Guest Blogger: Comfort

Guest post by my daughter, Stefanie White, who soon will be starting her own blog on being a vegetarian in a relationship with a omnivore.

It may sound odd, but some of my fondest memories of childhood are from times I was sick.  Not the sick part, but what went along with being sick.  My mother is the ultimate caregiver – she is one of the most comforting people I have ever known.  Growing up, my mother’s cure-all for any physical or mental ailment was potato soup and hot toddies.  Of course, we had to wait until an appropriate age for the addition of bourbon to the toddies.  No matter how awful I felt, her potato soup could always work wonders.  In my mind, there isn’t anything the oozy, gooey cheesy wonderful-ness cannot solve.  As an adult who lives several states away from home, I feel deprived of my mother’s natural remedies whenever I get sick or down.

On October 16, 2013 life threw my family a real pickle (I can think of several other ways to describe this but I’m trying to keep this PG).  My mother and I started the day off laughing and enjoying our time together.  My boyfriend and I were in Kentucky for the week visiting friends and family.  Weeks in advance, we scheduled an appointment for one of our favorite mother-daughter activities: a manicure and pedicure.  After our day at the spa, we received a devastating phone call.  My stepfather had passed away while visiting South Carolina.  Nothing prepares you for having to tell a loved one that their spouse has just passed away.

During the days that followed, I tried my best to find ways to comfort and support my mother.  After the visitation and funeral passed, I struggled to find ways to comfort her.  I asked myself what would she do if I were hurting inside.  One idea finally occurred to me.  Fix a big pot of potato soup.

This may sound like an easy task, but I faced several challenges.  Although I’ve been vegetarian for several years, for the past year and half I’ve been enjoying a vegan diet.  My aunt was also staying with us.  My Aunt Diane grew up on veggies, but for the past 40+ years has mainly been fixing a traditional Southern diet for my uncle.  The third challenge was that my mother had stopped eating potato soup years ago because it gave her indigestion.  Despite these challenges, I still felt I needed to make an attempt.

potato soup

I’m not the best at creating precise recipes but here is a general recipe I came up with.  The next time I fix the soup, I’ll update this blog.

Vegan Potato Soup

Step 1: Put on a really cute apron.  No matter how crappy of a day it is, a cute apron always puts a smile on my face.

Step 2: Saute until soft 2 cleaned and sliced leeks in 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Step 3: Wash and thinly slice 3 Yukon gold potatoes 3 Red potatoes.

Step 4.  Add enough veggie broth to barely cover the potatoes.  My favorite broth is Imagine No-Chicken Broth.  Next add: 1 teaspoon dried parsley; 2 tablespoons of dried mushrooms (I dampened then diced several dried morel mushrooms); 1/2 cup nutritional yeast; and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5.  Boil until the potatoes are soft.  Do not cover the soup, because you want some of the liquid to evaporate.

Step 6.  Add 1 cup of Coconut Non-Dairy Creamer (don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like coconut)  Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Step 7.  Open a bottle of wine and let the yummy vegan soup comfort you.

BTW: No indigestion from anyone with the vegan version of this soup.  If you’re wondering about her hot toddy recipe, don’t worry.  When she’s up to it I’m sure we can ask her to share it.




Crazy Sexy Kitchen

I have been flipping and dreaming through Kris Carr’s new cookbook since it was published.  Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution is not only filled with yummy, healthy dishes, but the plating is elegant and the photography is beautiful.  Have I mentioned that food photography is something I want to study?  Add that to my ever growing list.  If you’re not familiar with Kris Carr, check her out here.

My daughter, Stefanie has been a vegetarian for over twelve years and is now mostly vegan.  When she came to visit, I pulled out the Kris Carr cookbook, and we, along with my son Matt (omnivore), went to work.

crab cakes

Hearts-of-palm style Crab Cakes with Remoulade.  I have been salivating over this recipe.  I love crab cakes, but worry about that “bottom feeder” thing.  I love hearts of palm.  And next to bearnaise sauce, remoulade is my favorite.  We couldn’t go wrong with this recipe.   It was definitely a winner!  Check it out on page 151.  Even if you don’t make the crab cakes, the sauce is worth it as a healthier version of remoulade.  As for the photography, I’m not happy with the parsley placement.  When everyone is ready to eat, staging takes a backseat.  And who knew smearing sauce is so difficult?


Isn’t this a gorgeous dish!  Beetroot Ravioli with cashew cream cheese, page 193.  Not only is this delight vegan, but it’s also raw.  All this wonderful color must be good for you.  I had my doubts about making cream cheese from cashews.  Yet is was very tasty, and even more so the next day.  Red stained fingers were the only downside to eating this recipe.  Probably a small price for the health benefits.  By the way, that’s shaved raw asparagus tossed with olive oil and lemon juice on the side.

I could eat this way every day.  So, what stops me?  One is simply the learning curve of new recipes and new ingredients.  I can’t say time, because these recipes usually take no longer than the conventional versions.  Although I could open a package of cream cheese quicker than I could soak cashews and grind them.  But the biggest deterrent to healthy eating for me?


Anyone recognize these fellows?  They are “in season” right now.