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Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

I eat lentils about 3 times a week, so it’s only fitting that I post another lentil recipe. When I was in Ireland, I lived on a farm for about a month. The farmer wasn’t the greatest cook, and I ended up doing most of the cooking. He did however have a handful of fantastic recipes he showed me, this being one of them.

Red lentils cook a lot faster than the green or brown varieties, and they are equally as nutritious. Their high fiber content helps to manage blood-sugar levels, and helps to keep you regular! They are packed full of nutrients, protein, and are free of fat. Indeed, one of the most perfect foods (after fruits, veggies and seaweed that is!). The best part is that dried lentils are dirt cheap. This dish goes really nicely with brown basmati rice and a side of Indian Spinach.

Enjoy!

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups dried red lentils
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp curry paste (such as Pataks mild curry paste)
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste

Directions

Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear. Put the lentils in a pot with water and simmer until lentils are tender (about 20 minutes)

While the lentils are cooking, in a large skillet or saucepan, caramelize the onions in coconut oil.

While the onions are cooking, combine the curry paste, curry powder, cumin, salt, agave, garlic, and ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix well. When the onions are cooked, add the curry mixture to the onions and cook over a high heat stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and reduce heat, allow the curry base to simmer until the lentils are ready.

When the lentils are tender drain them reserving a tiny bit of water. Mix the curry base into the lentils, adding the reserved water as needed if too dry, and serve!

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As promised, another gluten-free recipe! This is one I’ve been working on and tweaking for some time to come up with a gluten-free baked good that no one can tell is gluten free. And after a few taste-tests, I think I’ve managed to find a muffin that beats it’s gluten counterparts.

When it comes to gluten-free baking, a very important ingredient to have on hand is Xanthan Gum. This acts as the ‘gluten’ – the binding agent. This ensures that the product doesn’t crumble and can hold it’s shape well. It can be found at some grocery stores like Loblaws, some Metro’s carry the Rob’s Red Mill, and at all health food stores. It may seem kinda pricey when purchasing a bag, but you only need a tiny amount, so a bag will go a long, long way. And as mentioned before, ground flax seeds make an excellent egg replacer. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water equals one egg.

As for chocolate chips, I have finally discovered a brand that is free of dairy and soy. It has only 3 ingredients, but still tastes like regular chocolate chips! The brand is ‘Enjoy Life’, I found it at the organic area of Loblaws. They make a whole line of products that are free of the top most allergenic ingredients such as gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, eggs, and sulfites.

Enjoy!

You’ll need:

  • 1 ½ cups rice flour
  • 4 Tbsp arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 4 Tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 6 Tbsp water (or 4 free-range eggs for a non-vegan recipe)
  • 1 cup almond milk, rice milk or organic soy milk
  • 3/4 – 1 cup agave nectar (depending on how sweet you like ’em)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup good oil such as coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix all wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients, slowly add to wet. Mix until well combined. Pour into lined muffin pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out dry.

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Since Hugh wrote about molasses I figure I’d post a recipe with molasses in it. I personally find the taste of molasses a bit strong and overpowering, but adding it in small amounts to recipes really adds a little something! These cookies are gluten free and vegan, and so delicious. They are really crispy and full of flavor.

Enjoy!

You’ll need

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 3 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1-1/3 cups rice flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions
Melt the coconut oil in a pan on the stove, and cool slightly. Add sugar and molasses, mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well.
Chill dough for about an hour in the fridge. Once chilled, form into walnut-size balls, place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes.

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avocadoAhhh the Avocado – such a misunderstood fruit (yes, it is indeed classified as a fruit). Avocados are unique among the fruits in that they are a very concentrated food, more like a nut than a fruit. They also get a bad rep as being very fatty. Although they are high in fat, they are high in ‘good fat’ – the kind that your body needs and uses, not the kind that gets stored as flab and arterial plaque. Avocados are rich in potassium, contain good amounts of B vitamins and vitamins E, and they also have the highest fiber content of any fruit. Avocados are also great for skin and hair. Vitamin E helps keep your skin clear and glowing, and potassium and B vitamins keep your hair strong and shiny. But avocados can also be great for your skin and hair when placed directly on them!

They supply over a third of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K, a nutrient necessary to prevent blood clotting, and to assist with the absorption of calcium. They also have a significant amount of vitamin C, needed for immune health and tissue repair. So much in a such a small, tasty package!
Avocados are so rich and creamy, and can be used in a variety of ways. Here I’ve found a way to use them in a dessert (actually this dessert is adapted from a Woody Harrelson recipe). This dessert is completely raw, vegan, and delicious! No one will ever guess it’s made of avocados!

Enjoy!

mousse

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

You’ll need:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup cocoa

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth!

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Black Bean Soup

IMG_0370As it starts to get colder out, there is nothing more comforting than a steaming hot bowl o’soup. I love playing around with ingredients when it comes to soup!  Here I’ve decided to pair black beans with sweet potato and some spices to create a savory dish with a hint of natural sweetness.
You can use either canned black beans (just be sure to read the label and buy a brand that does not contain added chemicals, and drain and rinse the beans very well) or you can use dried black beans. If using the dried variety, make sure to soak it overnight, and discard the water before cooking. Too cook, bring a pot of water to a boil, add the beans, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 2 hours or until they are tender.

Enjoy!

You’ll need:

  • 2 Tablespoons good oil (such as cold pressed coconut oil)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (or a 19 oz can)
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon each: chili powder and oregano
  • 4 cups water

Directions:

In a large pot, over medium heat sauté the onion and carrot until onion is translucent, add garlic and sauté another minute. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the water and sauté for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until sweet potato is tender. Puree in a blender or with a hand held blender. Can add more water if consistency is too thick. This soup freezes well.

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pestoHugh and I go to Wychwood Farmers Market every Saturday, where we get all sorts of veggies, fruits, and different interesting food items. One stand there in particular makes incredible vegan sandwiches, using local organic ingredients. They have this delicious homemade sun-dried tomato and hemp pesto that we just can’t get enough of. So Hugh decided to try to replicate this pesto, and I think he did a bang on job!

Hemp seeds are one of the most nutritious and easily digestible foods on the planet. They are a complete source of protein, and are very high in essential fatty acids. Some benefits of the essential fatty acids found in hemp seeds include: optimum brain function, improving mood, fighting depression, reducing behavioral problems in children, and reversing the irritability of PMS. They help the body’s immune system fight off bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These good fats lower cholesterol and protect the heart. Eating hemp seeds over time heals and moisturizes skin, and reduces inflammation. Hemp seeds are a good source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. A rich source of B vitamins, they also contain vitamins A, D, and K. High in both soluble and insoluble fiber that bulk stools and improve digestion, hemp seeds are used to treat constipation and hemorrhoids in Asia.

Other benefits of eating hemp seeds include: increased energy levels & metabolic rate, improved organ function, and improved circulation. Hemp seeds can be purchased at most health food stores, usually as Hemp Hearts (shelled hemp seeds).

Enjoy!

You’ll need:

  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes (the ones packed in oil)
  • ½ cup hemp hearts
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (depending on how garlicky you like it to be!)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons or more extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and ground pepper to taste

Optional: can add olives, basil leaves or roasted red peppers

Directions:

In a blender or using a hand held blender, puree all ingredients until smooth. Keep adding more oil if too dry. Tastes great on sandwiches, or used as a pasta sauce (wonderful on brown rice pasta with a medley of vegetables!). Best if stored in a glass container in the refrigerator.

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Lentils & Sweet Potato

lentils

As a vegetarian, I tend to eat a lot of lentils. They are just an amazing food, for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Fill one cup with cooked lentils and you’ll be looking at 230 calories, less than one gram of fat, nearly 40% of your daily needs for iron, 60% of your daily fibre, a ton of protein and a whopping 90% of your daily folic acid! Now that’s a powerhouse of nutrition! They also contain good amounts of magnesium, zinc and calcium.
Another wonderful thing about the great lentil is that it is much more easily digested than beans, thereby causing less gas. They also cook much faster than beans, without a need to presoak them (brown lentils cook in about 20 minutes). For this recipe I use canned lentils, speeding up the cooking process.
Here I’ve combined lentils with another nutrition powerhouse – the sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Plus they are so sweet, and much lower on the glycemic index than regular ol’ white potatoes.

Enjoy!

You’ll need:

  • 2 med sweet potatoes
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1  can (19 oz) green or brown lentils, drained and rinsed or 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cooked spinach (can be frozen)
  • dash sea salt

Directions:
Cut sweet potatoes into bite size pieces, place in baking pan, drizzle with a little bit oil and salt, roast in 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until tender.
In skillet or saucepan, sauté onion in oil until translucent; add sun-dried tomatoes, spices, salt, vinegar and spinach, sauté for 3 minutes. Add lentils and sauté another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in roasted sweet potatoes. Can be served hot or cold!

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