Garlic Barley Soup

Garlic Barley Soup garnished with a couple of fresh garlic cloves.

Flu Season Garlic Soup! I’ve been working on this for a couple of weeks and each week I become more concerned about boosting my immune system. I got the flavor right and then came the consistency. I wanted something thick and creamy (non-dairy creamy of course). Last weeks batch was spot on but I shared my bounty through a Heartie kitchen delivery and forgot to take any photos. Yes, my house has smelled of garlic for weeks, no vampires here! I would like to think this soup will make us immune to all viruses, but alas I know better.

A whole garlic bulb broken into cloves, peeled and chopped.

I posted about garlic and the health benefits a couple of weeks ago. Garlic contains compounds called allion and allicin, which have direct antiviral effects. It is excellent when eaten raw but even if it’s cooked it still has sulfur-containing compounds which have anti-microbial activity. Did you know during WW2 garlic was dubbed “Russian Penicillin”? After running out of antibiotics the Soviet government turned to this ancient treatment for their soldiers. Fresh crushed garlic is apparently the star of nature’s antibiotic, and the fresh part is important, that minced garlic in jars will not do. Let one clove of fresh minced or crushed garlic sit for 15 minutes or longer (up to an hour), this allows allinase enzyme to be released. Then mix the translucent garlic and the liquid released with warm tea, water, or honey. Do this 2-3 times a day for a day or two. I would contact a doctor if you have an infection but in these uncertain times if you can’t get ahold of someone you can begin this treatment while you wait to speak to your caregiver.
*disclaimer – I have no medical background, elementary school teacher and plant based nutrition consultant here*

“Russian Penicillin”

Like garlic, onions also contain the antimicrobial compounds allion and allicin. To get this superfood’s full flu-fighting action, it is recommended to consume a serving of raw onion every few hours! Not something I plan on doing anytime soon. If that seems unpalatable, add extra servings to your meals. This garlic soup contains a healthy dose of onions.

Trying to put these healthy vegetables into your food is much better, because then it’s part of your lifestyle. There is no better time than the present to get your immune system healthy and increase your bodies ability to fight off infection.

Garlic Barley Soup

Garlic Barley Soup

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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A hearty creamy garlic soup, ready to boost your immunity, comfort in a bowl.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms, diced
  • 1 bulb of garlic, each clove peeled and diced
  • 8 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pepper
  • salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Add onion, carrots, and celery to a large pot over medium heat, add water 1 Tbsp. at a time as needed to prevent sticking.
  2. Saute veggies until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high; then add mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
  5. Add broth, barley, basil, oregano, turmeric and bay leaf.
  6. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  7. Cook soup until barley is tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  8. Remove soup from heat and discard bay leaf.
  9. Remove 2 cups of soup and puree in a blender. Return pureed soup to pot and stir to incorporate.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


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Veggie Barley Soup

Veggie Barley Soup

This is a soup I have come to love. Before heading down this heart healthy path, I could count on one hand the number of times I had used barley. I think both of those times it was for a soup and I only purchased what I needed for that particular day. Today, barley has become a staple in my pantry. I buy it in bulk and then store it in my own Rubbermaid container.

Last Friday I spent the day making food to take to my college aged son. It makes me feel good to make up healthy little packages for him. I make things for him that are easily frozen and taste good after having been frozen. We discovered vegan macaroni and cheese doesn’t unfreeze well. Veggie Barley soup is perfect for freezing in small containers. I was able to get 4 small containers from this batch of soup. Each container has about 2 1/2 servings of soup.

Freezer ready Veggie Barley soup

I use a homemade vegetable broth when I make this soup. I keep it written in the front of one of my cookbooks because I make it all the time. I usually make up a double batch and keep it in a large spice container in my spice cabinet. This is not my recipe and I cannot remember where it came from but this is a photo. You can always use a store bought vegetable broth if you prefer.

Veggie Broth recipe

Veggie Barley Soup

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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A hearty barley soup packed with veggies.


Ingredients


• splash of water (to sauté)
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 carrots, thinly sliced
• 1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced
• 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp. minced garlic)
• 8 cups vegetable broth
• 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1 can diced tomatoes (I use chili ready diced tomatoes)
• 2 cups frozen cut green beans
• 1 cup pearled barley
• 1 cup frozen corn
• 1 tsp. dried basil
• 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 cup frozen peas
• salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a non-stick large pot over medium heat, add water, onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté until veggies are softened, about 5 minutes. Add additional water to prevent sticking if necessary.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and add mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring constantly.
  4. Add broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, green beans, barley, corn, basil, oregano, and bay leaf.
  5. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
  6. Cook soup until barley is tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  7. Mix in peas and cook until tender and hot, 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Remove soup from heat and discard bay leaf. Season with pepper to taste.


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Vegan Carrot Cake

Hey Heart Healthy friends!

I found this awesome recipe for carrot cake on the forks over knives website https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/vegan-carrot-cake/#gs.5r131r They have a fabulous video with the recipe, which I should have watched before I made it.

I think the frosting would have been just a touch creamier with less water. It’s easy to add more water to thin it than it is to remove water to thicken it. I didn’t use the vanilla bean seeds and it was just fine. I simply didn’t have any in my kitchen.

I also did not include the optional walnuts in the cake but maybe next time I will. Yes! I said next time! I am definitely adding this one to my recipe book. I’ll let you go to the forks over knives website and print the recipes off. The cake and the frosting are two different recipes, so don’t forget to track down the frosting.

I don’t have a kitchen scale and usually just make guesstimates when necessary. On that note, I used 6 dates pitted and chopped in the cake, and 7 dates pitted and chopped in the frosting.

Enjoy! Remember you only have one ❤️. The same recipes that are good for your heart health are also good for your brain health.

Buddha Bowl

I love Buddha Bowls and let me just say this is my own personal mash up. Sorry if this is so far from a Buddha bowl in your book that you are having to zoom in to see “what the heck did she put in there”. This is basically a Heartie kitchen left over Bowl, but humor me and let’s say it’s a Buddha bowl.

Quinoa a perfect base and I like it right in the center so I can easily mix it up. The quinoa was not left over. It’s the only thing I made fresh for this one.

Baked green beans (farmers market beans) with onion and mushrooms, they were a previous side.

Roasted potatoes with leftover Steff’s Mac and Cheese, cheese sauce poured over the top.

Grilled corn that I cut from the cobs from a previous meal.

Sautéed collared greens a previous side and a previous post.

Sautéed mini eggplants, also a previous side and a previous post.

When it looks like you only have a little of this and a little of that and really not enough of anything to make a meal for anyone…think Buddha bowl. Steam up some quinoa or if that’s not your thing some rice or lentils. Put all those veggies together under a fabulous sauce and presto…left over Buddha bowl!

My personal preference is for Hak’s BBQ sauce on the top, but you be you and figure out what you enjoy best. Plant Strong and Heart Healthy ❤️ur ❤️

Collared Greens

Collared greens are rich in nutrients and come from the same family as their fellow cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower florets, turnip greens, mustard greens, broccoli florets, and kale. Among these collard greens are typically more affordable with the same nutrient power pack.

Collared greens are a loose leaf species, they don’t grow as a head but as individual dark colored edible leaves. They are typically found in small bundles in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Smaller leaves are more tender, larger leaves are tougher and you would want to cut the stem out and perhaps some of the center rib.

These plants have been eaten for at least 2000 years and evidence has shown that ancient Greeks cultivated several varieties of collards as well as kale.

When I purchased these two bundles at a farm market the vendor was kind enough to fill me in on her preparation method. First she said they cook up great with a little bacon, but if you want to eat healthy don’t do that.

First cut the stems off and then blanch the leaves for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and roll each leaf on the diagonal and then slice in strips on the diagonal the other direction. Sauté the strips with a little garlic, red onion, and balsamic vinegar. Keep a little cup of water handy to prevent your veggies from sticking to the skillet. Enjoy this healthy little side. I used this as a side one night and as a section of a Buddha bowl the next.

Be creative and try new foods! Plant strong and heart healthy! ❤️ur❤️

Farmers Markets – Thai eggplant, or little purple Aubergines

Along with all the traditional American fruits and veggies found at the farmers market I recently found these little gems. The two women running the booth were Burmese. Burma as they referred to it, was renamed Myanmar in 1989. These women grow traditional fruits and vegetables from their home country. There are currently approximately 6,000 residents of Fort Wayne that were born in Burma.

I must admit I only recognized a few items on their table and decided to experiment with these “mini eggplants” as she called them. Through a translator I was told to sauté them.

I decided to start out by sautéing a handful of sliced button mushrooms and a small sliced onion in a bit of water along with 2 Tbsp of minced garlic. While these were cooking I cut off both small ends of these small round eggplants. I halved each one, left their skins on and tossed them in with my other veggies. I added a couple tsps (just a couple of shakes of the bottle) of balsamic vinegar. It seemed to need some greens for my tastes so I roughly chopped some baby kale and tossed it in toward the end of the sautéing process.

Once the mini eggplants were tender I decided the dish was done.

Success! The flavor of the eggplant was similar to the tender inner bites of large sized eggplant.

There are so many different varieties of fruits and vegetables! It is estimated that there are over 20,000 species of edible plants yet only 20 species represent 90% of our food. Get out there and look, don’t settle for just what your local grocery chooses to offer you. Stop in that Asian grocery store or that Indian market. Experiment and have fun!

Plant Based Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Lentil Stuffed Peppers

These beautiful lentil stuffed peppers were so easy to make, and the stuffing is so tasty that you can almost forget how healthy they are.

Cooked peppers drying on a paper-towel

First cut the tops from the peppers. I used yellow and red but any color will do. Discard the seeds and the membranes. Throw out the stems and cut up the tops to be added to the filling later. Cook the whole peppers, uncovered, in boiling water for 5 minutes, then invert to drain them well. I place them on a paper towel and just let them sit while I work on the stuffing.

Lentil filling for the peppers

The filling is cooked in a large skillet. The recipe called for 4 cups of cooked lentils, which is approximately 2 cups of dry lentils. I use green lentils and cook them in my rice cooker. In the rice cooker I combine 2 cups of dry lentils with 5 cups of water. Make sure your rice cooker is large enough to accommodate that quantity. I have used a small rice cooker in the past and needed to do the lentils in batches. They can always be prepared on the stove according to the package instructions. If you cook up more lentils than you need, they can be refrigerated for up to a week. I typically have cooked lentils in my fridge for use in buddha bowls.

Vegan cheese is optional, I typically use nutritional yeast. Mushrooms are also optional, if I have some on hand I toss them in, if not I just leave them out. Stuffed peppers pair nicely with a green salad, for a filling family dinner. Enjoy!

Plant-Based Lentil Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A delicious stuffed pepper recipe that is packed with nutrients and filling for the whole family


Ingredients


• 6 large peppers
• 1 large onion, diced
• 2 cans chili ready diced tomatoes
• 4 cups cooked lentils
• 8 ounces chopped mushrooms (optional)
• 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
• 1 can tomato sauce 15 ounces
• 1/3 cup nutritional yeast + extra to sprinkle on top
• no salt seasoning
• vegan shredded cheese (optional to sprinkle on top)

Directions

  1. Cut tops from peppers; discard seeds and membranes. Chop up the tops. Set aside.
  2. Cook the whole peppers; uncovered in boiling water for 5 minutes. Invert to drain well. Sprinkle insides lightly with no salt seasoning.
  3. In a skillet cook onion, chopped up pepper tops, garlic and mushrooms (if desired) until tender. Use water as needed to prevent sticking.
  4. Add cooked lentils, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and nutritional yeast . Bring to boiling and simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Stuff peppers with lentil mixture.
  6. Place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with additional nutritional yeast, or vegan cheese if desired. Bake, covered in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.


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Jackfruit Fajitas

Jackfruit Fajitas with Plant Based Avocado Crema

If you haven’t tried jackfruit yet, it is definitely worth a look. I have tried both the canned jackfruit and I bought fresh jackfruit at my local Whole Foods. The canned is what I prefer because its “young green”, its tender and its texture resembles shredded chicken or pork when you tear it up. I had difficulty with the fresh and it was expensive, so in the future I am sticking with canned. I have found jackfruit at Whole-foods, Fresh Market, Earth Fare and Trader Joes, I’m sure its found in many other stores as well. I use two cans of Jackfruit for this recipe and they need to be drained and lightly rinsed. Once rinsed I toss the pieces into my big skillet.

Young jackfruit fresh from the can

Once in the skillet, I use my fingers to gently tear the chunks and the soft seeds apart until it resembles shredded pork. Turn the skillet to medium heat and add water as needed to prevent sticking. I then add half of the packet of fajita seasoning, (typically I use Old El Paso brand), and 2 Tbsp. of Pickapeppa Sauce. Stir continuously and add water as needed for the next 10 min. Then add the rest of the fajita seasoning packet and the remaining 2 Tbsp. of Pickapeppa Sauce. Continuing stirring and adding water as needed for the next 10 minutes until the jackfruit is tender.

Tender sautéed jackfruit with fajitas seasoning and Pickapeppa Sauce

Once the jackfruit is tender, add in the pepper and onion slices, continue to stir until the onions are translucent.

Onions and peppers added to the jackfruit

At this point remove from the heat and set aside. I serve jackfruit fajitas with a plant based avocado crema on heated tortillas. Enjoy and ❤️ur❤️

Jackfruit Fajitas

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A delicious, meaty textured vegan fajita.

Ingredients

  • 2 (16 oz) cans young green jackfruit (in water), drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red onion, cut into this strips
  • 4 Tbsp. Pickapeppa sauce
  • 1 Packet fajita seasoning
  • water as needed

Directions

  1. Drain and rinse the canned jackfruit and place in your skillet.
  2. Shred the jackfruit until it resembles pulled pork
  3. Heat the skillet to medium, add water as needed to prevent sticking. Add half of the fajita seasoning and 2 Tbsp. of the sauce.
  4. Continue to brown the jackfruit stirring continuously, after 10 min. add the remaining fajita seasoning and the remaining 2 Tbsp. of the sauce. Cook for 10 more minutes.
  5. Once tender, add in the pepper and onion slices. Continue to stir and add water as needed until the onions are translucent.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside
  7. Heat tortillas and serve with your favorite fajitas sauce.

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Savory Plant Based Quiche

Savory Plant Based Quiche – No cheese, no egg, only the good stuff

This is a plant based quiche that is easily adaptable to your favorite veggies or those left over veggies you have in your fridge. It tastes surprisingly like the totally unhealthy quiches I used to make for my family. I divided the ingredients between two 8″ pie plates. This made it seem more like a quiche but, you could easily put the ingredients in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and call it a breakfast casserole.

For the vegetables I used 3 cups of broccoli florets from a large bag of pre-cut ready to use florets. I used a red sweet bell pepper, these are the ones that have a long shape versus the bell shaped ones. Pre-minced garlic, and tofu both from Costco. This recipe made 2 pies of quiche making it a hearty filling dinner or a warm and tasty breakfast.

This quiche heats up nicely in the microwave for left overs and holds its shape so its also makes a nice option for a packed lunch. I added an option for vegan cheese, however the excess oils typically found in vegan cheeses make them unsuitable for a plant based diet.

You may need to add more plant based milk to achieve a creamy consistency with the tofu mixture. The better you are able to drain the tofu, the more milk you may need to add.

Enjoy!

Savory Plant-Based Quiche

Savory Plant Based Quiche

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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A light and fluffy quiche, perfect for a main entree or a family breakfast.

Ingredients

sautéed veggies

  • 3 cups broccoli florets, chopped
  • 6 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

tofu mixture

  • 2-1 lb. packages tofu, pressed and drained
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 4 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • Kala Namak – a few pinches
  • 2/3 cup plant based milk
  • 1 cup vegan cheese (if desired)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Heat a large skillet, and sauté onions, garlic, sweet pepper and carrots in a bit of water to prevent sticking. Sauté until the onions are translucent and then add the broccoli, cover and cook for approximately 5 min. until the broccoli is tender. Add water as needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Combine tofu, plant milk, turmeric, paprika, garlic powder, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, corn starch and kala namak in a food processor. If desired also add in the vegan cheese at this point. Process until smooth and creamy. (If necessary add additional plant milk 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve a creamy consistancy.)
  4. Combine the tofu mixture and the sautéed mixture in a big bowl.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between two 8-inch pie plates.
  6. Bake in 350°oven for 1 hour.

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