thunderstorms cry for soup
This morning, I awoke to sunshine streaming in the windows and the Dogwood next to my window in full bloom. It pretty much feels like the perfect spring day and I can not complain. Ironically, I was just as happy to hear thunder last evening as I was cooking dinner. Spring storms are a wonderful occasion for a new soup recipe and split pea was on the agenda. As stated yesterday, I am taking on my vegan cookbooks in full force this May. The Conscious Cook won last night. Split pea soup is a definite comfort food in my book (probably for everyone else too) and I really do enjoy Trader Joe’s and Amy’s versions from time to time. Last night, however, I was excited to try a recipe that had more innovative flavors than the traditional recipes. Tal Ronnen’s recipes tend to be more of the haute variety so I knew this recipe wouldn’t disappoint, being a fancier twist on a classic favorite.
I followed the recipe with the exception of a few ingredients that somehow slipped out of my Whole Food’s bag or cart. Shallots were then switched to half an onion, and rosemary to thyme. The taste was complex and smoky with the addition of smoked paprika and topped with chipotle cream. Cashew cream is always tasty, but blended with lime, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and vegenaise made for a tasty sauce.
I can’t share the recipe with you but I promise you it is a crowd pleaser. If you are looking for a comprehensive and beautiful cookbook, think about this one. I think that the recipes take more time than your average meal, but for one night a week, it is great. You could also try one of the recipes he made featured on Oprah or two found on The Daily Green (here and here).
My photographs really don’t do the recipe justice but here are some I took today for lunch.
I haven’t forgotten about the Gluten Free challenge either. With my lunch, I munched on a massive mango that was too messy to capture with my camera.
For breakfast, I went with the GF Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal, but should have upped the serving size because I was hungry for lunch earlier than normal after a sweaty workout. The cereal was cooked with my favorite almond milk, half a banana, and stevia. Later, I topped it with more banana, dried cherries, Naturally Nutty cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter, cinnamon, and hemp seeds. YUM!
A trip to the library resulted in magazine heaven at my house this past week. For a magazine writing and publishing major in college, I have really been disrespectful to the printed word these past few months. My only current subscription is to Runner’s World, but I love to look at all magazines having to do with fashion, food, health, travel, etc. If I didn’t move as much in the past few years, I am sure my collection would be even more ridiculous than it already is.
I read an interesting article in Body + Soul about seeds and why we should add them to our diet. The nutrient deficiencies in my vegetarian diet has never really been an issue for me (that I know of). A few years ago, when still eating animal protein, I found myself having horrible leg cramps or charlie horses, if you will. They are caused by an electrolyte imbalance or low levels of minerals, such as potassium or calcium. I was worried. Years have passed since I have had a similar calf cramp but I still feel like I should be aware of the vitamins that many plant based diets do not always obtain enough of. The vitamins that vegetarians can overlook are found in these seeds, and I plan on trying to eat more of them. Here is a brief summary:
hemp seeds – 24% of your daily recommended protein, perfect balance of amino acids
pumpkin seeds – plenty of protein, energy producing magnesium, 1/4 cup = 1/3 daily recommended zinc
sesame seeds – cholesterol lowering phytosterols, rich in iron, copper, & selenium
chia seeds – loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, & antioxidants, 1 oz = 43% daily recommended fiber
flaxseed – powerful cardio protective nutrients, omega 3’s, fiber, & lignans
sunflower seeds – 1/4 cup = 82% daily recommended vitamin E, 34% daily recommended selenium, 20% daily recommended folate
Do you try to incorporate seeds into your daily diet?