Monthly Archives: February 2016

Creamy Celery and Onion Soup

This soup is healthy, tasty and ridiculously easy to prepare. All you need is a large yellow onion, a couple of stalks of celery,  extra virgin olive oil (optional), water and seasoning. That’s it! 

This is a family recipe and a favorite of mine. It’s perfect for detoxing, fighting colds and transitioning between seasons. During cold months, I like adding a small-size (peeled) potato to the soup ( boiling it together with the celery and onion before blending it). When I feel under the weather, I like adding a couple of garlic cloves to the mix. You can also use a handful of cashews to achieve a thicker consistency. 

This recipe is very simple but versatile. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Celery and Onion Soup


Creamy Celery and Onion Soup
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  1. 4 stalks of celery, large dice
  2. 1 large onion, large dice
  3. 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  4. 4 cups of water
  5. salt and pepper ( seasoning to taste)
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the celery and onion and sauté for 10 minutes, until the celery is bright green and the onions caramelized.
  3. Add 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Transfer to a blender or use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the pot.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve warm or chilled.
  1. You can omit the oil all together and sauté the onion and celery in a little bit of water.
Sunshine & Kale

Some interesting facts about celery:

Relax – In traditional Oriental medicine celery was used to treat hypertension. This is because phthalide compounds in celery can act as a sedative as well as lower blood pressure.

Sweet dreams – Celery is thought to promote a good night’s sleep because of the vitamins, mineral salts and nutrients it contains. It is also thought to have a calming effect on the central nervous system.

Food of love – Celery has a formidable reputation as an aphrodisiac, going back to Roman times (they dedicated the plant to Pluto, god of sex and hell!). While Madame de Pompadour, official chief mistress of French King Louis XV, swore by celery and truffle soup washed down with hot chocolate.

Hangover cure – Another use of celery by the Roman’s was to use it as an antidote against the intoxicating effects of wine and the ensuing headache by wearing wreaths of celery leaves.

Bottoms up! – The Bloody Mary cocktail was invented in the 1920’s at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. However it wasn’t until the 1960’s that celery was associated with the drink, when a guest at a Chicago hotel was given a Bloody Mary but nothing to stir it with. He improvised with a stick of celery from the buffet!

Greek’s Gold – Winners of athletic events in Ancient Greece were presented with bunches of celery, much as flowers are given today.

Food for thought – Celery was first used as a food in Italy during the 16th century, later spreading across Europe as a flavoring for soups, meats and stews.

Some interesting facts about onions:

– The country that eats the most onions per capita is Libya, where each person eats about 66.8 pounds of onion every year.

-According to Guinness Book of World Records, the largest onion ever grown, weighted 10 pounds 14 ounces.

-The official state vegetable of Georgia is the Vidalia onion.

-The official state vegetable of Texas is the Texas Sweet Onion.

For more fun facts, check out LOVE CELERY

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Soyrizo and Tempeh Bacon

Fabada is a rich bean dish originally from Asturias in Northern Spain. It is traditionally made with large white beans also known as “judiones”, Spanish chorizo and morcilla or blood sausage. My version of fabada is 100% plant-based. It contains soyrizo and tempeh bacon.

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Kale - Mise en Place

In Spain, we love to cook with extra virgin olive oil, using plenty of vegetables and legumes in our dishes. For my recipe, I used butter beans, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and kale.

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Kale

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Soyrizo and Tempeh Bacon
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  1. 3 cups ( 2 - 15.5 OZ cans) of cooked butter beans ( I like Goya brand)
  2. 1 bunch of kale, chopped
  3. 1 medium onion, small diced
  4. 1 small carrot, small diced
  5. 1/2 stalk celery, small diced
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 12 oz Soyrizo ( I like Trader Joe's brand)
  8. 3 cups of vegetable stock
  9. 1/2 cup of white wine
  10. 2 tablespoons of Pimenton de La Vera ( Smoked Sweet Spanish Paprika)
  11. 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  12. 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  13. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  14. 2 teaspoons of dried mushroom powder - optional
  15. 1 cup of tempeh bacon, small diced - optional **
  16. 3 bay leaves
  17. 1 pinch of salt
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat-high. Add the onion, carrots and celery, Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized. Then, add the minced garlic, the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and dried mushroom powder.
  2. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the soyrizo, butter beans, kale, vegetable stock, wine, tomato paste and bay leaves. Bring everything to a gentle simmer to prevent the beans from breaking apart . Cook for approximately 30-35 minutes until the liquid reached a thicker and almost creamy consistency.
  3. Taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary. The traditional version doesn’t usually need salt due to the high content of sodium in the meats.
  4. Transfer the fabada to a “cazuela de barro” or traditional clay pot and topped it with the tempeh bacon before serving.
  1. ** Recipe for tempeh bacon can be found here:
Sunshine & Kale
¡Buen provecho!

Happy early V-Day!

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” ~ William Shakespeare. 

Strawberries, perhaps? Tell me, what would you rather have: A dozen roses or a bouquet of strawberries?

Bouquet of Strawberries

For a delicious Valentine’s recipe, try my Chocolate Cherry Mouse w/ Whipped Coconut. Enjoy it!

Happy Valentines Day!

{ Vegan} Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

I recently came across PETA’s SpicyBuffalo Cauliflower “Wings” while searching for the best Super Bowl vegan snacks. I took PETA’s recipe and started experimenting with it (using only water, using different types of non-dairy milk, using different types of flour). My Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings” are made with a combination of water, soy milk, garbanzo flour and spices. In my opinion, this is the best combination. I hope you enjoy it!

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Superbowl. jpg

This is me in 2007, watching Super Bowl XLI, LIVE!. The American Football Conference Champion Indianapolis Colts played the National Football Conference Champion Chicago Bears under pouring rain. The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Bears 29–17.

I was invited to attending this game by one of my closest friends, an experience I will cherish FOREVER!

{ Vegan} Buffalo Cauliflower "Wings"
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  1. 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets ( approx. 4-5 cups)
  2. 1/2 cup of water
  3. 1/2 cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk ( I use soy but almond will work too)
  4. 1 cup of garbanzo flour ( You can use gluten-free rice flour instead)
  5. 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  6. 1 teaspoon of paprika
  7. 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  8. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  9. 1 cup of Tabasco Buffalo Style Sauce
  10. 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted
Vegan Ranch Dressing
  1. 1 cup of vegan mayonnaise
  2. 1/2 cup of unsweetened soy milk
  3. 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  5. 2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon of dill
  7. Whisk all ingredients together and chill before serving.
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the water, non-dairy milk, flour, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Dip the cauliflower florets in the batter until coated evenly and place in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 18 minutes.
  4. While the cauliflower is baking, melt the buttery spread and mix with the buffalo sauce.
  5. Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for 8 minutes
  6. Serve with vegan ranch dressing and celery sticks.
Sunshine & Kale

{ Raw } No Bean Hummus

Hummus is an Arabic word (حمّص ḥummuṣ) meaning “chickpeas,” and the complete name of the prepared spread in Arabic is حمّص بطحينة ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna, which means “chickpeas with tahini”.

This recipe uses zucchini instead of chickpeas. so in theory it can’t be called hummus. However, the flavor and texture is very close to the original dish. 


This recipe was slightly adapted from the book “RAWvolution” by Matt Amsden, chef and owner of the restaurant with the same name. One of my favorite places to eat while in Santa Monica. 

Rawmazing Restaurant   


Visiting RAWvolution in Santa Monica

Rawvolution II

{ Raw } No Bean Hummus
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  1. 3 zucchinis, peeled and chopped
  2. 3/4 cup of tahini
  3. 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
  4. 1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  5. 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  6. 2 teaspoons sea salt
  7. 1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin
  1. In a high speed processor, combine all the ingredients until thick and smooth. Garnish with a pinch of paprika and parsley
  1. Enjoy it with homemade pita chips or fresh vegetable crudités. It can be used as a spread on sandwiches, as a salad dressing ( blending it with a little bit of apple cider) or as a condiment. It tastes delicious with falafel and veggie burgers.
Sunshine & Kale