Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Potato & Leek Soup

Fall is my favorite time of year for soups. Whether it's a busy day doing fall clean-up in the yard on Saturday or a Sunday football game, I like to have a soup ready to go for the day whenever we decide to eat. Some weekends it seems like an open house. We may not know if if or how many people may stop over and say, 'Hi' so it's great to have food there for the taking. If no one comes over, we have great leftovers for the week. I seriously can't go wrong!

Potato & Leek Soup is one of my favorites. I absolutely love the taste of sautéd leeks and a creamy potato base is the perfect vehicle to scoop them up! This soup has been a go-to for a couple years now because it's really simple and the flavors of the vegetables are not overpowered by different spices ... it's all veggie fresh!

Vegan Potato & Leek Soup

Potato & Leek Soup

6 c russet potatoes, chopped into ½-inch cubes
2 medium carrots, cut in half moons
3 cups of vegetable broth
2 1/2 c leeks, cut in half moons
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded (Daiya Vegan Cheese works best for melting)
1/4 c parsley, chopped
½ tsp dried dill
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 t pepper

  • corn
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • zesty red pepper flakes
  • chopped green onion
  • Your favorite fakin' bacon

Vegan Potato & Leek Soup

In a large pot, put in your veggie broth, carrots and potatoes. Keep covered on a steady medium heat until the veggies are tender.

Meanwhile, sauté your garlic and leeks in a little oil. Once they have begun to caramelize take them off and set aside.

Once potatoes and carrots are soft, pureé them using a immersion blender. Next, add in cheese, spices and leeks and mix with a large spoon. Adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Serve right away or keep warm in a crock pot until you're ready.

Serve with your desired toppings.

Vegan Potato & Leek Soup

Monday, October 27, 2014

Nutty Macaroni and Cheese Burgers + Annie's Homegrown Giveaway

Recently, the great people of  Team Annie's over at Annie's Homegrown sent me an amazing package filled with boxes of mac 'n cheese, cheddar snack mixes, a reusable Chico grocery bag, a wooden spork and other great goodies. I was thrilled opening it up, but once the kids caught sight of it, I couldn't even hear my own thoughts over the chanting of, "Bunnies! Bunnies! Bunnies!" Annie's Snack Mix Bunnies are a big treat in our house and seeing two whole boxes sent the kids overboard!

Very rarely do we have leftover Annie's macaroni and cheese, but occasionally there's a cup still in the pot. I will usually use it as a substitute for breadcrumbs and make burgers with it. I wanted to go a little further and try a true macaroni and cheese burger. I used my Walnut Burger recipe as my guide. I replaced all of the breadcrumbs and cheese with macaroni. I knew the kids were going to go crazy over the idea of an Annie's macaroni and cheese burger, so I threw in some spinach so they would get their greens too, without even knowing it. The burger was a hit and it stayed together really well, which as we know, many vegetarian burgers have a hard time doing!

This really got my wheels turning, so I grabbed a box of Annie's Gluten Free Macaroni to see if the burger would still hold together. Not only did they stay together, but the ooey gooey cheesy goodness rained though! Thank you Annie's for the goodies to keep my cooking wheels turnin'!

I topped the burgers with a little tomato and kale for the kids, but I added some of Annie's dijon mustard to mine ... mmm mmm mmm.

Anyone interested in taking home their own goodie box filled with yummy Annie's Homegrown  food, products and coupons? Yup, That's what I thought! Just leave a comment below and log in to the Annie's Homegrown Giveaway to confirm your comment.

Have you used Annie’s products before? How do you incorporate them into your meals?

Nutty Macaroni and Cheese Burgers

Makes 4

1 c walnuts, toasted
1 box Annie's Mac & Cheese, divided (use your favorite flavor, original, white cheddar or even gluten free!)
1 T butter
1/2 10 oz box of spinach
1 egg
1/4 c onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t dill
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Make the box of Annie's Mac & Cheese but instead of using milk and butter, simply use 1 tablespoons of butter. This will make for a thicker almost gooey sauce.

In a food processor, mix walnuts, 1 1/2 cups mac & cheese, spinach. You want the walnuts to be broken down and everything to be thoroughly mixed.

Then, in a mixing bowl, mix your nutty spinach and mac & cheese mixture with egg, onion, garlic, spices and 1/2 c of the remaining mac & cheese.

Divide into 4 equal patties and lay them on a baking sheet. Bake at 375º for 15 minutes, flip and bake for another 5.

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Thanks Team Annie's! And don't forget to check out all of Annie’s Homegrown products at

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between my blog and Annie's Homegrown. This could include Annie's providing me w/ content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Creamy Romanesco Dip

Romanesco is a true mystery ... it's half broccoli and half cauliflower but in my opinion it's better than both because it's the perfect combination! So, why are broccoli and cauliflower sold in stores and not Romanesco? It's pointy starburst florets make it just as fun to look at as it is to eat!

Creamy Romanesco Dip

Romanesco may be one of the sole purposes that I sign up for a CSA, okay, that's a lie, but I look forward to this time of year when we get it in our baskets. It's great steamed with just a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper, but of course, my favorite way is to smash the heck out of it and use it as a dip!

Creamy Romanesco Dip

Lately, we've been rushing outside after naps in order to get ever bit of nice weather we can before it starts getting colder.Plus, since it's starting to get light out earlier we don't have as much time after dinner to play. Because of this mad rush, the kids have been skipping an afternoon snack and either eating dinner a touch earlier or I make an appetizer for us all to share before dinner. Let me tell you, we downed almost the entire bowl of dip and what we didn't finish with our carrots and crackers we used as a topping on our burgers that night.

Vegan Creamy Romanesco Dip

Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 head romanesco
5 T vegan cream cheese
1/4 c veganaise
2 garlic cloves
1 T lemon juice
2 T parsley
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Cut the florets of the romanesco off and steam them for about 10 minutes until they are good and tender. Put them into your food processor with the rest of the ingredients and puree until you have a smooth texture.

I like it right away when it's still a little warm, but it's great cold too. Serve it with cut veggies, crackers, use it as a topping or I've even added olive oil to it and used it as a dressing ... all truly delicious!

Creamy Romanesco Dip

Creamy Romanesco Dip