Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

It’s creamy but not!

I love a creamy tomato soup and I love roasted red peppers.


I don’t want to add cream or milk to the soup so I thought….what about cashew cream?

Admitedly I haven’t worked with cashew cream very much but it was incredibly easy.  Simply soak the raw cashews for a good couple of hours.  Put them in your blender or a pulsing food processor and blend until you get a smooth creamy consistency.

This Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup is deliciously creamy with adding the cream!

Give it a try and let us know what you think!


  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews-soaked
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup almond milk – unsweetened.
  • a pinch of chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. Roast the garlic, onions and red peppers with the olive oil at 350F for about 30-40 minutes
  2. Pulse the cashews once they are soaked to get a creamy consistency.
  3. In a large pot, after the red peppers are roasted, pour in the tomatoes, red peppers, onions and garlic.  Add in the cashew cream and chili flakes and salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to boil on medium heat.
  5. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes
  6. Take your immersion blender or pour into blender to pulse until all the chunks are smoothed out.  You’ll get a souper creamy consistency.
  7. Pour back into your big pot and add the almond milk
  8. Heat for another 5-10 minutes and stir.


I had mine with some crackers but hey…the best combo is the old grilled cheese…you can make it a vegan grilled cheese to keep this meal completely dairy free too!



Minimalism and Food-Blending the Two

As I read more about minimalism and try to put some practices in my own life, I realize that there are many different facets to it.  We look at minimalism traditionally as sparse surroundings and very few objects and belongings.  We may even think it to mean living simply, meaning to not indulge in things that we feel are not necessary.  We could feel that it means that instead of spending our hard earned money on objects that fill our spaces, we chose our spending to be on experiences that fill our lives and those around us.

As I try to include more minimalism in my own life, I thought that we could caste a net pretty large here and include how we eat.  I certainly don’t mean minimal eating as in little or no food, I simply mean to eat food that nourishes us, gives us more than just a fleeting moment of joy, and also enhances the lives of others.

So how do I eat by enhancing the lives of others?  I would argue that eating food that is locally produced is absolutely one of the first ways to do that.  Shopping at your local farmers’ markets, food co-ops, or even going to your supermarket and buying locally produced food is a place to start.  Supporting locally grown food not only enhances your life as nourishment and knowing where it came from, but you also are giving the farmer or person making the food an opportunity to enhance their lives by supporting their passion.  Knowing where your food comes from can make you feel like you have some say, in not only what you eat, but also how it is made or grown.

Taking this thought on food one step further, without sounding like I am preaching, I wondered if minimalism is captured in eating as a vegetarian or vegan?  I have never been a big meat eater.  Even as a kid, we didn’t eat a lot of meat once I became a teenager.  My Dad was always battling with his weight and for a long time the only meat in our house was chicken and the occasional turkey on holidays.  I stopped eating red meat more years ago than I can remember and for the last 3 or 4 years, I have been vegetarian.  I eat extremely little dairy as we buy almond milk (with some lactose issues in our family, this was easy), and I eat the occasional egg (from free run local farms).  I tell you this not to shame anyone or to sound like I am doing something everyone should be, but to give you background.  For me, eating this way has been my normal.  When I started thinking about minimalism with regards to eating and food choices, I think that eating a vegetarian or vegan diet (and I hate that term-diet) just goes so well together.

As minimalists carefully chose what they include in their lives as far as objects and experiences go, why not include food?  Typically a vegetarian or vegan way of eating falls in line with minimalism as the food you are eating provides what is necessary for your body to grow and remain healthy.  A vegetarian and vegan way of eating also goes further to include the health of  the animals that are brought up to be food or produce food for us.  A vegetarian and vegan diet also enhances the life of the planet.  It is proven that the agricultural sector of our society is costing the planet huge in environmental damage. Without getting into a big debate on global warming and animal activism, even avid meat eaters have to admit that factory farming is not farming as it once was.

I hesitated on posting this as I don’t want to come off as preachy or that what I am doing is better or something you should consider in your own life.  I am merely sharing my experience as we try to become more minimalist.  The way I see it, to include the way we buy food and eat food, can be incorporated into a minimalist way of life.  We are left with buying food that is nourishing us and the lives of those producing it.  We are also left with the knowledge that how we are eating is enhancing the lives of animals and the Earth.


Penne with Veggies and Tempeh

The week nights are getting shorter right?  It sure seems like it when you get home and it is dark already.  Back to the routines of the fall also means that we may be out doing errands or running kids to activities during the week.  With less time to prepare some delicious and healthy meals, it is way too easy to order take out of grab some fast food when you’re out.  The good thing is that more and more, new restaurants, especially independently owned places, offer some healthy options that are fast too.

If you want a fast and easy option for dinner that even the pickiest of eater will enjoy, my go-to option is always pasta.  I am back to teaching Thursday nights so I want make sure I eat something a little more substantial than a peanut butter and banana sandwich, so I fall back on pasta and stir fried veggies.  Without meat in our diets, we add in some tempeh for the protein factor.  You can certainly leave it out if it is not your thing.


  • One package pasta (we use brown rice pasta as we have a Celiac in the house but you can use whatever you like and whatever shape is fine too!)
  • Green bell pepper, cut into small pieces
  • Spanish onion, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 sliced mushrooms…we used Cremini mushrooms
  • 2-3 Carrots…the heirloom carrots are so yummy and look really great in the mix if you can get your hands on some. Peeled and sliced.
  • A whopping handful of greens- Ok here I used Arugula but I am told that some people are offended by the taste of Arugula…so spinach or kale would work just fine.
  • 2 cloves garlic…sliced and smashed.
  • 2-3 tablespoons of grape seed oil…I was totally lucky and used
  • 1/2 package of tempeh cut into small bite sized cubes. You can use more if you want more.

Now, you certainly can add whatever other veggies you have at home.  I had the basics but if I had some brocolli or zucchini…that would have been added too.


  1. Cook the pasta as you normally would and set aside.
  2. In a large pan, put the oil and garlic on medium. Let sizzle for a couple of minutes
  3. Add the rest all in one go EXCEPT the greens 🙂
  4. Stir fry all the veggies and tempeh until the onions are translucent or carmelizing begins and the tempeh is slightly browned
  5. Add the pasta and a touch more oil if you think you need it.
  6. Then add the greens and mix thoroughly.
  7. You can add salt, pepper and maybe a pinch of chili pepper flakes to heat it up.


This pasta dish is super easy and delicious that is chock full of veggies and protein too!


You can add a bit of pasta sauce, if you like it a little more saucy!

Make a big pot and eat it for lunch the next day too!




Experimental Kitchen Day – Working through My New Roots

Yesterday was Canada Day and a welcomed day away from my office and alter ego as an Accounts Payable Administrator.  Val was also with out clients on our national holiday so we thought it was a good day to have what we like to call…”Experimental Kitchen Day”.

Val had recently purchased My New Roots, by Sarah Britton.  If you haven’t seen the book, check out her blog.  So full of informative and really interesting posts.  Sarah is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Nutritional Practitioner from Canada who has relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark. Upon arriving there, she was unable to practice as  Nutritionist, but decided to pour her heart and knowledge into her blog, which quickly became world known.

Val and I decided that we would pick a couple of Sarah’s recipes (it was very hard to just pick a few, there are so many good ones!) and try them out.

Our first pick for the experimental day was to try Sarah’s Fully Loaded Breakfast Bars on page 81 of My New Roots.

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Or in our case we decided to do a bar version so we lightly greased a square cake pan.

Combine 1 tablespoon of Chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water in a  small bowl and set aside for 15 minutes to allow the Chia to gel.

Pulse 1 1/4 cups of rolled oats in a food processor until they resemble a very rough flour.  Transfer the flour to a large mixing bowl and whisk the remaining 2 cups of oats, 1 teaspoon of each baking powder and baking soda, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of fine salt. Put into a large bowl and set aside.

Take 1 1/2 cups of cooked white navy beans and pulse with 1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted in a food processor.  Ok, here is where we improvised.  We used chick peas instead.  Like I said, it is “Experimental Kitchen Day”.  Pulse them until creamy.  Add 1/4 cup of maple syrup or honey, grated orange zest (of one orange), the Chia gel, 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Pulse all together until smooth.

Pour the mixture over dry oat mixture and stir.  Add 1/3 chopped dried apricots, 1/4 cup of raisins, and 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds.  Stir it up to combine them all.  We found that mixing by hand…I mean use your hands, seemed to combine all the ingredients well.

Sarah shapes these into about 10 balls and flattens them and cooks on a cookie sheet for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Val and I were feeling extra experimental and decided to do a bar version instead.  We lightly greased a square cake pan and put the mixture into it, flattening with our hands so it was even.  Cook about the same amount of time, until the outer edges are brown.  Let cool completely before you cut them, or you may end up with granola. 🙂


The verdict from the group of judges we had was an overwhelming thumbs up.  They were very addictive.  Excellent replacement for boxed granola bars that usually contain a lot of sugar and preservatives.  Use for breakfast, snack, or even as a cookie with your tea.

Stay tuned for more updates from our “Experimental Kitchen Day” on Canada Day as we do two more amazing recipes from Sarah Britton’s new book, My New Roots.

My New Roots is available on Amazon by clicking the photo below.