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

December 13, 2011

Roasted Squash and Macaroni Casserole

Every summer our family is lucky enough to benefit from my in-laws' plentiful garden. Almost every visit from them in the late summer weeks includes handfuls of fresh produce like garlic, onions and tomatoes! But what we all look forward to the most is their late Fall offerings of Hubbard Squash! If you haven't tried this type of squash you're missing out! It's so smooth and creamy and you'd swear it's drenched in butter...but it's not!

Anyway, I wanted to do something different with them this year, rather than eating them mashed or in a soup like we usually do. I found this recipe on one of my favorite Iphone apps - the Whole Foods Recipe app (you can access this service online as well here). You tell them what you have on hand and they find a recipe for you! This one looked so good I had to try it...and it was such a hit that I've made it several times since.

The recipe calls for butternut squash, but I used my Hubbard. I just roasted the whole thing and scooped out the cooked squash as needed. You could also used can pumpkin here too (be careful not to pick up the pie filling). I also added a bit of frozen chopped kale for some extra nutrition...I imagine any greens would work, or even chopped broccoli or peas.

The final product is creamy and filling, and the walnuts add a really wonderful delicate crunch. This recipe is the perfect comfort food and a fantastic substitute for traditional mac and cheese. It would be welcomed at any potluck and therefore great for the holiday season as well!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 pounds or 3.5-4 cups mashed)
1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk (light or regular)
3/4 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried sage
3/4 pound dried elbow macaroni, Penne or other small pasta (454g box minus about a handful)
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1-2 handfuls frozen chopped kale (or other greens) (optional)
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

To roast the squash, preheat oven to 400°F. Roast diced squash for 25-40 minutes until fork tender. If you're roasting a whole squash cut in half you'll have to roast it for at least an hour...timing depends on how large and thick your squash is. Once cooked, mash roasted squash, leaving some chunks.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9x13-inch casserole dish; set aside.

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add roasted squash, coconut milk, salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in sage and kale and simmer 5 minute more. (This part can be made ahead, up to 1 day in advance.)

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender but still firm, about 8 minutes. Rinse in cold water, drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Transfer squash mixture to bowl with macaroni. Add walnuts, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to prepared dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake until just golden brown and hot throughout, about 30 minutes.


This recipe is from Whole Foods Recipe index at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes

November 8, 2011

Spiced Squash and Toasted Almond Quinoa

Having been on maternity leave for the last 13 months, I'll admit that I've watched my fair share of daytime television. But for all you haters out there, I'd like to point out that you can learn some really interesting and valuable things on some of these shows! For example, did you know that Anderson Cooper rarely eats anything other than boiled hotdogs? Or that you can incorporate your leftover Halloween pumpkins into your at-home workouts? Ok, so not everything is ground breaking! But it passes the time and if you're lucky you come away with a piece of information that is actually useful in everyday life. This recipe is a great example of that!

Aida Mollenkamp is a Food Network chef that was featured on daytime's Access Hollywood Live about a year ago. She prepared this recipe and it looked so good that I immediately looked it up online so I could make it that night! It was fantastic! I did make a couple minor adjustments in the preparation as well as by adding black beans...making it a nice hearty complete meal.

If you've never heard or tried quinoa in your kitchen, I highly recommend it! it's as simple as cooking rice and is truly a super food! It has a nice fluffy texture with a slightly nutty flavour. It comes in red or tan...I used the red quinoa in the picture but the color doesn't make any difference in the taste. Quinoa is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, making it especially valuable for persons suffering from migraine headaches, diabetes and cardiovascular problems (source).

Spiced Squash and Toasted Almond Quinoa

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups small-diced butternut squash
2 teaspoons ground cumin, coriander, and paprika
1.5 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons salt, plus additional for seasoning
3 cups vegetable broth or water
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon packed lemon zest
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 thinly sliced medium scallions
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread diced squash on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and cook for approximately 30 minutes (flipping once) or until fork tender but not too mushy.

Meanwhile, rinse quinoa and drain. Heat a medium pot over medium heat, add quinoa, and stir frequently until moisture evaporates and it makes a popping noise, 5-10 minutes. Add broth and 2 tsp of the salt, stir briefly and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa absorbs liquid and grains are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in roasted squash, black beans, lemon juice, zest, and scallions and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat on low-medium heat until heated through. Sprinkle almonds over the top and serve.


You can find this recipe on Aida Mollenkamp's blog Pairs Well with Food.

October 5, 2011

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust

There's something about Fall weather that just makes me crave pumpkin... And with Thanksgiving coming next weekend there's really no better reason for breaking out a yummy pumpkin pie recipe! I found this one online a few years back and therefore can't credit the author, but if I could, I'd tell them that this recipe is one of my favorites of the season!

The recipe itself is very quick and easy to make. I especially like the pecan crust as I haven't had luck with traditional crusts in the past so I tend to avoid them. I've made it a few times now and each time the pie sets really nicely, making a thick and smooth texture. Because the pie is only sweetened with a half cup of maple syrup, it's not too sweet, allowing the flavour of the pumpkin and other seasonal spices shine!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with your friends and family...and don't forget good food too!!


Pecan Crust
3/4 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons real maple syrup

Pie Filling
1 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/2 - 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (add to your taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


Set rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly oil a 9 inch pie plate. Set aside.

Spread nuts over a baking pan. Toast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the smell of nuts fills the kitchen. Set aside 16 pecan halves for garnish.

Combine oats, flour, remaining pecans, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a food processor bowl. Pulse until mixture becomes a coarse meal. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Whisk together oil and maple syrup and mix into dry ingredients to form a soft dough. Press mixture into prepared pie plate. Crimp edges. Bake for 10 minutes, and set aside to cool.

Blend soymilk and arrowroot/cornstarch in the food processor until the arrowroot is completely dissolved and the mixture is smooth, about 15 seconds. Add pumpkin, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves; process until thoroughly blended. Pour filling into baked crust, and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and the outside inch of the filling is set. Don't worry if the center is still soft; it firms up as the pie cools. Transfer pie to a wire the rack. Gently press toasted pecan halves into hot filling in 2 concentric circles. Cool to room temperature, and then chill until set, at least 3 hours to overnight. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


August 9, 2011

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

I've been eating veggie burgers and veggie dogs for a long time now...and I love them...especially during barbeque season. But, it's nice to have an alternative to these guys when you get a hankering for a thick and juicy (meat-free) burger! Actually, I'll admit that after trying these earlier this year, I haven't had a soy veggie burger all summer!

These burgers are surprisingly meaty considering they're a simple fungus! They're not bad on the wallet either! Try to find the biggest caps you can as they shrink a bit in cooking...I found HUGE ones at Costco for a great price!

The vinaigrette recipe is super simple and just a guide...I usually just pour a couple glugs of oil and balsamic vinegar until I have enough to coat the caps. They always turn out perfect!

I like to top mine with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and diced avocado. But feel free to top with whatever your heart desires (e.g., Dijon mustard, vegan mayo, pesto, grilled or caramelized onion, chutney, hummus, bbq sauce, etc...). Pair them with grilled veggies, a nice bean salad, greens, or my favorite, sweet potato fries!! So summery!!

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers


2 large portobello mushrooms
1/2 red or yellow onion, finely diced
1-2 cloves garlic, diced (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch salt and pepper


Carefully pull or cut stem from mushrooms and brush clean. Place mushroom caps gull side up on a large plate.
Mix all other ingredients together and pour evenly over mushrooms. Let caps marinade for at least 30 min to a couple hours.
Cook mushrooms on hot grill for about 5 minutes per side (depending on thickness).
Serve on a toasted whole grain kaiser roll, or bun of your choice.


July 13, 2011

Maple Banana Loaf

FRUIT FLIES!! Arg!! Is anyone else dealing with this mid-summer pest? Over the past few days they've declared war over our kitchen and so far, they're winning! Isn't it amazing how fast they reproduce?! I mean seriously!! I realized quickly that the super-ripe bananas sitting in the fruit bowl was not helping our cause. Hmmm, alright, if I have to...I'll make banana bread...twist my rubber arm!

This loaf is my go-to recipe for banana bread. It's a Dreena Burton recipe, and as always, it's low in sweetener, uses whole grain flour, and turns out perfectly moist and delicious every time! The bread is spiced just right and is complemented so nicely with the sweetness from the maple syrup and banana. Oh, and you may have noticed the little bits of chocolate in the picture...yeah, chocolate and bananas are a match made in heaven if you ask me! Also try adding nuts like pecans or walnuts, they all work really well with this recipe.

Sliced bread freezes really nicely, as do muffins*...they're great to have on hand in the freezer when you want a nice treat.

Now you too have a strategy to conquer the fruit flies in your kitchen! You're welcome! ;)

Maple Banana Loaf

1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated (or ground nutmeg)
couple pinches of salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips and/or nuts of your choice (optional)
1 cup very ripe bananas, mashed (usually about 2-4 bananas)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp vanilla or plain non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (including chocolate chips and nuts), sifting in baking powder and baking soda. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine mashed banana with maple syrup, soy milk, vanilla extract and oil. Mix until just combined (do not overmix).

Pour into a lightly oiled 9"x5" loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

*For muffins, bake at 375 degrees for 19-23 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.


This recipe is from Dreena Burton's The Everyday Vegan

June 23, 2011

Falafel Sandwich

Back in university, before I decided to go vegetarian, every Saturday morning we'd all head over to the farmer's market in Fredericton and nosh on local yummies like sausages and chicken wraps. After going veg, I had to find a replacement for these sacred rituals...enter, Falafels. Yes, I know, if you've never heard of them before the name could sound scary or intimidating, but don't fear...they are simply ground chickpeas with some mild seasonings, formed into balls and fried or baked. It's a common dish in the Middle East and is usually eaten wrapped in a pita with various dressings.

I've only recently tried to make these at home, but am now kicking myself for not trying sooner! They are ridiculously easy to make, and are perfect for lunches. You can even eat them on the go with one hand if they're pre-wrapped...now that's awesome!

Falafel sandwiches are traditionally topped with lettuce, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. I decided to top mine with romaine lettuce, hummus (click here for recipe), red onion, and sliced tomatoes...but feel free to mess around with your toppings. I haven't tried the sauce listed below, but I'm sure it's yummy! Let me know if you try it!

1 can (19oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped OR 1 tbsp dry parsley
2 tbsp tahini
1-1/2 to 2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)

For falafel sauce:
1 container (6-oz) plain nondairy yogurt
1-2 tbsp tahini (I used 1-1/2)
1/2 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp dried dill

Optional ingredients:
hamburger buns or rolls, pita bread, tomato slices, lettuce

To prepare the sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and chill for 30 minutes.

For the falafels, preheat the oven to 400.

Pulse the chickpeas, garlic and onions in the food processor until thick and pasty, but still a little chunky; transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Stir in parsley, tahini, cumin, corriander, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and baking powder. Slowly add the bread crumbs, until the mixture holds together well (I only needed 1/2 cup, but it will depend on the moisture of your other ingredients).

Shape into patties or balls (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup each) and place on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Flip over and bake for another 10-12 minutes.

Serve alone with sauce on the side, on a bun, or in a pita wrap.

If serving in a wrap, put the lettuce down first to shield the bread from getting soggy, then spread hummus or falafel sauce, followed by thinly sliced red onion, tomato and 2-3 falafels slightly crushed (depending on the size or your pita). Roll the pita tightly and wrap it all in plastic or aluminum foil. We use this method when preparing lunches in the evening and the sandwiches still taste perfectly fresh the next day!

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure they'd even be good crushed up on a salad!


This recipe is from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The Vegan Table

June 6, 2011

Steel Cut Oatmeal, Two Ways

There's nothing like a warm bowl of oatmeal to greet you in the morning! Growing up, I loved the little bags of instant oatmeal that came pre-flavoured with maple and brown sugar. I'd go through phases where I liked my oatmeal thick and lumpy, almost dry; and others where I'd eat it almost like soup, sloppy and full of milk. Those bags of instant oatmeal are at one end of the "oatmeal spectrum" while at the other end, you'll find steel cut oats. Steel cut oats go through very little processing compared to the quick oats you find in the instant oatmeal packages. When cooked, they are naturally creamy and chewy, an absolutely scrumptious way to start your day! They really fill you up and keep you going until lunch too!

The only downside I've found to cooking steel cut oats is the cooking time...they take about 30 minutes to cook on the stove-top; and cooking in the microwave can be tricky as they tend to boil over and make a big mess. I've found two no-fuss ways to enjoy this grain that I know you'll love; one is super fast, the other, super slow...both are very easy and low maintenance though!

I like to top my oatmeal with some non-dairy milk, crushed walnuts and real maple syrup...also try fresh or frozen berries, any nuts, raisins, coconut, brown sugar, etc...

Super Slow Steel Cut Oats (in the slow cooker)
Serves 4
Cooking your oats in a slow cooker overnight is a great way to enjoy warm and creamy oatmeal first thing in the morning! Just turn on the cooker right before bedtime, and in the morning you'll have the sweet smell of cinnamon calling you from the kitchen; just scoop, add toppings, and enjoy! So easy!

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1/4 cup non-dairy milk, or more water
pinch salt
pinch cinnamon or nutmeg (or both)

Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray. Add all ingredients and turn slow cooker on low before bed...at breakfast, enjoy!

Super Quick Steel Cut Oats
Serves 1
These oats are blended to a flour-like consistency, so they cook really quickly (about 5 minutes)! The result is a smooth, almost cream-of-wheat type consistency. I like to blend a few cups worth and store the flour in an airtight container for a quick breakfast in the morning! Note: the recipe below is for one serving, just remember it's a 1/4 cup oat flour to 1 cup water, so you can make as many servings as you like!

1/4 cup pre-blended steel cut oats
1 cup water
2 tbsp - 1/4 cup non-dairy milk, or more water
pinch salt
pinch cinnamon or nutmeg (or both

In a blender, blend a few cups of steel cut oats until they reach a grainy flour-like consistency. Store extra flour in an airtight container.

In a saucepan, combine 1/4 cup oats, 1 cup water, salt, and cinnamon over medium heat. Whisk almost continuously, while mixture starts to come to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low as it is thickening and starting to bubble. Once thickened, whisk in a couple tablespoons to 1/4 cup non-dairy milk - until it reaches your desired consistency.

Serve oatmeal immediately, topping with another drizzle of non-dairy milk (as oatmeal will thicken more as it sits).

As a final note, here are some of the many health benefits to adding oatmeal to your diet:

Soluble Fiber: One of the best benefits of oatmeal is that it lowers cholesterol by removing LDL (bad cholesterol) while maintaining HDL (good cholesterol)

Insoluble fiber: Absorbs water which helps to speed the transit of food through the bowels; helping reduce the risk of some bowel related cancers (i.e. colon cancer)

Beta Glucan: A bio-defense modifier which means it will boost your immune system

Vitamins and Minerals: Including Iron, Zinc, Selenium, and Vitamin E

Phytochemicals: Plant chemicals that have shown promise in fighting and preventing cancer. For example, the phytoestrogens (lignans) found in oats help to fight hormone related diseases like breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.

Happy breakfast!

May 6, 2011


Every Spring I get the urge to do a bit of a diet cleanse...meaning for three weeks I tighten up my diet by eating more veggies and completely avoiding all caffeine, alcohol, sugar and anything processed. This helps realign my diet after a long winter of maybe not the best eating habits...and it doesn't hurt with the upcoming tank top and bikini season either!!

Anyway, we started this cleanse last week and all was going great...until yesterday - it was my and my husband's fourth wedding anniversary! We wanted to have a special dinner at home while sticking to our cleanse. We decided to have one of our favorites, pasta dinner - but we still needed a dessert! I remembered a recipe I had recently seen on my favorite vegan chef, Dreena Burton's blog, that met the criteria... Hallelujah, it was a hit, a big hit!

This brownie recipe is brilliant! It's completely raw, has no flour, sugar or added oils, and is very easy! Believe me people, I know my chocolate brownies, I consider myself an expert in this area...and these can compete with your best cooked version any day of the week! They are moist, nutty, and super chocolatey! And the icing has the slightest hint of coconut that pairs so perfectly with the brownie base. Now, for those of you on a real diet, keep in mind, these are not calorie free...not even close...but they are a completely whole food, raw, gluten free and healthy alternative. I highly recommend trying them!!!

Brownie base:
1 cup raw almonds (see note)
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 3/4 cups (packed) pitted medjool dates (see note)
1/4 cup dried organic pitted cherries (OR more dates, i.e. can use 2 cups dates in whole - omit almond extract if not using cherries)
1/3 cup raw cocoa powder (or regular cocoa if you prefer)
1 vanilla bean (or regular vanilla extract, see note)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)

1/2 cup coconut butter (not coconut oil; I used Artisana coconut butter found at my local health food store or Farmboy)
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tbsp raw cocoa powder (or regular if you prefer)
pinch sea salt

In a food processor, first add almonds and cashews and process until very fine (the almonds are the hardest, and need to be worked until crumbly). Then add walnuts, dates and cherries and pulse/process until mixture is quite crumbly, but not yet coming together. Then, add cocoa powder, salt, and almond extract, and pulse through.

If using vanilla bean - with a sharp tip knife, slice the vanilla bean down the outer side to open up the bean. Using a blunt (butter) knife, scrape out all the tiny seeds from the bean on both sides, and add them to the processor (or add vanilla extract). Process again, along with the almond extract if using.

Process until the mixture starts to come together but do not overmix so that the nuts release their oils (see note). Then remove the mixture and press into a brownie pan (8” x 8”) lined with parchment paper. Use a small piece of the parchment to help press and flatten the mixture evenly into the pan.

For the frosting, in a mini-food processor, first combine the coconut butter and agave nectar until smooth. Then add the cocoa powder and salt, and pulse through again until just combined. Do not overprocess or the frosting will begin to separate with the heat of the churning and become oily. (If you don’t have a mini-processor, you can follow the same steps stirring by hand in a bowl). Smooth frosting over base, and refrigerate for an hour or more until set.

Cut into squares and serve! You can also freeze the squares after cutting, and enjoy them out of the freezer!

(Note: A combination of ¾ cup almonds and ½ cup cashews also works well.)

(Note: You can substitute 1 – 1 ½ tsp of pure vanilla extract for the vanilla bean seeds.)

(Note: If your dates are on the dry side, you can add 1-2 tbsp of water to the mixture to help assist the pureeing and the mixture easily coming together.)

(Note: If you process the mixture too long, the heat generated by the food processor will bring the oils out of the nuts. If this happens, the brownies won’t be ruined necessarily, but they will have an oily appearance and be oily to the touch. So, process minimally to begin, rather than over processing the nuts at the outset.)

I got this recipe from Dreena Burton's blog, Eat, Drink and be Vegan. It's such a great resource, so I highly recommend you check it out.

April 9, 2011

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

This dish is one of those ones that you'll have to pack away the leftovers right away, or else you'll find yourself coming back to the pot over and over again to sneak "one more spoonful" until you're left with pants that are too tight, and minimal leftovers for lunch the next day! I first tried this recipe when my super mother-in-law made it for us this Christmas...we've pretty much made it every other week since then!!

The secret ingredient is the peanut butter...it makes the stew so creamy and slightly sweet when it meets the tomato and sweet potatoes. The recipe calls for sweet potato and kidney beans, but I've made it with butternut squash and chickpeas (as pictured) and it turned out just as fantastic! We like to serve it over quinoa, but any grain will do! The recipe makes a good amount so you should have enough to freeze or serve the next day (if you heed my warning from above!).


3 tablespoons water or oil (for sauteing)
2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon light brown sugar (I skip this, it isn't necessary)
1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (a little generous if you like things on the spicy side)
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter (crunchy is fine too)
3 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can (15 oz.)red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (19 oz.) diced tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 cup chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts (optional)


Heat water or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne pepper, and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.

Stir in peanut butter and tomatoes, stir until melted and distributing evenly.

Add stock, sweet potatoes and kidney beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft (30 – 40 minutes). Taste and add salt if necessary. Serve over your choice of grain with chopped peanuts on top!


This recipe is from Colleen Patrick Goudreau's The Vegan Table

March 13, 2011

Coconut-Lime Chickpea Stew with Rice

I found this recipe in the Holiday issue of Food & Drink magazine...you know, the one you can pick up for free at the LCBO. After reading the title I was a little bummed as it was originally called Coconut-Lime Chicken Stew with Rice...booo! But after thinking for, oh, a nanosecond, I realized this stew would be fantastic with chickpeas instead! And so it was...sooo fantastic!

I made a few other changes to the recipe in addition to the chickpeas...here's the final product.


1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups onions, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
4 cups sweet potato, finely cubed
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 can coconut milk (light or regular)
1 cup cooked basmati rice
1 can cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Zest and juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper to taste


In large pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onion, red pepper, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes - sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the sweet potato and stock, bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve.

A note on freezing: This soup freezes really well, the only thing I'd recommend would be to let it thaw in the fridge overnight, then warm it up...rather than using the "defrost" function on your microwave. When reheating a soup with rice, you want to heat it as little as possible so as to avoid overcooked soggy mush. :D


January 31, 2011

Easy Pleasin' Hemp-Oat Bars

As promised here's another recipe featuring hemp nuts. I'm always looking for a yummy snack to replace those boxed granola bars I used to eat so often. These wheat-free bars are perfect because they have the texture of chewy granola bars but aren't too sweet and have no processed or refined ingredients! Best of all, they freeze really well and you can make them in no time flat! They're great for lunches, go great with coffee, and are perfect if you need something to eat on the run!

I usually add chocolate chips, but for a healthier version you can add dried fruit and/or nuts instead...or don't add anything and just enjoy the simplicity of the oats and hemp on their own!! And if you don't have hemp nuts, no problem! The original recipe didn't call for them anyway...just use an extra half cup of ground oats.

Easy Pleasin' Hemp-Oat Bars
makes 10-14 bars

1 1/2 cups ground oats (see note)
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup hemp nuts
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chocolate chips, dried fruit, or nuts or your choice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup barley malt OR brown rice syrup OR honey
1/4 cup vanilla or plain soy milk or other non-dairy milk
1 1/2 - 2 tbsp organic canola oil


Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, stirring until well combined.
Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled 8"x8" baking dish and press it down until evenly distributed.
Bake for 19 minutes, then remove and let cool in pan.
Once cool, use a sharp knife to cut the bars, then remove with a spatula.

Tip: The bars are softer if they are not overbaked. For even softer bars you can use a smaller pan to yield thicker bars.

Note: This recipe calls for “ground oats.” Ground oats can be made from quick oats, which are available in grocery stores. Use your food processor and process the quick oats for a minute or two. The consistency should be similar to coarse flour.


This recipe is from Dreena Burton's Vive le Vegan

January 4, 2011

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Curry

I've been meaning to share this fantastic Pumpkin Curry recipe with you all for a while now...it's become a regular favorite in my house as of late. It features mild curry flavours including slightly spicy from the red chilies and ginger, and creamy sweetness from the coconut! Best of all, it's SUPER easy to make! I know, I know, I always say that...and yes, I always mean it! But this one is even easier than usual...the only chopping you'll have to do is the onion and garlic, the rest is measure, pour and stir!

I've made some minor adjustments to the recipe, mainly in the spicing. Feel free to play around with it depending on your tastes though. I like to serve it over some brown basmati rice, but it's just perfect on it's own too! Oh, and it freezes superbly...so make a big batch and save some for a rainy (or snowy) day!

Pumpkin Curry
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium-size yellow onions, finely chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups red lentils
3 cups water or vegetable stock
3 tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne OR 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried red chili flakes
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups nondairy milk OR 1 can coconut milk
1 large (796 ml) can of pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie filling!)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Saute onion, garlic, ginger until onions are translucent (about 6 min).
Add lentils, water, curry powder, cayenne, chili flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until lentils are almost cooked al dente (soft but still retains body and texture) (about 15-20 minutes).
Stir in milk, pumpkin puree and shredded coconut. Stir well and heat through on medium heat.
Serve over rice or other grain if desired.


This recipe is adapted from
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's Vegan Table.