Sunday, 26 July 2015

Colourful Beet Salad with Carrot Quinoa and Spinach

I'm always perusing new blogs, and 'COOKIE + kate' is the latest. I found this recipe I had to try!

This recipe looked interesting and it was scrumptious, and full of goodness. I already had the cooked quinoa, so the prep was easy. I also have a spiralizer (mine has one setting- very fine spirals) that I used for the beets. which I liked, since raw beets can have an earthy flavour- so the finer the better. I also used it on the carrots. The dressing was a nice combination of sweet and tangy. The Edamame beans and pumpkin seeds added texture, and the greens softened the salad. We had it in combination with some fresh summer corn and a mediterranean bean burger. Yum!

Here's the link:

Friday, 24 July 2015

Mediterranean Bean Burgers

I got this recipe from Dreena Burton's Let Them Eat Vegan cookbook. She also has a cute video that accompanies the blog post (Plant Powered Kitchen) that I found on the internet.
If I made these again, really try to find some fresh oregano- I used dried, and it didn't add much flavour. I liked the olives in it too. I baked them, but to make this again, I would either fry them, or use less oatmeal as they were a bit dry.

I would make again with a few modifications.

Here's the link to the blog post and recipe:

Creamy Bean Pasta with Kale.

I found this on SeriousEats blog. This was simple, but delicious. I used navy beans rather than chickpeas, and since they can be a bit bland, the red pepper flakes helped give it some kick. I would make again.

Sauteing the red pepper flakes and garlic.

We like a lot of kale lol!

My dish wasn't vegan- I added some parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast might be nice too. 

Here's the link to the recipe:

Cashew/Peanut Butter Cookies

Detoxinista is another blog favourite. So much so, that I've ordered her new cookbook: Everyday Detox. Her recipes, especially desserts are easy to make, and reliably good. Here's one I tried recently- Cashew Butter/ Chocolate Chip Cookies. No flour needed, and chia eggs instead of eggs. She recommends keeping them in the freezer once they are baked- I agree. I substituted peanut butter for cashew, but cashew butter would be decadently good! Link is below.

Grinding the chia seeds into powder

Mix with some water and refrigerate for a few minutes until the texture is thick and gooey.

Gotta love the food processor!

Mix some chocolate chips in at the end.

Here's the link to the recipe:

Friday Night Pasta Hit

A new blog discovery- Green Kitchen Stories. When this recipe came into my newsfeed, I knew I had to try it. The only cooking required is the pasta- so it's like a warm pasta salad.
I modified a bit, using some baby swiss chard from my garden instead of the arugula, and didn't use the peaches.
It was fresh, and interesting- loved the taste and crunch of the pine nuts. Use really ripe tomatoes if you can- more flavour and softer.
This would be a perfect Friday night dinner, or an accompaniment to a main dish.
A favourite for sure!

Here's the link to the blog post:

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Smoky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

This recipe came from Dreena Burton's Plant Powered Kitchen blog. I have one of Dreena's books- Let Them Eat Vegan, which is quickly becoming one of my favourites. She knows how to cook. Her recipes often take a little longer, not because they're difficult, but because there are often several ingredients including an array of spices. I appreciate this because it elevates a recipe from good to great.  And that is worth a few extra minutes for me, in my kitchen (where I love to be, anyway). Today I also ordered 2 more of her cookbooks- Vive le Vegan and Eat, Drink and Be Vegan which I have out on loan from the library (my way of trying a book before I invest in it!)

This recipe is easy and SO GOOD. I peeled, diced and steamed the sweet potato and it took 10 minutes, instead of 40-60 minutes in the oven. I didn't have enough cucumber so cut some kohlrabi into little dices and that worked well. You could add other ingredients as substitutions or additions as well. I topped it with some avocado and roasted sunflower seeds. The dressing is perfect- zippy but not crazy spicy. I made it in a separate jar and drizzled it into the salad rather than adding it directly in.

You can also sub some mango and avocado instead of sweet potato (her suggestion). And there are other ways of serving it too, just read her post.

Enjoy this salad- you'll be glad you made it!

link to this recipe

Saturday, 18 July 2015

White Bean and Rosemary Hummus

If you enjoy hummus and want a nice variation, try this one from the Thug Kitchen cookbook.  Easy, creamy and delicious. I varied the recipe according to what I had on hand- 2 cans of pinto beans and dried rosemary.  The hint of rosemary really made it.
This might be my go to hummus- so good!

Recipe Ingredients for White bean and rosemary hummus

3cups cooked white beans 
1/4cup tahini 
1/4cup vegetable broth 
3tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2cloves garlic, minced
1tablespoon rosemary 

Put everything in a food processor and pulse until very creamy. Let sit in fridge for 30 min to let the flavours blend (I ate it right away and it was awesome).

Monday, 13 July 2015

Green Goddess Rice Bowl

We were in Toronto this weekend, and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Grasslands. My husband ordered a rice bowl full of delicious vegetables, and a marinated tempeh. I tried my hand at one tonight from the cookbook Refresh. I made a dijon corn meal crusted tofu with it, but a marinated tofu would be great too. The greens were fresh and lively but the dressing and sauce really made the dish. I would make this again.

Green Goddess Bowl
Tahini Sauce
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/2 cup chopped parsley
– 1/2 tsp sea salt (this was too much salt for me – I’d suggest only 1/4 tsp, then add more as needed)
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– 2/3 cup water
– 1/2 cup tahini
Simple Sauce
– 1/2 cup tamari (not soy sauce)
– 3 tbsp sesame oil
– 1 1/2 inches ginger root, peeled and minced
– 4 tbsp lemon juice
The Bowl
– 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
– 1 head bok choy, chopped
– 1 bunch green kale, chopped
– 1 bunch swiss chard, chopped
– 6 cups cooked brown rice
– 2 sheets nori, torn
– 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted – 1/2 cup pickled ginger
  1. Tahini sauce: Blend the garlic, parsley, salt and lemon juice in a food processor. Add the water and sesame butter.
  2. Simple sauce: Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Steam broccoli and greens until they are tender and bright green. It may seem like you have way too many greens when they’re raw, but they cook down quite a lot.
  4. Place your desired serving of rice or noodles in a bowl. Drizzle with 2 tbsp tahini sauce (I used more. So, so good). Place nori on top.
  5. Arrange the cooked greens and broccoli on the rice or noodles and sprinkle toasted sunflower seeds on top. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of simple sauce.
  6. Garnish with pickled ginger.
I added/omitted a few different vegetables than what what in the recipe. Used whatever I had on hand.
Getting my ingredients ready.

Tofu ready for the oven..

Steaming the vegetables.

Adding the green tahini sauce to the rice before putting the vegetables on top.

A little 'simple sauce' over the vegetables, a sprinkling  of roasted sunflower seeds and dinner is served!

Spicy Adzuki Bean Hummus

If you like a spicy hummus, give this a try- you can adjust the ginger, miso and cayenne to taste. A nice diversion from the conventional chick pea version.
Adzuki Bean Hummus:
2 15-oz BPA-free cans unsalted adzuki beans, rinsed and drained
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup plus 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
2 tbsp tahini paste
1 tbsp white miso
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
Put everything in the food processor and process until smooth.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Layered Salad

This is such an easy salad, no recipe is really required. The lettuce I would recommend is romaine, (on the bottom) because when everything else is piled on top, this lettuce holds up with freshness and crunch.
Other than that, just start layering… I used sweet peppers, cucumbers, green onions, grape tomatoes, a little feta cheese, frozen corn, chickpeas, and avocados. But any vegetable that hold up would be just fine. If you want to add some extra crunch, toast some strips of tortilla and add to the top. I will include a dressing but you can always go simple  as well. My daughter put together one with a little olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard and worcestershire and it was delicious.

The recipe comes from a great cookbook- Forks Over Knives by Del Sroufe. Enjoy!

Next time I would slice the tortilla strips thinner and pile them up in the centre- would make for a nicer presentation. :)

Here's the link to the recipe:

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Ginger Mushroom Summer Rolls

I made fresh rolls once before and it was a disaster. Don't ask me why I couldn't roll them- it's really not rocket science. But they were a floppy mess. It turned me off making them until today when I came across this recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks- Thug Kitchen. I've had good luck with the other recipes so figured I'd give this one a shot. I'm glad I did. Here's the recipe:

 Ginger-Mushroom Summer Rolls

8 ounces mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp neutral-tasting oil
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1/3 cup minced green onions
2 tbls minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tbls sugar
2-3 tsp chili-garlic paste ( couldn't find paste- it was called 'sauce'. 2 tsp made it spicy enough!
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
6 lettuce leaves
1 cucumber
1 carrot
1 cup fresh herbs (I used cilantro & basil)
1 pack of large spring roll wrappers
1. Trim and slice the mushrooms into strips no thicker than your finger and mince the garlic. Heat up the oil in a wok/skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until they start releasing a bunch of liquid (1-2 minutes). Add the soy sauce, green onions, ginger, and garlic and cook until most of the liquid evaporates (~2 minutes). Add the toasted sesame oil, stir to combine, and turn off the heat. Transfer the filling onto a plate to cool. Wipe down the wok to save clean up time later.
2. Make the dipping sauce – put the sugar and the rice vinegar into a small sauce pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let cook for ~4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chili paste and lime juice and turn off heat. After it cools for a couple of minutes, put it in the fridge.
3. Chop up the veggies for the rolls. The recipe is supposed to be flexible when it comes to fillings, so use what you have. Make sure to have the lettuce, something crunchy, and some herbs, Cut everything except the lettuce into strips about 2 in. long. Cut the lettuce into thirds.
4. Warm about 3 inches of water in your wok/skillet from earlier. Get it hot, but not too hot so you wouldn’t get burned if you touch it. Turn off the heat. Place one spring roll wrapper flat in the water for 10-15 seconds until it becomes bendy. Let the extra water drip off and then transfer to a plate.
5. Fold the wrapper in half like a taco, except flat. Lay down a lettuce leaf, about 2 fingers worth of filling, and a scoop of sauteed mushrooms on the left side of the semicircle wrapper. Fold the wrapper over once from left to right. Fold the bottom up like a burrito. Roll slightly tightly and press the end flap against the roll. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until you run out of filling.
6. To serve, add the chopped peanuts to the dipping sauce and enjoy. According to the original recipe, finished rolls will keep in the fridge for about 2 days.

These were so easy. Took a little time because I'm still getting used to this mandolin of mine (grrr) but other than, that, nothing to it.

They were full of flavour- the ginger and garlic really popped as did the fresh herbs.

Next time I would experiment with thin strips of tofu, or marinated/baked tempeh (sweet and sour).
This blog - The Simple Veganista had a beautiful recipe that I will try next time.

I would totally prepare these as an appetizer, or take them to a potluck. Who doesn't like spring/summer rolls?! Give them a try!

Getting my ingredients ready to stir fry.

Start with the mushrooms..

Add the onion, garlic, ginger, tamari and finish with a splash of sesame oil.

I must admit- the mandoline does make a nice job of julienning the cucumber and carrot. Fresh herbs and lettuce from the garden..

Dipping the rice sheets into fairly warm water until they are limp, but still easy enough to manage (if they are too wet, they rip easily)

Add the chopped peanuts to the dipping sauce, and you're good to go!

Friday, 3 July 2015

GREEN Granola Bars!

So.. this is not your typical granola bar. It's green. And super healthy. And so good! The combination of the toasted oats and pumpkins seeds, the dates and goji berries, puffed quinoa and matcha tea- with the smooth flavour of melted tahini, brown rice syrup and maple syrup, all blended together is an interesting, delightful flavour, packed with goodness. I also added a couple scoops of vegan protein powder to make this a perfect treat after a run.

All set for the fridge.

Melting the gooey goodness.

Toasting the oats and pumpkin seeds brings out more flavour.

I added even more Matcha Tea- it's such a super food.

Goji berries, dates, and quinoa puffs too.

Combine the oats and pumpkin seeds to the mixture

Add and blend the syrups.

Line a brownie pan with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until it's set.

From the WONDERFUL new blog I just discovered: My New Roots.
Here's the link to the recipe: