It is so cold.
So cold that my fingers are freezing as I type this.
So cold that my left little toe was numb all day yesterday.
So cold that Chris and I sleep with three blankets on us at night and it takes me 90 snoozes before I can get brave enough to step out of bed.
Once out of bed I immediately wrap myself in as many layers as possible. Cooper and I run (literally) to turn up the thermostat to hear that comforting sound of the heat turning on. After a short while the house has (slightly) removed some of its chill and I am able to somewhat function. Oddly enough, this morning I was craving one of my winter smoothies. I can’t explain my cravings, but even though my body was feeling frozen I wanted the creamy, cool, pumpkin pie drink.
There I sat, in my sweatpants and sweatshirt, wrapped in a blanket, sipping on one of the most delicious smoothies. I then proceeded to sit, in my sweatpants and sweatshirt, wrapped in a blanket……on top of the heating vent. The smoothie was definitely worth it though 🙂
Luna Chocolate Peppermint! It is amazing and a great snack if you are craving holiday cookies or peppermint bark. Luna offers a much healthier alternative!
If you want something a little warmer to thaw the icicles from your body, I suggest the Lemongrass Consommé with Pea Shoot and Mushroom Dumplings. Comforting, full of flavor, and perfect for a soothing lunch or dinner.
Lemongrass Consommé with Pea Shoot and Mushroom Dumplings (adapted from the Conscious Cook)
Makes 6 servings
For the consommé:
— sea salt
— 2 tablespoons canola oil
— 4 stalks lemongrass
— 2 stalks celery, diced
— 1 leek, thinly sliced
— 2 shallots, minced
— 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced
— 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
— 1 kaffir lime leaf (I used 1 tsp. lime zest)
— 2 small dried red chilies
— 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
— 2 tablespoons sugar
— 2 quarts vegetable or faux-chicken stock
For the dumplings:
— sea salt
— 2 tablespoons canola oil
— 1 pound oyster mushrooms, minced (I substituted chopped button mushrooms. You can use whichever kind you prefer)
— 1 cup fresh pea shoots, minced
— 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
— 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
— 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
— 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
— 2 teaspoons shoyu soy sauce
— freshly ground black pepper
— 12 large (or 24 small) round wonton skins
— 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion (spring onion)
1. Make the consommé: Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect. Add 1 tsp salt and all of the remaining ingredients except for the sugar and stock and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sugar and stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
2. Make the dumplings: Place a medium saute pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they release their liquid. Add the pea shoots, ginger, chives, basil, parsley, and shoyu, season with salt and pepper to taste, and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes, until all the ingredients are combined and tender. Transfer to a bowl and cool.
3. Lay the wonton skins out on a clean, dry work surface. Put a small spoonful of the filling in the center of each. Using your finger or a brush, dab a bit of water around the edges with your fingers, gathering them in little pinches. Pour the consommé through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids, and return to the pot; bring to a simmer. Add the dumplings and heat for 10 minutes. Serve garnished with scallion.
I have always liked wonton soup and it was always my request when ordering from an Asian restaurant. However, after going vegan I figured I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. This recipe changed everything. It was so good and paired perfectly with fresh baked bread and this bok choy recipe.
It looks like the cold is here to stay to warm up with a bowl of this soup this Winter!