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Corn Chowder with Red Pepper & Thyme

I was recently inspired to make this corn chowder recipe because we actually had milk in the house. Both my husband and I aren’t really milk consumers. We used to buy raw milk from a farmer here but even then we had a hard time getting through it all. Partially, because I’m sort of lactose intolerant. But I recently bought some to make ice cream from scratch with my friend’s children – and now am struggling to use up the rest of this ½ gallon of organic whole milk. Yesterday, I made cornbread using my healthy cornbread recipe. Today… chowder. I wish we had fresh corn but luckily our nearby country store had organic canned corn. And luckily we could still make it our own by added fresh red pepper, garden fresh celery and our thyme.

I imagine this recipe is somewhat flexible. Do you feel like adding carrots? Go ahead! Don’t have red pepper? Use green pepper. Want to add some peas or green beans? LOL. Have fun and enjoy in good company!

Recipe for Corn Chowder with Red Pepper & Thyme

Yield: 4 servings
Equipment: Blender, Immersion Blender or Food Processor

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion chopped
2 potatoes chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
1 large red bell pepper chopped or equivalent (we use smaller ones that grow in our area about 3-4 of them)
fresh stick thyme – this is a thyme substitute that also grows well in the tropics but regular thyme can be used)
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 ¼ cup whole milk
2 cups fresh corn or one 15 oz can of corn (non-GMO/Organic of course!)
2-3 tablespoons flour (optional – I also like to use tapioca starch as a gluten-free option)

Steps:

  1. Heat butter in pot over medium heat
  2. Sauté the red pepper, onion, potatoes and celery until onions are translucent
  3. Add broth and corn and simmer vegetables until tender
  4. Remove half of the brother and puree briefly with immersion blender, regular blender or food processor
  5. Replace broth in pan and add milk and thyme and heat (but not boiling)
  6. If you want a thick chowder – remove about a cup broth ones the milk has warmed up and slowly dissolve 2-3 tablespoons flour. Return this paste to the soup and stir.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  8. At this point if you’d like to bulk this recipe up at little feel free to add some cubed and browned sausages (we use chicken sausage) and even small noodles like elbows, orzo, etc.

If you are looking for a good blender to use I HIGHLY recommend BlendTech.

But, a really great tool for pureeing soups, making things like my beet brownies or even hummus or guacamole is an immersion blender – called by some people stick blenders. The one we have has lasted us over 10 years. But if I had to get a new one I’d probably spring for this cool looking set:

or get a simpler standard one like this…

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Vegetable Bean Loaf


This vegetarian bean load is pretty good for being so incredibly easy. And it is a great way to use all those beans you stocked up on! This recipe is adapted from the Spicy Bean and Lentil Loaf recipe from the book… “Vegetarian: The Greatest Ever Vegetarian Cookbook”. This is my quick and dirty recipe. Enjoy your own variations! 

 

Recipe for Vegetarian Bean Loaf

Ingredients and steps:

Sauté these first:

  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 carrot copped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • large handful fresh herbs like parsley, basil, dill, rosemary, thyme etc.

Then in a food processor blend…

  • sautéed veggies and herbs
  • 1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans drain and rinsed

After blended until smoother move to a bowl and add these remaining ingredients
½ cup breadcrumbs ( I use ½ frozen ends of loafs and ½ oatmeal)

  • ½ cup cheese (I use shredded Parm)
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon or more to taste cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Bake at 350 degree in an oiled loaf pan for 45-60 minutes and serve warm or cold. 
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Coconut red pepper and squash soup

Smooth and savory, this recipe has the slightest sweetness from the rep pepper, carrot and squash and a tiny bit of texture from the fresh coconut. This coconut red pepper squash soup is packed with beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C, along with healthy fats from coconut and fiber from all the veggies.

This recipe features fresh coconut flesh, not the creamy coconut milk or the sweetened coconut flakes. Fresh coconut flesh. Coconuts come from the cocos nucifera palm and grow very well in tropical low-mid elevations. One tree can produce as up to 150 nuts per year. One medium size nut and its water can provide an average sized person with almost all of the daily required vitamins, minerals, and calories. Coconuts are truly a super food.

Coconuts have a lot of good fat, some carbohydrate, proteins and fiber. One 100g piece of mature coconut meat has: 354 Calories, 9 grams of fiber, 33.5 grams of total fat, 3.3 grams of protein and 15 grams of carbohydrates.  For example,  coconuts contain copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc, potassium. Furthermore, coconuts are also rich in B-vitamins: folates, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. Additionally,  coconut contains Lauric acid, which increases good-HDL cholesterol and protect the arteries by preventing blood vessel blockages.

On our farm we already have 6 coconut palms fruiting and we are getting ready to plant 35 more dwarf coconut trees. Stayed tuned for many many future fresh coconut recipes.

Coconut red pepper squash soup recipe

Servings: 6, 8 ounce cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 small winter squash (about 2 cups cooked flesh)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 large red pepper or several small ones
  • 1/2 onion
  • flesh of 1 young coconut (about 1/4 in thick) or 1/2 coconut
  • 6 cups of water
  • salt and pepper

Steps:

  1. Cook squash and remove about 2 cups of flesh
  2. Then, add squash and roughly chopped veggies (save coconut for last)
  3. Boil the soup until all veggies are tender, 20-30 minutes
  4. Let cool, add salt and pepper
  5. Once the soup is a bit cooler, add coconut and use immersion blender or regular blender.

1 serving is 8 oz, or 1 cup.

red-pepper-coconut-squash-soup

 

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Indian spiced eggplant (Baingan Bharta) with chickpeas and raisins

We are blessed right now to have eggplants coming out of our ears!!! (or just choke on our plants). So…I invoked this recipe from my repertoire. This recipe is a slight twist on the many variations of Indian dish Baingan Bharta.

All Baingan Bharta recipes have many ingredients in common: eggplant, onions,  tomatoes, ginger, pepper and garlic. Many add garam masala, coriander, turmeric, etc.  I learned to make this during my very first vegan phase in my early early 20’s. To make it heartier (more protein) I started adding chickpeas, and to counterbalance the heat in it, I favored adding a few plump raisins at the end. So in reality it is a bit far from any Baingan Bharta you would order at an authentic Indian restaurant, but in my opinion mo betta!

 

Recipe for Indian spiced eggplant (Baingan Bharta) with chickpeas and raisins

 

Servings: 4+ (~1 cup each)

eggplant

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium size eggplants
  • 1-2 medium-large tomatoes (chopped fine)
  • 1 large onions (chopped fine)
  • 1 Hawaiian chili pepper (chopped fine)
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 2 inch (½ in diameter or so)piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 inch(¼ inch diameter or so) piece of turmeric grated
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 and ½ cup (or to liking) cooked chickpeas

ingredients for baingan bharta

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lay eggplant on baking sheet, pierce eggplant to help let out steam.
  2. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn over. Bake another 15 minutes or so until a knife enters easily skin starts to separate from the flesh of the eggplant
  3. Once cooled peel eggplant and roughly chop and mush
  4. Heat oil in large sauté pan (med-high heat) and add onions until they start to become soft, stirring very often
  5. Add ginger, garlic, and turmeric and stir constantly for less than 1 minute
  6. Add tomatoes, cumin, and garam masala and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for a time until tomatoes incorporate themselves into onions mixture.
  7. Add eggplant and mush a bit with your spatula or mixing spoon, allow to heat up and cook another 5 minutes or so on medium heat.
  8. For the last 5 minutes add chickpeas and raisins.
  9. Enjoy warm with rice, alone, over greens, or with naan, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

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Simple Buckwheat Pancakes with sliced banana

This recipe gives buckwheat pancakes a the good reputation they deserve.  I made them for Christmas morning for my sweetie and his parents. Although they were my first experimentation with buckwheat, ever, they came out really yummy and hearty. I made silver dollar sized pancakes, and everyone ate them until they were gone! Topped with a little bit of pure maple syrup from the Catskill Mountains in New York and a little bit of organic butter and they were delicious and filling. Next time I’ll try adding some mac nuts or berries.

Recipe for Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup organic white flour
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup milk (we use coconut butter blended with water to make a sort of coconut milk substitute)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (aluminum-free)
  • 1 tablespoon + pure maple syrup for in the pancakes plus more for eating after
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • sliced bananas

Steps:

  1. Mix together the dry ingredients
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients
  3. Add the wet to the dry and stir gently
  4. Then, heat coconut oil in a pan on medium to medium high when oil starts to get hot add the pancake batter.
  5. Add sliced bananas to the top of the pancakes
  6. Leave it until it starts to bubble and then flip over and cook for another 3 or so minutes
  7. Serve warm with butter, coconut oil and maple syrup.

 

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Healthy Carrot Cake with macadamia nut frosting

This healthy carrot cake recipe is made with coconut oil, significantly less sugar, and goes great with macadamia nut frosting.

A few days ago, I told my hunny I would not try to make another carrot cake for his birthday. The first one I made for him, was huge, dense, moist, but dense, it took days to make our way through ½ of the leftovers and we ended up giving the rest to our dog. BUT, I couldn’t resist trying to make another, better, healthier and with less sugar. This one comes out, light, moist, and moderately sweet, so you can eat an entire piece and feel good. healthy carrot cake

Recipe for Healthy Carrot Cake:

Yield: This recipe makes approx. one 9 x 12 by 2 inch cake, 15 servings or so.

Ingredients for the cake:

dry

  • 2 cups organic white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt

wet

  • 4 eggs beaten well
  • 1 ¼ cup organic coconut oil (liquid, if you melt it make sure it cools before adding)
  • 1 ¼ cup brown cane sugar (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Oil glass baking pan with coconut oil
  3. Mix the dry ingredients well in medium bowl.
  4. In large bowl, add the beaten eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, and sugar.
  5. Gently mix in the grated carrots.
  6. Add, little by little, the dry ingredients to the wet.
  7. Lastly, add to oiled baking pan and bake for 40-50 minutes until the cake springs back when you poke with a finger or when toothpick inserted comes out clean.

 

Macadamia Nut Maple Syrup frosting

Yield: approx: 1 ½ cups

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 2 ½ cups macadamia nuts
  • up to ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 4 drops of liquid, alcohol free stevia
  • 2 tablespoons + water

Steps:

  1. Add mac nuts, add ½ maple syrup (2 tablespoons) and water to a good blender and blend on high .
  2. Next, taste for sweetness, add a few drops of stevia (not too many as it can enhance the flavor of maple syrup but too much can make it taste almost bitter).
  3. Add more maple syrup to taste.

Variation –

This slight variation will allow you to feed a few more people. It is 1.5 times the recipe above. I also use maple syrup instead of sugar and add cinnamon and a bit more oil to give the cake more moisture.

Ingredients for the cake:

dry

  • 3 cups organic white flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

wet

  • 6 eggs beaten well
  • 2 3/4 cups organic coconut oil (liquid, if you melt it make sure it cools before adding)
  • ⅔ cups maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4.5 cups grated carrots
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Easy ginger tempeh recipe with sesame oil

For a long time I thought tempeh was another health food trend, a way to sell surplus soy to the health hipsters. Furthermore, years ago I discovered that soy gave me abdominal pain, etc. It took about a year of my man insisting that it was unfermented and GMO soy causing the problem. He finally convinced me that, fermented organic soy, like tempeh, is healthful and delicious.

Tempeh is fermented with spores of a fungus Rhizopus oligosporus, a type of a healthy white mold that is usually high in Vitamin B and several amino acids. The Rhizopus oligosporus reduces gas and inflammation caused by soy.  Tempeh has a medium-mild nutty flavor that soaks up the seasonings of the sauces it is cooked with. This ginger tempeh recipe is quick and delicious. Easily prepared and served with rice and a vegetable. Try sides of steamed bok choy, sautéed kale, lettuce wraps, or a cucumber salad.

Ginger Tempeh Recipe

Servings: 2

Special equipment: non-stick frying pan, blender is helpful

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon + olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ¼ of medium onion chopped roughly
  • 1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ cup or less filtered water
  • 1 package 8 oz organic tempeh

Steps:

  • Blend together: garlic, ginger, onion, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and enough water (about ¼ cup) to easily blend the ingredients (if you want you can use about half of this to marinate the tempeh before cooking.
  • Slice tempeh into thin pieces about ¼ inch thick
  • Heat a little olive oil (teaspoon or less) in a non-stick frying pan add tempeh in single layer in the pan with enough room to turn them (do 2 batches if you have a small pan).
  • Add sauce from the blender
  • Turn heat to medium or medium-high and lightly “fry” each side for 3-5 minutes
  • When they are starting to brown, add a “sprinkle” or tablespoon of soy sauce to the pan and a teaspoon of honey and stir until evenly distributed.
  • Cook another 1-2 minutes until they started to brown (the soy sauce and honey with caramelize and burn if left too long).
  • Serve with rice, lettuce wraps or bok choy.

ginger tempeh recipe

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Raw carrot and beet salad with tahini dressing

My brother Dan brought this recipe beet salad with tahini dressing into my life. Him and his girlfriend used to make this often. To get me involved they started asking for my help making the dressing. After I had made the tahini dressing just a few times in their presence, they made me do it from ever on, which was how I built my confidence in making salad dressings. It is so creamy and yummy, it perfectly balances the earthiness of the raw beets and the sweetness of the carrots.

If you need a good way to include raw beets in your diet, this is it. It is also a great way to use raw carrots and beets from your garden. Guests are amazed at how good it tastes. Most people eating this salad recipe eat way more beets in one sitting than they ever would have. Remember, tahini is from ground sesame’s so anyone with an allergy to this should be warned  : )

If you looking for another way to use raw beets and carrots, juicing them has amazing health benefits. My very favorite homemade fresh juice is carrot apple beet juice with ginger. Afterwards I often use the pulp to make pulp bread.

If you like beets and sweets you should check out my killer recipe for beet brownies and also my healthy carrot cake recipe.

Raw carrot and beet salad with tahini dressing

Yield: 4-6 servings

Equipment: Food processor or other method for grating beets and carrots (e.x. mandoline slicer, spiralizer, cheese grater), and a blender for dressing.

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 10 medium-large carrots
  • 2-3 beets
  • Lettuce or mixed baby greens

Tahini dressing ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup (or more water)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt
  • optional: add a little goat cheese to make it creamy

Steps:

  1. First, prepare the dressing in blender by combining all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Next, grate the carrots and then the beets (easiest in food processor), if you wish squeeze a little lemon over them so the carrots keep their color.
  3. Place the carrots and beets in bowl and mix in the dressing, serve on top of lettuce or mixed baby greens (you will have more dressing than salad, dressing should stay good in refrigerator for about 5 days).

Resources on the Health Benefits of Beets, carrots, and tahini

  1. http://www.health.com/nutrition/beets-health-benefits
  2. https://www.almanac.com/blog/natural-health-home-tips/beets-health-benefits
  3. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/298585.php
  4. http://www.realfoodforlife.com/10-benefits-of-carrots-the-crunchy-powerfood/
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Baked winter squash with coconut oil and cinnamon

There is nothing like eating your home grown winter squash. Baked winter squash is so easy to make, especially if the squash is amazing itself. This simple side dish is a wonderful accompaniment to any main meal.

My favorite kinds of squash you can’t find in the supermarket. In Hawaiʻi Kabocha squash is really common. However, people incorrectly label all small round, ribbed squashes as Kaboacha. My favorite are the local crosses of heirloom varieties passed on throughout communties. They are choose an orange-red on the outside and inside or likewise sweet. I highly recommend finding a squash you love and saving the seeds to grow your own!

If you are at the store looking for a nice semi-sweet flavorful squash, then butternut or red kuri are great examples.

Looking for a squash recipe that is a little less sweet? Try my dairy-free and vegan squash soup recipe

Recipe for baked winter squash with coconut oil and cinnamon

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 small-medium winter squash
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • salt to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut squash in half and deseed, scrap out the middle “strings”.
  3. Then, roast for 35-45 minutes in a shallow baking pan with ¼ inch of water.
  4. Let cool under it is safe to handle.
  5. Scrap out the flesh into a mixing bowl.
  6. Finally, add coconut oil and cinnamon and salt to taste.
  7. Serve warm : )

Variations:  Add salt and cheese or add cumin and red chili pepper

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Tomatoes with fresh basil and olive oil

 

This recipe for tomatoes with fresh basil and olive oil is like the Italian Caprese salad. But you don’t HAVE to add cheese to make it taste delicious. The most important thing is fresh tomatoes and high quality olive oil. Good salt is also a huge plus! This recipe is great to share with guests when there is an abundance of tomatoes. For more ideas for recipes with tomatoes and summer vegetables scroll to the bottom.

Recipe for tomatoes with fresh basil and olive oil

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil (use high quality olive oil for best results.)
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh basil chopped
  • Fresh mozzeralla (optional).

Steps:

  1. Slice tomatoes and place on plate so that they are not overlapping
  2. Then, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  3. Lastly, spread sea salt evenly and top with fresh basil and optional mozzerella.

Other summer vegetable ideas:

https://katiestropicalkitchen.com/layeredratatouilleinacrockpot/

 

Indian spiced eggplant (Baingan Bharta) with chickpeas and raisins

Chunky basil garlic tomato sauce