Vegan Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup

Thank you to Sarah Norris of Gluten Free Dairy Free Walt Disney World for pointing me to this recipe – I had purchased Yukon gold potatoes and trimmed leeks at Trader Joe’s because the idea of soup when it is 100 degrees out is oddly appealing.  I adjusted it to be more calorie friendly and thought I’d share my version here.  First, let me direct you to the inspiration, Gluten-Free Goddess’ 2009 recipe.  Her post has wonderful pictures (with leeks for a garnish) and suggestions for a stove top method as well.  Also check out our Food Allergy Bloggers Conference post featuring Sarah, it was great to meet her last year!

IMG_20140619_112619463

Ingredients

1 cup rice milk

4 cups vegetable broth

2 leeks, trimmed and sliced (I used a 6oz pre-trimmed pack from Trader Joe’s)

680g Yukon gold potatoes, washed and quartered (I leave the skins on)

1 tsp dried tarragon

1 tsp dried dill weed

1 tsp granulated garlic

Salt and Pepper to taste (depends on how much salt is in the broth you use)

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Supplies

Slow cooker or crock pot

Cutting board, knife

Teaspoon measurement

Immersion blender

IMG_20140619_113435368

Directions

Start your crock pot on high, set it for 5 1/2 hours.  add the oil if desired and then the chopped leeks.  No need to worry about large rounds when you are chopping the leek, you will be blending this recipe up!  Add your quartered potatoes and then the 4 cups of vegetable broth.  You’ll see the ingredients are just about covered.  We don’t want the soup to be watery so trust me on this.  Cook on high and when when the 5 hours of cooking time has elapsed (I set it for a little longer so I have time to chop and prep while it heats up) you’re going to blend the soup in the crock pot with your hand immersion blender.  At this point add the 1 cup of rice milk, adjust your salt and pepper to taste, heat until warm throughout (shouldn’t take long) and you’re ready to serve.  Great with a salad.

Calorie and Nutritional Information

potatoleeksoup

 

The batch I made came to 1,763 grams and we like to do 100 gram servings in MyFitnessPal so it was 47 calories per 100 grams.  I didn’t list the spices and herbs in the recipe so that may have added a trivial amount of calories.  I’ve managed to put all my lost weight back on in the last year but I am still trying to fight my way back.  Here’s hoping!

Persian Lima Bean Rice Recipe

This recipe has gradually been something I’ve made my own.  First, I made it vegetarian by leaving out the beef.  Then, when E’s allergies became fully known I left out the margarine/butter and didn’t serve this dish with cucumber yogurt (there exists ricera’s rice milk yogurt which we do eat but it is vanilla and isn’t suited for this sort of thing).  I took lots of photos to help show this process.  You’ll want to do some prep here and there to make the final assembly easier.  I’ve posted photos here so do look through them to get an idea of all the steps to follow.

Supplies

Large 5 quart saucepan (I use all clad but it can be nonstick)
Large mesh strainer
Bowls
Frying pan

Ingredients

2 large peeled and sliced russet potatoes (enough to cover the bottom of the saucepan)
2 15oz cans of lima beans (or 1, or a 10z bag of frozen lima beans, this is really flexible, my daughter loves to eat the beans so I put extra)
1/2 a large onion (use the other half to make tomato onion salad to serve with this)
3 cloves of garlic
1  tablespoon turmeric
6 tablespoons dill weed
1 teaspoon salt and  1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons canola and 2 tablespoons olive oil
Three cups of basmati rice (Costco sells nice large bags of this, it is a great deal), rinsed until the water runs clear and then soaked at least two hours or overnight

Directions

This makes tons of food so you can halve it or use leftovers for lunch the next day.

You have three layers to make, the tahdig (which is the potato crust at the bottom of your pan), the rice, and the lima bean mixture to put between layers of rice.

As stated above, the rice has to be rinsed until the water runs clear, then soaked overnight or at least 2 hours.  I usually do the overnight method.  So, you run water into a bowl with the rice and swish it around with your hand gently.  Drain and repeat until the water is no longer cloudy.  This may take quite a few times.  Cook’s illustrated suggests when rinsing rice you can just run water over it in a sieve but I feel like that would take more water though I’ve never tested the difference.

To make the lima bean portion fry the diced onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until soft, add turmeric, your crushed garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the dill & salt plus pepper too.  Fry more and then add the rinsed beans if using canned beans or your frozen beans.  Fry until a little brown.  Set aside for now (I sometimes make this in advance and cover it in the fridge until I need it when preparing the rice.

Put rice in the saucepan and fill water to an inch above it.  Bring to a boil and boil about a minute.  Check the rice, put a grain on your finger and use your nail to break it in two.  You want the inside to still be a little hard.  Drain as soon as possible if this is the case and run cold water on the rice so it stops cooking.

Put the saucepan on the stove and put the canola oil to cover the pan bottom.  Heat it on medium high and cover the pan bottom with the potatoes (I put in extra because E likes the soft potatoes but you really just need to cover the bottom of the pan).  Then layer a third of your rice, then 2 tablespoons of dill, then half the lima bean mixture, then rice, 2 tablespoons of dill, lima bean mixture, and then rice on top.  Poke 4 holes in the rice and put a bit of olive oil in each hole (a tablespoon of olive oil total).

Put a dish towel over the pan lid and hold it on with a bowl when it goes on the pan.  Increase the heat to high until when you test a wet finger on the top of the pan’s bottom third it hisses.  Then turn to low for 40 mins to an hour.  When you remove everything to serve you mix the rice and beans and top with the potatoes.  I serve this with a tomato and onion salad with a lemon and olive oil  dressing (recipe to follow).

It gets easier to make but it is kind of a lot of steps. Persian cooking is not usually quick.  Arguably this is far removed from the real thing but people enjoy eating it when I serve it for company.  My siblings don’t mind it either and they are not vegetarians at all.

I am linking this to Cybele Pascal’s allergy friendly friday, here!  I am also linking to Diet, Dessert and Dogs’ Wellness Weekend, click through from some great allergy friendly and vegan ideas!

A Visit to Star Nursery

This is a great outing for kids, we went to Star Nursery this weekend (go early, it is warming up fast and it gets busy there as well).  They have a small fish and turtle pond and you get to pull your kids and purchases around in a red wagon.  They love it!

We planted garlic, carrots, tomatoes (better boy, early girl, and cherry varieties – this article suggested some but we had luck with early girl last year), pumpkin, snap pea, strawberries (two varieties), cilantro, basil, dill, parsley, and apple mint.  We also planted two flowering plants (cassias) and a nectarine and peach tree.  I love fruit trees, we have a pomegranate working along already and a large fig tree.  You can see the peach tree blossom in the shot above with the nectarine we bought behind it.  I also splurged (ok, it was $3.99 and we had a 20% off coupon off the back of the water authority 2011 calendar) on a kneeling pad so I can kneel on it for weeding.  It is awesome!  Oh, and a pair of gardening gloves so that I can work with R watching me and grab him with clean hands if he suddenly wants to be picked up.

I put the herbs in a container but if one of them takes over I’ll do some moving around.  Won’t it be great if I can just grab a handful when I’m cooking?  I had luck with mint last year and basil the year before that.  Here’s hoping!

We also took the kids out in the bike trailer to the park and had a great time.  R actually fell asleep both ways and we got some good family exercise in.  I love my new bike, my husband got it for my birthday and it is a Specialized Ariel (not the same model, mine is blue but maybe bike shops have a different selection?).  The shop in boulder city gave us 10% off which really helped and I found a helmet at Costco this past week.

I will take some pictures of the tomatoes, etc. once I am done putting the mulch down around them.  The article I linked to above said to pick varieties that mature in 70 days or less because you don’t want to hit the high heat.  Then you can encourage fruiting again later in summer for another crop but at above 90 degrees the flowers will fall from the tomatoes so you have to plant now and buy the bigger plants, not the little 6 packs.  Of course if I planned better I could have started my own seedlings for cheaper on the porch a while back but I don’t have that much time.

I love spring!