Carrot Soup & Avocado Toasts = A Perfect Light Lunch

This carrot soup is quick to make if you have vegetable broth already made. I used a vegetable broth in a bag this time to make this soup. The result was delicious. Sometimes you need to take a short cut.

Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup

Ingredients (makes 4 cups):
3/4 lb carrots
1 small potato
1 small yellow onion
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper to taste

  1. Chop carrots, onion, and potato into big chunks.
  2. Put everything in a big enough pot. Bring it to boil.
  3. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until everything becomes soft.
  4. Take the bay leaf out. Let it cool little bit. Blend it until it becomes smooth.

 

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

These lovely green toasts will make up the other half of your lunch.

Ingredients (makes 2 toasts):
1/2 ripe avocado
2 slices of your choice of bread
10 grape tomatoes
2-3 tsp lemon juice or lime juice
1 tsp cumin
sea salt and black pepper to taste
a dash of cayenne

  1. Mash avocado. Mix with all the spices and lemon juice.
  2. Halve grape tomatoes.
  3. Toast the bread.
  4. Spread avocado on the toasts. Sprinkle halved grape tomatoes on top.

Tough Choices for Vegana+sin Gluten in Barcelona, Spain

Alright. I knew it would be tough to be a vegan and gluten free in Spain. But Boy, YES, it was really really tough. There are plentiful beautiful vegetables and fruits at local vegetable stands, and they are not expensive. 2 big bundles of baby green asparagus was 3 euros. I walked onto an organic farmer’s market by Ave. del Paral-lel on the last day there. It was Saturday. There were a few green produce vendors and their produce was flying. There was a preserve shop where I really wanted to buy a jar of preserves, but couldn’t find the one I liked.

Yet, to find a pure vegetable dish in a restaurant was a mission impossible. The common vegetable dishes you can find in a restaurant there were potatoes and pimientos. Once at a tapas bar in a mercat, I saw green asparagus and I had them. They were fine, but 12.60 euros for 6 green asparaguses was ummm, a bit too much. Especially when you can have a complete meal with vine and dessert costs the same or less.

There are a handful of vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona, and most of their dishes are pretty good, but if you can’t eat gluten/eggs/cheese, well, then your choices would become half. Here are my favorite dishes that I had at Sésamo, one of the top 10 vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona.

Cauliflower Bomb at Sésamo

cauliflowerBomb

This was totally a cauliflower bomb. I forgot its real name. Roasted whole head of cauliflower with tahini sauce and pesto sauce drizzled over it. I didn’t think I could finish this only with another person, but of course I did.

Killer Desserts at Sésamo

deserts

Dark Chocolate Fondue with fresh fruits, Mango/avocado/chia seeds pudding, and chocolate caramel truffles. I know caramel is not vegan, but when I saw them, I had to try one. The pudding was good and interesting, but the dark chocolate fondue was absolutely my fave. I licked the glass.

Pasta Primavera with Cashew Sauce

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

Finally spring has arrived. I felt like making something easy to make and easy to eat for my post-surgery mouth. I thought of pasta. Pasta is always soft enough, and fusilli and penne are bite sizes. This simple pasta sauce is easy to make and tasty.

Serves 2

Ingredients: 7-8 oz pasta of your choice, 1 head broccoli, 10 cremini mushrooms, 2 tomatoes, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup raw cashew, 1 tsp sesame seeds or tahini, 1 tsp nutritious yeast, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 Tbsp miso, 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon (or any other dried vegetable broth), 1/2 cup water, salt and pepper

*You can substitute above vegetables with many other vegetables available in your hand. Asparagus, carrots, zucchini, spinach, eggplant are other good choices.

  1. Chop broccoli, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Mince garlic cloves.
  2. Start cooking pasta.
  3. Sauté chopped vegetables in a large frying pan with splash of olive oil for a few minutes until broccoli become tender but not too soft. Sprinkle oregano and basil in. Turn off the heat.
  4. Grind sesame seeds and cashews in a coffee grinder or a blender.
  5. In a small bowl, mix water, ground sesame seeds and cashews, nutritious yeast, and bouillon. Pour this broth in the vegetable frying pan.
  6. When pasta is done. Drain, and add to the vegetable frying pan. Heat it through.
  7. Serve!

Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free)

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

On a rainy day like today, a piece of chocolate cake puts a smile on your face. It’s moist, fluffy and chocolatey.

Ingredients: 1 cup raw almonds, 1 cup rice flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 4 Tbsp earth balance, 1 Tbsp flax seeds (ground), 4 oz apple sauce, 1/2 cup almond milk or soy milk, 2 squares of dark chocolate bar, 12 walnuts to garnish

  1. Ground almonds in a coffee grinder or a blender until they become meal.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl.
  3. Mix flax seeds with 3 T soy or almond milk. Set it aside.
  4. Put earth balance and dark chocolate squares in a heat proof cup, and melt it in a toaster oven.
  5. Mix remaining milk, vanilla, flax egg, melted earth balance-chocolate in a medium bowl.
  6. Add wet ingredients into the dry bowl. Mix well enough.
  7. Pour into a prepared baking pan. Place walnuts on top to garnish. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Let it cool to touch before cut, otherwise it will cramble like my piece.

Mexican Plate and Left Over Tofu Scramble Wrap

Mexican Plate

Mexican Plate

Mexican Plate consists of Spanish Rice, Refried Beans, Creamy Mixed Mushrooms and Kale, chopped Avocado and Tomato. I know it’s a lot to cook at once although each one of them is easy to make.

TofuScramble-Wrap

Tofu Scramble Wrap

Last night’s dinner was Mexican Plate above. Then I added firm tofu to the left over Mixed Mushrooms and Kale, created Tofu Scramble Wrap. I added curry powder, salt and black pepper.

Creamy Mixed Mushrooms and Kale

Ingredients: 1 lb mushrooms (one or all of shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, portobello mushrooms), 2 cups thinly sliced kale, 1 T nutritious yeast, 1 T tamari or soy sauce, salt and pepper, olive oil, 2 cloves garlic

  1. Splash olive oil on a frying pan. Sautée garlic and thinly sliced mushrooms until soft.
  2. Mix sliced kale in. let it welt.
  3. Season with nutritious yeast, tamari, salt and pepper.

Tofu Scramble Wrap

Ingredients: 1/2 or 1/3 of above left over, 1 firm tofu, 1 T curry powder, salt and pepper, 2 flat bread to wrap

  1. Drain tofu and wrap it with a paper towel. Let it sit on a slanted cutting board for over 1 hour.
  2. Heat a medium sauce pan. Cramble tofu into small pieces by hand. Throw tofu pieces in the pan.
  3. Add the mushroom kale left over in. Mix with a spatula or a spoon.
  4. When it is warmed up and some water is evaporated from the tofu, turn the heat off.
  5. Warm the flat bread in a toaster oven or over a pan for 30 seconds. Wrap the mixture. Eat.

Thursday’s Menu 5/31

Breakfast: Coffee, Green Goddess

Lunch: Polenta Platter Brunch at Caravan of Dreams: polenta and black beans were good. The sauteed mixed vegetables were plain and a bit over cooked. I liked their Tempeh Rueben better. Their coffee was good, peppermint tea was not. It was simply too weak.

Dinner: Vegetarian Pad Thai (rice noodle, bok choy, onion, tofu, tamarind sauce, fish sauce), Iced Barley Tea

Polenta Platter at Caravan of Dreams

Vegetarian PadThai

Wednesday’s Menu 5/30

Green Goddess

Breakfast: Coffee, Green Goddess Shake

Lunch: Avocado with wasabi Soysauce, Nori and Brown Rice, Moroccan Carrots, Sauteed Kale, Sauteed Broccoli—dip a slice of avocado in wasabi soysauce, put it on a bite size rice on a nori to make an easy hand wrap. I love to eat avocado this way.

Dinner: Falafels with Tahini-Lime Sauce, Sauteed Broccoli, Tomato Salsa, Pita, Apple Juice

Dessert: Strawberries, Sweet Azuki Beans, Almond Milk

Avocado, Kale, Carrot, Brown Rice, Nori

Falafel Platter

Strawberries