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!

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Chocolate Dipped Pears

22 Sep

I saw this dessert idea on the Martha Stewart website and I decided to put a bit of a twist on it to make it a little more fun. After dipping the pears I rolled the bottom half in shredded coconut and it tasted and looked great in the end. Some other ideas I had were rolling the bottom half in sliced almonds. For this recipe, see the link below:

Chocolate-Dipped Pears

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! ūüôā

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¬†jalape√Īo¬†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!

Tofu Scramble with Spinach & Sun-Ripened Tomatoes

5 Sep

One of my favourite vegan breakfasts, or dinners haha, has got to be tofu scramble! Pretty much all you need is tofu, and whatever vegetables you have in your fridge! I’ve made this for a lot of my friends who aren’t vegan and they have always loved it and wanted more! This recipe should serve 3-4 well, or two¬†extraordinarily¬†hungry people lol!

Ingredients:

1 package extra firm tofu

1 Tbs olive oil

1 small yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup sun-ripened tomatoes, chopped

1 bunch spinach, chopped

1 Tbs soya sauce

1/2 Ts turmeric

salt & pepper to taste

In skillet, sauté  onion, garlic and tomatoes in oil until onions are translucent.

Add spinach and cover with lid until spinach has cooked down.

Reduce heat, crumble in tofu, and mix throughly. Mix in soya sauce, turmeric, salt & pepper. Let cook on low for about 2 minutes.

Plate up and serve with your favourite side dish! Some ideas are toast, hash browns, home fries, steamed vegetables, or some fresh fruit.

Banana Bread Protein Muffins

2 Sep

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I don’t know about you guys, but I get pretty tired of just putting protein powder into smoothies everyday! Will and I made these muffins last night and they are soooo tasty and packed with protein! They’re very simple to make and you’ll probably have most of the ingredients you need already in your house! And if you’re not one for protein powder just omit the protein powder, and the almond milk and you have regular banana bread muffins!

Ingredients:

3 Bananas, Ripe

1/4 Cup vegetable oil

1/2 Cup – 1 Cup almond milk

1 Ts pure vanilla extract

3/4 Cup organic sugar, or sweetener of your choice!

2 Cups all-purpose flour

1/2 Cup brown rice protein powder, vanilla flavour

1 Ts salt

1 Ts baking soda

1 Tbs cinnamon

1 Ts nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream sugar and oil together until smooth. In separate bowl mash bananas, then add to sugar/oil along with 1/2 cup almond milk and vanilla, mix well. In large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients and mix throughly. Depending on your protein powder you might need to add a bit more almond milk so if you have more of a bread consistency just add 1/4 cup almond milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. Line 12 muffin trays and fill 3/4 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes then enjoy!

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