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Slow Cooker Vegan Split Pea Soup

Green peas are good to keep you digestive system working properly… so, if hormones or menopause has been making you feel a little “sluggish”, this is a great dish for you!

slow cooker vegan split pea soup

I remember many years ago when all of these awesome soup spots opened up in Manhattan, and I thought it was the greatest idea ever! I used to go and get a different soup every day. Steve used to go and get the same 2 soups: split pea or black bean. There I was, ordering mulligatawny soup or borscht or spicy gumbo and I loved it, but no one was happier than Steve with his steaming bowl of split pea soup. My recipe for Slow Cooker Vegan Split Pea Soup is an homage to those quieter, gentler, less complicated days.

I admit, I am not a slow cooker aficionado. So, rather than experiment, this time I went the simpler route and looked to one of my favorite blogs for guidance. The credit for the original awesome recipe for this soup goes to The Kitchn.

In the past when I’ve made split pea soup — and I’ve many many variations — I’ve encountered a Three-Little-Bears type of situation. Oftentimes, my soup ends up too creamy. Or too chunky. But this recipe for slow cooker vegan split pea soup in just right.

What’s better than having a big pot of delicious soup in your fridge? Nothing.

This soup makes awesome leftovers.

It’s the perfect winter, comforting food.

And, it will heal what ails you.

Oh, and I’m certain it will make you smile.

And, one more thing — it’s sooooooooooo easy!

If you are looking for another great soup to try, take a look at my recipe for Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minestrone Soup.

slow cooker vegan split pea soupslow cooker vegan split pea soup

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this slow cooker vegan split pea soup:

Green peas are good for the digestion, especially if you are feeling constipated. In the olden days, people used to drink pea juice with their meals to avoid indigestion.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.

Turmeric is also a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

slow cooker vegan split pea soup

Slow Cooker Vegan Split Pea Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: slow cooker, soup, vegan, paleo, whole30, comfort food
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The Kitchn
 
This is an easy dump and cook soup -- just dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and you are good to go! This is so warming, healing, and delicious!
Ingredients
  • For soup:
  • 1 lb organic dried green split peas (you can buy them here)
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 4 scallions, cut off a 2-inch portion of the root end and then sliced the remaining stalks thinly; add all to the soup -- including the root!
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 20 grinds of black pepper
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • For croutons:
  • 4 slices grain-free bread, toasted and rubbed with one raw garlic clove, then cut into cubes
Instructions
  1. Put all soup ingredients into slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high heat for 5-1/2 hours.
  3. Remove bay leaves and scallion roots.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons, if desired.
  5. Enjoy!

slow cooker vegan split pea soup

Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

Eating a little bit of beef can help ease that holiday bloated feeling you may be suffering with…
paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs

I love meatballs. When Meatball Mondays became an actual thing that people were doing, I thought here is something I can get on board with — no questions asked.

Meatballs are so adjective-worthy: Delish. Fun. Simple. Comforting. Changeable. Delectable. Delightful. Enticing. Multi-generational. Multi-tasking. Yummy.

So, awhile ago I started making balls of all kinds. There were vegan balls, Italian balls, Asian balls, mini balls, gigantic balls… well, you get the picture.

It turns out that paleo meatballs were my biggest challenge. Oh, they were easy to make, but they required more thought than a regular ball. No grains meant I had a lot of crumbling balls. Then I overcompensated and ended up with some overly moist balls.

Then, once I figured out the perfect recipe (which this recipe for paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs is), they just photographed so…. uhmmmmmmmm …. not nice…

So it was back to the drawing board. And here is the final result.

I will tell you that these paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs still taste better than they look in the pics — they are flavorful and gooey and just so meatball-y. Oh, and did I mention that there is prosciutto in them? Because, well, how could that be bad?

I am not a dairy eater, so I went for vegan cheese for the stuffing in these balls. Truth be told, I’m not so much of a meat eater either, but in the winter, sometimes the body wants what it needs and I guess I’m needing beef! So, even though some people think it’s odd that these balls are made of beef and vegan cheese, I’m telling you, it’s the way to go! There are so many awesome vegan cheeses available today, that not only are the meatballs themselves amazingly delicious, but the cheesy filling is a great added surprise in the center of these grass-fed meatballs that even self-proclaimed vegan-cheese-haters will love the gooey centers.

For a slightly different take on paleo meatballs, make sure you try my recipe for turkey meatballs.

paleo cheese-stuffed meatballspaleo cheese stuffed meatballs

If you never thought meatballs could be healing, think again…:

Beef is good for a lot of ailments. It’s good for edema/swelling in the body, it helps many people with their weak back and knees and, believe it or not, it’s good for that bloated, distended feeling we sometimes get in our stomachs. In the olden days, beef was stewed for hours so that the liquid could be sipped to combat chronic diarrhea. I use grass-fed beef whenever possible.

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes (like this one) with tapioca flour — it works as a great substitute in a lot of recipes that would otherwise include breadcrumbs.

paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs

Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, Italian, main course, appetizer
Cuisine: paleo, whole30, comfort food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Meatballs stuffed with cheese! And they are healthy!!! Nuf said...
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thirds
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbs ketchup (I use a paleo one)
  • 2 oz finely diced pancetta
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 5 oz vegan mozzarella (or cheese of choice), cut into ½-inch cubes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the carrots and onion into a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the beef, carrot/onion mixture, and all of the rest of the ingredients, except the cheese.
  5. Mush it all up good with your hands.
  6. Form the mixture into balls that are a bit larger than golf balls.
  7. Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Pick up each ball individually and press a cube of cheese into the center of each ball, and then squeeze the meat back around the cheese so that the cheese is completely covered with meat.
  9. Place the balls back onto the cookie sheet.
  10. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes, or until the balls are beginning to brown on the bottom.
  11. Flip the balls over and back an additional 10 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
  12. Enjoy with your favorite sauce, on top of a salad, or as an awesome snack right off the tray!

paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs

Cheeseburger Soup

This cheeseburger soup is dairy-free and it really tastes like a cheeseburger in a bowl!

cheeseburger soup

Everyone is always asking me what my favorite food is and what my favorite recipe is. I can never decide. And I am never indecisive. I am good that way — I can make a decision quickly and confidently… usually. Except when I’m asked this question. But if you ask Steve this same question, he will tell you, without any hesitation, that cheeseburger soup is his all-time favorite meal.

The cheesy flavor comes from cashews and nutritional yeast. When you blend these up with some chipotle chilies for extra flavor… it’s like an awesome cheese sauce coating all of the amazing grass-fed beef in your bowl. It’s like magic!

Words cannot do this soup justice. When I was a fairly new blogger, I posted this recipe and it’s been a favorite ever since. It’s a cheeseburger in a bowl. A cheeseburger in soup form. It’s the most satisfying thing I have eaten in a long long time. And yet, it’s dairy-free and has so many nutrients that you will be doing your body a favor by eating it. Can this all possibly be true? YES!

I can’t take credit for coming up with the idea for this recipe; that credit goes to Kelly at The Spunky Coconut — and it’s genius!

If you like this recipe, you should also try my recipe for Slow Cooker Vegetable Minestrone — after all, having some veggies to balance your meat is always a good thing.

cheeseburger soup

Here are some of the ingredients that make this soup so good for you:

Beef is good for a lot of ailments. It’s good for edema/swelling in the body, it helps many people with their weak back and knees and, believe it or not, it’s good for that bloated, distended feeling we sometimes get in our stomachs. In the olden days, beef was stewed for hours so that the liquid could be sipped to combat chronic diarrhea. I try to buy organic, grass-fed beef whenever possible — and it’s become pretty easy to find it in ground beef form in lots of markets!

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, so it’s perfect here.

Chipotle peppers are jalapenos that have been smoked. The ones that come in the can are perfect to use here. These spicy peppers are a good source of vitamin A and potassium. Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. Whenever I have a cold I eat lots of hot sauce. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of chipotles here. The main component of hot peppers is capsicum. Capsicum actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

cheeseburger soup

Cheeseburger Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, dairy-free, paleo, whole30
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The Spunky Coconut
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This soup really tastes like a cheeseburger. But it's dairy-free. It's a magical recipe!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • sea salt
  • For the creamy sauce:
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or a combination of whatever broths you have on hand)
  • 1-1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 chipotle chili from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 bunch of scallions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and beef. Season with salt.
  3. Cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon until the meat is no longer pink.
  4. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the broths, cashews, 1-tsp sea salt, tomato paste, nutritional yeast and chipotle chile.
  5. Puree until silky smooth.
  6. Pour the contents of the blender into the pot with the beef. Stir until combined and hot.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with scallions. Enjoy!

cheeseburger soup

Paleo Vegetable Kugel

This paleo vegetable kugel is light and healthy!

paleo vegetable kugel

One of the first things my mother-in-law asked me to cook was a kugel for Passover. She wanted a real kugel, as she put it, not one of my healthy recipes. So, she gave me a recipe and asked me to follow it. I think that kugel had two sticks of butter in it and a bucket of matzo meal!

This year, I won’t be home for Passover.  A few months ago I had to postpone a trip because I had the flu and the only time my sister and I could reschedule for was Passover week.  So, I had to decide between the traditional family seder or a trip to Anguilla with my sister to celebrate our big birthdays… I picked the trip… so don’t judge me… I will, however, miss this paleo vegetable kugel!

Here is my healthy answer to kugel. It’s delicious and it’s made with tons of fresh veggies and a little bit of oil and tapioca flour. Steve and I ate it for dinner last week as I was testing out the recipe. It’s a kugel (even if not as traditional as my mother-in-law would like) but it’s healthy and it’s good enough to serve any time of year.

And the leftovers are awesome for breakfast. A few sunny-side-up eggs served on top of a plate of this kugel… oh my, it’s like an awesome breakfast hash…

If you are looking for a great Paleo dessert to serve, try my Paleo Lemon Cake recipe.

paleo vegetable kugelpaleo vegetable kugel

This is the healthiest kugel in the world:

Leeks are known as “grass from the sun”. They are especially beneficial when the whether is still warm but starting to turn cold, or still cold and starting to turn warm (Spring and Fall). They are great for the liver and at helping the body relieve itself of toxins. Leeks are also good at helping constipation; they help the body rid itself of toxins in the digestive tract.

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I still haven’t tried this, but if need be, I will!

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes with tapioca flour — it seems to crisp things up well and it works as a great thickener too.

paleo vegetable kugel

Paleo Vegetable Kugel
Author: 
Recipe type: Passover, paleo, vegetables, casserole, side dish
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: What Jew Wanna Eat
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
Here's a great healthy side dish that's traditionally served for Passover, but it's good enough for any time of the year!
Ingredients
  • 2 large leeks, slices and soaked in bowl of cold water to remove any dirt
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled, sliced very thinly, and then cut into tiny pieces
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced very thinly, and then cut into tiny pieces
  • 2 unpeeled medium zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup tapioca flour (here's a good one)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2-/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus and extra 2-tsp to grease the pan
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet.
  3. Add the leeks and some salt and sauté until they start to brown, about 15 minutes.
  4. Put all of the chopped vegetables into a large bowl. Add the sautéed leeks and the tapioca flour. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the eggs and stir until combined well.
  6. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with 2 tsp of oil.
  7. Spread the vegetable mixture into the dish.
  8. Bake until the top starts to brown a bit, about 45 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes.
  10. Cut into pieces.
  11. NOTE: When I cut this when it was too warm, it was hard to keep some of the pieces in neat squares, so if you can, let it cool completely (even in the fridge) before you cut it. I will say, though, that it was just as delicious when I cut it hot even if it didn't look quite as pretty!

paleo vegetable kugel