veggies

Save Your Scraps: Homemade Veggie Broths

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CYMERA_20140330_210042 My favorite part about this recipe is not so much the broth itself, but that it gives me a really good use for all the veggie scraps that would otherwise get tossed. So for the last week and a half I've been saving and freezing all the parts of my vegetables that I don't eat. 

Let's see what we have here....

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Looks like there's some broccoli stems, kale and celery stems, the tops and insides of bell peppers, some chard that was about to go bad, beet green and leaves, onion skins, basil plant stems (leftover from Basil Vinaigrette recipe), jalapeno tops (from Salsa recipe), and some carrot shreds. 

There really is no right or wrong ratio of veggies to water, but for those of you who need some serious structure, here's what I did:

  • About 1 gallon ziploc bag of frozen veggies, packed in
  • 6-8 quarts water
  • Optional Extras: herbs and spices, salt, garlic (I used one clove garlic, about a tsp of sea salt, 2 bay leaves, and a sprinkle of crushed red peppers)CYMERA_20140330_210243

Make sure all your scraps have been WASHED at some point. It's easiest if you just wash all veggies before freezing. Bring everything to a boil in a big pot over the stove. Reduce heat to low and let simmer (covered) for about 2 hours. When broth is done, strain the liquid through a colander into another pot or glass bowl.

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At this point you can continue making some kind of soup with the broth, or store in the fridge for later use. Sipping on veggie broth by itself is a great way to give yourself a big nutritional boost, especially when feeling sick, stressed, or fatigued.  Add a spoonful or two of nutritional yeast in there, and your taste buds and body will celebrate even more!

 

Spinach Avocado Dressing (Paleo, Vegan)

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I was talking recently to a student of mine who just completed her first Whole30.  We'll call her H. One thing that changed her the most about this challenge was realizing how many foods she could cook and prep herself, rather than buying them at the store. It had never occurred to her that all the things she bought pre-packaged from the grocery store she could actually make herself from scratch. Seems obvious enough, but I recently had a similar "AH-HA" moment myself. I eat a lot of salads. Like a lot. They're easy, quick, and a great way to get in a bunch of veggies. I love raw veggies, but I have limits. A good sauce or dressing is a must if I'm going to eat salad, so needless to say, my fridge has to be stocked with them. I guess I just always thought that salad dressings were born and raised on the grocery shelves, but after talking with H that day, I had a major light bulb moment. I CAN MAKE MY OWN DRESSINGS!!! I know, probably sooooooo obvious to you guys, but this is big for me. This is especially awesome because even the healthier of store-bought dressings still have sneaky additives and ingredients that we can do without. I've been playing around with some different ones, and here is my fave so far.

Spinach Avocado Dressing

Makes about 1 Cup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

You'll Need:

  • One large avocado
  • 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup spinach 
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper (optional, but so yummy)

I hope you can handle this because it's really complicated....toss all these yummies into a blender or food processor and turn it on. Done.

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You're basically blending up veggies to pour onto more veggies. 

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