Monthly Archives: September 2013

Black Bean Smoothie

DSC_0166

 

A breakfast of champions! Fruit salad (papaya, strawberries, grapes, and frozen raspberries with hemp hearts and spurilina sprinkled on top), fresh coffee, and a black bean smoothie. Yes, you read that correctly: a black bean smoothie. If you’re anything like me, you’re face is contorted in a… repulsed manner. Let me just say that it’s protein and carbohydrate rich (excellent for long lasting energy), it’s thick and creamy, and you can’t taste the beans. One of my roommates suggested I try this and I’m SO thankful I did. It was such a wonderful breakfast (I also had a couple of pumpkin biscuits). The cinnamon really makes the smoothie so I don’t suggest skimping on it (unless you’re really sensitive to cinnamon).

BLACK BEAN SMOOTHIE (serves 2):

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked Black beans
  • 3 cup almond milk (or any milk alternative)
  • 2 medium frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar (or maple syrup or honey)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • sprinkle of goji berries and cacao nibs to garnish

Method:

Throw everything into your blender and blend on high for about 2 minutes ( I had to do the whole two minutes because before that there were still some bean skins floating around…)

 

Advertisements

Pumpkin & Raisin Biscuits

DSC_0161

 

Wow, wow, wow, wow!! This recipe from Fat Free Vegan is… top notch!! I did ever so slightly alter it by using spelt flour and putting in 1/3 cup of raisins and adding 1/8 cup of pumpkin seeds and I used almond milk instead of soy milk. There isn’t any sugar added so it really lets the pumpkin flavour stand out while the raisins add that slight, slight, slight touch of sweetness. They were easy to make and in making them I felt so much stress melt away… talk about therapeutic baking… Not to mention the heavenly aroma that filled my apartment. These babies are best served warm. They’re also amazing with a drizzle of honey or a smear of coconut oil or a dollop of almond butter.

PUMKIN & RAISIN BISCUITS (Makes 16 large squares or 32 triangles):

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/8 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup cooked pureed pumpkin (I used canned)

Method:

Perheat the oven to 425F and lightly grease a baking sheet (I used coconut oil)

In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and lemon juice and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and soda, salt, spices, raisins and pumpkin seeds) making sure the raisins have flour throughout. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until crumbly, do not over mix. Add the almond milk-lemon juice mixture until a soft dough forms, adding more almond milk if the dough doesn’t form a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle a little extra flour on top. Pat with your hands, or roll out, the dough until it’s 3/4 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into the number of biscuits desired.

Place biscuits on greased sheet with the sides slightly touching. Bake 9-11 minutes, until the top is golden. Because the dough had a brownish colour from the pumpkin it may be hard to tell when they’re golden on top. However, when the tops are slightly hard they’re done (and ready to be devoured).

 

DSC_0162

Soba Pesto Salad

DSC_0181

Soba noodles are yet another one of my weaknesses. Especially King Soba brand. They have the COOLEST flavours. The pumkin, ginger and rice are my favorite, but a close second are the black rice noodles. They go with anything and everything, not to mention they have a perfect consistency. I used the Millet & Brown rice noodles here simply because I wanted the pesto to be the main focus of this dish.

I made up a pesto with whatever I had left over in the fridge and added lots of garlic. You could use any type of noodle or pasta or grain with this. I imagine quinoa or pasta shells or vermicelli would be awesome! Also, I was thinking that maybe excluding the noodles and adding a few more veggies (like more peas!) would make for a good wrap or pita! Even slicing, rather than chopping, the vegetables could make for a good pesto sandwich! SO MANY POSSIBILITIES. This salad kept will in the fridge for a few days which meant I had a bunch of at-school-meals all prepped.

SOBA PESTO SALAD (serves 4):

  • 250g Soba noodles (I package of King Soba Millet & Brown Rice noodles)
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 brown mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 tablespoons hemp hearts/seeds
  • 1 4 inch x 4 inch cube of Extra Firm Tofu
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste

PESTO:

  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 avocado
  • salt

Method:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package (about 5 minutes). Drain, refresh under cold water and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, mix the spinach, shallot, mushroom, cucumber, peas and hemp hearts with the soba noodles once they’ve cooled.

In a small bowl, crumble the cube of tofu quite finely with your hands and mix with the lemon juice and salt. Set this aside while you make the pesto.

For the pesto, blend all the ingredients in a blender (or magic bullet as I do!!) until thick and creamy.

Finally, mix the lemon-y tofu and pesto into the soba noodles and vegetables.

Coconut Bread

DSC_0187

So I’m quite positive I’ve found the cure to all things. I was inspired by this coconut bread recipe. However, it calls for 1 cup of white sugar and I can never bring myself to physically measure out and pour in SO much refined sugar. I instead used maple syrup and a few Medjool dates to sweeten it and BOY, did it turn out well. For the spicing, I added cinnamon and a bit of cardamom, and I’m glad I did. Neither of the spices are very strong but instead accentuate the coconut flavour. The crispy crust and the texture of the shredded coconut in the chewy center actually made my knees a bit weak. With a hearty helping of tahini, I’m pretty sure I found nirvana.

The cool thing about this recipe is how versatile it is! I’d love to add raspberries, or blueberries, or walnuts, or pumpkin seeds, or dried cranberries, or figs, or cherries, or apple, or pumpkin puree. THE LIST GOES ON! I do recommend that you try it as plain coconut first!

COCONUT BREAD (Makes 1 8.5×4.5 loaf – serves 8-10)

  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxmeal + 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 small banana
  • 3 medium, soft Medjool dates
  • 1 cup milk alternative (I used almond milk)
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup (or agave)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half and scraped
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8.5×4.5 loaf pan (I used coconut oil).

In a small bowl combine the flaxmeal and water to create the flax egg and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

If your coconut oil is solid, warm it in a small saucepan on low heat until it’s liquefied. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mash the banana with the three dates and add the flax egg, coconut oil, milk alternative, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir until combined.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla bean scrapings and shredded coconut.  Add the dry to the wet and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepped loaf pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center (approximately 1 hour and 15 mins).

Once baked, remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it and letting it finish cooling on a rack.

DSC_0185

 

Carrot, Dill, White Bean Salad

DSC_0148

This is most likely my favorite dish on the planet… okay ONE of my (many) favorite dishes. The sweet carrots and the creamy beans and the powerful dill finished with the tart lemon juice and shallots are… perfection. I’ve made this salad many many times and I’ve finally figured out a good balance between the oil and lemon juice which makes it an ideal lunch that isn’t too heavy but still packs a punch of energy (to keep me going on my 14 hour school days!!). One note: there are frozen peas in this salad. BIG SURPRISE. Feel free to omit the zucchini and peas, I simply wanted to bulk up the salad a bit. If you want to bulk it up even MORE add 1 cup of chopped kale or spinach at the end. Let me know if you love this as much as I do!

CARROT, DILL, WHITE BEAN SALAD serves 4 as a side:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (I adore the pink Himalayan type)
  • 1/3 cup (or one medium) shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced/chopped into rounds
  • 1 can organic navy beans (or bean of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup frozen (or blanched) peas
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • optional 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Methond:

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and sliced shallots in a small bowl and set aside. While the shallots are marinating, heat the grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in the carrots and stir to ensure they’re covered in the oil. Let the carrots cook in a single layer; keep tossing every 3 minutes until deeply browned (about 12 minutes). Rinse the canned beans and add to the skillet, cook for another 5 minutes.

Place the contents of the skillet in a medium mixing bowl with the zucchini and peas. Drizzle on the maple syrup to the bean mix and add the shallots with the olive oil-lemon mixture. Toss gently. Add the dill and toss again. Let sit for at least ten minutes before serving, tossing once more before serving. Garnish with optional almonds!

BLT? Try AKT!

DSC_0121

Are you wondering what AKT stands for? Let me shed some light! Avocado, Kale, Tempeh. Maple Tempeh to be precise. To top off this amazing little combination I wrapped it up with some fried shallots and frozen peas in a rice wrapper. (I admit I’m addicted to frozen peas. And shallots… and raisins but that’s beside the point.) If you don’t have any rice paper wraps, you can easily put these tasty stuffings into a pit or a classic sandwich with two pieces of bread!

AVOCADO KALE TEMPEH WRAPS makes two wraps:

  • 1 teaspoon coconut or grapeseed oil
  • 4 strips maple marinated tempeh
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 large spring roll rice paper wraps (available at any Asian grocery or even Superstore in their ethnic food isle)
  • 1/2 cup baby kale
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper

Method:

In a small skillet or cast iron pan, heat the coconut oil on medium heat. Place the strips of tempeh into the pan and cook for approximately two minutes or until browned (I liked mine crispy so I cooked them for a bit longer), flip and cook for another two minutes. Once the tempeh is cooked to your liking, remove the strips from the pan and add the shallots into the still hot pan and fry until fragrant and translucent (about three minutes).

To assemble the wraps, submerge a rice wrap into a bowl of hot water for about 10 seconds (you will feel the wrap change from crispy to noodle-like) and place on a clean tea towel. In the center of the wrap place half the kale, two strips of cooked tempeh, half the fried shallots, two avocado slices, half the peas and a pinch (or grind) of salt and pepper. Begin wrapping with the edge closest to you, flipping it away from you and onto the stuffings. Fold over the left then right sides and finally continue rolling the wrap away from you until the final edge adheres*. Repeat for the second wrap and enjoy!

DSC_0116

*Note: The nice thing about using these wraps is that they attach to themselves. That being said, the worst part of using these wraps is that they attach to themselves… successfully using these wraps takes a bit of practice and some quick finger maneuvers. Nonetheless, they tasted wonderfully and were well worth the effort.