I’ve fallen behind on my posts about the Oh She Glows challenge. It’s not that I haven’t been busily making four new recipes a week – in fact, I’ve been doing even more than that! It’s just that the process of making the food, photographing it, editing those photos, and then posting it all has been challenging these days. Not to mention, I’ve been wanting to focus more on sharing my own personal recipes with you 🙂 So many cooking goals, so little time!
Luckily, all the recipes I’ve made from the #osgcookbook this past week (and a half) have been super simple, easy, and rewarding, so they fit right into the busy schedule. I think that is what I like best about this book. The food is straight forward. I remember when I first began there were some unfamiliar ingredients – hemp seeds, arrowroot powder, and brown rice flour, to name a few. Similarly, there were a few techniques I had to get the hang of, like blending my own almond and oat flour and processing soaked cashews to make ‘cream.’ All of it is second nature to me now, and even the ingredients I considered ‘expensive,’ now seem reasonable in the grand scheme of things. I no longer spend money on cheese, dairy, or meat, so spending 5$ a week on cashews doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore. I can honestly say that after a few investments in items I didn’t have in my pantry, my grocery bill has returned to normal and is the exact same or less than it was before I changed my eating habits to a plant-based diet.
Just another note on how effortless this diet and cookbook have become, all the recipes posted here were made from ingredients I already had on-hand. I didn’t have to go out and get anything, because a lot of the recipes rely on a basic foundation of items that become staples in your kitchen when you start to eat healthier. If you’ve got some tomatoes, avocados, and chia seeds kicking around, you’re halfway to being ready to make your own batches of these four recipes!
Cream of Tomato Soup
This soup called for you to purée a can of tomatoes, along with some other ingredients, and then heat the liquid up just a bit. I was skeptical, as I usually sauté all my soup ingredients before adding any liquid or puréeing them. I was extra concerned because I was using 4 raw plum tomatoes instead of canned ones. I wondered how good a soup could taste when most of the ingredients were practically raw. The answer is that they taste incredibly vibrant, fresh, and energizing! I am so glad I fought the temptation to sauté those tomatoes, because I would have ended up with a soup that tasted like every other soup out there. Instead, I got to experience this, which I would describe and a warmed up gazpacho, if that makes any sense 😛 In addition to the chickpea croutons, I pan fried some cubed olive bread in a little olive oil and sprinkled those into the soup. Delicious! Oh and don’t skip the fresh basil garnish. Brings the whole thing together and makes it taste like summer in a bowl!
Homemade Vegetable Broth
Perhaps part of the reason why the Cream of Tomato Soup was so darn good, was that I made it using this Homemade Vegetable Broth. I had never made homemade broth before, but I was very curious to try since chefs always tell you it is sooooo superior to store bought. Well, I have to say, they aren’t just being snobby. It really is better. It also is just a really nice, relaxing, and fulfilling experience to bubble away some broth on the stove for a couple of hours. I was studying all week for a big exam I had to take for professional licensing purposes, and it was very soothing to study at the kitchen table while this broth was cooking. All in all, I made about 8-9 cups of broth, following the recipe and letting it simmer uncovered. I used just 2 cups for the tomato soup and froze the rest. I can’t wait to make another soup with it!
Morning Glory Smoothie
This is a lot like the smoothies I made years ago when I first started making them. In fact, I think it will remind most people of a really ‘classic’ fruit smoothie, so if you still haven’t gotten on the smoothie band-wagon, try this one as a great introductory lesson! There are no real surprises here, it’s made with strawberries and bananas and tastes accordingly. I liked it, but I’m still a die-hard green smoothie gal, so I’ll go right back to my favorite Glowing Mojo-hito that you can read about here.
Out-the-door Chia Power Doughnuts
I do not own a doughnut pan so I made these in a muffin tin and they turned out fine. They don’t form a domed top like a real muffin, but that’s no big deal. I like the taste of these, and they are very simple and easy to make. They freeze well too, so all-around they are a convenient on-the-go breakfast item. My issue is with the chia seeds. Like the chia bread I made a few weeks ago, I find the seeds acquire a slightly slimy texture that I just can’t handle. Sorry! I know a lot of people love these, and I can honestly understand why. They just are not for me. Nor is baking with chia.