Thrifty Vegan Compost Soup

garbage soup1Don’t throw away those odds and ends! Instead, get creative.

Whether you call it Müllsuppe, Soup de Legumes Restes (Soup of Leftovers) Ordures Soupe, Garbage or Compost Soup — in any language, this healthy soup is a delightful melange of everything the refrigerator and pantry has to offer.

I love nothing more than the game of conjuring up a delicious concoction from available ingredients and not always running to the store. Being frugal means more shopping for me — that’s my logic!

My son made a spur-of-the-moment decision to visit for just one day (to celebrate his bio-dad’s birthday) before he leaves the west coast for a teaching position at Rutgers.

This meant that I had to spring into action; baking and cooking a day’s worth of meals.

When my tugboat man is gone, I don’t do very much grocery shopping; the cupboards were mostly bare.

I opened the refrigerator door and peered inside where I found a few carrots, celery, half an onion, a few mushrooms, a few heads of broccoli, a bit of fennel, a block of tofu, and most of a can of chopped tomatoes.

As soon as I looked in the pantry and found pearl barley and lentils, I knew exactly what to do.

Springing into action, I sautéed the vegetables in a bit of olive oil until they were tender. I added the tomatoes, about six cups of water, and the lentils.

Pearl barley takes a lot longer than anything else; cooking in a separate pot would make sure that it was completely soft before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.

While everything was bubbling away, I cubed the tofu and tossed it in with a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro, a bay leaf, pepper, and a sprinkle of freshly ground pink Hawaiian salt.

A couple hours later, the barley was ready to be incorporated into the big pot of soup.

With a salad of mixed greens dressed in my favorite lime vinaigrette, freshly baked foccacia, and a dessert of Banana-Blueberry Walnut Bread, my son was well-fed, and I was so pleased with myself for making something out of nothing.

(And it saved me from having to throw all the veggies in the compost bin!)

garbagesoup2YUM!

What successful dish have you created out of nothing?


Facebook Update: I’m sorry to report that I still have no access to any of my Facebook pages; Since it’s understandable that I’m unwilling to provide a birth certificate to prove that my name is Princess Rosebud, if you’d like to share my posts on your timelines or mine, I’d appreciate it. Otherwise, Twitter and Pinterest will be my only forums for socializing. It’s really unfair to be singled out, since there are many others who don’t use their real names on Facebook and they are allowed to continue.

Zesty Veggie Hummus Pinwheels

FINALzestyCrowdsourcing is an awesome method to gather fresh ideas and to spark creativity.

I needed to prepare a couple of dishes for a party and my Facebook friends didn’t let me down. Jen from Driftwood Gardens and Lizzi from Considerings (I reblogged her yesterday) and Becky Bell came to my rescue.

Veggie Hummus Pinwheels were the perfect choice. I added the “Zesty” part, not only because a few squeezes of lime juice adds a fresh and sexy pop to almost anything, but because —  well, I can’t explain. You’d have to be there, or at least you need to read my post from yesterday, which was reblogged from Lizzi Rogers. She said it far better than I could paraphrase.

There’s a method to my madness; always bringing vegan eats to any gathering so I can watch their faces when they tell me how tasty it is whilst I use any and all opportunity to climb up on my little soapbox and ruin any party atmosphere by ranting on and on about becoming vegan and cruelty-free living. Hmm…maybe that’s why I don’t get invited to many parties.

Back to the recipe…

Hummus is so easy to prepare from scratch that it’s a staple here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells. (Recipe below.)

It’s mostly all prep work. Organizing your ingredients makes it easy. Because I was bringing this to a party, I didn’t include onions, but the addition of a thinly sliced red onion would be a wonderful crunchy flavor enhancer.

veggie roll up 4I used a handheld mandolin to thinly slice the veggies. Carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, cucumber, and freshly steamed, chopped spinach. Make sure you squeeze out all of the cooking juice and save  for soup stock later in the week. SEE THE LIME…

I had some leftover guacamole and used that too. Organic pea shoots and cilantro (coriander to you all from across the pond) rounded out the healthy deliciousness.

**For a really low calorie option, use a large lettuce leaf instead of a carb-filled tortilla.veggie rollup5Simply spread, layer, roll, and cut.

Spread with hummus, guacamole, spinach (this one doesn’t have spinach, but I used a slice of veggie cheddar cheese. The important part is to layer all the veggies on the side of the wrap or tortilla closest to you. Sometimes I heat the tortilla to make it a little more pliable.

vegroll1 Start rolling, keeping it tight. That’s the secret to a successful roll up. If you’ve ever made sushi, it’s the same principle, without using a bamboo mat. vegroll2 Tah dah! A fat little cigar shaped roll of yumminess.vegroll3 Cut in half with a sharp knife. At this point, you can stop. If I was making a wrap for me and my tugboat man, this is how I’d serve it, along with a lovely fruit salad and a wheat grass smoothie. 

vegroll4But we’re going fancy schmancy for party eats, so keep cutting…eating the ends as you go. Well, at least that’s what I did.
veggie rollup3 Turn them up so they’re smiling pinwheels, choose a special serving platter, add a little garnish: here I used cilantro, pea shoots, and thinly sliced LIME.  

Beautiful, festive, healthy!FINALzesty


BASIC HUMMUS:

One 15 oz. can unsalted garbanzo beans (or your own from scratch)
Four garlic cloves
Six tablespoons lemon juice
One-third cup tahini
Salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce

Drain beans, but save juice. Toss it all into a food processor and blend until desired consistency. Add a little juice from the beans as needed. Season to taste.
That’s it! Couldn’t be any easier, right?
Options: Add chopped, drained spinach, jalapeños, roasted red peppers, etc. Use your imagination and experiment. It’s all tasty. Especially if you add a squeeze of lime…

The Best Chocolate Frosting Recipe EVER #baking #Nocciolata

My own creation: Princess Rosebud’s Nocciolata Amaretto Buttercream Frosting.

“This was your best cake EVER” That’s what my family said. It was unanimous. Tugboat man, Angel Boy, DIL. Super chocolate-y and nutty, everything they love.

So Good. So Organic. Creamy, Dreamy Nocciolata.frosting4It’s actually quite simple. Quality ingredients produce superior taste. Only certified organic ingredients go into each jar of creamy, dreamy Nocciolata.

That means no chemicals, no artificial flavors, no GMOs, and absolutely zero palm oil.

nocciolata hazelnutspreadThey use only carefully selected ingredients like dark chocolate from the Antillean Islands, Italian hazelnuts (16%), brown sugar, skim milk, and Bourbon vanilla extract.

Enjoy Nocciolata any time of day. Try it in the morning on toast, or on a crusty bread for a delicious afternoon snack.

***My son’s fave snack is a regular-sized flour tortilla generously spread with Nocciolata. Simply roll and enjoy!

It tastes very similar to Nutella with a well-balanced chocolate and toasted hazelnut flavor, but when it comes to texture, Nocciolata stands alone.

I was sent product to sample and review. As always, I received no compensation, and all opinions are my own.

Nocciolata is the perfect special ingredient for cakes, crepes, cookies, muffins, and many more recipes.

I baked a standard yellow layer cake (from scratch of course) as a canvas for my invention: Princess Rosebud’s Nocciolata Buttercream Frosting.  It was THE BEST.


Princess Rosebud’s Nocciolata Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/3 cup soft butter (this is not vegan but you can use Earth Balance)
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Nocciolata
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon cold coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) Amaretto

Cream butter, add Nocciolata. Sift powdered sugar with cocoa. Add and mix slowly until it’s completely incorporated (or your kitchen will end up covered in sugar haha.) Add coffee, vanilla, Amaretto. Whip until creamy and smooth. Try not to eat it all before your cake is frosted!

frosting2

nocciolata frosing

Add a ring of ground almonds. Simple. Elegant. Scrumptious.frosting4

It tastes very similar to Nutella, with a well-balanced chocolate and toasted hazelnut flavor, but when it comes to texture, Nocciolata stands alone.

Would you like to win a jar? All you have to do is visit their website here.

 

Raspberry and Chocolate Bars. YUM.

Rah Rah Raspberry Chocolate Layered Oat Bars
raspberrychocbar4Tugboat man and I stopped at a Boudin Bakery located in South Coast Plaza ‘cos he was famished — he doesn’t have the same kind of stamina that I’m blessed with — to keep going until that holy grail has been attained.

Of course I’m speaking of shopping.

We took a five minute break so the whingy one could have some sustenance  – a little snack, a boost of energy — just enough to walk around the mall one more time.

Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Hermes, Chanel.

(Poor guy. He’s so sweet, He suffers for me, he really does.)

We shared a Raspberry Chocolate Bar that was SO unexpectedly mouthwatering I couldn’t wait to attempt a recreation.

It’s in the oven now. Tugboat man and I’ll have a taste comparison to see if it measures up.

OK, we patiently waited and enjoyed a square of my version of their Raspberry Chocolate Bar along with a cup of ginger tea.

The verdict? DELICIOUS, but not EXACTLY the same, yet so good, it doesn’t really matter.

In every bite there’s creamy rich chocolate along with the crunch of oats and zesty raspberry. SO GOOD. 

Try it!

(Next time I’ll use fresh raspberries or pure unsweetened jam to control the amount of sugar.  We felt this recipe was a bit TOO sweet but that only meant we couldn’t have as large a piece as we wanted.)


After firmly pressing bottom dough, spread with jam.

raspberrychocbarsAdd the chocolate chips, yum!
rasberrychocbars1Carefully press top dough over jam.
raspberrychocbar2Golden brown, it takes a long time to cool and firm up before cutting and eating. Be patient! Tip: Refrigerate to hasten setting up.raspberrychoc3

Chocolate Raspberry Layered Oat Bars

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 375°

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, butter, oil. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add flour, oats, salt, baking powder and stir until well blended (mixture will be slightly crumbly.).

Remove 3/4 cup of dough; toss with chocolate chips. Set aside.

Press the remaining dough firmly into an 8-inch square baking pan, and spread evenly with jam. Sprinkle with chocolate chip mixture and again press firmly.

Bake at 375° for thirty minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

 

Ultimate Smoothie Recipe

Yup, another smoothie recipe.

Don’t HATE.
Don’t say YUCK.
Don’t roll your eyes at me.
TRY IT!

smallsmoothieI’ve  been torturing my family for years, forcing them to drink the sometimes often dreadful concoctions that I formulate from a deranged aggregate of ingredients — adding a little of this and a little of that — sometimes palatable, sometimes not.

While the raw Cauliflower-Brussel Sprouts Smoothie was NOT a winner, I think I’ve finally developed the perfectly Ultimate Smoothie.

  • Tastes delicious
  • Nutritious
  • Helps with digestive/gall bladder issues (me)
  • Provides lots of energy

Ingredients:

  • Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder in Vanilla, Vanilla Chai, Chocolate, or Marley Coffee
  • Slippery Elm powder, great for digestion
  • Flaxseed Meal, full of healthy fiber
  • Chia seeds
  • EmergenC, one or two packets
  • Beets, canned/unsalted or from my garden (good for gall bladder)
  • Garden of Life Perfect Food Raw Organic Wheat Grass Juice Powder
  • Garden of Life Perfect Food Raw Organic Powder
  • Juices:  A combo of Rio Red Grapefruit, Apple, Mango, Cranberry
  • Banana (one or two)
  • Any other fresh fruit, this time I used blueberries and pears, but anything you have is yummy —  from peaches to watermelon
  • Nonfat yogurt, regular or Greek for more protein or soy/hemp/almond milk for vegan.
  • Ginger (to taste, I use about an inch-peeled)
  • Turmeric powder…great anti-inflammatory (1 teaspoon)
  • Cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
  • Ginseng (I use Korean Ginseng tea granules)

Additions: I usually add a handful of kale, chard, spinach, parsley, mint…just about any greens, even dark leafy lettuce

I throw it all in the blender and process until very smooth. You’ll never taste the greens or the beets, but they add a bright undertone to the fruit.

If you have a lime or a lemon, add a squeeze or two. I have a friend who tosses in a whole orange, peel and all, from her own organically grown tree. I’ve never done that, but it’s certainly an option.

Whether you try my smoothie as a meal replacement (like I do) or as a healthy between-meal snack, my Ultimate Smoothie will provide added energy and lots of nutrition for your busy day.

P.S. Yes, I use a lot of ingredients, but it’s still easy to do and can be made anywhere if you have a blender or even an immersion blender.

Bon appétit!

I hate swallowing vitamins and supplements but the smooth and creamy texture of my ultimate smoothie helps them go down without gagging.

Since I’ve been taking Garden of Life Kind Organics supplements, I feel so good and it’s really helped with my digestive issues (and my son is a fan, too!) I’m a big believer in pre and pro-biotics, balancing intestinal flora and fauna, and you remember I’m a junkie for wheat grass!

Here’s what I take every day:
Garden of Life Primal Defense
Garden of Life Fungal Defense
Garden of Life RAW Enzymes Women
Garden of Life Kind Organics Women’s Multi 40+

My tugboat man and son have the same routine, but theirs is especially formulated for men.

Enloy and be HEALTHY!

YUMMY Chocolate + Black Beans + Beets Brownies

plus

http-www-cocoavia-com

http-www-cocoavia-com

and

wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons

wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons

equals

chocolate cakeplate

Now, don’t you all go rolling your eyes at me.

I used to be a teacher and I still have eyes in the back of my head.

I can see you.

Before you make all those gaggy sounds and scrunch up your face (you know who I’m talking to!), I implore you to TRY these very tasty and UBER healthy brownies.

Well, not all that healthy ‘cos of the sugar and chocy chips, but cocoa beans grow on a tree, so that makes them a plant — therefore sort of a veggie or a fruit. So, healthy, right?

Don’t be all judge-y and shake your head.

TRY them for me, OK?

Black Bean + Beet Brownies

  • 1 can or 3/4 cup cooked black beans (unsalted or rinse well)
  • 2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup unsalted cooked beets or finely shredded raw beets (Yes, BEETS!)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or olive oil(I always use a bit less)
  • 2 eggs *see below for vegan substitution*
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar ( I’ve tried brown sugar and I’ve tried agave, not sure what’s better, kind of a personal taste thing)
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso or leftover cold coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Top with Best Baking Hack Ever frosting (click for recipe)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 9-inch square baking pan. In a blender or food processor, puree the beans and beets with the oil. Add the eggs, cocoa, sugar, coffee, and vanilla. Melt half the chocolate chips and add to the blender. Blend on medium-high until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the blender and pulse until just incorporated. Stir in the remaining chocolate. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake until the surface looks somewhat matte around the edges and still a bit shiny in the middle, about 20 minutes. Let cool at least fifteen minutes before eating. My family thinks they taste better the longer they sit in order for any “beany” texture to dissipate.

Best Baking Hack Ever

bakinghack1 bakinghack2 bakinghack3


Wanna go vegan? 

  • 1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. Water

With food processor, spice grinder, or old school mortar and pestle, grind the chia seeds into a meal. Mix the water and ground chia seed meal in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or so, or until it takes on a gloppy texture similar to raw egg yolk.

Not a Sunflower

And not an artichoke, either.

These are SUNCHOKES.sunchoke1 I wonder what they taste like. Anyone tried them?sunchoke2According to Wikipedia, The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunrootsunchokeearth apple or topinambour, is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America.It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable.[2]

I haven’t harvested my tubers yet ‘cos I’m still enjoying the flowers — that’s about all that’s flourishing in my garden during this horrible drought in California — but when I do, I’ll probably roast them with garlic, since we got a HUGE string of garlic from Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world, the last time we drove through central Cali.

Sunchoke Liqueur

Sunchoke Liqueur

Have you ever tried sunchoke liqueur? Maybe best of all, in Baden-WürttembergGermany, over 90% of the Jerusalem artichoke crop is used to produce a spirit called “Topinambur (de)”, “Topi” or “Rossler”.[13] By the end of the 19th-century, Jerusalem artichokes were being used in Baden to make a spirit called “Jerusalem Artichoke Brandy”, “Jerusalem Artichoke”, “Topi”, “Erdäpfler”, “Rossler”, or “Borbel”.

Jerusalem artichoke brandy smells fruity and has a slight nutty-sweet flavour. It is characterised by an intense, pleasing, earthy note. The tubers are washed and dried in an oven before being fermented and distilled. It can be further refined to make “Red Rossler” by adding common tormentil, and other ingredients such as currants, to produce a somewhat bitter and astringent decoction. It is used as digestif, as well as a remedy for diarrhea or abdominal pain.

If you’ve cooked with them, please send me your recipes. Thank you!

 

Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (Tree)

Bird droppings make great jam.

Perhaps generated by seeds embedded in bird poop; I’m not sure where this tree came from — I never planted it  — but one day there was a little sprout and a few years later it bore its first harvest.

We have two mulberry trees in our yard; the volunteer is fruit-bearing, the other that provides shade to the deck, is not.

silkwormcloseupSilkworms eat mulberry leaves; maybe I could raise a few silkworms and spin my own fabric — except worms are kinda gross, so I guess not.

mulberry tree3

Technically, the fruit of a mulberry is not a berry but a collective fruit, in appearance like a swollen loganberry. When the flowers are pollinated, they and their fleshy bases begin to swell. Ultimately, they become completely altered in texture and color, becoming succulent, fat and full of juice.

In appearance, each tiny swollen flower roughly resembles the individual drupe of a blackberry. Mulberries ripen over an extended period of time unlike many other fruits which seem to come all at once. {Wiki} They’re very sweet and mild.

mulberry tree2

mulberry tree

I learned from Martha Stewart to spread an old sheet on the ground and shake the tree. All the ripe fruit fall; I wash, dry, and freeze in quart bags. So far, I have about eight quarts and the tree’s not done. Raccoons come by at night and gorge themselves;  during the day, crows and other birds eat from the very highest branches.

mulberrysheetA bowl of mulberries.mulberrybowl

Three beautiful specimens. I add them right from the freezer to smoothies and cobblers and I’ll make a batch of jam, too. If I have enough, I’ll make a pie.

mulberry3

Mulberry Jam
(This recipe uses no pectin)

  • 2 1/2 cups mulberries, rinsed (the tiny green stems do not need to be removed)
  • Approximately one cup granulated sugar (I start with a very small amount of sugar and keep tasting. You can try agave, too.)
  • 3 tablespoons water
    Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Drop heat to medium-low and add jars and their lids. Simmer for 10 minutes to sterilize. Using tongs, remove jars and lids and place on a clean towel to let cool.
    In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat, combine mulberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil, boil for one minute, then drop to a simmer. Cook fruit, stirring occasionally, until foam subsides and mixture thickens slightly, about 7 minutes.
    Using a ladle, carefully transfer hot jam to sterilized jars. Wipe mouths of jars clean and screw on lids very tightly. Let cool at room temperature for at least 8 hours before using.