough scoop and roll in cinnamon/sugar mix. Roll into round balls and place onto cookie sheet with Silpat (or lightly greased cookie sheet).7. Bake cookies for approximately 12 minutes and cool on wire racks.

Orange/Cranberry/Almond Biscotti Recipe: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free

Dairy-free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free Biscotti Recipe

When I was in college, my Italian grandma taught me the basics of making biscotti. This recipe is a new variation of my own original recipe for orange/cranberry/almond biscotti. This new version of the recipe is now allergen friendly, and is free of any dairy, egg or soy. It has been a while, but I like this new version just as much as I liked the original recipe.

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
8 oz applesauce (I use two snack sized applesauce containers)
1 Ener-G egg replacer (1 1/2 tsp power plus 2 tbsp warm water)
6 tbsp melted Soy-Free Earth Balance Margarine
2 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup almonds

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Lightly grease 2-3 cookie sheets (or use SilPats, which is what I use) and set aside.
3. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
4. Make a well in the middle of the flour mix and add in the applesauce & Ener-G egg replacer. Mix together.
5. Add in margarine, orange zest, orange juice an almond extract. Mix together.
6. Put cashews and almonds in food processor and pulse lightly 2-3 times. Add nuts into dough and mix together.
7. Knead together dough until it is less crumbly.
8. Put dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a log. Separate dough into three equally sized pieces.
9. Roll each piece into a log approximately 14 inches long.
10. Place dough logs on cookie sheets and bake for 25 minutes (until light golden brown).
11. Remove logs and cool on wire racks.
12. Once cool, use a serrated knife to cut each log into slices, cutting at a diagonal.
13. Place cut cookies onto cookie sheets, cut side down.
14. Bake for 10 minutes.
15. Remove cookie sheet from oven and flip cookies over and bake for another 10 minutes.
16. Remove and let cookies cool on wire racks.