I hope everyone is having a great weekend! You would think that since I have these two weeks off from classes that I would be whipping up all kinds of wonderful things in the kitchen, but I found myself these past several days getting out of my normal routine. I had a pile of miscellaneous to-do tasks to take care of and also find myself enjoying being away from the computer temporarily. Yesterday, I went for a short hike and couldn’t get over how beautiful of a day it was here in California:
Alan took this picture of me using Hipstamatic and even captured a butterfly in the shot (see it to the right of me in the photo?):
I have a thing for butterflies, I have loved them ever since I was little. Well, who doesn’t, really? I also went to a farmers’ market that I don’t normally visit and found all kinds of new, yummy ingredients. Spring produce is here, that’s for sure. My kitchen counter has been taken over by hydroponic greens and basil:
I also bought some pea shoots that I decided to make into a quick and easy soup last night for dinner. I rinsed them really well before putting them in the Vitamix:
Then, I added some of the other fresh produce including asparagus, romaine and basil. I took a tip from Chef AJ and added avocado and almond butter to make it creamy. Plus, I used some homemade hemp milk as the soup base.
A blend on high for less than a minute and it was quickly transformed:
As the final step, I heated the soup very gently on the stovetop to get rid of the overly-raw flavor and to make it more soup-like. Talk about refreshingly simple! This soup is an excellent way to use up fresh produce, not to mention incredibly healthy. If you want it to be even more filling, you can add some cooked beans and serve it over rice (that’s what I did). Here’s what it looked like:
Pea Shoot Soup
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 cups water
1/4 lb. fresh pea shoots
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 bunch, fresh basil (about 10 leaves)
romaine lettuce, two large handfuls
1/4 onion, chopped (one tablespoon reserved for topping)
1/2 large avocado
1 tablespoon raw unsalted almond butter
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked brown rice
Brown rice vinegar, optional
Combine hemp seeds and water in a high-speed blender and process for one minute or until combined. Add pea shoots, asparagus, basil, lettuce, onion, avocado, almond butter and black beans to the hemp milk mixture and process for one minute, using the tamper if necessary to incorporate ingredients. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and heat on low until simmering. Serve over cooked brown rice and top with chopped onion, if desired. For extra flavor, serve with a dash of brown rice vinegar.
Alan and I had this for dinner last night before going to a Cinco de Mayo party in our neighborhood. It was a formal event and I waited too long to ask about a vegan or vegetarian option, so the organizers could not assure me that there would be options available for us. But, it was no problem to eat beforehand and it eliminated the issue I normally have of overeating at parties. And, quite frankly, since I knew I wouldn’t be eating at the party, it simply became a social gathering which was actually more fun than worrying about food. It was a lesson to me in the future though, so be a better planner when it comes to what I can eat at formal events.
Did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo and how do you handle the food issue at non-vegan events?
Have a great rest of your weekend!