janet @ the taste space

Cheezy Gnocchi & Peas

In Mains (Vegetarian) on February 4, 2017 at 9:15 AM

Cheezy Gnocchi & Peas

It might surprise you to learn I barely sit down these days. In between feeds, I have not been able to sit down for months.

When I was pregnant, people told me I’d be watching a lot of television while on my maternity leave. Nothing could be completely wrong.

Even though baby P is not crawling yet, the need for baby snuggles are real. However, our baby demands snuggles while standing. As soon as you sit down, he knows and will probably wake up and start to cry. It took me 5 months to figure out I could read my computer while standing and swaying if I brought it to the kitchen island. It is higher than my computer desk and I could work while standing. And as time passed, I started typing again.

Root Cellar Medley Soup + Complete Root Cellar Book GIVEAWAY

In Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on January 28, 2017 at 8:01 AM

 

Root Cellar Medley Soup + Complete Root Cellar Book GIVEAWAY

You know it is a great soup when I make it two weeks in a row. It is not often that I repeat recipes in such rapid succession, but I only ate 2 servings and had planned to share it with our baby. I thought it was ok for him until I realized I used broth powder with salt in it.

Round two was solidified. Without any vegetable broth. The necessary salt was added after we removed baby P’s portion.

Root Cellar Medley Soup + Complete Root Cellar Book GIVEAWAY

This soup is very versatile. I was drawn to it because I bought 5 lbs of rutabagas (which I’ve used already). Other root vegetables could easily be used in this soup. The original recipe called for regular potatoes but I used sweet potatoes. Parsnips or turnips would also be lovely. The trick is to chop them into small bite-sized pieces. I added in lentils, which, when partially pureed, made Rob compare this to beef soup. I think a touch of marmite would also be lovely (not suitable for babes, though, so I haven’t tried it yet).

 

Root Cellar Medley Soup + Complete Root Cellar Book GIVEAWAY

I must admit I was drawn to this book because it is more about root cellars than recipes, and we have a love-hate relationship with our cold room. Too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. However, this winter has been pretty mild, so we haven’t had too many frozen veggies yet. I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly go through the information about root cellars, but hope to at one point. I’d love to perfect our cold room and use this book to make it better.

In the meantime, this soup is simply delicious and a winner in its own merit.

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in Canada or the United States. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your experience with a root cellar. Do you have one? If not, do you want to make one? The winner will be selected at random on February 12, 2017. Good luck!

Root Cellar Medley Soup + Complete Root Cellar Book GIVEAWAY

Root Cellar Medley Soup
Courtesy of The Complete Root Cellar Book: Building Plans, Uses and 100 Recipes, reprinted with permission by Robert Rose

Author’s note: You can change up the vegetables you use in this soup to suit your tastes or what’s left in your stores.

1 tbsp vegetable oil                                15 mL
1 small onion or leek (white and light green part only), chopped
1 cup diced carrots                               250 mL
1 cup diced peeled potatoes             250 mL (Janet’s note: I used sweet potato)
1 cup diced rutabaga or turnip          250 mL
1/2 cup sliced celery                               125 mL
1/2 tsp dried thyme                                    2 mL (Janet’s note: I used 1 tsp)
4 cups reduced-sodium ready-to-use
 vegetable or chicken broth (approx.) 1L (Janet’s note: I used 5 cups since I added lentils)
1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained (Janet’s addition)
2 tbsp tomato paste (optional)            30 mL
2 tbsp white wine vinegar or cider vinegar 30 mL
1 tsp salt, or to taste                              5 mL
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste    1 mL
Chopped fresh parsley

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add carrots, potatoes, rutabaga, celery and thyme; sauté for 5 minutes or until carrots start to soften.
  2. Add stock and lentils (if using) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.
  3. Whisk in tomato paste (if using) and vinegar. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. I used an immersion blender to partially blend the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with parsley.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Tip: When chopping or dicing vegetables for soup that won’t be puréed, keep in mind that the pieces should fit nicely on a spoon, allowing room for at least two pieces per spoonful, to keep each bite flavorful.

Courtesy of The Complete Root Cellar Book: Building Plans, Uses and 100 Recipes by Steve Maxwell & Jennifer MacKenzie © 2016 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

Credit for cover image: Colin Erricson

Contest Rules: No purchase necessary. Contest period begins Saturday, January 28, 2017 and ends Sunday, February 12, 2017. For American and Canadian residents only. Approximate retail value US$24.95. Enter by writing a comment answering the prompt for a chance to win.  Entrants must supply a valid email address. Winners will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours.

Winter One Pot Lentils & Rice + Ultimate Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook review

In Book Review, Mains (Vegetarian) on January 21, 2017 at 8:55 AM

Winter One Pot Lentils & Rice + Ultimate Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook giveaway

I am starting to  look at food in a different way now that we’re starting to feed our baby. I’ve been using my Instant Pot to cook lots of vegetables before I blitz them into purees. At first, we started with simple, single ingredients. Then we moved to combinations and eventually I started making our own meals without salt and then throwing them into the blender for a new puree. Lentils, rice and rutabaga with some spices sounds like an awesome baby puree!

Turns out he loved it! Win!