Big News, and a New Year!

Hello All!  What a great break I had these last few weeks, but I am very happy to be back in my kitchen and blogging again!  Some exciting things happened to me on Christmas Day.  Kevin surprised me (I was extremely surprised because we had skyped that morning and he was clearly at his parent's home on the other side of the state) by showing up Christmas night kneeling by a lit fireplace in my parent's family room.  I said yes, and was followed shortly after into the room by my entire family with glasses of champagne! 
This is probably the happiest I've ever been caught in a picture :)..... and the ring!

 It was such a wonderful moment that I will never forget.  It was so special to me that it was a moment we shared alone together, followed by getting to celebrate with my entire family.  If any moment in my life was perfect, it was this one.  I am so excited to start planning a wedding, and most importantly, starting to plan our life together.  I love you Kevin!

And back to nutritarian blogging!  For Christmas I was very happy to receive an immersion blender, an 8 cup food processor, some bamboo stirring spoons, a beautiful turquoise dutch oven, and a great recipe book called Vegan on the Cheap: Great Recipes and Simple Strategies that Save you Time and Money by Robin Robertson.  Robin is the author of many great vegan and vegetarian books, as well as a blogger.  Find her at VeganPlanet.blogspot.com.  This is my first official vegan recipe book, and I'm very excited to start trying recipes from it.  I will let you know when I am making recipes from it, my general opinion on each, and ultimately if I would recommend the book or not.

For my first day back I thought that I would make a great hearty soup.  These pictures were taken from my computer camera, so forgive the quality of them.  The original recipe came from The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay Nixon.  This cookbook was a present to my Mom for Christmas and I had her scan this recipe to send to me because it sounded oh-so-good.  The end result was fairly satisfying, however, next time I make it I will use canned corn rather than frozen.  I know using canned corn adds more sodium to the recipe than frozen would, but because I used frozen, I felt that I did not quite get the sweet flavor I was hoping for.  Even better would be to use corn from fresh cobs, so I will re-try this recipe when corn harvest comes again in the late summer.  For this recipe I got to use my new dutch oven and food processor!

Aztec Corn Soup

1/4 c uncooked quinoa (or amaranth)
2 c frozen corn, thawed
1- 4 oz can green chilies, drained
1 c non-dairy milk (I added 1/4 c extra)
1/2 c canned white beans, drained and rinsed (I added, but not in original recipe)
1/2 c canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 t pure maple syrup
white pepper, to taste
To serve as topping: hot sauce, chopped jalapenos, pico di gallo, guacamole, sour cream, green onion, sliced black olive, cilantro 

Directions: Cook the quinoa uncovered in 1 cup of water for 15-20 minutes or until cooked and most of the water has been absorbed.  In a food processor, process cooked quinoa, 1 1/2 cups of the corn (reserve 1/2 c), green chilies, non-dairy milk, and (I added) 1/2 cup of white beans.  Process until smooth or to desired consistency.  Return to a large saucepan (in my case, an awesome dutch oven) and stir in 1/2 cup of reserved corn, and 1/2 cup of black beans.  Heat thoroughly and add maple syrup and white pepper as desired.  Garnish with one or combinations of the provided toppings.  Enjoy!

Amy's notes: As I've mentioned, I added 1/2 c of white beans to the pureed part of the recipe, and this is because I usually expect pureed soups to be runnier than I like them to be.  This soup would be just fine without the added beans and added non-dairy milk, so I would suggest to go with the original recipe with no white beans and only 1 cup non-dairy milk.  Overall, I thought this recipe was flavorful and filling.  My favorite part of the recipe was getting to top it with whatever sounded good to me at the time that I was eating it.  I particularly enjoy it with 2 T pico di gallo, some picante sauce, and cilantro to garnish.

As you can tell, cooking and food is a hobby of mine, so one of my favorite wedding planning subjects will be the catering. 

Are there any opinions or suggestions for food in catering for weddings that you have from experience?  What is the food you remember enjoying the most from your wedding, or that you wish to have at a future wedding?


  1. congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Amy, Congratulations and enjoy planning your wedding. My wedding was many, many years ago and I was not eating Nutritarian at the time (don't believe that term was even coined then).

    The Corn Soup sounds yummy, and I love the addition of pureed white beans. I like my soups uber thick, so I am keeping your modification in.

  3. Thank you both for the Congratulations :)

    I agree Cindy, nutritarian is a fairly new term, and relatively new for me. I find that it is the best way to describe how I eat. "Vegetarian" often indicates to others that I substitute my meat with a lot of dairy products, which I don't, while "Vegan" is untrue in how I eat because I do rarely include cheeses as garnishes and sometimes meat, such as seafood, if it is a special occasion. I feel that "nutritarian" is perfect in describing that I like to focus on eating whole fresh foods, especially vegetables and fruit, with an emphasis on nutrient intake, while avoiding additives like oil and sodium.

    Cindy, I'm glad you like my tweak to the recipe. I've become such a huge pureed soup fan, so be sure to watch out for anymore that I post! -ANK

  4. Congrats again Amy! To be honest, although I know the food was good at my wedding, I honestly don't really remember it. You probably won't either, which is ok, because your just more excited about everything else. :)

  5. Very true. I've always heard that the bride and groom barely get to sit and eat at a wedding because they're so busy with everything else! -ANK