How to clean leeks

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leeks
leeks

How to clean leeks

I love cooking with leeks!  I don’t know when I discovered these beauties, but I’m so glad I did.  Leeks are part of the onion and garlic family.  They have a mild onion taste and they are super healthy and good for you!  The edible part of the leek is the white and a bit of the light green part.  I always feel bad throwing the bulk of the green leek away!  A chef once told me that the dark green leaves are only really good for use in stocks.  So, when you use leeks, you must clean them first before using because sand and dirt get caught in the leaves as they grow and will make your recipes taste gritty if you do not clean them properly.

separte the white part of the leek from the dark green
separate the white part of the leek from the dark green

The first thing you do is get a bowl of lukewarm water ready for your leeks.  Then you cut the white part of the leek from the inedible dark green part.  You may include some of the light green part, but don’t go too far up.

cut leeks in half
cut leeks in half

Next, cut the leeks in half and place on their side.  Begin to cut the leeks so they resemble half moons.  After they are cut, place in the lukewarm bowl of water.  Give them a massage and separate the  pieces.  The sand and grit will fall to the bottom of the bowl and the leeks will float on top.

leeks in a bowl of lukewarm water.
leeks in a bowl of lukewarm water.

Allow the leeks to float in the water for about 5 minutes so the sand and grit can fall to the bottom.  Remove the leeks with a slotted spoon.  Just gently skim the top to remove leeks.  You don’t want to stir up the dirty water! Place leeks on a towel and gently pat dry.  Add the cleaned leeks to your recipe.

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Kimberly’s Vegetable Soup

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Kimberly's Vegetable Soup
Kimberly’s Vegetable Soup

Today is a snow day! What’s better on a cold day than a warm bowl of soup… right?  So I’m making a huge pot of my vegetable soup.  My inspiration for this recipe, was a soup my sister made for me while I was visiting her in North Carolina last summer.  She was very conscious of the fact I was a new vegan, and she wanted me to have enough food to eat while I was there!  She researched restaurants and places I could eat.  Kimberly went out of her way to make me feel comfortable that visit!  She’s a sweetheart!  When I arrived at her house, she had a soup lunch waiting for me.  I remember the green beans and squash in the soup were so tasty!  So when I got home I tried to replicate the recipe.  I added leeks and kale and my favorite spice mixture, Herbes de Provence.   Below is a soup recipe I love and adore!  I think between the two of us, we came up with a good one, so I’m naming it after her!

Kimberly’s Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

1 large  onion

2 leeks, cleaned and diced (http://littlerhodyvegan.com/how-to-clean-leeks/)

4 carrots, diced

6 oz fresh green beans

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 can Goya small white beans, rinsed and drained

1C frozen corn

1C frozen butternut squash

4-5 stalks of kale rinsed and chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 quarts vegetable stock

1/2 can tomato paste

1-2 tsp of minced garlic

1 bay leaf

1-2 tsp Herbes de Provence

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Saute onion, leeks, carrots, garlic with the olive oil until nicely wilted.  Add to the pot, the green beans, can of white beans, tomatoes, vegetable stock and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil.  Add the frozen corn and the frozen squash.  Then add the Herbes de Provence and bay leaf.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  When the pot is boiling again, add the kale.  Simmer at least and hour.  Serve with my Easy Garlic Bread. ( http://littlerhodyvegan.com/easy-vegan-garlic-bread/ )

 

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Happy New Year Stir-Fry

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Stir Fry
Stir Fry

stir fry

Happy New Year to Everyone!  Last night was a quiet night, just the way I like it!  When I was younger, I loved going out and ringing in the new year with my friends.  Now, my perfect New Year’s Eve is a quiet dinner relaxing on the couch with a good movie.  Last night’s movie was It’s Complicated and last night’s dinner was Happy New Year Stir-Fry!

Happy New Year Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

3 tbsp grape seed oil

1/2 diced red onion

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tbs minced fresh ginger

1 large head of broccoli, cut small

1 cup sliced carrots

2 diced celery stalks

2 sliced red bell peppers

1 cup chopped, fresh green beans

1/2 cup cashews

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Directions:

Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar and set aside.  Heat oil in a large wok-type pan.  Add the diced onion, carrots, celery and red pepper flakes and saute for 2 minutes.  Then add the peppers, broccoli, green beans and cashews and saute for 3- 4 minutes.  Next, is the ginger and garlic.  Saute these for about 1 more minute.  Lastly, add the sauce and warm it through until it comes to a bubble.  Pour over rice or my favorite, chinese noodles.  Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.  Serve immediately.  Happy New Year!

 

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Vegan Russian Teacakes

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Vegan Russian Teacakes
Vegan Russian Teacakes

As a little girl, I loved making holiday cookies with my Mom.  There was lots of laughter and joy when we baked together.  I recently veganized this recipe we used to make together and they tasted just as I remember.  I love these little cookies because they are delicious, fun and easy to make.  Besides, they look like little snowballs!

Russian Teacakes

Ingredients:

1 cup softened earth balance buttery spread sticks

1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp of vanilla

2 1/4 cups Flour

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cups finely chopped walnuts

Mix room temperature Earth Balance, sugar and vanilla  together until smooth.  Stir salt and flour together.  Blend the flour and the butter mixture together.  Mix in the walnuts. Roll the dough into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  While still warm, roll cookies into confectioners sugar.  When the cookies cool, roll them again in the sugar!

 

 

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Ruth Lynn

Hello! I'm Ruth Lynn. Welcome to Little Rhody Vegan.

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