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Simple Lentil Loaf

3 Feb

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This is a recipe that I love for when money is tight! It’s very inexpensive, tasty, and nutritious! What more could you ask for?!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups dried green lentils

4 cups water

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2/3 cups uncooked rice

1/4 cup ketchup + 4 tbsp ketchup

1/2 ts salt

1/ 2 ts dried sage

A pinch of the following dried spices: Thyme, oregano, savoury, marjoram, basil, sage, rosemary.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice according to instructions, and set aside.

Cook lentils in water until soft, about 30 minutes.

While lentils are cooking, sauté onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent, then remove from heat.

Once lentils are done, drain well, and mash until about half them are pureed. Add in onions, garlic, rice, ketchup, seasonings, and mix well.

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Lightly grease a loaf pan, then line with parchment paper so that on either side you have about an inch extra hanging out. (This makes taking your loaf out of the pan so so easy!)

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Press your mixture into your lined pan, cover with foil, and put in your preheated oven for 50 minute.

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Remove from oven, take off foil, and using a pastry brush or spatula, spread a thin layer of ketchup over the loaf.

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Put the loaf back in the oven uncovered for 10 minutes.

Remove, and let cool for 20 minutes before enjoying!

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Yam Fries with Chipotle Aioli

6 Jan

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Will and I have been trying for the longest time to figure out how to make crispy yam fries in the oven, and after much trial and error, we’ve finally done it! I made two versions of fries, one is regular salted, the other is cajun spiced! Hope you enjoy!

Yam Fries Ingredients:

1-2 Yams

Cornstarch

Olive Oil

Sea Salt OR Cajun Spice

Parchment Paper

Chipotle Aioli Ingredients:

1 Cup Vegan Mayonnaise

2 Chipotle Chiles in Adobe

2 Tbsp Lime Juice

Cajun Spice Ingredients:

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1 1/4 tsp Paprika

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

3/4 tsp Dried Oregano

3/4 tsp dried Thyme

(Just mix all ingredients in a bowl to make cajun spice!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Peel and cut your yams into 1/2″ fry shapes. Wash yams in strainer, then dry throughly.

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Put all your cut into a plastic bag, and sprinkle enough cornstarch on the fries that they get evenly coated.

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Place yams in a large bowl, drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on top, and mix until all fries are coated. Add either sea salt or cajun spice, and mix well.

Place on baking sheets in a single layer, making sure none of the fries are touching each other. (They are really sticky with the cornstarch!)

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Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until underside is golden brown. Using tongs, flip each fry (very gently,) and bake for another 10 minutes.

To make Aioli, combine all ingredients in a blender, or magic bullet, and blend until smooth.

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Wild-Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

26 Sep

This is another recipe from the Martha Stewert website, (she has a ton of great vegan recipes!) This to me is a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s easy, inexpensive, and bursts with holiday flavours! I followed the recipe for the most part. What I did change was I added chunks of carrot and celery for some added crunch, and I forgot to buy the cherries so I didn’t put them in, but I’m sure it’s delicious with them lol! I also didn’t use any butter just because I like to cut down on grease when I feel it’s not necessary. This squash was a big hit when I made it, and I will probably make it this Thanksgiving too! Click the link below to get the recipe:

Wild-Rice Stuffed Squash Recipe

End of Summer Salad

23 Sep

Yesterday really felt like the last day of summer, so I decided to make a nice colourful salad to say goodbye to the summer and greet the fall! This salad is great for a main, or you could make a smaller version an have it as a side. Happy fall everyone!

Ingredients:

(Makes 2 main course size salads)

1/2 bunch spinach, cut into bite size pieces

1/2 head lettuce, cut into bite size pieces

1 red pepper, cut into chunks

1 yellow pepper, sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced

1 tomato, cut into chunks

2 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds

2 Tbsp raw sliced almonds

2 Tbsp flame raisins, or your favourite kind!

2 Tbsp balsamic dressing, see “Bean Burgers with Mango Salsa and Caesar Salad” for recipe

Put lettuce on plates, evenly place peppers, celery, and tomato on lettuce. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds, almonds, and raisins on top. Drizzle with salad dressing, and serve!

Mexican Salad in Tortilla Bowls

17 Sep

Before Will and I went vegan, we ate a lot of crap! Some of the crap we loved to eat was mexican fast food. I remember buying the salads in tortilla bowls thinking it was a healthy choice, but in reality the bowl was deep fried, the salad was drenched in sour cream, shredded cheese, and guacamole, and all the vegetables had next to no nutrients in them. Now, even though that dish was so, so bad for us, the taste I will admit was very addicting! I wanted to try and make my own healthy vegan version of this so we can still enjoy a mexican salad without all the junk!

Ingredients:

4 whole wheat soft-shell tortillas

1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped into bite size pieces

2 tbs cilantro, minced

1 red pepper, chopped into 1″ pieced

1 tomato, chopped into 1″ pieces

1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked

1 cup red kidney beans, cooked

1 beet, sliced using potato peeler

6 wooden skewers

balsamic dressing, see “Bean Burger with Mango Salsa & Caesar Salad” for recipe

To make the tortilla bowls, I took 6 wooden skewers and broke them all in half. Next, I pinched a corner at a time and put 1 skewer through each 2 pinches I made until I had a bowl shape. Once all 4 were done, I put them in a preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until the tortillas are stiff to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool, then remove skewers.

To make the beet crisps, take a whole beet, cut off the ends, and peel it. Then, using a potato peeler, slice the whole beet so you have paper thin circular slices. In a bowl, add 1 tbs of olive oil and toss the beets until they are evenly covered. Lay them on a baking sheet making sure not to overlap, and cook in your preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until the outsides are coming to a nice crisp. Remove from oven, let cool on baking sheet until ready to use.

To assemble your salad bowls, fill the tortilla bowls with lettuce, top with tomato, pepper,  corn, and beans. Garnish with beet crisps and cilantro, and drizzle balsamic dressing on top.

Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce (without the pasta!)

12 Sep

This dish is great for pasta lovers who are trying to lose weight! It’s 100% vegetables, loaded with nutrients and full of delicious flavours. I made a tomato sauce for this recipe, but there are so many other options when using spaghetti squash. If you’re feeling naughty you could make a vegan alfredo sauce, or if you want to keep it simple, melt a tablespoon of earth balance into the squash with seasonings of your choice!

Ingredients:

1 Spaghetti squash, for noodles!

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 can tomato paste

1 can stewed tomatoes, chopped

1 yellow onion, diced

1 zucchini, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped

1 tbs dried basil

salt & pepper to taste

In large saucepan on medium heat, cook onion and garlic until onions are translucent. Add in all remaining ingredients, bring to boil over medium-high heat, then simmer. The longer you simmer the more flavourful the sauce will be so I made this sauce 2 hours before I cooked my squash. If you don’t have 2 hours, don’t worry, the sauce will be tasty if you simmer if for 30 minutes!

To make your noodle, cut squash in halves, then quarter the halves. Put pieces flesh-side down in a steamer and steam for 20-25 minutes, or until fork can easily pierce squash. To release the “spaghetti” use a fork and rake the squash into a bowl.

To serve, put a portion of squash on a plate, and top with sauce and enjoy! 🙂

Bean Burgers with Mango Salsa & Caesar Salad

10 Sep

I was craving burgers & fries so badly today, but I really didn’t want to eat any tofu, or fake meat and I know fries are far from the healthiest option, so I thought about some healthier options and decided on making a bean burger with a caesar salad instead of fries. I topped the burger with some fresh mango salsa, tomato slices, avocado slices, and onion slices. For the caesar salad I made croutons, and a balsamic dressing instead of the classic ranch dressing, and topped it with a slice of lemon. This dinner totally satisfied my burger craving, and was pretty easy to make too!

Burgers:

1 can red kidney beans, drained

1 cup cooked rice

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup shredded broccoli

1 tbs grated ginger

2 tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 tbs olive oil

4 Buns

1 tomato, sliced

1/2 avocado, sliced

1/2 yellow onion, sliced

in food processor, or blender, blend beans until smooth. Add rice and pulse until mixed throughly. Scoop mixture into bowl and add remaining ingredients except oil. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, divide bean mixture into four balls, then flatten so that they’re about 1/2 inch thick. Place in heated skillet and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes each side.

Mango Salsa:

1 mango, peeled, pitted, diced

2 tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 small jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

juice from half a lemon

Mix all ingredients in bowl and let sit covered in fridge until needed.

Caesar Salad:

1 bunch romaine lettuce

2 slices lemon, for topping

For croutons:

3 slices of bread, cubed

drizzle of olive oil

1 tbs dried basil

For dressing:

1/8 cup olive oil

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 tbs dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

Chop lettuce and keep in bowl until ready to serve. To make croutons, toss all ingredients in bowl, then place on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until crisp. For salad dressing, combine all ingredients and mix throughly. Set aside until ready to serve.

To serve this dish, start by toasting your buns. While they’re toasting, put a serving of lettuce on each plate, drizzle with dressing, top with croutons and a slice of lemon. Once your buns are toasted and on your plate, put your patty on the bottom bun, add 3 rings of onion, a scoop of mango salsa, 2 slices of avocado, and 2 slices of tomato on top of the patty, then add the top bun. I didn’t add any condiments because the patty and the salsa has such great fresh flavours I didn’t want to fade it out with ketchup!

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