Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Oven Fries

My kids could eat oven fries every day. They're so yummy! We love to use yellow potatoes, but surely other potatoes will also work. 

1. Cut some potatoes into strips. 

2. Soak them in cold water for at least 30 minutes. I have soaked them for a few days so I don't have to cut potatoes every day. Soaking makes a huge difference. The fries don't dry out inside like they sometimes do if you don't soak the potatoes first. 

3.Dry them with paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. 

4. Toss with a touch of olive or avocado oil and seasoning of choice. I like dried rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. 

5. Bake in a preheated 425F oven until golden. Flip once during cooking, and be sure to use parchment so they don't stick. 









Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Black Bean and Mashed Potato Burgers

These are yummy! I had leftover potatoes and black beans, put them together and ended up with these burgers. I'll add corn and Tex Mex seasoning to change it up next time. 



Black Bean and Mashed Potato Burgers
Makes 3

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes (only potatoes - no milk or butter)
1/2 cup shredded and squeezed zucchini
1/2 cup shredded or diced onion
1 cup cooked black beans 
1/2 teaspoon each onion and garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used gluten free)
Avocado oil for cooking

Directions 
Sauté the onion and zucchini in just a little oil (I used avocado), until golden. Allow to cool.

Mash everything together well (just use your hands) and form into patties. 

Fry in a touch of avocado oil, over medium low heat until golden on both sides.

Serve as a burger or with salad.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

I think this is my new favourite thing to eat. You can make it gluten free by using a different thickening agent, and GF breadcrumbs.

I make my own cashew milk. Cashew milk is a nice option because it's creamy. With cashews, there's no need to strain. Just soak them for a few hours and then blend them with fresh water. The less water you add, the creamier it will be. This makes it ideal for making your own dips and other creamy things.

I used 3 potatoes for this recipe. I ate half for dinner last night, and half for lunch today. You could easily get 4 servings out of this recipe if you're only using it as a side.

I take pictures with my phone before I eat what I make.
I know they are crappy sometimes. I have come to accept this.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hummus

Hummus is one of the things I've been eating a lot for the past few weeks. It'll add some protein to your meal without having to cook anything. If you're too lazy to cook beans, just put hummus on everything instead. Be sure to read the ingredients list when picking it up at the store. I'm not only too lazy to cook beans, but also too lazy to make my own hummus. It never tastes right when I make it myself anyway.

I found an organic hummus with roasted beets at Costco. This is something they carry regularly at my store, and the ingredients are mostly clean. The only thing that bothers me is the canola oil, even if it is organic. Canola oil is something I stopped buying years ago. I only have olive and avocado oils in the house now. Maybe one day I'll get the recipe right, but until then, I will have to accept that there is canola oil in my hummus. There is one brand that I found that uses sunflower oil instead, but the store I found it at isn't near where I live. I can't remember the brand.

So, what can you do with hummus? I put it on pizza, avocado toast, rice cakes, crackers, and sometimes I just eat it with a spoon. You can put it on your salad, on your wraps, and use it as a dip for vegetables. If you make your own, you can add all kinds of things to it. How about sautéed onions, pine nuts, chopped olives, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers … the list goes on.

Here are some hummus recipes that look delicious. Maybe I'll give them a try one day.




And here are some pictures of ways I use hummus, for your viewing pleasure.

Use hummus on your sandwiches instead of mayo.

It's great on avocado toast.

Dress up some rice cakes. This is a beet hummus.




Avocado Toast

Avocado toast is still at the top of my list for plant-based breakfasts. You can garnish it with so many different toppings, so you'll never get tired of it. Sweet things are good too, but I prefer to start my day with something savory most of the time.

I tried avocado toast topped with chunks of baked sweet potato last week. It was strange. I probably won't do that again.


This toast has a layer of Muhammara under the avocado. Muhammara is a delicious Middle Eastern dip made with red peppers, breadcrumbs, pomegranate paste, and other delicious ingredients. I purchased mine at a Middle Eastern store, but you can make your own using this recipe.



This toast starts with a layer of classic hummus. On top of the avocado, I added some roasted red peppers and arugula. I don't like arugula in a salad, but when you put it on top of things, the spicy flavour disappears. It's a good way to get more greens in. Put them on top of other, more delicious things.

Ideas for topping:
salt & pepper
roasted red peppers
olives
hemp and chia seeds
leafy greens
tomatoes (fresh or sundried)
chopped red onion
pickled onions
chili flakes
hot sauce
sliced mango
roasted chickpeas
toasted pumpkin seeds
fresh herbs
salsa

Ideas for spreads:
olive tapenade
sundried tomato tapenade
hummus
baba ganoush
pesto

Lentil Stew

If you're trying to cut out meat (even a little bit), lentils are the way to go. They cook up faster than beans, and they are so versatile. You can use them in soups, stews, or to make veggie burgers.

Here's a simple, week-night recipe that can be re-heated for lunch the next day.

Mini slow cookers are great for heating your lunch.
Food tastes so much better than microwave food!

Lentil Stew
Makes 3-4 Servings

Ingredients
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon avocado oil
2 small carrots, diced
1 large rib of celery, diced
1/3 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup dried lentils
Veggie Broth (to cover)
1 large potato, cooked and diced
Salt & Pepper

Directions
Cook the onion in the oil over medium heat until golden.

Stir in the carrots, celery, and corn. Cook for a few minutes until you start to see some colour on the corn.

Stir in the turmeric, followed by the lentils.

Add broth to cover the lentils by about an inch. Add more as needed during cooking.

When the lentils are tender, stir in the potatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you want to use a raw diced potato, add it to the pot about 10 minutes before you think the lentils will be done.

You can add a squeeze of lime juice and cilantro on top to change it up a bit.



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

It's ridiculous how easy this pudding is to make. You can make so many different flavours, and the toppings you can put on are endless.

The first time I made chia pudding, I made a blended version. The texture was gloopy, and my kids didn't like it.

This time I decided to go with an unblended version, and it was much better! I will leave out the cinnamon next time, because I found it too over-powering.

For the blended version, you basically add everything to a blender. Dana says you can add dates to sweeten the blended version if you wish.

For the unblended version, you're simply not going to blend the mixture.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mashed Potato Pizza Crust / Tacos / Wraps

You guys! I joined a group on Facebook called WSLF. Everyone over there is making pizza crust out of potatoes, so I just had to try it. You won't believe how easy it is. You boil or steam some peeled potatoes, then, drain and mash them well. Add herbs and spices if you want. No milk or butter. Just potatoes. This is a great gluten free alternative to bread.



You can fold it or roll it up. Great for tacos and wraps!



Mashed Potato Pizza Crust / Tacos / Wraps
Recipe adapted from the WSLF group on Facebook
How much you get depends on how many potatoes you cook.

Ingredients
steamed or boiled potatoes
herbs and spices of choice

Directions

Steam or boil your potatoes until they are soft. Drain them and mash them very well. You can add some seasonings at this point if you wish.

Preheat your oven to 425F, and line a baking sheet with parchment (so the potatoes don't stick).

Spread your potatoes onto the sheet in any shape you want. I spread mine about 1/8" or so. I didn't measure. The thinner it is, the better the middle will cook.

Bake for about 20 minutes, and then flip your crust. If the middle is cooked enough, this won't be difficult.

Add your toppings, and bake again until the edges are golden and the veggies are cooked the way you like them. You can use any veggies you like. You can also use some tomato sauce or pesto for extra flavour.

This folds well, so you can also use this recipe to make tacos or wraps! I stored the leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge, and used it the next day. You can whip up a batch of mash and use it all week.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Cilantro Lime Rice

Rice is not one of my favourite things in the world, however, this rice is delicious! I think the lime juice gives it a really refreshing flavour. 

You can cook your rice according to package directions and then add the teaspoon of oil, cilantro and lime, or, you can follow my recipe below. I imagine you could really use any rice or grain you want for this recipe. 



Cilantro Lime Rice
Makes 4 servings
Inspired by Skinnytaste

Ingredients
1 cup long grain white rice
water
1 teaspoon pink salt
2 teaspoons avocado oil
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ a lime, juiced

Directions
If your rice is already cooked, simply toss it with 1 teaspoon of oil, cilantro and lime juice.  You can serve this hot or cold.

To make the rice, first rinse it until the water runs clear.

Place the rice in a medium size pot with about 3 times the amount of water and the salt.

Boil this on medium heat for about 10-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked but still has a bite to it. It will depend on your rice. Some brands cook faster than others. Just bite a grain and see if you get a bit of a snap, but not too much.

Drain and rinse the rice thoroughly in cold water.

Add the rice back to the pot and cook it with the lid on for another 10-20 minutes until it's cooked through. The bite should be gone at this point, but the rice shouldn't be mushy.

Fluff the rice with a fork. Add the other teaspoon of oil, cilantro and lime juice over the rice, and use a fork to mix. Fluff only, no spoons allowed.

Done.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dairy-Free Corn Chowder


Creamy soups are my favourite kind, and this one is easy and delicious. It's also a great way to use up left over baked or boiled potatoes. You could also use left over chicken, I suppose.  

This soup doesn't use dairy or flour to thicken it up, instead, we're using coconut cream and pureed vegetables to do the job. The soup doesn't taste like coconut, don't worry.

My corn and cauliflower were both frozen, so I put them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes just to warm them up. Hidden cauliflower is a bonus! Nobody will ever know it's in there. 

You can make this recipe without chicken for a vegan version.

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

This is my lunch for the next 2 days. I divided the salad into 2 glass containers and packaged the dressing separately. The sweetness of the raisins is actually really nice. You could also add corn kernels, chopped avocado, and cumin powder to change things up a bit. Cilantro would have been nice, but I didn't have any.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Just Bananas Muffins

I've tried making gluten free and healthy muffin recipes before. A lot of the recipes are gloopy in the middle, as if they didn't cook all the way through. This recipe is not like the others. It rises nicely and has a nice texture throughout. It has no added sugar (if you don't add chocolate chips) or oil, and is gluten free if you use gluten free oats.

I added some Camino chocolate chips to half the batter, and raisins to the other half. It may not be a good idea to add wet things like fresh fruit. The batter may become too wet and cause the centre of the muffins to have that gloopy texture. Serve your berries on the side instead.

For the oats, you can grind them in a blender, or buy oat flour. 2 cups of oats grinds into 2 cups of oat flour, so if you buy it already ground, just measure 2 cups.

I buy Oak Manor oats because they're grown here in Ontario. I like to support canadian farmers and businesses if I can. Plus, they're organic.

LINE YOUR PAN. This is important. Regular paper liners will stick because these muffins don't have oil or butter. I rarely have good luck removing muffins from the pan with no liner at all, so I just don't do it. The FOK recipe says that you can use silicone muffin pans, but I have had no luck with those either. Maybe they will work for you? I had some paper liners in the cupboard that were made of parchment, but you don't have to buy them, you can make your own. Here's a good tutorial.




These are the oats I use. Oak Manor.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Carrot Juice With Lemon and Ginger

I've always liked carrot juice. Add a little lemon to lighten it up, and a knob of ginger to give it a littel zing.

I found a great tip on the Hurom website. I assume this would apply to any slow juicer. It said "Alternate carrot with apple for more moisture and better extraction." I'm going to guess that lemon would work the same way, but apple and carrot would be a tasty juice as well.

Keep in mind that carrots are on the dry side and don't produce as much juice as other veggies. It will take a lot of carrots to get a lot of carrot juice. And whatever you do, don't try to re-juice the pulp. You will clog your juicer. Yes, I tried it. The pulp from the Hurom is already dry. I don't know what I was thinking.

Again, the Hurom has a small chute. Harder veggies need to be cut smaller so they don't get stuck in the machine. It does take a bit more prep to use a Hurom, but I love the feel of the juice compared to the centrifugal juicer. It's very smooth. It's worth the extra effort it takes to cut the carrots. Or if you're making a lot, you can run the carrots through the slice blade on your food processor. The slicing blade is also very handy for making sauerkraut.

Celery - Cucumber - Ginger - Pineapple - Lemon Juice

This juice is good, but if you don't like celery, you probably won't like this juice. You can add the celery last, and taste it as you go along.

As you can see from the image below, the Hurom is a great juicer and leaves you with little pulp. The pulp that is left is very dry. This is such a huge difference from my last juicer, which was centrifugal. It left a very wet pulp, and the juice was grainy.

The hurom does have a smaller chute, so you need to cut your fruit and veg to fit. Also, i removed the skin from the cucumbers because the ones I bought were not organic, and they are on the dirty dozen list.

I stored this juice in smaller bottles so I could take it to work. It's also better this way so that you don't expose a large amount of juice to air, by opening and closing a bigger bottle.


Orange Pineapple Juice

Last week I had a bit of a cold, so I went and made my own vitamin C juice. You want to make your own because those store bought juices are pasteurized. There is no benefit to drinking them.

I made 2 batches. The first was just orange and pineapple, and I added lemon and grapefruit to the 2nd batch.

I use a Hurom slow juicer and it's awesome. I love it! It was worth the investment.

The Hurom has a small chute, so I cut my fruit into chunks that would fit. If you have a centrifugal juicer, you will probably have a bigger chute, and there won't be a need to do a lot of prep. You can leave the core in the pineapple as well.

The lemon is optional, but it's a nice touch if you've got a sweet pineapple.

Sushi Your Way

This here is my first attempt at sushi. It's not difficult to make, but that sushi rice sure is sticky.

You can put anything you want inside, just be sure to slice everything into strips.You can also add slices of egg, tofu or seafood. I gave up on eating sushi with raw fish a long time ago, because as we know, seafood has gotten pretty dirty. But it's your sushi, so it's up to you what you want to put inside.

When we order sushi, I usually get the one with avocado. My favourite used to be the spicy salmon rolls.

I had about 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice and managed to get 3 rolls out of it.

The only thing missing was the toasted sesame seeds. I'm definitely going to add some of those next time.

I don't bother with wasabi and pickled ginger because we never eat it.

If you're unsure about making your own sushi, go watch a few videos on YouTube.



More Kale Chips

You don't need to measure when you're making kale chips.

Make sure your kale is cut up into bite sized pieces. Remove any thick stems because they will not get crispy before the rest of your kale burns.

This time, I drizzled just a little avocado oil over the kale and tossed it with my hands. The amount of oil will depend on the amount of kale. Really, just use enough to coat. Start with a teaspoon if you have a lot of kale.

Place the kale in single layers on parchment lined baking trays. I sprinkled mine with some salt and nutritional yeast.

Bake in a 250F oven for about 30 minutes. Check on your chips and toss them as needed. When they are dry, take them out. Take a piece out of the oven and eat it. That's the best way to test.

Store the chips in a bowl that is loosely covered with a cloth. I find they get soggy without a bit of air.

Yummy and crispy.

Make sure the kale is clean.

Use parchment so the kale doesn't stick.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Beet Broth

Beet Broth

Beets are good for you. They can help lower blood pressure, fight inflammation, and have anti-cancer properties.

My grandmother used to make the best borscht in the world. None of us can make it like she did. I have tried a few times. She would boil pork ribs to make the broth.

I like to eat them raw on a salad, or cooked with a little salt and vinegar. They're great boiled, steamed or roasted. They're great for making soup. They're great for pickling! They're great for juicing! They can be used as a natural food colouring. Beets are wonderful!

Yesterday I boiled some beets and decided to drink the cooking liquid. I peeled the beets and removed the ends before I cooked them, so the liquid was clean. Mine didn't come with leaves, but if you do buy them in bunches, save the leaves, chop them very small and add them to the broth.

I had about 1/2 cup of liquid by the time the beets were done. I only boiled 3 beets. I added a pinch of salt, a pinch of dried dill and about 1/2 a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. It was tasty!

If you add more water to the pot at the beginning, you'll end up with more broth at the end. It'll be delicious. Try it!