(Becky, the Mom.)
I just spent the past several days with my daughter Rachel, her husband Jared, and 14 month old grand-baby Jackson at their home in Texas. As I think over all the fun things Rach and I did together: an afternoon of writing on our upcoming book, mixing and mingling with great friends and fun family in the area — my favorite memories are of a couple of simple evenings. Both my husband Greg and Rachel’s Jared had to work late, leaving just me, Rachel and Jackson to linger and visit, play and cook.
Jackson loves the kitchen. Here he is using a banana to sampling my recipe for pumpkin pie dip.
I love this new-fangled baby contraption that allows him to stand up at the counter and watch us cook. Jackson is also a huge fan of appliances. Particularly the “turning on and turning off” of them. He stands and claps with appreciation whenever one of us turns on anything from the vacuum cleaner to the blender or electric toothbrush.
I had to say good-bye to this sweet Dumplin’ today as we headed back toward our home in Denver. When I turned on the blow dryer in the hotel bathroom, I was saddened to have to do so without Jackson’s typical standing ovation. One can quickly grow accustomed to the applause of a diapered toddler. I miss him with every flick of a switch, every push of a button that proceeds the whirl of some electronic coming to life.
Rachel let me create whatever vegan meal I wanted to cook out of her well-stocked fridge full of farm fresh veggies. I spied a few ears of fresh corn, and some peppers (poblano and hatch chilis) and immediately thought that a Corn and Roasted Poblano Pepper Chowder might be tasty. It was delicious! Creamy without the cream, making it a low cal option as well. (Almond milk only has 30 calories a cup!) We added some pan-fried vegan sausages (Field Roast brand) to our soup to make it a one bowl meal and some kale to up the color and nutrition. This is a vegan dish I would proudly serve to omnivores. (Big thumbs up on the Field Roast grain-based apple sage sausages. I preferred them to meat-based sausages.)
The best part of making this dish, of course, was that I got to use the food processor to the appreciation and applause of my diapered grandbaby.
Fresh Corn & Roasted Poblano Chowder
2 large peppers, cut, seeded and broiled (skin side up) until blackened and blistered (I used one poblano and one hatch chili – use peppers of your choice.)
3 c. fresh cooked, grilled or boiled corn, cut off the cob
1 onion, chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Earth Balance butter
1 t. cumin
1 t. smoked paprika
1 t. Hungarian (or regular) paprika
3 cups almond milk
1 c. veggie broth
1 T. brown sugar
1 t. salt
½ t. pepper
Cook corn and once it is cool to touch, cut kernels it off the cob (4 large ears yielded about 3 cups for me). Rub the knife along the cob to capture any “corn milk” juices that you can as well. Dice the roasted peppers. Melt oil and butter in large deep skillet or soup pan. Saute onions and garlic, add spices, corn and peppers. Let simmer over medium high heat until hot and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add almond milk and veggie broth, salt and pepper and sugar. Simmer until hot and bubbly, stirring regularly.
Carefully ladle half of the soup mixture into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour back into pan and stir into the waiting corn-pepper-spice mixture, until just re-heated. Check to see if it needs more salt and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Option Add about a cup of diced kale to soup after you stir the blended portion into the other half, and cook until kale is just tender. Slice and brown sausages (we like Field Roast brand vegan sausages) in a little olive oil. Sprinkle atop the soup to make it a heartier one bowl meal.
Omnivore Options: Use dairy milk to replace almond milk and chicken broth to replace veggie broth if you prefer. Drizzle with heavy cream or sour cream or Greek yogurt, or sprinkle with cheese and crisp bacon.
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