Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Reality of Thanksgiving Pt. 2, Smashed Rutabaga with Ginger Roasted Pears

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Bon Appetit, you’ve done it again. (From the 2007 Thanksgiving issue)

The second day of Thanksgiving was spent with my ultra grand friend, Jamie. She made a delicious Balsamic Marinated Tofu Salad and I brought this beauty. I’ve never had rutabaga, but the ginger pears are what intrigued me. This is a super luxurious alternative to mashed potatoes; perfect as a side dish!

Note*: The recipe called for Anjou pears, but I made due with one red and one Bartlett. It still rocked.

The rutabaga and perfect pears.

The rutabaga and perfect pears.

SMASHED RUTABAGA WITH GINGER ROASTED PEARS (Serves 4 as a side)

  • 3 cups rutabaga, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 firm Anjour pears, cored and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (Slice some extra pear and roast it with the cubes to use as a garnish)
  • 1/4 cup coconut beverage (or other milk alternative)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme)
  • Salt

Method:

Cook rutabagas in a pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, reheat oven to 400F and prepare a rimmed baking sheet with the coconut oil. In a medium bowl, combine the grapeseed oil, lemon juice and maple syrup. Add pears; toss to coat. Spread pears on the prepped cooking sheet. Roast until tender, turning pears every 10 minutes, about 35 minutes total.

Drain the rutabagas and return to the same pot. Mash coarsely while stirring over medium heat to let the excess moisture evaporate (about 5 minutes). Add the coconut beverage and thyme. Mix in the pears and all the juices from the baking sheet. Season with salt and a wee bit of pepper.

The complete meal with Jamie.

The complete meal with Jamie.

The Reality of Thanksgiving Pt 1, Warm Quinoa & Kale Salad

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Thanksgiving… for one. IT’S NOT AS LONELY AS YOU THINK!

Good food makes it that much better. This salad is super wholesome, satisfying and delicious. If you feel so inclined, you could add other fresh vegetables such as cucumber, zucchini, radishes, shredded carrot, sprouts, mushrooms… the list goes on. However, as a simple salad with just kale and quinoa, this is sure to please any guest (or lack of guest…)!

WARM KALE AND QUINOA SALAD:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups kale, roughly chopped/ripped
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice (or lime juice)
  • 2 tablespoons raisins (or dried cranberries/cherries)
  • 2 tablespoons raw almonds, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring water to a rolling boil and add quinoa; cook covered for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.

Remove cooked quinoa from heat and quickly place chopped kale in the pot with the quinoa and put the lid back on for 3 minutes (This lightly steams/wilts the kale).

Transfer the quinoa and kale into a large bowl and drizzle the olive oil and lemon (or lime) juice. Mix in the raisins and chopped almonds. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Fruit Explosion Muffins

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Guys…. I did something… I MADE CRAZY-AWESOME MUFFINS. I used frozen berries and one banana. They’re oil free, only have a little bit of brown sugar* (which you could easily switch with maple syrup or agave) and are heavenly with tahini and peanut butter slathered on them (but what isn’t heavenly when drenched in tahini?). Because I let the berries thaw a little, they turned the muffins blue! That surprise actually made me quite happy.

As I mentioned, I used frozen berries. Feel free to substitute in fresh berries or ANY fruit for that matter! 2 cups fresh peaches, or strawberries, or apple, or cherries, or cranberries, or pear+ginger, or any combination of fruit, would be great in this. It’s an extraordinarily versatile recipe (so let me know what you try)!!

Note*: If you’re looking for a super sweet muffin recipe, this isn’t for you! The minimal sugar allows the fruit and cinnamon flavours to stand out.

FRUIT EXPLOSION MUFFINS (makes 12 small-medium muffins) (Inspired by these and these)

  • 2 cups frozen berries (I did one cup frozen raspberries, one cup frozen blueberries)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 medium banana, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk

Method:

Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with coconut oil/cooking spray or muffin wrappers.

In a medium bowl, combine the 2 cup berries with the 1 tablespoon maple syrup and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flaxseeds with warm water, the mashed banana, vanilla extract and lemon juice; set aside to let the flax thicken.

In another medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar.

Add the almond milk and the berry (or fruit) mixture to the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold until just combined.

Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

 

I told you: easy and versatile!

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Cashew Ginger Carrot Soup

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HAPPY FRIDAY! What is better to soothe the soul and welcome in the chilly weather than a thick hearty soup? I saw this soup in Provigo in a premade tetra-pak (like you see veggie broth) that you just heat and serve, so I decided to try my luck with a nutty soup! I absolutely adore how the cashews make it super creamy and thick. The one thing I would do next time is increase the amount of ginger. That being said, I am a ginger fiend. I know many people might reduce the amount of ginger, but I really loved the punch it packed.

After having a fresh and warm bowl straight off the stove with a piece of toast, I put the remaining soup in the fridge. The next day I had it cold (with more tahini and lemon juice) and I dipped broccoli, zucchini, green beans and crackers into it. IT WAS AWESOME. It had thickened up in the fridge and made for a wonderful dip.

I want to make more soups to keep me warm that use nuts as a thickener, any suggestions? Pumpkin & ginger? Pumpkin & apple? Butternut squash & pear? Spinach & curry? I’LL JUST MAKE ALL THE SOUPS.

CASHEW GINGER CARROT SOUP (serves 4):

  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for atleast 2 hours
  • 2 tablespoons grapseed oil
  • 2lbs carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon corriander
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock/broth
  • Optional: red wine vinegar to taste

To garnish:

  • small handful flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 teaspoons tahini
  • fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of sunflower seeds
  • fresh ground pepper

Method:

A few hours before cooking, soak 1/2 cup raw cashews in a bowl with enough water to cover them completely.

In a large pot, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, garlic fresh ginger, thyme, cumin, corriander, pinch of cayenne, and about 1 teaspoon salt to the pot; stirring occasionally, let the carrots brown with the lid on (about 10 minutes). They will become quite fragrant and begin to soften. Add the soaked cashews and let cook for another 2 or 3 minutes with the lid on.

Add the vegetable broth to the carrots, bring to a boil then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the carrots and celery are very tender (a fork should easily cut through).

Using an immersion blender, or by transferring into a blender in batched, puree the soup until thick and creamy! Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt or even red wine vinegar (I used 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar)

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each bowl with a sprinkling of parsley, a teaspoon of tahini, a big squeeze of lemon juice, a large pinch of sunflower seeds, and a healthy grind of pepper.

Devour!

How I Love Thee: Favorite Formulas

So this week, I’m pretty darned busy (that’s a lie, I’m ALWAYS RIDICULOUSLY BUSY). I just don’t have enough time to post this week so I’ve decided to share with you some of my favorite recipes I’ve tried!

1. Breakfast: Orange Pistachio Cinnamon Rolls: These cinnamon rolls are phenomenal. I made them in the summer with my dad and they turned out surprisingly well. We added extra orange juice and zest to the dough and we added LOTS of raisins to the filling (because everything I eat obviously must be packed with raisins…). They were perfect in the morning with a giant coffee (or green tea). And they were also perfect for lunch with a big salad. And again, they were perfect for dinner with a stir-fry and some quinoa…

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(My photo)

2. Lunch: Corn, Avocado, Blueberry, Kale Salad: Seriously simple, tasty and filling. For the dressing, I excluded mint (just because I didn’t have any), the 1/2 avocado, and the shallot (because I didn’t want to use the blender). I ended up chopping the shallot directly into the salad instead and I’m REALLY glad I did. I love shallots.

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(Photo Credit)

3. Dinner: Soba Noodles with Tahini Sauce: The recipe recommends you eat it chilled, but I’m a fan of it warm and fresh from the pot. I of course added frozen peas, but otherwise I made no changes! It was perfect to have after a long day at school, quick to make and oddly satisfying.

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(Photo Credit)

Well. There you go! Three for now, and another three will indubitably follow (Should this be a thing I do often?). I Hope you all have a wonderful week full of love and magic and MOST IMPORTANTLY good food.

Roasted Maple Broccoli (with fruit & nuts)

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Awe yeah! I Made a supreme lunch with broccoli, almonds, pistachios, dried cherries, dried cranberries, jumbo golden raisins, low-sodium tamari, maple syrup, grapeseed oil, nutritional yeast, and rice. HOW TASTY CAN IT GET? Inspired by this recipe, I made a few changes.The major changes I made are:

  • Instead of broccoli and brussle sprouts, I only roasted broccoli and added kale in after the roasting
  • Instead of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos I used low-sodium tamari
  • I added some chopped pistachios
  • I not only used dried cherries and the original calls for, but I added dried cranberries and jumbo golden raisins
  • I used a MUCH smaller amount of nutritional yeast.
  • I mixed it with rice to make it more of a hearty meal component

Even though the tamari lends a slightly Asian flare to the dish, it’s off set by the maple and dried fruit, not to mention the roasting really brings out the sweetness of the broccoli. I imagine the original recipe with brussel sprouts would be awesome, especially roasting the brussle sprouts and broccoli with some orange juice and zest and only using dried cranberries (that sounds like a Christmas/holiday dish… best keep it in mind). To make this even more of a meal, I’d add some fried tofu or lentils instead of rice.

ROASTED MAPLE BROCCOLI (serves 2-4):

  • 1 large head Broccoli chopped into tiny florets
  • 3 tablespoon low-sodium tamari
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teasoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (divided)
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (I used a combination of dried cherries, dried cranberries and jumbo golden raisins)
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds (I also added pistachios but pecans or walnuts would also be amazing)

OPTIONAL RICE:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice

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Method:

Preheat the oven to 400F and lightly grease a baking pan or casserole dish with a bit of grapeseed oil.

*OPTIONAL* In a medium pot, bring the 2 cups of water to a boil, add the rice, reduce heat to medium and let cook for 20-25 minutes.

In a large bowl, drizzle the tamari, maple syrup, grapeseed oil and salt over the broccoli and mix to coat all the broccoli florets with the sauce.

Place the coated broccoli in the casserole dish with the unabsorbed liquids and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

Bake for 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast and mix with the dried fruit and nuts. Serve warm!

*OPTIONAL* Mix in the cooked rice for a pilaf-like dish!

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