Well, I am no food photographer, as you can see, but please bear with me, because I am hoping that I will be able to share with you two things that I do know a thing or two about-cooking and dishes. Let’s start with the dishes. I have loved dishes for as long as I can remember and have been collecting and buying them for as long as I can remember. I now have more than enough to last me the rest of my life, so I try not to acquire anything new unless I feel that I really need it or unless I have some sentimental attachment to it (family heirloom, for instance).
So, what about the dishes in the lentil soup picture? The bowl was a birthday present to me from my children and the plate is a part of a set I bought for myself with money my mom gave me for my birthday one year. The ramekin is just a ramekin, although they are very useful items to have in one’s kitchen. So, you may be asking yourself what any of this has to do with veganism? Well, it doesn’t really, except that it may give you some insight into who I am, and I am a vegan. So, I love beautiful things, I love my family, and I love to cook and bake all things vegan!!
So, about that soup. I make a lot of soup and I freeze it for just such an occasion as last nite. I planned to go grocery shopping, I planned to cook a meal using a recipe from a recipe book that my son-in-law gave me for Xmas. Well, things didn’t work out the way I planned, so out came the lentil soup.
I also took out a loaf of Manna Bread to accompany the soup, thinking that it would be very tasty toasted with a little Earth Balance to top it off. But again, things did not work out as planned. If you have ever had Manna Bread you know that it is a very moist loaf made from sprouted seeds, grains and fruits and veggies like carrots.
My loaf, the loaf I took out of the freezer, was dry and crumbly. That has never happened to me before. I like to make do and adapt when I prepare meals, so I was sure that if I toasted the slices, they would be okay. Not so, my friends. When you toast something that is dry and crumbly, it becomes more dry and more crumbly. What a mess! Good thing my husband was home to rescue the crumbly bits from the poor toaster.
So now what? I would like to have something to go with the soup. There is an avocado in the fruit bowl and-Hallelujah!,it is still good! So, a little mashing ,a few key ingredients, and some corn chips and supper is on. And it was very tasty.
Grammie Annie’s Vegan View on Tasty Soup and Guacamole
First, the Soup
All of the soups I make have lots of veggies in them. Whether I am winging it or following a recipe, I always start the same way. I sauté my veggies (start with the harder veggies first, like carrots, celery and onions and then add things like peppers and zucchini) in a little bit of oil.
I know, the jury is out on whether or not this is a healthy practice, so I use only a very small amount-maybe a couple of tablespoons. I use canola, or olive or coconut, depending on the recipe or idea in my head. I sauté the veggies until they are a little golden coloured. Sometimes, I add a little salsa to add flavour and to help caramelize the veggies a bit.
This process usually takes about fifteen minutes. I will put the spices and/or herbs in for the final minute or two. If I have a little wine hanging around, I may throw some in, to deglaze the bottom of the pot. In go the rest of the ingredients to simmer away until the desired consistency is reached. Very often, I will purée part of or all of the soup to give it a creamier texture. I then adjust the seasonings and we are good to go!
Now, the Guacamole
I will start by giving credit to my daughter for what she often calls guac.-no mole. Leave the avocado chunky, add a little fresh lime juice, freshly chopped garlic, fresh cilantro and salt and pepper. Now, as I said about the Manna Bread, I adapt where needed.
The only two main ingredients I had on hand (remember, I did not get the groceries done yesterday) were the avocado and fresh garlic. I was too lazy to chop the garlic, so I used garlic powder and for the other missing ingredients, I used dried coriander and fresh lemon juice, along with a little salt and pepper which I always have on hand. The result was pretty good. I added a few organic corn chips to go with the guac.-no mole!
Looks good, don’t ya’ think?
Until next time.
May all beings be happy and free.