Chickpea, kale, and couscous soup

It is a beautiful, sunny, and cold day (-21 celcius), and perfect for a hearty soup. I had some Lacinato kale (my preferred type) in the fridge that was starting to wilt, so I thought I would combine it with chickpeas to make a soup. As the soup was cooking, I decided that I wanted it to have a little more substance, so I threw in some couscous. As usual, I didn’t measure the ingredients, so what follows below is a simple list that you can adjust as you see fit.

  • Diced onion
  • Cumin
  • Vegetable broth
  • Cooked chickpeas (I cook from dry, but tinned are fine)
  • Chopped kale (any variety will do)
  • Braggs soy sauce
  • Couscous

Because couscous cooks so quickly, I added it at the end of the cooking process. Couscous absorbs a lot of liquid, so don’t go overboard. For approximately 4 cups of broth, I added about 1 cup of couscous (I measured my hand, but I think this is close enough).  You could add garlic, but I chose not too, as this is a spice that is ofen used to excess, and which can overpower the delicate flavour of the kale and chickpeas.

 

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One-pot rigatoni and chickpeas

One-pot meals are a favourite of mine, as they cook quickly, minimize washing up, and allow you to experiment with a variety of different ingredients and leftovers.  Tonight I combined rigatoni with leftover pasta sauce, raw cabbage, cooked chickpeas, nutrititional yeats, and Gardein chicken nuggets.  How much you put in the pot depends on how many servings you want. The key is to add all the dry ingredents, then add enough water to cover everything, then the pasta sauce.  Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and cook over medium low heat until the pasta is cooked.  You need to stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the pot. The result was delicious, and my cats licked the bowl clean.

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Huffpost infographic on veganism

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Source

The part about protein is probably the most tiring thing I hear whenever someone finds out that I’m vegan.  There are SO many non-animal sources of protein.  Finding vegan food can be a hassle in restaurants; the situation is getting better, but most places cater to vegetarians, rather than vegan.  Still, this infographic contains useful information.

 

Trident Booksellers, Boston.

While I was in Boston last week attending a conference, I struggled to find vegan offerings at restaurants; in fact, even vegetarian food was hard to come by.  Nearly all dishes, including salads, included either meat or fish. While I know there are a few vegetarian or vegan restaurants, none were within easy walking. I was lucky, however, to come across the Trident Booksellers & Cafe on Newbury Street. I did a double take when I saw the store, as there is a Trident Booksellers & Cafe in Halifax, although the latter sells used books, and serves only coffees and sweets.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the menu, which offered a number of vegan options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tofu could be substituted for  the breakfast egg dishes.  I had the Trident Bowl(with added tofu): A heaping bowl of roasted Brussels sprouts, microgreens tossed with sesame dressing, kale, beets, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas. Served over your choice of rice, farro, or Quinoa.  I can’t remember what meat-based sandwich my friend had, but she said it was excellent. The Trident Bowl was delicious and was the best meal I had in town.  The service was outstanding:  We were served our food within 15 minutes, and everything was fresh.  The service staff were friendly and helpful.

The bookstore had an excellent selection of genres and titles, too.  I will definitely visit again the next time I am in town.

 

Lentil soup over rice and kale

After a week visiting family in Toronto for Christmas, followed by six days in Boston attending a conference, it’s nice to be back to a regular routine of home cooking.  For lunch today, I had lentil vegetable soup that I served over rice and kale, left over from last night’s dinner.  I made the soup in my new Cuisinart enamel cast iron pot, which I love.

 

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For the soup, I used:

  • I diced onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 cup of dry brown lentils
  • 1 large tin of diced tomatoes (I like the peeled Italian variety)
  • Home-made vegetable stock (I didn’t measure, but it’s probably 4 cups)
  • An assortment of vegetables:  corn, carrots, and green beans.
  • Herbes de provence
  • Salt to taste

I served the soup over rice and kale that was left over from last night, which helps make the soup more substantial.