This post is NOT sponsored. I was gifted a few Fawen Drinkable Soups to try and I’m sharing with you how I jazzed up my soup.
Soup has been the name of the game around my house this Summer. I know Summer sounds like a strange time to be so into soup but as I have shared previously soups are wonderful for healing the postpartum body so I have been enjoying my fair share.
When Fawen asked if they could send me a sample of their soups to try I took them up on their offer. These soups are packed with superfoods and are made ready to drink either straight from the carton or you can heat them up on the stove. Every batch of Fawen soup is made with hydrating organic coconut water which is combined with coconut milk and virgin coconut oil all working together with filtered water to form the perfect alkaline base and bring balance and vitality to the body and mind
This day I decided that I was in the mood for a soup with a little extra added to it. The Broccoli & Cauliflower sounded creamy and so I decided to do a loaded soup topped with homemade tempeh bacon bits (I really love the 101 Cookbooks tempeh bacon recipe) and perfectly roasted cauliflower. I also loaded it up with creamy avocado for some healthy fats to support my milk supply.
It was super delicious and I was able to make two heaping portions of loaded soup for Neil and myself. We were left feeling full, happy and energized to take on life with three kids.
Do you prefer your soup simple or do you like to load it up? What are you favorite soup toppings? I also love to add crispy croutons, nutritional yeast and sriracha.
Immediately after birth digestion is slower and weaker. All those organs that help to process our food have been squished up to make space for a growing baby and then suddenly they have so much space and it takes time for them to heal and adjust.
To help it is important to focus on easy to digest and warming foods. Foods that can be described as soft, soupy, warm and/or mild are exactly what the body needs to heal the weeks following childbirth.
Soupy foods replenish the body with liquids lost during childbirth, warming foods help to nourish and heal and soft foods are easier on digestion and all of these foods can help to prevent the dreaded postpartum constipation.
For the first few weeks focus on broth-y soups, mild coconut curry and nourishing lentil soups. Some great options include:
Beyond soups and broths it is important to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Room temperature and warming liquids are ideal to help heal the body. Great options are water, herbal teas and broths. While you may want to grab coffee or caffeinated tea it’s best to keep those to a minimum at least for the first few weeks.
Additionally focus on healthy fats such as coconut, avocado and olive oil. Healthy fats help to enrich breastmilk and they also are said to boost metabolism, balance hormones and support your mood.
Ultimately the most important thing to do is listen to your body. Your body knows exactly what it needs so listen to it and follow its direction.
A Healthy Lentil Soup with Veggies
It is often considered challenging to cook a healthy and tasty vegan recipe. But, with a little innovation and experimentation, one can churn out interesting, wholesome recipes like this one. The lentils give a huge burst of protein and the veggies provide the minerals and vitamins. The rice in the recipe provides the carbohydrates. Thus, this is a balanced, one-dish meal. Eat it as a soup or a small meal. It is very simple to prepare if you have all ingredients at hand. You can use any veggies of your choice or what is there in your house.
1 cup orange lentils (they cook faster)
¼ cup rice
1 onion chopped
2 large tomatoes chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic chopped
2 green chilies finely chopped (optional if you don’t want the heat)
½ cup chopped and steamed vegetables (beans, carrots, mushroom, green pepper, corn, peas)
¼ tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. cumin powder
½ tsp. coriander powder
¼ tsp. black pepper powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. Chopped cilantro for garnish
3 cups veg stock or water
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. oil
Wash the lentils and the rice well and soak for 15 minutes. Add oil in a pan or pressure cooker. Add the cumin seeds. Once they sputter, add in the chopped garlic and onion and fry till transparent which should take around 2-3 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the lentils and the rice along with the stock. Cover and cook till the lentils and rice are cooked. If you use a pressure cooker, you can cook faster. That is what I normally do. But, you can cook on the stovetop as well. Orange lentils cook faster, and soaking expedites the cooking time.
Now add in the vegetables and salt with all the other seasonings. Add more water if necessary. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot. I like my soup a little thin, but you can have it thick and chunky as per your preference.
This past weekend the Hubz and I went out for lunch at Zabby & Elf’s Stone Soup where I debated between two soup/chili options and ultimately ordered a big cup of chili while the Hubz had the hot/cold bar. The other soup that I was hotly debating over was a Sweet Potato-Carrot Soup which became my inspiration for last nights dinner. Having no idea what else was in Stone Soup’s Sweet Potato-Carrot Soup my inspiration was limited to sweet potatoes and carrots and the fact that it was a creamy pureed soup. I decided that I would go for a smoky sweet flavoring for the soup and serve it up with a nice green salad (and a veggie frankfurter for him).
Prick the skin of the sweet potatoes and bake in a 350F oven for 1 hour.
In a medium heavy bottom pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onions and saute for 3 minutes.
Stir in the carrots and saute for 5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, chipotle powder and sweet paprika and cook for 1 minute.
Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 10 minutes uncovered.
While the broth is simmering remove the sweet potato from the skin and mash together in a bowl.
Place the broth and sweet potato in a food processor or blender (you may have to do this in two parts depending on the size of your machine) and process until smooth.
Return to the pot and season with salt, pepper and umeboshi vinegar.
Why use umeboshi vinegar? Umeboshi vinegar helps to balance flavors by adding a little tartness to your dish. I always use it to balance the flavors in my soups, sauces and with tomato recipes. Have you ever made a recipe and tasted and gone “there just something missing but I’m not sure what” well I recommend adding a little umeboshi vinegar to your recipe and my experience is 9 out 10 times it is just what the recipe needs. Now a little goes along way so start with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon because you don’t want to overwhelm the other flavors in your dish.
Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat; add the carrots and onion and saute for 5-6 minutes until soft and lightly browning. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the vegetable broth and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the roasted tomatoes.
Pour the contents of the pot into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Return to the pot, season with salt and pepper and heat until desired temperature.
Ladle into two bowls and top with a sprinkle of parsley.
Neil and I are celebrating our Third Wedding Anniversary this weekend and today we are off to explore Providence, Rhode Island. While we are galavanting around Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire I hope you enjoy the Vegan Wedding Feature posts. In this first post Tess Challis discusses her all vegan menu and how if the food looks beautiful and taste delicious anyone will eat vegan. Enjoy!
Lentil Spinach Soup (photo by Michelle McCluggage)
Although my marriage didn’t have a fairy tale ending, I can happily say that my ex-husband and I are still great friends! We were married in the fall of 2002 in the Lizard Head wilderness. Here in Colorado, you can legally marry each other without anyone else present. However, we did want to have a gathering to celebrate a few weeks after the actual marriage took place. At the time, we were on a shoestring budget so we had to get really creative. Luckily, there were lots of incredibly kind and generous people who offered to participate. Local professional musicians offered to sing at our celebration for free and the space we rented for the celebration was also practically free!
So, all that was left was food! Being a vegan since 1991, I was determined to work delicious vegan cuisine into the event as well. And since I was in charge of the food (and my husband was a vegan-friendly vegetarian), we decided on a delicious, all-vegan menu. Having done quite a bit of catering and personal chef work at that point, I knew what dishes were crowd pleasers. For an event like this with mostly omnivores, I wanted a menu that would be exciting and satisfying for everyone. I didn’t want even one person to say, “That was good, but where’s the meat?” So, we decided on a menu that included the following: Creamy hummus (pictured) with sourdough bread, gourmet mini-pizzas (pictured), Italian bread salad, fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce, Lemon Asparagus Linguine (pictured), Lemon Lentil Soup (pictured), and Chocolate Decadence Cake (pictured). I’ve obviously found that Italian food is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser! And it was – even my meat-and-potatoes grandma said after dinner: “If you cooked for me every day, I would be a vegan!” Everyone loved the food and talked about it for many months afterward.
Creamy Hummus with Sourdough Bread (Photo by Olga Vasiljeva)
Mini PIzzas (Photo by Michelle McCluggage)
Lemon Asparagus Linguine (Photo by Michelle McCluggage)
Chocolate Decadence Cake (Photo by Michelle McCluggage)
So, this has been my path! Turning people on to a vegan lifestyle via delicious food. It’s such a sneaky approach, but one that works surprisingly well! I can’t tell you how many people have told me over the years that the vegan food I’ve served them has been just about the best thing they’ve ever eaten. It’s so exciting to turn people on to really delicious food that awakens their taste buds – and then to tell them, “By the way, that was all vegan – and healthy!”
Quintessence (“Tess”) Challis began her holistic health journey in her late teens. After a lifetime of numerous health ailments (including acne, obesity, strep throat, constant illnesses, anxiety, and depression), she found that a vegan diet along with an “inner wellness regime” of meditation and visualization literally made a world of difference.
In 1994, she began sharing this knowledge through cooking classes, catering, meditation classes, and workshops. She has also been a personal chef to many clients across the United States.
In 2009, Tess published the 2nd edition of Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, a vegan cookbook and complete holistic health resource. Tess’s latest book, The Two-Week Wellness Solution: The Fast Track to Permanent Weight Loss and Vitality, was released in June 2010 and includes a foreward by Dr. Neal Barnard. Her next book, Radiance 4 Life: The 4 Cornerstones of Ultimate Vitality, is due out in June 2011. She currently works as a wellness coach, cooking class instructor, author/speaker, and personal trainer.
This past weekend the Hubz and I headed to the boonies to visit my parents for the night. When we arrived we were greeted by howling winds and snow showers and I thought what better way to warm up than a warm cup of soup.
Yields 4-6 servings
1 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 bunch of broccoli, roughly chopped
1 quart of vegetable stock or broth
1 cup quick oats (must me quick)
salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot over medium-high heat heat the olive oil; stir in the onion, carrots and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes until they being to soften.
Stir in the garlic, cauliflower and broccoli and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the vegetable broth and the quick oats; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 7-10 minutes until the vegetables are fork tender.
Place in a blender (you will have to do this in batches) and blend until slightly smooth; keep it somewhat a rough consistency for a more rustic feeling.
Return the pot to the stove and gentle re-heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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