living tree energy soup

Thanks to Living Tree Community Foods for providing this recipe.

The inspiration for this soup comes from several sources, including an excellent booklet, Nature’s Healing Grasses. It was written some 30 years ago by H.E. Kirschner, a physician who healed people afflicted with serious illness by putting them on a simple regimen: They would prepare a “green drink” at least once a day. It consisted of several greens, including “weeds” like malva, purslane, and lambs-quarters, as well as cultivated greens like parsley, placed in a blender and blended with pineapple juice.

I call it an “energy soup” because in my experience, it is easily digested and has the effect of enhancing one’s aliveness and well-being. We’ve been preparing “energy soup” at Living Tree Community for over a decade. We serve it at every meal. Here’s our basic recipe:

3 carrots, sliced thinly or diced
2 beets, sliced thinly or diced
1 apple or cucumber (in season), diced
Chopped parsley, celery, kale, collards, arugula, endive, spinach, cabbage, cilantro, chard, and lettuce (your choice)
Lemon juice

Put the mixture into a blender. Add spring water or freshly made carrot juice. If you want to supercharge the drink, add a handful of wheatgrass. Blend into a thick, smooth “soup.” Serve immediately.

Variations: Grind some flax, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, or chia seeds in a seed mill or coffee grinder and toss it in, or add a chopped apple.

fajitas with cool avocado sauce

Tofutti’s Better Than Sour Cream is the secret ingredient in this delightfully creamy non-dairy sauce. It’s the perfect complement to the hot and spicy fajita veggies.

Avocado sauce:
1 ripe avocado, coarsely chopped
1 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
2 Tbs. lime juice
Salt to taste

Fajita veggies:
2 Tbs. olive or canola oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 jalapeno, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbs. chili powder
Pinch of cayenne
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper, freshly ground

Tortillas (preferably warm)

1. In food processor or blender, combine avocado, non-dairy sour cream, lime juice, and salt to taste. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in large, non-stick skillet. Sauté onion and peppers until onions are transparent. Add remaining ingredients; stir to combine and simmer until peppers are tender (about 5-7 minutes).

3. Spoon veggie mixture into tortillas; roll and top with avocado sauce or serve open-faced with avocado sauce.

Variation: Add chopped pre-cooked tofu or tempeh to the veggie mixture when you add the vegetable broth.

flamin’ garden fajitas

The combination of jalapeño, cayenne, and paprika gives these fajitas a pleasant heat. If you prefer a milder taste, omit the cayenne and reduce the amount of minced jalapeño. You can find flavored baked tofu in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets. (We used a tomato-basil flavored tofu.)

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 jalapeño, minced
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
8 oz. baked tofu, sliced
8 tortillas
Vegan sour cream (try Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)
1 avocado, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 Tbs. cilantro, minced for garnish

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Sautè the onion until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add bell peppers and jalapeño; stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup water, and cover skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove cover and add spices, mushrooms, and baked tofu. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and the tofu is heated through (about 5 minutes). If desired, begin warming the tortillas (either wrapped in foil in the oven or wrapped in paper towels in the microwave).

3. Transfer fajita mixture to a large bowl. Allow guests to top their tortillas with the fajita mixture, vegan sour cream, sliced avocado, diced tomatoes, and cilantro. Olè!