Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup

I've been eating so clean lately in addition to working out hard. It feels so good. I eat less when I workout hard and I make better food choices as well. It's funny how that works. When I was pregnant I was the same way; I ate better than on a normal not-pregnant day. Often times I hear pregnant women say that they can eat whatever they want because they are pregnant and going to gain weight either way so what the heck! But I just couldn't get on board with that. I was growing a baby inside me and I wanted to give my body what it needed in order to work hard and do it right. 

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup

Soups like this Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup nourish and feed the body and soul.

Fennel has a celery like texture but looks more like a bulb. It's known for its licorice-like flavor. This often under utilized plant food has wonderful health benefits. In fact, it has been used in natural remedies since ancient times. It grows wild and can be grown anywhere Fennel has a pale bulb and long green stalks. It can be grown almost anywhere. All parts of the fennel plant, including the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds, are edible.

Personally I feel like fennel isn't often used in recipes because people don't really know what to do with it. I love fennel added to my pressed juices. It goes well with celery as well. Because it contains ample amounts of phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, choline, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and vitamin K, it's been said to help with everything from hearth health to inflammation to blood pressure and bone health.

In addition to all these nutrients, it provides high levels of dietary nitrates. 

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup / Gazpacho
Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup

My cleansing raw fennel asparagus soup combines the health benefits of asparagus, avocado and fennel together to create a very flavorful healing dish. 

And although it's technically a raw soup (meaning, no cooked) I did like the idea of blanching the asparagus to soften it. You can also add warm veggie broth (instead of cold) to make this more of a warm soup. Personally I prefer gazpacho style fennel soup. 

Garnish it with pretty plants or crunchy raw nuts. I added some salty popcorn to mine one time. It was a fun addition. 

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Gazpacho Soup

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup Recipe

Yields 1 large bowl or 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado, skin and seeds removed
  • 1 medium sized fennel bulb, chopped in large chunks (approx 2 cups)
  • 5 large asparagus stalks or 9 skinny ones, steamed or blanched
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup broth (warm or cold)

Garnish ideas: shallots, cilantro, asparagus, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice or even a vegan sour cream. 

Directions

  1. Prep all your ingredients by chopping, removing tough stems, seeds and skins. 
  2. In a large skillet, fill the bottom with about 1/4 in water. Add asparagus and heat them until they are soft and bright green. Remove from water and put into a high speed blender. 
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the blender. 
  4. Blend up the ingredients until smooth. 
  5. Add garnish. Serve immediately at room temp or warmer. 
Cleansing Asparagus Fennel Soup

Mint & Ginger Pesto Over Kelp Noodles

Oh my goodness, today is my second day back from Cabo, Mexico. It's raining here in San Diego and kind of cold. I am happy to be home safe and sound with kiddos. I did miss them. But I have to be honest I am kind of missing the sunshine, pool time, warm air, ocean views and the no kid vibe. I had four nights away. That's four more than I have had in almost 3 years. Whoa!

Mint & Ginger Pesto Over Kelp Noodles | #glutenfree #vegan #rawvegan @julinovotny

But as promised to you all on instagram, I spent my first work day back perfecting my pesto for the kelp noodle dish. It's a little sweet, kind of tangy, definitely garlicy, toasty from the almonds but also super duper fresh thanks to the mint.

Usually pesto is super savory and oily but this recipe is more asian in style. I prefer this style sauce when working with kelp noodles. 

Mint Ginger Pesto over Kelp Noodles | @julinovotny #purektichen
Mint Ginger Pesto over Kelp Noodles | raw vegan gluten free
Kelp Noodles with Mint Pesto | Pure Kitchen Blog | @julinovotny

I have been making kelp noodle recipes for years now. But just the other day, the brilliant Meredith Baird shared a really handy dandy trick: soak the kelp noodles first in baking soda. WHAAAA? Why didn't I know this? It helps the noodles to soften. Kind of the same way marinating kale in lemon and a dash of olive oil helps them soften and become more palatable. I love all these vegan (raw) cooking tricks. Thanks Meredith!

Kelp Noodle Recipe with Mint Pesto. Delicious. Super healthy. Detox Food. Raw Vegan. Gluten-free.
mint pesto with ginger and toasted almonds.

Mint Pesto is so good. Like completely different than basil or kale pesto. But so freakin' good. It's unique in it's flavor. You really have to try it at least once to see what I'm talking about. 

I made my pesto with garlic and ginger and a bit of raw honey too. I like it a touch sweet. 

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MINT GINGER PESTO OVER KELP NOODLES

serves 2-3

cook time 10-15 minutes max

INGREDIENTS

For the pesto:

  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil (I used lime flavored but you don't have to)
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced or chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped & toasted
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp fresh jalapeño, chopped (or less if you don't like spice, but use a little for flavor)
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the Noodle Salad (or other crunchy veggies):

  • 1/2 cup raw carrots, chopped or shaved or julienned
  • 1/2 cup raw corn kernels, cut straight from the cob
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1, 12 oz package, kelp noodles
  • 1 tsp baking soda 

DIRECTIONS

For the pesto:

  1. In a food processor add all of the ingredients. Note: You can use raw almonds or toasted. I like the toasty flavor so I toast my almonds first in the oven or toaster oven for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  2. Process the ingredients by pulsing for about 1 minute. 
  3. Scrape sides of the bowl. Set aside pesto. 

For the noodles + veggies:

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix the kelp noodles with juice of just half a lemon and the baking soda. This will soften the noodles. Using your hands you'll want to mix the noodles well until coated in lemon and baking soda. Set them aside while you prep the rest of the dish. Keep checking on them and mixing by hand so they continue to soften. When ready, you'll want to rinse them first. 
  2. After you are finished prepping the carrots and corn, add the avocado oil, sea salt, and juice of half a lemon. Toss until well coated. 
  3. Add this mixture to the noodles (don't forget to rinse them first and dry them). Top with the mint pesto. 
  4. Serve. Garnish with more mint and toasted almonds. 

"Cheesy" Crispy Baked Fries [nut free | dairy free | vegan]

I love love love potatoes. And of course, so do my kids. We devour them in minutes around here. We dip them in all sorts of sauces - aioli, pesto, ketchup, mayo, bbq sauce and today: cheese sauce (plant based cheese sauce, of course!). 

This time my cheese sauce is nut-free. I usually use cashew sauce for creaminess but this time I used pepitas (pumpkin seeds) instead. 

#puremamas @JuliNovotny Crispy Fries Recipe || Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe
Crispy Baked French Fries | Recipe via @julinovotny #puremamas | vegan & gluten-free

Everybody always asks me how to get the fries to taste crispy! I have an answer for you: corn starch! You don't need more than 1 Tbsp of corn starch to crisp them up and it's an optional ingredient. If you want to keep your cuisine cleaner and not use powders, then great, you do not need to add it. But don't expect your fries to be overly crispy unless you cook them for a really long time and most of the moisture is gone. That works too but the fries tend to be almost rock hard. 

Crispy Potato Fries || Cheese Sauce (vegan + nut free) || Recipe via #puremamas @JuliNovotny

The Kennebec potato seems to work best for me. It's got a really soft skin and they are easy to cut. Much easier than a russet or sweet potato. They also cook quickly and crisp up really nicely. 

Half of my potatoes were cooked on a deep dish baking sheet but one had parchment and the other did not. I prefer the cooking without the parchment for quicker cooking potatoes and crisper texture. But, of course that means I might have to scrub the pan a bit harder at clean up. 

Crispy Baked Fries Recipe

Yields 2 cookie sheets or 2 medium bowls full

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 Kennebec Potatoes (keep skin on), cut into long chunky slices
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 3 pinches of sea salt

 

  • Zip lock bag, freezer size (for mixing ingredients)
  • Oil for baking pan/tray or parchment paper for lining pan/tray (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 430 degrees F (convection bake). 
  2. In a zip lock baggie combine everything but the oil/parchment for the pan. Seal the zip lock bag and shake and mix with hands.
  3. Once potatoes are completely coated, spread out evenly onto lightly oiled baking trays (or covered in parchment). Do not overlap potatoes. 
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on oven. Keep an eye out because if they do not have parchment paper they are quicker to cook and if they are thinner chunks of potato they are also cook quickly. So cook time will vary. They are done when both sides are browned. I like to swap trays from top tack to bottom rack and bottom rack to top rack for even cooking. 
  5. Once fries are done, remove them with a metal spatula so they don't get crushed or mangled. 
  6. Dip in your favorite sauce. See below for my nut free vegan cheese sauce recipe. 

Cheesy Sauce [nut-free version]

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Blend everything up in a blender on medium and then high speed. You'll have to scrape the sides of the blender a few times to get it all mixed evenly. 
  2. This will take about 2 minutes to get all the chunks removed and evenly mixed and creamy. Add more water if necessary. 
  3. Use this sauce as a dipping sauce or just squeeze it all over the fries before serving. We did the latter and dipped the cheesy fries into bbq sauce. So good. 
I'd love it if you would  pin this image to Pinterest ; It would make my day! Have a wonderful week everybody!  And if you decide to make the recipe,  please share your image on Instagram , I'd love to see your creation. Feel free to tag #puremamas

I'd love it if you would pin this image to Pinterest; It would make my day! Have a wonderful week everybody!

And if you decide to make the recipe, please share your image on Instagram, I'd love to see your creation. Feel free to tag #puremamas

Your Basic Sautéed Greens

Kale, swiss chard, beet greens, spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, you name it, you can use it for this recipe. Dark leafy greens are so delicious and usually I eat them raw - whether it be a pesto dish, a salad, or chopped on top of pasta - but the cooked greens are so comforting, wintery and super dense. 

Note: stick your greens in ice cold water to get the bugs off. Just a little trick I learned that I thought I would share. My organic greens from the farmer's market was full of little bugs. And this did the trick.

Note: stick your greens in ice cold water to get the bugs off. Just a little trick I learned that I thought I would share. My organic greens from the farmer's market was full of little bugs. And this did the trick.

Sautéing is an especially easy and simple way to get your greens. You can pair them with just about anything. I like them with a heavy starch like baked potatoes or rice. Last night I had them on top a creamy lentils and sweet potato slow cooker meal { <---- Check out the photo I posted on my Instagram feed}. Add some toasted hazelnuts or sesame seeds. Throw sautéed greens on top of a stew or soup. The possibilities are endless.  

And let's not forget that these dark leafy greens are what I call super hero fuel. They are the ultimate superfood - full of antioxidants, fiber and all sorts of vitamins and alkalizing minerals

All you need to make this really simple gourmet side dish is:

a pan

olive oil

an onion

garlic

veggie stock

That's it! 

print recipe
Your Basic Sautéed Greens
Quick, simple and full of flavor, this sautéed greens recipe will have you wanting to eat healthy food every day.
Ingredients
  • 1 head dark leafy greens (i.e. swiss chard)
  • 2 Tbsp shallots or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp bouillon (vegetable stock concentrated)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup water
  • to taste salt + pepper
Instructions
In a frying pan, heat olive oil and add onions. Cook until onions are translucent {about 2-3 minutes}.Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula. Then add greens, bouillon and garlic. Keep tossing in the oil and get them nice and coated and wilted {less than a minute}.Add water and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Watch to be sure they don't get too burned or pan is too dry. If it's dry add a little more water or a sprinkle of some oil. And keep tossing until greens are cooked and wilted - no longer crisp.And voila! You've got some fancy shmancy uber healthy sauteed greens. Good work. Serve immediately. Or store the salad (with dressing on it) in an airtight container in the fridge. Salad will stay fresh for about 4 days.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 side dishes or 4-5 garnishes

Zucchini Pasta with Olive Tapenade

I'm over at the Honest Company again this week, guest blogging! Today I'm featuring one of my latest favorites - an olive tapenade over zucchini noodles. It's amazing! (I got the idea from chef perkunas food delivery! He makes one that is to die for. It's different but has lots of green olives. YUM and I'm obsessed. Try it!) 

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This dinner or lunch salad is so unique and full of flavor. The combination of flavors is unlike what you have ever tasted. 

This Zucchini Pasta with Olive Tapenade recipe is a must-try! 

For full recipe and photos, go to the Honest Company blog!