vegetarian hot and sour soup

When I’m sick, I crave hot and sour soup.  Since we’re smack in the middle of cold season, I am surely not the only one out there with a nasty bug — so it’s the perfect time for me to give you all this recipe for vegetarian hot and sour soup.

Traditionally, hot and sour soup has a pork or beef base; however, I feel as though earthy dried mushrooms and silky pieces of firm tofu make this soup “meaty” enough.  This soup did a fantastic job both in clearing my head and lifting my spirits.  The heat from the ginger and pepper cleared my head and sinuses like a charm!  It’s so easy to make that I could put it together easily even though I was still really drowsy from my cold medicine. Just a ton of veggies, some herbs and spices, and before I knew it, I was back in bed, all snuggled in blankets and slurping this yummy soup.  It was so good, I ate it for three meals in a row!

Now I feel super, this soup is not only delicious, but it’s overflowing with vitamins and antioxidants from all of the veggies.  Whether you’ve caught a bug or not, heat yourself up a big bowl of hot and sour soup tonight. 


With love,
Erica
 

Ingredients
1 oz. dried mixed mushrooms
8 cups water
3 tablespoons sherry cooking wine
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 pound extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Pure sesame oil, for serving

Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling
water. Cover and allow to sit for at least 1/2 hour. While mushrooms
reconstitute, prepare the other ingredients.
Remove the mushrooms from the hot water and reserve the liquid for the soup. Slice the mushrooms thinly.
In a soup pot, combine the remaining 6 cups of water with the
reserved liquid from the mushrooms and the sliced mushrooms. Bring to a
gentle boil over medium-high heat. Add the sherry, vinegar, soy sauce,
salt, ginger and tofu. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer uncovered for about
10 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with about 3/4 cup of hot
broth from the soup pot until cornstarch is dissolved. Pour the mixture
back into the soup pot, stirring to distribute. The soup should thicken
slightly. While stirring constantly, drizzle the beaten eggs into the
hot soup. Add the scallions and white pepper and cook for another minute
or two.
Serve hot with a drizzle of sesame oil on top.

 

instarecipe: quinoa fried rice

I have a confession.
Sometimes, I throw together amazing recipes… and I gobble them up before I can grab my big old DSLR.  I’m sorry, I can’t help it.  When I go back and try to recreate them for you all, I can’t remember what I did, and I end up not sharing my new culinary discovery. 🙁
Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I am Instagramming 24/7 — updating you all on  my socks, my dog, and my new nail color.  From now on, I’m also going to Instagram my spontaneous culinary creations so that I can share them with you all before I forget.
Lets start with lunch.
We just got back from vacation a few days ago, and the kitchen is still quite sparse.  We had egg whites, quinoa, and a bunch of frozen veggies.
Fried rice brings back elementary school memories for me. My mom would make it for me at least twice a week with salami and egg.  That flavor combination will always have a special place in my heart.
Today, I made a healthier and more grown-up version of this childhood favorite of mine.  I replaced the white rice with quinoa and replaced the salami and egg with vegetarian sausage patties, egg whites, and a ton of green veggies.
This lunch packs a ton of protein from the quinoa, egg, sausage and edamame, and a ton of vitamins from all of those green veggies — so it’ll keep you feeling strong all afternoon!
With love,
Erica

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa (dry)
  • 1/2 +1/8 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup sliced baby carrots
  • 2 frozen sausage patties (I used Morningstar farms)
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder

Add the quinoa and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 12 minutes, and let stand for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, put the sesame oil into a large frying pan and cook the egg whites.  Once set, add the saugsage patties and all of the frozen vegetables.  Cook until everything is defrosted.  Add the cooked quinoa and stir. Season with the soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, and curry.  Cook on medium-high heat for 5-10 more minutes.  Enjoy!

provencal tomatoes

before being baked
 I took a trip to the farmer’s market this past weekend and picked up some gorgeous tomatoes.  Almost too pretty to eat.  These are nothing like the spongy, flavorless “tomatoes” that I find at the grocery store — these are juicy and bursting with flavor. This means that they only need simple treatment to be turned into a fabulous, healthy meal.
These provencal tomatoes are perfect for a light and refreshing summer dinner. They are a great side, but also make a stellar meal when served with some crusty bread to soak up all the juices. I took my beautiful, flavor-bursting tomatoes from the market, and filled them with aromatic provencal flavored breadcrumbs, garlic, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. 
What is your favorite summer vegetable?
With love, 
Erica

Ingredients

  • 4 tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup fresh rosemary, thyme and basil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
    after being baked

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out a little bit of the center of each. Arrange the tomatoes in a casserole dish and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, herbs, garlic, and parmesan. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over each tomato. Drizzle the tomatoes liberally with olive oil.
Bake for 15 minutes. Broil for 2 minutes, or until golden brown.