Chai and Minestrone

Here are two things we made last week and have been enjoying for several days:

We have been making this chai concentrate occasionally for the past few months. While neither cheap nor strictly vegan due to the honey included, it is a fun treat to have at home, and significantly cheaper than a chai latte from any cafe.

The recipe we use is modified from Vegetarian Slow Cooker:

  • 4   1  1/2 inch slices fresh peeled ginger, use vegetable peeler for the slices.
  • 6   3 inch cinnamon sticks
  • 8   whole cloves
  • 15-20 green cardamom pods
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons high-quality vanilla
  • 2 dashes of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup honey (use 1/3 cup white sugar and 2 Tbsp maple syrup if vegan)
  • 3   cups water
  • 6   black tea bags
  1. Everything except the tea bags goes into the crock pot.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  2. After a long simmer, if heat is not on high turn to high.  Add tea bags.  Let steep for 5 minutes MAX (longer steep=bitter tea).
  3. Remove tea bags and press gently with a spoon to get all water out.
  4. Strain into a jar or bottle (I use a clean wine bottle), and keep in the fridge for a week.
  5. Use about 1/4 cup of concentrate per mug of chai latte. Add hot or steamed almond or soy milk, stir gently, and top with a shake of nutmeg!

Here is the recipe for our Kale Minestrone. This has been a favourite in our household since Mrs. Minty’s mother made it for us about four years ago. It is delicious as leftovers, too. It also works well in a crock pot. If cooking in a crock pot, wait to add the pasta until 15 minutes before serving.

Bowl of Minestrone

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 15 oz can of red kidney beans
  • 15 oz can of  small white navy beans
  • 15 oz can of chopped tomatoes (fresh if in season)
  • 1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup small shaped pasta
  1. Heat oil on medium in a large pot. Add onions, celery, garlic, and carrot. Cover and allow to cook, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once onions turn clear, add all other ingredients except pasta and kale.
  3. Bring to a boil then turn heat down to simmer gently.
  4. Add kale and pasta 15 minutes before serving.  Additional water may be required.
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