Roasted Carrot Soup

This is a wonderfully simple soup.  The flavors are delicate and warm.  I think it would be a great soup for when you’re feeling a little under the weather, or when you just need a light but delicious soup.  Roasting the carrots brings out their sweetness, and the ginger and thyme infused vegetable stock adds a nice warmth and earthiness in the background.  I think you could make this even easier by roasting the onions with the carrots.  This was very popular at the last School of Christian Living class of the term.  I served it with Black Bean, Quinoa and Citrus Salad and a Dark Chocolate Cardamom Mousse, but this would also be sublime with a sandwich, or a simple green salad.

Roasted Carrot SoupRoasted Carrot Soup

Serves 12-14

Adapted from Food 52

  • 5 lbs carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2″ rounds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
  • 3 1/2 (32oz) boxes good quality vegetable stock
  • 3 one-inch pieces of ginger, peeled
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 large sweet onions, chopped
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the chopped carrots with half the olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt.  Set oven rack 6-8 inches from the broiler and turn the broiler on.  Broil for about 10-15 minutes, rotating the carrots every 4-5 minutes until they’ve got some color and are tender.

Meanwhile, bring stock to a boil in a large pot with the ginger and thyme in it, simmer for 15 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and sauté for a couple of minutes, then add garlic and sauté until fragrant and onions begin to brown.

Remove ginger and thyme from the stock pot and then carefully add onion/garlic, the roasted carrots, and ground ginger.  Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes until carrots are soft enough to puree.  Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pumpkin Walnut Bread (vegan)

Do vegan baked goods kind of make you cringe?  I’m always hesitant to label things vegan because I think mainstream society thinks of vegan food as extreme and unappealing, but I promise, this vegan Pumpkin Walnut Bread is yummy!  I got the recipe from Joy the Baker, who I definitely trust to make a delicious anything, so despite my skepticism about vegan baked goods I gave it a try, and per usual she did not lead me astray.

Now it’s confession time….sometimes I make really big mistakes in the kitchen…mistakes like leaving out half of the flour in this bread.  I realized as I was cleaning up, once the bread had been in the oven for about 7 minutes…too long to do anything about it.  But sometimes mistakes workout, and in this case, I had a dense, super moist almost brownie-like “bread,” and it was still delicious.  This also is about as close to gingerbread as I’m going to get.  It has those great fall flavors, but is definitely not overwhelmingly spicy as gingerbread can be.  So if you have vegan guests coming for the holidays, give this bread a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much non-vegans enjoy it as well!

Pumpkin Walnut Bread (vegan)Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Adapted from Joy the Baker

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (optional?  this is what I forgot…if you do too, it’s still yummy, but it will be fluffier if you add this)
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (or another 1/2 cup oil)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 heaping cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease two loaf pans (8x4x2) and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.  In a large measuring cup, whisk together oil, applesauce, syrup, water and pumpkin puree.  Add wet ingredients to the dry and use a spatula to fold together until just combined, making sure to get all the dry ingredient at the bottom.Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Bread loaf

Fold in the walnuts, reserving some to sprinkle on top.  Divide the dough between the prepared baking pans and sprinkle with walnuts.  Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes before turning out to a cooling rack.

Roasted Cabbage with Toasted Hazelnuts

This salad is a bit different, it doesn’t have a whole lot going on, but it plays well with other dishes.  I served it for a Tuesday night dinner with the most amazing Spiced Stuffed Acorn Squash, which needed a nice supporting character and I thought this Roasted Cabbage fit the bill nicely.  This comes together quickly and can easily be scaled down if you’re not feeding a crowd.  Also, the color is just lovely, who doesn’t like eating purple vegetables?  I’ve also had leftovers with salted pistachios on top, which is also delicious!

Roasted Cabbage with Toasted HazelnutsRoasted Cabbage with Hazelnuts

Serves 12-14

Adapted from The Kitchn

  • 1 small head red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 head savoy cabbage, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1-2 tsp agave or honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Set oven to broil.  Spread chopped cabbage in a large jelly roll pan, drizzle with olive oil.  Roast for about 5 minutes, until edges brown.  Remove from oven and carefully mix.  Return to oven and roast for another 5 minutes, being carefully not to let it get too dark.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  In a small bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil with Stuffed Squash and Roasted Cabbagelemon juice, agave, salt and pepper.  Move cabbage to serving dish and drizzle lightly with dressing.  Serve with toasted hazelnuts.

Spiced Stuffed Acorn Squash

This stuffed squash was DELICIOUS!  This will definitely be a regular recipe for me.  It took quite a bit of searching to find an acorn squash recipe I liked the sound of.  So many vegetarian squash recipes out there don’t sound like a main dish (in that they don’t have a lot of protein), so I was really intrigued by the chickpeas.  I also liked the inclusion of some extra veggies that I don’t normally think of in a stuffing but worked out really well.

I’m not sure this is the right name for this since it’s pretty hard to describe in a word or two, the main seasoning is garam masala.  Garam masala is a warm spice blend typically used in Northern Indian/South Asian cuisine.  It has a lot of those warm baking spices like cinnamon and cardamom, so it works really well with this slightly sweet, but savory dish.  I’m not normally a fan of celery or raisins, but in this dish they work wonderfully.  Although if you can’t get your mind wrapped around celery you might be able to use frozen peas instead, and if you don’t want to give golden raisins a chance then you can use dried cranberries instead.  But really I think it was absolutely perfect as is.  Definitely make extra because the leftovers are just as delicious.

Spiced Stuffed Acorn SquashSpiced Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves 14

Adapted from Mountain Mama Cooks

  • 7 acorn squashes, cut in half and scoop insides out
  • olive oil, kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1 head of celery, about 10 stalks, chopped
  • 6 scallions, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked buckwheat (or barley, couscous, etc)
  • 4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups golden raisins
  • 3 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a large baking sheet with foil and set aside.

Drizzle olive oil on the insides of your prepared acorn squash, sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, and stab the insides repeatedly with a fork.  Place squash cut side down on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until just fork tender (the fork should be able to pierce the skin pretty easily.  In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, 1/2 tsp garam masala and 1/2 tsp (table) salt.  In the last five minutes of baking, carefully flip the squash over and sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.  Return to oven to finish baking until fork tender and brown sugar has melted, about 5 minutes.Stuffed Squash and Roasted Cabbage

While squash bakes, prepare the filling.  In a large sauté pan or wok, heat a little olive oil over medium heat.  Add celery, scallions, and garlic, cooking until tender.  Stir in kale.  As kale begins to soften, add in the cooked buckwheat and the garam masala, cumin, and salt.  Mix well.  Just before flipping the squash, add in the raisins and chickpeas, mix to warm through.

When the squash is done, carefully transfer to your serving dish and then scoop filling into the center of the squash.  Serve and enjoy!

Black Bean Pumpkin Patties with Raw Kale Salad

I made this dish for Tuesday’s School of Christian Living dinner, and it was SUPER popular!  I have to admit I was really shocked by how much people liked this meal.  I was taking a chance on the raw kale.  I love salad and raw veggies, but I know they frequently feel like “health” food in the worst sense of the word.  And while this is definitely a healthy meal, it works together so perfectly.  The patties are creamy and tender with fragrant spices, the kale is hearty and chewy with a tart vinaigrette rubbed into each leaf.  It’s definitely a perfect pairing and works so much better than rolls would for these patties because they are so tender and creamy they would just blend with rolls.  With this salad, the patties really shine!

Black Bean Pumpkin Patties with Raw Kale SaladBlack Bean Pumpkin Patty on Raw Kale Salad

Serves 10-12

Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen


  • 2 bunches curly kale
  • 1 romaine heart
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste

Black Bean Pumpkin Patties:

Black Bean Pumpkin Patties

  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 9 scallions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (I used fresh, but one 15oz can should work)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked and cooled brown rice
  • 3 (15oz) cans black beans
  • 6 Tbsp flaxmeal
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats (or bread crumbs, or rolled oats briefly processed)
  • olive oil for cooking

To make the salad, tear the kale from the stems and into small bite size pieces, place in a large serving bowl.  In a measuring cup, whisk together the oil, lime juice, vinegar, coriander, salt and pepper.  Drizzle 1/3 to 1/2 the dressing on the kale and then massage the leaves.  Rub the dressing into the leaves until they’re all glossy and shiny looking.  Let sit while you assemble the rest of the meal (the kale can sit like this for about a week without getting soggy and unappealing like normal lettuce).  Just before serving, chop the romaine and cilantro, toss with grated carrots and kale.  Toss with a bit more dressing to taste, or serve it on the side.

In a food processor, combine garlic, scallions, pumpkin, chili powder, salt and cumin, pulse until well mixed.  Add rice,  2/3 of the beans, flaxmeal and oats, pulse to combine.  Remove mixture from food processor into a large bowl and mix in the remaining whole black beans.  At this point you can refrigerate it until you’re ready to cook.

Heat a large skillet with about 1 Tbsp oil over medium high heat.  Form the patties (should get about 20 3/4″ thick patties, I used a 1/3 cup scoop to form them) and carefully place in hot skillet.  Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden and heated through.  If cooking in batches, heat the oven to 300°F and keep the patties warm in the oven while you finish cooking them.  Serve over kale salad.

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are scrumptious.  They’re kind of like coconut macaroons, with a chewy, crunchy, sweet nutty flavor.  They definitely don’t taste vegan, and while they’re a little crumbly, they definitely hold their shape long enough to get in your mouth, what more could you need?

I’m still figuring coconut oil out, but I imagine that this dough should not be refrigerated or the coconut oil with solidify, so keep at room temperature before baking.

Carrot Oatmeal CookiesCarrot Oatmeal Cookie

Makes about 20 cookies

Adapted from The Flour Sack

  • 1 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup coconut, toasted
  • 1 cup grated carrot (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir in the oats, nuts, coconut, and carrot.

In a measuring cup or separate bowl, whisk together maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and ginger.  Stir wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.

Scoop cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.  Cookies don’t spread out so you can fit quite a few on one pan.

Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Pasta

The enjoyable thing about the School of Christian Living’s vegan challenge is that it forces me to get creative and adapt recipes to work within the limits I have set.  This pasta dish was loosely based off a recipe, but to make it vegan and fit in my price point, I took quite a few liberties so that the final product is quite unlike the original recipe I started with.  And sometimes trying something different works out wonderfully.  I loved the way this dish uses diced tomatoes but doesn’t feel like a spaghetti sauce.  The mushrooms and garlic give it a great earthiness while the tomatoes give it some zing and binds the whole dish together.  While I can’t wait to try the original recipe in its cheesy goodness, this was an excellent dish and I didn’t miss the cheese at all.  Lots of flavor!  And while 4 heads of garlic sounds super intense, the roasted garlic was actually pretty subtle.  If you’re a garlic-lover feel free to add another head.  I made the garlic a day ahead and kept it wrapped in foil until ready to use.

Roasted Garlic and Mushroom PastaRoasted Garlic and Mushroom Pasta

Serves 10

Adapted from The Flour Sack

  • 4 heads garlic, top 1/3 cut off
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, large chop
  • 1 lb white button or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 lbs bow-tie or other small noodle pasta
  • 2 (15oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Drizzle cut garlic heads with olive oil and wrap tightly in foil.  Place in the oven and roast for about 40-50 minutes until golden brown.  While garlic roasts, chop and quarter the mushrooms and place on large baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt, mix well and roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until browned but not dry.

Cook pasta according to the instructions, being sure to salt the pasta water really well (at least 1 Tbsp of salt) once it has come to a boil.  When the pasta is done, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest.

In a large sauce pan, mix together the diced tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves.   Mix in the rosemary and sugar.  When the mushrooms are done mix in the mushrooms and pasta water to the sauce.  Just before serving, combine the sauce and the pasta in a large bowl, toss well to combine.  Sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

Grilled Vegetable Salad

Salads get a bad rap.  They’re frequently thought of as diet or rabbit food.  So I’m trying to make more of an effort to make salads exciting.  And add things to add interest, color, texture and taste to what might otherwise be boring greens.  Last Tuesday for SCL I made this grilled vegetable salad.  You could also roast vegetables if you don’t have a grill pan, or want to keep the stove top for something else.  Just by simply adding a little grilled flavor to your veggies, this salad becomes something a little special that makes you just a bit happier to eat your greens (especially in winter when cold salads are less enticing).

You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand.  I went with colorful bell peppers and red onions.  While I’m not normally a fan of red onions, grilling them (or roasting them) gives them a lovely sweet flavor that’s just delicious.

Grilled Vegetable SaladGrilled Vegetable Salad

Serves 10-12

Adapted from Love and Lemons

  • 3 romaine hearts, cut in bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 (15oz) cans chickpeas
  • 4 bell peppers, deseeded and cut into quarters
  • 4 red onions, cut into eighths
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 9 Tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine romaine, spinach, and chickpeas.

Preheat a large grill pan over medium-high heat.  Toss the bell peppers and red onion in olive oil and salt.  When pan is ready, place peppers and onion in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd.  Let grill for 1-2 minutes on each side until tender and grill marks are visible.  Remove cooked vegetables to a cutting board and allow to cool slightly before cutting into bite-size pieces.

Top salad with grilled vegetables and toss lightly with a third or half of the dressing, to taste.  Serve immediately.

Cranberry Pear Crumble

Coming up with vegan desserts is a bit challenging. I really want to stick with ingredients that people might have on hand, so the idea of doing some fruit cobblers/crumbles seemed like a good place to start. When I saw this combination of pears and cranberries I was definitely intrigued. I could totally see how the tart berries would be a great balance to the sweet pears, and it really is a perfect match. The crumble combines olive oil and maple syrup, oats and walnuts for a delicious crunchy crumble. This is definitely a unique spin on some classic fall/winter flavors. I’d definitely recommend it!

Cranberry Pear Crumble

Serves 10-12

Adapted from Joy the Baker and My Kitchen Addiction


  • 8-10 ripe but firm pears (I used bartlett)
  • 2 heaping cups fresh cranberries
  • 4 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 lemon juiced


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Peel and core the pears and cut into large bite-size pieces and spread out in a 9×13″ baking dish.  Add the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.  Toss gently and set aside.

In a food processor combine all the ingredients for the topping.  Pulse several times until well combined.

Mix 1/3 of the topping mixture with the filling, spread evenly in the pan and  top with the rest of the crumble.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until bubbly, golden and delicious.

Remove from oven and allow to sit for about 15 minutes before serving.

No-Knead Country Bread

I made this bread last week for School of Christian Living.  It turned out so well I think I’ll be making it again for communion on Sunday.

While this did take a long time to rise, I think the biggest problem is that my house is pretty chilly in the winter and I don’t have a nice warm spot for the dough to sit.  Maybe I’ll make a fire for my dough to sit by next time.

This bread has an excellent crumb and makes great toast.  It was convenient that one recipe can make two loaves, or as I’ll try next time, you can make one loaf in a large pot.

No-Knead Country Bread

Makes 1 large, or 2 smaller loaves

Adapted from  Apple A Day

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (or flax meal)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together stirring until all the flour has been incorporated.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, dry place overnight or for about 8 hours, until doubled in size.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a loaf.  Place in a large greased Dutch oven, or shape into two loaves and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Cover and let rise for about an hour.

With a sharp pairing knife cut an ‘X’ or three diagonal slashes across the dough just before baking.

If baking in a covered Dutch oven then place in a cold oven and set for 450°F and bake 40-50 minutes.  Remove lid and bake an additional 5-15 minutes until golden brown.

For two loaves, preheat the oven to 400°F and bake for 25-30 minutes, until bread is golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing.