Laura Theodore is a nationally recognized television personality, podcast radio host, PBS celebrity vegan chef, and award-winning author of five vegan cookbooks; including Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease, Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan(which won three silver medals), Vegan for Everyone, Jazzy Vegetarian, and Jazzy Vegetarian Classics.
Laura’s plant-based television show, Jazzy Vegetarian, airs nationally, four times per week, on the Create Channel. Laura’s podcast, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio airs live every Thursday on Unity Online Radio. Laura and Jazzy Vegetarian are recipients of the Taste Award for Best Health and Fitness Television Program (Food and Diet), and the Jazzy Vegetarian series was inducted into the Taste Hall of Fame.
KALE, LIME, AND ALMOND SALAD
Ease Factor 1 / Makes 4 to 5 servings
A lively punch of freshly squeezed lime juice adds freshness to this unique salad. This colorful combination is sure to please when you’re looking to serve up your daily greens with a piquant flair. When I serve this for a holiday meal, I use sweetened dried cranberries in place of the raisins – so festive!
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice or freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more as needed
1⁄8 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
Several grinds of black pepper
5 cups packed, very thinly sliced kale, thick stems removed
1⁄3 cup roasted, raw, or tamari-flavored almonds, plus more for garnish
¼ cup raisins or sweetened dried cranberries, plus more for garnish
Put all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk briskly to combine (see note).
Put all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour in the dressing, and toss until well coated. To soften the kale leaves, use clean hands to “massage” the dressing into the kale for 15 to 30 seconds. Taste and add more maple syrup and salt, if desired.
Let stand for 5 to 15 minutes, garnish with more almonds and raisins (or cranberries) and serve. This salad can be made ahead of time and refrigerated up to 4 hours before serving.
Chef’s note: If desired you may add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to the dressing.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH QUICK "CASHEW CREAM"
Ease Factor 2 / Makes 4 to 6 servings
This simple-to-prepare potage is rich in taste and creamy in texture, without the use of dairy. A quick cashew “cream” (no pre-soaking of the cashews required) adds a touch of elegance, and the coconut milk beverage adds richness and depth to this impressive soup.
5½ cups cubed butternut squash,
(about 1 medium squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1½-inch pieces)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
¼ teaspoon salt
2⁄3 cup raw cashews
2½ cups water, plus more as needed
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage or dairy-free milk of your choice
4 to 6 basil leaves or parsley sprigs, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Put the cubed squash, olive oil, and Italian seasoning in a large bowl and toss gently until thoroughly coated. Arrange the squash in a single layer on the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until the squash is soft and slightly golden. Put the pan on a wire rack and sprinkle with the sea salt. Let the squash cool for 25 to 30 minutes (see note).
Meanwhile, put the cashews and 1⁄2 cup water in a high-performance blending appliance and process until smooth and creamy. Transfer the cashew “cream” to a small bowl, leaving about 2 heaping tablespoons in the blender container. Add the cooled squash, coconut milk and 2 cups water to the cashew “cream” in the blender container and process until smooth, adding more water or coconut milk beverage, about 1⁄4 cup at a time, as needed, to achieve the desired consistency.
Pour the soup into a medium-sized saucepan, cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until heated through. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Using a small spoon, swirl about 1 tablespoon of the cashew “cream” into the top of each serving, in a pretty pattern. Garnish with a basil leaf. Serve piping hot (see notes).
- You may roast the squash up to 24 hours ahead of time. After cooling, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until use.
- This soup may be made up to 24 hours ahead of time. If making in advance, let the soup cool after blending, pour the cooled soup into an airtight container and refrigerate. To reheat the soup, pour it into a pot. If the soup seems too thick, add a little more water to achieve the desired consistency. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring often, until heated through.
- The cashew cream may be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until use.