CASHEW CREAM OF ASPARAGUS & SPRING ONION SOUP by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


it’s week 23 of being pregnant, and whoa am i feeling it a whole lot more at this point than when i was pregnant with amesy. i’m 2 years older, which almost feels like dog years when you’re in your 30’s, pregnant (and have a toddler), and have a physical job on most days. which is all to say, i am beyond grateful, but also beyond tired most days. i try to keep a consistent schedule throughout the week which basically consists of this:

  • 5:20 - wakeup, drink a big glass of water. brush teeth, etc.

  • 5:45 - make myself 1/2 piece of toast or waffle spread with some almond butter for a pre-workout snack

  • 6:00-6:30/45 - head downstairs to our little gym for a workout. i generally train with weights 3-4 days a week, or i do a light cardio/body weight exercise.

  • 6:30/45-7 give amesy breakfast and make an iced matcha.

  • 7/7:15 - shower.

  • 7:30 - amesy helps to make my breakfast smoothie with me (i generally have the same one everyday, i’ve been following kelly leveque’s smoothie method for almost 2 years - it’s my favorite and keeps my tummy full and happy for a few hours). he has a ball adding everything, watching it blend, and loves taking a few “moothie” sips at the end ;)

  • 7:40-8 - play with amesy. usually we read a book or 5, do a puzzle, etc.

  • 8 - hustle time! make amesy snacks and lunch for preschool, get myself ready for the day - dry hair, make the bed, finish folding laundry, wash dishes, answer any important emails or DMs, etc., etc.

  • 830/45 - frank leaves for work (some days he takes amesy to school)

  • 9:00/30 - drop amesy off at school, then head to the grocery store to pick up groceries for a few days, food for recipe testing, or ingredients for a shoot, and stop for a matcha.

  • 10:30/11 - get back home (this all depends on traffic). mid-morning is typically when the light is good in my studio/kitchen. so if it’s a shoot day, it’s straight to work. if it’s a recipe testing and recipe development day then i usually get on my computer, then into the kitchen.

  • 1:00-1:30 - lunch

  • 1:30-3:00/30 - edit photos, write blog posts (i generally write the blog copy the day before, but everything else - including my email campaigns - gets built out ahead of time) brainstorm future content, get back to emails and DMs, wash dishes that were used in that day’s shoot, clean up, etc.

  • 3:00/30 - walk quint

  • 3:45/4 - leave to pick up amesy.

  • 4/4:15 - pick amesy up from school and smother him in kisses and hugs

  • 4:30 - get home. we play outside for a bit, read books (he loves books, if you haven’t already guessed), snuggle - if he lets me - play inside, etc.

  • 5:30-6 - amesy watches sesame street or barney, and i’m back in the kitchen making dinner, or heating up what i’ve made earlier in the day.

  • 6:15/30 - frank’s home and we all eat dinner together

  • 7:00-7:30 - amesy’s bath time, then bedtime

  • 7:30-on - we generally talk for a bit a catch up, then watch something on TV, or hang outside and talk/listen to music if it’s a nice night.

  • 9:30/45 - get ready for bed: oil the eff out of my belly, brush teeth, wash my face (which i’ve been doing with just raw honey and loving lately - check out this post by my girl lily) , put jammies on, and bedtime. goodnight.

not much of a segue here, but i thought it would be fun to share what a typical day looks like. i always find it interesting how people schedule their day (especially if they’re freelance, and/or have children), and use the most of their time.

but we’re also here for this soup! i’ve been making cashew-based soups like this for a while, and i think it’s a terrific way to not only take a non-creamy, vegetable-centric soup to the next creamy level, but also to add some healthy fats into what is generally a fat-less or low-fat dish. i mentioned kelly leveque above. she’s a holistic nutritionist that i began working with almost 2 years ago, and i haven’t looked back. her (science-based) philosophy is essentially to fill your plate/bowl with quality protein, greens, fiber, and healthy fats. the combination of these 4 quiet your hunger hormones leaving you happy and full, but more importantly they balance your blood sugar.

i’ve struggled with regulating my blood sugar for most of my adult life, and even when i was a teenager. i probably haven’t felt more myself now than ever. i previously dealt with debilitating stomach pains, bloat, constant depression, anxiety, headaches, body and joint aches, etc. it wasn’t until amesy turned a year old that i finally realized that i can’t take proper take of my child if i’m not taking care of myself. since then, (and i’m not perfect at this, especially being pregnant now) i have prioritized my health and well-being, which includes a workout schedule, and maintaining a diet that makes me feel good. this soup is part of that. it’s got a good serving of fibrous asparagus in each serving, along with fresh green herbs, a whole bunch of spring onions, and cashews for our healthy fat. i serve it with a protein: generally baked fish or grilled chicken. this is in no way saying that you should follow this way of life. i firmly believe that everyone has their own path and journey, this world is not a one-size fits all, and neither should your well-being and health. but, if you have read through this and have struggled with similar issues, and you have questions/comments i would be so happy to have a conversation with you!

more than anything, i began dolly and oatmeal to find and learn from a community of people who both loved food, but also had some struggles. my intent was, and always has been to give back in some way. to offer something of value. i am going to continue to talk about my journey here, and i hope you’ll chime in - whether that’s in the comments or through email. even though it seems that blog commenting is on a downward trend, i would love for this space to be an open conversation, and place where we can all learn from one another.

in the meantime, biggest of hugs to you! xx



cashew cream of asparagus & spring onion soup | v & gf

  • the great thing about this soup (most soups) is that you can substitute in whatever vegetable you prefer here. think: broccoli, peas, a combination of both, cauliflower and spinach, the list goes on. i add a bit of tarragon here just for a touch of its flavor, but feel free to add another herb in its place.

PRINT THE RECIPE

| serves 4-6 |

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours, drained and rinsed

  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts sliced

  • 1 bunch (roughly 1/2 cup) chives, roughly chopped

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 bunches (roughly 2 pounds) asparagus, woody ends trimmed

  • 8-10 tarragon leaves

  • 3 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth

  • salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste

  • juice from 1 small lemon

topping options:

  • tahini sauce

  • roasted asparagus tips

  • toasted bread cubes

  • chopped herbs (i used dill and chives)

  • chive & broccoli rabe blooms

  • fresh ground pepper



method

  1. heat a large soup pot over medium heat. add the oil and leeks, stir and cook until the leeks are a little soft, about 6-8 minutes. add the chives and garlic, stir and cook for another minute, until everything is fragrant. then add the asparagus and tarragon leaves, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the asparagus is bright green. add the broth, and bring everything to a simmer. cook the soup for 8-10 minutes, until the asparagus is tender when pricked with a sharp knife. remove from heat, add the cashews, and let the soup cool for 10 minutes.

  2. in batches, puree the soup in a blender (preferably high-speed). pour the pureed soup back into the soup pot to warm it back up. serve the soup warm and garnish with desired toppings. soup can be made ahead of time, and can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.


similar recipes:


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ASPARAGUS, PEA & BROCCOLI RABE SAUTÉ OVER A CHICKPEA & CHIVE MASH

ASPARAGUS, PEA & BROCCOLI RABE SAUTÉ OVER A CHICKPEA & CHIVE MASH

THE DECONSTRUCTED FALAFEL SALAD FROM "FAMILY" by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


happy weekend, friends! just popping in quick to share this delicious salad with you. i’m mindful that it may still be cold, even snowy, where you are, which is why i’m sharing a warm salad with you. this deconstructed falafel salad, (aka, a genius recipe, if you ask me), comes from the new spring cookbook that i absolutely adore, FAMILY. it’s written by hetty mckinnon who also authors the beautiful blog, arthur street kitchen.

this is hetty’s third book (!), and its’ pages are filled with beautifully accessible and approachable vegetarian recipes. its touching photographs and anecdotes of family and tradition pull at my heart strings each time i open the book. i think for the majority of us who enjoy cooking our your people - whoever that may be - is a form of nurturing them. FAMILY captures this notion, but also allows the reader/consumer to imagine making their own memories with the recipes that hetty so generously shares. i’m taking serious note of hetty’s wealth of knowledge here, as she’s a mother of 3, and a cook.. i’m very well acquainted with how cooking for your family (after a day of cooking for work) can feel very much like a chore, but i keep drawing on hetty’s idea of creating a recipe repertoire - the dishes that are comforting, easy to shop for without a list, and adaptable. there are already so many dishes in her book that i am so eager to make into our family classics.

this recipe has a few more steps but only because you’re cooking the chickpeas, and lightly sautéing the kale, other than that there are a few quick chops and you’re ready to serve. this is a hearty salad on its own. if you’re not one to have a big appetite for dinner this would be great. i added some shredded chicken for extra protein, but you i could see this salad as is being plenty for someone who isn’t growing a human ;) so what’s deconstructed about this falafel salad? well, for starters, there is no falafel! don’t get me wrong, i love falafel, but making them can be a little labor intensive, especially if you’re preparing dinner the night of. instead, hetty has you cook the chickpeas (which are the cornerstone ingredient to most falafel recipes) with all the falafel seasonings: fresh garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. then you cover it all in olive oil and bake it at a high heat, essentially slow frying the chickpeas (insert: drooling emoji). the result is genius: crispy (but not dry) chickpeas, and a falafel-infused oil that is so flavorful i wanted to pour it over everything.

in the end you get the falafel with half the work, and a new technique for crisping chickpeas. it’s a wonderful recipe to have in your back pocket for weeknight dinners, gatherings (you could easily double the salad), potlucks, spring picnics, etc. i have a very good feeling you’re going to love this recipe :)

xo!



the deconstructed falafel salad | v

recipe from: FAMILY by hetty mckinnon

| serves 4 |

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 bunches kale, stems removed and leaves torn

  • 1 persian cucumber, sliced into thin rounds

  • 3 cups (150g) store-bought pita chips (i omitted these, but you could easily substitute a gluten-free alternative)

  • handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

  • handful of mint leaves

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

  • sea salt

crispy roasted chickpeas

  • 18 ounces (500g) cooked chickpeas (about 2 drained cans), patted dry

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • sea salt and black pepper

lemon tahini

  • 1/3 cup (90g) tahini

  • juice of 1 lemon, plus extra if needed

  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped

  • sea salt and black pepper

*hetty’s notes:

substitute

  • chickpeas: white beans, butter beans

  • omit pita chips for gluten free



method

  1. preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)

  2. for the crispy chickpeas, place the drained chickpeas in a small ovenproof dish. cover with olive oil, season well with two big pinches of sea salt and black pepper, and add the garlic, cumin, and paprika. stir to combine. roast for 35-40 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy. set aside.

  3. for the salad, place a large frying pan over a medium heat and drizzle with oil. add the kale, in batches, along with a pinch of salt and cook 2-3 minutes, until wilted.

  4. to make the lemon tahini, pour the tahini into small bowl and whisk in the lemon juice and garlic. gradually add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until the sauce is the consistency of thickened cream. if the tahini “seizes” and becomes very thick, add more water; it will eventually come back together to form a cohesive creamy sauce. season with sea salt and black pepper, and add more lemon juice if you like it lemony.

  5. combine the crispy chickpeas (and their cooking oil) with the kale, cucumber, half the pita chips and herbs. to serve, drizzle over the lemon tahini and scatter over the remaining pita chips. serve with lemon wedges on the side.


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HOW TO MAKE VEGAN LABNEH & A FEW WAYS TO USE IT by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


ok, first of all, i’m sure some of you are wondering: what is labneh?

labneh is essentially what you get when you strain yogurt to get a thick, cream cheese-like yogurt - some people have used the term “yogurt cheese” to describe it, but i’m going to lay off that one because i feel like it could perhaps turn some people off. it’s true though, labneh does have a cream cheese-like texture, but i’m going to argue that it’s even better than cream cheese. straining the yogurt gives labneh a distinct tanginess that doesn’t come close to much else. and when you dress it up with toppings it just makes the flavor sing that much more.

vegan labneh is a bit different than traditional labneh. first of all, it contains more water since the one we use here is made from almond milk (ingredients: almonds and water). therefore, i like using a nut milk bag to strain it rather than cheesecloth. we also add a bit more lemon juice and salt, since plant-based yogurt doesn’t inherently have the level of tang that dairy-based yogurt has. the added salt just brings out that tanginess a bit more.

what do i need to make it?

first of all, it’s super easy! all you need are a few essentials that you probably already possess:

  1. a large deep bowl.

  2. a fine mesh strainer.

  3. a nut milk bag.

secondly, you will need 3 ingredients:

  1. kite hill plain unsweetened greek-style yogurt.

  2. fresh lemon juice.

  3. fine sea salt.

plus, 24 hours in a refrigerator. that’s it!

why should i make this labneh?

i can’t tell you what to do, nor do i want to! but, i can nudge you (i’m good at nudging)! firstly, labneh can go with just about anything, and can be made into so many different things - both sweet or savory: cake/cupcake frosting, the base for a fruit compote, eaten plain with a drizzle of honey, used as a dip for your preferred protein, thinned and tossed into pasta, plopped onto flatbread or pizza (see below), sweet or savory toast (also see below), the base for a leaf-less salad - the options are almost limitless. but i nudge mostly because there’s nothing more satisfying than making something this delicious with your own two hands that’s essentially effortless - have i convinced you yet?


in all seriousness this recipe came about because it seems with each of my pregnancies labneh is all i’ve wanted. the first go round with amesy, frank and i would frequently have brunch at a local restaurant in brooklyn, miriam. i would order the israeli breakfast - egg scramble, labneh with a pool of olive oil and za’atar in the middle; breakfast potatoes, israeli salad, and a side of their green tahini - if i close my eyes tight enough, i can still taste that delightful meal.

i don’t generally consume dairy, but that labneh at miriam was all i wanted. though, after i had amesy, the craving for it significantly diminished - until this pregnancy! however, this time around the discomfort that comes with consuming cow-based dairy products is more uncomfortable for some reason. thankfully, with all the amazing plant-based yogurts on the market, making your own vegan labneh is quite easy. why did i choose the almond milk-based yogurt in this recipe? simple, it’s a greek-style yogurt and therefore its’ consistency and flavor is consistent with that of a dairy-based greek yogurt - and it’s so, so good. i can’t wait for you all to try it! and i’d love to hear what you all like using labneh for, there are so many options, but i know i’m probably missing a bunch!

xo’s and happy april!


how to make vegan labneh & a few ways to use it


vegan labneh

| makes just about 3 cups |

ingredients

| makes roughly 3 cups |

method

  1. line a fine mesh strainer with a nut milk bag, and place them over a large bowl, making sure the bowl is big enough that the strainer doesn’t touch the bottom - you want at least an 1 1/2-inches between the bottom of the strainer and the bottom of the bowl.

  2. in another large bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, and salt. pour the yogurt mixture into your nut milk bag. tie the bag closed, and cover the bowl with a clean dishtowel. place in your refrigerator, and let rest for 24 hours.

  3. after the 24-hour rest period, remove the dishtowel. at this point there will be quite a bit of liquid at the bottom of the bowl - discard it - and when you loosen your nut milk bag you will find that your yogurt has thickened significantly.

  4. congratulations! at this point your yogurt is now labneh! yay!

  5. scrape the labneh from your nut milk bag and store in an air tight container for up to 1 week.


labneh dip w/ pistachios, herbs & za’atar

| serves 2-4 |


ingredients

  • 1 cup vegan labneh

  • 2 tablespoons toasted & chopped pistachios

  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs (i used mint and chives)

  • 1 tablespoon za’atar

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • a good pinch flaky sea salt

method

  1. in a shallow bowl (or on a large plate), spoon the labneh into the center. use a spoon to smooth the labneh into the bottom of the bowl, spreading it out to the sides as you go (you could easily just plop it into a bowl, but this creates those lovely little divots into which your nuts, herbs, za’atar, and evoo will pool).

  1. sprinkle with your toppings and serve immediately with crackers, toasty bread, freshly cut veggies, etc.!


charred spring onion & labneh flatbread

| serves 4 |


ingredients

  • half of this gluten-free dough recipe (or dough recipe/store-bought flatbread of choice)

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or another neutral high heat oil)

  • 1 bunch spring onions, white and light green parts cut in half, then in quarters

  • 1/2 cup-3/4 cup vegan labneh

  • 1 tablespoon za’atar

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

  • flaky sea salt

  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

method

  1. preheat oven to 500°F and place a pizza stone inside.

  2. press your dough out into a large oval, with about 1/4-inch thickness. once your oven has preheated, bake the crust for 10-12 minutes, until edges are crisp, and the center is cooked through.

  3. let the flatbread cool on a rack while you char the onions. heat a large cast iron skillet to medium-high. once hot, add the oil and half the sliced onion pieces, cut side down. cook for 1-2 minutes, until lightly charred; turn them over and cook the other side for about 1 minute, until mostly tender and golden. remove onions and let them rest on a paper towel-lined plate. repeat with the other half of onions, adding more oil as needed.

  4. spread 1/2 cup labneh evenly across the flatbread (an offset spatula does the trick wonderfully), if you need more, add the additional 1/4 cup. top with the charred onions; sprinkle with the za’atar, chopped dill, and a couple pinches flaky sea salt. finally, drizzle with olive oil, and serve :)


labneh & jam toast

| makes 1 serving |


ingredients

  • 1 slice toasted and cooled bread

  • 1/4 cup vegan labneh

  • pinch sea salt (optional, but highly recommended)

  • 1-2 tablespoons favorite jam/preserve

  • roughly 1 teaspoon toasted & chopped pistachios

method

  1. plop the labneh into the center of your toast. use a spoon to swoosh the labneh out to the corners of the bread, creating little divots. then sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

  2. spoon the jam into the divots, spreading it out toward the edges of the bread. sprinkle with chopped pistachios, then inhale ;)

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