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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Last Days of Summer

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and blogged. I’ve missed it, but life has been crazy busy yet amazing! I can’t wait to tell you about it, but today isn’t the day. Today I’m going to tell you about our last few days of Summer break.

We decided to stay home the last week of the summer because the weather forecast didn’t look favorable and who wants to pay to stay in a hotel room watching TV? We can do that at home. We didn’t get all the rain they called for, and if it did, it was pleasant most evenings.

Inspired by one of our visits to an Inn, I decided to do something we have never done before. Have a movie by the fire pit. If you ever did that, you know how awesome that is. We don’t have a screen and projector, just either a phone or computer and Netflix. It’s been a lot of fun, and I really don’t want our movies by the fire to end. So, fingers crossed, Friday and Saturday will be movie night firepit night with some campfire eats.

Everyone thinks about the typical hot dogs and roasting marshmallows, maybe some s’ mores when they are cooking on the campfire, but have you thought about taking it one step further? The options are endless. We live in the city, and if we can come up with some very yummy meals, so can you! In my mind, anything you can do in the kitchen, you can do on the campfire. It is riskier, because:

1. There will be hot spots that could burn your food.

2. Can’t have the flame too high, or you’ll burn your food.

3. You need to watch the food more closely or you will burn it.

4. You have less control over your food because it’s easier to burn the food.

I’m sure there are other things you need to consider, just use common sense.

You might be asking me, if it’s so difficult to cook meals on the firepit, then why bother? That’s a great question, and my answers are, but not limited to:

  1. It’s fun.
  2. I’m hanging out with my family and talking.
  3. I’m always up for a challenge. When people say it’s impossible, I’m like “hold my wine”, and show them differently.
  4. I live in Canada, and it’s cold and snowy here for 10-11 months out of the year. I need the fresh air.
  5.  The food tastes better, even if I do burn it a little.

I don’t have a proper grill on my firepit, so do you know what I’m using? A cooling rack that somewhat fits and is stable enough for me to put dishes on. We need to get more campfire friendly cookware, but for now, we have a few cast iron skillets, and aluminum foil and containers. It’s all about making it work NOT making work.

Let me know what you like to make on the grill (VEGAN only), share any tips you may have. If you have never watched a movie outside by the fire, do yourself a favour and DO IT!

Below are the links to the meals we have cooked. If it’s not my recipe, there will be another link back to the original post so you can see how they’ve made it (it’s delicious the way they make it as well, I’m just being little Extra).

 

Campfire Corn and Baked Potatoes with Roasted Garlic.

 

 

(this photo is of our grilled cheese and tofu sandwich)

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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

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? 

Back To School Lunch Round Up

Unfortunately it’s getting to be that time where we need to figure out what to make our kids for lunch. The school my kids go to had a microwave for the kids to heat their lunches, but because the school keeps getting bigger the lunch room is no longer available, the kids eat their lunch in their classrooms. Sadly no more heat up lunches allowed. My kids get sick of sandwiches every day, and I loose my creativity sometimes. Thinking outside of the box is important when crafting a lunch that your kids will eat and won’t trade, or throw in the garbage.

  1. Baked Tofu. This would hold up well in their lunch kits. I could see this over rice, as pictured, or in a wrap, over some noodles. Book mark this one for your go to baked tofu. Photo credit goes to Sarah from Fried Dandelions.

fdbakedtofu

2. White bean and artichoke sandwich filling. To switch things up a bit, I’d be tempted to make her burger recipe (that inspired this recipe) and see if it would hold up- read- keep warm. Photo credit goes to Mel from A Virtual Vegan.

white-bean-artichoke-vegan-sandwich-filling-7

3. Chickpea and vegetable picnic hand pies. These would be fun to eat. I think there’ll be lots of hand pies in our future, both savoury and sweet! Photo credit goes to Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes.

vegetable picnic pies

4. Easy quinoa and cheese patties.  These look really good, don’t you think? Photo credit goes to Nico from Yumsome.

easy-quinoa-and-cheese-patties-5

5. Vegan Chickpea Mayonnaise Salad Sandwich. Who doesn’t love chickpeas? Photo credit goes to Rhian’s Recipes.

RRCP
6. Grilled green Goddess Wraps. Looks so fresh! Photo credit goes to Rebecca from Strength and Sunshine.


7. Egg free deviled potatoes. This is a nice treat. Photo credit goes to Monica from The Hidden Veggies.


8. Easy vegan tofu lettuce wraps. The kids can easily assemble this at lunch time. Photo credit goes to Vegan Chickpea.

 


9. Weeknight pasta in a flash. Leftovers are perfect for lunches, double the batch :). Photo credit goes to Jacquline from Tinned Tomatoes.


10. Air Fryer Carrot Falafel with Tahini Sauce. I love air fryer recipes don’t you? Photo credit goes to Choclette from Tin and Thyme.

11. Buffalo tahini quinoa and rice wraps. I could eat this every day! Photo credit goes to Rebecca from Strength and Sunshine.

12. Buffalo chickpea salad sandwich.  This would be great on freshly made bread. Photo credit goes to Karissa.

13. Vegan asparagus and sun-dried tomato quiche. I’m not a fan of crust in any quiche dish, I would enjoy this without it. Photo credit goes to Nico from Yumsome.

14. Roasted Cauliflower Chimichurri. Another great way to use cauliflower!! Photo credit goes to Kate from Root + Revel.


That gives you more than 2 weeks worth of main meals for school lunches. Now for the treats! I wish you could see the look of surprise on your childs face(s) when he/she opens up their lunch kits. Although you don’t need to wait to make these delicious treats!

Mint Chocolate Truffle Larabar Bites. She had me at mint chocolate. *drooling*. Photo credit goes to Melanie from A Virtual Vegan.

Rainbow popcorn. Seriously, how fun is this? Photo credit goes to Sarah from Fried Dandelions.

Protein Donuts. I don’t know about your kids, but mine love it when I surprise them with donuts. Photo credit goes to Olivia from Lettuce Liv.

Peanut Butter cups. I’ve made this a few different ways. Huge hit with the kids.

Tess Challis wrote A Dozen Healthy (and Easy) Snacks Your Kids Won’t Hate.  for Vegan Pregnancy and Parenting. After your finished reading the article, browse the website. It has everything you wanted or needed to know about raising vegan kids.

I hope you found this round up useful. What are your go to school lunches?