Category Archives: Spring

Meatless Monday’s Roasted Asparagus Soup with Thyme

AsparagusRoasted Asparagus Soup

This creamy and elegant soup is Y3 Detox approved for our Spring into a New You program or anytime.  Asparagus is abundant in the springtime and don’t be afraid to add salt, it will take the gorgeous green color up a notch and bring out its’ beautiful bold flavor.  Asparagus packs a nutritional punch at only 22 calories a serving (on its own), it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, and is a known aphrodisiac. How can you not love the sexy little asparagus spear?  The ingredient list may seem long, but it comes together very easily and it is so yummy and worth the extra effort on so many levels 🙂  Enjoy & happy spring cleaning.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds of Asparagus, washed & woody ends trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons divided, olive oil, for roasting & sautéing
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided, plus more for sprinkling
  •   3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 small to medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white & some of the green parts, thoroughly washed and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 8 cups vegetable stock or Chaga, we used Chaga because we love it and can’t get enough of it
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 carrot grated for garnish (optional)
  • Chopped fresh parsley or herb of choice for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit.  Cut of the tips of the asparagus from the stalks, and coat the tips in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper and place on a baking sheet.  Roast for 15 minutes or until soft but still crunchy to bite.  Reserve for garnish

Cut remaining asparagus stalks into 1 inch pieces. In a saucepan heat remaining olive oil over medium heat.  Once hot, add garlic and cook for a minute before adding the onions, leeks, carrots and celery.  Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the asparagus stalks, stock, thyme, salt & pepper, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover & simmer gently until tender, approximately 25-30 minutes.  Let cool slightly.

Very carefully transfer soup to a food processor or high speed blender in small batches and puree.  Return to stovetop, add roasted asparagus tips.  Cover and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally until well heated.  Add salt & pepper to taste and garnish as desired.  Yields 4 to 6 servings.

Cream-Asparagus-Soup

Sources:

Recipe: The Vegan Table by Colleen Goudreau

Photo courtesy of http://vegan-magazine.com

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Coconut Milk Pops

After too many weeks of unseasonably chilly weather, warm temperatures are  finally here in Maryland.  No matter where you are, what is more refreshing than an ice cold popsicle? Not much! These are so easy to whip up for a planned event or to make ahead so you always have some waiting for you in the freezer.

popsicles

Coconut Milk Ice Cream Pops
Makes 12 Popsicles
Ingredients:
1 can full-fat coconut milk (look for the cleanest ingredients list possible)
1-2 handfuls of your favorite fruit chopped, washed, and dried of any excess liquid(berries, mango, and pineapple are all good choices)
Up to a 1/4 cup of your preferred natural sweetener- raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc
Chopped fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, or rosemary (optional)

Directions:
1.  Combine the coconut milk and the sweetener until you’ve reached your desired “sweetness” or up to a 1/4 cup of the sweetener.
2.  Distribute the fruit (and optional herbs) evenly among your molds. (if you don’t have molds you can use dixie cups and popsicle sticks)
3.  Pour the coconut milk over the fruit (and optional herbs) to fill the mold.
4.  Freeze overnight or until frozen solid.  Enjoy outside, preferably on the deck/patio with good friends :).

Recipe adapted from The Rawsome Vegan Life.  Photo courtesy of  http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/

Meatless Monday’s Memorial Day Happy Breakfast

HappyBreakfastPerhaps you may have overindulged a bit much this Memorial Day Weekend.  It’s easy to get back on track.  Start your day off clean and simple this meatless Monday with fresh fruit for breakfast.  Breakfast is the easiest way to introduce simple healthy additions to your diet and get you back on track fast after a holiday or any time you need to restart, refresh & recharge your routine.   Remember, fruit is best eaten alone, on an empty stomach, thus making breakfast the perfect time for fruit.  Be creative, use whatever fruit you have on hand for a happy breakfast this holiday and be sure to look out for our upcoming  Spring into a New You.”  Whatever your health goals are for this season we will have you covered in our group program. Past participants have finished the program a few pounds lighter, with glowing skin, renewed energy and simple tools to maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle. It’s all about balance, join Y3 to find yours and enjoy your Happy Breakfast!

Photo Credit:

Unkown

Meatless Monday Broccoli Soup

green-detox-soup-1-honestfare.com_

Y3’s Detox Approved Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

2 cloves of garlic

1 medium onion

2 Tablespoons of grape seed oil

1 large bunch broccoli (reserve some of the broccoli florets for garnish-Optional)

2 cups of milk of choice ( we like rice or almond milk  for this recipe)

1 cup of oats

3 cups of  vegetable stock or Chaga (Click on Chaga for all of the benefits of this medicinal mushroom) We use Chaga in our recipes whenever we can.  We love Chaga.

1/4 cup miso

1/4 cup water

Sauté garlic and onions in oil. Add remaining ingredients (Reserve Miso so it doesn’t boil) cover and simmer for 10 min. Add miso last and stir to combine. Purée soup in a food processor or high speed blender.  Steam the broccoli florets as a garnish to float on top when you serve the soup.

Serve for breakfast, a light lunch, as a side dish or pair with a salad or sandwich.

Variations:

  • You can really use any green vegetable here or a combination of veggies.
  • Add Nutritional Yeast for a punch of B vitamins and a smoky cheesy flavor (We love nutritional yeast)
  • This recipe has been a favorite in the test kitchen for an acceptable detoxifying soup that can be a smoothie or green drink replacement while on a cleanse
  • As mentioned this is detox approved. But, there are numerous ways to make it richer and/or even more cleansing, like adding parsley or cilantro to help purify the blood and liver, or if you prefer richer, add cream or real cheese for a Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  • Sprinkle with nuts or seeds-We love Go Raw 100% Organic Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds (Can be purchased at most organic markets, we get ours from Whole Foods)
  • Experiment with different spices, it’s hard to go wrong here
  • Omit Miso and play with other flavors that suit your taste

Photo Courtesy of honest fare.com

Simple Grilled Artichokes

With more and more time spent outside, why not celebrate spring’s bounty of produce by firing up the grill? This super simple recipe comes together quickly and would pair nicely alongside a variety of dishes.  Additionally, it’s fairly flexible which allows for some (optional!) creativity such as adding Parmesan cheese or toasted pine nuts.  Grilled artichokes are definitely best served fresh off the grill while the insides are still steamy and moist, but warm or room temperature will still be tasty.  Enjoy!

grilled artichokes

Ingredients:

2 lemons 4 artichokes 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste Directions To prepare artichokes: Fill a Dutch oven with water; add the juice of 1 lemon. Trim leaves from the top of an artichoke. Remove the outer layer(s) of leaves from the stem end and snip all remaining spiky tips from the outer leaves. Trim an inch off the bottom of the stem and use a vegetable peeler to remove the fibrous outer layer. As each artichoke is prepared, drop it into the lemon water to prevent it from turning brown. When all the artichokes are prepared, cover the pan and bring to a boil. Boil until the base of the stem can be pierced with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium. Slice the artichokes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the choke and first few inner layers in the center until the bottom is revealed. Brush each half with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the artichokes until tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter, squeeze half a lemon over them and garnish with the remaining lemon half cut into 4 wedges. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. Recipe and photo courtesy of http://www.eatingwell.com

Meatless Mondays Kale & Fig Salad

Kale&FigSalasKale & Fig Salad

We normally get our kale on in the form of a smoothie or juice in the Y3 test kitchen, but we were searching for a salad that is cleansing, hearty, and healthy as we transition through the cold and wet spring season. Because kale is one of our favorite nutrient dense foods of all time, we chose this leafy green as the primary ingredient to work with. Raw kale leaves are difficult to digest for some people, so make sure to massage each one thoroughly with salt and lemon juice so they would be more easily digestible. Also, remove the stems and cut the remaining pieces into tiny strips.

For this salad, we used lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur kale), which is dark green in color and loaded with vitamins and minerals. There are many varieties of kale & you may choose which ever you prefer, or even swap out kale for spinach or your favorite dark leafy green.  Kale carries a wide range of antioxidants and acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body.  With the addition of hemp seeds this is a powerhouse of a salad.  These tiny seeds include GLA (gamma linolenic acid), which decreases inflammation and lowers LDL cholesterol. Hemp seed contains easily digestible proteins, essential fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that promote a healthy metabolism, boost the immune system, and improve organ function. We LOVE kale and hemp seed, Enjoy!

Kale and Fig Salad

Kale

1 head of kale

juice of 1/2 lemon

pinch of salt

1 tbs. raw olive oil

1. Rinse kale leaves and pat off water with dish towel or paper towel.

2. Remove stem from each leaf.

3. Cut leaves into small strips and place in a bowl.

4. Add lemon juice, salt, and olive oil to leaves and massage thoroughly with hands. (This will soften kale and reduce leaves in size.) Set aside.

Dressing

1/2 avocado

3 tbs. raw olive oil

2 tbs. raw apple cider vinegar

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tbs. raw honey (or raw coconut sugar for vegans)

1. Place all ingredients in blender and mix until well combined.

2. Toss dressing with kale leaves until mix well.

Toppings

6-8 dried turkish figs, stems removed

2 tbs. hemp seeds

1/2 cup raw nuts or seeds of choice (optional)

pinch of black pepper

1. Chop figs into small pieces.

2. Add all ingredients to kale salad. Enjoy!

Photos &  Recipe from http://www.pureandsimple.typepad.com Courtesy of Amy Jo Hearron

Meatless Monday’s Warm Spring Salad

Warm Spring Salad

I have been cooking all things asparagus this week in the test kitchen. After burying myself in cookbooks and searching the inter webs for inspiration, I love this recipe.  It is simple, super nutritious and makes a beautiful presentation.  With the weather still cool a warm salad is very satisfying, and nothing says spring like asparagus, leeks, peas, strawberries, and lots of parsley all tossed in a simple lemon olive oil dressing. Easy, light, and super refreshing. If you’d like to add even more protein than what the quinoa and veggies provide I’m sure it would be nice with some white beans, chickpeas, or French lentils thrown in too. Nuts or seeds like pumpkin or hemp would also make a nice addition.

Asparagus

A few notes about asparagus:

  • Look for firm spears that don’t bend easily. Asparagus doesn’t tend to last very long, so it’s best consumed within 48 hours of purchasing. When you bring it home, wrap the stems in a damp paper towel to extend freshness.
  • Asparagus may aid in digestion thanks to its inulin content which is said to function as a “prebiotic”
    • In 1 cup of raw asparagus you’ll receive Vitamin K (69.6% Daily Value), Vitamin A (20.2% DV), Folate (17.4% DV), Iron (15.7% DV), Vitamin B1 (12.6% DV), Vitamin C (12.5% DV), 3 grams protein, 2.75 grams fibre, and more.
    • It can act as a diuretic causing you to lose more fluid than normal. Be sure to get enough water throughout the day.
    • Asparagus is anti-inflammatory thanks to its large composition of anti-inflammatory nutrients.
    • Source: World’s Healthiest Foods

Warm Spring Salad

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free

WarmSpringSalad

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or try speltberries for a twist)
  • 1/2 tbsp extra grapeseed oil or whatever oil you prefer for high heat cooking (not olive)
  • 1 leek, sliced into rounds or half moons
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced strawberries (optional)
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

For Dressing:

  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp Raw Agave syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain pink Himalayan Sea Salt & lots of cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • lemon zest, for garnish
  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and place into a medium pot. Add 1.5 cups vegetable broth,water, or broth of choice, we used chaga broth, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover with tight-fitting lid, and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Fluff with fork, remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, grab a very large skillet or wok. Sauté the leek and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the peas, and parsley. Heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat.

Leeks


skillet

3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, agave, and 1/4 tsp sea salt) to taste. Pour dressing onto skillet mixture and stir in the cooked quinoa. Toss in the strawberries last and serve immediately or they will turn the whole dish pink.

Season to taste with salt and pepper & enjoy! This would also be lovely with nuts or seeds sprinkled on top.

Recipe Inspiration & Photos courtesy of ohsheglows.com