Fri | Oct 20, 2017

New Year New Diet

Published:Thursday | December 31, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Pumpkin ice cream
Sorrel cocktail with fresh orange juice.
Solomon's full course vegan meal with appetiser – cream of pumpkin soup (front), entree – vegan shepherds pie garnished with broccoli, tomato and lettuce; sorrel cocktail (left) and dessert pumpkin ice cream.
Cream of pumpkin soup.
Vegan shepherds pie garnished with broccoli, tomato and lettuce.
A slice of Solomon's vegan shepherds pie made from sweet potato and based with mix vegetables.
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It's the start of the New Year and a great opportunity for you to start the year right-the healthy and delicious way vegan style. A good way to start is go meatless at least one night of the week-its as simple as that.

Kiffra Solomon, creative vegan cook behind 'Soups to go' shares some of her specialities - cream of pumpkin soup, her personal entree Shepherds pie, sorrel cocktail and a sweet treat pumpkin spice ice cream recipes. You can't tell the difference in presentation and taste. We will also share with you the health benefits of some of these dishes that you can incorporate into your diet starting tomorrow.

Whether you are vegetarian or not, a cream of Pumpkin soup is great to have any day of the week. It's a storehouse of many vitamins such as; A, C and E. It is also a good source of B-Complex and pantothenic acid.

Cream of Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

1tbsp coconut oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/2 pumpkin, peeled and cubed

4 cloves garlic, minced

1tbsp fresh rosemary, diced

4-5 cups water/home-made vegetable broth

1 cup coconut milk

Dash of cinnamon

Salt to taste

Instructions

1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for a few minutes until translucent.

2. Add pumpkin and garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes.

3. Add rosemary and water/vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until pumpkin is soft and cooked through. Add salt to taste.

4. PurÈe soup in a blender and return to the pot.

Add coconut milk and simmer for about five minutes or less.

Shepherd's Pie

Solomon's Shepherd's pie is baked with sweet potatoes and vegetables. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fibre, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.

Ingredients

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup cooked red peas/lentils

4 cups home-made vegetable stock/water

2tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

1lb of veggies - peas, carrots, green beans, corn

Mashed potatoes

2lb sweet potatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup of coconut milk

Instructions

1. Peel and wash potatoes. Bring to a boil in a pot with salt and water. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, mash until smooth, add coconut milk and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onions and garlic in 1 tbs coconut oil until lightly browned and caramelised - about five minutes. Add a pinch each salt and pepper, then add red peas/lentils, stock, thyme, and veggies. Stir to incorporate all the flavours together.

3. Transfer to a lightly greased oven-safe baking dish and carefully top with mashed potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon or fork.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Sorrel cocktail

Solomon adds orange juice to her Jamaican sorrel blend. Jamaican Sorrel is high in vitamins and minerals with powerful antioxidant properties. It helps lower elevated blood pressure, bad cholesterol and detoxifies the entire body.

Ingredients

1lb sorrel

1 four-inch cinnamon stick

4 whole cloves

1/4 tsp crushed allspice

2 three-inch pieces peeled fresh ginger

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 cup fresh beetroot juice

Directions

1. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Add all ingredients, except the orange and beet root juices.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes. Cool and strain. Add orange and beet root juice. Chill or serve over cracked ice.

Pumpkin spice ice cream

But eating healthy does not mean you deny yourself a sweet treat. Enjoy this frozen pumpkin spice ice cream.

Ingredients

2 cups coconut milk

1 cup pureed cooked pumpkin

3 large bananas (cut up and frozen)

11/2tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2tsp ground nutmeg

Instructions

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. If mixture is too soft, refrigerate until frozen.

cathyrisden@gleanerjm.com