Being unable to eat milk products has left me with a wanting for certain foods such as pizza, mac'n'cheese, cream of tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches...
Thankfully, the list is small and I've stopped craving cheese so I'm able to find easy substitutes for these comforting foods.
Pizza is easy for me; I just use a yeast-free base and don't add cheese to my toppings. Problem solved.
Mac'n'cheese used to be an issue when I really wanted cheese but now it's OK. I sort of miss it but not enough to even take a bite of someone else's.
When it came to cream of tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches I was really stuck. I can't have the cream in the cream of tomato soup; can't have the cheese in the grilled cheese sandwich and even finding the right bread for me can be tricky. Nightmare.
That is until last week when I decided to just wing it. Thankfully, for the first time I started writing down what I was throwing into the pot instead of guessing afterwards. This also allowed me to take accurate measurements so, if the experiment worked; I could share it with confidence that what I told you wouldn't result in something horrid!
Well, it definitely worked. It worked so well I decided that night was officially Date Night and (pardon the pun) made a real meal out of it!
Thick and Creamy Tomato Soup
In a large pot add the following:
1/4c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 400g (14.5 oz) cans of chopped tomatoes (please approximate if your can size is different)
1 cup chopped spinach (mine was frozen)
2 bags of Steam-Fresh type mixed vegetables (I used Broccoli, Sweetcorn and Carrots by Birds Eye)
1tsp mix dried Italian herbs
1/2tsp onion powder
1tbsp minced garlic (I use Very Lazy Garlic)
1.5L (about 6.5 cups) vegetable stock
Set aside 1 - 1.5 cups soya cream (I used reduced fat to great effect)
Bring this all to a boil allow to do so for about 10 minutes. Reduce to low heat and leave to simmer for about an hour (I left mine for about two hours and simply added some more stock later to thin it a bit but I like heavy soups).
Use food processor to blend the soup (make sure not to over-fill the food processor, this may mean you have to do two batches) and return it to the pot over low heat.
Just prior to serving add soya cream and stir to blend well.
I served this with garlic bread and it was a hearty meal that I intend to make a lot this winter. YUM!
Our backyard/garden/behind-the-flat/house-area is coming along nicely, the ground work is all completed and all that's left is to finish the decking!
I've been baking a bit lately:
Basic Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Mousse topping
Almond Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese frosting...
...and a surprise Chocolate Mousse filling
(Why do I feel the need to add the word "Vegan" when I say "cream cheese" considering the entire dessert is Vegan? I only bake Vegan but I worry that people will see "Cream Cheese" and get the wrong idea, I guess, so it's a little added emphasis that it's still OK even though it's called "cheese". I worry, though, that stressing the Vegan bit only there will lead to people to think that that's the only part that is Vegan. Oh, well. Can't please them all, as they say!)
See you soon!