Food Post; pizza, soup, and pretty dishes

Forgive the unoriginal title.

I made white pizza for supper. (Vegetarian recipe, but could add some crumbles of bacon. This recipe is really versatile.)

You should definitely try it! There are multiple steps, but it is still quite simple and oh-so-tasty!

I served it with leftover corn-poblano-potato soup, (vegan recipe) and fresh strawberries we bought from a friend in 4-H.

This blue dish was a gift to me as a young teenager. I know this makes me sound old-fashioned and, well, just old, but when we were young, we always had planning for marriage and family in our forefront. Many gifts I received were given with the idea that one day I would use them in a home of my own. This is one of them. I still treasure this gift, but more so, the friend who gave it to me. I think of her every time I use it.

Here’s what it looks like empty.

May your memories be warm, your dishes filled with goodness, and your friendships sweet.

New Food-Only Blog

For those who just want my recipes, follow me at The Cultured Country Cook! 

I will continue to post “reflections and recollections” here. 

Oops… cookie bars and accidental soup 

There are times I want cookies, but don’t feel like scooping out all the dough. That’s when I make my desired cookie recipe and bake it like bars. (This chocolate chip recipe also makes a great crust for a sweetened cream cheese layer and fruit on top!) 

There are also days I have supper in the works and plans go awry. Like tonight, when I wanted to make a Mexican casserole but the polenta had gone bad. Thankfully I tasted the polenta before pouring into the pan as a crust. As frustrating as it was to relinquish the idea of a casserole and toss the soured polenta, I used the exact casserole filling I’d already combined in another bowl, added a quart of tomato juice, and made taco soup. 

It’s a lot like life, really. You get handed all manner of circumstances for ingredients and what you make of it is up to you. 

I’m so thankful mom taught me how to assess, adapt, and overcome at an early age. Some days it saves my sanity. It reminds me of the gentle-natured painter, Bob Ross, who encouraged even the most novice painter saying, “there are no mistakes, only happy little accidents.”

What happy cooking accidents do you have to share? 

Curried potatoes recipe and a “52 soups” menu

We had a potluck meal at church Sunday and I took a family favorite, curried potatoes. Some people requested the recipe so I will share that below. This is a whole-Foods plant-based dish our whole family loves without giving much thought to the fact that it is so healthy. 

Some of you may have read my recent blog post about 52 soups, breads, and treats. Tonight happens to be our weekly soup night. I am making this roasted garlic tomato soup, three-cheese bread, and these brownies. At least two out of three will be healthy. 🙂 The three cheese bread is supposed to be my supplement to grilled cheese that one must serve with tomato soup. We will see what the family thinks this evening. 

Here is the curried potatoes recipe. I follow it exactly, except reduce the spices a bit. My husband and I both love spicy, but the children not so much. This recipe is from The PlantPure Nation Cookbook by Kim Campbell. We love many of the recipes in this cookbook! 


Curried Potatoes 

4 potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 onion diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I omit)

1 Tablespoon Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste

4 teaspoons Garam Masala (you can purchase this, but I make my own from the recipe in this same Cookbook)

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon salt

One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1&1/2 cups frozen peas

2/3 cup lite coconut milk 

Method: Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer, just until tender. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes which will create a mushy texture. 

Drain potatoes and set aside. 

Sauté the onion and garlic in a little water until tender, about 5 minutes. (I wait to add the garlic until the onion is tender because minced garlic seems to burn quickly for me.) Once onion and garlic are tender, season with cumin, cayenne if using, curry paste, garam masala, ginger, and salt. Cool two minutes more. 

Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, frozen pease, and cooked potatoes. 

Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 5-10 minutes. 

Enjoy!

Fifty-two soups, breads, and treats 

With bonus plant-based chocolate chip cookie recipe. A family favorite in our house!

My mother-in-law gave me a book a while back, “Twelve Months of Monastery Soups.” 


She also gave me a January/February 2017 Food Network Magazine with recipes for cupcakes for each month of the year. 

These two books were part of the inspiration behind my “Fifty-two soups, breads, and treats” idea. The bread idea came about when my brother-in-law gave me a bread machine for Christmas. Although I often make our own homemade bread, this machine makes it possible to have a nice fresh loaf ready right at dinnertime. 

We love soups around here. I love that they can be hearty and healthy at the same time. I also appreciate their versatility and how easily they can come together just with leftovers from the fridge or odds and ends from the pantry. 

So with the inspirations mentioned above and the ongoing effort to do more with less, I thought it would be fun to have one night a week for a whole year with soup, bread, and a simple treat for supper. 

I often look at the ingredients I have on hand and then peruse Pinterest for ideas. Since I’m usually working from scratch without having shopped for a specific recipe, I supplement and interchange ingredients as needed. 

This week I made my own version of this chicken and wild rice soup, using leftover BBQ chicken from a fundraiser. I didn’t have all the exact ingredients on hand, but the substitutes were still delicious and the children loved it! 


I also made this vegan Irish Stout Vegetable Stew, from my emeals menu.

I had made basic white bread a few days before and didn’t make any fresh bread on soup day. 

I did, however, whip up a batch of our favorite “healthy” chocolate chip cookies. 


I have served these cookies to many adults and children who had no idea they were considered “Whole Foods/plant based” and they raved and raved about them. Let me know if you try them and what you think. 

Lunchbox Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz 

Forks Over Knives Cookbook

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup almond butter

1/2 cup dry sweetener (Sucanat or raw sugar)

1 Tablespoon ground flax seed

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1&1/3 cups oat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sorghum flour or whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips 

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix together applesauce almond butter, dry sweetener, and ground flaxseed. Once smooth, mix in vanilla. Add in the oat flour, baking soda, and salt and mix well. Add the sorghum or whole wheat pastry flour and chocolate chips and mix well. 

Drop spoonfuls into prepared baking sheets and flatten a bit so they resemble thick discs. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. 

Facebook Food; dill pickle soup and grilled cheese dippers

Life has been unusually busy for us these past few weeks as we continue to adjust to a new foster placement and maintain our already hectic schedule. 

These are the days I find the morning coffee I didn’t get to drink in the microwave in late afternoon. 


The days I am thankful that an old top entertains four children for long periods of time. 


I am thankful for friends who lend helping hands in so many ways, whether it be for our children, our non-profit, or for our larger community. 

These are the days that pass so quickly, but that I will one day miss and long to re-experience. 

In the meantime, I sit with our littles as they drift off to sleep. To stay awake myself, I read articles and often scroll through Facebook to catch up on friends and the rest of the world. I’ve been saving recipe links my friends have shared on Facebook. Tonight I made a combo of two I was most excited about, dill pickle soup and grilled cheese dippers.

The original recipe for the soup can be found here.  

Since we eat a mostly Whole Foods plant based diet, I adapted the recipe, but I can assure you the original would taste quite fantastic as well! Here’s the recipe with my changes. The whole family loved it! 

Dill Pickle Soup

5 cups vegetable stock

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small-ish pieces

4 medium carrots, washed but unpeeled, chopped small

1 cup chopped baby dill pickles 

(I skipped the butter altogether)

1 cup all purpose flour

1&1/4 cup unsweetened unflavored plant-based milk

1&3/4 cup dill pickle juice

Old Bay seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

Method: Pour the vegetable stock into a large pot and add the potatoes and carrots. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add chopped dill pickles. Mix the plant-based milk and flour in a gravy shaker and shake well. Pour into soup pot, stirring continuously and vigorously. This will thicken quickly. 

Add dill pickle juice and seasonings. Cook and stir another five minutes. 


Fabulous!!!!! 

The other recipe I was excited to try was the grilled cheese dippers. I know that these grilled cheese include dairy, but we are not a teetotaler Whole Foods plant based family. You can also substitute vegan cheese and butter for these if you’d prefer. I want to try the tomato soup included in the post, but haven’t yet. Grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup have long been one of my favorite fall suppers. 

The recipe for the grilled cheese dippers can be found here. 


I’d love to know if you try these either with the original recipes or my adaptations and what you think. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. 

“Sick Soup” and Turmeric Tea

Or “On the mend spiced red lentil-kale soup.” 


With cold and flu season on the horizon you will want to keep these ingredients for the soup and the tea handy! This is our family’s favorite “sick soup.” It’s a little spicy for the kiddos so adjust seasonings according to taste. It is also a good preventative from even getting the crud. 

The recipe is from “The Oh She Glows Cookbook” by Angela Liddon. 


On the mend spiced red lentil-kale soup

1 teaspoon coconut or olive oil

1 sweet onion, diced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

3 stalks celery, dived

1 bay leaf

1&1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juices

5-6 cups vegetable broth (more as needed)

1 cup uncooked red Lentils, rinsed and drained

Salt and pepper to taste

2 handfuls destemmed kale leaves or spinach (I’ve used both)
Method: In large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5-6 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and celery, season with salt and sauté a few minutes more making sure the garlic doesn’t burn. 

Add the bay leaf, cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika, and cayenne and stir to combine. Sauté a few more minutes until fragrant. 

Stir in tomatoes with juices, the veggie broth, and Lentils. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes until Lentils are tender and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf. 

Stir in kale and cook for a few more minutes until kale has wilted. Serve immediately. (I like to make a double batch and freeze half.)


Turmeric Tea

In a saucepan, bring four cups of water to a boil. Add 2 inches of sliced fresh turmeric root OR 1 teaspoon ground turmeric. I also add about 1 inch of fresh sliced ginger root. (You can leave the peel on both roots.)

Summer for about 10-15 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh or cheesecloth. 

Enjoy as is or add raw honey to taste. 


Here is a link to the health benefits of Tumeric tea. Turmeric Tea Benefits  

Stay well, my friends, and enjoy!