"The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine."
- Hippocrates

September 17, 2010

Roasted Yellow Pepper and Corn Bisque

With the crisp Fall temperatures coming at us these days, it's nice to have a comforting soup to come home to. This dish is perfect for the season, using fresh corn, yellow squash, and yellow peppers. Together, they make a beautiful yellow soup that is slightly sweet and very creamy! Due to the pepper roasting, this soup does take a bit more preparation than others, but it's so worth it! And if you're really keen, you can roast and prep the peppers the day before to save some time. Try roasting them on the barbecue, it gives you an excuse to spend some more time with the big guy before he's put away for the winter!

To pump up the nutrition with extra fiber and protein, I added red lentils. Red lentils are my favorite trick for adding nutrition and thickness to creamy soups because they break down so well once cooked - you really don't notice they're there!

You can choose to partially blend or fully blend this soup depending on your mood. I chose to blend about 2/3 of the soup and keep the rest unblended. This added a nice texture to the soup, especially the fresh corn because it's still a bit crisp!

This is officially my new favourite Fall soup...until I find my next fav anyway :) Give it a try!


4 yellow bell peppers
3 cups fresh corn, cut from the cobs (about 4 cobs)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium sized onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cups yellow summer squash, cut into small cubes
1 cup dry red lentils
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk (light is fine)
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
juice of 1 lime, or to taste
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the stems off the peppers and pull out the seeds. Place on a rimmed baking sheet (covered in parchment paper) and bake for about 40 minutes, turning once. The peppers should be very soft and collapsed. If you are roasted them on the barbecue, place them on the grill whole, and turn them as the skins blacken. Let them cool and sweat in a bowl wrapped tightly with plastic wrap before peeling off the skin and removing any remaining stem and seeds. Roughly chop the peppers.

In a large pot, saute the onion in the oil to 5 to 7 minutes over a medium-high heat, until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and the chilies and saute for another minute or so.

Add the corn, squash and lentils; cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until moisture begins to release from the squash. Add the roasted peppers, vegetable broth and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 20minutes, covered.

Add the coconut milk and blend the soup, either by using an immersion blender or by slightly cooling and then transferring the soup to a food processor or blender in batches. Reheat the soup and stir in the nutmeg, maple syrup and lime.


Adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

September 6, 2010

Coconut Cake

In the past, when it came to cake, I would usually go for the standards, chocolate, vanilla, or to spice it up, marble! But on one occasion I was looking for something with a little hint of the tropics for a dinner I was making - alas I found this Coconut Cake! It has since become one of my favorites!

As always, I love it because it's so easy and always turns out perfect! And it works really well without any icing, so you save yourself a couple steps there. Instead of icing, I make a really simple lemon glaze and pour it on top of the cake once it cools. The sweet lemony flavour perfectly complements the delicate coconut, and as a bonus, it adds extra moisture to the cake (but it's certainly not necessary). You can serve it just like this, or sometimes, I like to top the slice with some warm blueberry compote - again, pairing perfectly with the coconut and lemon flavours!! All these recipes are included below - mix and match, or even try it with your favourite icing!

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup unrefined sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups plain non-dairy milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 - 1/2 tsp almond extract (or 1/4 tsp each of almond and coconut extracts)
1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup canola oil

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In large bowl, combine dry ingredients, including coconut, sifting in flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and mix until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine non-dairy milk, applesauce, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice, and oil.
- Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until well-combined (do not overmix).
- Lightly oil a bundt pan, angel food cake pan, or 2 round cake pans. Pour batter evenly into cake pan(s).
- If using a bundt or angel food cake pan, cook for 35-40 min (until toothpick comes out clean). If using two round cake pans, cook for 23-26 minutes.

Lemon Glaze
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Combine and mix well until there are no lumps. Prick all around cake with long skewer and drizzle glaze over the whole cake.

Warm Blueberry Compote
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/4 cup maple syrup

Combine in a small saucepan. Gently heat at a medium temperature and mash blueberries as it heats. Bring to a gentle boil and remove from heat. Spoon over slices of cake immediately.


This cake recipe is from Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink and be Vegan!