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Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili

It’s Fall time and people are coming indoors and gathering at each other’s homes. I have found that serving something that warms one’s belly to be the perfect way to warm their heart. Pumpkin chili is on the menu this year! This is friendly for all. It is vegetarian, gluten-free, and little one approved. If you aren’t vegetarian I recommend a little crumble of bacon over the top to serve. This dish serves 8-10 people with very generous portions.

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-pound) pie pumpkin, or other orange-fleshed squash such as butternut or acorn.
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 2 medium turnips, diced
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans chili beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian type)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Sour cream

Steps

Peel and cut into 1-inch pieces the pumpkin or squash. To make it easier to peel the pumpkin, cut in half, remove the seeds and set aside for roasting. Microwave each half cut-side down in a shallow baking dish of water for about 5 minutes, or you can roast the halves at 450 for about 15 minutes. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, shave off the skin with a sharp knife or peeler.

In a 6-quart or large Dutch oven or soup pot (I prefer the Dutch oven), heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. When melted, whisk in the cornmeal until smooth, then stir in the pumpkin, turnip, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

Add the broth, diced tomatoes, and their juices, beans, and corn. Stir in the chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 1 hour, or until the pumpkin and turnip is tender. The longer you simmer the better – believe me!

Before serving, taste and season with salt and pepper and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Serve hot with the chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream if desired.

This will store nicely too. Just freeze!

Rosemary Herb Shortbread

These delicious little savory herb shortbreads are sure to be party pleaser as well as a special treat if just by yourself. These crackers like herb bites have endless concepts, but today we are sharing a rosemary recipe. Think of other ideas to use this recipe with like thyme or sage. My favorite way to enjoy these is with a glass of crisp white wine, but you choose your beverage of choice!

Tips for Recipe

  • Butter should be at room temperature. I typically will just pull the butter out in the morning if I plan to make them later that day or I’ll pull it out the night before.
  • Always use fresh ingredients, so for this recipe, your rosemary should be fresh. Dried won’t be nearly as fragrant or as tasty. Remove the leaves from the stems and give them a quick chop before putting into the food processor.
  • You should mix the dough in your food processor just until it comes together in a lump. This should happen in less than a minute. You may need to add a little tiny bit of water to your dough to bring it together. Start with a 1/4 tsp and go up from there as needed.
  • I believe these taste best in a shortbread cookie texture, but if you want yours crisper, just cut them thinner and bake them a little longer.

Ingredients

  •  1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp finely minced rosemary leaves, plus extra whole leaves for the tops of the crackers
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • extra whole leaf herbs for laminating onto the dough (if you would like to)

Instructions

Put the flour, cheese, rosemary, salt, and pepper into the bowl of the food processor. At the same time, add the chunks of butter and pulse about 30 times to combine into mixture until the processed dough comes together, this should take less than a minute, but you may need to add a little bit of water to it. If you add water, mix again for good measure.

Place the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll out until the smooth flat top. The dough should be smooth and consistent, without floury or pockets of air. Wrap the flat disk and place in the fridge for an hour.

Pull the dough out and place on the counter on top of wax paper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the dough to about 1/4 thickness. I recommend doing this between to sheets of wax paper and it keeps everything together. Best baking tip EVER! There should be no sticking if you do this. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out your crackers. Remove the cut dough to a baking sheet. Smooth out your remaining dough and make additional crackers. Roll and repeat until completed.

Bake the shortbread beauties for 10-15 minutes just until they start turning a pale golden light brown around the edges. Cool these for a few minutes on the pan and then remove to the rack. The shortbreads will firm up as it cools and be delicious.

These are really great for gatherings and for parties. As we enter into the Fall arm yourself with this recipe as a great side with a warm bowl of soup.

 

 

Quinoa Summer Salad

We love salads over here at Soap Hope. If there was a Sommelier for salads our Co-Founder Craig would definitely be the “Salad Steward”, for that fact he could probably do the wine part too! In a tribute to the love we have for salads and the love we have for our Co-Founder, Craig, enjoy this healthy, easy to make summer salad!

This salad is obsessive! It is light and refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. Hello Texas!

Quinoa Summer Salad

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Quinoa:

  • 1 cup quinoa (your choice!)
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of salt

For the Dress:

  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Mix:

  • 1 Avocado chopped in chunks
  • 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cups spinach whole
  • 1/2 cup chopped grapefruit

Directions:

  1. Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, water, and salt to the medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Allow the quinoa to cool to room temperature.
  2. Make your dressing in a medium bowl, whisk together and set off to the side.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, avocado, pomegranate seeds, mushrooms, spinach, and grapefruit. Pour dressing over the salad and mix until well combined. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Light, delicious, and refreshing!

Raw Vegan Banana and Cinnamon Ice Cream

Today is National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day and I thought I would share my recipe for my favorite raw vegan banana and cinnamon ice cream. This is slightly sweet and more savory ice cream that is decadent and simple at the same time. Best served with a nice espresso in the evening or in the late afternoon as the day is winding down. The cinnamon isn’t strong and is almost like therapy with each bite and certainly less expensive. Enjoy with family and friends, because let’s be honest, that’s the best way to enjoy everything! If you love this, you’ll love my saffron ice cream recipe…

Serves: 1-4

Healthy Ingredients:

  • 4 cups organic banana, chopped into chunks (be sure and place these in the freezer before you start this recipe).
  • 1 scoop Plant Protein (love Maca Powder by Gaia Herbs)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 10 to 8 drops of Vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (or just sprinkle on top with each serving)
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid organic sugar

Prep and Make Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor (my ninja is my best friend) and blend until smooth or the texture you enjoy.
  2. Serve immediately (because you won’t be able to help yourself) or if you have restraint, store in the freezer for up to three weeks.

Zero Waste Tip: Don’t throw out those overly ripe bananas. Peel them, break them into chunks and freeze them for up to two months, and use in your favorite smoothie or ice cream recipe.

Enjoy this recipe and National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day!

Pear & Fig Pastry

We love Acure Organic’s Pear and Fig Body Beautiful Shampoo and Conditioner we decided to cook up something to celebrate!

While you revive your hair with luscious aloe, fig, and rare prickly pear cactus oil – you can nourish yourself this Sunday with a decision Pear and Fig Pastry Puff!

Here’s our recipe for a clean, but delicious treat!

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min

Total Time: 25 min

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-made puff pastry sheet or you can make your own (we are impressed!)
  • 2 ripened pears
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 ripened figs or 2 tablespoons fig butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 beaten egg (for egg wash)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prep the pears by slicing thinly and chop the figs a bit chunky.
  • Mix the melted butter, brown sugar, almond extract, and lemon juice. If you have opted for the fig butter, nows the time to mix that too.
  • Roll the puff pastry sheet out into a square. Use a fork to put little perforations in the puff pastry to prevent it from over puffing. No one likes an over puffed pastry 🙂
  • Use a cooking brush to spread the butter mixture over the pastry evenly, leaving a little less than half an inch border. Fold over the pastry to create a crust. Brush the crust of the puff pastry with the egg wash.
  • Place the pears and figs over the spread. Cover the fruit with the remaining mixture for extra goodness.
  • You can brush a little more egg wash if you need it.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown flakey goodness.

Now enjoy and tell everyone you are busy washing your hair.

Check out all of Acure’s products here.