zesty, sweet & spicy peanut butter tofu salad.

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The name really says it all.  Being the kind of salad you just can’t put down, this flavourful, delicious & satisfying salad is a mega personal and crowd pleaser.  It will keep everyone coming back for more and leave them seriously thinking, is she a closet chef?

Convinced you to make it yet?  Ya we thought so, so without further adieu – let’s get cooking.

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You’ll need :

DRESSING :

  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1-2 red chilli peppers finely chopped ( or extra if you like more heat, we do )
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, or more to taste
  • 4 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice ( or 2 squeezed limes )
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar

TIP for the dressing : we use this dressing so much day-to-day in other recipes as well;  so we make a large container of it to have on hand all the time.  Over time the garlic marinates in it and it becomes even more flavourful as time passes.  So if you’re like us and want to make extra, just 8 – 10x the recipe or more to save time for your future meals by having this delicious dressing on hand.  Also note, add more of certain ingredients to taste as some like it more tangy and some like it more sweet!

SALAD :

  • 100g – 150g thin rice noodles ( we like the Thai kitchen brand the best, but other brands  of noodles can work too )
  • 2 carrots thinly sliced or ribboned
  • 1 medium cucumber sliced on an angle and chopped in half
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow or orange or both peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

TOFU :

  • 200g extra firm tofu
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp tamari
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice ( or 2 squeezed limes )
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 red chilli pepper
  • 4 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil

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INSTRUCTIONS :

First, take your brick of extra firm tofu and cut it into little squares.  Pour your corn starch over your pre -cut tofu and mix well, so that each piece of tofu is evenly covered in the starch.  Then head over to your frying pan, add your sesame oil into a medium to high heated pan and then throw your tofu in.  We like to get this started first as we like the tofu to get nice and browned on the outside which just takes a little extra love.  Cook the tofu for 10-15 minutes flipping frequently to prevent burning.

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In between flipping, chop the veggies that you have chosen for this dish.  You can really use whatever veggies you like – doesn’t specifically have to be the ones we have suggested.  While chopping your veggies don’t forget to add the garlic and chilli peppers too.   Set veggies aside, but separate from the and the garlic and chilli peppers.

Next, make your dressing.  Add your tamari, lime juice, chilli peppers, maple syrup, garlic and white rice vinegar in a mixing bowl – or a dressing container if you are making extra for future delicious meals.  Have this ready on the side.

Then in a boiling pot, boil enough water for the rice noodles you have put aside.  Boil your water, turn the heat off, and let your noodles cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Once clear –  rinse them with cold water and put them in the base of your serving bowl.

Finally it’s time to get your peanut butter mixture ready to go as your tofu will be just about ready.  Combine your peanut butter, maple syrup, tamari, chilli peppers, garlic and lime juice in a bowl and mix until totally smooth.  It will be like a thick paste, not liquidy.  Add any extra ingredients to your liking as we like it a little more sweet and spicy but some may like it more tangy etc.  Once you’ve mixed until smooth, add the mixture to the cooked tofu and stir / flip repeatedly as the peanut butter mix will really combine everything into a lump but over time with appropriate mixing time, they will separate and get a little crispy / chewy on the outside.  You might even want to lick your bowl!

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Keep on mixing until all of the edges of the tofu are lightly browned.  WARNING:!!!! This is where self-control really comes into play because if you don’t hold yourself back – you will eat all of the tofu before it ever has a chance to meet the salad…Take a few bites if you are about to go crazy – but set the aside the rest for the recipe.  It will be worth it!

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Now for the final steps of your salad :  take the noodles you previously set aside in a serving bowl.  Add your veggies, your tofu ( we like more tofu than veggies, so you may be tempted to short change your friends on the tofu – it’s that good!) & then your delicious dressing!  Top with a lot of cilantro and voila!  One of the most mind-blowing salads we have ever had and we honestly eat it at least once a week. … and that’s only because we are trying to exercise some slight self-control ( or we would really be eating it almost every night. )

TIP : if you do happen to have any tofu left, which is unlikely, its great cold in the middle of the night too for a late night snack! Or the next day…

BONUS TIP :  If you want extra, extra tofu for the week, make the entire package and double your peanut butter mix.

Remember….Tofu never screams.  so enjoy and happy tofuing!

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Namaste. My muse and I.

 

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glow from the inside out with our new twist on avocado toast.

Did you know avocado is a super fruit treasure that contains a wide variety of nutrients , including 10 different vitamins and minerals?!  Brimming with fibre, they have more potassium than bananas, and are loaded with carotenoids & antioxidants.  They have also been known to help arthritic symptoms, prevent vitamin K deficiencies, and for all of us who are striving for that perfect skin glow – look no further than in your fruit bowl.  Eating avocado regularly can give your skin that beautiful “lit from the inside”, glow.

Avocado is one of those foods that has become rather trendy over the past few years and we can see why.  They are beautiful, convenient & quick to eat, and a super satisfying way to enjoy positive health benefits.  Need we say anymore?  Some recipes are classic for a reason.  They are simple, quick and above all else, delicious.  We’ve added a little twist on the classic avocado toast and made a quick guide on some easy toppings to keep things fresh and inspiring!

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So we’ve established the health benefits of avocado, but you wonder…. how do you turn a relatively bland avocado into a meal that make your taste buds dance ?  Well, wonder no more, because once you try some of our ideas on how to put some pizzaz into your avocado, your tastebuds will love you forever!  Here’s what you do:

Take your favourite sprouted bread ( ideally, make sure it’s made without oil as it will keep the calories and inflammation down and be much more nutrient dense ) and yes that means any and all oils including olive oil – but that’s a blog post for another day.

At your grocery store there will be many loaves of bread made with enriched flour, oil, and other garbage chemicals and preservatives etc.  If you spend a few minutes reading the labels you will learn more about what you are putting in your body and will find that there is usually one or two brands that make sprouted bread without oil!  So for maximum health benefits, any kind of sprouted, whole grain bread will do (not to be confused with “whole wheat flour”- they are not the same.  Oil is not necessary in bread as it causes the body unnecessary inflammation and adds a whole lot of calories that aren’t required as the oil only adds fat with zero nutritional value.  We will be diving deeper into the harmful effects of oil on the human body in a future post so stay tuned for that!

Tip : Half way through your toasting time flip your bread upside down to get equal toasting on all of the sides & edges.  Make sure you don’t toast for too long or your chewy toast will get too hard.  No one likes crunchy toast!  Once you’ve achieved your desired level of toasting , use a fork to spread the avocado on your toast.  Here’s the toppings we add-on to make our secret recipe of avocado toast.

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Plant based parmesan cheese

Oregano

Cilantro

Smoked paprika

Chili peppers

A layer of hummus or baba ganoush

Diced tomatos

Finely chopped garlic

Sesame seeds

Chia seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Sprouted millet

Sprouted buckwheat

Flax seeds

Quinoa

Hemp seeds

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Have any other favourite toppings?  Let us know here on Instagram and we’ll add them to our list.

Avocado is a super food and adding a few seeds and spices can turn your classic toast into a super toast loaded with many health benefits!  Between the right amount of toastiness and creaminess of the avocado  – avocado toast is something we reach for at breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snack time!  So get toasting…Have we got you craving avocado toast?  Ya we know, us too.

Namaste.

My Muse & I

Two ingredient, indigestion fighting Tea.

Ever have those times where your stomach was feeling a little off ? Lately we’ve been taking up a many thousand year old tradition of making a simple tea – using a plant that has been used by Yogis, and in ancient Indian Ayurvedic traditions – to combat many ailments including indigestion..  Drinking fresh mint tea.  No complex ingredients that you can’t pronounce here.  The recipe is as simple as it gets – boiled water and a handful of fresh mint leaves.

Tired of that gassy, bloated feeling after you eat and have to succumb to opening the button on your pants?  Ya – we know. Well read on to see how you can “de-bloat” and feel your best, ASAP.

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Mint leaves are natural aromatic decongestants which helps to clear up your sinuses, relieving nausea and headaches also.  Certain to be in high demand with these nasty flu / cold bugs going around.

Antioxidants have been a big buzz for the last few years and drinking an easy to make cup of this tea will give you a huge antioxidant boost as it has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any food!

The big one for us is that this tea helps promotes digestion, “de-bloats” and helps sooth the stomach in cases of indigestion or inflammation.  That uncomfortable and sometimes painful feeling that can sometimes last hours, can be quickly gone and relieved with one cup.

Need help sleeping?  Drink a cup before bed and you will feel relaxed and ready to catch lots of zzzz’s; as being a natural stimulant – it can help in sleeping and with depression.  It is also anti – pruritic so it helps clear up acne, pimples and infections.

Lastly, grab yourself a cup mid day to help you stay alert while working and to help retain things you need to remember!

Have we convinced you yet?  Beyond just having minty fresh breath – mint tea is a simple pleasure with many healthful properties.  So go ahead – enjoy this aromatically pleasing & relaxing natural tea, while drinking up a whole bunch of side benefits, too!

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Namaste.  My muse and I.

Photos by Iuila Agnew of Vancouver, BC.

Mouth watering creamy coconut curry…

Spring, summer winter or fall.  There is never a time of year where we don’t crave a deeply flavourful & smooth coconut curry bowl bursting with veggies.  With just a hint of bite lingering on your tongue afterwards – beckoning the next spoonful of flavourful goodness.  We are getting hungry just writing about it.

In addition to the diverse symphony of flavours that you experience with this dish, the use of ingredients such as turmeric, ginger and garlic have tremendous added health benefits.  Long touted for it’s powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, ginger has more recently been studied for it’s role in reducing blood sugar and heart disease risk factors.

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Beyond their amazing flavours, these ingredients have been used for their anti inflammatory and medicinal properties for many thousands of years in advanced ancient cultures like India for Ayurvedic medicine.

Harness the taste alongside the health benefits of turmeric, ginger and garlic with this tasty dish!  This curry will always crowd please or serve to keep you satisfied on your solo, cozy, rainy nights.  It’s easy and makes enough for you to enjoy a few days after as well.  So, without further adieu, here’s what you’ll need:

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Ingredients :

1 head of garlic ( or about 5-6 cloves )

1 chunk of ginger ( about the size of your baby finger )

1 chunk of fresh turmeric ( about the size of your baby finger.  Fresh turmeric can be found in the fresh produce section of your grocery store right where you find your ginger and it makes a noticeable delicious difference in your recipes.  We highly suggest you try it! )

1 whole medium – large white onion

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

2 heads of broccoli

1 medium tomato

A lot of cilantro ( we love cilantro )

4 red chili peppers ( more or less to liking )

2 cans of regular coconut milk ( not the light )

4 tablespoons of real maple syrup ( or 4 table spoons of cane sugar if you don’t have real maple syrup )

2 table spoons of soy sauce

2 table spoons of smoked paprika

1/4 cup veggie broth

Suggested Base: Brown basmati rice, wild rice or whatever kind of rice you like ( make as much as you will need for as many servings as you like.  The coconut curry makes enough for at least 4-6 servings )

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Step 1 :

Get your rice started because by the time it’s done your curry will be done!

Step 2 :

Chop your garlic, onion, ginger, red chilis & turmeric and put in frying pan.  Add about a quarter cup of veggie broth and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Then add smoked paprika and stir in well.

Step 3 :

Chop all of the veggies you want in your curry and add them to the frying pan.  The veggie broth will add the moisture that is needed to cook the veggies.  Put the lid on and let cook for about 10 minutes.  Stir every few minutes to make sure all the veggies are cooked evenly.

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Step 4 :

Add 2 cups of coconut milk to the frying pan ( most frying pans should fit 2 cups of coconut milk plus the veggies.  It will be really full, but not overflowing.  Use a larger frying pan if you wish ).  Next add maple syrup, salt and soy sauce to taste and stir into the mix.  Let everything simmer on low for about 15 minutes or until you know the veggies are done.

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Step 5 :

Serve up your rice with a healthy serving of your curry on top garnished with freshly chopped tomato and cilantro & voila! Done.

After you try this mouth watering dish you will be so happy there is a lot of left overs. Sharing a little secret – we ate this for dinner two weeks straight once!  Could not get enough, it’s that good.  This is our recipe so if you take the pleasure in making it please share, post or let us know and tag us.

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Namaste.  My muse and I.

Beautiful photos by Iulia Agnew, Vancouver BC.

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indian inspired, anti-inflammatory turmeric coconut squash soup.

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It’s one of our favourite times of year; you know, when the leaves are changing and the air has a little chill in it.   Time to bring out the cozy sweaters and soup recipes.  We’re told that necessity is the mother of invention – so after searching high and low for a recipe that was hearty, healthy and delicious – we came up with our own.  Something creamy & thick, yet super healthy and satisfying.  You’re going to keep on coming back for more and we think you’ll impress anyone who tries even a spoonful!

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Indian cooking is known the world over for it’s use – over many thousands of years – of spices and ingredients such as garlic, turmeric, ginger and paprika for their anti-inflammatory and disease fighting properties.

Still home to the world’s largest population of vegetarians – food in ancient India was thought of as more than just “stomach filler”.  It’s purpose was many fold – to prevent, cure and protect against disease, to nourish as well as satiate, all the while doing so without consuming the negative energy and incurring the inevitable karmic debt that goes along with needlessly taking a life.

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When you think about it – the reality of the message hasn’t really changed.  The wisdom of the ancient Indian Vedic texts spoke to disease as one of the ways that the powerless extract their revenge on those that consume them.  Interestingly, our modern scientific journals corelate the consumption of animal products by referring to meat as carcinogenic, and high in saturated fat and cholesterol – both known causes of heart attacks, strokes and many other diseases.

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Inspired by that ancient wisdom, we decided to create healthful yet delicious recipe that includes some of those very anti inflammatory ingredients.

So here we go!

Ingredients :

1 large buttercup squash

2 cans coconut milk

1 chunk of ginger ( about the size of your thumb ) or size of your liking

1 whole clove of garlic ( we used the purple garlic in this recipe and wow )

2 cups chopped baby potatoes cut into quarters

1 head of chopped cauliflower cut into bite sized bits

2 fresh corn husks or 2 cups frozen corn

1 white onion medium size

1 chili pepper ( optional )

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon of salt ( taste to liking )

1 L carton veggie broth

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Step 1 :  Pre-heat oven to 375.  Take your buttercup squash and cut in half.  Chop the rest of your veggies putting onions, garlic and ginger in one bowl and potatoes & cauliflower in another.  Place both sides of the squash face down on a baking tray.  Fill the bottom of the tray with water so that all of the sides of the squash are slightly immersed in no more than a 1/4 inch of water.  Place in the oven and bake for at least one hour.  After an hour puncture the open-faced part of the squash to see if it is soft, if not soft enough put it in for a little longer and then check again.  It should be a soft texture once completely cooked.

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Step 2 : Boil the corn in one pot and cauliflower and potatoes in another.  Cook until ready and then drain the water and set aside.  Once the corn has cooled off, cut it off the husk and put the corn aside.

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Step 3 :  Take your chopped onion, garlic and ginger and place in a frying pan.  Add 1/4 cup of veggie broth and cook on a medium heat until onions are soft.  The veggie broth will evaporate while cooking.  Once the onions are soft add your turmeric, salt and smoked paprika.  Stir and place on low heat for another 5 mins then shut off the heat and set aside.

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Step 4 :  Once your squash is cooked, scoop the seeds out ( in the middle ) and discard –  hopefully in a compost bin!  Then scoop all of the squash out of the shell and place in your blender.  SUPER TIP: After learning this the hard way and putting the entire squash in the blender the first time and realizing it was too much, and can bog down the most powerful blender we discovered a better way.  Scoop out one of the halves and put it in your blender with at least 1 -2 cups of veggie broth.  Turn your blender on high for a few minutes and check to see if it’s completely smooth and then place in a large pot.  Then take the second half, scoop it out into the blender and add your veggie broth.  In the first or second round, add your cooked onions, garlic and ginger mix into the blender as well.  Both times you blend your squash make sure you have enough veggie broth in it or it will not blend properly or at all.  It needs lots of liquid to be smooth in the end.  The end blended texture should be very thick and smooth, not too “liquidy”.  Take the second batch and place in the pot with the other half.

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Step 5 :  Now that all of your blended squash is in your pot take 2 cans of coconut milk and add into the pot.  Stir and turn heat to medium low.  Let it heat up a little and then add your cooked potatoes, cauliflower and corn.  Mix it all together, top with a little cilantro and voila – you are done! You will be so happy when you try the first bite of this amazing soup.  Soup is never quite compete without some fresh bread so make sure you have some of this on the side too.  This recipe makes enough for at least 6 large bowls so you’ll have lots of left overs for your cozy nights ahead.

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We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do and make it often this fall and winter.  Remember if you make one of our recipes, be sure to tag us and use the hashtag #theconsioustaste.  We always love seeing your beautiful recreations!

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Happy fall. and Enjoy.

Namaste.  My muse and I.

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Photographs by Iulia Agnew, Vancouver BC.

 

 

cholesterol and cruelty free milk. It is possible!

We are a little obsessed with smooth, creamy and natural almond milk.  Not only is it super healthy, it’s also super easy and once you try this recipe…you’ll be as obsessed as we are. And the best parts? It’s both cholesterol and cruelty free, and tastes amazing.  You won’t feel like you have a coat of paint on your tongue after you drink it – like you do with cow’s milk, and your cholesterol numbers & your heart will thank you.

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INGREDIENTS :

1 cup raw almonds ( make sure your almonds are raw and not roasted, very important )

1 L filtered water

3 pitted dates ( if you want some sweetness ) or maple syrup

1/2 tsp himalayan salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cardamom ( optional but we highly suggest it )

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QUICK & EASY STEPS :

Step 1. Soak your one cup of raw almonds in a bowl of water overnight so your almonds get  nice and soft.

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Step 2.  Now that your almonds are soaked, put them in a strainer and rinse water over them so they are ready to go into your blender!  Next, add them into your blender –  we highly suggest a high powered blender like Vitamix as your almond milk will be much smoother and the process will be much quicker.

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Step 3. Add your flavour!  We like ours a little sweet so we add a little maple syrup, salt and cardamom but definitely choose your sweetness & spices to your liking.

Step 4.  Add your litre of water to your blender and blend all of your ingredients on high for at least 2 minutes.  It will be very smooth & creamy once done so you will know when it’s finished.

Step 5.  Time to strain your almond milk.  Once it’s blended it will be a little thick so now is the time where you grab your old t-shirt or your nut milk bag.  Take a larger bowl, and put your shirt or nut bag over the bowl and pour about 1/4th of the milk over it.  Next, grab the edges of your shirt or bag and squeeze all of the milk out.  Then repeat 1/4 more, 1/4 more and 1/4 more until all of your nut milk is strained and then store in a litre sized glass jar with a sealed lid.  Your fresh almond milk should last for at least 5-6 days!  It’s so delicious you’ll be making it once a week because the store bought just won’t make the cut after you’ve tried this delicious nut milk.

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Step 6.  This step is optional as you may or may not want to make almond pulp crackers.  If you do, take your pulp, mix in some spices, salt and pepper of choice and roll out onto a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  The thickness should be about 1/4 of an inch.  Preheat your oven to 350F and bake for 15 – 20 mins.  Please note some other recipes will say to add oil, but we choose to not add oil as they are delicious without it, much more nutrient dense, kinder to your health, & lower in calories.

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Now go grab a glass of your almond milk, and drink it fresh or pour it over your favourite granola.  Your tastebuds will be so satisfied and we will say, it’s hard to make this last for 5-6 days as we usually finish it in a few.  We’ve been making double batches to keep our addiction satisfied and we bet you’ll do the same.  Enjoy and happy nut milk making!

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Namaste.  My muse and I.

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Tasty and healthy – oil free – garlic & dill savoury potatoes.

We are all about quick meals that are healthy & easy.  These garlic and dill potatoes will be a big pleaser at any gathering or dinner just for two.  Lately we have been obsessed with dill and the aromatic taste that comes through while cooking the potatoes is divine.  These are a great side dish or a simple meal if you’re in a rush!

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Ingredients :

4 Mediuum sized potatoes ( any kind ) chopped up into bite sized bits

1/4 large onion ( or one small onion ) chopped

3 tbsp chopped dill

4 cloves chopped garlic

1/4 cup veggie broth

1/2 tsp salt and pepper

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How to :

Chop up all of your veggies and herbs and place in frying pan.  Next add your veggie broth and turn heat to medium.  Leave for 10 minutes and stir around a bit.  Let sit for another 5 mins, stir and sit for a few more mins.  Add your salt and pepper to your liking and take a taste to see if your potatoes are soft enough, but not too soft.  Don’t overcook – as they should still hold their shape in the end.

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You will note that we did not add oil to this recipe and that is intended.  Any kind of oil adds a lot of calories to any meal with no nutritional value ( yes – olive oil is in that category too! but that’s a post for another day ).  Also,  we find with oil, the taste of the herbs gets hindered and why would we want to do that? The veggie broth acts as a ” no stick ” and adds some moisture to the cooking process.  When you add the veggie both you may think that it seems too liquidy but as they cook – the broth will lessen.

We hope you enjoy these delicious potatoes as much as we do.  Proof that taste and health are not mutually exclusive.  Enjoy!

Namaste.  My muse and I.

 

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