25 March 2018

Smoky Quinoa and Vegetable Soup

Full of good-for-you and easy-to-find ingredients - such as sweet potato, quinoa, and peas - plus flavors that are out of this world delicious (smoked paprika for the win), this amazing soup has been on regular rotation at our house for a while. Plus, even though the calendar says it's late March, we've been dealing with below-normal temps and even snow days causing cancelled schools! With all of that, it's no wonder this soup has made regular occurrences in our meal plans. But let me explain how we even got to this recipe.

First, Shana figured out about a year ago that she looooooves quinoa. She wants to eat it all the time in any form she can. Second, we had a dinner a while ago with our friends the Thompsons. They cooked a version of this soup from America's Test Kitchen's vegetarian cookbook. You can even see a video of the original recipe here. It was their idea to use smoked paprika. Third, we had family stay with us a while ago on their drive from PA to WI. We figured this would be an easy dinner for everyone (minus the youngest, who doesn't really like dinners and had PB&J). It was at this meal that I subbed in the sweet potato, because when I went to grab the white potatoes I was *sure* we had, I found them curiously absent. But the sweet potatoes were a perfect substitution.

All of this adds up to a hearty and healthy deep red soup - due to the smoked paprika and tomato paste - filled with vibrant colors and textures. We've fed this soup to so many folks and everyone has loved it! In addition to everyone above, it's been a hit at our monthly vegan potluck and wowed our friend Max's parents when they were in town. It's a bowl of warming winter magic for your tired taste buds.

The red color is from both the smoked paprika and the tomato paste.

11 March 2018

Maggie's Vegan Beer Bread

A while ago I was craving some bread, but I didn't want to knead and wait for dough to rise. While I could have made a sweet bread, like zucchini or apple spice, that wasn't where my taste buds were leading. In other words, I wanted fresh, homemade bread in no longer than it took to bake in my oven. After some creative, but ultimately fruitless, googling, I acquiesced to my breadless state.

Fast forward a week or so, to just before the Super Bowl, when I remembered that beer bread is a thing! This "aha!" moment meant that, with a good recipe, I could have a quick and non-sweet bread PLUS something to bring to the Super Bowl party we were attending.

Turning my attention to a different set of google search results, I found all sorts of recipes. Following my usual tendency, I picked one as an idea to build on, added my own twist and elements of other recipes, then popped the dough in the oven and crossed my fingers. What emerged from my oven was nothing short of magic. It was devoured at the Super Bowl party. I made a loaf a week or so ago and it didn't last long with just Shana and I eating it. I no longer have to exist in a breadless state.