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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Purple Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Coconut Cream

I will make this blog, quick and sweet. But don’t get that twisted. The flavor will still be explosive. I will let the recipe do the talking. I have this recipe in an earlier blog, but I used butternut squash and regular sweet potatoes. I  decided with this recipe to use purple sweet potatoes, instead. Boy, I could not wait for this soup to be done, for one reason only,  outside of tasting it, the color. Purple soup! Yes! Purple soup. 

Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Soup

Remember to Set the Table with Love. 

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Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large sweet purple potato, peeled and small cubes

1/2 cup onions, peeled

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp thyme leaves

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 cup vegetable broth or more for consistency

1 tbsp maple syrup

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Coconut Maple Cream

1/2 cup canned coconut milk, you want the cream part of the milk. Refrigerating the coconut milk will make it more solid.

1 tsp maple syrup

Directions:

In large saucepan on medium heat, add the olive oil.  Add purple sweet potatoes. Stir and cook for 10 minutes or more, until soften. Add onions and garlic. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add fennel, thyme and spices. Stir.  Add vegetable broth. Turn up heat and allow to come to a boil. Turn off the heat and remove the pot and allow the soup to cool down, before adding to the Vitamix.

Prepare Coconut Maple Cream.

In a food processor add coconut cream, maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. Process until smooth.  Do not over process the coconut cream, where it liquifies. You want it to be smooth like a whipped cream.  Place in a bowl and set in the fridge.

Once the soup has cooled down.  Add the soup to your Vitamix or blender. Blend until smooth. Add the tbsp of maple syrup and blend.  If the soup is too thick add a little more vegetable broth. Taste it for seasonings. Add more sea salt or pepper, to taste.

Add the soup back into a sauce pan to heat up. Heat the soup up on medium heat, while constantly stirring. Remove from heat. Serve immediately in your favorite soup bowl. Add the coconut maple cream in the middle of the soup and garnish with thyme leaves.

Food can be healing art ~ Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

I love to eat. I love food. I love flavorful food. I love the smells of different spices. My best friend Tami laughs at how I cook. I take my spices and I smell them each. I can tell by the smells which spice will pair well with the next to bring out the best in the ingredients the will be adorning.

I started to soup out with wanted to make a Thai Sweet Potato soup. I love Thai food but I am very allergic to lemongrass. Yes, I could eliminated the lemongrass, but I wanted something authentic. So I went with Garam Masala. Garam Masala is broken down as this, garam means (“hot”) and masala means (a mixture of spices) is a blend of ground spices common in North Indian and other South Asian cuisines. It is used as an every day season, just as we use season salt, but healthier.  The word garam refers to “heat” in the Ayurvedic, meaning “to heat the body”. These seasonings elevate body temperature. This is one reason why I love Garam Masala, it has healing properties ,because of the spices and herbs to are used to make it.  The seasoning recipe can be different just a bit according to the region. In my recipe I used Simply Organic Garam Masala, which includes cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper and coriander. You could make your own if you like, but this is a very good one that is just enough spice for me.

This soup was made for one or two servings. It’s Vegan and get’s its creaminess from the coconut milk. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have today for lunch.

Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup 

* This is a rough recipe, off the top of my head, LOL. I would suggest adding the vegetable broth and coconut milk a little at a time and blending, if you need more, use more based of your preference of thickness.  Enjoy!! 

1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped

1 1/2 cup organic vegetable, maybe more if you like it a little thin

1/2 cup creamy coconut milk ( canned ), you want the creamy part of the coconut milk, not the water

1 tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil ( but melted coconut oil)

1 tbsp. organic maple syrup

1 tbsp. garam masala

1/2 – 1  tsp. cayenne pepper, based on your spicy preference. I used 1/2 tsp.

1/2 tsp. sea salt

coconut milk whipped for garnish and a sprig of mint

Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

On a cookie sheet place two layers of parchment paper and add the chopped sweet potato. You can add oil and maybe salt, if you like during the cooking process, but I just put my potatoes on the parchment paper and baked on 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until tender.

In a blender, Vitamix or Ninja, add all the ingredients, starting with the potatoes. except the whipped coconut and mint. Blend thoroughly, until all ingredients are smooth. If it’s too thick add more vegetable broth and a little of the coconut milk. Just a little at at time. Blend and add to a pot, warm it up on a medium heat , stir and pour into a bowl.

I added the rest of my coconut milk, some maple syrup and a little sea salt in my Ninja. Blended it all together and you have a nice whipped coconut cream. I drizzled it over my soup making these designs and added a sprig of mint.

Set the Table with Love and Eat Soup! 🙂