Curried Coconut, Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup

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Midterms have done an abundance for my culinary creativity.  Instead of pouring over the books I have been brainstorming new recipes, and when that doesn’t suffice to distract me from what I should be doing I decide to test drive them in my kitchen.  I have pleaded with Jay to keep me on track and dispel my procrastinating tendencies.  He has been no help. He even went so far as to tell me that I didn’t know what the word meant because I had started studying 3 weeks prior for my exams.  He did however sit down to quiz me, and then left me to my own devices to attempt a new soup.  Perhaps I should be weary of the directional pull of his encouragement seeing as he reaps the rewards of my culinary pursuits in spades, but doesn’t shoulder the burden if I go into my tests unprepared.  However, I am feeling good about the scholastic content and I am sure the nourishment from this thick, hearty soup will carry me the rest of the way.  This rich, savory soup is as flavorful as it is healthy. Enjoy 🙂

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Slow Cooked Black Bean Chili

ImageMy first job was as a housekeeper at the Fairmont Empress, which is a job I held all through high school, university and the start of my teaching career.  It was the best job I could have ever asked for and one that I am so thankful to have had.  Working at the hotel taught me the power of hard work, how to work under pressure and how to interact with people from all over the world.  All the while I got the opportunity to work with my best friend Sarah and meet some of the more exceptional people I now have the pleasure of knowing.  That being said I had to quit earlier this spring as we prepare to move to New York.  So last night we had a little Empress Housekeeping get together at our house so that we could catch up on the latest hotel news and warm our new home with those we cherish.

We lazed on the lawn in our back yard with some appies, homemade black bean chili and a few glasses of wine.  This chili was a hearty, rich vegan recipe that is simmered in the slow cooker for 8 hours.  With virtually no hands on prep time and yielding lots of leftovers when cooked for two people, this dish has become one of our staple meals for busy weeks.


Jay is a carnivore while I am a pescatarian , so we have become adept at combining our differing diets at meal time.  So with this in mind for last night’s meal I set up a chili.  The chili itself was vegan and I laid out an assortment of fresh chives, parsley and cilantro from our garden, hot sauces, spiced pulled chicken, taco chips, cheese, sour cream, avocado and crushed chilies for them to choose from.  The result was a chili that suited everyones preferences and dietary needs -whether vegetarian, vegan, (almost) paleo, dairy free or gluten free.  I would  have to say the meal was a hit because even after doubling the recipe there wasn’t any left to spare.

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Roasted Banana Squash, Peach and Green Apple Soup

Happy rainy Sunday everyone.20130623-162305.jpgWell the sun decided not to come out today and after spending the morning outside at the polo fields in a little west coast drizzle for our church picnic we were looking for something warm and nourishing for dinner.  Tonight we are nestled in with a movie, a delicious homemade soup and are at last unwinding for the first time in what feels like weeks of nonstop action.  This sweet and savoury homemade soup was the perfect answer for our cozy night in, when our energy levels would not have permitted a lengthy labour intensive meal preparation.  Today simplicity truly is best.

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Energizing Green Soup

20130327-165808.jpgI am back in grade 6 for the start of the term and they are an amazing, energetic bunch.  I honestly don’t think I have had as much fun with a group of students before.  They are eager and exceed expectations routinely.  They are challenging me to be a better teacher by creatively reaching beyond all my instructions. However that also means that the last number of weeks, although spectacular, have also been exhausting.  So tonight I needed a little extra energy (and a hard hit of iron) so I whipped up an antioxidant packed, iron laden energizing soup.  I wasn’t sure if this medley of green veggies would mesh well but the result was a savory, comforting meal that required seconds and thirds.  Continue reading “Energizing Green Soup”

Nourishing Carrot Ginger Soup

9b0d26b0789711e28ed122000a9f1311_6As a new teacher you are in constant contact with sniffles, runny noses and grubby fingers, and unfortunately you don’t have the immune system of a veteran educator. So in any attempt to reduce the number of times I come down with a cold I have tried to be mindful of my nutrition and weave plenty of fresh ginger root, chili and garlic into my diet. Tonight I whipped up a nourishing and hearty carrot ginger soup with a hint of sweet from the Braeburn apples, which compliments spice of the turmeric perfectly. Now I am off to catch up with some amazing girlfriends over a movie and idle chat (while I secretly oggle her three beautiful children).

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Spicy Tomato Coconut Bisque

ImageFirst and foremost my apologies for the quality of photo.  Until my husband comes home and fixes our iMac I am left to suffer away snapping shots with my iPhone. However, photo quality aside this soup was just what the stomach asked for.  I have been a little under the weather lately, and with Jay away in North Carolina on business my motivation to utilize my culinary prowess has been limited.  So tonight I decided to change my attitude and use figured that a little homemade soup could heal what ails me.  This vegan and paleo friendly bisque uses coconut milk instead of milk to give it a creamy depth and habanero peppers to give it a little bite. The result: Yum. Continue reading “Spicy Tomato Coconut Bisque”