One essential kitchen skill is the ability to make your own stocks. I am always annoyed, when I buy store bought stock, at the price of those tetra packs! Plus being in the gluten free world add another element of frustration when you can only buy a couple of (more expensive) brands. I did find one brand of chicken stock in Costco but I really disliked the taste of it.
I’m currently working through a new Everyday Vegan cookbook! Check out my book review 😉 One of the recipes that I tried right off the bat was vegetable stock! It took 5 minutes to assemble, 45 minutes to simmer and then I divided it into 1 liter containers and froze it in my freezer! I made enough for 4, 1 liter portions.
The flavour is nice and light and won’t over power your food while providing a gentle and pleasant flavour. There was also a variation for dark vegetable stock which uses mushrooms and pre-cooked onion. I’ll have to try that next. I used my first liter to cook some steel cut oats like brown rice in the oven with some chopped vegetables and it turned out lovely.
This recipe is from the cookbook Everyday Vegan by Douglas McNish.
18 cups of water
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 large tomato, halved
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1-2 teaspoons of salt
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary, optional
1. Chop vegetables and add to large stock pot. Add water and bring up to a boil.
2. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until very fragrant and vegetables are quite soft.
3. Remove from heat. Once cool, pour through fine mesh strainer into containers.
Use within 3 days in your fridge. Freeze for up to 6 months.
Baby it’s cold outside…and definitely the season of staying warm with a steaming bowl of something tasty!
This soup is quick and easy, using frozen vegetables from Costco…no fuss or mess, organic and at discounted price!
Frozen vegetables are fantastic to have in your freezer – they last longer than fresh, are ready to cook and are harvested at peak freshness so nutritionally they get a gold star.
– 1 package of hot or mild italian sausages (ensure gluten free if needed), casings removed
– 4 cups of frozen PEI mix vegetables (carrot, green and yellow beans)
– 1 cup cubed potatoes, keep skins on
– 8 cups of water
– Bay leaf
– 1 tsp each dried thyme and sage (adapt to your own taste)
– Salt and pepper to taste
1. Remove casing from sausage with a sharp knife. Add to large pot and brown sausage over medium heat until cooked through. Drain excess fat.
2. Add seasonings, vegetables, potatoes and water to pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer soup for about 30-45 minutes or until vegetables and potatoes are soft. Could also be made in the slow cooker.
Serve with drop biscuits or make your own garlic bread for a quick meal!
Tabitha: I have had a bag of split peas on my shelf for a year. Finally I was inspired to use it when I got into a discussion about how canned pea soup doesn’t seem to taste good anymore when our taste buds are used to cooking from scratch.
Peas are a legume, which simply means edible seeds. Legumes, also called pulses are all great sources of protein and fibre. They are also a low glycemic index food.
Here is my recipe for pea soup (based off http://www.canadianliving.com/food/quebecois_style_pea_soup.php)
1 lb (454 g) ham, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-3/4 cups (425 mL) dried yellow split peas
2 bay leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
1 dried chili pepper
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
Enough water to cover ingredients
1. Trim off and discard skin from ham, dice.
2. Chop vegetables and add all ingredients to your slow cooker.
3. Cook on low 8 hours. Serve!
So simple! So delicious! Tastes even better the second day.
Photo credit: http://www.meanmissmustard.com/
Mmmmmh squash. Not only highly nutritious but highly satisfying on a cool autumn evening!
My co-worker gave me this wonderful butternut squash soup recipe! I love it for a number of reasons, but especially because it’s dairy free and relies on good ol’ squash to make it smooth and rich. It’s also coincidentally completely vegan and gluten free making it fit for almost any guest that you may be feeding. I decided to roast the squash before adding it into the soup pot. Another dietitian friend of mine taught me this trick a few years ago as it caramelizes the squash and gives it a wonderful rich flavour!
1 L vegetable broth (gluten free if necessary like Kitchen Basics)
1 large butternut squash (or about 4-5 cups of squash cubes)
2 red peppers, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp curry powder (based on taste preference)
2 tsp olive oil
1. Peel and remove seeds and strings from the squash. Dice squash and place on well oiled or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast at 425F for about 20-30 minutes, stirring halfway through and until nicely caramelized/browned.
2. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add curry powder and stir for 1 minutes until fragrant.
3. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4. Puree with immersion blend until smooth.
Simple but delicious! I found this inspiration on the lentils.ca website….still on my lentil food jag by the way. I like this one recipe because is has lentils as a hidden ingredient (you don’t really notice them) so it’s a great introductory recipe for those wanting to explore lentils.
It’s also an inexpensive soup and a great source of plant based protein! The coconut milk gives it a rich, satisfying flavour like a cream soup without the cream. If you have an allergy or dislike coconut milk, then used a can of evaporated milk instead.
1/2 cup dried red lentils, rinsed well
1 liter low sodium chicken or vegetable stock (gluten free if needed)
2 small sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and diced
1 – 19 oz can of diced tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley or cilantro or other herbs (I also threw in some sage and chives)
1/2 can of coconut milk
1. Add all ingredients into a slow cooker except for the coconut milk. Heat on low for 6-8 hours.
2. Once cooked, stir in the coconut milk. Blend with handheld mixer if desired or serve chunky. Sprinkle with additional cilatro or parsley if desired.
Okay – so this recipe is far from healthy. But as a dietitian I know that sometimes it is okay for the occasional treat! This one will be something I make maybe once a year – it was so very delicious! Enjoy sparingly.
Seafood Chowder – source: Dairy Goodness Recipe from Dairy Farmers of Canada
2 strips bacon
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp rice flour
1 cup bottle clam juice or 1 cup gluten free chicken stock
1 cup 35% cream
8 oz scallops
8 oz raw medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 cups diced cooked potatoes
1 cup canned corn niblets
1 can crab (optional…do not use imitation crab as it usually contains wheat as a filler/binder)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook bacon in large saucepan until crisp; crumble and set aside. Drain all but 1 tbsp fat from pan. Add onion, celery and garlic; cook stirring until soft about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in flour until combined. Whisk in clam juice making sure there are no flour lumps. Add cream. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Add scallops and shrimp; cook until scallops are opaque and shrimp is pink about 5 min. Add potatoes, corn and crab; heat through. Add dill, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with bacon.
3. Enjoy with a green salad and crispy GF toast or biscuits!
Had all the fixings for the stew – so I whipped it up for dinner.
Delicious Beef Stew
– 1 tbsp canola oil
– 1 medium onion, diced
– 1 parsnip, diced or sliced
– 2 carrots, diced or sliced
– 3 small potatoes, cubed
– 3 sticks of celery, diced
– 1 pound stewing beef – sliced into bite size chunks
– 1 can (500mL) of diced tomatoes (no salt added)
– 1 low sodium gluten free beef stock cube or 3 cups of gluten free beef stock
– Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
– Italian seasoning or basil and oregano (to taste – around 2 tsp)
– 2 cans full of water (omit if using stock)
– 2 tbsp rice flour in 2 tbsp water
1. In large stock pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, parsnips and saute about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook until just browned on the outside.
2. Add the tomatoes and juice, stock/water, spices. Cook on medium-low until vegetables are tender.
3. Add the flour and 2 tbsp water in a jar and shake to mix – then add to the stew while stirring and cook until thickened.
I received a pail full of beets from my grandmother’s garden on the weekend. What better way to use beets than in a nice lovely borscht. I had a few guests over for tea the afternoon while it was cooking and they stayed for supper – I guess it smelled good enough to convince them to stay! Soup on a cold fall afternoon is so inviting.
I used a chicken bones from a roast chicken I had last week. I just tossed in the remains after we had eaten all the chicken (there was still bits of meat on there). This is a great way to make your own broth right as you are making the soup AND you are not wasting any part of the chicken. You can also do the same with beef. I didn’t have cabbage and I didn’t feel like running to the store – so I used sauerkraut that I had in my fridge – gave it a lovely tang!
Bones from 1 chicken (I used carcass from a roast chicken)
1 red chili pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium onion
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 medium beets, peeled and chopped
3 medium potatoes, diced
1 cup sauerkraut (with juice)
Plain yogurt or sour cream
1. Put chicken bones in stock pot and add 8 cups of water. Add chili pepper, bay leaves and diced onion. Bring to a boil, reduce, and simmer while covered for about one hour.
2. Chop up carrots, beets, potatoes. Add vegetables and sauerkraut to the stock once ready. Stir occasionally and cook until vegetables are tender.
3. In last 15 minutes of cooking add chopped fresh dill to the soup (to your taste). Remove chili pepper and bay leaves and chicken bones.
4. Serve with a dollop of fresh sour cream or plain yogurt.