This past weekend, Sherry and I had the privilege of teaching our first cooking class through 's Center for Lifelong Learning.
The Saturday class was titled "Hearty Soups & Stews, Veg Style." We shared three original recipes that are ways to re-imagine some old-fashioned, stick-to-your-ribs favorites–the kind of comfort foods to be enjoyed on a cold day.
There were nine students in the program and they were welcome to assist as we presented veggie versions of baked potato soup with all the trimmings, chick'n noodle soup and a zesty jambalaya. The class was three hours long–just enough time to introduce some new friends to healthy, low cholesterol and low fat versions of hearty bowl dishes.
First on tap was the baked potato soup. Inspired from a Family Circle recipe, we changed some of its ingredients and made it vegan. We went through all of the steps of creating this soup with the students, but brought a "swap out" with us to sample it, since this one requires hours of slow cooking in the crock pot for best results.
Baked Potato Soup
Start to Finish: 3 hours, 30 minutes (longer if cooked on low heat)
3 1/2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
One 10-ounce package of frozen chopped broccoli
4 cups of chick’n flavored stock (We used Not-Chick’n, Rich Golden Broth and Seasoning bouillon cubes. You can find them at most chain grocery stores.)
½ cup soy creamer
½ cup sour cream (we used Tofutti)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Make It Happen:
-Combine potatoes, red pepper, broccoli, garlic and stock in crock pot. Cook on high heat for 3 hours or on low heat for 6 hours, until potatoes are tender.
-In a small bowl, stir together creamer, sour cream, corn starch and pepper. Remove crock pot lid (watch out for built up steam) and mash potatoes with hand masher. Stir in cream mixture until thoroughly combined.
-Ladle into your favorite bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and chives.
One of the students remarked that she has always disliked broccoli and, for health reasons, is seeking to add green vegetables like broccoli into her meals. She loved this soup and could not believe that it was rich with her green veggie nemesis.
Next, we whipped up a quick chick'n noodle soup. This one is a sleeper and made quickly by using the broth packet from Manischewitz Matzo Ball and Soup mix. Here is a link to this recipe from Exploits of a Vegan Wannabe: Chick'n noodle soup
This soup is favorite home remedy with many families and we believe that it is also a necessary tool in a vegetarian pantry for those days that you feel under the weather or just need comforting.
Our third hearty entree was jambalaya. This is one of those meals that you can prepare for anyone, including the very carnivorous members of your family and friends. It's robust, as spicy as you choose and richly filling.
The recipe that we shared is a great baseline for jambalaya. You can increase the heat by adding more cayenne, or step up the sausage flavor by adding more fennel. Taste it as you go and add more seasonings to suit your palate.
It's ready in 45 minutes or less and is a great meal with a cornbread and a salad. You can also find this recipe from Exploits of a Vegan Wannabe: Jambalaya.
Sad you missed out? No worries: 2 Edgy Veggies will be offering another HFCC cooking class on April 9. This one is "Stunning Desserts, Dairy Free" and if you are a chocolate fan, you want to be sure and attend. The class features a dark chocolate, peanut butter and banana pie; choco-nut truffles and key lime pie.
Call 313-317-1500, or go to HFCC's Center for Lifelong Learning website, to register. The cost is $39, or $35 for Dearborn residents.