Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vegan Corn Chowder, Gluten & Soy-Free

The first January I started going Vegan for the month, I somehow stumbled across the internet to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM is much easier and less weird to say). At this point, I was craving some vegan recipes that were easy and fulfilling, since all I was eating were carrots and apples and being VERY hangry. Shutter. I signed up for their weekly "Food for Life" e-mail that sends recipes and Vegan tips to keep you full and motivated, which is exactly what I need during January.

I've been getting recipes from them for about three years now, and the one this past week just called to me. I love a good chowder, but I also love to cram as many nutrients as I can into a meal. It's a little difficult to throw a balanced meal into chowder, but somehow this recipe just does it. I guess the absence of cream helps, but let me tell you, it will not be missed.

I tweaked the recipe by adding in vegetables I had on hand, along with white beans for protein and a can of green salsa for some extra kick. Oh, and I added nutritional yeast, because it thickened it up and made it a little cheezy. So essentially, follow my  version and you get some kicks, salsa, and yeast. Yes, it sounds like the sketchy part of town, but did you SEE the first picture?! I will not lead you astray. So tasty.

Corn Chowder, Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free
Adapted from PCRM

You will need:
3 cups chopped red potatoes, skin on (I used Idaho red, Klondike Rose)
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic gloves, minced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup leeks, sliced - separate the white and green parts
1 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t turmeric
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can roasted tomatoes, with liquid
1 can corn
2 ears corn
1 4-oz can green chilies
1 small can salsa verde (or about 8 oz)
1 cup rice milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

To Do:
1. Put the chopped potatoes in a large pot with the vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature to a simmer and cook until soft.

2. Meanwhile, pour 1/2 cup cold water in a medium-sized sauce pan and turn heat to medium. Add in the onion, garlic, mushrooms, the white leek parts (reserve the greens for topping), and all the spices. Mix it up and let simmer for about 5 minutes, until soft and intermingled.

3. In your food processor or blender, blend the can of corn (with liquid) until smooth.

4. Cut off the corn from your two ears of corn and set aside until later. 

3. When the potatoes are done, leave them in the pot with the broth and mash lightly with a fork - I wanted more potato chunks, so I did less of this. Add in the beans, tomatoes, onion mixture, blended corn, cut corn, green chilies, salsa and nutritional yeast- stir together. Feel free to add in more water, 1/2 cup at a time, if you would like it less thick.

4. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Add in the rice milk and let it reheat to a high temperature.

5. Dish into two large bowls and garnish with the leek greens, and Greek yogurt if you're feeling wild. I found it took the heat down a notch, and added some extra creaminess to it. Do what you want. :)

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