"The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine."
- Hippocrates

August 25, 2010

Zucchini Muffins

If you head out to any local farmer's market or produce stands these days, you'll notice that it's the season of summer squash. Yup, that includes your pattypans, yellow crookneck squash, yellow summer squash and zucchini! Now, I'll admit, I haven't yet found a way to incorporate these babies into my regular diet, even this time of year (I prefer the various varieties of winter squash), but I'm trying!

Now, last weekend I planned to make some
Veggie Burritos and needed some zucchini, so I made my way to the Ottawa Farmer's Market and found some great deals! I couldn't resist and bought a bunch of fresh organic zucs! I knew right away that with the extras I'd make some yummy Zucchini Muffins!! Ohhh... the excitement!

Now if you're not a fan of zucchini, don't let the contents of these muffins deter you from trying them...you certainly can't tell there's any vegetables in here! They've even got banana and maple syrup...you can't go wrong! The result is moist, fluffy and slightly sweet muffins with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg! I like to eat them straight out of the oven smothered with lots of melted *non-dairy* butter. Or you can just eat them they way they are ;)

The original recipe is wheat-free using spelt flour, but I've included a substitute for regular white or whole wheat flour.

2 tbsp flax meal
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp plain or vanilla non-dairy milk
1 cup overripe bananas, mashed
1 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp canola oil
2 cups spelt flour (subtract about 6-8 tbsp if using regular whole wheat or white flour)
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 - 3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a bowl, combine flax meal and non-dairy milk and stir. Then add mashed bananas, grated zucchini, syrup, vanilla, and oil - stir well to combine.
- In a separate large bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients, sift in baking powder and baking soda, and stir until well combined.
- Add wet mixture to dry, gently folding until just combined (don't over mix).
- Fit a muffin pan with liners or spray lightly with oil. Spoon batter into liners. Bake for 21-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


This recipe is from Dreena Burton's
Eat, Drink and Be Vegan!

August 15, 2010

Brazilian Rice Salad

I'm always on the lookout for tasty bean and grain salads. They're typically easy to prepare, healthy, and great for weekday lunches, potlucks and a nice addition to casual dinners with company.

This rice salad is one of my favorites! The rice is cooked with coconut milk so it's so nice and creamy. There's a very mild spicing, nothing too different or strong tasting. And the beans combined with the veggies and grain make it a complete meal - not just a side dish.

I've made this one with white basmati, but if you want the additional nutrition, using brown rice will work just as good!

Just note that this recipe makes A LOT of salad...so if you're only looking to serve two or three people and don't want a ton of leftovers, I suggest halving the recipe.


2 cups long-grain rice (such as Basmati)
2 1/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups coconut milk (either regular or light)
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped red, yellow, and/or green bell pepper (I usually add a bit more than this)
2 large plum tomatoes (about 3 ounces each), chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (again, I'm usually more generous here)
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a medium pot (or use rice cooker), bring rice, water, coconut milk, turmeric, cumin, sugar and salt to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed, 17-20 min. When ready, fluff with a fork and set aside or in the fridge to cool for about 20 min.

In a large bowl, combine the rice with the remaining ingredients, tossing well to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper.

This salad is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.


This recipe is from Donna Klein's
The Tropical Vegan Kitchen: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Dishes from the Tropics