Pumpkin Rice Soup

5 Oct

Welcome back to pumpkin season! Life’s been movin’ & shakin’ over here in the Eat, Drink, Be Healthy kitchen since my last post. I went back to Peru for my third visit of 2018 in August, and there, my boyfriend proposed to me! If you haven’t been following along on social media, Alex is a Peruvian chef and makes the most amazing dishes – and inspires me to become a better cook myself!

8-11-18 engagement | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

After two and half weeks of an amazing time in beautiful Peru (including a camping/hiking weekend and lots of salsa dancing), I came back engaged and ready to hit the ground running – quite literally.

Salsa night | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Hiking at Marcahausi | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.comI was all registered and training for my first ever full marathon. Training that included, by the way, a half marathon in Lima, Peru, and even got all the way up to the longest 20-mile long run.

#SoyLima Half marathon | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

A couple injuries later (I didn’t know I was so clumsy, but I sure do fall a lot), I can no longer run the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon this year. But that doesn’t mean I’m done running! As soon as my rolled ankle injury heals, I’ll start hitting the pavement again, and will look for a marathon to train for in spring of 2019. And leading up that, I’ll definitely be running shorter races and distances to get my body (and mind) into the swing of things.

And what better way to do that than with a virtual 5k?! Level Up Virtual Runs has a Pumpkin King 5k that anyone can run or walk in the month of October! Register and complete the 5k during October – wherever you are – and you’ll get this sweet Nightmare Before Christmas medal in the mail to hang among all your race bling! Use the code PUMPKINKING for 10% off your registration of this Virtual Run before the end of October.

The Pumpkin King 5K Virtual Run Medal | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

In that same theme, I’ve whipped up an easy and nutritious pumpkin soup. Savory, spiced pumpkin is swirled together with flavorful vegetable stock and fluffy rice. Serve it all with a drizzle of nutty roasted walnut oil and extra black pepper, and enjoy while watching your favorite Halloween movie!

Pumpkin Rice Soup | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Pumpkin Rice Soup Walnut Oil | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Pumpkin Rice Soup

Serves 4

  • 1 C brown rice + 2 C water + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 small dried chili peppers
  • 3 C vegetable stock + 1 C water
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp powdered MSG (optional, but delicious)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Roasted walnut oil, to serve

Start cooking the rice in a rice cooker, instant pot, or on the stove top. Cook according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a dutch oven on the stove over medium-high. Saute the onion, carrot, and garlic 7-10 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin, bay leaves, chili peppers, vegetable stock, and water. Cover and bring soup to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and let cook for 20 minutes.

Stir in the cooked rice, smoked paprika, chili powder, MSG, salt, and pepper. Add another cup of water if you like a thinner soup, and return the cover to continue simmering another 5 minutes.

Serve soup into bowls and drizzle with roasted walnut oil (a high quality olive oil would also work). Enjoy hot!

Beer Granola

19 Jul

It’s time for another recipe as a product of homebrewing! Yes, I’m still making and kegging beer, because who doesn’t want a nice brew on tap in their own kitchen?! Besides, having five gallons of beer at the ready is an excellent reason to have friends over.

Vegan Beer Granola | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Now that I’ve kegged my latest IPA, it’s time to share the delicious granola that I made from the spent grain! If you recall from other such posts, grain is one of the four main ingredients in all beer. You steep any variety of toasted, crushed grain in a huge pot of water, to extract the sugars, flavor, and color. Then, you add hops, malt extract, and even flavoring. Yeast gets mixed in before fermentation, and then it sits.

Vegan Beer Granola | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

On an industrial scale, brewers often donate or sell their spent grain to farmers as feed for livestock. On the smaller side of production, like homebrewing, there isn’t enough grain to do a lot with, except to use in cooking! Check out the spent grain curry burgers I frequently make, or these delicious spent grain waffles which are perfect for breakfast.

Vegan Beer Granola | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This time, I took it a step further. Spent grain is first dried, then combined with oats, nuts, coconut, seeds, and spices. Then, I took a can of sweet, nutty brown ale and reduced it down in a small pot on the stove. The syrupy result helps to cut down on the amount of sugar, while maintaining the cluster effect that makes granola so amazing. Stir in some coconut oil, applesauce, and maple syrup, and you’ve got yourself a huge pan ready for the oven.

This granola tastes great on its own, or eaten with nondairy milk and sliced bananas. Or berries. Or maybe chocolate chips if you’re feeling decadent. Perhaps all of the above!

Not a brewer? No worries – just replace the spent grain with more old-fashioned oats. The beer reduction is cooked long enough that only trace amounts of alcohol remain, so your whole family can enjoy this hearty breakfast. Oh, and this is completely and naturally vegan! How simple is that 😉

Vegan Beer Granola | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.comBeer Granola

Makes 10 cups

  • 4 C dried, spent grain from brewing
  • 2 C old-fashioned oats (if you don’t have spent grain, use 6 cups of oats instead)
  • 2 C raw almonds, chopped (or any mix of raw nut you desire, like cashews, walnuts, pecans, peanuts)
  • 2 C shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 C raw pumpkin seeds (and/or sunflower seeds)
  • 1/4 C sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp all-spice
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 C coconut oil, melted
  • 1 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 C maple syrup
  • 1 16oz can nut brown ale, reduced to 3/4 C

Make sure your spent grain is already dried out for this. Do so by spreading spent grain in a thin layer on a baking sheet and placing in the oven on its lowest temperature setting for 7 hours. If you’ve already done this, or want to use all oats, skip to the next step.

Pour the can of beer into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer until the liquid has reduced down in size and has a thicker consistency. This will take about one hour. Note that the style of beer DOES matter: do not choose a hoppy beer, but instead stick with beers that are malty like a brown ale or nut brown ale. I went with The Dude’s Brewing Company “Grandma’s Pecan English Style Brown Ale.” Because of the amount of time in the pot, and then later in the oven, the alcohol is all cooked off from the beer and what’s left is all flavor.

Now, preheat your oven to 300 and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together, then mix in the melted coconut oil, applesauce, maple syrup, and beer reduction. Mix really well, then spread in a thin layer on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for one hour, stirring after 30 minutes, and swapping pans from top to bottom in the oven.

Let cook completely on wire racks. Store the cooled granola in airtight containers. This will make a huge batch of granola, so freeze some if you think you won’t eat it all in a week. Enjoy with your favorite dairy-free yogurt or milk and berries, bananas, or dried fruit!

Asparagus and Green Bean Salad with Jalapeño Hummus Dressing

10 May

I received free samples of Sabra mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

As a vegan, hummus is just about one of the best foods to exist. It’s creamy, flavorful, and versatile. And makes a simple, delicious salad dressing! Blanched green veggies pair perfectly with spicy jalapeño hummus for an easy salad that’s sure to please!

Asparagus and Green Bean Salad

Asparagus and Green Bean Salad with Jalapeño Hummus Dressing

Serves 4

  • 1 lb fresh green beans, washed and ends removed
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus, washed and ends removed
  • 8 tbsp Sabra Jalapeño Hummus
  • 4 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Sliced green onions, to garnish

Cut the prepped produce into two-inch pieces.

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the veggies for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water; drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Jalapeño Hummus, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Pour the dressing over the cooked vegetables and toss to coat. Serve warm, or refrigerate for a few hours to serve chilled.



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