Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies
Well this recipe might not have been the winner when I took the vote to Facebook on whether you all wanted to see this recipe or my Vegan Lentil Soup recipe first, but what I didn’t tell you is that this one was actually my favorite! While I loved the lentil soup and all it’s hearty yet fat free goodness, I felt like this Vegan Power House Quinoa and Veggie Soup was much more my style for a year round, go to, quick and easy recipe.

If you read my last post, then you got all the fun details about my trip to visit my sister and and my adorable nephew and my week long lack of my amazing Canon Rebel. If you didn’t then I am here to warn you these photos are definitely not the best quality. I apologize in advance that they were all snapped quickly on my iPhone. “Having dinner/lunch/breakfast ready for the family and spending time with Harper and my sis took priority. #sorryimnotsorry

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

This recipe is actually based on a recipe my sister’s midwife gave her for added nutrition after the birth of her baby boy. The abundance of protein and vitamins in this super low calorie recipe is not only amazing for a new mama but also for the new baby via breast milk. Any recipe that is new mother and baby approved sounds good to me!
There are very few times that nutrition is of more importance than this point in a woman’s life, so if a professional recommended this soup for my sister then I figured it would be wonderful for all of us! We ended up eating this soup three times in the next four days! So yummy!

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Like I mentioned in the Lentil Soup post, my sis has the best knives ever: the brand is Shun and I want a whole set! Cooking with sharp knives is a whole different ball game… A MUCH BETTER ONE! What knives do you use? Let me know in the comments! While I was chopping the carrots, summer squash and zucchini for the soup, I brought 4 quarts Pacific Natural Foods Organic Vegetable Broth to a boil in her SECOND giant pot: a Calphalon 8 qt pot!


So some how in my 27 years on earth, many of which I have spent cooking on some level or another, I never figured out that carrots sink and/or maybe I never realized that zucchini and summer squash float! This is what happened when I added them all to the boiling broth.

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

As soon as the quinoa was finished… about 15 minutes… I added it to the simmering broth and the now tender veggies.

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Depending on how you time this with the cooking of the quinoa and the broth, you will want to let the quinoa absorb the broth flavor for a few minutes and then add the fresh spinach to the simmering broth and cover until fully wilted.

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

And that’s it. Seriously! THREE EASY STEPS!!

  1. Cook quinoa.
  2. Chop Veggies.
  3. Combine in broth.


Your turn! 🙂 ENJOY!

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 28 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 54

Fat per serving: .6

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies


  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium summer squash, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots (or a little more than 1/2 a small bag of baby carrots), chopped
  • 1 large bag spinach
  • 4 32oz cartons Vegetable Broth.. or the equivalent amount of broth made from bullion. You do not have to use veggie broth, I did based on our dietary needs. (I used Pacific Natural Foods Organic Veggie Broth)
  • 1.5 cups dry quinoa (I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Quinoa)
  • Sea Salt to taste (will depend on the sodium level of your broth)
  • You could sub rice, barley, pasta or any grain you would like for the quinoa, but quinoa and barley are probably the most nutritious out of those options. Feel free to play around with the carb you decide to use based on your dietary needs and wants!


  1. In a medium pot, begin cooking quinoa based on the package directions.
  2. In a large pot like this one bring your Veggie Broth to a boil.
  3. Chop your zucchini, summer squash and carrots into small to medium chunks and add to your broth.
  4. Lower heat to the slowest possible simmer and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  5. Check on your quinoa and add to cooking veggies as soon as it is done.
  6. Stir occasionally until your veggies are tender.
  7. Add spinach at the very end and cover until fully wilted.
  8. Serve this soup in a large bowl while it is nice and hot.
  9. Enjoy every delicious and nutritious bite!


I am sure this would be delicious with grated cheese or a nice chunk of bread... preferably gluten free 😉

Reader Response:

  • Have you guys tried couponing yet?
  • CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST: Couponing 101
  • What stores do you shop at? I am curious because I want to provide the bet coupon knowledge for my readers specifically!

Fat Free Vegan Lentil Soup

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

I don’t think I could possibly love such a small human being more than I love my nephew. I spent the last week visiting my sister and brother in law and my new baby nephew (he is only 3 weeks old!). My brother in law had to go back to work so I wen up to help out with things around the house so my sister could give her full attention to the little one. We all had such a wonderful time and I got some of the most amazing bonding time with Harper. Oh that’s his name btw! Isn’t it adorable?! I love it!

In our spare time the few minutes between feedings and changings and laundry and cleaning and afternoon walks (he LOVES being outside!) there was some own time while the little man was napping that my sister and I got to spend time together in the kitchen. This was usually broken up into short periods together and me finishing p the rest but I had a blast trying out new recipes! She is the queen of cook books. It was so nice and refreshing to use a cook book and not just hope online and find a recipe. I haven’t done that in forever! I will have three great recipes I am posting this week from my time up there. I apologize in advance that the photos were all snapped quickly on my iPhone and not with my Canon Rebel. Having dinner/lunch/breakfast ready for the family and spending time with Harper and my sis took priority. #sorryimnotsorry

I took the vote to Facebook to find out which of the two soup recipes you all wanted to see first. Ps. I really despise how difficult Facebook makes it for you all to even see my posts. Unfortunately most of the likes and comments for this post ended up on my own personal page when I shared it with friends. Which by the weird workings of Facebook mean that they don’t actually show up on my Page as likes but on my personal page?! ARGH! Like my page so you can hopefully see my posts on your news feed! Please and Thank You!

So onto the recipe. Thanks for bearing with me about family and my Facebook rant. It will be worth it! This recipe is FULL of amazing nutrients (we made it specifically for the nutrition for my sister who is breastfeeding and needs extra protein and lots of veggies for Harper). My sis and I are both vegetarians and her hubby eats a predominately vegetarian diet so we decided to double this recipe so we could all have it for multiple meals through out the week and they would have left overs when I left.

The original recipe is from this awesome cookbook: The New Moosewood Cookbook! We didn’t mess much with the main ingredients other than to play a little with the amounts we used based on what we had and my RUN to the grocery store down the street in the pouring rain during which I forgot a few things. OOPS! Also my sis doesn’t like Thyme and we all love garlic so we added extra of that. The end result was beyond fabulous!

Let’s get started with the veggies! There was A LOT of chopping! OMG she has the best knives ever: the brand is Shun and I want a whole set… I think you have to get married to get things like that for presents lol someday 😉 Seriously though, if I had checked a bag when I went to visit she might have been short a few when I left because I have never known the magic of cooking with insanely sharp knives. It makes a WORLD of difference! What knives do you use? Let me know in the comments!

Vegan Fat Free Lentil SoupI started with the garlic which seriously made me miss my boyfriend (I know I am a sap. Deal with it.)! We cook together almost every night of the week and it’s my favorite time of the day with him. We both LOVE garlic and regularly use a whole sleeve in a week… or more! But I HATE the process of peeling and chopping garlic. He finds it meditative. Which I get but I still hate it. If anyone has ideas on ways to make it easier let me know! The recipe called for 6-8 cloves, we were doubling the whole recipe and since the cloves were small I used about 18. Thank god for the sharp knife for the chopping part or I might have lost my mind. I think my fingers still smell like garlic.

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

Oh yea and then there was the onions. Good thing it wasn’t my fingers in Harper’s mouth that night to soothe him to sleep! I am gunna guess that even after multiple washings and a shower that they did not taste that great! Thankfully the celery and onions were munchable and didn’t contribute any further to my stinky fingers!

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

While I was chopping all these veggies I brought 13 cups of water to a boil in her giant All Clad 8 qt pot! I seriously could live in her kitchen cabinets which might actually be possible based on how many she has! Their kitchen is a cute little gulley style kitchen but they have more cabinet space than I have ever seen. It might have made me a teenie tiny bit jealous!

This bad boy held all that water plus 8 cups of dry lentils AND all the chopped veggies! It was kind of a miracle! OK maybe not a miracle. I just don’t own a pot this size but think I might need to buy one.

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

When you add the veggies you also add basil, oregano and freshly ground black pepper. The only seasoning you add to the lentils while they are cooking is salt. It was so nice to not have a recipe call for TONS of oil. I know some oil is good for you in moderation but I feel like sometimes it is used just because people think they need it. I always try to reduce the amount in recipes with substitutions so it was great not having to worry about that. What do you think about oil in cooking… especially in things like soup?


Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

Who ever invented the process of peeling and de-seeding tomatoes might be a genius in the cooking world but I kinda sorta hate them. This process was miserable (ok that might be a strong word but it certainly wasn’t fun) and it contributes to the horrible photos. I was a little fed up from the first peel of the first tomato (I seriously think the directions to put them in boiling water for 10 seconds had to be wrong because I am here to tell you that they did not peel easily).

Between the not so great iPhone camera and the mushy mess on the cutting board, these photos are less than appealing. SORRY! They ended up great in the soup despite the pain in the butt they were though. Can anyone tell me why the peeling and de-seeding is necessary? I am sure it’s readily available info on the internet but I haven’t looked it up yet.

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup This is after adding the tomatoes but before letting the veggies cook down a little longer. The end result, despite the garlic chopping and tomato peeling was ridiculously easy and delicious! Sorry for making you read so much before getting to the recipe! If you read it all you are a trooper and now know about an awesome knife and bought you should probably own!! 😉 If you didn’t you are probably scrolling up to find out what the heck I am talking about!

Fat Free Vegan Lentil Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 20 cups (approx)

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 136, 11.7 grams Fiber

Fat per serving: 0, 10.6 grams Protein


  • 8 cup dry lentils
  • 13 cups water
  • 4 t sea salt
  • 12-16 medium garlic cloves, crushed (more if they are small or if you enjoy garlic breathe like me!)
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots (or a little more than 1/2 a small bag of baby carrots), chopped
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes (preferably you use 6 but I forgot to get more at the store)
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 t oregano
  • 1.5 t basil
  • OPTIONAL: red wine vinegar to drizzle on top (we forgot to do this every time we sat down to eat but it sounds like it would be yummy!)


  1. Place lentils, water and salt in a large pot. (This one was PERFECT.) Bring to a boil, lower heat to the slowest possible simmer I love cooking on a gas stove but this is hard to find without putting out the flame, and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Chop all your veggies BESIDES TOMATOES while your lentils are cooking (should take about 15 minutes unless you hate chopping garlic as much as I do and then it might take the full half hour!). one of these knives will help speed up the process though!
  3. Stir lentils and add chopped veggies, basil, oregano and fresh ground pepper.
  4. Partially cover and let simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Bring enough water to cover your tomatoes in a saucepan to a boil.
  6. Carefully drop in the tomatoes for 10 seconds, then remove and peel off the skins and squeeze the seeds out I wish you luck!.
  7. Chop the rest of the tomatoes and add to the soup after the 30 minutes of simmering and cook for at least another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve this soup with hot although I think it tasted great cold straight out of the fridge as well!
  9. Drizzle red wine vinegar on top of each scrumptious bowl if you so choose!


Enjoy the hours of energy this protein packed low calorie meal dishes up!

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

*this is the original recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook*

Reader Response:

  • Doing it a little different in this post… check out the italic questions through out the post and let me know what you think!!


Happy Monday!


Health Benefits Of Multi-Colored Fruits & Veggies

I know it’s Monday and it’s back to the grind at work and school and errands and cleaning, but don’t forget to take the time to include fresh fruits and veggies in your diet. Not only will the variety of colors, flavors and textures help replace other foods your might be craving like chips, candy and cookies, but the extra vitamins and nutrients will give you just the energy boost you need to make it through another week!

If you take one hour (or less!) each week to wash and pre-cut your favorite fruits and veggies you will be less likely to grab the unhealthy snack of convenience out of your pantry! You will be well stocked all week with perfect size packs of multi-colored snacks!

My favorite way to store all this deliciousness is in BPA FREE Tuperware or super fun Mason Jars! ps. Get the wide mouth ones!! I PROMISE they are worth the extra buck or two to save your sanity getting things in and out!! JUST TRUST ME ON THIS ONE!

You can use anything you like but I recommend at least making sure your containers are BPA FREE. If you are trying to avoid plastic, the mason jars are a great way to store anything from fruit and veggies to cereal, sugars and flour. I love being able to see what I have in my fridge and pantry. I even use them for smoothies when I am feeling fancy! 😉

*I need to find an awesome picture I took of all my whole grains (gluten free of course) when I first got all my mason jars. Stay tuned!*

Until then, make sure to TASTE all the COLORS of the RAINBOW for optimum health!! Have a great week!

Photo credit: TryFoodLovers

Real Scoop Sundae: Beyond “Chicken” & Veggies with a Kick! (VEGAN + GF) – Part 2

Beyond Chicken and VeggiesWelcome to week three of Real Scoop Sundaes! This week is a flash back to week one of a New Gluten Free, Meat Free Product (part 1). BeyondMeat’s Chicken-Free Strips turn out to taste so much like chicken it almost freaked me out! I haven’t tasted real chicken in over 12 years and I honestly don’t think I have had a chicken substitute since then either. I am had non-meat beef and eat veggie burgers and tofu and tempeh but I usually avoid products actually made to taste like their real meat counterparts.

3set bikram class

The incredible yogis who showed up for yesterday’s class! I love them!

Two weeks ago I promised to finish my review of the BeyondMeat product and today is the first time I had a chance to actually try out the Chicken-Free Strips.

I am 6 days into a 30 day Bikram challenge and was in desperate need of extra protein to keep my energy up.

Yesterday I took part in a 3-set fundraiser for a fellow yogi to help her with funds for teach training. It was amazing!

However, I could feel my muscles crying for help after this morning’s class. Which lead me to tonight’s feast with a kick!


I honestly did not even know where to start with flavors that went well with chicken. My awesome meat eating boyfriend suggested the onion and peppers and I opted for the cauliflower and broccoli combo to make it extra hearty.

Spicy Southwestern Chicken and Veggies_1

I chopped 1/2 a head of cauliflower and 1/2 a head of broccoli and placed them in a 9×11 glass baking pan (PYREX is my favorite).

Spicy Southwestern Chicken and Veggies

I added one small red onion…

Spicy Southwestern Chicken and Veggies

And one large red bell pepper. I seasoned it simply with sea salt, pepper and House of Tsang Mongolian Fire Oil. Ever heard of it? It combines the flavors of chili peppers, garlic, onion and ginger into a delicious oil and adds the perfect kick to veggies, salad and sauces!

Spicy Southwestern Chicken and Veggies

After baking for 35 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, it was time for the real star to join the show:

BeyondMeat’s Chicken-Free Strips!

Spicy Southwestern Chicken and Veggies

I added 1/2 a bag (9 strips) of the Southwestern style strips to a hot pan over medium heat with a little bit of coconut oil to avoid sticking. In 3-5 minutes these little bad boys went from frozen strips that LOOKED like chicken to strips that literally had my very meat eating boyfriend asking for a second piece to evaluate the taste and texture because he couldn’t believe how real it tasted! Apparently our taste buds have a memory like our sense of smell because the second I tasted the chicken strips I was struck with flash backs of my childhood and all sort of chicken dinners.

I had no idea what to expect but I literally checked the package to make sure it really wasn’t actual chicken and I had some how grabbed the wrong product!

BeyondMeat at Publix

WOW! The texture was there: not to soft, not to tough! The flavor was there: no tofu flavor or strange wanna be chicken flavor! The consistency was there: didn’t take forever to chew, didn’t fall apart in you mouth! And the aftertaste WAS NOT there!!

Texture? Check! Flavor? Check! Consistency? Check! Aftertaste? NO check!

IbottaAs I mentioned last week I found this awesome product via the Ibotta app! It’s free, fun and so easy to use! Click Here to download it to your smartphone in less than 3 minutes! When I found it, the $1 rebate offer expired on 4/4/14 but it has been extended to 4/24/14 at 1:59pm exclusive to Publix! “The best part about Ibotta is that you earn real money, not points or other made-up currencies. What you see is what you get. 100% of your earnings can be transferred…”


So if you are vegan or vegetarian and are missing meat in your diet or need an extra boost of protein I highly suggest you check this company’s products out. They are working on a full line of “protein” products. According to the founder, Ethan Brown, his goal is to completely “redefine the category” of meat free products, not just create another substitute. I can get on board with this! Can you?

You can read more about them on their website: Beyond Meat.

Beyond “Chicken” & Veggies with a Kick! (VEGAN + GF)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 total batch

Calories per serving: 118

Fat per serving: 2.8; Protein 11.8 grams

Beyond “Chicken” & Veggies with a Kick! (VEGAN + GF)


  • 1/2 bag (9 strips) Beyond Meat Chicken Free Strips (I used the Southwestern Flavored ones for extra spice)
  • 1/2 medium head cauliflower
  • 1/2 medium head broccoli
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 5 - 10 dashes House of Tsang Mongolian Fire Oil if you haven't tried this stuff you need too!!
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • NEED:
  • 9x11 glass baking pan - PYREX is my favorite!


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Chop cauliflower, broccoli, red onion and red bell pepper.
  3. Spread evenly in a 9x11 glass pan. I LOVE MY PYREX PANS! They cook evenly and clean up easily and stack neatly under my oven!
  4. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper to your liking over the chopped veggies.
  5. Use 5-10 dashes House of Tsang Mongolian Fire Oil over the veggies. this stuff has a definite kick! if you are not a fan of spice you will want to use less or possibly sub gluten-free soy sauce * or another seasoning of you liking*
  6. Cover in tin foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  7. With 5 minutes left, place frozen Beyond Meat Chicken Free Strips in a hot pan over medium heat with either a little cooking spray or coconut oil and cook until heated through (about 3-5 minutes).
  8. Remove veggies from the oven and toss with chicken strips (you can chop them up if you would like).
  9. Serve as a main dish or a side... but if you eat it as a side save room for more! I am betting you will want some!



Spicy Southwestern Chicken and Veggies

Reader Response:

%d bloggers like this: