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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Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potato Casserole

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potato Casserole

This is a tasty nourishing vegan casserole, packed with potatoes, cauliflower and a delicious sauce teeming with spices. I found this recipe on the forks over knives app, if you do not currently use this app you need to stop right now and look it up. For a nominal fee you can have vegan/plant-based recipes right at your fingertips. I love using the app in the grocery store to look up recipes and make sure I’m purchasing the correct ingredients. They load new recipes all the time. Literally every time I open the app it has new recipes.

I usually make Vegan Garlic Naan/Flatbread while the casserole is baking. My family expects it as a side now. In the 30 minutes the casserole is in the oven you can whip up the bread from start to finish. My parents like to sprinkle plant-based Pepperjack shreds by Daiya Foods on this casserole. We are currently doing the Pandemic thing and are quarantined, so they have been getting Heartie Kitchen deliveries.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potato Casserole

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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This is a tasty nourishing vegan casserole, packed with potatoes, cauliflower and a delicious sauce teeming with spices.


Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
  • 3 1/2 cups diced yellow potatoes (~3 medium sized potatoes)
  • 1 head cauliflower broken into florets (~4 cups)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • vegan non-cheese shreds (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl stir together cumin, salt, ginger, turmeric, pepper and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water to boiling. Stir in rice. Return to heat; reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in potatoes; simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in cauliflower and carrots; simmer 2 minutes. (vegetables will be crisp.)
  5. Drain the water off and return to the large pot.
  6. Stir in chickpeas, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and peas. Stir in spice mix.
  7. Spread into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake, covered, 30 minutes or until heated through and vegetables are tender.
  8. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, top with cilantro and/or vegan shreds.
  9. Serve warm with vegan garlic naan/flatbread if desired.


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Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade cinnamon rolls have long been a holiday and special gathering favorite. It is a long process, but the wait and the work is worth it. Over the years I have discovered that you can make them ahead and freeze them before they are frosted. Then you just need to pop them in the oven until they are warmed, take them out and frost them. Still there is nothing like fresh warm homemade cinnamon rolls and a cup of coffee on a cold winter morning.

Traditionally my recipe called for eggs, real butter and real cream cheese. It wasn’t until I was told about pureed silken tofu as an egg substitute that I was able to “veganize” this recipe and have it turn out so close to the original no one could tell the difference.

I must admit that these do not fit in the category of plant based with all of the vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, vegan vanilla pudding, and sugar, these are simply vegan. Much like Oreo cookies are accidentally vegan and not the healthiest of snacks we realize the same about the beloved cinnamon rolls. This puts them in the category of a special treat, much like that favorite dessert.

This recipe does make a lot and the first few times I made these many years ago, I ended up with oodles and we went knocking on doors looking for neighbors who wanted to be test tasters. So if you end up with bunches, share with your neighbors. Enjoy!

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

  • Servings: Makes about 24 rolls
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A family gathering breakfast favorite. Watch them disappear!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water 110F (45C)
  • 2 Tbsp dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 package Simply Delish vegan vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 1/4 c. plant based milk
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter – melted
  • 1/3 heaping cup pureed silken tofu
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 cups flour

filling ingredients

  • 1 cup softened vegan butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. cinnamon

frosting ingredients

  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter – melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. plant based milk

Directions

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water, add sugar and stir until dissolved, set aside.
  2. Prepare pudding mix according to directions using the 1 1/4 cup milk.
  3. Add 1/2 cup melted vegan butter, pureed tofu, baking powder and salt to pudding mix. Stir.
  4. Add yeast mixture to pudding mixture and mix well.
  5. Gradually add flour and knead until smooth.
  6. Place in a (vegan) buttered bowl, turning dough to butter the top.
  7. Cover dough with a warm damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  8. Prepare 2 baking sheets with silicone mats.
  9. Punch down dough and let stand 10 minutes.
  10. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to aproximately 34″ x 21″
  11. Brush surface with softened vegan butter, sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  12. Roll dough tightly like a jelly roll and cut into 1″ slices
  13. Place on prepared baking sheets 2″ apart.
  14. Take heel of hand and lightly press down on each roll.
  15. Cover with warm damp towels and let rise until doubled.
  16. Bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden.
  17. Do not over bake.
  18. Prepare frosting: In a small bowl mix all ingredients.
  19. Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting.


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Hemp Burgers

Hemp Burger on a 100% whole wheat bun, fresh baby spinach, tomato and red onion.

These burgers have gotten easier and easier to make with each preparation. The first thing you need to do is cook the rice. You need a total of 3 cups of cooked rice. For some reason this small detail gives me the most problems. I’ve already sauteed my onion and peppers and have them in my food processor and low and behold I have no cooked rice….40 min. later after I pull out my rice cooker and make rice I can continue. These kinds of mistakes do not make me happy. I have also neglected to separate the rice and ended up tossing all 3 cups into the food processor instead of just two. In my infinite wisdom I am trying this novel idea of getting my ingredients prepared ahead of time, with the rice already in two bowls, one containing one cup of rice and one containing two cups of rice. So far it seems to be working well, it seems so elementary, why have I not been doing this all along??

The hemp seeds really make this burger so don’t try and substitute them with something else. Get out there and get a bag, yes they are a bit pricey but you are only using a cup. Keep them in your refrigerator, and you can toss them in salads, smoothies, or even plant based yogurts for a nutrition power punch. They are rich in protein, omega 3 and 6, fiber and iron. No, hemp seeds are not marijuana, and no, these burgers will not cause you to flunk a drug test.

The first time I made these it took forever, that was probably the rice issue time. When I finally got all the ingredients mixed up in the food processor, the consistency and something about the aroma reminded me of the ham salad my grandmother used to make. I have no idea why, because obviously there isn’t any ham in there, but if you used to be a grandma’s ham salad freak then you are in for a treat.

I always use a 1/2 cup measure to make my patties and I cook them in the oven using a silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet. I can usually fit 6 burgers on each tray and for some reason with this recipe sometimes I get 7 and then other times I get 8. Perhaps the difference in sizes of onions or red peppers? They always taste great! However, if you must have 8 patties, I would double the recipe. You will have to make two batches though, because it won’t all fit into a regular sized food processor if you double the ingredients. They freeze and thaw well so you can freeze the ones you don’t need and have a ready made meal for another day.

Hemp Burgers

  • Servings: 7-8 patties
  • Difficulty: easy
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A protein packed burger that's a nice switch from the typical bean burger


Ingredients


• water to sauté
• 1 medium onion, diced
• fresh ground black pepper to taste
• 1 red bell pepper, diced
• 2 cups cooked brown rice
• 1 cup shelled hemp seeds
• 2 tsp minced garlic
• 2 tsp. natural ketchup
• 1 Tbsp. tamari
• 1 tsp. dijon mustard
• 1 tsp. dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
• 1/4 tsp. ground sage
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt
• 1 cup cooked brown rice

Directions

    *Cook Rice First*
  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Sauté onion with black pepper until the onion is softened 3-4 minutes, adding water if necessary to prevent sticking.
  3. Add diced red pepper and sauté for another 5-6 minutes until the onions are translucent, adding water if necessary to prevent sticking.
  4. Add sautéed onion and red pepper to a food processor along with the 2 cups of rice, hemp seeds, garlic, ketchup, tamari, mustard, oregano, thyme, sage, and salt. Puree until fairly smooth, you may need to stop and scrape the container occasionally.
  5. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining 1 cup of rice.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to firm up the mix. Form 1/2 cup patties with your hands and place on a silicone baking mat.
  7. Cook in a 400° oven for 10 minutes, flip burgers and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Freeze left over burgers in a freezer ready container for a quick fix meal another day.


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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!