Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

Vegan and Low-cal: Creamy Corn Chowder

I know the title may sound a bit hypocritical.  I have the words “Vegan” and “Creamy” in the same title along with “Low-cal” and “Chowder”.  I assure you that this corn chowder is vegan, only has about 135 calories per serving, and will knock your socks off.  Especially if you eat it when it’s storming so hard out that you wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if your roof was ripped right off (taking your upstairs neighbor with it).

I served this with some crusty stale whole wheat bread that I bought at whole foods and a simple butter lettuce and arugula salad.  boston-lettuceI’m completely hooked on this hydroponic lettuce they sell at whole foods – I think I eat about one package a day.

I apologize for not having a photo – I’ll try to post one later today after our camera is charged and I heat up more of the soup to have for lunch.  I was far to hungry last night to fiddle with photos.  I had to eat as soon as it was finished cooking.  There was no stopping me.

I left my soup chunky, and it turned out thick.  Really, really thick.  If you’re not down with the chunky then you can certainly throw the finished product into a blender (just be sure it’s not too hot or you may burn the crap out of your hands).  Also, if you decide to blend it you may want to add more vegetable broth or soy milk and less potato flakes.  Yes, I said potato flakes.  Here’s the recipe:

Serves 6 (or 4 if you’re a piggy like me)

2 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 medium/large sweet onion finely chopped (depends on how much onion you like – I like A LOT!)

1 1/2 cups celery finely chopped

1 cup carrots finely chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

2 cups GOOD vegetable broth

2 1/2 cups frozen corn (or use fresh, whatever you have)

2 cups soy milk

2/3 cup potato flakes (I used Whole Foods brand which has 70 cal per 1/3 cup)

1/2 cup chopped scallion

salt and pepper to taste

This is a one pot meal so break out a large soup pot.  Heat the olive oil over medium heat and toss in the celery and onion.  Saute until translucent and soft, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the carrots and the garlic and cook, constantly stirring, for about 5-6 more minutes.  Pour in your vegetable broth and heat for about 2 minutes then add the corn.  Give the corn about 2 more minutes in the pot and then add the soy milk.  Stir it up and raise the heat so that it comes to a slight boil.  Immediately turn it down to med-low and stir in the potato flakes.  (This makes it “chowder-like” so you may want to start out with less and gradually add more.)  You have your choice now to add the scallions or you can wait and use them as a garnish.  I added them to the soup while cooking and I think I made the right decision.  Add salt and pepper to your liking (who am I kidding? add LOTS and LOTS of fresh cracked black pepper!) and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.  You can let this sit as long as you need to actually, just make sure you stir it occasionally.

Pour yourself a very large glass of wine, pop a Netflix in the DVD player, and enjoy!

Nutritional breakdown per serving: (the salt is not included because everyone uses a different amount. If you’re watching your salt intake then make adjustments as needed.)

Calories 135.5
Total Fat 6.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.4 g
Cholesterol 0.7 mg
Sodium 357.0 mg
Potassium 432.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Sugars 3.7 g
Protein 3.7 g

Beet Burgers Look Just Like Meat Burgers

So last night I decided to try a Roasted Beet-tofu Burger recipe that I found on one of my favorite blogs, FatFree Vegan Kitchen.  I never would have thought to try, let alone make a beet burger but my boyfriend ordered one at The Plant Cafe (formally known as Lettus) a while back and I thought it was awesome.  beet_burger_

The only thing I changed was adding Italian style bread crumbs to the mix and I left out the flax seeds because that’s what I had – and I deeply regret that alteration.  Before the addition of the bread crumbs the mixture tasted pretty good.  Afterwards…”Why did I do that?!”.  Anyway, I baked them about 10 minutes longer than suggested, flipped them over halfway through cooking, and slathered them with a chipolte aioli (as suggested on the original recipe).  The addition of a pile of thinly sliced tomato and arugula almost made up for the “Italian Bread Crumb Incident”.

I have to admit that I was a little shocked when I opened the oven halfway through cooking – they looked just like real animal meat patties! I assure you though, they do not taste like meat, nor would I want them to.  They’re earthy and healthy – just as a vegetable burger should be.

Again, I don’t have a photo of the fully constructed burger because, well, last night was the season premier of ‘House’ and I finished making these right at 8pm and had just enough time to throw ’em on a plate and leap over to the couch.  Besides, if you check out the original recipe here, you’ll see that I simply can’t compete with Susan’s photos…