We had a cooking demo with Kate Strassman of Kate’s Renegade Aboveground Kitchen (KRAK). Kate showed us how to make her excellently tasty and flavorful Coconut Corn Soup and her all-purpose quick and easy dressing. Recipes are below.

The Coconut Corn Chowder was quick and easy and had complex flavors of ginger, chili, garlic, coconut and vegetables. This soup is also vegan. The soup base, as Kate mentioned, makes a good base for any kind of soup you want to make b/c you can really add whatever vegetables you have on hand. Kate prefers the heaviest coconut milk you can find and I would agree, that the fattier, the creamier! The finishing touch is a good dose of minced cilantro.

Kate’s Dressing, equally simple yet complex in flavor, can be used as an alternative to butter or olive oil on steamed vegetables or salad. We also thought it would taste great with pasta or any starch if you are looking for a good quick meal. The Bragg’s is like soy sauce (salty and vinegary) but is a little thinner and has good amino acids in it. Nutritional yeast, similar to brewers yeast is full of B vitamins and has a nutty, cheesy flavor. So, the dressing is good for you!

One interesting nutritional note that Kate pointed out about oils is that not all oils are created equal. Oils that are processed correctly will not seem “oily.” For example, she pointed out that if you were washing out a bottle that had high quality refined oil in it, you would not need a lot of soap. She also pointed out that you should not use olive oil for high temperature frying/sautes. Not only is it a low temperature oil (it will smoke and burn at high temps), it can also be carcinogenic!

On a sad note, Kate is leaving us in PLG and Brooklyn at the end of October. Fortunately for her, she will be going to India at the end of the year to teach English! No doubt she will be eating and cooking (and teaching) her way through the country! Best of luck to you Kate! I feel fortunate to have been able to get to know you a little!!!!


============= Coconut Corn Chowder =============
1 can fatty coconut milk (no light stuff!)
3 tablespoons canola, peanut, or coconut oil (not olive oil! it’s just not right for this recipe!)
2 onions
5 cloves garlic
1-2 inches grated ginger
2 tsp chili flakes
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
2-3 tsp salt

optional, but yummy:
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
12 curry leaves

3-4 ears of corn* (a must)

plus optional combos of these:
1-2 small zucchini
1 bell pepper of sorts
tomatoes are yummy
scallions or red onions
slivered collards, chard, kale

Coarsely chop your onions, garlic, and ginger.

Heat oil in the bottom of your medium sized soup pot, and add cumin, mustard, and chili flakes. Sauté until the seeds start to sputter and change color. (medium high heat) Add ginger, garlic, curry leaves and onions– Sauté until onions are translucent.

Pour in the coconut milk, plus 2 – 3 more cans of water. Add salt, turmeric, smoked or regular paprika. If you are cooking with collards or zucchini (half-inch cubes), add them at this point since they take a little longer to cook. Also, if you want to make this extra hearty, you could add a can of rinsed and strained chick peas at this point in time. Stir and cover, (medium heat), let broth bubble and infuse itself with yumminess for about 8 minutes.
While this is happening, shuck your corn, and with a sharp knife carefully sliver off the corn kernels from the  cob into a bowl. Mince your pepper into little cubes, tomatoes, onions, and chard or kale. Add all the veggies into the bubbling pot. And stir for just a minute, then turn off burner and remove from heat. This is what makes this soup delicious– crunchy, still tender vegetables. Do not overcook! Mince your cilantro, stir in it in, and Enjoy!

============= Kate’s Dressing =============
Do not cook with this. Simply dress steamed vegetables, tofu, or salads:

Find a clean jar or bottle.
Fill it 1/3 way with flax oil
Fill it 1/3 more with Bragg’s liquid aminos
Then 1/4 more with apple cider vinegar
Add 3 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons black pepper

shake! keep in fridge.

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