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Easy and Quick Instant Pot Vegan/Vegetarian Locro de Papa (Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Soup)

7 Dec

I was 6 weeks pregnant when I visited the Galapagos Islands and the only soup that made me feel better from first trimester nausea and altitude change was Locro de Papa. Since then, I have enjoyed making it at home. My husband enjoys at least 4 bowls of this soup each time I cook it. My son has learned to LOVE this soup too and we all look forward to Fall when I start cooking soups again after a Summer break.

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This year, I decided to make my life much simpler and adapt most of my recipes for the Instant Pot. It saves so much of my time! I don’t have to sauté or sweat the vegetables and I don’t have to be on standby in my kitchen to watch anything by the stove. Instead, I load up the Instant Pot, set it, and find some extra time for myself. The best thing is the soups come out tasting just as good. Win-Win!

Easy and Quick Instant Pot Vegan/Vegetarian Locro de Papa: Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Soup (8 servings)

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Place in Instant Pot in order:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3# Russet Potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 c water or veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 c your choice of milk, I used Rice Milk here but have used Soy before. The color and consistency will be different according to the milk you use. The former will be thinner and more translucent in color, while the latter will be thicker and more opaque. The taste doesn’t change that drastically, but it’s prettier with a more opaque milk – but we are trying to avoid Soy.

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Set on manual for 10 minutes. When done, you can allow the pressure to come down naturally or do a quick release. Mash the potatoes well and add to melt:

  • 6 oz your choice of cheese: vegetarians can use queso fresco, while vegans can use a mozzarella type of vegan cheese
  • 2 t sea salt

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Garnish with:

  • lots of avocados
  • cilantro or scallions (I didn’t have either for the photos… but boy would that have looked beautiful)

Enjoy!

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Easy and Quick Instant Pot Purple Sweet Potato Soup

19 Nov

My good friend Barni, the Sexy Chef, recently posted her recipe for Purple Yam Soup and I fell in love with the deep purple color. I knew I wanted to make some ASAP.

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I went to my local Asian shop and found only the frozen purple yams. I bought it and returned home to discover that it contained Blue and Red dyes. Needless to say, I didn’t want to cook it for my family.

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This week, I found purple sweet potato at my local health food store. It was organic too!

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I adapted Barni’s recipe to fit my lifestyle: I wanted to do yoga while dinner was cooking. So, I just put everything in the Instant Pot and used the immersion blender when it was done. Voilà! Comfort food at its greatest!

Easy and Quick Instant Pot Purple Yam Soup (adapted from Barni’s recipe, serves 8)

Place all of the following in the instant pot (Really! There’s no need to “sauté” the onions, ginger, and celery before adding the rest of the ingredients. All the veggies turn to mush while cooking for this long in the pressure cooker anyway.):

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 T ginger, sliced
  • 1/2 c celery, chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds purple yam or sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 c coconut flakes (or substitute with 2 c of coconut/cashew/other vegan milk: simply lessen the amount of water by 2 c and add in the milk after the cooking is done. Just heat the soup for 5 minutes until desired temperature is reached before serving. I have people over right now who have different sensitivities to different vegan milks, therefore opted to using raw coconut flakes to minimize any allergies for anyone. The soup was still delicious.)
  • 8 tsp vegetable bouillon paste, optional (I used Better Than Bouillon’s Vegan No Chicken Base)
  • 8 c water

Set to manual for 15 minutes. Do your yoga and come back when you are done. Purée the soup using an immersion blender. Garnish with:

  • lots of cilantro (this is a MUST! Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it adds so much to the flavors)

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Nourishing for my eyes and body: this is a very easy and simple soup to brighten your early evenings and warm up your cold winter nights.  This soup reminds me of being with my mother: beautiful and comforting. I am so lucky she’s here today to share this soup with me.

Easy Baked Vegan Potato Tonkatsu

20 Jul

After 7 years of high raw veganism, I am now just exploring cooked veganism again and having a blast. This was last night’s dinner for the family:

Potato Tonkatsu, Spinach Gomaae, Tomatoes over Vegan Ramen with Homemade Broth.

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Cooking food requires much more time than preparing raw meals, but the family seems to really enjoy cooked food much more these days and I find the time spent in the kitchen very rewarding.

For Japanese food, we are really enjoying the recipes from Just One Cookbook. They are easy to adapt to a Vegan diet. I really wanted to create Vegan Tonkatsu Ramen Bowls for my family. I started with Just One Cookbook‘s Ramen recipe using rice milk instead of soy, then her Spinach Gomaae and Tonkatsu Sauce using vegan Worcestershire Sauce and Soy Sauce in place of regular Worcestershire and Oyster Sauces.  I combined all of these with my Baked Vegan Potato Tonkatsu (below) and it was a BIG HIT. My son used to refuse to eat Ramen, but now he asks for it and wants seconds. My husband really enjoys the Tonkatsu on its own just with the sauce too.

Easy Baked Vegan Potato Tonkatsu

Mix together and combine well:

  • 4 cups mashed potato, with skins for nutrients
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Now for the dredging and breading. Arrange 3 bowls with:

  • flour
  • vegan mayo mixed with some water to resemble an egg wash
  • vegan panko crumbs

Form potato patties, coat with flour, dip in vegan mayo mixture and cover with panko crumbs. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400F for 15 minutes until golden brown. This is a versatile dish that you can serve alone with sauce or over rice or with ramen (as above).

Raw Green Gazpacho

12 Apr

My Raw Green Gazpacho To-Go while cleansing on the go.

I took my Raw Green Gazpacho to our homeschool coop today and the kids kept asking “What’s that?!?” I was trying to explain to a 4 year old that like soap cleans something dirty, my green juice full of veggies cleans the insides of my body. She looked at me, wide-eyed and disbelief, “You clean your body with veggies???” Yes, I do!

I have been participating in CleanseAmerica’s 10-day cleanse since Monday. I have been craving my thick and creamy Coconut Gazpacho full of umami-ness – but decided I wanted something greener and much less fattening. So, today, I created this Raw Green Gazpacho that is perfect during a smoothie cleanse: full of green goodness and still reminiscent of Gazpacho flavors.

Puree all together in a high speed blender:

1 handful of cilantro leaves

2 handfuls of spinach leaves

2 cucumbers, peeled

2 pieces of celery

2 big tomatoes

1/2 lemon, juiced

sea salt, to taste (optional)

Enjoy!

On Being A Mama and The Power of Veggie Soup

11 Dec

As you have probably noticed, I’ve been on a writing break for over a month.  I have no better and simpler excuse than this: I have been focusing on being a Mama.  My son has needed me more these days and I have needed to be with him.

Homeschooling

We started Kindergarten homeschooling in the Fall.  I didn’t know homeschooling would be as much fun as it is and I didn’t know it would be so intense.  My son is truly engaged and I am relieved that my research on curriculum is paying off!  Every morning goes by so fast these days and the time shared with my son are too precious for me to miss or rush through.

Thought I’d share these drawings with you.

An Activity of What makes you: HAPPY (being with Mama and Daddy), SAD (being alone), SCARED (meeting a monster), SURPRISED (meeting a monster that sings "You ain't nothing but a hound dog!)"

My son intended to write "Paddington Bear, 1 Main Street"... but this is what he wrote instead.

Although my husband and I discuss the education aspect of homeschooling a lot, the food in schools is what really frightens me.  The conventional foods, the processed foods, the allergens abound, the unhealthy culture at school cafeterias.

Allergies

My family went on a few weeks holiday in the Fall to visit family.  That’s when I realized that this Mama In The Kitchen cannot really be on holiday.  My son has had an allergy for the past 2 months because I was not able to prepare his food diligently for 3 weeks.  I have been on a mission to clear his body of this powerful allergy.  We are drinking lots of raw green smoothies, eating raw salads and cooked veggie soups.

The Power of Cooked Veggie Soups

From a Mama’s point of view, there is no way I can compare the amount of cooked vegetables in soups my son will willingly eat versus raw ones without added oils or fruit sugars.  Cooked veggie soups win any day.  This is why I love making my son soups – but I make sure they are from foods that are as unprocessed as possible.  When my son doesn’t feel well, there is nothing more soothing to him than warm soup on a cold day (besides lots of freshly squeezed orange juice too).

Vegan Pottage with Whole Herbs

I vegan-ized a recipe from my son’s history book, which was taken from a 17th century English Housewife cookbook!

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour or more.

1/2 – 1 head of chopped cauliflower

1 chopped large sweet onion

1 1/2 c oat groats

2 big handfuls of chopped endive

2 big handfuls of chopped lettuce

2 big handful of chopped spinach

8 cups of water

Add apple cider vinegar (1 tbspn) and  sea salt (2 – 3 tsp), to taste.

I don’t know what’s more satisfying: a healthy history cooking project for homeschool or watching my son finish a wonderful amount of veggies for lunch.

Help This Mama Be a Hot Raw Chef! Please Vote For Me!

2 Jul

What’s in it for you?

You’ll receive a FREE 5 in 5 eBook of the contestants’ recipes when the contest ends JUST for voting! PLUS, a FREE DRAWING to win a Living Light FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods class for two, along with a weekend stay at the Stanford Inn by the Sea!

What do you have to do?

Simply register to vote for the next Hot Raw Chef on HotRawChef.com till the 15th of July. Watch the 5 in 5 Video Recipe Contest Entries, scroll down to input your information and vote for Carissa Leventis-Cox’s Raw Coconut Gazpacho! That’s Contestant Lucky #13! Feel free to pass this great opportunity to your co-workers, friends, and family so they can vote, have their name entering into the drawing, and receive their very own copy of the Next Hot Raw Chef eBook.

What’s in it for Mama in the Kitchen?

20% of the points are from PEOPLE’s VOTES! I can show that Mamas can still be Hot Raw Chefs! I can get more people interested in what I offer here and let them know about the benefits of adding more RAW Vegan foods into our family’s diets!

Ready? I know you’ll love this recipe!

Raw Coconut Gazpacho

Perfect for a hot summer day!


The Video

The Recipe Here.

Please VOTE for me! I truly appreciate it!

Cream of Mushroom Soup

20 May

Cream of Mushroom Soup

This savory Cream of Mushroom Soup is so easy, simple and delicious.  What’s better is you can make last night’s leftover veggies into cream soup today.  A keeper for any busy Mama’s recipe file!

The Mushrooms

Crimini mushrooms are available all year round.  Although mushrooms in general are considered unclean in Ayurveda, they have some anti-carcinogenic properties and are beneficial for the immune and cardiovascular systems.

Marinate for at least 15 minutes or overnight:

2 tsps sea salt

2 tbspns balsamic vinegar

2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil

2 pounds crimini mushrooms (or portabello), sliced thinly or chopped into bite size pieces

The Cream Soup

Puree in a blender:

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp onion powder

2 tbspns nutritional yeast

2 tbspns Nama Shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce)

1/4 cup raw almond butter (you can also use raw tahini or raw cashew butter)

2 cups water

To Serve

Place marinated mushrooms in a bowl and top with soup.  Garnish with sliced scallions or cilantro or other herbs.

Top 12 Kid-Friendly Year-Round Raw Superfoods

7 Mar

After discussing the top 5 reasons to feed our children more raw vegan foods, I thought it would be good to list the most kid-friendly raw foods that are in-season all year round and/or available all year round.  It is best to find organic, local and in-season foods, but sometimes it is just not possible for many reasons (one being I have a monkey who loves bananas and we don’t grow bananas where we live).

So, here is a list of 12 superfoods that are full of, as my son says, “En-zines! En-zines!”

Hope your kids enjoy these living and enzyme rich foods!

FRESH FRUITS

1. bananas – all kids love bananas.  They are rich in enzymes, best eaten just ripe when there are brown spots on the skin.  Many kids are monkey bananas for them in

  • breakfast – cereals, granola, porridge, pudding
  • green smoothies – a must in any
  • ice cream – with the texture of real ice cream, you can add different ingredients to change its flavor
  • lollipops – name me a kid who doesn’t like them!

2. apples – sweet and crunchy!  Full of phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants, what’s there not to love in

  • breakfast – in our favorite Raw Muesli and a yummy accompaniment to Almond Yogurt.
  • easy snacks – simply slice one up and serve with or without a dip, or create Apple Sandwiches
  • raw Applesauce
  • immune booster ‘tea’: mix together equal parts of apple cider vinegar and honey, add water to taste
  • veggie juices – to make it more palatable for kids. I know my son prefers apple green juices over carrot ones.

3. lemons – rich in raw vitamin C and bioflavanoids.  Enjoy in

  • salad dressings: 1 tbspn lemon juice, 2-4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, spices and herbs
  • raw lemonade

4. avocado – rich in protein, enzymes, fiber, potassium, vitamin E and healthy fats.  Avocados add a richness and creaminess in

  • dips – Guacamole
  • soups
  • a simple side – sliced with a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil
  • desserts – creamy chocolate Sundae

5. papaya – loaded with living enzymes, papaya contains papain, a digestive enzyme which helps break down protein and soothes the stomach.  Enjoy in

FRESH VEGGIES

6. romaine lettuce – rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and chromium, it is also a very good source of dietary fiber.  It is the mildest of all leafy greens and the easiest for kids to learn to love.  Enjoy in

  • easy salads – Kid’s Only Salad and South Asian Salad
  • smoothies – in any smoothie, this is the easiest way to get kids to eat them
  • as wraps – simply place a banana in a leaf, topped with almond butter and honey or dates or nama shoyu, or other filling

SPROUTED GRAINS

7. sprouted oat groats: a good source of dietary fiber, significant amount of vitamin B1, potassium, iron, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, manganese and magnesium.  Enjoy in

RAW NUTS and SEEDS

8. almonds – higher in fiber than other nuts, contains healthy omega-9 oleic fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Enjoy in

  • Almond Butter – use it instead of peanut butter on bananas with honey, or in lettuce wraps
  • Almond Orange Salad Dressing
  • Raw Almond Milk – soak 1 cup of almonds overnight, rinse and drain the next day, process in a high speed blender with 4 cups of water and your choices of sweetener (honey, dates, to taste) and flavor (cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom)
  • Raw Almond Yogurt

9. coconut – besides being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (Coconut Research Center), coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fiber (4x as much as oat bran and 2x as much as wheat bran or flaxseed meal), vitamins and minerals.  We have a tub of coconut oil in my son’s bathroom and he enjoys eating the butter as I lather moisturize his skin with it. Enjoy in

  • breakfast – granola
  • coconut oil – in desserts, pit a date and place a little coconut oil inside, close and enjoy
  • creamy milk – simply blend together fresh raw coconut water and meat from one coconut.
  • Pina Colada smoothie – blend together water and meat from 1 coconut, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1 tbspn honey.
  • soups – we love my Coconut Gazpacho, but you can make a simple Avocado Coconut Soup by blending 1 avocado and water and meat from 1 coconut and your choice of flavours (curry, vanilla, sea salt or honey)

10. sunflower seeds – excellent source of vitamin E, as well as vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and folate.  We enjoy this is our son’s fave salad

11. flax seeds – great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, good source of dietary fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and lignan phytonutrients.  Enjoy as

SWEETENER

12. raw local honey – not only will this help with seasonal allergies, but this is an unprocessed sweetener that kids just love.  Since finding out more about the negatives of agave syrup, honey is now our favorite liquid sweetener.  Enjoy in

  • breakfast
  • chocolate syrup with raw cacao or carob powder
  • desserts
  • toppings or dips for cut fruit

Raw Vegan Cream of Spinach Soup

2 Feb

 

Raw Vegan Cream of Spinach Soup

Process in a high speed blender:
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 clove garlic
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 scallions
1 cup macadamia nut
1 cup water

Save a little of the ‘cream’ and add:
2 cups spinach

Puree till nice and smooth.  Serve soup with cream on top and a raw dehydrated spinach chip, if desired.

Note: my son didn’t like it, but the adults I shared it with loved it.

Saffron Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

30 Nov

One thing that my family and I have had difficulty finding is good raw sweet potato soup recipe.  So, I created one.  This is smooth and subtle.  We love it.
Let saffron steep in citrus juices for 10 minutes:
Pinch of saffron
2 limes, juiced
4 oranges, juiced
Puree citrus mix with the rest of ingredients:
4 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic
2 scallions, white and green parts
4 fennel stalks (or celery)
1 avocado
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (around 7 cups)
Garnish with:
Pecans coated in honey
Fennel leaves

Curry In A Hurry

30 Nov
People think going ‘raw’ is difficult because they often think that prep is going to take more time than cooked food. This is further from the truth. I can whip up a raw meal in 15 minutes and it can look and taste amazing.

If you are craving Indian spices, this is my Raw Curry in a Hurry!



Place all in a bowl and mix with curry sauce:
Cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
Mung bean sprouts
Pineapple, diced (optional)
Raisins (optional)

Puree together Coconut Curry Sauce:
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon curry
2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
¼ cup raisins
½ cup macadamia nut
1 coconut, meat and water about 1 ¼ cup
Enjoy!
Now wasn’t that so easy and quick?  By the way, my non-raw family ate it all up when I served it at a dinner and my husband thinks it is better than my cooked curry.  That makes me smile. 

Coconut Gazpacho

13 May

We always hear about Tomato Gazpacho.  What about Ajo Blanco?   The Andalusian Ajo Blanco is a white gazpacho that is traditionally prepared with bread, almonds, garlic, water, olive oil, salt and vinegar.  In my raw Coconut Gazpacho recipe, I substitute the bread with ground flax seeds and the water with raw coconut milk.  Aside from being the highest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds are an excellent laxative and anti-carcinogen.  They remove toxins from the blood and intestines.  Coconut is a cooling diuretic.  It soothes and protects internal membranes and the skin.  It is also anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.  The benefits are numerous.  This soup is more filling than its Tomato counterpart, but just as refreshing.  This was a success at our house!  We all enjoyed it very much.  We hope you do too!
Puree in a high powered blender:
2 cups raw coconut milk (puree together flesh and juice of raw fresh Thai coconut) 
1/2 cup freshly ground flax seeds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw almond butter
3 tbspn raw apple cider vinegar
1 tbspn raw honey
2 tsp sea salt
1 clove garlic (if you like it less pungent, use only 1/2 a clove)
Place soups in bowls and garnish with:
slices of fresh raw Thai coconut meat
slices of red grapes
raw honey

Note: I learned the other day from The Raw Gourmet that it is most beneficial to consume less than 4 tbspn of flax seeds a day, more would be toxic.  Flax seed oils, on the other hand, are not toxic over 4 tbspns.