Friday, December 13, 2013

Soup Stories & Pesto Primers

Mid December has already crept up on us, as it has a serious track-record of doing. I've been working like crazy, like always, but the short days really make you feel like all you do is work. I come home from a long day and just make soup from Isa Does It. I get so pissed when I have too many leftovers and can't cook more soup. I need to be cooking soup every night. I need this, you guys.


The Pesto Soup with Gnocchi, Greens and Beans from Isa Does It was so perfect for a freezing cold blizzardy day. I loved how it could be both crazy healthy and crazy delicious simultaneously. Instead of cashews, like usual, it's made creamy by pureeing cauliflower cooked in broth with onion and garlic. Pesto is stirred in later, and BAM! Your kitchen smells like a plentiful pot of toasty garlic and creamy salty goodness. This soup hugs you and tells you "you're beautiful", "quit your job", "relax", "you don't watch too much television", and "your hair looks great today." I was all like, "Thanks, soup!"


And then I made this one. Cheddary Broccoli Soup from Isa Does It. This is the real stuff right here. It is cheddary, creamy, salty, and all the things one loves about broccoli cheddar soup, now without added chicken base, or any cheddar whatsoever! It doesn't just do the trick for taking away a craving for broccoli cheddar soup, it is the soup! It's like when you're at a party, and the host orders a party-sized pizza for everyone, but orders you a mini cheeseless pizza that has like a million green peppers, a drop of sauce and 1 olive. Maybe it has onions too, but it's underwhelming to say the least, and everyone is hovering around you and your shitty pizza and you smell the regular pizza and are all like F&@!K I WANT PIZZA and so you eat the pizza your nice friend ordered you, and you're just sad. You craved the real thing, and your pizza didn't live up to it. So anyways pretend like your friend had a soup party and everyone had broccoli cheddar soup from Panera, but you got this soup. You'll be like WOW THIS SOUP IS REALLY AWESOME and forget about what all the other people are eating, because yours is better. You know? It's that kind of soup.


Me and my BF have been making pesto for eons now, and I've tried variations on making it less oily, like using more nuts and adding less olive oil, or using water-- don't do that, and a number of healthy tricks that don't really work. They just make you want real pesto. So in her book, Isa has a recipe for Oil-free Pesto, which RULES, because it's got lots of flavor, thanks to adding veggie broth, and pine nuts, for the authentic crowd, and nooch for your cheesy nostalgia. It's a perfect storm of awesome, and I didn't feel bad after I ate half a blenderfull of it. I got some pretty sexy yellow cauliflower at the farmer's market to roast up and put into this mix. It's like, once you find yellow cauliflower at the farmers market, your quest to become an earthy-crunchy adult with cash money to blow on healthy food and live in a cool place is now complete. So basically, I'm a swaggy adult now. Also I dig the strand noodles. I feel like I always eat like shells or something nowadays. What gives?


In my quest to become a real adult, I have been drinking fruits and vegetables lately. I drank a massive green juice, but it was quite terrible, gave me no energy, and I actually took a 3 hour nap after hoovering it. That's so un-adultlike. I like when my juices are this pretty orange color, but that means you didn't put many vegetables in it because if you did, your juice would be green. I snuck celery and ginger into the one on the top and spinach and parsley into the one on the bottom. The top one was pretty good, the bottom one was too vegetably. Again, not adultlike. 


Beet Burgers from Isa Does It are so my new go-to veggie burger. They look like beefy burgers, but don't worry, they are just crime-scene red because of the beets. They are real easy to make on a weeknight, especially if your lentils are in a can and your brown rice came from your freezer. Plus they're fun to make. I just kept repeating "Have it be Charred" aloud a bunch of times. 


Not that I was ever a big cheeseburger fan, but here's another example of Isa killin' it, when you're at a cookout, and everyone is shoving meaty pellets in their face, and you smell all the cook-out-nostalgia. You are starting to think about hot dogs, but then BAM, this beet burger arrives all covered in chipotle vegenaise and piled with guacamole, and you're just like I LOVE GUACAMOLE and all the smelly nostalgia is like Presto.


Oh and I made cinnamon rolls. It was the weekend, so. What else would I be doing.


Check out that carrot from the farmers market. That is a seriously massive carrot. You saw the yellow beets and yellow cauliflower? Yeah, that's right. I'm way in adultland now. I'm such a good adult, I probably donate $30 monthly to Globus Relief, Books for Africa, and someplace they try to ban fracking or something.

 Beautiful yellow beets, waiting to be peeled, roasted, and chopped for my...

Roasted Yellow Beet Salad from Isa Does It. It has a warm maple-mustard dressing, which is what caught my eye originally, and tempeh croutons. You can make it with toasted pecans too, and I definitely will next time, because the tempeh is pretty salty and the mustard dressing is pretty salty so together it was a little over-salty for me, but the pecan idea is something I'm way into. Plus, look at my pretty yellow beets!


I've made these snickerdoodles so many times already. Everyone always loses their heads for them. The BF is always like, "Can you make snickerdoodles?" and sheds tears when I make a different cookie instead. My coworker ordered some for thanksgiving, and when he came home and found out the cookies weren't for him he was SO UPSET. Now I've revealed too much about how we are very much NOT adults. Gotta go.

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