I had a dilemma this weekend: I was having a co-worker and her niece over for lunch and wanted to make something tasty, but more importantly I wanted to make something that we could all eat! I'm gluten and dairy free. My co-worker is a vegetarian. And her niece is allergic to tree nuts.
When I cook for myself, I usually go with a 30% protein (usually meat-based), 40% vegetable & 30% starch ratio. It seems to work for me and give me the energy I need for the day. But I was at a loss when trying to figure out a meal for the three of us: no meat, no cheese, no nuts. Luckily, I got over it and came up with Vegan Sweet Potato Soup, Gluten-free Corn Muffins and a green salad with avocado and mango. For dessert we had some killer gluten-free and dairy0free chocolate-chip cookies (Annalise Roberts recipe) and sipped on blueberry green tea. It was a great meal and I didn't feel like I missed out without any "meat" on my plate. I should eat vegan more often.
I was really surprised with how quickly the sweet potato soup came together, thanks in large part to my immersion blender that my dear sister and brother-in-law gave to me.
Vegan Sweet Potato Soup
2 large sweet potatos (or yams)
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon dried chili pepper
2 tablespoons light oil (canola, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, etc would work here)
Peel and cut the sweet potato into chunks. Boil in water for about fifteen minutes, or until very tender. Drain and set aside.
Add the oil to a large pot on medium heat. Add the ginger and saute for a few minutes until fragrant and add the red pepper. Now, place the sweet potatos into the pot and incorporate with the ginger and red pepper. Add the coconut milk and some of the vegetable stock and let cook for a few minutes. Take your immersion blender and blend away until smooth. Most likely, it will be more of a puree, than a soup -- add more vegetable stock until desired consistency. Serve with chopped chives or cilantro as a garnish.