Category Archives: juice

Main-Dish Vegetable Soup

VegetableSoupTwo

This is a meal in itself. It’s more like a vegetable stew than a soup because it’s so thick. I added lots of vegetables to this vegetable broth- and V8 Original juice-based soup. I used mild chunky salsa and V8 juice in last week’s vegetable soup only because I didn’t have enough pureed tomatoes. I liked it so much, though, that I decided to use it again. It gives the soup a really pleasant tangy flavor. I didn’t measure anything; I’ll list the ingredients below, and approximate amounts.

INGREDIENTS:

Extra-virgin olive oil to coat the soup pot
4 zucchinis julienned (used mandolin wide-julienne setting)
4 carrots julienned (same as above)
2 medium onions julienned (same as above)
6 cloves minced garlic
4 cups V8 Original juice
4 cups (one carton) organic vegetable broth
1 26-oz carton of strained tomatoes (Pomi)
1 cup mild chunky salsa
Handful of a mix of fresh basil and Italian parsley
1 cup each frozen baby corn and peas
1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
3 big handfuls of roughly chopped fresh organic kale (washed, stems removed)
1 cup tiny alphabet pasta

METHOD:

Saute the zucchinis, carrots, and onions over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and herbs, lower the heat to medium. Stir and continue sautéing for another 10 minutes. Add the V8 juice, vegetable broth, strained tomatoes, salsa, corn and peas. Bring to a boil, and add the pasta. Stir and lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the black beans and the kale. Stir well. Simmer for another 10 minutes, or so.

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Hearty Vegetable Soup

VegetableSoupWithBabyKale

This may seem an unlikely choice for a hot summer night’s dinner, but I wanted to use up a lot of veggies and other leftovers in the fridge to clear the way for today’s farmer’s market trip. I also had some frozen corn and peas in the freezer that I used in this soup. It was definitely a “kitchen sink” kind of soup that turned out to taste fantastic; not only did I use up the rest of my veggies, but I also used V8 Juice, chunky salsa, and organic strained tomatoes. If I’d had crushed or enough fresh tomatoes, I would’ve used those instead of the V8 Juice and the salsa. I always use the organic strained tomatoes; they’re a must for this soup, but absent vegetable broth and the tomatoes, I had to improvise. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But this combo worked.

So, here you have it.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. organic strained tomatoes
2 c V8 Original vegetable juice (plus extra water)
2/3 small jar mild chunky salsa (I used Pace)
1 large cooking onion, chopped finely
1 c washed and drained white kidney beans
1 c frozen baby peas
1 c frozen baby corn
a handful of fresh green beans, cut in 1 in. pieces
4 grated carrots, julienned (I used a mandolin)
3 zucchinis, julienned (mandolin)
2 c baby kale
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 c alphabet pasta
Olive oil for coating soup pot

METHOD:

Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil in your soup pot over medium high heat (about 2 tbsp.). Add the onion, carrots, zucchinis, fresh green beans, and garlic. Stir well and cook for a few minutes until the mixture becomes aromatic and the carrots and onion begin to soften. Add the peas and corn and continue cooking, lowering the heat to medium. Stir frequently for about 15 minutes. Then add the strained tomatoes, vegetable juice, salsa and extra water so that the mixture is not too thick. It should be the consistency of a thin broth at this point. Partially cover with the lid, and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Stir, and if it is too thick, add some more water, bring to a boil. Then add the pasta and cook on a gentle simmer until the pasta is cooked (about 10 minutes). Mix in the baby kale and the white kidney beans, and stir well. Taste, and if necessary, add your favorite seasoning (salt, pepper, Flavor God seasoning, Italian seasoning, Mrs. Dash, Spike, etc.). I did not add any seasoning until the very end because the V8 and the salsa contain salt and other seasonings. I just added pepper, and a little sprinkle of Spike. For you non-vegans, this soup would be really delicious with some freshly grated Pecorino, Romano, or Parmesan cheese on top of each individual serving bowl.

Fruit Smoothie

Fruit Smoothie

My son had made this filtered water infused with fresh strawberries, oranges, and lemons. He blended the fruits in the Vitamix, and then added them to a large pitcher of filtered water. This was about three days ago, and it tastes great. I decided to use it in my smoothie today (instead of almond milk).

I used about two cups of fresh frozen strawberries, half of the large papaya (in picture), one apple, one banana, one orange, about one cup fresh chopped pineapple. I added about two cups of the fruit-infused water, then blended all in the Vitamix.

Green Energy Smoothie

Green Energy Smoothie

A lot of us are making smoothies using our Vitamix (I’ve owned mine since 2004, and it was the best investment I could’ve made). I try to make a healthy smoothie almost every day; it’s a great way to get all your fruits and veggies into your daily food intake, and it’s easy to just drink on the go.

Instead of adding ice to my smoothies, I use frozen fruits that I buy fresh and organic then wash/core/slice immediately and place in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined tray in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, I divide them up in baggies and keep in the freezer. I don’t like over-ripe bananas (those that have brown on the peel), but that’s when they’re the most nutritious, so now I wait until they’re quite ripe before slicing and freezing. The other fruit that I always have on hand in the freezer (I usually buy about once a week) are strawberries. There’s an organic fruit stand nearby where I’ll buy a whole flat of them, and none go to waste by freezing this way and using for smoothies.

The other ingredient that I’ve begun to use regularly in my smoothies is organic unsweetened almond milk. One cup of almond milk contains only 60 calories (as opposed to 146 calories in whole milk, 122 calories in 2 percent, 102 calories in 1 percent, and 86 calories in skim milk). There’s no cholesterol or saturated fat in almond milk and it’s low in sodium and high in healthy fats, such as omega fatty acids. It also contains from 25-50 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamins E, B, D, iron, and calcium. So, lots of good reasons to use it in your smoothies instead of water, yogurt, cow’s milk, etc. Drink plenty of water during the day, and use the almond milk for your smoothies.

Here’s what I put in this all-organic smoothie:

2 large handfuls of baby spinach (pre-washed)
1 cup frozen fresh sliced strawberries
1 cup frozen slices of bananas
1 fresh sliced apple (I used Gala in this one)
2 oranges (I use tangelos)
1 1/2 cups almond milk

Blend in your Vitamix or other blender. It’s surprisingly sweet considering it looks like it might taste kind of bitter since it’s so green! It’s a definite energy booster, and a great breakfast or snack during the day. Reserve the leftover in a sealed Mason jar in the refrigerator.