Pressure Cooker Vegan Lentil Soup

On the myriad cooking shows I watch they often use pressure cookers. I've often wondered to myself if I need one and if I did have one, what exactly I would make with it. 

I never did buy one for myself. I always figured I had the time to wait for the same thing to happen via the stovetop. 

But for some strange reason, my mother bought one. She doesn't even like to cook. Perhaps that factored into her decision. 

When she fell ill, I found myself with the desire to make good use of this appliance on her behalf. It felt therapeutic to create sustenance from this device that she'd bought so soon before she'd become sick. 
Since it's summer and hot, I thought to myself, I can make a complex broth based soup without making the house hot simmering it on the stovetop for a long time. 

My absolute favorite soup meal is lentil soup. It's just the ultimate vegan chicken noodle soup analog. It's the food of memories, childhood and comfort. It will give you a big hug. 


Vegan Runner's Garlic Tofu Mousse

I took up running about a year and a half ago. I had previously been a cyclist. The transition went smoothly, for the most part.

I'm naturally a long distance/endurance athlete. A 3 mile run doesn't do it for me. A 10 mile bike ride is simply not enough.

At some point in my long runs I hit a wall and even with rest I struggled to recover. I pored over articles on the Internet about exercise, running and vegan nutrition.

I learned about the importance of vitamin d. I learned about warm ups and proper clothing selection.

As plant based people, we already understand the need to supplement B12. We also know that plant combos create complete proteins.

What I didn't understand is how much of everything I'd need for such a high intensity activity like long distance running. I have the bad habit of thinking if I'm eating fortified cereal with fortified almond milk that I'm okay with the B vitamins.

I also assumed if I was eating a variety of grains, veg and legumes that I was covered in the amino department.

I thought I was getting enough B12. I thought I was getting enough protein and potassium. I thought I had everything I needed nutritionally. But when you're working your body as hard as you can work it, the amount of nutrients it requires skyrockets.

When I made a concerted effort to add a lot more of everything, I saw a big difference in recovery and performance.

I came up with this recipe to incorporate more nooch and protein into my diet. It yields a creamy, cheesy, salty puree that you'll enjoy adding to whatever you're eating.

1/2 block silken firm tofu
1/2 cup nooch
2 garlic cloves
1 serrano pepper
2 tsps salt
1 tbl olive oil

Buzz it all up until a fluffy, whipped mousse is formed. I used a stick blender.

Use it as a mayo replacement, a dip, a puree. Or just eat it by the spoonful if you're so inclined. It's a creamy, salty, garlicky, unami treat.

It'll help keep your runs long and joyful and make your runner's highs  more consistent.