Harissa Roasted Chickpea salad with acorn squash, mint and pumpkin seeds

This recipe is so delicious and full of exotic flavors, well at least I think so. LOL.

This salad will fill you up and give you tons of plant based vegan protein. You do not have to be a vegan to enjoy this salad. It’s important to incorporate more plant based foods in our diets, because it will help you look and feel better and it will give you tons of energy. I maybe help drop a few unwanted pounds. Who doesn’t want more energy and a few pounds out the way?  Me, me, me!!

I got something for you, in this simple to make salad. I hope you enjoy the flavors and how you feel later. Harissa maybe a new ingredient you are trying, so let me break it down for you.

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Roasted Harissa Chickpea Salad with acorn squash, mint, pumpkin seeds and micro greens

Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste, the main ingredients of which are roasted red peppers, Baklouti pepper, serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seed, saffron, rose or caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil for preservation.

This Harissa I used in this recipe is a powder form that I got form my local William Sonoma.

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Roasted Harissa Chickpea Salad with acorn squash, mint, pumpkin seeds and micro greens

For Chickpeas

1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, harissa seasoning or cayenne pepper. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Set aside to cool.

For the Lentils

1 cup dry lentils

3 cups of  vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

Cook on a stovetop, using 3 cups of  vegetable broth to 1 cup of dry lentils. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until they are tender. For whole lentils, cook time is typically 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Vegetables

1 small acorn squash, chopped in to 1 inch slices

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 small red bell pepper, cut in slices, save a couple of slices to chop up to top the salad

1/4 cup  poblano peppers, chopped

1 cup red cabbages, sliced thinly

1/4 cup red onions, diced

6-8  mint leaves, small to medium

1 cup micro greens, or baby arugula

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Directions:

After the legumes are cooked and cooled, turn the stove on medium high heat, place a large saucepan on the stove. Add your oil allow to heat up, then add the acorn squash, red bell peppers and poblano peppers to the  pan. Season with salt and black pepper.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or  until the squash is golden brown, but not mushy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To assemble:

In a salad bowl add the roasted chickpeas and lentils, gently toast together. Add the cooked vegetables and the raw cabbages, mint, red onions and the chopped raw red bell pepper. Top with micro greens and pumpkins. Squeeze some lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over top the salad with a pinch of sea salt and gently toss, incorporating all the ingredients.

Enjoy. This makes a large salad for 4-6 or a great meal for lunch and dinner for 2.

 

 

 

 

 

Butternut Squash Pilaf

Butternut Squash Pilaf is an amazing alternative to perhaps this years stuffing. It’s gluten free and loaded with lots of vegan protein and hey it’s delicious. I was able to make this dish for William Sonoma’s guest yesterday. I did a cooking demo on Healthy Holiday Thanksgiving Side Dishes! It was a hit. I love to watch people reactions when they eat food they do not normally eat on a regular basis, especially a spice or herb. This pilaf has garam masala in it, a very popular spice in India. The awesome thing about this spice,  it has some of the same spices we use for our Thanksgiving holiday recipes, such as; cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander and black pepper. What’s different about garam masala, is the cardamom. We usually do not use that is everyday cooking, but now you can with this recipe. It is such an amazing spice. So, the moral of this story, try new spices in some of your everyday dishes.

This dish is super easy and will look beautiful on your Thanksgiving table this year. But first Remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Butternut Squash Pilaf
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Butternut Squash Pilaf

2  cups wild rice blend, gluten free

4 cups water

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed ½ inch

1 tsp oil

1 tbsp dried  NO SALT garlic herb seasoning

1 tsp cardamom

1 tsp dried thyme

sea salt and white pepper, to taste. You can use black pepper if you like.

1 med. whole clove, peeled and dice

½ tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp garam masala

sea salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
In a large sauce pan add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups of wild rice blend. Cover with a tight fitted lid, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the butternut squash. Stir and add the seasonings, NO SALT garlic herb seasonings, cardamom, dried thyme, white pepper and sea salt. Stir and allow to cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add diced garlic. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the squash has soften but not mushy. The cooking process should take 6-7 minutes.

Toast the nuts and seeds

In a sauté pan on medium heat, add your nuts and seeds. Season them with a 1 tsp of garam masala, sea salt and touch of honey. Toast them for about 1 minute, nuts and seeds can burn because they have a very high oil content.

ASSEMBLE

Add the wild rice to a large bowl. Add the squash and the toasted nuts, seeds and cranberries. Stir everything in the bowl gently, incorporating all the ingredients. Taste and see if you need to add more seasonings. Serve immediately.

 

 

Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon

Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon

Dee this one is for you.

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Asparagus with parsley and shaved parmesan

I love my friends. I am even so grateful that God put some incredible women in my life. I have women that have been in my life for over 3 decades. They have celebrated life with me and some of my most tragic times. These ladies have loved me unconditionally. They understand me and allow me to just be Lisa, without depends. I am so grateful for that more than anything.

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We all wrote a blessing on this card for her.

Yesterday I was able to throw a birthday brunch for one of those beautiful souls, Dee Armstead. I met Dee when we both were going through a very hard time in our lives, we both had lost our moms and we were there for each other. We kept each other afloat. She loves me for me, she builds me up and never tears me down. This is 14 year friendship and I can honestly say these words about her.

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Dee is the fabulous one in the linen pants

Dee is a big giver. When I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday and she said, Lisa I want to do something that will inspire and empower women. This is her gift, Dee inspires others, so I want this to be really special. So, I decided to do one of my Coming Home to You workshop brunches. I filled the whole entire brunch and exercises with positive affirmations, deep breathing technique , meditation and a lifestyle behavioral coaching exercise. The ladies were very inspired and the best part, my Dee was happy and pleased with the outcome.

God is amazing in how he works. There were many components in planning such a brunch, because it is not just about beautiful table settings and food, but helping people move passed the things that get in the way of connecting again themselves and what is next in there lives.

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Follow your Dreams

Dee trust me, she never once asked me, what I was planning. This is how you now it is God, she closed it out with a speech of gratitude and gave each of her guest, a beautiful frame with the most inspiring words that went along side the workshop’s entire message. “Allow ALL life to move though you, let go of fear and embrace love.”

One of the best things I got a chance to teach my granddaughter how to Set the Table with Love. She pressed napkins, linens, we made floral arrangements, and made the prettiest table settings. We had a blast.

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Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon Homemade Floral Arrangement adds a special touch.

Thanks Dee for being one of my dearest friends and allowing your light to ignite my light within. Love you.

The menu was vegetarian. I wanted to share recipes with everyone that was simple, easy, delicious and healthy . The chai muffins were gluten free and one of my favorite recipes, we served the muffins with a simple ginger and cardamom butter.

The menu included:

Blueberry and Lemon scones with lemon sugar

Chai Muffins made by my bestie, Kristina Millsaps

Frittata Muffins with cheddar cheese and parmesan

Roasted Asparagus with parsley and parmesan

Roasted Potatoes with herbs and parmesan

Strawberry Basil Rosé Lemonade punch

Chocolate Oolong Tea

Coffee

Guests Favorite:

I want to share with you one of the recipes that was one the favorites. I will share the other recipes, including that incredible punch later this week. Enjoy this one.

Roasted Asparagus 

Ingredients:

1 pound asparagus

A bunch of parsley leaves

Fine sea salt, ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan shavings

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400.

Trim away the bottom third of each asparagus stalk.

Put the asparagus on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, top with parsley. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until slightly tender, about 10 -15 minutes. Just before serving, add shaved parmesan.

 

 

 

Galettes ~ Easy ways to Celebrate Summer’s bounty

A galette is probably one of the easiest ways, I know how to celebrate summer fruits. Today I am sharing my Summer and Fall versions of my favorite dessert, The Galette. Sometimes you need to enjoy a little sweet treat and I love dessert. The truth is, I look at the dessert menu first, when I go out for dinner. It determines what I will order for my main course. I believe,  Dessert first, makes life a little sweeter. These easy recipes will open your mind up to the possibilities of the rustic beauty and elegance of this humble tart.

Today after Mother’s Day I was thinking of my mom and all those southern dishes she use to make for us growing up. My mom always inspires my cooking and baking. I just like to take a more healthier route, but dessert, forget about it. Indulge a little.

Here is a basic galette recipe that I love to use. This is my favorite go to recipe by the one and only Chef Jacques Pepin. You can find this recipe here  Basic Galette Recipe

 

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Sea Salted Caramel Apple Galette
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Sea Salted Caramel Apple Galette

This recipe is for an Apple Galette.

Pastry

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice water
Apples

3 Green apples
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey, preferably wildflower
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For my  Sea Salted Caramel Apple Galette, I used the same basic galette recipe, and treated my apples according to Chef Jacques Pepin’s recipe. I just decided to make a homemade caramel to drizzle over it.

Sea Salted Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoon water
1/4 cup butter, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon William Sonoma fine grey sea salt

Directions:

Add sugar, cream of tartar and water to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture begins to caramelize. Use a rubber spatula to gentle stir occasionally until mixture reaches a honey color.

Reduce heat to medium-low, continue to cook until mixture turns a deep amber, roughly 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat, immediately whisk in vanilla and butter. Whisk in cream and sea salt.

Cool slightly in pan before pouring into glass storage or a bowl for immediate use.

Cool completely before covering and chilling. Warm before using.

I drizzled this over my Galette once it cooled.

Directions for Pastry and Apple Recipe

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar, salt and butter and process for about 5 seconds. Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture and process until the pastry just begins to come together, about 10 seconds; you should still be able to see small pieces of butter in it. Transfer the pastry to a work surface, gather it together and pat into a disk. Wrap the pastry in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate until chilled. (You can also roll out the pastry and use it right away.)
  2. Peel, halve and core the apples and slice them crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Set aside the larger center slices and coarsely chop the end slices and any broken ones; about half of the slices should be chopped. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-by-14-inch rectangle and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread the chopped fruit over the pastry to within 1 inch of the edge.  If you are using blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, no need to chop them, just lay them in the center of the galette.
  4. Drizzle the honey over the fruit. Decoratively arrange the apple slices on top in concentric circles or in slightly overlapping rows. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the apples and dot with the pieces of butter.
  5. Bake the galette for about 1 hour, until the pastry is nicely browned and crisp and all of the apples are tender. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the galette cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Galette OPTIONS:

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Georgia Peach and Blueberry Galette

 

For my Peach and Blueberry galette. The galette recipe is the same. I just added the peaches in the pastry as you would do the apples. I made the blueberries sauce separated. It is so simple to make my  Blueberry Sauce. Just three ingredients, that’s it.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed
1 cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Combine the blueberries and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Add 1 cup of water, the lemon juice to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature. The cooling will allow it to thicken more. You can use it soon as it cool or cover and refrigerate for later.

 

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Strawberry Galette

For my Strawberry Galette, you can use the same galette recipe. I sliced my strawberries added them to a bowl with organic sugar and a little lemon juice and pinch of cardamom. Cardamom does something magical to strawberries.  Add the strawberries into the pastry and fold the edges and bake. These are mini galettes, so you do not have to share. LOL. 🙂

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Story ~ Breakfast in Bed Ideas

I love Mother’s Day. I have two boys, one 29 and my youngest is 15. I have two grandchildren, I adore and could get up with a biscuit and some gravy. They are truly yummy. My favorite thing growing up as child was to think about how I was going to make my mom feel special for Mother’s Day. Of course, I did the usually cards with macaroni glued to them and flowers, candy and little things I made with popsicles sticks. Okay, I need to confess soon as I wrote, macaroni, I thought about my mom’s cheesy, buttery, gooey macaroni and cheese, bubbling over in her special mac and cheese glass bowl. So where were we? Yes, Mother’s Day. One year I came up with the idea to make my mom, breakfast in bed.  Now granted I was about 9 years old and I never really cooked a meal all by myself, but I was determined to do this for her.

I went into the kitchen very quietly. I made sure not to make a sound. I remember opening up the fridge and getting out,  bacon, eggs, butter and the orange juice. Yes. I was going to make my mom, a good old southern, bacon and eggs breakfast. I put on a cup of coffee, aka, hot water and Folgers, put the cast iron skillet on the stove and added the bacon. It smelled so good, but it was making too much noise, so I closed the kitchen door.

I added the eggs to the skillet, with lots of butter, just the way my mom did.  Well, maybe too much, but hey I was 9. I cracked the eggs, very gently into a bowl and used a fork to gently whisk them. I was doing something. I felt like my mom, for just a moment. I remember my little sister and brother getting up. I pulled them in the kitchen and demanded they keep quiet. We made our brother sit at the table quietly and my sister made the toast and poured the juice.

All of a sudden I hear footsteps. I wanted to cry.  Oh no, it will not be a surprise anymore, I thought. But, it was my dad. He open the door very slowly. It seemed as if, it took forever for him to open that door and for me to see, it was Dad, not Mom.

He asked with a smile on his face, What are you guys doing? We replied, Making mom breakfast. He left out and said, Okay, carry on.

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My grandson Mikey
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My oldest son Bernard and granddaughter Naleyla
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My granddaughter Naleyla
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My husband, Joseph, my youngest son,  Tyler and my granddaughter Naleyla

It was almost done. I had my sister run into the dining room and get a pretty tray from our china cabinet. We got a rose from my Dad’s rose garden and put it in a nice vase. I was so proud of that breakfast. The toast was a little burnt and the the bacon on the crispier side, but my eggs were awesome. We carried the tray to her bed and the best thing about that day that I remember, is my mom’s face when she say we had made her breakfast in bed.

Just writing this makes me cry. She has been gone for 14 years now and I miss her as though it was yesterday, when she left this Earth. She kissed me, my sister and brother and said, Thank  you so much, this makes mama feel special. But I remember the special look in her eyes she gave me. She was so proud of me, she knew how much this meant to me.  I will never forget that look as long as I live. She ate that breakfast as though it came from a five star restaurant. This is properly where my love of cooking for those I love comes from.  The day I first Set the Table with Love for my Mama.

Thanks everyone for taking time out to read this post. I usually don’t write long. I just get to the recipes, but that will change. I believe setting the table with love, is much more than just good healthy food, it’s about expressing love and that love being experienced through food.

Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂

Check out these links for some yummy Mother’s Day breakfast and brunch idea.

Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Waffles

Southern Style Biscuits No Lard Needed Sorry Mom

Caramelized Pears with Homemade Granola

Gigi’s Fluffy Pancakes with Nutella Almonds and Chocolate Chips

 

Spring is almost here: Is it time to Detox?

A spring cleanse is an important regimen, no matter how healthy you are. Our bodies need a good cleansing from the previous diet of the winter. In the winter months we tend to get less exercise and we eat heavier, fattier and more comfort foods. Our metabolism slows down as much as 10%, so we have to get it back up and running. A detox can get that metabolism back up and ready to go for the warmer months ahead.

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JUICING

Today I will share a video and a few recipes on how I like to do my Spring detox. I would advice, before starting and new nutritional or exercise regimen to speak to your health care professional first.

One of my favorite ways to detox, is to drink vegetable broth in the morning. Here’s simple and nutritional vegetable broth you can try at home. I also like to juice during my detox, carrot juice is my favorite and provides results, quickly.

I hope this video will give you a few tips and enjoy the recipes below. Remember, to always Set the Table with Love.  I start with a salad for lunch here’s a great salad recipe already on the blog, https://setthetablewithlove.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/warm-beet-green-apple-and-trio-lentil-salad/

 

Ingredients:

Vegetable Broth

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium onions, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

10 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small fennel bulb, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 head of garlic, halved crosswise

6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns,

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Sea salt to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add 4 quarts cold water.  Add spices. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until stock is reduced by half, 1-1 1/2 hours.
Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids.

I drink this stock each morning. I drink it like a tea. You can also add lentils, an egg or other legumes to boost the protein.

Carrot Juice

Simple. Juice 5 carrots and enjoy. To boost the juice, to help with your immune system add1/2 tsp of turmeric at the bottom of the glass, then juice the carrots.

 

 

 

Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin spice muffins with a pumpkin seed and walnut crumble

Butternut squash, pumpkins, cinnamon, crumble, Fall, Autumn!  This is me screaming all the things I love about this time of the year and cooking.  My favorite things baking for my friends and family. I feel like cooking and baking for those you love is one of my most rewarding things I can do for someone.

I got to bake these yummy muffins for one of my friends and fellow yogi, Amanda, because it was her birthday.  Amanda is the manager and one of the amazing yoga teachers at the studio I teach at in our community. The studio is incredible, owned by the cutest and coolest couple, Kevin and Megan Kearney, you have to check it out, Ebb and Flow Yoga and Surf.

img_4433Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin spice muffins with a pumpkin seed and walnut crumble

Okay back to these muffins. I usually make my own gluten free flour, but this morning I decided to use one of my back up flours when I am in a hurry. I found that, this Pillsbury Gluten Free flour works great, when making muffins. When you are making gluten free baked goods, not every flour blend is going to work. So make sure the flour blend you are using, works well with what you are making. I will talk about this more soon, but check out on the blog my recipes for gluten free flours to make cakes, cookies, pancakes and muffins.

This recipe definitely will remind you of the upcoming holidays, it is packed out with those delicious spices we love during this time of the year, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. I you will not be able to eat just one, I bet ya! 🙂

Enjoy and remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

Ingredients:

MUFFINS
Make flax eggs ~  2  tbsp flax seed ground meal, plus 1/2 cup water
1 can pumpkin puree
2/3 cup organic cane sugar and 1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract 

2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2  tsp clove

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend
3/4 cup almond milk

CRUMBLE
3 tbsp organic brown sugar
3 1/2 tbsp gluten free flour
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 2 tbsp of chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cup tbsp olive oil
pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease muffin tin. Dust with gluten free flour and shake off excess.
Add flax and water  together into a large bowl( this is your egg substitute). Let set for 5 minutes. Next, add pumpkin purée, organic cane sugar, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla extract and whisk for one minute.
Stir in baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and mix. Add milk and whisk. Add the gluten free flour and stir until just combined. The batter should be thick and slightly wet, but with form and it able to be scoop into the muffin tins, easily. You do not want dry batter, dry batter will make very dense muffins.
Divide batter into the muffin tins. You will need to fill them to the top,  they will not rise very much.

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Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin spice muffins with a pumpkin seed and walnut crumble

FOR THE CRUMBLE

In a mixing bowl, add crumble ingredients. Use your hand to mash the ingredients together, until crumbly like wet sand. Generously top muffins with streusel.
Bake for  about 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick or knife comes out completely clean.
Let cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin, then gently remove and cool completely on a cooling rack, before serving. Enjoy and Share. 🙂

Spicy Saffron Sweet Potato Soup

Who says, you can not eat sweet potato soup in the heat of summer? This soup is spicy but very cooling because of the base of coconut milk. It is also has a nice sweet, smoky and just plan delish. The saffron gives it a touch of elegance. Some things are just worth the price and saffron is one of those.

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Spicy Saffron Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced, put 1/2 cup to the side for garnish

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup red onions, diced

2 garlic clove, crushed

pinch saffron threads

1 tsp smoked chili

1 cup of coconut milk

1/2 cup organic vegetable broth

1 1/2 tbsp organic honey

1  tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp fennel seeds

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Salt and Pepper to taste.

A few saffron threads for garnish. If it suits your fancy. 🙂

Directions~

In a large pot add enough water to cover the diced sweet potatoes. Cook on a medium high heat, until tender.  Remember to put 1/2 cup of the diced sweet potatoes to the side to sauté for your garnish.

Garnish:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook the 1/2 cup sweet potatoes, red onions and red bell peppers, stirring, until soft. Add the garlic and the saffron; cook, stirring. Add 1/2 smoked paprika, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt. Stir and cook for a minute to incorporate the spices. Set the garnish mixture to the side.

Soup:

Take the boiled sweet potatoes and drain them in a strainer. Add the sweet potatoes to a blender, Vitamix or Ninja. Add the remaining ingredients, milk, honey, vegetable broth and spices. Blend until smooth. Add the soup to a pot and warm up, if needed. Add the soup to serving bowls; top with the sweet potato garnish and Enjoy!