A night of unpacking, now just baked myself some more of that delicious gluten free walnut zucchini bread, and made a batch of Peanut Butter Oat Bars. nom nom
These are recipes from my dinners the last two nights. :) I’ll start with the Green Goddess Bowl, courtesy of (and slightly changed from) Choosing Raw.
You will need two dressings for this recipe. 1. Smoked Avocado Cumin Dressing and 2. Balsamic Tahini Dressing. Both really yummy.
Smoked Avocado Cumin Dressing:
In a small blender or food processor, blend together
- 1 small avocado
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- Juice from 1 lime
- Few drops of liquid smoke (to your taste)
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Dash cayenne pepper (or paprika - whatever’s handy)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Donezo. Also, FYI.. if you don’t know where to find the liquid smoke, I found it in with the BBQ sauces.
Now, Balsamic Tahini Dressing
Same thing, blend these together in a food processor or small blender
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 water
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp tamari (or nama shoyu)
Now that you have your dressings, the ingredients for your dish are (to serve 1):
- 3 cups kale, chopped
- 1/2 cup broccoli florets, chopped
- 1/2 zucchini, spiralized (or peeled very thin)
- 1/2 cup vermicelli noodles
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
The original recipe called for kelp noodles, but I couldn’t find any! If anyone knows where to get them locally, please let me know.
1. Cook vermicelli noodles as per package direction
2. Lightly steam kale and broccoli
3. Mix zucchini in with your noodles, then add a generous amount of your avocado dressing and mix well, then add your cherry tomatoes and mix well again
4. Plate the kale and broccoli and drizzle your balsamic tahini dressing over top of it, then top with your noodles. Sprinkle hemp seeds on top, and you’re ready to go!
Now onto… The Vegan “Cobb Salad”!
Inspired by Kathy from lunchboxbunch, I also wanted to make my own version of Cobb Salad.
You will need (for one):
- Fresh Baby Spinach - fill up your bowl almost to the top
- Tempeh (I used maple flavoured)
- Mandarin Oranges (I bought canned, then just drained the liquid)
- 1 avocado - sliced
- Red kidney beans
- Black olives - sliced
- Red Onion - chopped
There are obviously other things you can add to this as well:
Cherry tomatoes, hearts of palm, etc.. But this is what I had and was in the mood for.
First off, fry your tempeh over medium heat with a little bit of oil (and some water if it starts to get dry), until it is crispy and brown. And then literally all you need to do for this is to use enough of your toppers to make a rows over your spinach. The amount for each is up to you.
Now..my picture doesn’t looked overly appetizing, but I mixed in some italian dressing and it was delicious. You wouldn’t think that all of these ingredients would taste so good together, but they do.
Ok.. after posting mine, it really doesn’t look great, haha. But I promise you that in real life it looks really quite lovely. To back myself up here and get some cred, I will link you to Kathy’s website, where her photos perfectly capture the real beauty (haha!)
Well, I had a productive day in the cooking department! I go back to work tomorrow after a 2-week break, so I wanted something fun for dinner. Sooo.. taco salad!
You will need:
- Romaine lettuce (1 head)
- 1 can black beans
- Taco seasoning (home made - see below)
- 1 large tomato - diced
- 1/2 white onion - chopped
- 1 avocado - cut into small pieces
- 1 lime
- Tortilla chips (I use Neal Brothers - organic blue tortilla chips + flax seeds)
1. Drain half of the liquid from the can of black beans, then add them into a small pot with 1/3 cup of water and your taco seasoning
**Your taco seasoning consists of these simple spices (thanks for the tip, Mom!)
1 tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tbsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder
2. Let the beans warm on medium for about 3-5 minutes, then take them off the burner and let them cool a bit while you prepare your veg.
3. Tear your romaine into smaller pieces, add your tomato and onion and toss together
4. Add your avocado and then squeeze lime juice over top of them so it doesn’t brown - then toss with the rest of the salad, then add the black beans and do the same - you can add a little more of the juice on top for flavour
5. Top the salad with tortilla chips
That’s it! Sorry, no picture. Aaaand, before I knew it, the entire bowl was gone! It makes me very happy when my boyfriend mows down on my vegan dishes. He ate three bowls of it! It tastes like you’re eating tacos, just no ground beef (or veggie ground round), and no excessive amounts of sodium in your taco seasoning.. ah, its beautiful knowing exactly what is going into your body.
This might be the yummiest bread of all-time. So prepare yourself. It’s also pretty easy.
You will need:
- 1 rounded cup of fresh, grated zucchini (+ a little extra to place on top of the loaf)
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup organic (not refined!) brown sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Egg replacer that is equivalent to 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup rice milk
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- Loaf pan - lightly oil with some coconut oil
Don’t be afraid of ingredients that aren’t familiar to you. They aren’t actually too hard to find. Although.. the sorghum flour seemed to be hiding on me for a while. You will also need a electric mixer to make it all happen. Excellent.. let’s proceed, shall we?
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. After you grate your zucchini (I peeled most of the skin off), press it with paper towel, so all of the water comes off of it, then fluff it back up with a fork. .. You’ll see. Then leave to the side.
2. In your mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix together
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry (don’t add zucchini or walnuts yet!)
4. Mix together until the batter is smooth. I did this on a medium speed and it only took a few minutes.
5. Once the batter is all nice and smooth, mix the zucchini and walnuts by hand and then scrape into your greased pan, and then smooth out with a spatula
6. Place your extra shreds of zucchini on top of the loaf, then place on the centre rack in the oven and cook for 50-60 minutes
7. Mine took just over 50 minutes - it gets nice and golden and ‘springy’, and you can test that it’s done by placing either a toothpick or a thin knife into it, and as long as it comes out clean, you’re good to go
8. Set on a cooling rack. Then try it warm with a little vegan margarine.. ohhh mama!
Voila! And I’m sorry for the quality of the picture. Still can’t find my camera cord in this moving mess.. hmmmm.
Also, I can’t take credit for this recipe. I got it from sweet website: Gluten Free Goddess
Enjoy my friends! xo
Couldn’t even post for day 2. I was going through such serious sugar with-drawls. I actually felt crazy. All I wanted was ONE vegan sugar cookie! C’mon..ONE! But I didn’t give in. YES!
This morning I started off my day with some fresh fruit, and just made some home-made granola bars. They’re sitting in the fridge - will take photos when they come out. No sugar - full of lots of good stuff like chia seeds, mixed fruits/nuts (containing goji berries), real maple syrup and peanut butter. nom nom nom. :)
Day 1 came and went. I started it off with a bowl of home-made oatmeal. Whole grain oats made in water, add cinnamon, fresh blueberries and strawberries and walnuts on top. Yum.
Lunch was salad with a vegan-caesar dressing (recipe to come), broccolini (broccoli and rapini make an awesome veg when put together!), and one spoonful of mashed potatoes (no butter or anything in it).
Dinner was my powerbowl, lots of raw seeds, raw red onion, and an entire avocado on top.
Snack was a handful or two of mixed nuts. Not salted.
I went to bed hungry.
It’s ok.. today I will go buy a bunch of lettuce and make some mean salads. Vegetables fill you up more than other foods, so I can eat eat eat until I feel full!
Since i just moved, I can’t find my camera cord. So this is from my cell phone. Not great quality, but you get the picture. ;)
So it’s about that time of year where everyone starts to think about the things they want to improve for the new year. The biggest thing that has recently hit me - is the misconception that all vegans must be healthy. I’ve been a vegan for over two years now, but it’s recently occurred to me that omitting meat, dairy and eggs from my diet is not enough.
Those of you who know me personally are well aware that I am addicted to sugar. I eat too much bread, and I don’t give enough time or preparation to my meals. I would almost consider myself a “fast food vegan” - taking shortcuts (hence my recipes) to make not-so-healthy, but quick and tasty meals.
I come home from work and I am tired, energy-less, and all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch terrible (but awesome) reality tv. I blame it on the early wake-ups, or how draining being a music teacher to young children can be.. but those aren’t the reasons.
I don’t like making New Years Resolutions (because I never follow through..oops) but this year I invite you to join with me to make a change in health, and to rediscover the benefits of food. REAL food. The things the earth gives us. Not something that someone has ‘created’ in a factory. The power of food is undeniable!
I’m really excited (can you tell!!!?) to post about my new (and proper) adventures with food. I can’t wait to share with you what I discover!
Can I tell you something honestly? I’ve been slacking big time. I’m still learning how to balance working a full time job with cooking good dinners and meals and baking yummy things too. I’m young ok? Still at novice level.
That being said…the guilt of ignoring this sweet little blog inspired me to bake tonight. I had some leftover pumpkin filler since I completely failed at making pie crusts at Thanksgiving and had a meltdown in my kitchen (trust me - you don’t want to know the gruesome details).. so I decided to make something to use it up!
Here is the recipe for pumpkin scones.
You will need:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine
- 2 cups pureed pumpkin
1. Preheat oven to 425 F
2. Mix together the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking powder & soda, ginger powder)
3. Cut the vegan margarine in bit by bit so it mixes in well
4. Add the pureed pumpkin
5. Mix together very well.. I ended up using my hands. A bit messy, but more effective
6. Lightly flour a surface and knead the dough on it a few times
7. Cut the dough into triangular pieces
8. Put on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes
9. Mow down :)
Enjoy! I like mine with a little more margarine on top, still warm. Tea anyone?
Hang tight, friends! Working on some yummy fall recipes… with pumpkin!
People often ask me why I’m a vegan. This is a question that goes so in-depth that I often just give short answers - A mixture of health, love for animals, and love for the environment. I don’t usually have time to go into the reasons behind all of that, and I don’t like to sound like a preachy-vegan. People are able to make decisions for themselves, and as long as they respect mine, I respect theirs. But if people really do want to know the longer reasons behind why, I don’t mind explaining. This is what I’m going to do on here now.
Whether you’re a vegan, thinking of going vegan, vegetarian, or meat-eater.. all this information is really important and everyone should know. So many people are in-the-dark with all of this, and are often shocked when they find out real numbers and facts.
Anyway..only precede with this entry if you want to read on and on and on .. I tend to ramble.
Is anyone else a Starbucks fiend like me? Ugh.. I’m so addicted and feel like I need one every day. Unfortunately that takes a huge toll on my wallet. And since I just took a new job which will be way sweeter hours/work, but a bit of a pay cut, I have to cut back where I can. Which is why I will be making more of my own lattes from home!
It’s really easy and it tastes almost the exact same. Maybe I’ll buy a Starbucks mug so I feel like it’s legit, haha.
- Espresso maker (I use a stove top one)
- Vanilla Syrup (I buy right from Starbucks - really inexpensive)
- A milk frother (Ikea - $2!)
- Soy milk
1. Follow directions to make your espresso. Enough to make about one shot per person, or if you’re really tired, up it a little.
2. While espresso is being made I prepare by putting 3 pumps of syrup into my mug and measuring 1 cup of soy milk into a microwavable measuring cup
3. When espresso is almost done, heat soy milk for 2 minutes
4. Pour espresso on top of syrup in mug
5. Froth soy milk in the measuring cup, and then pour into mug, holding the froth back with a spoon, and then spoon froth on top
That’s it! Easy latte’s at home.
So this is the salad recipe that I posted a few weeks ago, but then realized that I had forgotten one of the main ingredients. Durrrr. So here it is again! And correct!
You will need:
- Baby spinach (the amount is your call - I fill a bowl)
- Balsamic dressing (about 1/3 cup)
- Red wine (a splash)
- Dried cranberries
Literally all you need to do for this is mix together the balsamic and splash of red wine in a small bowl and pour it over your spinach. Top with pecans and cranberries, and that’s it.
Spinach is probably my favourite green, and it’s so good for you. So this is great when you are craving some greens but are short on time. Enjoy!
While we’re at it here, I think I’m going to also post a recipe of the rest of my lunch for today - vegan grilled cheese!
When I was a kid, I always thought it was “Grill Cheese”… did anyone else? No? .. Hmm..it just doesn’t make sense when you think about it, now does it.
Anyway.. I made a double grillED cheese today because I was extra hungry!
It was one of those days where I got home and didn’t really feel like cooking, but was SO hungry and I wouldn’t let myself get take-out, AND I haven’t been grocery shopping in a while so it was slim pickin’s. Oh..and not to mention its all overcast and blegh outside.. so that made me reeeally not want to go to the store. Do you think I could come up with any more excuses? ;) So I went through the fridge/cupboard to find something to make with what I had - and went with grilled cheese!
You will need:
- Daiya Cheese (cheddar flavour)
- Bread (3 pieces)
- Vegan margarine
Are you lost already? This is super complicated.
1. Although I find that daiya melts really well, whenever I make grilled cheese on the frying pan, it never seems to really melt as much as I want it to. So.. first step is to toast all three pieces of toast (lightly) while the frying pan is heating up on medium
2. On two pieces of toast, layer the daiya (do not stack the toast - lay flat beside eachother) and then heat in the microwave on high for 30 seconds
3. Then..place your un-daiya’d piece of toast between the other two and butter one side, then place onto the frying pan
4. Butter the other side and watch for the bottom to brown, then switch and do the same. It doesn’t take very long since the bread was already pre-toasted
5. Mow down.
Have a lovely day!
This recipe for peanut butter cookies is so sweet because you don’t have to put the dough into the fridge for 2 hours and wait for it to cool. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a very impatient baker.
You will need:
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Egg replacer equivalent to 1 egg (I use Pane Riso)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together vegan margarine with sugars. Once mixed well, add in egg and vanilla
3. Add peanut butter, mix together well
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt, and then add to peanut butter mixture and mix well. I used my hands for this part…
5. Take about a tablespoon worth of dough and roll into a ball, and then squish down with a fork onto a non-greased cookie sheet. Dip fork into water every few cookies
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until edges begin to brown
This makes about 24 cookies. Enjoy your sugar high!
And just for fun…and because I can.. I’m also posting a photo of my puppy. Because he’s super cute.
Sorry for the lack of updates lately! I think I’ll throw on a few today to make up for it.
This pasta dish was one my Mom invented, but she used to make it with shrimp for the fam, so I simply took the seafood out of the dish and it’s amazing as-is. Seriously.. I used to cook this dish every day for two weeks straight. It actually made my Dad angry, haha! I couldn’t help it though people…so tasty, and so good for you.
You will need (for one serving):
- 1 cup pasta (I used rice pasta to make it gluten free, but I usually use whole wheat penne - definitely my favourite)
- 1/4 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 4 cups spinach (I used baby spinach)
- Hot pepper flakes (to taste)
1. Cook your pasta as per package directions
2. In last 5 minutes of pasta cooking, add EVOO, garlic, spinach and hot pepper flakes to a pan heated to medium.
3. Move around the spinach so it can be cooked evenly, be careful not to overcook
4. Drain pasta and add to pan
5. Mix together
6. Eat! nom.
Also.. I thought I would post some health benefits of both spinach and garlic.
Gosh..look how happy that garlic clove is! That could be YOU!
Enjoy this beautiful weather we’re having. Next up.. I’m feeling something sweet and baked!