Starlight Blogger Award!!

Starlight Blogger Award

I want to take a moment to thank Michael @ ThisVeganLife for nominating me for the Starlight Blogger award. His blog https://thisvegalife.wordpress.com/ … is very informative. If ever you need more information on vitamins, minerals and nutrients his blog has it. I’m very humbled to accept the award and very much appreciate the compliment that came with the nomination.

This Award is created to highlight and promote Inspiring Bloggers.

This Award is created to highlight and promote Inspiring Bloggers.

THE RULES:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you for the award.
  2. Answer the questions set to you and then you may create your set of questions for your nominees.
  3. Nominate other bloggers. (You may notify them to make them aware)

My Questions & Answers:

1. What is your perfect date?
The perfect date has to have good food, right? Oh but of course. Now throw in the perfect ambiance and great service…I’m hooked. 🙂 I obviously love food but dining at a fancy shamncy upscale restaurant tops the chart. I often talk about date nights with my hubby and fine dining – I love getting dressed up for a night on the town. I enjoy the city – Philadelphia/New York are my favs. Dinner (with great dinner convo), some good cocktails, maybe a little dancing or show. Score!

2. If you could meet anybody in the world, fictional or not, who would it be and why?
Hmm, this one is a little tough only because there are several. Jesus hands down – I’d love to just sit and chat. If He could at least impart one droplet of his wisdom and peace. Teachings that have not been re-written in the Word… if I had to pick one.
Some honorable mentions: Barack Obama, I mean c’mon he’s the President, that would be so neat; Jim Morrison, how cool would it be hang out with him and get inside his mind for just one conversation – poetic; or how about Kurt Cobain – you left us too soon. Since my ❤ for musicians is showing maybe Maynard James Keenan so I can personally ask the burning question that so many fans have already asked…when can we get another Tool album, pleeeeeaaaasssseeee! Some others too many to name individually – I’d love to meet some Celebrity Chef(s) in person, that would make my day. It would be fantastic to meet and venture with some real Activists – people that are compassionate about world hunger and cruelty, I’m not talking about the ones with a personal agenda for world domination. This world could be such a better place.
If I had to pick one living…I already met him (Seth)…My soul mate.
Wait…did I even answer the question… lol? Yes, Jesus Christ 🙂

My Nominees:

Seth: My #1 inspiration for even venturing out to blog in the first place. As I’ve mentioned in my “About” Seth is an ardent photographer, his ability to capture a story through a lens is phenomenal. An amazing writer, published author [can’t wait for him to release his next book], he’s articulate and always inspiring. Even the name ‘Vegan Rescue’ was a play off his blog ‘Human Rescue’ …I know I’m so original right?… but in my defense it felt like naming a baby or pet and after hundreds of names, once I decided to include my inspiration Vegan Rescue was realized. Both blogs pack a punch. SBWImaging – which encompasses Words are Not Enough – includes his photography along with a story…poetry…opinions…facts…a journalistic view. Although more recently he’s been working on Words are Not Enough and his latest book release. His original blog Human Rescue – Letters, Opinions, Complaints and Rants – is a good read. This blog is exactly what the title suggests and includes posts about Food, the Food Industry, Politics/Government and People – the Human Race. Both links below are worth checking out, enjoy! I’m also including link to his Leica page to check out some photos too if you wish.

https://humanrescue.wordpress.com/ and https://sbwimaging.wordpress.com/

Mladen & Milica @ http://thedeliciouspeaceofmind.com/en/ . I enjoy their raw and colorful dishes. They discuss the raw lifestyle and their vibrant dishes always look delectable.

Lauren @: http://theveganmuffinwoman.com/ . I truly enjoy reading her blog posts and checking out her clean eating recipes. There’s often an ingredient that is highlighted in her recipe, whether an apple, strawberries or rhubarb for example. Keep writing Lauren 🙂

Erin & Sasha with http://kickingitwholeschool.com/ . C’mon what a clever name alone. Healthy selections; their recipes look so fresh and enticing. Some recipes cookbook inspired and recreated.

Louise @ https://imalittlevegan.wordpress.com/ . Who else would give you a banana split for breakfast? Louise will along with other amazing food and fresh ideas. Not to mention she has a pretty sizable facebook following, lol. I look forward to her posts and creations.

ELE – Eat.Live.Escape @ https://eatliveescape.wordpress.com/ .Travel, Food and some very appetizing recipes. Did I mention you get to travel around the world with them? – Beautiful photographs that bring you right in and like the name suggests…allows you to escape.

Questions for my Nominees:

1. Favorite Kind of Music & Artist in that Genre?
2. What is your Favorite Comfort Food?
3. If you could end world hunger, you would…..?

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Nominations Rules:
Nominate your 6 favorite bloggers! In your nominees I would like for you to think at the light emanating from the stars the ones that truly touch your soul with their work, the ones that are the light for you a true STARLIGHT Blogger.

Rules for the STARLIGHT Blogger Award:
-Thank the giver and link their blog to your post.
-Answer the 3 questions given to you.
-Please pass the award on to 6 or more other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you.
-Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog please never alter the logo and never change the rules.

Creamy Chilled Cucumber Pea Mint Soup

Creamy Chilled Cucumber Pea Mint Soup
(Serves 6-8) – Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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I made a Cucumber Dill Garlic sauce the other day and was inspired to make this chilled soup. This soup is raw so I treat this dish just as if I were juicing it, which means we eat it right away. Enjoy!

Creamy Chilled Cucumber Pea Mint Soup

  • Servings: 6-8 ~ Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
1 English Cucumber, diced
A Bunch (handful) of Fresh Mint, chopped
½ Green Pepper, chopped
1 Cup Water
1 Avocado, pitted
1 Cup Peas
2 Scallions, chopped (white/light green part only)
Juice of 1 Lemon
Sea Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:
-Blend all ingredients together using a high speed blender. Chill and Enjoy!

Notes: I blended the first four ingredients together and then the avocado, peas and scallions separately then stirred together and added salt/pepper to taste.
-To serve up instantly – Use refrigerated Cucumber/Scallions and use Frozen thawed Peas.

5/26 – Happy Birthday Jasmine!

5/26/15 – Happy Birthday Jasmine!
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Wow!… Isn’t it crazy how time flies by? Lately the years just seem to be falling off the calendar. In April we celebrated Megan’s 21st Birthday and now Jasmine turns 11, there are no babies here :0…but they’ll always be our babies.
Jasmine my peanut…may you always continue to be blessed. You are a beautiful young little lady. Continue to be my kind-hearted, helpful and brilliant little girl. Always seek knowledge and maintain your eagerness to learn. I relish your passion for veganism and your enthusiasm in the kitchen as my Sous Chef. I love you so very much. We love you so very much!

On Birthdays I always take requests from my family. What would you like for your special birthday dinner? or what kind of birthday cake/dessert would you like? I’m always cooking up something. Definitely just simply being vegan for so many years now I’ve grown accustomed to making the birthday cake instead of buying (which would mean traveling to the one of about two vegan bakeries – not quite close by)…so it is much easier to make it and it doesn’t hurt that I love cooking/baking. It is definitely stimulating to create in person a dish/dessert that my hubby or kids created in their minds – like my husband’s taste for Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafers. Now there is sometimes a misconception that all Vegans eat healthy all the time. Truth be told there are vegan junk food items just the same as non-vegan…Whoa…I know right. Yup, you have Chocolate Cake, Cookies, Cheesecake, Pudding…etc. and so do Vegans. Hey I’ve made my share of some sinful desserts in the past – I don’t want to talk about my son’s birthday cake request from November…I won’t mention the Vegan Cookie Dough filling cake that was sandwiched between Vanilla Cake with a layer of Chocolate icing then topped Chocolate and Vanilla icing that I created…all vegan with all the guilt too. : -/
Jasmine’s birthday request this week was my Smoked Corn Chowder (she LOVES it) and Chocolate Cake with Chocolate filling and icing. I always have a stash of Endangered Species Chocolate around (mommy’s chocolate emergency stash), so I sacrificed one of my bars and shaved some chocolate to top Jasmine’s all chocolate cake. 🙂
Despite what feels like every other thought being that of food (I’m sure I’m exaggerating…maybe? Okay okay it is admittedly excessive) but there is a balance and that balance is my family. I love these guys, they truly keep me going.
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Happy Birthday my little angel! Mommy loves you always.

Roasted Beet Borscht

Roasted Beet Borscht
(Serves 8-10) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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This soup may sound difficult or fancy even to some, but it is very simple. If you’re a regular reader of my blog than I’m sure you’re probably noticing a trend of “simple” :0. I like simple flavorful dishes and this is certainly one of them. This soup is like a sweet/sour soup, it is very nutritious and delicious and can be eaten hot or cold. This recipe came about because I was thinking of a good use for the extra vegan sour cream we had in our fridge from Tuesday’s Taco night, I don’t like things going to waste. Feel free to try this soup with a dollop of vegan non-dairy sour cream on top, but it is also fantastic without. A must try. Enjoy your day and weekend everyone celebrating Memorial day here in the states!

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Ingredients:
6 Med.-Large Beets, scrubbed/stems removed
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Stalks of Celery, chopped
½ Head of Cabbage, sliced thinly (shredded)
2 Russet Potatoes, peeled/chopped
2 Quarts Vegetable Broth
3 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 Tbsp Dill
1 Tsp Sea Salt + 2 ¼ Tbsp for Roasting
1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
3 Tsp Sugar
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Directions:
-Heat oven 425 degrees. Roast Beets (Pictured here – I always follow the same directions for roasting my beets). Essentially remove stems from beets keeping about an inch, and then scrub the beets to remove excess dirt. Grab a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap two beets making a bed/pouch. Divide 2 ¼ Tbsp Sea Salt evenly between the three pieces of foil. Add beets and bring up the sides to close. Place on a baking sheet to avoid beet juice from seeping out. Roast for 1 hour then remove and set-aside until cool to the touch, then peel and dice.
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-In a large stockpot, heat Olive Oil over medium. Sauté Onions and Celery for 3-5 minutes until translucent.
-Stir in Cabbage and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Add ½ Quart of Vegetable Broth and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
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-Add remaining Vegetable Broth remaining 1 ½ Quarts and bring to boil. Once boiling add Potatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for about 7-10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
-Stir in remaining Seasonings: Vinegar, Ketchup, Dill, 1 Tsp Sea Salt, Pepper and Sugar. Simmer for another minute or two to incorporate flavors.
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-While the last two steps are occurring: Open up the Beets from foil package. Peel Beets, I just remove that first thick layer then chop Beets.
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-Just after the last one-two minutes that seasonings are being incorporated. Turn off Heat. Stir in Beets. Stir well to combine and let Borscht stand for 10-15 minutes to cool slightly before serving and for the flavors to finish combining. Enjoy!
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Roasted Beet Borscht

  • Servings: 8-10 ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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Credit: VeganRescue.com
Ingredients:
6 Med.-Large Beets, scrubbed/stems removed
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Stalks of Celery, chopped
½ Head of Cabbage, sliced thinly (shredded)
2 Russet Potatoes, peeled/chopped
2 Quarts Vegetable Broth
3 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 Tbsp Dill
1 Tsp Sea Salt + 2 ¼ Tbsp for Roasting
1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
3 Tsp Sugar

Directions:
-Heat oven 425 degrees. Roast Beets (Pictured here – I always follow the same directions for roasting my beets). Essentially remove stems from beets keeping about an inch, and then scrub the beets to remove excess dirt. Grab a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap two beets making a bed/pouch. Divide 2 ¼ Tbsp Sea Salt evenly between the three pieces of foil. Add beets and bring up the sides to close. Place on a baking sheet to avoid beet juice from seeping out. Roast for 1 hour then remove and set-aside until cool to the touch, then peel and dice.
-In a large stockpot, heat Olive Oil over medium. Sauté Onions and Celery for 3-5 minutes until translucent.
-Stir in Cabbage and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Add ½ Quart of Vegetable Broth and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
-Add remaining Vegetable Broth remaining 1 ½ Quarts and bring to boil. Once boiling add Potatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for about 7-10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
-Stir in remaining Seasonings: Vinegar, Ketchup, Dill, 1 Tsp Sea Salt, Pepper and Sugar. Simmer for another minute or two to incorporate flavors.
-While the last two steps are occurring: Open up the Beets from foil package. Peel Beets, I just remove that first thick layer then chop Beets.
-Just after the last one-two minutes that seasonings are being incorporated. Turn off Heat. Stir in Beets. Stir well to combine and let Borscht stand for 10-15 minutes to cool slightly before serving and for the flavors to finish combining. Enjoy!

Lentils and Calabaza – Soup/Stew

Lentils and Calabaza – Soup/Stew
(Serves 8-10) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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A few days after coming back from vacation I realized how bare my cupboards were. So I made a soup, it’s my ‘go to’ when I have minimal ingredients or leftovers. Since soup is so simple to make. On Mother’s day my mom was over my aunt’s house, so that is where I made my stop to visit. Just before leaving, my aunt gave me some Calabaza (pumpkin-like squash – tastes similar to butternut squash) that she grew in her garden. Best part was that she already had prepared it – chopped up and frozen, ready for use in freezer bags. She said that she had so many so she gave me at least 3 freezer bags worth, yay! Free food. 🙂 Since I’m not yet ready to venture out to the supermarket I see what else I can find in the pantry and fridge for soup. I’ll list the ingredients just keep in mind that its not an exact recipe since it felt like I was just dumping ingredients as I went 🙂 . This is literally all I had left; I didn’t even have an onion. The Calabaza just broke down during cooking and made the soup very creamy. If you try and make this one, you can add more water if you want more of a soupy soup. All of us really enjoyed this, as is, thick and stew like; it was very hearty. I ate it straight up just in a cup. The kids enjoyed their serving over rice. People say when life gives you lemons – make lemonade. I say when life leaves your cupboards bare – make soup. Enjoy!

Lentils and Calabaza – Soup/Stew

  • Servings: 8-10 ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: VeganRescue.com

Ingredients:
2-3 Tbsp Canola Oil (or Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I was even out of Olive Oil, sheesh)
3 Russet Potatoes, peeled & chopped
3 Carrots, peeled & chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 (14.5oz) Can of Petite Diced Tomatoes
2-3 Cups Calabaza
1lb dry Brown Lentils, picked thru and rinsed
10 Cups Water
Salt/Pepper/Cayenne Pepper/Celery Seed/Garlic Powder/Oregano to Taste
5-6 Lacinato Kale, stem removed/chopped

Directions:
-Heat Oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add the Potatoes and Carrots; let them go for about 3-5 minutes. Add Garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
-Stir in Tomatoes and Calabaza (see note above – Calabaza tastes similar to a butternut squash. It’s a squash – like a pumpkin). Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes then add Lentils and Water.
-Bring to boil. Cover then reduce heat to simmer for about 30-45 minutes until Lentils are cooked. (I cooked for 45 minutes for creamy perfection).
-Add Seasoning to Taste. Then stir in chopped Kale. I let this stand for about 10 minutes before serving. (One it would be too hot to eat right away anyway and Two it allows some heat to get thru the Kale without killing the darn thing during the cooking process. That’s why I add it last). I do the same with spinach and over veggies a lot in soup too.
(I used about 2 Tsp Celery Seed, Cayenne Pepper depends on how much heat you enjoy. Also, if you have Goya Adobo Seasoning that would probably work great here instead of individually adding Pepper, Oregano, Garlic powder etc. or even an Italian seasoning would be nice).

S…Spinach Soup

Spinach Soup
(Serves 4) – Vegan, Gluten-Free
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Happy Earth Day! – This is an older recipe of mine, but with Earth Day today plus today is “S” for the A-Z Blog Challenge so I was thinking Green and thought of this Spinach Soup.
There are various reasons for adopting a Vegan lifestyle. Helping to save the planet, I’ll say is a pretty good reason.
On Twitter today (Earth Day) I posted a quote. I wanted to share some great Native American wisdom. “Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money” –Cree Indian Proverb. Think about it.

Ingredients:
1 (16oz pkg) Frozen Spinach Whole Leaves, steamed
3 small white Potatoes, boiled
3 Cups Water (use water from boiled potatoes)
1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk (Almond/Coconut)
½ Tbsp Soy Sauce
½ Tbsp fresh ground Pepper
1 Tbsp Salt
½ Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
¼ Tsp ground Nutmeg
½ Tsp Cumin
Directions:
-While the potatoes are boiling, I steam the Spinach.
-Blend all ingredients together. Garnish with Olive Oil and Sriracha. Enjoy!

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Gazpacho!

Chilled Gazpacho with Watercress
(Makes about 12 Cups) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw
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I’m celebrating “G” today with Gazpacho a tomato based cold soup. This version is delicious, light and airy. Although it doesn’t have that bright ‘red’ color as some which could be because I do not use tomato juice which is commonly added. I wanted as close to nature and raw as possible with this recipe. It’s packed with lots of flavor and you can taste the freshness. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 Red Pepper, seeded/chopped
1 Green Pepper, seeded/chopped
1 Hothouse Cucumber, chopped
½ Red Onion, chopped
1 Celery Rib, chopped
½ Serrano Pepper, seeded/chopped
5 Basil Leaves, chiffonade
5 Tomatoes, chopped (I use Hot House or Vine Ripened)
3-4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp Vinegar
Juice of 1 Lime
½ Tsp Sea Salt
½ Tsp course ground Pepper
¼ Tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Blue Agave Nectar
1 Cup Watercress
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Avocado for garnish, optional

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Directions:
-Combine all ingredients in food processor, blender or high powered blender (Vitamix, Ninja or Nutribullet) depending on consistency you prefer. I typically blend the first 9 ingredients first to combine then blend in the remaining. Chill for a couple hours then enjoy!

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Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Blogging from A to Z…Challenge Accepted! Check out the following link here if you’re interested in the challenge, excellent concept Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out! There is also a sign up list here. This is really going to be a challenge for me, but I enjoy a good challenge and LOVE food. I’m going to get my day started and head off to work shortly, however, I will check back this evening beginning with the letter “A”. The challenge is essentially putting up a blog post everyday in April, except Sundays, beginning with the letter “A” on April 1st, then “B” etc.
I’m excited to take on this challenge, my theme will definitely be food. It may be in the capacity of a recipe daily or a food related topic, we’ll see.  The letter “A” will be the first post maybe about Apples, Almonds, Artichokes or maybe Asparagus…check back later.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Potato and Leek Soup

Potato and Leek Soup

Vegan/Gluten-Free (Serves 6)

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We really enjoyed this soup it is a simple weeknight dinner, pair with a sandwich or roll. The thyme permeates throughout this soup and evokes memories of Thanksgiving for me. This soup is hearty and velvety without the cream, warm your tummies and enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Earth Balance (Vegan Butter)
1 bunch of Leeks (4), sliced
5 Garlic cloves, minced
8 Gold Potatoes, peeled/diced small
8 Cups Water
1 bunch fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tsp fresh ground Pepper

Directions:

-Remove and discard roots from Leeks, then continue slicing white parts only. I include a bit of the light green section also.
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-Place the leeks in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cool water. *Leeks are very gritty and hang on to a lot of dirt between their layers, rinse them well.
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-Heat butter in soup pot over medium heat. Sauté leeks for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and potatoes to leeks and heat through.
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-Add water and fresh thyme then bring to boil. Reduce heat cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
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-After 30 minutes remove thyme stems from soup. Let the soup cool slightly.
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-Blend in batches in a blender or use an immersion blender if you have one. I leave some chunks also.

-Add salt and pepper – serve up and enjoy!

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup (Serves 4-6)
Vegan/Gluten-Free

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I was inspired to create this soup after a story my husband shared with me upon coming home from work just the other day. While at work a man sparked up a brief conversation with him in passing…“The gentleman at 58, retired, had a degenerative eye condition where he was losing his sight. He didn’t name the condition but mentioned how the doctor wanted to put him on medication. Instead, he began to eat a bag of carrots a day until he miraculously rejuvenated his eyes back to 20/20; he doesn’t even need glasses anymore. Since his vision was restored, he went from a bag a day to now a bag a week. The man added that the bible teaches that one must Eat to Heal.”

So what’s up doc? While I cannot prove the validity of the stranger’s story I was certainly intrigued. Seems logical…carrots are great for you! They are rich in antioxidants and beta-carotenes. The body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which is important for immunity, eye health and promotes healthy skin. This carotenoid is also found in sweet potatoes, another ingredient in this soup. Along with the antioxidants and beta-carotenes, sweet potatoes are a good source of Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Iron, Vitamin C and D. The coconut milk in this recipe helps make it velvety smooth. Additionally, it is a good source of Iron, Potassium and Protein. This feel good soup would not be complete without ginger to spice things up. Great for immunity, digestion, blood circulation and it is popular for its anti-inflammatory properties.

As I listened intently and relished every word of Seth’s encounter, it truly made me re-evaluate my relationship with the frequently underrated Carrot…the star of this recipe. Thanks again to my hubby, the great narrator, for sharing that story.

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Ingredients:

1 ½ Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 stalks of Celery, chopped
1 medium white Onion, chopped
10 Whole black Peppercorns or ½ Tbsp
2lbs of Carrots, peeled/chopped
1 medium Sweet Potato, peeled/chopped
2 cans Coconut Milk, divided
2 Cups Water, divided
1 (2inch piece) Fresh Ginger, peeled
½ Tsp Garlic powder
½ Tsp Curry powder
½ Tsp Salt

Directions: – One Pot Meal

-Heat Olive oil over medium heat. Sauté Celery, Onions and Peppercorn for about 5 minutes.

-Add Carrots and Sweet Potatoes and continue sautéing stirring occasionally for another 7-9 minutes.

-Add 1 can of Coconut milk plus 1 cup of Water. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes or until Carrots and Sweet Potatoes are tender.

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-In Batches: Add soup mixture to blender (about 2 ladles at a time). Blend until smooth adding remaining Coconut Milk and Water to blender to help thin mixture during blending. I blended entire recipe in three batches.

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-Add fresh Ginger during blending process. Note: You may grate the ginger first before adding to blender also.

-Once soup has been blended, return to pot. Bring to slow boil and add remaining seasonings.

-Reduce heat and simmer for another 5-10 minutes before serving. Add a drizzle of Sriracha for added heat, optional. Enjoy!

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