Sunday, 4 May 2014

Spaghetti Squash with tomatoes and spinach

Now that the snow has finally gone I love having easy and fresh meals for dinner, though this makes for a great lunch too! You can use any veggies that you have in your fridge that you need to get rid of or that you love. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta for those that can't or don't want to eat white pastas. My boyfriend loves his white pastas, but I cannot eat it and he is not the biggest fan of the alternative pastas out there. The squash cooks fairly quickly and there is not a lot of prep work involved. So don't worry it won't take longer then making your favourite pasta. Plus, you will get the added nutrition of eating a veggie instead of a grain, that is really not that great for you (white pasta!).

1 spaghetti squash
1 pt of cherry tomatoes
1-3 gloves of garlic, minced
1-3c cups of spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squarish lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place both squash halves onto a baking sheet face down and add enough water so it site one cm from where the squash touches the pan. You can also wait and do this step after you have place squash in the oven to avoid spilling the water. Place squash in over for 40-45 minutes or until you can stick a fork in it.

Take squash out of the oven and turn both pieces over to expose the delicious flesh. Let cool while you prepare other ingredients.

Cut tomatoes in half and place in a preheated pan with a bit of oil and the garlic.

 Meanwhile using a fork scrape the insides of the two squash pieces until you have spaghetti like 'noodles'. Cook tomatoes until they are just starting to break down and add the spinach, salt and pepper.

Stir until the spinach is wilted and add squash.

I like to add a little bit of 'cheese', additional other toppings are nutritional yeast, hot sauce, or fresh herbs like basil, parsley or rosemary.



Easy Rice Rolls with Dipping Sauce

I have been told that I need to start snacking. More important that I need to have protein in my snacks. Eating the same thing can be a tad boring, or it is for me. To alleviate my boredom (don't get me wrong I love a crisp apple with almond butter!) I started to experiment with ingredients I am unfamiliar with. Rice wrappers are inexpensive and super easy to use. Plus they have the added bonus of being a vehicle for lots of tasty ingredients!

3 rice wrappers (individually soak in warm water until they are pliable and want to stick together)
Carrot pieces
Tofu pieces
Lettuce pieces

Dipping Sauce
Soy sauce
Dash of sesame seed oil

Prepare one rice wrapper at a time and lay flat on a plate or board.  Place a few piece of each ingredient in the centre of you rice wrapper. Then fold in all four ends (they should stick together). Repeat process with other two rice wrappers.

For dipping sauce place both ingredients in a small bowl and stir together.

Super easy and quick when you are needing a small snack to get to through your afternoon.



Calling all Salad lovers!

I have been eating a ton of salads lately! It is a bit intense, but good if you mix it up. The best part you can add as much or as little of each ingredient depending on how much you have or how much you like each ingredient. They are superego easy, quick to make and very satisfying!

Miso Salad

Lettuce/spinach mix
Nori pieces
Sweet potato (cut in rounds and cooked)
Tofu strips (cooked)
Snap peas

Delicious Miso Dressing
1 tsp white miso
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
Dash of molasses (for sweetness)
1 tsp coconut milk (if you feel it needs a little more liquid)

Throw ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with fork. Pour over salad:)

Hodgepodge Salad

Nori pieces
Coconut Curry Tempeh (4 pieces, cooked)
Sweet potato pieces (leftover from Easter dinner)
Miso dressing

You can put anything you like into your salad. Experiment! You never know what awesome combo that you will stumble upon.



Sunday, 12 January 2014

Homemade Almond Milk

Making your own almond milk is inexpensive and surprisingly easy.  It just requires a little planning in order to benefit from the simple ingredients, minimal sugar, and delicious taste!

1 cup almonds
4 cups water, plus water to cover almonds
Maple syrup, agave nectar or other sweetener to taste
Vanilla to taste

Place almonds in a bowl and cover with water.  Allows almonds to sit in water for a minimum of 2 hours or over night. Overnight is best should you have the time as it allows for a better breakdown of the almonds. Drain the almonds and place them in a blender and add 4 cups of water.  Blend until the almonds are a pulp.  Use a find mesh strainer to drain the Drain the liquid into a medium sized bowl.

Rinse out the blender and place the liquid back in the blender.  Add the sweetener and vanilla and blenr for a few moments.  

Pour the liquid in a glass jug or container.  The "milk" will keep for three days in your fridge. 

To make chocolate almond milk, add 2-3 tsp of cocoa and more sweetener to taste to the above. This is a nice change to regular almond milk and a nice treat warmed up on cold winter days!



Sunday, 15 December 2013

Vegan Apple Pie

My mom makes an amazing apple pie. I mean it is unbelievable! And she only makes it once a year for Thanksgiving. Since I can no longer take part in this family tradition, it has sucked watching the rest of my family indulge in her fabulous baking. This year I decided to take matters into my own hands and bake myself a delicious vegan apple pie. This would ensure I too got to enjoy delicious pie with the rest of my family!

Below is my mom's pie recipe that has been "veganized". And I must say it was great, just like mom used to make. She even complimented me on a fabulous crust!

Preheat oven to 450 degrees


3/4 cup vegan shortening (I used Earth Balance)

2 cups flours (I used bread flour because it is the only white flour I have in my house)

1 teaspoon of salt

4-8 tbsp of cold water

Combined all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. To prepare pastry, cut dough in half and roll out each half on a floured surface to fit into your pie plate. I usually roll out the bottom place it on the pie plate then roll out the top. I measure if the dough is big enough by place the pie plate just above the dough to make sure it is the right size.

Pie filling

6 cups peeled, sliced apples (I left mine unpeeled to keep the goodness of the apple peel on the apples!)
2/3 - 1/2 cup granulated sugar (depending on tartness of apples )
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Combine all ingredient in a large bowl and mix well. You want all of the apples coated!

Place apples into bottom crust. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter then cover with top crust. Seal edges, flute and slash top.

Bake in preheated 450 oven for 15 minutes or until pastry is golden.
Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking 40-45 minutes longer or until apples are tender.

My mom's notes on apples: Apples to use are the ones that are more firm so that they hold their shape. Macintosh are not a good choice but they are great for applesauce.



Tex Mex Scrambled Tofu

I have been meaning to post a couple things lately, however I recently got an adorable puppy. She is great, but as you can imagine she takes up a lot of my time! Even without a new pup I find this time of year many people don't have the time to cook elaborate meals. Have breakfast for dinner is the perfect solution -- at least in my book! It is quick, easy and delicious. Scrambled tofu is tasty and versatile. \You can keep it simple by just putting your favourite spices in with mashed tofu or add veggies that you have in your fridge. Anything goes! I create this recipe to satisfy my craving for Mexican. It is easy and quick, which is perfect for those cold winter nights you don't feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

1 block firm tofu (you can also you medium depending on your preference)
Chili powder
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Place a pan on medium heat with oil. Place tofu in a medium sized bowl with mustard, turmeric, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You can use as much or as little of each spice as you like.

 Mash the tofu with a fork and mix all ingredients together. Place the tofu and spice mixture into the frying pan. Cook until the tofu lightly browned.

Add some vegan sausage or bacon, toast, and kale or spinach and you have a terrific and fast evening meal or breakfast!


Monday, 16 September 2013

Mushroom, chard, tomatoes and white kidney beans stew

As the weather gets a little cooler I am craving more and more comfort foods. This doesn't have to be unhealthy.  This little recipe is easy and fast.  It can be eaten with a little brown rice, pita or on its own with a salad. This is perfect for nights when you want something easy, yet tastes hearty.

2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch chard
1 19oz can of white kidney beans
1 Tbps garlic powder

Heat pan over medium heat with a little bit of oil.  Put mushrooms and chard stalks into the pan.  Cook for around 5 minutes until mushrooms are halfway cooked.  Put in rest of chard, white beans, tomatoes, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 7-10 minutes.  Serve over brown rice, in pita or own its own.  Makes great leftovers too!