Category Archives: Vegan

Creamy Curry Soup

DSC_0702

So. While I like to think I’m an efficient human being who gets her stuff done (and done well), I admit that lately I’ve been slacking. Okay… not slacking but just… not doing anything. Showtime is upon me, which means the end of school (THANK ALL THE DEITIES!), and time feels non-existent. Everyday seems to slip by and I feel like I’ve achieved NOTHING. That being said, at least I JUST completed the second year of my program and SUMMER IS UPON US. So here is a warming soup…

This soup, creamy due to the roasted eggplant, is best served slightly warm, in my opinion. It’s earthy and spicy and crazy refreshing. Not to mention there are SO few ingredients it’s a snap to whip up. I had leftovers over a bowl of amaranth one day, and the next I dipped crackers into it – both were awesome.

CREAMY CURRY SOUP (serves 4)

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder of choice
  • 2 cups water (or milk alternative)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Fresh cilantro, to garnish
  • 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped, to garnish

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat the eggplant rounds in the grapeseed oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 8 minutes, until they are golden and quite mushy. Remove from the oven and let cool for five minutes. Remove the skin with a knife (it should peel off easily if it roasted long enough)

In a blender, blend the roasted eggplant, shallot, curry, water (or milk alternative) and salt and pepper. Divide the blended soup into four bowl, do a final test for salt and pepper levels, garnish with cilantro and mushrooms, and serve!

Advertisements

Beet Salad with Simple Miso Dressing

DSC_0668 Please don’t hate me because my last three posts have been salads. I’ve to realize that when I come home after class, extravagance is not a thing. Efficiency and simplicity is what I’m all about these days. Another things I’ve noticed about myself is that my diet is hugely raw. Yes, I eat cooked grains and sometimes make roasted yam fries, but otherwise, my cooking is kept to a minimal (mostly because of the time). This salad is a prime example: shredded raw beets! Of course, you could shred them and roast them for a while (with a bit of oil and salt and pepper)to tenderize them, but here, I love the earthy AND crispy texture they give. Add a simple miso dressing and BAM, I got a salad for the ages. With this I had a fieldroast sausage, and a plain piece of toast (I’m not lying when I say I’m really into simplicity these days – I crave plain slices of toast). I simply ADORE Silver Hill’s Squirrely bread. Silver Hills Bakery makes awesome bread; they are vegan and packed full of goodness (and freakishly delicious).

I really love the white miso paste (which is the mildest) mixed with the balsamic vinegar; it’s a great combo of earthy and acidity. If you don’t know what miso is… I really couldn’t give you a good education on it… Basically there are A TON of different types of miso. It’s fermented. Yeah… Here’s a link to some info on miso!

By now, I’m positive you know the basics of how I make my salads, but here is the recipe regardless.

BEET SALAD WITH SIMPLE MISO DRESSING (serves two big bellies)

  • 2 cups raw beets, shredded (I used three medium sized beets)
  • 2 cups greens, chopped (I used kale)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • nuts or seed of choice for garnish (sesame seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc)

Method:

Shred the beets on a mandoline or box grater and place into a large bowl. Add the greens, parsley, mushrooms, and onion to the bowl and mix.

In a small bowl combine the miso paste, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper and whisk to combine. If it’s really thick, add more olive oil or a bit of water. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix to coat.

Divide into two bowls and enjoy!

Raw Caramel

DSC_0708 I feel like raw caramel is a bit of a trendy thing to do these days (I’ve seen about ten million recipes for it… I feel like even Lauren Conrad has one…). BUT I DON’T CARE BECAUSE IT TASTES LIKE SUMMER AND ALL THINGS GOOD. I love caramel. Specifically I love caramel apples. When my sister lived in Vancouver I would always demand to buy a caramel apple from Granville Island… I even forced her to fly one home on a few occasions… All that to say caramel has a special place in my heart.

The best part about this caramel is that there’s no boiling of cups and cups of white sugar! Or maybe the best part is that it tastes awesome… regardless, it’s super easy and made for a wonderful afternoon snack with some cut up apple. The main reason this is considered “raw” is because I used raw almond butter. Of course you can use any nut butter you want, and it can be roasted or salted if that’s what you have (I imagine this to be good with cashew butter).

As you can see in the picture, I had this caramel with apple slices (an organic Pink Lady apple, if you were curious). I imagine it’d be awesome with any other fruit, with chocolate, on toast with jam, in oatmeal or chia pudding in the morning. As I mentioned, it’s refined sugar free… therefore it’s the best kind of snack for any moment in the day.

RAW CARAMEL: (Makes 1/2 cup)

  • 1/3 cups dates, pitted and soaked for 4 hours in water (reserve the soaking water*)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons raw nut butter of choice** (I used almond)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Method:

In food processor, or a high speed blender (I used my handy little magic bullet), blend the soaked and pitted dates, nut butter, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the dates’ soaking water. If it’s too thick, add more of the soaking water.

Notes:*Instead of using the soaking water from the dates, you could alternatively use almond milk. **I’ve seen many recipes that use nut butter AND coconut oil. I imagine that’d be awesome and make it SUPER creamy… as always: feel free to play around!

 

Much love and peace in these stressful days of end-of-semester-madness.

Simple Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Balls

DSC_0684WHERE DOES TIME GO? I don’t know. But I think it’s better that I don’t…

School really pushed its limits (and my limits) this past month. I’m now on spring break so I’m beyond thankful for that. So to kick it off I made some cute little cookie things. They are the perfect size to just… shove in my mouth while I’m adventuring. They are adapted from Minimalist Baker’s 5 ingredient cookies, but I wasn’t in the mood for chocolate (I know… that’s not something you hear often out of my mouth), so I opted for raisins. Big surprise. One could easily add in any kind of mix in: berries, nuts, seeds, chocolate chunks, other dried fruit… anything really.

They are chewy and naturally sweet! The cool thing is that they;re actually really healthy (no refined sugars and only oats and almond meal!) so they could serve as a pre-workout power boost or as breakfast.

Oh, just a side note: I don’t have a food processor, just a handy lil’ magic bullet. This being said, I didn’t process the oats as the Minimalist Baker recipe recommends, therefore the oats were whole in my cookie. I really liked having the whole oats, but it’s a matter of preference (and what tools you have available!). ALSO, if you don’t want then to be balls, just squish them on the cookie sheet before baking to make them more like cookies.

SIMPLE OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIE BALLS: (yields 20)

  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted and soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter of choice
  • 3/4 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup raisins (or mix-in of choice)

Method:

Process the dates, banana, and nut butter until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, almond meal, and salt. Add the date puree to the oats and almond meal and mix until combined. If the mixture is too sticky, add more almond meal or oats one tablespoon at a time.

Add your mix-in of choice and stir until it’s well distributed in the mixture. Cover the bowl and let chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F and grease two cookie sheets (I used coconut oil, but one could also use Earth Balance or grapeseed oil).

Once chilled, spoon out 1 tablespoon balls on to the cookie sheets with about 1 inch in between each ball. Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden and slightly firm (Because there’s no eggs in these babies, they can be as under cooked as you want).

Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to an airtight container for storage… if any are left over after the feast.

EASY-PEASY! Much love as the days quickly transition from winter to spring (even though we got 30cm of snow overnight which covered the freshly uncovered brown grass…).

Coconut Surprise Muffins

 

 

DSC_0598

I did a thing.

School is exhausting. I dance all day and I come home and I’m dead. My brain won’t function well enough to create so I usually make a super simple meal and sit and watch an episode of House of Cards, read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, write, or do some housework. Essentially, I’m saying that I unfortunately haven’t had the mental capacity to invent any new and crazy food things. HOWEVER, I’m simple reinventing the golden nuggets I already have (such as the artichoke salad that’s based on the lentil salad!). Also I’ll admit this was created from some stress baking… Moving on… remember the coconut loaf I made a lifetime ago? The one that is heavenly? Well. I turned them into muffins. And I added a surprise in the middle…

 

DSC_0584

 

 

For Valentines Day, my parents sent me this AWESOME salted almond dark chocolate bar. It’s so decadent and dynamic (not to mention fairtrade and organic!!). Sometimes things are so good you don’t want to taint them; this was not one of those things. I wanted to give this phenomenal chocolate bar a new lease on life – let it stretch it’s legs and do some good in the world. So I plopped a nice fatty chunk in the middle of coconut muffins. BAM.

DSC_0602

I was inspired by this recipe for coconut muffins, but I (of course) mostly based it off my coconut loaf. I didn’t add dates or maple syrup so the coconut dough part isn’t very sweet, but that’s what makes the chocolate stand out… ya’ know? Whoa, epiphany: coconut coffee muffins – using strong coffee or espresso instead of milk alternative. As for an alternative to the surprise in the middle… good dark chocolate just seems to be the best option! Maybe a couple of berries or nuts or dried fruit? of course you could always add chocolate chips. It’s just that chocolate fulfills all desires. 🙂

SURPRISE: check the very bottom for another surprise.

COCONUT SURPRISE MUFFINS: Makes 12 medium sized muffins (15 small)

  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax + 6 tablespoons water)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 small ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk, from a can
  • 1/3 cup milk alternative (I used unsweetened almond-coconut)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup spelt flour (or all purpose)
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • scant 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 good quality chocolate bar (I seriously mean GOOD quality)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F and prep a muffin tin with coconut oil, or muffin liners (my muffin tin is oddly small so I also greased some small ramekins).

In a small bowl, mix ground flax and water to make the flax eggs, let sit for 10 mins.

In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients, including the thickened flax egg.

In another large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, including the coconut. Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. The batter will be quite thick.

Fill each hole in the muffin tin half way with batter. You’ll most likely have to use your fingers to squish it into the corners a bit. Place a chunk of chocolate in the middle of each muffin and cover with remaining batter. Squish the batter around the edges to make sure the chocolate is well contained (you don’t want it to pop out and burn!)

Cook for 20-25 minutes until the tops are slightly golden, and spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool for 10 minutes. BUT ONLY TEN MINUTES OTHERWISE THE CHOCOLATE WILL NO LONGER BE ALL MOLTEN OR SURPRISING.

Keep in a sealed container. To reheat, pop them in the oven at 200F for a few minutes (or pop into a microwave for a few seconds).

DSC_0385

HELLO AGAIN! Are you truly still reading after seeing the recipe? Cool! Anyway, to further convince you that I’m not creating much these days but simply reinventing, the above photo is of apple muffins. Remember my fruit explosion muffins?? Yep, I made them into apple muffins using 1 1/2 cup fresh apples and 1/2 cup dried apples. I then topped some with cinnamon, some with walnuts, and some with… you guessed it… raisins.

At this time of year, we’re all exhausted and pissed off and DONE WITH EVERYTHING. But remember that there is baking, and love, and coffee, and dreams, and passions. Being productive is difficult, but small steps still move you forward. If anything, let me inspire you to keep on moving. Even if it’s only a single breath.

Artichoke and Lentil Salad

DSC_0359

Let’s add artichokes to my list of addictions. I will never be able to get enough of them. Initially, I wanted to undertake the great task of using a fresh artichoke. However, I guess I picked an extremely unripe one so in frustration I walked to Provigo and bought a jar of marinated artichoke hearts. It was a damn good idea.

The jar of artichoke hearts I bought were marinated in oregano so this tasted extremely similar to the lentil salad I posted in November, I chose to be lazy and used a bit of the oil they were marinated in as the dressing, and just added a huge squeeze of lemon juice. The major upgrade in this is the addition of a whole ton of fresh herbs.

If you’re like me, you have leftovers up the… yeah. So this comes together super easily when there are cooked lentils ready and waiting in the fridge. I suppose this could also work with a grain such as amaranth or rice (or quinoa!), but it would also work as a starter/ side salad for a bigger meal without the grain or lentils. VERSATILITY! I’ll just admit to being a bit of a lazy “cook/chef/baker” and say that I use whatever is in the fridge. I usually just go grocery shopping with flavours in mind, and get what’s on sale. I’m quite a compulsive grocery shopper… and yet I never buy cookies….. I digress. This salad is wonderful. The solid lentils and the slippery artichokes and the salty marinade/oil rock and lasted well the next day for lunch. 

ARTICHOKE AND LENTIL SALAD: serves 2

  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup cooked french lentils
  • 2 cups spring greens (or spinach, or chard, or kale, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly ripped
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly ripped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons artichoke marinade, (or olive oil with a sprinkle of dried oregano)
  • 4 whole marinated artichoke hearts, cut into quarters
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

In a large salad bowl, mix all ingredients except the artichoke heart segments, and a few leaves of each fresh herb. Divide the salad into two bowls and divide the artichoke segments equally. Garnish with the remaining fresh herbs and add a healthy grind of black pepper on top.

Rum Balls

DSC_0193 - CopyWho doesn’t love a rum ball?!

For ukrainian christmas, my pop and I made these tasty vegan treats to serve with coffee. The traditional Ukrainian Christmas meal includes 12 dishes, all without meat or dairy. Essentially, it’s a feast full of mushrooms and beets and hearty grains.

This is the recipe we were inspired by. We added more melted chocolate, and rolled some in good quality cocoa powder (it made for a prettier plate). We also didn’t have a lot of dates so we made up for the difference with raisins (as a raisin fiend, I was very happy with this choice). The final touch, was that instead of the 4 tablespoons of rum, we did 3 tablespoons rum and 2 tablespoons cognac.

The one thing we were sad about was that as the hours passed, the alcohol either evaporated or was seriously absorbed by the fruit. Luckily these puppies didn’t wait too long to be consumed but it did pose an interesting problem.

HOWEVER, if you didn’t add the booze, these would be AWESOME energy bites/snacks. The dates provide the needed sugar for a good work out and the fat in the nuts would keep you satisfied and keep you going longer. Huh. From boozey party time to sweaty dancing time!

RUM BALLS: yields about 50 satisfying balls

  • 3 cups medjool dates (about 36 large dates)
  • 3 tablespoons rum
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raw brazil nuts
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cups dark chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • cocoa powder to coat

Method:

In a food processor pulse the dates, rum, cognac, vanilla, brazil nuts, walnuts, and cashews until they are chunky but well mixed. Drizzle in the melted chocolate and run the food processor until everything is finely chopped and sticking together.

Spoon the mixture into a large bowl and using your hands (or a wooden spoon), mix in the coconut. Once everything is well combined use your hands to roll out the balls.

If desired, roll the ball in cocoa powder (and tap off the excess).

Store in an air-tight container.

These balls were a huge hit with my fam… and I’m sure they will be with your fam too. (Unless your fam is my fam because my fam are my only readers… hehe)

DSC_0200 - Copy

Much love and warmth.