Monday, November 9, 2015

Sundried Tomato Pesto with Olives (Vegan)

I could eat this pesto every day! I used jarred sundried tomatoes packed in oil because I had some that needed to be used up, but you could re-hydrate the dry ones with some boiling water and use those. I stirred it into pasta, but it would be amazing spread on toast and topped with avocado!

I used only about 6 leaves at first, but added more once it was blended because it wasn't enough. 

I served it on pasta with tomatoes, nutritional yeast and more olive oil. The next day I added beans, wilted greens and cooked broccoli. 

Sundried Tomato Pesto with Olives (Vegan)
Makes about 4 tablespoons

2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
6 Kalamata olives
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup loosely packed basil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pink salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor and give it a buzz until the mixture looks like the image above. That's it. You're done.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dates with Walnuts and Coconut

Now that I'm not eating sweets and baked goods like I used to, I had to come up with something that I would enjoy with my tea. I wanted something fast and vegan friendly. 

I remembered that my mother-in-law makes these dates with walnuts inside, and then sprinkles coconut on top. This is almost too easy! Make as many as you want. I store them in a container in the fridge, but they are fine on the counter. None of the items really need to be refrigerated. 

Dates with Walnuts and Coconut
Makes 12 dates

12 Medjool dates (I used organic)
12 raw walnut halves
1-2  tablespoon shredded coconut (unsweetened or sweetened is up to you)

Use a knife to make a slit on one side of the dates. You should be able to pop the pits right out. They come already pitted, but why pay more when it's easy to pit them yourself?

Insert a walnut half into each date. Arrange them fancifully on a plate and sprinkle the coconut on top.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Vegan Lentil Soup with Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash

I've become a big fan of Katie's soups. Yesterday I posted a recipe for Vegan Spiced Cauliflower Soup, which I also found on her blog Produce on Parade.

As we enter soup season, we are also very well into root vegetable season here in Ontario. You can get fresh local beets, squash and other delicious roots to use in your soups right now. How perfect!

The one thing I will change next time is to leave out the sugar. I used 1 teaspoon as opposed to 1 tablespoon recommended in the original recipe, and it was too sweet for my liking. Since changing the way I eat, I have lost my sweet tooth (which is a good thing!). Taste your soup, if you think it needs a little something, start with the 1 teaspoon and see how you like the flavour.

Vegan Lentil Soup with Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash
Adapted from Produce on Parade
Makes 6-8  servings

2 medium whole beets, scrubbed
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
½ tablespoon avocado (or olive) oil
1 cup dry red lentils
5 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
1 can of coconut milk (any 13-15oz can will do)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

Boil your beets for about ½ an hour or until they are tender. It will depend on the size of your beets. Set them aside to cool, then peel off the skin and dice them. Set aside. Alternately, you can bake the beets, but it will take much longer for them to cook through.

While your beets are boiling, toss your squash in avocado oil and bake in a preheated 425F oven. Toss the squash pieces once or twice to prevent burning on one side. This will take 20 minutes or so depending on the size of your chunks. They should be tender on the inside and golden on the outside. Set aside.

In a large pot, cook the lentils in the broth for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a pan over medium-low heat, fry the onions in coconut oil for about 3 minutes, then, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. You don't want the garlic to burn. Add the spices and cook, stirring and scraping the pan regularly, for another 5 minutes or until the onions start to brown. 

Next, add the onion mixture to the pot with the lentils. Stir in the coconut milk and squash. Let the pot sit on the stove over low heat to keep warm while you peel and dice your beets. Then, add the beets to the pot. You can garnish the soup with fresh herbs if your little heart desires

Colourful Veggie Rice Paper Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce - Recipe

Recently I made these yummy summer rolls. Everything in the rolls is optional. You can really put whatever you want in them. I was going to add some red bell pepper, but I didn't have one that day.

Colourful Veggie Rice Paper Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce - Recipe
Makes 6 Rolls

For the rolls:
6 sheets of rice paper
6 pieces of lettuce or another leafy green
½ an avocado
½ a ripe but not mushy mango
1 medium carrot
1/3 cup shredded red cabbage
sprouts of choice (I used a spring mix and broccoli)
1inch piece of cucumber
1 sheet of raw nori (cut into strips)

Dipping sauce:
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low sodium tamari or soy sauce (organic or non-gmo)
1 teaspoon peanut butter (natural with no additives)
¼ teaspoon minced red chili (hot sauce or chili flakes should also work)
1 clove of garlic, minced

In a small bowl, mix all of the sauce ingredients together first and set it aside. You can double up if you wish.

Soak your rice paper sheets one at a time in some warm water. They will become soft after a few seconds. Place the sheet on a large cutting board and spread it out.

Place a lettuce leaf on top followed by the other filling ingredients. The lettuce is important so your other ingredients don't make your rice paper soggy. Fold over one of the long sides followed by the top and bottom. Then, roll towards the last open side. Repeat the process for the other 5 sheets.

Serve with the sauce.