Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Perfect Soup

I can't get this soup off my mind since I made it, it was so good that thoughts of making SOUP, well just this soup, are constantly floating through my mind.  I'm not normally a soup kind of girl, it's never filling enough as a meal and too filling as an appetizer.  And if I'm gonna spend some time in the kitchen I want to come out with elaborate results, not just a pot full of stuff in water.  But since first trying Ribollita, during the Tuscan cooking class Sabrina and I took, my taste buds were hooked.  Ribollita is a Tuscan soup that literally means "reboiled."  My findings while searching the web for a recipe led me to believe that often Ribollita contains a mix of veggies, a leafy green, white beans, possibly pancetta, and sometimes stale bread is mixed directly into the soup.  No recipe stood out to me, so I decided to take my best shot at making this soup sans recipe - after all the basic idea of the dish is to throw together leftovers in a pot.  It was easy and delicious, very delicious.  In fact, I ate it so fast I only snapped a few shots on my iphone and wasn't going to share the recipe until I made it again and took some better photos, but I'm just too excited.  I simply must share.

Michelle's Vegetable Ribollita

serves 4

1 large carrot
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
½ onion chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 can Italian flavored chopped tomatoes
2 to 3 cups chopped kale
about 2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste


1)   Heat olive oil in a pot.  Chop all vegetables.
2)   Put carrots and onions and minced garlic in pot and sauté until slightly soft.
3)   Add zucchini and squash and sauté for about 2 minutes.
4)   Add vegetable broth and water.  Season with salt, pepper and red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
5)   Add canned tomatoes with juice.  Bring to a boil.
6)   Add chopped kale and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until squash and kale are tender but not soggy.
7)   Top with parmesan cheese and serve with toasted French or Italian bread.

And if my calculations are correct (which I think they are) when made with veggie broth and before adding the parmesan cheese and bread, each serving only has about 120 calories in it!  It could be the perfect diet food.  And I managed to eat it as a whole meal (with copious amounts of bread, naturally).


peace, love, food, and happiness!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vegan Banana Pancakes

After resolving to only eat fruit for breakfast as some kind of diet / desire to eat healthier, I woke up craving pancakes more than I have ever craved pancakes in my entire life.  I checked my kitchen only to discover that indeed I had a box of pancake mix... but not a single egg in the fridge.  Sigh.  But I would not give up that easily on my dream of having pancakes that morning!  And I most certainly would not walk the two whole blocks to the store for one measly egg.  Yes, I may be lazy, but I am also innovative... I came up with Vegan (only by circumstance) Banana Pancakes - single serving size with strawberries (thanks roomie) and banana slices.

The pancakes turned out so good!  I was pleasantly surprised at how moist and fluffy they were!  Way better than using a box mix!

Recipe (one serving):

1/2 cup whole wheat flour or white flour (I used mainly whole wheat with a little bit of white flour)
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash of cinnamon
1/3 cup (or more if needed) almond milk (or soy milk)
1/2 banana (ripe and mashed)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together.  In another bowl, combine all other ingredients.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir well.  Add more almond milk if batter is too thick.

Cook on medium-high heat in a skillet till browned on both sides.

Top with left over half of banana and whatever else you like! Enjoy!

peace, love, pancakes, and happiness!

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