Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse by Elina Fuhrman

 Spicy Quinoa and Vegetable Chili

Elina Fuhrman created Soupelina (soup + Elina, catchy!) from recipes she created at home in an effort to help her in her fight against an aggressive form of breast cancer. Her goal with her soup company is make the world a healthier place one soup at a time.

Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse book came out at the perfect time for me. I am currently undergoing chemo therapy for an aggressive form of breast cancer myself – something called triple negative breast cancer. The more research I do, the more I discover living a plant based diet is the key to beating it back, and to prevent cancer from recurring when I do beat it.

Fuhrman’s book is more than a recipe book as she goes into finding your dosha, folk remedies, equipment and ingredients, and how to fool your cravings. There are many interviews with doctors and experts in their fields, too. And if you are familiar with cleanses, she has tips for expert cleansers.

So, What Makes a Soup So Special?

It fills as it nourishes. Her soup cleansing diet provides energy, improves digestion, reduces inflammation, and keeps you full. Fuhrman details why soup cleanses are better than raw food smoothies which primarily rely on fruits. With cooked soups, you tend to eat more veggies. Your body absorbs minerals better, and cooking vegetables will make it easier for your body to digest them.

She believes that slowly simmered organic soups can both heal the body and mind, and help restore your immune system. And while she is a proponent of cooked soups, she does dedicate an entire chapter to raw soup recipes so that you are able to do a short one-day raw cleanse.

Menus and Recipes

The recipes are all divided by types of soups: smooth blended, chunky style, broths, and raw soups (not cooked). Because she has traveled the world as a journalist, she is keen on different cultures. Fuhrman brings out exotic culinary flavors in her recipes from her travels.

Included in the book are menus to help along the way: 5-Day Soup Cleanse, 24-Hour Reset Cleanse (using raw soup recipes), and a 3-Day Boost cleanse. The seasonal menus in the book go from Spring to Winter, and all have five meals (breakfast, midmorning snack, lunch, midafternoon snack, and dinner – all soups). She even gives a list of favorite soup toppings so that each soup can be unique.

A quick flip through the recipes will tell you it’s not just an ordinary soup cookbook. All her recipes have fun names, and half the fun of preparing the recipes is reading the titles: Kale-ifornia Dreamin’; I Gotcha Kabocha Covered; A-Mung the Stars; What’s the Hurry, Melon Curry?; Lady MacBroth; and Macho Gazpacho.

This cookbook is an excellent group of recipes. The soups are all vegan, soy and nut free, and all call for organic, GMO- and gluten-free ingredients. So, even when you aren’t doing a soup cleanse, any of the recipes would incorporate well in your everyday menus.

My favorite recipe? The quinoa and vegetable chili that she cleverly names ‘It’s Chili and It’s Hot’.

It's Chili and It's Hot
Serves 6
More protein than a steak, this great-for-you chili contains quinoa giving this dish an impressive amount of B vitamins all packed into an incredibly tasty dish.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup red quinoa, soaked overnight
  2. 1/2 cup white quinoa, soaked overnight
  3. Extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  7. 1 medium size carrot, peeled and chopped
  8. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  9. 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  10. 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  11. 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  12. 1 zucchini, chopped
  13. 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight and cooked
  14. 1 cup kidney beans, soaked overnight and cooked
  15. 2 diced tomatoes with juice
  16. 1 cup freshly pressed tomato juice
  17. 1 tablespoon cumin
  18. Handful of fresh oregano leaves, or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  19. Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper
  20. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  21. 2 to 3 cups boiling filtered water
  22. Sliced avocado, fresh cilantro spirgs, and chopped onion, for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a medium-size saucepan, boil 2 cups of water, add the quinoa, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, add the onion, and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini and cook until the veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add all the beans, tomatoes, and tomato juice, along with the cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Taste before slowly adding chili powder to your desired spiciness.
  5. Add the quinoa and boiling filtered water and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Keep stirring and adding spices and salt until you are happy with the taste.
  7. Garnish with avocado slices, cilantro, and onion.
Adapted from Soupelina's Soup Cleanse
Adapted from Soupelina's Soup Cleanse
Sand & Succotash http://www.sandandsuccotash.com/

Book Info:

  • Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse by Elina Fuhrman
  • De Capo; 2016
  • ISBN13: 9780738218885
  • 265 pages; hardcover; color photos throughout.

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Recipe and image from Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse: Plant-Based Soups and Broths to Heal Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Transform Your Life by Elina Fuhrman. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Mayim’s Vegan Table by Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik has been busy in the kitchen, and her new book Mayim’s Vegan Table is the result. With a simple layout and quick recipes, the book would make a welcome addition on the cookbook shelf for a home cook just getting into vegan cooking. For veteran vegan cooks, she offers ways to spice up the family menu.

Vegan Choices

The first four chapters deal with vegan nutritional choices and stocking the kitchen with plant-based selections. The way veganism wound its way into Bialik’s life slowly, first by removing dairy from her diet due to her son’s dairy sensitivity then looking at the environmental impact of non-vegan foods, was interesting. As an active vegan mother, her home menus are both surprisingly down to Earth and quick to prepare. From the book:

Her transition from a vegetarian college student to an almost vegan mom to a now entirely vegan mom involved a strong need for “fun foods” – foods that can please finicky toddler palates, and a lifestyle that is not expensive, time consuming, or only available if there are vegan restaurants around.

The tips and advice cater to those who know nothing about actual veganism, such as comparing an apple to all the ingredients in an Oscar Meyer Lunchable snack, looking at dairy alternatives, and describing what a vegan is. For a person already living a clean vegan lifestyle, I’d assume they would simply skip through this. For non-vegans contemplating the lifestyle choice, the info would be helpful.

Recipes: Grouped by Menu Item

The seven recipe chapters are grouped by the menu item: Breakfast; Soups, Salads, and Sandwiches; Snacks, Sauces, and Dips; Veggies and Sides; Entrees; Breads; and Desserts. The Metric Conversions is a standard chart, but the Resources at the back of the book is a helpful list of vegan and nutritional books and websites to check out.

Bialik makes good use of quinoa and couscous, and while this isn’t a Jewish cookbook, her all-vegan Matzoh Ball Soup has all the ingredients for a tasty vegetable soup. She also gives eight different dip recipes that could easily double as sandwich spreads.

What I liked the best is the ease with which many of the recipes can be put together (read between the lines – much of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry). Right now where I live, the weather is starting warm up, so anything quick and cool is satisfying. The Vietnamese Banh Mi with Do Chua and Sweet Sauce is one I’ll probably have on hand all summer for sandwich pockets (do chua is a Vietnamese carrot and daikon pickle).

Overall, I appreciated her recipes. Almost every single one I can reproduce with things I have in my pantry. And as a busy parent, finding healthy recipes (not just entrees!) to incorporate into a menu makes planning easy.

Here is her recipe for Quinoa Salad with Veggies and Herbs. Quick to toss together and glorious looking on a potluck table, this one would leave both vegans and non-vegans satisfied.

quinoa-salad

Quinoa Salad with Veggies and Herbs
When Mayim first became vegan, she saw a recipe in a magazine for barley salad with herbs. She replaced the barley with quinoa, a high-protein seed from South America that is incredibly versatile, inexpensive, and easy to make. The result is one of her favorite dishes to bring to potlucks. You can prepare it with almost any vegetables and herbs you have on hand. The secret is to use a generous amount of the dressing and let it sit for a few hours before serving.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  2. 1/2 cup chopped green onions, green part only
  3. 1/2 cup seeded and diced red bell pepper
  4. 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed
  5. 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  6. 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  7. 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
  8. 1/4 cup canola oil
  9. 1 garlic clove, minced
  10. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  11. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium-size saucepan, combine the quinoa and 2 cups of water over high heat. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the green onions, red pepper, peas, parsley, basil, and mint. Toss in the cooked quinoa.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then toss into the salad, stirring to mix well. Let stand for 1 hour for the flavors to blend.
Sand & Succotash http://www.sandandsuccotash.com/

Book Information:

About the Author:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Recipe and Photo: From Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours by Mayim Bialik with Dr. Jay Gordon. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.