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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Lemon Orzo with Asparagus, Cranberries and Almonds

Lemon Orzo with Asparagus, Cranberries and Almonds

Elegant AND easy? Yes, please! Serve warm for a quick dinner and pack up the rest to eat chilled for lunch the next day.

It’s funny how pasta shape can impact a dish. While I’ve always enjoyed eating noodles, we’ve been eating them much more often since having kids. I dress them up with so many combinations of sauces, veggies, nuts, and legumes. While our kids love this, it just feels a little fancier than say mac and cheeze and it I think it’s because the orzo is such an elegant shape. There’s cheezy flavor here with by adding nutritional yeast, garlic and olive oil are the background flavors, the cranberries give a burst of sweetness and tartness, while the asparagus and lemon make this dish fresh and bright. Add a sprinkle of toasted almonds, you’ve got a bit of crunch I hope you enjoy this easy recipe, and perhaps it’ll become part of your meal rotation like it has become part of ours!

 

Lemon Orzo with Asparagus, Cranberries and Almonds

Serve warm for a quick dinner and pack up the rest to eat chilled for lunch the next day. Pretty, yummy, satisfying and so easy to prepare!
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Crumbs & Caramel

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orzo, uncooked
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp toasted, sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • pinch crushed red chili flakes, if desired

Instructions

  • Prepare the orzo according to package directions, popping the dried cranberries in to soften during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil a large cast iron pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and sauté for about 6-8 minutes until bright green and cooked but still a bit crisp and not browned, tossing in the minced garlic during the last minute of cooking.
  • Add the cooked orzo, cranberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, remaining olive oil, salt and chili flakes. Toss to coat. Serve with a sprinkle of toasted almonds.
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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.
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Roasted Garlic and Vegetable Stew with Red Lentils and Savory Tomatoes

Roasted Garlic and Vegetable Stew with Red Lentils and Savory Tomatoes

This hearty, super nutritious and flavorful stew is so satisfying. Its depth of flavors are found from roasting the vegetables and the garlic at a high heat which creates sweet undertones. Add red lentils to thicken (and add a major punch of protein and fiber), and the tomatoes and splash of balsamic vinegar compliment the flavor party with some acidity.  Enjoy with a thick slice of your favorite bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar

If you’re like me and always feel short on time and don’t want to babysit something on the stove for hours, this is a great recipe for you. The vegetables are roasted so they hang out with only one toss during baking. I really love the simplicity of red lentils. They cook so quickly compared to most other legumes, and they don’t need to be soaked. All you need is 15 minutes to cook them! So the stew base cooks quickly and then it’s a matter of blending up half of the roasted veggies with some stock and pouring it back into the pot with the remaining roasted veggies. Add in some kale and you’re done!

Roasted Garlic and Vegetable Stew with Red Lentils and Savory Tomatoes

This hearty and incredibly flavorful dish is so satisfying. It's depth of flavors are found from roasting the vegetables and the garlic at a high heat which lends sweet undertones, red lentils to thicken (and add a major punch of protein and fiber!), and the tomatoes and splash of balsamic vinegar compliment the flavor party with some acidity.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Crumbs & Caramel

Ingredients

For the Roasted Vegetables:

  • 4 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeds/stem removed, chopped
  • 1 head garlic

For the Stew Base:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 28 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 cups kale, de-veined and torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

For the Roasted Vegetables:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Place the roasting vegetables on the tray (except the garlic), drizzle with olive oil and toss well with a large spoon or your hands ensuring that all the veggies are evenly coated. Slice the pointed end of the garlic bulb off exposing the garlic cloves. Drizzle with 1 tsp of oil. Wrap tightly with foil and place on the baking tray with the vegetables. Bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes or so and checking the garlic at 25 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn or dry out.

For the Stew Base:

  • In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 3 or 4 minutes until the onion is softened. Add the oregano, basil, thyme, canned tomatoes, vegetable broth and red lentils. Turn the heat up to high until the stew comes to a boil, lower the heat, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until the lentils are cooked, stirring occasionally to prevent lentils from sticking to the pot.
  • Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skins into a high-powered blender. Add tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, about 1/2 of the roasted vegetables, and ladle in about 2 cups of the soup. Blend on high until smooth. Pour this mixture back into the soup pot with the other half of the roasted vegetables. Over medium heat, stir the kale into the soup and cook about a minute until it's just wilted and bright green.
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Vegan Italian Wedding Soup

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup

This vegan spin on the classic Italian Wedding Soup is comforting, delicious, and full of texture and nourishment. Savory sausage bean balls are tucked into a warm broth with tiny pasta and vibrant greens. I used a gorgeous Redbor kale, but you can easily sub in spinach or escarole. Make the bean balls ahead of time to pop into the soup for an easy weeknight meal!

The sausage beans balls for this recipe come together easily. One bowl and a baking tray are all you need. Once the beans have been mashed up a bit and all the other ingredients have been added, the bean dough is kneaded. This is an important step so that the gluten strands can develop and hold the balls together. Gluten is amazing for this reason. It’s what gives bread its structure, what holds a lot of store-bought veggie meats together, it’s the main ingredient in seitan and gives veggie meats that striated look and “meaty” texture. The second very important step is to let the bean dough chill in the fridge so that the gluten strands have time to become hydrated. If you skip these steps, I suspect the balls will taste amazing but they will be more fragile. We want to set them up so they hold together in the yummy soup we’re about to make!

The soup is a nice simple one, a veggie broth with carrots, onions, garlic, herbs, white wine for some dressed up flavor, tiny pasta and some torn kale. A lot of Italian Wedding Soup recipes call for spinach or escarole, but kale is what I had at the time and it was perfect. The pasta is cooked in the broth so you have one less pot to wash later, and the noodles pick up the flavors of the broth.

Once the bean balls are made, keep them out of the soup until it’s time to serve. If they are dumped in and sit for a while in hot broth, they will swell and become fragile. Ladle some broth in to each bowl when it’s time to eat, and place some bean balls on top.

These bean balls are also great in other dishes. Place them in a toasted bun and ladle hot pasta sauce over them, serve them over spaghetti and sauce, or toss a few in a bowl of mixed roasted and fresh veggies with your favorite dressing or hummus for a lunch bowl.

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup

This vegan spin on the classic Italian Wedding Soup is comforting, delicious, and full of texture and nourishment. Savory sausage bean balls are tucked into a warm broth with tiny pasta and vibrant greens. I used a gorgeous Redbor kale, but you can easily sub in spinach or escarole. Make the bean balls ahead of time to pop into the soup for an easy weeknight meal!
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chilling: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Crumbs & Caramel

Ingredients

For the Bean Balls:

  • 2.5 cups navy beans
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/8 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp olive oil plus more for coating
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed/minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

For the Soup:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced (about 3 large)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 9 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup orzo, or other tiny pasta
  • 1 bunch kale, deveined and torn into bite size pieces

Instructions

For the Bean Balls:

  • Mash the beans in a large bowl with a fork or potato masher until no whole beans are left (don't overdo it though, there should be bean pieces left for texture, it shouldn't look like hummus.) Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until very well blended. Either using your hands or the fork, keep mixing an extra 2 minutes to get the gluten forming. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least half an hour. Both the kneading and the chilling is key for bean balls that hold their shape.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Remove the bean mixture from the fridge. For bean balls going into the soup, scoop 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture and then rolled into balls. Drizzle the bean balls with a few tablespoons of olive oil and gently shake the tray back and forth so the balls roll around and get evenly coated in the oil. Rearrange the balls on the tray so they aren't touching each other. This helps them crisp up. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Turn the balls and bake another 8-10 minutes or until golden. If you're wanting bigger balls, go for it but they will need to bake longer and may not hold their shape as well. The bean balls will firm up as they cool.

For the Soup:

  • In a large pot, add the olive oil over med-low heat. Toss in the onion and carrots and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine to deglaze. Pour in the soup stock, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to directions but at 1 minute before it's done, add the kale.
  • To serve, place 5 or 6 bean balls in each soup bowl, and ladle the soup over them.

Notes:

Store and reheat the bean balls and the soup separately so that the bean balls don't get soggy and fall apart. Add the bean balls to the soup just before serving.
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Apple Sage Vegan Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprout Stir-Fry

Apple Sage Vegan Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprout Stir-Fry

This Apple Sage Vegan Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprout Stir-Fry recipe is all about giving leftovers a new lease on life.  The crispy bits on roasted veggies disappear once they’ve hung out in the fridge so here’s an idea for leftover veggies needing a makeover.  Continue reading “Apple Sage Vegan Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprout Stir-Fry”