Guest Post: Noelle of An Opera Singer in the Kitchen
Hello to all THIH readers! I’d like to wrap up THIH’s guest post series with a special guest post by the lovely Noelle of An Opera Singer in the Kitchen! I’ve discovered her blog recently and I’ve been drooling over her vegan recipes. But that’s not all, folks! Not only can Noelle cook, she sings as well! She is a true opera singer 🙂
Sounds a bit like burrito in a bowl from Chipotle right? Not quite the same dish though.
Hi I am Noelle and I blog at Opera Singer in the Kitchen where I share my recipe creations focused on the vegan lifestyle. I just went vegan in November 2009 and have really enjoyed transitioning from eating meat to NOT eating meat. Drastic right? Not so much mentally since I went vegetarian for 2 years back in 2004.
I decided to go vegan to focus on a healthier eating habits. My goals have been to exercise more, eat more fruits and vegetables and even whole grains. Being vegan forced me to do it and to have discipline. Where it has been really hard is not to think about all the cheese I was eating. Discipline is hard and has been reinstated in my life. Even though my husband is not vegan, I cook vegan meals at home and cook meat for him 2-3 times a week.
Why Opera Singer in the Kitchen? I AM an opera singer, not quite professional yet, but I did sing as an associate chorister for the Houston Grand Opera for 7 years before moving to Michigan. I also sang in weddings and even in several other operas in the area. I am now taking voice lessons and learning more music to audition for the Grand Rapids Opera House. How exciting, eh? My blog shares my music endeavors, videos, food product reviews, jewelry creations, and pictures of life in general.
Hope you can come and visit!
One of my favorite cuisines to cook is Italian. I could make pasta all the time, but yet again when I choose to make it during the week, I try to make a healthy version. This past week I made a lasagna soup for the first time. I had leftover noodles from the previous week so I knew I had to use it in an innovative way.
While perusing Whole Foods on a Sunday, I met a gentleman who was promoting a new product to me called Upton’s Naturals. For a vegan, I am always on the lookout for any sources of protein. If I am not eating meat I am getting my protein through veggies and beans but sometimes I prefer tofu.
Upton’s Naturals makes seitan products made from vital wheat gluten. The owner was actually cooking some and let me sample their “ground beef seitan that was SO good. My husband also tried it and thought it was pretty delicious. I quickly picked up two different packages to take home.
What to make with my new product? In comes the Lasagna in a Bowl. I cooked the ground beef version like I would do regular ground beef and it surprisingly looked very much like it.
This is a quick soup that can be made any busy night of the week. If you are NOT vegan, substitute with regular meat and top with mozzarella cheese. I used a GREAT vegan substitute called Daiya cheese.
BY the way, what has a vegan lifestyle done for me? I have lost 20 pounds and still have more to shed. God has been good! Enjoy this recipe!
Lasagna in a Bowl (Lasagna Soup)
1 cup Upton’s Natural ground beef-like seitan, crumbled
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup carrots, diced
1 cup spinach, chopped (optional)
2 cups diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 bouillon cube
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
1 1/4 cups lasagna noodles, cut in 1/2 inch strips in width
1/2 cup Daiya mozzarella crumbles (or regular mozzarella)
Fry seitan (or ground beef) in 1 Tbsp olive oil along with onions and garlic for 7 minutes.
Add carrots and cook for 5 more minutes. Add water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, bouillon cube, and seasonings and bring to a light boil for 10-15 minutes.
The soup should get a little thick. Add the noodles and spinach (if desired) and simmer on medium low heat for another 10-15 minutes.
Serve while hot and top with cheese. Enjoy with a green salad!
Thanks for your creative recipe, Noelle! I never would have thought to have my lasagna as a soup – what a great idea! Check out Noelle’s blog for more fun recipes 🙂
Thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who participated in Jessie’s first ever JCAGPS! I enjoyed all of your posts very much 🙂
Q: What is the most creative dish you’ve ever made?
Whoa! Lasagna soup?! That’s intense!!! I’m still not a fan of fake mozzarella or fake meat though. And by fake I guess I mean “faux”. 😛 Anyways…
The most creative dish I’ve ever made? I’m tempted to scream something that starts with a G and ends with an A and contains the word GREEN in it, but instead I’ll tell you about something I made recently… CHOCOLATE AND CHEDDAR CAKE!!! BELIEVE IT!!! I rule.
I love lasagna and that one looks so delicious 🙂
I learned so much from this post. I eat vegetarian a few nights a week but I’m not familiar with all the vegetarian/vegan products out there…thanks for sharing! And wow, this soup looks incredible! I can’t wait to make it!
That looks like a great recipe. Many people do not realize how many options there are for meat free meals. I have been a vegetarian since I was 11. It’s been a long time.
I think my most creative was chickpeas, tomato paste with chili powder and slivered almonds over basmati rice. It was very good.
lasagna soup? i’ve never heard of that but it sounds delicious! kudos to you on the creativity Noelle! i’m a soup kinda person and not a huge fan of meat so i love this recipe. thank you for sharing with us.
i’m not very creative and rarely think outside the box but food blogging is starting to change that. i’ve been trying to make dishes from other bloggers. my most recent tried recipe was the awesome Greenola from you know who. Aletheia, if you ever read this, your Greenola rocks!! but like i told you, one day i’mma gonna get crazy and make pizza with avocado paste instead of tomato paste. yes, that’s how much i love avocados. i’m tempted to do durian but i don’t think the tastes would combine well. hope you’re having a great week so far Jessie 😀
Hey Noelle, you’re from Grand Rapids? How cool! I’m from Windsor.
ive been hearing a LOT of great reviews about that new vegan cheese! i would love to try it.. ive had a few before like veganrella and sheese… the latter was much better.. its hard to find good vegan cheese!
Thanks everyone and thanks Jessie for letting me a guest poster! 🙂