Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Welp, we are officially knee-deep in soup season. Chicago was hit pretty hard with cold weather last week, so I couldn’t help but crave a big bowl of delicious soup. And it just so happens that a few weeks back while I was in Boulder, I had an amazing tomato basil soup from this incredible sandwich shop called Dish Gourmet (it was so good, I ate there multiple times). With that said, I knew exactly what soup I wanted to make. I started doing some research, and came across a recipe from Creme de la Crumb. I adapted the ingredients and cooked it on the stove instead of the crockpot.

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Go on, make it. You know you want to dunk your face in a giant bowl. Or maybe that’s just me…

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tomato basil

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups vegetable broth (I used low-sodium)
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper or more to taste (I used lots more. I love pepper!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream OR half+half (you may choose to use more depending on how creamy you like your soups)
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese + more for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add tomatoes, and next 7 ingredients (through salt) to big ol’ pot. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (You may also cook in the slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours. I went for the stovetop this time because I started dinner later!)
  2. About 30 minutes before serving transfer soup to a blender (I used our Blendtec) or food processor and puree until smooth, then return to pot (or slow cooker).
  3. Cook soup puree on low, then slowly stir in the heavy cream (or half+half) and parmesan cheese. Important: DO NOT let the soup/cream sit on the stove. The cream will break out into weird little dots. You must keep stirring it, until it all blends into the soup.
  4. Pour into bowls and top with additional parmesan cheese, basil & delicious bread (CARBS…yummy!!).
  5. Try not to eat the entire pot!

Let me know what you think in the comments below! Do you add anything else to your tomato basil soup? What do you serve it with? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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Buffalo Cauliflower Bombs

buffalo cauliflower bombs

I’ve been going through this weird phase lately where chicken is completely grossing me out. I can’t even bring myself to eat one of my favorite snacks…buffalo wings. So, I decided to hop on Pinterest to search for a recipe to get my buffalo fix.

I came across these “buffalo cauliflower bites”. At first I thought they sounded interesting but COMPLETELY weird all at the same time (if you’re not going to eat meat, don’t pretend to). Butttt, after flirting with the idea of making them for a few weeks, I decided to go for it. I adapted a few of the recipes on Pinterest to make a healthier version (coconut oil instead of butter, for example). They did not taste like chicken, but the spicy flavor and texture were pretty close to boneless wings (and, bonus! a TON healthier). I ate these bombs, with nothing else, for dinner. They were the bomb dot com.

buffalo cauliflower bombs

buffalo cauliflower bombs

buffalo cauliflower bombsbuffalo cauliflower bombs

Serves: 2-4 as an appetizer (or 2 if you’re eating it as a meal)

Ingredients
1 head of cauliflower

For the batter
– 1/2 cup flour (use whole wheat or gluten-free flour if you want to make it even healthier)
– 1/2 cup water
– Dash of Frank’s Wing Sauce
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For the buffalo sauce
1/2 cup Frank’s Wing Sauce
2 Tablespoons coconut oil (room temperature)

Steps

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray (I use olive oil spray) and set aside.

Wash the head of cauliflower and cut into a variety of pieces (note: the smaller the pieces, the crispier they get. Yum!)

In a medium bowl, mix together the batter ingredients.

Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter until fully and evenly coated. Place onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for about 15 mins./until the batter just hardens.

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In a small bowl, mix together the buffalo sauce ingredients.

Once the cauliflower is done, remove from the oven and dip in the buffalo sauce. Again, fully and evenly coat each piece.

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Put back into the oven and bake for 7-8 minutes, until the sauce has mostly dried and the cauliflower is crispy.

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Remove from the oven, let cool, then enjoy! Dip in ranch or blue cheese dressing!

Enjoy!

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p.s. My boyfriend and I recently purchased a home to run as a rental property. We closed last Thursday, so things have been super chaotic. I promise once we get the house ready to go I will be posting a ton more. The picture below just shows how hectic my life has been… hammering while the buffalo cauliflower bombs were in the oven (not recommended). New blogger + new home owner doesn’t mix that well!

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This Sh*t is Bananas “Ice Cream”

homemade Banana "ice cream"

Okay, guys. This Sh*t is actually bananas. So please, play some Gwen Stefani while you read this and drool…or, you could just listen to nails on a chalkboard. That works, too.

Ah, ice cream… now we’re speakin’ my love language. Ice cream is probably one of *the* biggest reasons that I run and juice. Sad, right? Well, if you eat ice cream 4 days/week (on average) like I do, you have to work for it SOMEHOW. Also, it probably doesn’t help that Aldi has by far *the* best selection of ice cream and it’s only 2 bucks and some change for a gallon. Anddddd queue “Highway to the Dangerzone” from Top Gun riiiiightttt now.

But, I digress…

Every now and again after a long run, I’ll blend frozen bananas as a delicious (and super sugary) post-run snack. It has the consistency of melting soft-serve ice cream, so I decided to freeze the blended bananas in a plastic container. A few hours later, I was in for a huge surprise… it tasted like ICE CREAM. Holy guacamole! Since then I’ve tried mixing in cocoa powder, peanut butter, and strawberries to create a variety of flavors. Again, I’m telling you this shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

homemade Banana "ice cream" homemade Banana "ice cream"

Step 1: chop up 5 bananas and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Freeze over night.

homemade Banana "ice cream"homemade Banana "ice cream"

Step 2: throw the frozen nanners in the blender and blend. Note: you may need to push the bananas down towards the blade with a metal spatula or spoon while the blender is on (don’t use plastic…I’ve may have had a few chunks of plastic in my ice cream a time or two…). Also, you do not need a fancy schmancy blender to make this. I would normally use our Blendtec, but it was at my bf’s when I made this. I have a $30 blender and it worked just fine!

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Step 2.5 : if you want to make the chocolate banana ice cream, simply add a little bit of cocoa powder to the blender.

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Step 3: If you are more of a soft serve fan, eat the ice cream as soon as it is blended. Otherwise, if you’d rather it taste more like regular ice cream, pour it into a container and stick it in the freezer for a few hours (it will keep up to a week).

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Step 4: Indulge without the bulge. (And without the dairy! I’m allergic to dairy so this is a great treat without having to take 3+ lactose pills)

homemade Banana "ice cream"homemade Banana "ice cream"

homemade Banana "ice cream"

Enjoy!

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ps:

homemade Banana "ice cream"

Sweet Sunshine

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If you’re anything like me, this shift in weather is absolutely kiiiiillllllinnnnnggg you. When the weather drops below 60 the seat warmers in the car come on (I should say “warmer” seeing how my bf gets mad if I turn his on…), the humidifier comes out of the closet, I dress myself in 67 layers of clothing, and the cold shivers are in full swing. Though it doesn’t sound like it, I promise you I was brought up in the Midwest. When I’m not planning my winter escape out of Chicago, I’m trying to create juices that make me feel like a giant bucket of sunshine. Because if you’ve ever survived a Chicago winter, you’ll take whatever you can get. Even if it’s short lived…

This juice not only looks like it belongs in some warm, sunshiny environment, it tastes like it, too! So if this weather has you feeling sluggish (or depressed because you know what comes after Fall…) have a big glass of Sweet Sunshine — you’ll thank me later.

 ohheyvitamins

sweetsunshineingredients

Just a few things to note with the ingredients*…

  • Skin the sweet potato
  • Cut off the tops of the carrots
  • Peel the orange. Try to keep as much of the white pith on as possible since it contains most of the nutrients that help your bod absorb vitamin c! Leave the seeds in, they’re packed with nutrients and antioxidants as well! #ColdProof
  • Core the apple (I used HONEYCRISP here. That’s right, baby. De-lish.)
  • Peel the lemon. Same steps as the orange.
  • Cut off the tops of the mini sweet peppers. Toss any loose seeds as well.

*Check out this produce prep guide to see what fruits and vegetables need to be peeled, chopped or cored before sending through your juicer!

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Drink up, friends! Rumor has it we have another crazy winter in storm (er, store?). Okay, that’s my queue to exit. I’m clearly high on vitamins…

Until next time,

-tnn

C.A.L. (carrot apple lemon) Juice

This juice is a close runner-up to my all-time favorite green juice. It is by far the quickest juice to make as it only has 3 ingredients and takes minimal time to prep. C.A.L. is a great pick-me-up when you are feeling sluggish or feel a cold coming on. Packed with antioxidants and vitamins a + c, C.A.L. will make you look and feel great from the inside out.

 

CAL ingredients

This juice serves 1. Feel free to double or triple the ingredients if you will be sharing the sunshiny goodness! Check out this produce prep guide to see what fruits and vegetables need to be peeled, chopped or cored before sending through your juicer!

  • Carrots – just rinse! Then send through the juicer…skins and all!
  • Apple – core and rinse
  • Lemon – Lightly peel. Try to keep as much of the white pith on as possible since it contains most of the nutrients that help your bod absorb vitamin c! Leave the seeds in, they’re packed with nutrients and antioxidants as well!

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Enjoy…I know I did!

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CAL Nutrition Label

– tnn