Roasted Vegetable & Kale Salad with Avocado Caesar Dressing

Roasted Vegetable & Kale Salad with Avocado Caesar Dressing

Say hello to one of your new favorite salads, with all the right flavor and texture notes being hit! Roasted veggies and fresh kale are tossed with an avocado Caesar dressing, and then sprinkled with bright red cabbage shreds, sunflower seeds and tempeh bacon. This makes a great prep-ahead lunch, just keep the dressing air-tight and separate until serving.

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Roasted Potato Leek Soup

Roasted Potato Leek Soup

This hearty and flavorful soup is very simple to make and perfect for a cozy winter meal. The flavor of the potatoes is enriched by roasting them first and can be done ahead of time so it’ll take you only 15 minutes to make this delicious soup once you’re ready for it!

Of all the delicious food my grandmother made over the years, her potato leek soup would rank in the top 5 for me. It was so comforting, warm, lightly but deeply flavored, a bit salty and so perfect with a thick slice of fresh bread. I’ve since come up with my own vegan version which, to my delight, my daughter proclaimed as being her favorite soup after trying it.

It’s funny how food can bubble up emotions in us. The thing is, my daughter who is 5 years old is so much like my grandmother. So strong-willed and persistent, a leader, creative, improvising, social, and so complex in emotions. My grandmother was not a stereotypical granny. She was boisterous and fought for what she thought was right (or against what she thought was wrong), not intimidated to approach her political representatives demanding change. I recall her marching back into a grocery store when she had been overcharged 10 cents. It wasn’t the money, it was the principle. She worked outside the home while managing a household with 4 kids, sewed her own clothes and home furnishings, cooked and baked from scratch, stayed up to date with technology, and bought herself a sports car in her 60’s. She had an editorial column in the local newspaper, and she volunteered on projects for literacy and food accessibility. I had so much admiration for her, especially as woman who grew up in a generation in which women were not encouraged use their voices or to do as much outside the home.

While my daughter challenges me daily as she pushes and explores the limits of being a dependent child, I always try to keep my grandmother’s spirit in mind. I want to be careful to allow and to encourage my daughter to be who she is and not snuff out that bright flame she has within her. It’s such a balance of guidance, encouragement and correction, with some days being better than others. In the end I want her to speak and live her truth, and to have all the happiness in the world as any mother would want for her children.

And how lucky am I to have these generations of females around me who know their worth, living their lives vibrantly and really appreciating an amazing bowl of potato leek soup.

Roasted Potato Leek Soup

This hearty and flavourful soup is very simple to make and perfect for a cozy winter meal. The flavour of the potatoes is enriched by roasting them first and can be done ahead of time so it'll take you only 15 minutes to make this delicious soup once you're ready for it!
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Crumbs & Caramel

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 large leeks, cleaned and cut in 1/4" slices
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup cashews, quick soak in simmering water for 10 min and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or oil well. Once oven is preheated, toss the potatoes in 2 tbsp of olive oil on the baking tray and roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes. They are done once they are easily pierced with a fork and are lightly browned.
  • In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Sauté the leeks and celery until they soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute until fragrant. Stir in the thyme and black pepper.
  • De-glaze the pan with the white wine. Add the vegetable stock and roasted potatoes, turn the heat to high and bring to a simmer.
  • In the meantime, in a high-powered blender, combine the miso paste, cashews and water. Blend on high until smooth, about 2 minutes then stir into the soup pot. Turn off the heat.
  • Blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a blender - blend the soup in batches, filling the blender only about 1/2 full each time so it doesn't splatter and burn you. Thin with additional soup stock if desired; season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy with pretty garnishes such as sliced radish, chives, sautéed leeks slices, fresh thyme, and pumpkin seeds.

Notes:

This soup recipe doubles and freezes well.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @crumbs.and.caramel on Instragram!

Crispy Sweet Potato Wedges with Guacamole

Crispy Purple Sweet Potatoes Wedges with Guacamole

 

Check out the gorgeous color of these tubers! This is the first thing I ever made with purple sweet potatoes. When I saw them at the grocery store, I was immediately attracted to them as they were such a stunning shade of purple. When they bake, they do mellow out a bit to almost a burgundy but still beautiful nonetheless. For anyone wondering like I had before trying them, I can’t detect any difference in flavor between these and the more common orange sweet potatoes.

I know that this guacamole recipe is perhaps not authentic, but it my go-to recipe especially when I am low on groceries and don’t have the fresh add-ins like cilantro. And while I do enjoy cilantro, I really don’t miss it in this recipe. I love the simplicity of this and how versatile it is. It’s fabulous for dipping potato wedges of any kind in, especially where there aren’t chunks of tomato to hinder your scooping.

I had first posted this on Instagram and quite a few people asked me how to achieve a nice crisp exterior on potato wedges. Below are a few tips I hope you find helpful:

  • Make sure your oven is at the right temperature before placing the wedges in the oven. I highly recommend buying an oven thermometer. Ovens are notorious for being liars, and while they may display a temperature on the panel, the actual temperature may be much different inside.
  • Dry the potatoes before slicing. Water will interfere with the oil so the wedges won’t be coated properly. A bit of oil really helps with crisping.
  • Ensure all of the wedges are coated with oil. I recommend using your hands if you don’t mind getting a bit messy, as it’s easier, faster and more efficient than using a spoon.
  • Don’t over crowd the wedges – each one needs to lie flat on the pan.
  • Invest in an aluminum baking sheet. They are great at all temperatures, won’t warp in high heat, and aren’t covered in toxic non-stick coatings which end up scratched. They also distribute heat evenly and ensure perfect bottoms on cookies.
  • If you have mammoth sized sweet potato and a small one, modify the recipe – instead of 12 wedges for the giant potato, perhaps you need to cut it into 16. Likewise, if the small potato is much smaller than average, it may only need to be cut in 8 wedges.

 

Crispy Purple Sweet Potato Wedges with Guacamole

These wedges and guacamole are so easy to prepare. The wedges are baked, not fried, but still have that crisp exterior we all love. They are salty, sweet and totally addictive. They are seasoned simply here, but take things up a notch if you wish with spicier additions such as chili powder, smoked paprika or cayenne pepper.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Author: Crumbs & Caramel

Ingredients

  • 3-4 medium purple sweet potatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Guacamole

  • 3 large avocados
  • 1/2 medium shallot minced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Other add-ins if desired - chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, garlic

Instructions

For the wedges:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scrub the sweet potatoes, and pat them dry with paper towel. No need to peel them as the skin helps with the crispy exterior.
  • Cut each potato into wedges by cutting it into quarters, and then each quarter into thirds resulting in 12 wedges per potato.
  • Place the wedges on the baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Dust with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Using your hands or a large wooden spoon, toss to coat evenly and then arrange the wedges on the pan so that each one is lying flat. If they are piled together, they won't be crispy.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the wedges. Return to the oven for another 10-14 minutes. The inside of each wedge should be fully cooked and tender.

For the guacamole:

  • Wash, peel and pit the avocados. Place in a medium sized bowl. Mash with a fork.
  • Add the minced shallot, lime juice and salt (and add-ins if desired). Mix together. Add more salt and/or lime juice to taste. Serve immediately with the sweet potato wedges.
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