Saturday, December 17, 2011

Vegan Soup and Curry Sauce and the Vita-mix

We have been saving for about a year to purchase an appliance I have wanted for 10 years: a Vita-mix.  Our envelope was about $100.00 short when I showed up at Costco recently to find the Vita-mix demonstrator, AKA my new lover, demonstrating his special machine.  My heart a flutter, somewhere between instant full-fruit ice cream and fresh peanut butter, my lover exclaimed that he was selling his wares for exactly $100.00 less than the usual price.

I swooned.

And I bought one.  It's so pretty.

We have used it between two and ten times a day since.

And so, to share the love, I offer you two of my favorite daily Vita-mix recipes.

This first one has been my lunch since the Vita-mix graced us with its presence.  It is quick and filling and nutritious as all get out.

It is also very green so, unless your kids are a little weird -- like mine -- you might have to sell it to them before they try it.  Maybe start on St. Patrick's Day.

Artichoke Spinach Soup
serves 1 or 2

2-3 cups fresh spinach (you could use frozen if necessary)
a handfull of fresh basil or 1 t. dried basil
1/2 c. artichoke hearts (marinated in oil or water)
1/2 a small onion (or 1 T. dried onion in a pinch)
1-2 cloves garlic (or 1 t. garlic powder -- I like garlic -- others might want to adjust)
1/2 cube bouillon (I use Edwards & Sons because it is vegan and MSG-free) or 1 c. broth
1 medium carrot, cut into 3 sections
1/2 lime (peeled)
1-1.5 cups water (less if you use broth)

Optional add-ins:
corn
peas
lima beans
chickpeas

Optional garnish:
Sriracha Sauce or Tabasco Sauce

Place all ingredients except optional add-ins and Sauce in Vita-mix or blender.  Using the tamper, turn on your machine and quickly turn to high.  Once it is liquified, you can just let it go until it is hot (in a Vita-mix -- which takes 5-6 minutes) or you can transfer to a soup pot and warm up.  Once warm, add the optional add-ins.  Serve and squirt Sriracha or Tabasco Sauce on top if desired.


This second recipe makes me happy beyond belief.  We LOVE Indian food in this house (at least Indian food as we know it).  Not only is it delicious, but it is easy to make vegan (if it was not already so from the beginning).  We all, however, miss the yogurt sauce that adorns many an Indian dish.  Last night, inspired by my lover, I created a very simple sauce for our curries.  I call it....

Sauce that Adorns Curries to Cool Down Your Mouth Lest You Self-combust
servings vary according to needs to diners

1/2 c. raw cashews
enough water to cover, plus a bit more to thin to desired consistency
1 t. dill
1/4 t. celery seed
1/4 t. salt
1 t. onion flakes
juice of half a lime

If you do not have a Vita-mix (sad), you will want to soak the cashews overnight and then rinse before beginning.  Otherwise, throw everything in the Vita-mix/blender and blend on high until smooth.  Add a little more water if you like it thinner.

You can double this recipe and add a bit more water, 1/2 t. basil, a pinch of cayenne, and 1/2 t. oregano to get a lovely ranch dressing.

You can reduce the amount of water added and use rice vinegar instead of lime juice to get a flavored sour cream that is nice in chili.

Top your spicy curries with this sauce.

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