the two Ls

the two Ls

Thursday, December 29, 2016

vegan raw gingerbread truffles


















This recipe came directly from Kara Lydon's blog, "the foodie dietitian." It's so delicious! As soon as I received it in my inbox it was to the kitchen. I love gingerbread!!!!
Check out her blog-  http://karalydon.com/recipes/

Gingerbread truffles 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (approx 10 dates)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • Optional toppings:
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder for dusting (raw) OR
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips +
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil
Instructions
  1. In food processor process the nuts into a fine powder.
  2. Add dates, ginger, molasses, cacao powder, cinnamon, cloves and allspice and pulse to crumb-like consistency.
  3. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place onto wax paper or parchment-lined baking sheets. Store in freezer for 20 minutes or until chilled.
  4. Remove truffles from freezer and use one of the options for coating below:
  5. Add cacao powder to a plate and roll each truffle in the powder until coated OR
  6. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat, whisking frequently until melted. Turn off heat and place the balls, one at a time, into the melted chocolate until coated. Remove and return truffles to parchment-lined baking sheets.
  7. Store in the refrigerator to keep chilled.

This will be a holiday favorite!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Rose and Basil

My friend and I visited NYC today. What do you think our number one preoccupation was?
Food.  NYC has the best vegan food selection anywhere! This was a find we stumbled upon. Rose and Basil. Vegan chocolates, lattes and the best chocolate peanut butter chia pudding ever! You will soon see my try at making this delicious, nutritious treat.  Our barista was really nice and helpful. She answered all of my questions about the ingredients. Rose and Basil  just opened this past summer. Do visit this new gem before the lines are super long! Soon everyone will know about it.
Merry Christmas folks!



Thursday, December 22, 2016

Balsamic Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

breakfast sprouts topped with hummus

This certainly is yummy! An unexpected mix of ingredients make for an excellent way to get more cruciferous veggies into your diet. I borrowed this recipe from Chef AJ.  I tried it once with the big 'ol bag of shave Brussels sprouts and kale from Costco (I shared earlier that earlier.) Makes it even quicker and easier! Since then I have tried it on butternut squash and sweet potato chunks and,of course, the halved and whole frozen Brussels sprouts.
 

Preheat oven to 450F.
Trim the ends off of 2 pounds of Brussels Sprouts and cut in half or fourths This depends on how large the Brussel Sprouts are. In this bag of frozens the sprouts were small so I didn't do anything!


Place in a large bowl and add 1/4 cup of your favorite low sodium Dijon mustard or salt free Stone ground mustard and 1/4 cup of your favorite Balsamic vinegar. Mix well until the veggies are completely coated. Bake on a piece of parchment paper or nonstick silicone baking mat for at least 30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. If your Brussels sprouts are quite large or you prefer them crispier or more blackened, roast up to 30 minutes longer until they are done the way you like them. Make sure you stir them around every 10-15 minutes.





Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Salad

What a beautiful, delicious winter salad this is. My new fave!

For the salad:
1 cup quinoa- cooked (remember to rinse before cooking) I like to cook it with veg broth and some onion powder instead of water
1 bulb fennel- spiralized thin or sliced very thin
3 cups salad greens of choice - I use a mix of kale, spinach and arugula
1 large pomegranate

dressing:
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 large lemon juice juiced
1 shallot minced (once I used onion when I forgot to buy shallot- then use about 1 TB of onion finely minced)
salt, if you want

Cashew cheese
1 cup raw cashews soaked 24 hours- rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons light yellow miso
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 large clove garlic
1/4 cups water (or more for consistency)
1.2 tsp salt is desired

Prepare the cashew cheese:
Place cashews, miso, lemon juice garlic, water and salt if you want into food processor or vitamix.
Blend  for  a short time and then scrape down sides. Blend again. Stop when the cheese is fully mixed and whippy. Place in container and into the fridge for at least two hours.

Prepare dressing:
Whisk together all ingredients.

Combine fennel, pomegranate seeds, and grains with the dressing. Then lightly toss in the greens. Serve with a dollop of cashew cheese. 


Thank you to Gena Hamshaw for this recipe. I changed it lightly, but the recipe is essentially hers. Check out her wonderful blog at The Full Helping .


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Holiday Spiced Matcha

I needed a change in my Matcha drinking. Summer warmth is definitely in the past. Iced and peppermint Matcha just wasn't cutting it. So I turned to the Internet and did some research. This recipe combines all I learned and was mastered in the vitamix.

3/4 cup almost boiling water
1 humongously heaping tsp of matcha powder (my fave is DO brand)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamon
1 tsp maple syrup (to taste)

Place all in the vitamix and whip together. I like the put the setting on smoothie and walk away.

Add:
1 cup non-dairy milk -I like almond or soy- Heat the milk before adding.

Whip it all together and enjoy! This recipe is for my super large mug- or a Grande size at Starbucks

Saturday, December 17, 2016

redo on curried cashews

Curried Cashews

Serves: 3 cups

I have made this recipe for many years, even posting it a while back. This year I researched how to make my own curry powder and wowza- it added something wonderful.  That's the reason for a re-post. Enjoy!
They make wonderful gifts.

Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder (see below for my home made curry powder)
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cups cashews, whole or pieces (12 ounces)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 250F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the first five ingredients and toss with the cashews. Make sure to coat those cashews well.
  3. Spread the nuts in an even layer and roast for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Transfer to an airtight container. I made a bigger batch and put most of it in the freezer.
homemade curry powder- rich and delicious!!!
       ·  5 tablespoons ground coriander seeds
·  2 tablespoons ground cumin seeds
·  1 tablespoon ground turmeric
·  2 teaspoons ground ginger
·  2 teaspoons dry mustard
·  2 teaspoons ground fenugreek seeds
·  1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
       ·  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
       ·  1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
·  1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Monday, November 21, 2016

"Sweets" aka- mashed and spiced sweet potatoes


This recipe is for 2-4 depending on the amount you serve. It's yummy and takes no time at all.

2 medium- large-ish sweet potatoes, washed with skin removed
about 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I use almond)
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 large date, mixed and mashed with boiling water

Cut the potatoes into small pieces and steam them. When soft, mash them and add other ingredients to desired texture and taste.
SO good they taste like dessert!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Yummy Sauce


Yummy Sauce

This is one of Chef AJ's delicious recipes.
The cannelini beans create a  texture
similar to nuts and have the mouth feel without all the fat.

Ingredients:
1 15 ounce can of cannelini beans, rinsed and drained (or 1½ cups of cooked beans)
zest from one lemon plus 1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic (or less, to your liking- I like garlic)
2 tablespoons salt free mustard (I use Westbrae stoneground mustard)
3/4 ounce pitted dates (about 3 Deglet Noor)


Preparation: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add water If necessary. If you make this in a high-powered blender you can make the sauce warm. This is delicious served over veggies and brown rice.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hot Caramel Matcha ☕ Tea Latte

Hot Caramel Matcha Tea Latte

I confess, I have an addiction. Matcha tea. Once you learn about how good it is for you I think you will love it too.  To learn more, check out Dr. Greger's link here at Nutritional Facts. 

Maybe you have tried Matcha at Starbucks.....but let me tell you that is a very distant relative to real Matcha. Unfortunately they have placed tons of sugar In the powder making it a sweet confection rather than a delicious Matcha. 

This summer, on this blog,  you saw a recipe for iced mint Matcha. Now I introduce the hot version with caramel extract. You can always just have the regular latte or even the Matcha powder in water. Here is my"Sunday morning" Matcha.  I use my Vitamix to make it but you can just as easily use a whisk. 

1/2 cup boiling water
Place in Vitamix
Add 1-2 teaspoon Matcha powder  My favorite is Do Matcha.
Whip them together.
Add  a drop or two of caramel extract- I use Watkins. You of course can favor it with the extract of your choice.
Add sweetener. I use maple syrup or Xylitol.
Heat 3/4 to 1 cup almond milk and then add to mixer.
Whip till frothy. Enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Quickie Delicious Black Beans

One of my favorite quickie meals is the "Aztec Princess." Pretty much it's a pile of different yummy veggies that you have in your fridge, black beans and corn tortillas.

Tonight's versions of the beans blew me away. (Thank you Domi for the inspiration.)
It led the way to the most recent version of the Aztec Princess which has beans, roasted butternut squash (with herbs), steamed kale, and a little smashed avocado. The beans and the squash were so tasty that I put the salsa (Muir Glen, jarred) away.

 Ingredients:
1 28 oz can black beans- drained and rinsed
1 inch piece of ginger (I keep mine in the freezer. It keeps it fresh and delicious.)
1 medium onion
1-2 tsp oil of choice
1-2 tsp bouillion or "better than bouillon" and water
1 to 2 tsp cumin seed (depends how spicy you like them)
1 to 2 tsp coriander

Directions:
1. Saute onion and ginger with oil.
2. Add drained beans, cumin seeds, coriander, water, and bouillon.
3. Saute till fragrant and yummy.




Saturday, October 15, 2016

My Favourite Flower Salad



I first made this salad from a recipe developed by Angela Liddon of  Oh She Glows fame. Props to our famous Canadian vegan cook! It was her version of a salad that she had purchased at Whole Foods. I made Angela's recipe the first time but then made some minor adaptations of my own. My version uses more sunflower seeds & fewer currants because I found the salad too sweet & I like to have an extra boost of protein. I also halved it & renamed it. It's an adaptable recipe, so try it out & add your own twist.

1 head broccoli
1/2 head cauliflower
1&1/4 cups shredded carrots
 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cups raisins
1/4 cup parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper

I use my 7 cup Cuisinart food processor for this recipe.
Using the grater attachment, shred a large carrot & place in a large bowl.
Remove the flowers from a head of broccoli & place in the food processor, fitted with chopping blade. Chop until fine & place in the bowl with the carrots.
Remove the flowers from 1/4 head of cauliflower. Process until fine. Place them in the bowl with the other veggies. Repeat for the remaining 1/4 head.
Remove the leaves from a small bunch of parsley. Process until fine. Add to bowl.
Add the sunflower seeds, currants, raisins, lemon juice, salt & pepper.
Stir until everything is well mixed. Salad will keep, in the fridge for several days.
I love having this salad on hand. It goes with everything & is delicious on it's own for a quick snack.




Thursday, October 13, 2016

vegan corn muffins for 2


Vegan Corn Muffins for two

I found this  wonderful, quickie recipe online at The Minimalist Baker. They are light and fluffy. I used a mini muffin pan so rather than 2 larger muffins I made 12 tiny ones (more muffin top, yum!)

Heat stove to 350.

Ingredients
*1 small flax egg (1/2 TB flax meal and 1 1/2 TB water)
*1/4 cup plus 3 TB plain unsweetened almond milk +1 tsp apple cider vinegar
*1/4 tsp baking soda
*2 TB vegan butter melted
*1/4 sucanat or whatever dry sugar you have
* 1TB unsweetened applesauce

Dry-
*1/4 cup plus 3 TB fine yellow cornmeal
*1/4 cup plus 3TB whole wheat flour
*pinch salt

Directions:
Mix flax egg and set aside
Mix almond milk and vinegar and let sit for a couple minutes. Then add baking soda.
Melt butter (I melted in the microwave) and then whisk in sugar. Add applesauce. Whisk again.
Add butter mixture to almond milk. Whisk. Then add flax egg. Whisk to blend.

In separate bowl spoon together dry ingredients.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Slowly. Just mix well enough to moisten.

Lightly grease your choice of muffin pan. And then pour in your cornmeal mixture.
Bake large muffins for 25-28 minutes. My mini muffins took 15 minutes.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fresh Tomato Sauce




The temperature is starting to dip at night so I harvested all my tomatoes & basil yesterday. This is one of my favourite ways to use them. I also harvested my last two eggplants & made Loriann's roasted eggplant, pepper & garlic sauce. If you haven't made  it yet, it's delicious!

Ingredients

5 large ripe tomatoes, seeded & finely diced
1/2 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
salt & ground black pepper to taste
1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (optional)

Method

Place all ingredients, except vinegar, in a bowl & toss gently. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Serve it on pasta or spiralized veggies. My personal favourites are zucchini or beets. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar if desired.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Healing the Vegan Way- Mark Reinfeld

Last week I was fortunate to attend a lecture/ cooking class at the Great Sage vegan restaurant. Mark Reinfeld, accompanied by Kelly Parker and Madeline Davis (from Veg Works), presented how to make delicious meals based on recipe templates.
It was perfect. Since neither Leah not I ever stick to a recipe, it was a presentation that was tailored for the "creative chef" or the "chef with missing ingredients."

His first recipe was Raw Carrot Brazil Nut Soup.
6 cups soup
4 cups fresh carrot juice
1/2 cup Brazil nuts
1/2 cup peeled and pitted avocado
1 TB fresh lemon juice
1 TB fresh peeled minced ginger
2 tsp peeled and minced fresh tumeric
2 tsp seeded and diced jalapeno
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 pepper
pinch of chipotle powder
1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn
1/2 seeded diced red bell pepper
2 tsp fresh dill

 1.Place the 2 cups of carrot juice in high speed blender. Add all of the remaining ingredients except corn and dill and pepper.
2. Add the remaining 2 cups of carrot juice and blend well. Transfer to a bowl. Add corn, pepper and dill. Mix well before serving. Serve chilled.
It was amazing. mark topped it with a tiny bit of  cashew cream.


Possible Substitutions:

1. the kind of juice
2. the avocado could be switched with sweet potato
3. alter the spice mix and or the nuts.
Just those few changes you have at least 15 plus different recipes!
Mark, Kelly and Madeline
I highly suggest that this is an excellent book to add to your library. More in another post!

Bonus: Here is a link  about Mark's cooking from the Washington Post. Check it out!
Easiest way to approximate ground beef in a taco- vegan 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Persian Cucumber & Tomato Salad

I really meant to post this salad earlier in the summer. Tomatoes & parsley are still plentiful in my garden, here in Nova Scotia, & I've harvested my garlic so here goes! It's a really tasty salad, reminiscent of tabbouleh. You could add chickpeas to make it a meal & even stuff it in pita bread  to make a sandwich.

Serves 4

Ingredients
4 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded & chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 large red onion, halved & thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh, flat leaved parsley, finely chopped
 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1&1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Method
In a large bowl, place all the ingredients, tossing well to combine. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavours to blend. Toss again & serve.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

quick delicious ice cream

 `
I ALWAYS want ice cream. Don't you? But even the wonderful vegan ice creams are full of sugar and extra stuff we don't want to eat. So here is one amazing little quickie ice cream- that actually tastes like ice cream!

1 frozen banana (I always keep these in the freezer)
1 seriously heaping TB of crunchy peanut butter

Whip in the Vitamix on frozen dessert or Cuisinart food processor on high.  Sometimes I find that I need to add some soy or almond milk. 

Stir in frozen vegan chocolate chips.
YUM!!!


Monday, September 12, 2016

yummy tahini dressing for your cruciferous salad



Do you have the same problem I have? That is finding recipes to get your loved ones to enjoy eating raw cruciferous veggies.
Well, yesterday I stopped by Costco. When in the produce aisle, full of humungo bags, I saw one that peaked my interest- Sweet Kale Chopped Salad. The bag is a shredded combination of broccoli stalks, kale, brussel sprouts, green cabbage, and radicchio. In addition I later found that there is an enclosed  bag with cranberries and sunflower seeds(a keeper), as well as their poppyseed dressing  that has egg, which I immediately discarded.

I thought....hmmm, that's an easy way to whip up a salad full of goodness. I bought it.

I am always looking for a way to get my hubby to eat more raw cruciferous veggies but I need to mask them slightly.....thus I need to make my own (healthy) dressing. Here's what I came up with:

1 large lemon- juiced
3TB or more tahini
1/2 tsp garlic powder
agave or sweetener of your choice to taste.
Whisk it all together, add water till desired consistency.

If you don't have the magic bag of veggies just shred a big bowl full of:
broccoli stalks
kale 
Brussels sprouts
green cabbage
radicchio
or any beautiful greens in your fridge.

I added the  sunflower seeds and cranberries for crunch.

He ate it, loved it and asked for more. :-)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Caramelized Onion-Brown Rice-Lentil Patties

This recipe is from The Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen. They only thing I changed was the name & to reduce the amount of oil. Molly calls them burgers but they aren't big enough to go on a bun & besides they're so tasty that all they require is a little chutney & a lot of veggies on the side. Don't mask their deliciousness with bread! My favourite is rhubarb chutney; what's yours?

Makes 14 patties. Serving size - 2 patties

Ingredients
1 cup brown rice
1 cup brown lentils
3 cups water
2-3 Tbs olive oil
4 cups finely minced onions (2 large)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
black pepper


Method
Combine rice, lentils & water in a saucepan & bring to a boil. Cover & simmer over low heat until all the water is absorbed. About 40 minutes.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute, then add 2 Tbs of oil & swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the onions & cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until the onions become soft. Add 1/2 tsp of salt, reduce heat & continue cooking for another 20 - 30 minutes.
Add rice-lentil mixture to onions & cook and mash together over very low heat. Gradually add more salt, soy sauce, vinegar & black pepper.
Place a second skillet over medium heat for 1 minute, add a scant 1/2 Tbs of oil & swirl to coat the pan. Heat for another minute or so. Form patties by placing 1/3 of a cup of mixture in pan for each pattie, smoothing the top & pushing in the sides as needed. Reduce heat to medium-low & cook patties for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden & crispy. Continue to cook in batches, adding more oil as needed. Serve hot or warm.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

roasted eggplant, pepper and garlic sauce

This is a yummy versatile sauce. I saw a version of this recipe in the New York Times Sunday edition and thought...hmmm let's work with this.  My take on the recipe is vegan and with more traditional Italian spice.



Roasted Eggplant, Pepper and Garlic sauce 

This recipe makes two large jars of sauce. I use one for the pasta and save the other for pizza.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  •  2 red peppers, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 whole garlic head (cut a small piece of the top off to expose garlic)
  •  1-2 TB extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 TB (or more to taste) herb de Provence
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 TB basil
  • 1TB oregano
  • Fresh mint or basil leaves, for serving
  • 12 ounces pasta rigatoni or farfalle 

Preparation

Japanese eggplants were on special..either works
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spread out eggplant cubes and peppers on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 2 tablespoons oil and season well with herb de provence and little salt. On the side place the head of garlic.
  2. Roast, turning everything, until eggplant and peppers are very soft and deeply golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Chop tomatoes into small chunks, place in large sauce pan
  4. Add the roasted garlic, a little water, can of tomato paste, basil, oregano, and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan with the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until till rich and sauce like. then season to taste with a little salt if you like.
  5. Add all roasted veggies. Simmer.
  6. Meanwhile, cook pasta in well-salted boiling water until about 1 minute shy of al dente. Drain.
  7. Mix pasta and sauce.
  8. Serve pasta topped with fresh basil.

****When I told my brother that I had posted this recipe he reminded me to post "the Secret." Fennel seeds. My brother Pete is a chef in an Italian restaurant. He specializes in appetizers. The sauce is always the key to any Italian dish and this is no exception. Today's version has a heaping teaspoon or two of fennel seeds. Maybe next time I will use whole fresh fennel bulb!
Two mason jars are just waiting in my fridge. A night in the fridge will make the sauce even tastier.


Monday, August 22, 2016

pan-seared garlic tofu

This recipe is from  the oh she glows cookbook. Thanks Angela Liddon! It's simple, tasty & versatile. I like to eat is just as is but it's also good to add to stir fries, salads, veggie bowls, summer rolls ..... you get the idea.
this photo is 1/2 of the recipe

serves 4

Ingredients
1 lb block of firm or extra firm tofu
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs melted coconut oil

Method
Press tofu for at least 30 minutes.
Slice pressed tofu into 9 or 10 rectangles & then slice each rectangle into 6 squares.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss to fully coat tofu.
Preheat a cast-iron (heavy bottomed non-stick) skillet over medium heat for several minutes.
When a drop of water sizzles on the skillet, it's ready.
Add the oil to the skillet & tilt to coat evenly.
Add the tofu to the pan, Reduce heat to medium low & cook tofu for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden.






Friday, August 19, 2016

summer rolls


There's nothing better than not having to cook when the weather is super hot. Still we like to eat, so why not eat yummy cool stuff? That is the time for summer rolls. Versatile and tasty you can make your summer rolls with anything you have hanging around in the kitchen. You just need rice paper wrappers to enclose them. Actually I have used large lettuce leaves in a pinch!

I usually make a roll or two as a side dish, but have been know to make three or four per person and call it dinner.

*You need one package of rice paper wrappers. They actually have them in Safeway in the "international food" aisle.  Prepare a bowl of water (or I use my ceramic pie plate) for soaking the rice wrappers. Soak about one minute. The wrapper should still have a soft crispness as it will soften more after it comes out. 

Chop and ready filling:
My favorite "fillings" ingredients include:
*tofu, marinated, plain or made into tofu "meats" whatever you have and your audience prefers sliced long
*rice noodles (cooked and set aside)
*avocado -sliced long
*grated carrots or beets or both!
*fresh basil- whole leaves, Thai or regular (I always keep hydroponic basil growing in a vase that sits on my kitchen window.)
*thin slices (long way) of cucumber
*red pepper sliced thin and long

Two kinds of sauce - you choose which one to make:
*1.easy- Hoisin sauce and peanut butter (creamy) mixed in equal amounts. Add water to thin to desired feel for dipping.

* 2.simple- creamy peanut butter and seasoned rice vinegar in equal amounts

Into either sauce you can add a little agave, sesame oil, lime juice, mashed garlic, red pepper flakes or chiles if you like. My favorite additions are mashed garlic and a squirt of fresh lime juice. I also like to sprinkle some finely chopped peanuts on top.

To prepare: ready all of your filling ingredients into small bowls. Ready your rice wrapper set up.(bowl of water and rice papers. 
Soak a wrapper. Lay flat. Put veggies in a straight line in the middle of the paper. Get ready to roll. 

There are two ways to roll. One is like a burrito -which is great for travel. And the other is just to put the veggies in and roll as tight as possible. Cut in half and serve with some delicious goodies gracefully sticking out. Sometimes I decorate with basil leaves or mint leaves. 


Thursday, August 18, 2016

summer soba and jewels


 Quick and easy Summer Soba is one of the meals that graces my table often. As long as you store some Soba noodles in your pantry you can make this delicious summer meal. Feel free to vary the additions(jewels.) I always add the avocado and mango.

1 pk buckwheat Soba noodles
1 mango
1 cucumber
1 red pepper
1 avocado
1/2 block of tofu, chopped into cubes
3 TB miso mixed with water
2 TB tamari

sauce- 3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar, 1 TB maple syrup, 2 TB tamari sauce

Directions:
*Mix miso with 3TB water till it is a thick-ish sauce- Add tofu cubes and marinate for at least a half hour. You can serve these cold or pan fry them.

*Cook Soba noodles as per package- let cool
*Chop all veggies, keep in separate bowls
*With small whisk mix sauce ingredients

*Place noodles in a big bowl and top with most of the sauce. I like to save some for serving.
Place each separate mound of veggies around the soaked noodles. Cool if there is time...if not and you are hungry now...it's just as delicious slightly warm.

This recipe is adapted a recipe made by the chef Jane Esselstyn -"Summer Soba."
 You can find the original in a vegan's cooking bible-  My Beef with Meat.
Soba noodles vary- only Buckwheat Soba are gluten free.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Chocomole!!


Chocomole!!

This recipe is from Angel Liddon. She calls it Salted Chocolate Avocado Pudding & it can be found on her Oh She Glows app. I adapted it very slightly by using half the amount of coconut oil. I used sunflower seed butter, because I didn't have any almond butter on hand & agave instead of brown rice syrup, also due to a pantry shortage.
This pudding is just plain delicious. I like to eat it with seasonal berries / fruit. You can also use it as frosting on cake or freeze it in moulds to make a frozen treat.

Serves 3-4

Ingredients
3/4 cup of packed avocado (1 medium)      
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbs agave syrup
1 Tbs melted coconut oil
2 Tbs unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbs sunflower seed butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Directions
If you're making just one batch of this, a mini food processor works well. If you're doubling (or more!) use a larger one.
Scoop the avocado into the food processor along with all the other ingredients & process until smooth. Chill for 2 hours, if you can wait that long ;)


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This recipe is from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein, with just a few minor changes.

1-19 oz can chick peas
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 roasted red peppers
3-4 Tbs of lemon juice
3 Tbs tahini
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt / Herbamare
2 Tbs water (more if needed for consistency)

Drain & rinse chickpeas, reserving the aquafaba for another recipe if desired.
Squeeze the juice from 1/2 a large lemon.
Place the chickpeas & lemon juice in a food processor & process for a few minutes.
Cut up the roasted red peppers & add to the mixture. You can roasted the peppers yourself or use the kind for a jar.
Press garlic & add to the mixture along with the tahini, cumin, salt & water.
Process until smooth.
Adjust lemon juice & garlic to your taste buds.

I like my hummus with extra garlic. I used a combination of roasted garlic, because I had some on hand, & fresh pressed garlic. Now that I've made this hummus I may never buy store bought again!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Curried Cashews




Curried Cashews (from Get Inspired Everyday)
One of the best snacks ever! I also make them as thank you gifts for friends and neighbors.

Serves: 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cups cashews, whole or pieces (12 ounces)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 250F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the first five ingredients and toss with the cashews.
  3. Spread the nuts in an even layer and roast for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Transfer to an airtight container. I made a bigger batch and put most of it in the freezer.



Recipe by GI 365 at http://gi365.co/food/curried-cashews/

Monday, August 1, 2016

The one app every vegan will want

The Daily Dozen app is the perfect tool for living a whole foods plant-based life! It doesn't matter if you are a newcomer to this lifestyle or a veteran vegan, this app is fantastic. It's very easy to use, without any unnecessary gimmicks. The app is a great way to keep track that you are eating all of the components of a healthy diet.
I find it hard to reach 100% and have only done it once.  On that day Leah and I worked hard to make sure our recipes covered all the ground. Knowing this makes me strive harder to get  achieve at least 90%. You will find it makes you plan your food better. Try it and let us know.

PS Would you like to be our first follower?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cool Black Bean Summer Salad

Cool Black Bean Summer Salad

not especially beautiful to look at but delicious!

This salad made itself in my kitchen yesterday evening & it was good, so I thought I'd share with you. It was inspired by a fresh mango & avocado salsa that I like to make but then other ingredients from my fridge just kept jumping in. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Below is how I made it but I think it's probably a very flexible recipe. It made enough for 2 adults as a main course.

1 mango (I used ataulfo variety)
1/2 avocado
4-5 inches of English cucumber
1/2 red pepper
cooked corn kernels from 1 ear of corn
1 (generous) cup of black beans (Lazy Cook's of course!)
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
juice from 1/2 lime
baby spinach / other greens, to serve

Small chop (between chop & dice) the mango, avocado, cucumber & red pepper & place in a bowl. Squeeze juice from 1/4 of the lime & toss. Cut the kernels from corn cob & add to the bowl. Add black beans (Don't rinse them!)*, pressed garlic & the juice from the other 1/4 lime. Toss gently & serve on a bed of greens.

*I used black beans from Lazy Cook's Black Beans (see previous post) so I didn't rinse them. If you use canned beans, you will have to rinse them & probably add a little more seasoning. Try a little salt /Herbamare.


Do you need convincing why you should eat black beans? Check out this link from Medical News Today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cold drinks for Hot days

two simple ingredients



































It's been HOT here.... 99 plus humidity! It's a great excuse to try many different, cooling, simple drinks. One of my favorites is simply to add a few frozen strawberries or raspberries to my water bottle. During the day I just add more water and the taste keeps going.
When time allows I charge up the Vitamix and make a watermelon lime cooler. So easy! A cuisinart or blender will work as well.

Just add a few cups (approximate- I never measure) of seedless watermelon with a half of a peeled whole lime (no seeds)  and blend in Vitamix. Pour into a tall glass with ice.
Enjoy.

BTW Watermelons are 92% water and have vitamin A, B6, and C, plus lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids.  In addition it has anti-inflammatory properties (think blueberries) What more can you want from a little drink?


Monday, July 25, 2016

Lazy Cook's Black Beans

Lazys Cook's Black Beans by Max Falkowitz

burrito with kale, black beans, caramelised onions & sweet potato
This recipe is so easy & so delicious! I found it a couple of years ago at seriouseats.com
 After you've tasted these, you'll never buy beans in a can again. Thanks Max!
(I've rewritten the method.)

Yields 6-8 side servings. Total  cooking time 2-3 hours.

2 cups dry black beans
8-10 cloves of garlic
1 medium yellow onion
1 juicing orange
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Get out a big ol', heavy bottomed pot & get ready to make some deliciousness!
Rinse & pick over beans & place them in the pot.
Peel the garlic cloves & put them in the pot.
Peel the onion, cutting it in half, leaving the root on so it stays together. Put it in the pot.
Wash & cut the orange in quarters, squeezing the juice into the pot, then toss in the quarters. Yes, peel & all.
Now cover everything with 3-4 inches of water. Heat on high until water comes a boil. Turn down & simmer, uncovered for 1-2 hours or until beans are tender & creamy. Stir occasionally, adding water if the tops of the beans become exposed. Remove orange & onion. Increase heat & simmer until reduced to a thick, creamy sauce. Season with salt.

half way through cooking time
fully cooked
(This isn't all of them. I forgot to take the photo until after I made 4 burritos.)



Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dreamy Creamy Oatmeal


I went to bed thinking that I'd make oatmeal for breakfast & I literally dreamed this recipe. This recipe is for one but you can simply multiply for more.

Dreamy Creamy Oatmeal

 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
(or your milk of choice)
3 teaspoons ground flax meal
1 Medjool date
1 tablespoon raw pepitas
5-6 strawberries

Pit & cut date into small pieces. Place oats, milk, 2 teaspoons of the flax meal & date in a saucepan, on medium heat. Cook, stirring often, into a creamy porridge consistency. Turn heat down if needed.
Cut strawberries into bite size pieces.
Place oatmeal in a bowl, sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of flax meal & the pepitas. Top with strawberries & enjoy!

Here's a good link to the benefits of flax.


Sweet Potato Beach Stacks

beach stack, assembled
beautiful Prince Edward Island beach

It's the 2Ls fun week for summer 2016 & we spent our first full day on a beach, all to ourselves! Of course we talked about food preparation & planned our first dinner while soaking up the sun. Here's what we came up with.

Sweet Potato Beach Stacks

Sweet Potato Layer
2 medium sweet potatoes
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

Carmelized Onion Layer
2 onions (any colour)
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon of olive oil
splash of balsamic vinegar

Black Bean Layer
15-19 ounce can of black beans
2 large cloves garlic
seasoning of choice

Roasted Red Pepper Layer
1 red pepper

Heat oven to 450. Wash & place sweet potatoes & red pepper in hot oven. Cook for 45-60 minutes or until the potatoes are soft & the red peppers are charred.
Peel & chop onion. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until caramelized, lower heat as needed, stirring often. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar near the end of cooking.
While the onions are cooking, drain & rinse the black beans. Peel & mince the cloves of garlic. Place 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan, adding the garlic & then the black beans. Heat on low, stirring often.
Remove the potatoes & peppers from oven. Peel & mash the sweet potatoes with cinnamon.
Seed & remove skins from peppers & slice into strips.
Now for the assembly. Place half the sweet potatoes on a plate & smooth into a flat disc, place half the onions on top of the sweet potatoes, spoon black beans on top of the onions & top with half the roasted red peppers.

We enjoyed this recipe but talked about making some adjustments the next time we make it. One idea is that we thought it would be good to start with a bed of greens & build on top of that. Baby spinach or baby kale would be good or whatever greens you enjoy. Leah thought the greens should be raw; Loriann prefers hers lightly cooked. We also thought making the beans a little mushier by mashing some of them or adding a little vegetable broth. We didn't want to loose the texture of the whole beans completely though. Another idea was to change the order the order of the stack, mashing the beans instead & starting with them, then roasting the sweet potatoes in discs or chunks & placing on top of the onions. 
Send us your suggestions!