Cheesy Broccoli Mac Soup from the cookbook Vegan Mac & Cheese

Robin Robertson’s latest cookbook Vegan Mac & Cheese debuted on Sept 17, 2019, which is the perfect timing because we are all wanting comfort food as the weather gets colder. Robin’s book contains more than 50 delicious Plant-Based recipes for the ultimate comfort food. You read that number correctly.

Vegan Mac and Cheese Cover

I’m a fan of mac and cheese, but I think I’ve only made it a few different ways, and usually change up the veggies I mix in with it. When I saw the book available for pre-order a few months ago, I knew I needed to order it.

At the beginning of the book, there’s a story about the mac and cheese. Where you might find mac and cheese in restaurants (Montreal is listed), there’s a listing of various pasta, sauces, mix in’s and add in’s. I didn’t know there were so many options. She does say, think outside the box, and she shows us how.

The book has five chapters: Basic Vegan Mac & Cheese, Global Cheesy Macs, Mac and Veggies, Meaty Macs, and Fun with Mac & Cheese. Some of the names of the recipes are Mom’s Baked Mac Uncheese, Mac and Thai, Brussels and Bacon Cheesy Mac, Shepard’s Mac, Cheesy Mac Mug, Cheesy Mac Muffins and a recipe what I will be sharing called Cheesy Broccoli Mac soup.

The recipes are easy to make. Some will take longer than others to make, but I’m pretty sure all recipes take 30 minutes or less. I haven’t made all of them, but when looking through the book, that’s the feeling I get. The ingredients called for are real; I didn’t see anything that I couldn’t get from a regular grocery store. Now, if you are not familiar with Nutritional Yeast, vegan Worcestershire sauce, or tempeh, it might take you a little longer to find those items, but you can find them pretty much anywhere either online or at a large chain store.

Everyone loves food pictures, and in my opinion, there are lots of beautiful colourful photographs in the book. I counted at least 30. They will make you drool.

One last thought before I share a recipe with you is, you don’t need any fancy equipment. You will need a blender, but any blender will do because Robin created recipes that everyone can make and not be limited. I love my kitchen toys and playing around, but this is a straight forward, easy to make recipe cookbook. Don’t get me wrong the book is fun and creative; and the last chapter is entertaining because of the imagination that went into it.

Make sure to read to the end, because I am thrilled to be offering a giveaway of Robin Robertson’s book, Vegan Mac & Cheese. Thank you Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.
The only thing better than mac and cheese with broccoli or a bowl of creamy broccoli soup, is Cheesy Broccoli Mac soup. That there is the ultimate cozy sweater comfort food. When I made it the other day, I complicated the recipe. I forgot the cashews, which added more time. I also made everything from scratch. I would make this again, but I would use leftover pasta to turn into a new dish. The kids or fussy partner who never eats leftovers will never know our little secret.

Recipe and images reprinted with permission by Vegan Mac & Cheese by Robin Robertson © 2019 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.

Cheesy Broccoli Mac Soup

Cheesy Broccoli Mac Soup

 

Cheesy broccoli soup is a cold weather favorite in our house, so it was a no-brainer to try it made with leftover mac uncheese. The results were so good, this is now our go-to way to make it. We especially like that the broth isn’t too thick (which it often is in cheesy soups). If you prefer a thicker broth, simply use less vegetable broth. To make this recipe without leftovers, I suggest using the quick and easy recipe for One-Pot Cheesy Mac (page 39).Vegan Mac & Cheese by Robin Robertson © 2019 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.

 

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups (960 ml) vegetable broth
  • 3 cups (weight varies) leftover or homemade mac uncheese
  • 11/2 cups (340 g) Cheddary Sauce 
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) plain unsweetened nondairy milk 
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt, to taste 
  • Ground black pepper, to taste  
  • 2 cups (160 g) steamed small broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup (32 g) Nut Parm 

 

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the mac uncheese and then add the Cheddary Sauce, stirring until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add the milk and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until hot.
  6. Stir in the broccoli and serve hot, sprinkled with the Nut Parm.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

 

Cheddary Sauce

 

Use this flavorful sauce to make the Philly Cheesesteak Mac (opposite) or as the base for virtually any mac un-cheese you like. The sauce is also great drizzled over your favorite roasted vegetables, baked potatoes, or nachos. Vegan Mac & Cheese by Robin Robertson © 2019 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.

 

  • 1 cup (140 g) unsalted raw cashews
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 of a small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (20 g) nutritional yeast, plus more as needed 
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 11/2 teaspoons white miso paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup (240 ml) plain unsweetened nondairy milk, or water

 

  1. In a saucepan, combine the cashews, potato, carrot, onion, garlic, and salt with enough water to cover. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked vegetables and cashews to a high-speed blender, reserving the cooking water.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides, as needed. Add as much of the reserved cooking water as needed to achieve the consistency you prefer for the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as needed. The sauce is now ready to use.

Makes about 4 cups (900 g)

Nut Parm

 

Keep a supply of this condiment on hand to shake on your favorite mac uncheese (or other pasta dishes) with abandon. Vegan Mac & Cheese by Robin Robertson © 2019 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.

 

  • 1 cup (145 g) unsalted blanched almonds, or (140 g) unsalted raw cashews 
  • 1/3 cup (20 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

 

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture has a fine crumbly texture, stopping to scrape down the sides, as needed. Transfer to a shaker jar or other container with a tight lid. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 11/3 cups (about 170 g

Click here for contest. Must be 18 and older to enter and reside in the US or Canada. Contest ends at 12 midnight on Oct 30, 2019 Mountain time. We will be contacting the winner on Oct 31, 2019. The winner will have 24 hours to contact us back. If the winner does not contact us with in 24 hours, we will be drawing another name.
Good Luck!

 

 

 

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Baked 3.14

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Disclaimer* Baked 3.14 is NOT a vegan place; however, EVERY single pizza on the menu can be made Vegan. They make their vegan mozzarella, parm and feta in house from scratch. They also offer Gluten-Free crust. All food photos in this post, are of course, vegan.

Baked 3.14 is a take out/delivery pizza joint located in Calgary, Alberta. There’s no seating inside unless you count the two-person table that looks uncomfortable to spend any length of time sitting. With that said, make sure you order your pizza about 30 minutes in advance, and it is one of the best pizzas you will ever eat.

Their slogan “Love at first slice” is a pretty bold statement. I’m not sure if it was love or Lust we experienced last night, but as daring as it may seem, it’s pretty accurate.

They have about 11 pizzas on the menu including Aloha Canada (Hawaiian). Eat Your Veg, which has spinach, black olives, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, banana peppers and mozzarella topped with freshly sliced tomatoes. Some other flavours are House Guest; which changes, Italian Job, Pep in Your Step, Olive Zeus. They also have sides such as the typical salad, breadsticks and unique items like Ballerz.

We did not order before we went to Baked 3.14, so we had 35 minutes to waste. Not being from Calgary or having any desires to drive around, we waited in the parking lot. Thankfully I downloaded a few movies on Netflix from when we were in Ontario, and a few didn’t expire. So, we watched Angry Birds while we waited. The built-in Taco Holder, in my car, works excellent to hold your phone so that everyone can enjoy a movie.

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We ordered the Eat Your Veg pizza with modifications because, hello I need pineapple on the Pi, plus I’m not a fan of black olives. The person working there was great and offered to modify the pizza anyway I wanted. I think he was team pineapple, or just professional and knew how to roll his “employee” eyes.

The crust was on the thin side, but the handle of the pizza; the part that there are no toppings on was a little thicker, crispy and totally dip worthy. They did not skimp on the toppings, and their housemade Vegan cheese was melty and pretty good. It didn’t leave an aftertaste as some vegan cheeses will.

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Since we were a half-hour into the movie, we decided to eat the pizza in the car and continued watching the show. The heat from the piping hot pizza caused the windows to fog, but we did not mind, we were in Lust.

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Facts in this post are accurate (to my knowledge) at the time of writing it. Before you head to Baked 3.14, please call them and do your research at 430-242-4432, @baked314 (IG not twitter) or their site www.baked314.com.

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What do you like on your pizza? Vegan toppings only please.

January Eats

January is the month for soups, slow cooking and fat free living. Who doesn’t love a good creamy potato soup? Or a cream of broccoli soup? And the slow cooker is the perfect way to make soups thats hands off. For a comprehensive list of recipes please visit Kathy over at Heathy Slow Cooking and Susan over at Fat Free Vegan.

Here’s a sampling of yummy, easy recipes to help start your January.

  1. Creamy Potato Soup will hit the spot. It’s made on the stove top, but it takes less than 30 mins to make, so you can have a healthful satisfying, effortless meal on your table before you know it, even on a night where you don’t have a lot of time to cook. Photo credit goes to Sam from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.

creamy-vegan-potato-soup

2. Easy Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup. Another soup that will be on your table from prep to cooked in 30 minutes or less. She has a vegan beef soup recipe link on her chicken noodle soup page that I’m wanting to try. Photo credit goes to Marly from Namely Marly.

3. Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup. Depending on how long it takes you to chop broccoli this soup can be on your table within 40-45 mins. It will be worth the wait. Photo credit goes to Shannon from Yep it’s Vegan.

4. Slow Cooker Whole Wheat Spelt Potato Rolls. Oh you read that right! Plus you need a good bun for your soup. Best part is it’s cooked in the slow cooker- brilliant. Photo credit goes to Kathy from Healthy Slow Cooking.

5. With only 144 calories per muffin- these Banana Date Walnut Muffins will hit the spot. Freeze some for a quick healthful grab and go breakfast. Photo credit goes to Susan from Fat Free Vegan.

If you are still wanting more recipes check out the following books:

Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons Paperback  by Nava Atlas.

Awesome Vegan Soups: 80 Easy, Affordable Whole Food Stews, Chilis and Chowders for Good Health Paperback  by Vanessa Croessmann.

Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You: More than 100 Delicious One-Pot Meals for Your 1.5-Quart/Litre Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester.

Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker: 200 Ultra-Convenient, Super-Tasty, Completely Animal-Free Recipes Paperback by Robin Robertson .

Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year  by  Del Sroufe.

If you would like any more recommendations or would like to recommend a book, contact me or leave a comment.

Hope you enjoy New Year’s resolution friendly January!!

xx

Happy Holidays

We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! We hope that your 2018 is even better than 2017. Think off the things you want to accomplish this New Year, write it down, and go for it. Dream big. Push out the negative thoughts, they will only hurt you. You are entitled to dream!

Want to lose weight? Cut out the toxic people in your life, and find a buddy to hit the gym with at least a few times a week or create a workout at home and connect with your buddy to hold each other accountable. Want to cook more meals at home? Set your kitchen up for success. Dust off your crockpot, that is going to be your BFF or invest in an InstantPot. Sit down and menu plan- or see what’s on sale and plan your meals around that. Prep your food the night before- you have this! Also, double the quantity and freeze half for later. Take a Sunday to prep veggies for the week. Don’t store them in some plastic container, invest in Mason Jars, trust me- your veggies stay fresh longer.

I have been MIA lately, but it’s all for a good cause. ME! Well, my family and I. We have moved into a larger space, now everyone has their own bedroom and bathroom!! We have less battles trying to get ready in the mornings. My kitchen is still half packed, same with my office, ok everything is still kinda packed. We’ve taken a few mini vacations in the last few months. Which was much needed.

We have BIG plans for 2018!! Not willing to share them yet- but I believe and will achieve the Year of Team Bloggins world domination! 🙂 Stay tuned to find out what the heck we’re up to!

Take care of yourself, stay safe and if you ever want to talk about recipes, or tips on how to stay on track or want advice on anything, head over to our page and contact us there. Or leave a comment here.

XOXO

Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just You by Kathy Hester Giveaway


I’ll admit, when I heard about this book, I was thinking, “Why Kathy? Why such small portions?” You have to understand that I am a lover of leftovers so it didn’t make sense to me. Feeling disappointed, I borrowed the book from the library and WOW!!!!! My feelings were way off the mark. This book is perfect, yes, you can double all the recipes if you want leftovers, but you can make more dishes, have more variety with smaller servings. I should’ve trusted my gut feeling that Kathy knows what she’s doing and doesn’t disappoint.

Like with all her books and recipes on her blog Healthy Slow Cooking, Healthy Slow Cooking for two to just you will have you making easy down to earth meals, snacks, sides, drinks and treats that are flavourful and doesn’t call for ingredients you have to turn to the google to research what it is. Don’t worry, if you are a new vegan she does explain things for you.

The book has 10 chapters.

1. The Little Slow Cooker That Can (that’s where you can find info on new to you ingredients).

2. Budget Rescuers: Easy DIY Staples. 16 DIY recipes including Italian seitan coins, a bunch of homemade spices, nut ricotta and more.

3. Morning Delights – Wake up to Breakfast. I’m making scrambled tofu breakfast burrito for tomorrow. There’s also oatmeal, French toast, polenta and tofu roasted vegetable hash to name a few. (Oh and it’s just not plain boring oatmeal or French toast either).

4. Dip Dinners: Appetizers or a Meal.  I bet the easier-than-pizza-dip is amazing!! She has a few other dips and a fondue and more.

5. Soul Satisfiers: Soups for all Seasons. Talk about comfort! 13 soups that basically make themselves. You can never go wrong with a minestrone, creamy celery soup, Autumn Harvest Veggie Soup would hit the spot after an afternoon of raking leafs.

6. International Eats: Stews, Curries and Chili. Unstuffed potatoes? Yes please!! Italian soy curls, clean-out-the-fridge curry, this chapter screams healthy comfort!

7. Tasty Fillings: Sandwiches, Tacos and More. Carolina BBQ soy curls, lentil quinoa taco filling, New England tofu rolls- they look like THE game night supper.

8. Family Favourites: One-Pot Pastas, Risotto and Pasta Sauces. Cheesy butternut squash macaroni, caulifredo, 3 different risotto recipes, AND no-more-jarred-pasta sauce!! If you read my pervious post you would know that I used my Slow Cooker only to heat up the jarred stuff many moons ago.

9. Vegan Squares: Full Meals Layered in the Slow Cooker. Tofu braised with Peas and Brussels Sprouts, all-in one Thanksgiving dinner, Italian seitan coins with mashed cauliflower and gravy. Yummy!!

10. Sweet Treats: Drinks, Syrup, Desserts. Chocolate chip cookie for 2, blueberry lemon cake, small batch of basic brownies.

Cooking for 1 or 2 people has never been easier. Just because you live solo or with a roommate or partner, and don’t have a family to feed doesn’t mean you can’t feed yourself well. (Put down those chips.)

All recipes are clearly labelled so you can easily glance to see if the recipe is gluten free, soy free or oil free.

Today, I’m not going to share a recipe with you BUT-I’m sharing a link to the blog tour that happened for her book. (A blog tour is basically a virtual book tour. People write a review, share a recipe and sometimes there’s a giveaway but not always within a month or two of the books release. Its fun!)

You can always purchase a copy for yourself or a friend here or go over to my giveaway page for full details on how you can enter for your chance to win Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just You.

What can’t you cook in your slow cooker?

 

The Vegan Slow Cooker Book Giveaway

“Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour” by Kathy Hester. 


This is the very first book I bought by Kathy. Before I came across her blog Healthy Slow Cooking, the only thing I used my crockpot for was jarred pasta sauce 😂. Sadly that’s a true story. Today I have 4 slow cookers and my Instant Pot has a slow cooking feature and I use them for everything except jarred sauce. 

There’s 8 chapters in this book. Slower cooker basics, Staples you’ll want to know: make your own bouillon, seitan, sauces and more, Simmering soups that cook while you’re away, Steamy stews and curries that save the day, Casseroles (and loaves) you wish your mother made, Easy to make pasta and grain dishes, Mouth watering meatless mains, Super easy side dishes, Sandwich, tortilla, and taco fillings, Beautiful breads NOT from your oven, Party Snacks that cook while your getting ready, Breakfast worth waking up for, Decadent desserts and delightful drinks. 

I never knew you could make bread and pizza in a slow cooker before I bought this book, I’ve been hooked on her recipes since then. One thing  you can always count on Kathy for is  easy, heathy, delicious recipes that everyone can enjoy!

All of the  recipes include the night before prep so all you have to do in the morning is put the ingredients in the crockpot and set the timer, go to work, run errands, or do chores- whatever you do in the day and come home to a house that smells wonderful and you have something  hot and healthy to eat. It takes all of 10 mins to prep nightly. One of my cheats is to figure out what I want to make for the week, chop all the veggies on a Sunday (it’s a day I don’t have to work) and store in mason jars. Boom- 1/2 hr to an hour of prep and that’s it!! 

With permission from Kathy Hester I’m able to share a recipe with you. Seriously- it doesn’t get any easier than this! I hope you enjoy. Also check out her recipes if you haven’t done so already- she’s the Master of the Slow Cooking! Don’t tell her I said that! 😉 
SLOW COOKER INDIAN SPICED CHICKPEA QUINOA STEW
by Kathy Hester

gluten-free, soy-free
INGREDIENTS

4 to 5 cups water

1 can diced tomatoes (or 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen)

1 can chickpeas, rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup red lentils

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 cup peeled turnip, chopped

1 cup sweet potato, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped (about 1 stalk)

1 tablespoon not-chicken bouillon

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons garam masala

salt, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

THE NIGHT BEFORE:

Chop veggies and store in the fridge.

IN THE MORNING:

Put everything in the slow cooker and cook on low 6 to 9 hours.

Taste, re-season if needed (you may not even need the salt if your bouillon is salty.)

RECIPE NOTES

This is a good one to make if you are going to be away from the house a little longer than usual. If your slow cooker runs hot add a little extra water if it will be cooking longer than 9 hours.

Now time for the giveaway! This is not a sponsored post. I just really enjoy this book so I’m having a new copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker book shipped to you!! Exciting right? Click HERE for the giveaway and rules. Good luck. 

What is the 1 slow cooker dish you want to learn how to make?