Tag Archives: cooking

Creamy Potato Soup (Vegan)

Over the last week it got very cold here in Nevada. We even had some snowfall in the mountains (hooray for ski season!) Although – it did botch my plans for a mini motorcycle trip on Friday. I’ll get over it – there will be plenty of opportunities to take Black Beauty out. (I call my bike Black Beauty, I’m a dork, I know – it’s awesome.)

What goes great with chilly weather? Fluffy sweaters, flannel blankets and warm creamy soups! I came home yesterday and whipped up this little number. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 celery stalks washed and sliced
  • 2 carrots cubed
  • 5-7 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 8 cups of vegetable broth, I used 1/2 mushroom base 1/2 veggie bullion cubes
  • 1 T. Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed bay leaves
  • 2 T. brown rice flour (or whatever flour you want)
  • 2/3 c. unsweetened soy milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 2 T. Nooch (optional)
  • Vegan sour cream for garnish
  • salt & pepper to taste

Serves 4. Use organic ingredients when you can.

First, give the bottom of your soup pot a good swirl or two of olive oil. Add onions, cook for 3-5 minutes, add celery, carrots, cook for another 3 minutes. 

Then add the broth, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, and about half of the potato cubes. If you don’t want your potatoes to oxidize, cut and cube half of your potatoes for this part. Then we will put the other half in towards the end of the cooking process. 

Cook for 30-45 minutes. I had time to kill until my sweetheart got home so I cooked mine for about an hour. I’m sure this recipe could be cooked in under an hour.

Then get out your stick blender or regular blender and blend it all together to create the creamy base for your soup. If you use a blender, make sure to cool the soup slightly before blending. I used my stick blender and shoved it right into the pot on the stove.

Now add the milk, nooch and the rest of the potato cubes. Next, you’ll want to make a slurry in a jar using the 2 T. of flour and about 3 T. of water (or milk). A slurry thickens the soup, so you want to put the water and flour in a jar, put the lid on tight and shake it up, now add that to your soup. 

Cook for about 20 minutes until the potato cubes are soft and the soup is slightly thick and creamy. Make sure to check your seasonings … I found mine needed some additional salt and pepper.

Ladle a good amount into some soup bowls, top with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy the creamy goodness. I served mine with some toasted naan bread for dipping. It was delish! Bowls were licked clean last night – hooray for no dishes! (Kidding!)

What’s your favorite way to stay warm? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

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Warm Homemade Apple Cider

Fall is one of my favorite times of year – it is full of great smells: frosty air, wet leaves, apples, and cinnamon. I love it!

As most of my followers know … I’ve been trying to get rid of a whole lot of apples… and I didn’t want to do just one recipe with apples because that would be boring. You know what else would be boring? If everything turned out right the first time. Right?! Right. /sheepish smile

Soooooo … I wanted to make apple cider. I love going to Apple Hill, they have some fantastic fresh ciders out there. But since I missed a lil trip out there this fall I thought it would be nice to make my own.

I’m going to be honest with you right now … I made apple cider … but it was a journey to put it nicely … so I will share with you the recipe I used and what I would do differently next time.

I used this recipe. Which is a great recipe … but since this was the first time, I ran into a few hitches. Nothing I couldn’t overcome! 🙂

Here is my journey in pictures: (if you read the recipe you’ll see what I’m doing … I just didn’t want to repeat it all since I followed that recipe)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cooking part was fine. I probably doubled the recipe.

Here are my thoughts on this process:

  • Have lots of cheese cloth on hand. I don’t think I had enough to properly strain the apple mush.
  • Apples have a lot of silt … I’m not sure if that’s the right word for it – but it perfectly describes the natural sediment that is produced from the process – so be aware that you probably won’t make a clear product.
  • I got sick of squeezing the apple mush through the cheese cloth (because I don’t think I had enough of it to do it properly) so I ran the rest of the apple mush through my juicer … which I’m not sure if it helped. But I did it and I wanted to confess that part. And then I ran it through a fine mesh sieve as I poured it into my glass containers. (Kind of a pain as I had to constantly keep rinsing out the sieve to remove the silt)
  • I wish I hadn’t added 1/2 cup of organic sugar. My cider turned out to be a little too sweet for me. I think it would have great flavor without it – but it’s up to you. I add a little water to mine when I warm it up.
  • This is time consuming, but a fun adventure if you’re just hanging around the house on a crisp fall weekend.
  • Your house will smell amazing while this is cooking!!!
  • Enjoy the fruits of your labor – because they were worth it. Even better – share this with the people you love … because there is nothing better than making something fun and sharing it.

What is your favorite part about fall? Do you have a special recipe? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

DIY All-Natural 5 Minute Body Wash!!!

When I began my mission to eliminate chemicals and toxins from my household that also included the products I used on my body. It’s scary to think about all the things we put on our skin (our largest organ) which we have been lulled into complacency to believe are safe. Instead of putting {insert long list of unnatural synthetic carcinogenic ingredients here}, I decided to do a lil digging to see what other’s are doing. My friend Sarah B. had recently posted on facebook a picture of homemade body products. I asked her if she would share her recipes with me, and she was kind enough to do so.

At first, it was hard to get used to the natural body wash – it was not gel-like like the products you would buy at the store. BUT!!! I instantly felt better about what I was using. It left me feeling clean and slightly moisturized. I always disliked how store bought body wash made my skin feel stripped of all its natural oils. My sweetie and I use this everyday. One bottle lasts us about two weeks.

So, without further adieu here is my adaption of Sarah B.’s recipe:

What you will need:

Directions:

  1. Make sure your container is big enough to handle
    a
    ll the ingredients, or adjust the recipe up or down to meet the needs of your container.
  2. Insert funnel into the top of your container. This makes it much easier to pour the ingredients in your bottle.
  3. Pour the warm water in the container
  4. Melt the coconut oil if it is hardened (10 second increments in the microwave or on the stovetop in a double boiler)
  5. Pour coconut oil, soap, and olive oil in the container.
  6. Shake!
  7. Go take a shower and try it out.

Note on the oil:  you can use whichever oil works best for your skin type. I have noticed that the coconut oil can cause a build up in the bathtub. I have recently changed to using only olive oil, or sometimes half olive oil and half almond oil. You could use any oil that is liquid at room temperature. Oils that are hard, such as shea butter, cocoa butter, and even coconut oils may not incorporate uniformly, may clump, and may leave residue in your bath tub and possibly clog your drain.  Oils that I would use: olive, jojoba, almond, and hemp

I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a try. The ingredients are not very expensive and it’s so easy to make.

What have you done to live your life more naturally? Please share in the comments.

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon