Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup + My Alaska Earthquake Story

This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

I’m not sure if you may heard the front page news, but on Friday Alaska had one of it’s biggest and most destructive Earthquakes to date. I posted some photos of our house and a couple of the collapsed overpasses and roads on my social media sites, which you can see here.

I’ll try to keep my story short.

I was at work when it hit. It was 8:30 in the morning and I had just settling in, drinking my coffee and looking over our patients and schedule for the day. When our building began to shake I sat for a second or two assessing how severe this was going to be. We get a lot of earthquakes in Alaska and most of them are minor. However, when the earth continued to shake I fell under my desk. The shaking became so violent, more than I’d ever felt, and all I could think about was Oliver and Todd at home. “Are they safe, are they safe, are they safe,” was all that rushed through my mind.

Finally, the shaking stopped after what felt like forever but turned out to only be a couple minutes (which is actually an etinerity when you’re in a massive earthquake). We ended up evacuating our clinic and I raced home. There were ambulances everywhere and the roads were packed. None of the roads I had to travel on were damaged but the photo below is ten minutes from my work.

Photo by Marc Lester

Photo by Marc Lester

Todd and Oliver made it through unscathed (well, except for Todd’s left foot). Oliver was standing on his stool pictured below when it started. Todd grabbed him and they huddled under our dining room table until the shaking stopped. When I got home we proceeded to clean up A TON of broken glass and dishes over the weekend. Lots of large, custom framed art pieces I did broke. Several potted plants took a hit. Items flew off of shelves and Oliver’s room looked like a herd of dinosaurs stomped through, with lamps and monitors swinging off the desk. Everything on any table or desk fell to the floor. Several pieces of our siding cracked and there are a couple cracks in our interior walls but no serious damage. There’s a huge gouge in the earth in our front lawn that I literally stuck my ENTIRE hand in! It was crazy that the shaking actually opened up our childproof cabinets!

Oliver walked around most of the day pointing sadly at everything and telling us, “Broke, broke, broke..”. The aftershocks have been keeping everyone on pins and needles as we continue to experience very large quakes. Everytime one comes rumbling to life Oliver shakes his head pleading, “No, no, no…” It’s heartbreaking seeing him in so much fright.

Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

We are so thankful no friends or family were hurt and nothing of super valuable or sentimental broke. Our family is definitely shaken though and I’m compelled to hold my babies a little tighter. There are many families who lost their homes and important objects. Several roads literally just fell into the earth. The highway to Anchorage and our international airport have both opened back up and we are all on our way to getting back to our lives.

In the aftermath, I’ve learned to slow down and truly cherish the little moments. Also, to keep a few gallons of water handy in the pantry. In addition, command strips are not earthquake proof. Our art will now be re-installed with nails… #liveandlearn

Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup


Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup
By
This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.
Ingredients
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 small/medium zucchinis, diced
  • 1 medium bunch of broccoli; florets only, chopped
  • 16 oz vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt or table salt
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp celery seed
  • dash of white pepper (black pepper will work)
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
Instructions
  1. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, dry-saute the onions and garlic until they become fragrant and soften. Add the sweet potato and saute an additional 5 minutes while preparing the rest of the soup.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to a simmer and cook for about 8-10 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk. Serve hot.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 4
Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

Twice Baked Walnut and Broccoli Sweet Potatoes

First, I cannot start this post without seriously thanking one of our lovely readers, Alex, for leaving me such a truly smile-inducing voice mail! I woke up to it first thing and it just totally made my day! I love getting the voice mails. So, thanks, Alex! Now onto food. Step aside you peasanty twice baked white potatoes! Your snobby, sophisticated and downright sexy cousins are in town! So next time you're thinking of making boring and commonplace twice baked potatoes, let your rad side roam free and make these Twice Baked Walnut and Broccoli Sweet Potatoes instead.

Produce On Parade - Twice Baked Walnut and Broccoli Sweet Potatoes

These are certainly healthier than regular baked potatoes and I assure you much, much tastier. Class it up, people! You're only cool if you're making twice baked sweet potatoes anyways. Hadn't you heard?

Twice Baked Walnut and Broccoli Sweet Potatoes 

Inspired by Daily Bites

Makes 4

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (equal shape and size)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • sprinkling of kosher salt
  • heaping 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped small
  • 2 Tbsp. pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli (florets only), chopped small
  • 1/3 cup vegan cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp. walnut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F. Scrub the outside of the sweet potatoes and then dry them. Poke a few slits in each potato with the end of a knife. Rub them with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 1 hour or until tender when poked with a fork. 

Now, go curl up on the couch and read with a cup of hot cider. Or take your dog for a walk and call a friend to catch up. I did all three of these, you can do what you want. When the potatoes are done cooking, taking great care, cut them almost in half. Be sure to leave a small bit intact on both the ends of the potatoes, however. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet while you prepare the stuffing. Just trust me, you're gonna want to let these mofos cool. Leave the oven on.

On a different baking sheet, arrange the chopped walnuts and pepitas and toast for about 7-10 minutes in the 400 F oven or until fragrant. Careful not to let them burn. They're tricky. Once done, remove them from the oven and cool. Still leaving the oven on.

Produce On Parade - Twice Baked Walnut and Broccoli Sweet Potatoes

In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients including the walnuts and pepitas and stir well. When the potatoes have cooled sufficiently, very carefully scoop out the insides and place them in the large bowl with the broccoli. You don't have to scrape every last bit, just be sure to get most of it. Careful not to damage the skin. 

Produce On Parade - Twice Baked Walnut and Broccoli Sweet Potatoes

Produce On Parade - Twice Baked Walnut and Broccoli Sweet Potatoes

Mix all the sweet potato meat with the broccoli mixture and stir until very well combined. 

Produce On Parade - Twice Baked Walnut and Broccoli Sweet Potatoes

Now, carefully place all the stuffing back into the potatoes. Once they are all stuffed and bulging *snicker snicker*, feel free to kind of shape them as you please. Top them with a little extra cheese, if you wish and place them back in the oven to bake at 400 F for about 15 minutes. 

Produce On Parade - Twice Baked Walnut and Broccoli Sweet Potatoes

Serve hot! These are badass enough to be a main meal if you're a little guy like me, or as a giant side, I suppose. 

Produce On Parade - Twice Baked Walnut and Broccoli Sweet Potatoes

We went for an awesome walk today and Todd took some beautiful, Alaskan Fall photos for you all! I'm in the pink, and my BFF in the purple. We have some termination dust! Long live Winter.

Produce On Parade Produce On Parade Produce On Parade

What am I listening to? Ghostland Observatory – Sad Sad City

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Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans

This week, I cannot bear to go to the grocery store. I just can't. It's upsetting. I love going to the grocery store. It's seriously one of my favorite domestic, and mundane things to do. I love perusing the fresh produce, and checking out the "ethnic" aisle. I love looking for new, and excited food things I've never seen before. It's just the best. And the hippie (organic) aisle! Don't even get me started. Oh lord, and bulk bins! Oh my!

Anyways, when Todd and I moved to...Wasilla (hometown to Sarah Palin, and the pot-smoking capital of the world, my two least favorite of it's notorieties )...it never occurred to me that I would be frequenting a different Fred Meyer than my beloved Palmer Fred Meyer. The Palmer store is small, well stocked, never too busy, clean and just infused with that sense of wonderful, small-town loveliness. Palmerians - make fun of me all you want but I'm willing to bet I've traveled more than you, and I'm here to tell you that Palmer's a pretty sweet little town. If you have happened to have traveled more than I, then by all means go ahead and make fun of my love for my quaint hometown. It's time to get over yourself...we all came back after college anyway. You know it's true.

Anyway, back to the Wasilla Fred Meyer...oh lord. It's busy, everyone's grumpy and impertinent, the aisles are narrow, and let's not forget that it's never freaking stocked! The last time I was there, I overheard a frail, little old lady in one of those electric chair-cart things, ranting to the produce man about how absurdly the produce stands were set up. I felt bad for him because I am sure he had no influence over their new arrangement. He agreed, as do I, that they are set up ridiculously. It's painfully obvious that the person who designed their arrangement doesn't do the grocery shopping in his/her family.

I normally go to the grocery store about twice a week, sometimes more, to get all the things I need to make about five different meals for the week. But not this week. I've been avoiding the store. This translates to me trying to remember what we do happen to have on hand and scouring the web for recipes that I'll have at least half the ingredients for. Lucky for you, I've got one hearty Fall meal to share. And I didn't even  have to go to the store.

Produce On Parade - Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans

This Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans dish is spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and fresh ginger. Sweetened with maple syrup and reminiscent of pumpkin pie or dessert yams, the sprouted beans bring this dish back down to Fall dinner requirements. Robust, warm and satisfying.

Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans

Inspired by the amazing Sprouted Kitchen

Serves 6-8

  • 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 3  medium sweet potatoes (about 2.5 lbs), diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. melted vegan butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 1/3 cup dry TruRoots Sprouted Bean Trio (or 2 cups of your favorite beans, cooked)
  • 6 cups of water

Begin by preheating the oven to 425 F.

Add the garbanzo beans, sweet potatoes and onions to a large casserole dish and stir to combine.

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="1830,1828"]

In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients, excluding the thyme and the beans. Whisk well to combine then pour over the garbanzo bean, sweet potato and onion mixture. Mix well to coat evenly.

Produce On Parade - Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans

Sprinkle the fresh thyme leaves over the top and bake at 425 F for 40 minutes. Stir halfway through the 40 minutes.

Produce On Parade - Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans

Meanwhile, bring the dry bean trio and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling, cover and simmer for 8 minutes then remove from heat. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, still covered. After the 15 minutes are up, drain. If you're using already cooked beans or canned beans then just heat them and serve over the sweet potato mixture.

Produce On Parade - Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans

Serve the beans over the sweet potato mixture.

Produce On Parade - Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans Produce On Parade - Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans

Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Katie - Produce On Parade
Serves: 6-8
This Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans dish is spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and fresh ginger. Sweetened with maple syrup and reminiscent of pumpkin pie or dessert yams, the sprouted beans bring this dish back down to Fall dinner requirements. Robust, warm and satisfying.
Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2.5 lbs), diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. melted vegan butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 1/3 cup dry TruRoots Sprouted Bean Trio (or 2 cups of your favorite beans, cooked)
  • 6 cups of water
Instructions
  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 425 F.
  2. Add the garbanzo beans, sweet potatoes and onions to a large casserole dish and stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients, excluding the thyme and the beans. Whisk well to combine then pour over the garbanzo bean, sweet potato and onion mixture. Mix well to coat evenly.
  4. Sprinkle the fresh thyme leaves over the top and bake at 425 F for 40 minutes. Stir halfway through the 40 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring the dry bean trio and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling, cover and simmer for 8 minutes then remove from heat. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, still covered. After the 15 minutes are up, drain. If you're using already cooked beans or canned beans then just heat them and serve over the sweet potato mixture.
  6. Serve the beans over the sweet potato mixture.

Please forgive my grocery store rant but...hey...sometimes you just need to let it all out. Damn you, Wasilla Fred Meyer!