Quinoa And Swiss Chard Salad With Yummy Cashew Cheese

quinoa and cashew salad with textHello y’all!

I made my first order of nuts at Prana almost two weeks ago and now, I got so many of them I cannot stop making new nuts recipes. Can you believe I just tried cashew cheese for the first time last week!? I had already tried faux-cheese cakes in some restaurants, but I had never tried the salty version. I was so happy with the way it turned out! And it was really easy to make : you don’t even need to soak the nuts a really long time! This simple cashew cheese really gave a kick to the salad I made. This healthy option add a whole lot of flavour to a salad! I guess it would be very nice in many kind of different salads. You could also use it as a dip or in a sandwich with some grilled vegetables. I think it would also work with some tomatoes and fresh basil… Hmmm… I must try that!

I took the cashew cheese recipe on One Green Planet and I didn’t change it a bit. I love One Green Planet website. They really have some amazing recipes with really good pictures. It always gets me so hungry! The only thing I don’t get with that website is that each time I open a new window, it asks me if I want to subscribe to the newsletter… and I mean, I subscribed months ago! And even if I put a check in the “don’t ask me again” little box, it still asks me each and every time! Okay, I guess it wouldn’t be a thing for most people, but for a food porn bulimic like me, it kinda gets on my nerve… Please, One Green Planet, make this pop up stop! :p

The salad recipe I give you here is really simple. I simply put what I had on hand. I first got inspired by the wonderful colour of the swiss chard stems, and decided to add some red quinoa and beets to go with it. The result was yummy, filling and beautiful. Feel free to adjust it with what you have in your fridge.

Ingredients (4 to 5 portions) :

For the cashew cheese : 

  • 1 cup of cashews (soaked for at least an hour in 3 cups of water)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Some freshly ground pepper

For the salad : 

  • 3 cups of cooked and cooled red quinoa (meaning 1 1/2 cup in it’s dry state)
  • 1 really big beet (or two normal ones), shredded
  • 3 of 4 leaves of Swiss Chard, cut in strips
  • 1 1/2 cup spouted lentils
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • A drizzle of oil (I used hemp oil)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions :

Drain and rince the soaked cashews and put them in a high speed blender (or food processor) with all the other cheese ingredients. Mix it until it is smooth. If you like a little bit of chunkiness, feel free to stop the blender whenever you feel like it. Scrape the side of your machine once in a while to help it get through the mixture. Set aside.

Mix all the salad ingredients together in a big bowl. Put the salad in some plates and use a spoon to drop a little bit of cheese here and there. If you want to enjoy your salad with a lot of cheese, feel free to double the recipe. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper, or even some more lemon juice.

Enjoy!

quinoa and cashew salad with vitamix

 

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Easy Two Ingredients Buckwheat Pancakes And Our Visit To The Vegetarian Sugar Shack

IMG_1690First thing first, I must tell you that I’m really excited right now cause I just looked through Google to find the english translation of “Cabane à sucre” and I was amazed to realize the answer was “Sugar shack”. Sugar shack, isn’t that the cutest expression! I feel like I just want to repeat it again and again! But, well, I guess it’s the literature gal inside of me that is speaking right now… Let get back to why you’re here : food.

Now that I’m a Vegan, it got practically impossible for me to go in a regular sugar shack (sugar shack!!!). I guess I would only eat beets, potatoes, pickles and maple syrup (hum, maybe I could do that…) Plus, throughout the years, I had to make a reality check. When I was a kid, I enjoyed really much going to the sugar shack with my dear friend Vanessa and our parents. We were dancing like crazy on some pop and country music, eating loads of sugar and seing some horses. Could a kid ask for more? But the years went by and I finally discovered something tragic : sugar shack food isn’t good. Like no good at all. I’ve tried a lot of places and it was always the same : some not so savoury, over salty and over sugary meat products. My childhood memories lured me back years after years but I was always disappointed. Going Vegan, I thought I would never step foot in a sugar shack again and even if I knew the food isn’t good — those damn memories are strong — it still made me feel a little bit sad.

Well I wasn’t going to be sad a really long time cause I heard about a vegetarian (and mostly vegan) sugar shack in the Eastern Townships called La Pause Sylvestre. When I tried to make a reservation in March, the place was already booked for all 2014 sugar season. I learned that we had to call on Febuary first to make a reservation otherwise it was always full (write that in your calendar!) I put my name on the calling list but really thought I would have to wait for next year. Surprise! On April 21 (Easter monday) I got a call from Carole, the sugar shack owner, who told me they had four spots left for the very same evening! We took them right away, even thought the place is a two and a half hour drive from Montreal!

We didn’t regret it a bit! La Pause Sylvestre is by far the best sugar shack where I’ve been!

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept of a sugar shack, it is a cabin in the woods surrounded by maples where you traditionally eat meat pie, ham, baked beans, traditional omelette, pickled vegetables, bacon rinds and pancakes, all of them covered with maple syrup(!) Everything sits in the middle of the table and you can eat as much as you can. At La Pause Sylvestre, they replaced all the meaty stuff by some lovely vegan pies : one with millet that stands as the meat pie, one with silken tofu that reminds the taste of omelette and one with azuki beans and beets that is an all new delight! This Sugar Shack is really small and everything is made by the couple of owners (Carole and Mario) who really know how to set a welcoming atmosphere. The choucroute, pickles and beets even come from their own garden! The maple syrup, which they make the traditional way, from the heath of wood fire, is simple exquisite! Tradition wants that the sugar shack meal ends with taffy on snow and this one was the best I ever had. Even though we were all full, I could not stop eating those!

One thing that was really nice with La Pause Sylvestre is that even if we ate a (whole) lot, we didn’t feel as heavy as we did when we were going to traditional shacks, were everything is really fat and salty.

Now, let’s see a few pictures we took!

To make a reservation as La Pause Sylvestre, call 1-819-828-0049

IMG_1688This is my boyfriend Mathieu and my really dear friends J-B and Alex.

IMG_1696

 

J-B and Alex are among the best Veggie Pawa fans, so I’m really happy they appear the blog!IMG_1692Millet pie, beans and vegetables… Yummy!

IMG_1694

Azuki beans and beet pie

IMG_1697Me and my Chérioh eating pancakes! (I later found out the pancakes weren’t vegan and was filled with remorse… When I ordered a second one, I took the vegan Buckwheat pancake and it was even better!)

IMG_1700Alexandra having some really yummy taffy!

 

Now, I promised you a simple Buckwheat pancake recipe to go with the sugar shack theme of the day. I don’t have any picture right now but I promise it will come soon. This is my go to recipe when I want to make buckwheat pancakes. It so easy it’s almost unbelievable. When we have almost no food left at home, we make some Buckwheat Pancakes and fill them with anything we can find! I took the original recipe on Association Manger Santé Website and realized right now (like, literally right now) that it was written by Dominique Dupuis, of whom I’ve already talked in a previous post.

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt (omit if you want to eat a sugary pancake)

Directions :

Use a non stick pan (I repeat : use a non stick pan). Heat the pan to medium-high while your mixing the pancakes ingredients together. You can put them in a blender or put the dry ingredients in the bottom of a bowl, then put the water and mix them carefully with a spoon.

Drop some pancake mix on the pan (no oil needed) and leave it there until the sides are starting to lift by themselves. Turn the pancake with a spatula and leave it there for another 30 seconds before removing it from heath.

You can keep your pancakes on a plate in the oven (to the lowest temperature) until they are all ready.

Fill with whatever you want or simply top with some maple syrup and enjoy!

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Curried Deviled Avocado

curried deviled avocado with text

This is my Easter gift to you! An egg inspired Vegan dish that can be eaten as a snack or be part of a complete meal (let’s say, with any kind of salad) anytime throughout the year!

I got the overall idea for this from a recipe posted on Mind Body Green, but I changed almost every ingredient of the chickpea filling (mostly cause my boyfriend and I hate yellow mustard) and I added a curry twist that just tastes amazing with the avocado!

Ingredients :

  • 1 or 2 avocados (depending on the size and the amount of filling you wanna put in every half)
  • Regular or smoked paprika (for serving)

Filling ingredients : 

  • 1 can chickpea
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 to 2 tsp curry powder (according to your preferences)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • A dash of freshly ground pepper

Directions :

Simply put all the filling ingredients into a High Speed blender. If you have a regular blender, you may have to open it a few times to toss the ingredients with a spoon before hitting the On button again. Add some water if necessary.

When the filling is homogeneous, cut the avocado in half and use a round measuring tablespoon to fill your avocados, making a round shape on the top. I guess an ice-cream spoon would do the work just fine, but I don’t have an ice-cream spoon. I personally put two tablespoon of the filling in every half avocado, but you can adjust to your liking.

Put some paprika on the top of this beauty to make it look like an old school dish that may remind you some of your grandma’s venues!

Enjoy!

curried deviled avocado two

Fast Food Made Healthier : Pop Corn With Chili Powder and Piri Piri Sauce

pop corn with piri piri with textToday I won’t share with you any fancy recipe… Instead, I’ll talk to you about one of my favourites — unpretentious — snacks : Spicy Pop Corn!

Strangely, I must admit that I’m not one who usually loves hot sauce. But, when my boyfriend first served me this wildly Seasoned Pop Corn, I literally fell in love with Piri Piri Sauce! I had tried it on some other things before, but it simply became magnificent once put on Pop Corn!

Piri Piri is a traditionnal Portuguese Hot Sauce that you’ll be able to find almost everywhere. Sadly, I didn’t find any organic version in my local store, but I’ll keep looking, cause it’s kinda gross to ingest any kind of preservatives… But, for the time being, I live with the regular non-organic sauce, while waiting to find something better! Do you know where to find organic Piri Piri Sauce in Montreal?

Piri Piri Sauce tastes awesome, for sure! Not only is it good on Pop Corn, but it’s also good with Tofu, or Simply mixed with Olive Oil or Vegenaise to give any meal a kick!

As for the Chili Powder adding to my Pop Corn, well… you know I really am a Chili Powder fan since Childhood (see my Tempeh Helper recipe ), so it was the perfect adding to this Pop Corn Recipe! Yep, my Boyfriend had it right : Piri Piri Sauce and Chili Powder go together like Bananas and Peanut Butter (my fave, self-made expression, yay!) I must admit, even though I do most of the cooking at home, Pop Corn and Pancakes are my lover’s territory!

I strongly recommend you to buy ORGANIC POP CORN to do this recipe. You wouldn’t want to eat any Monsanto crappy OGM, and you’re almost sure to do so if you don’t buy Organic Corn. We kinda buy everything organic in here, but Organic Corn and Soy really are on the top of the “non negotiable” list.

Now, how to make your Pop Corn without a buttery Orville Redenbacher bag? It’s as easy as one, two, three!

What you’ll need

  • Organic Pop Corn
  • Olive Oil
  • Piri Piri Sauce, to taste
  • Chili Powder, to taste

How you’ll proceed

1- Heath a large pan over maximum heath and put enough Olive Oil in it so all the bottom is covered with a thin layer of Oil. Put Pop Corn Kernels according to your hunger (remember it will get about 6 times bigger). Toss the Kernels With a big Spoon to get some Oil on every Seed and quickly close the pan lid.

2- Making Pop Corn is all about Hearing. You’ll soon hear the Pop Corn pop! You’ll know your Pop Corn is done after the popping slows down and then stops for a few seconds. Once it’s ready, close the heat, remove the lid and quickly put the Pop Corn in a big Bowl. When I say quickly, I really mean it! Otherwise, once le lid it open, the Pop Corn will jump everywhere (including in your face, which can be quite surprising at first).

3- Season your Pop Corn to your liking. If you wanna do the same as I do, put as much Piri Piri Sauce and Chili Powder as you need to make you happy. Some others of our favourites seasonings are Nutritional Yeast or Zaathar.

Even though your Pop Corn won’t feel as Greasy and as Salty as the one most of us are used to, you’ll soon appreciate the infinite possibilities of Home Made Pop Corn. Plus, your Snack will be much more healthy! Most of all : a regular greasy little Pop Corn bag costs a little more than a dollar. For the same price (or less), you’ll be able to get a whole lot of Organic Kernels! Isn’t that cool?!

pop corn with piri piriNow, last but not least, it is custom in our House to eat Pop Corn with Chinese Sticks. It keeps the hands clean, forces you to slow down on the frenetic eating and it almost makes Pop Corn classy. I dare you to try!

I hope I convinced you to try some healthier Pop Corn alternatives!

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Vegan Kale and Mushroom Risotto

vegan risotto with textWoot, woot! Veggie Pawa is still alive! I’m happy to finally take some time to share a recipe with you!

Yesterday, I worked like 16 hours on a presentation I had to make today about Romantic Painting. I’m a literature gal, but I thought it wouldn’t be too long to prepare a class about painting. Gosh, I was wrong! My memories about Romantic Painting weren’t clear at all… But even thought I felt awful yesterday for being so last minute, the lecture I gave was quite good, and now, I’m really relieved! I just want to go to my dance class, eat and sleep… And that’s exactly what I intend to do(!)

Caspar_David_Friedrich_006Caspar Friedrich, Das Eismeer, 1823-1824

Here is an image of a Friedrich painting I really like. It reminds me the feeling of our endless canadian winters (even though our landscape is more hospitable…) Yep, March is really though on the mood. Always feels like the winter is never gonna end. I’ve managed to keep quite a good morale this year cause I was really busy and couldn’t stop to think about anything, but a lot of people around me feel depressed, and I think it reached me during the last week. And what to do when the mood is down? Eat some earthy, healthy, heart and stomach filling meals seems a good idea to me! And this is exactly what this simple risotto I’m about to share with you is! Even thought it’s vegan (and quite healthy!), this risotto feels really creamy and satisfying.

My risotto was inspired by a recipe on Vegan Yack Attack, but I changed it a whole lot!

Ingredients :

  • 1 tsp. Coconut Oil
  • 1 White Onion, Diced
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 cup kale, Chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Oyster (or Portabella) Mushrooms, Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Flour
  • 1½ cup Non-Dairy Milk
  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 2 cups unsalted Vegetable Broth (you may need more)
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Grilled Cashews, for topping (optional)

Directions :

In a LARGE pan, warm coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions and wait for them to get transparent (3 to 5 minutes), stirring from time to time.

Then, lower the heat to low-medium and add the garlic. Let it cook for a minute before you add the mushrooms and the kale. Once those vegetables are added, cook until the size of the mushrooms reduced and the kale is witted (about 3 to 5 minutes).

Add the flour and stir until there’s no chunks of flour left.

Add the non-dairy milk, the nutritional yeast and the rice, and bring them to a boil.

Cook and stir until almost all the liquid is gone. Then, add the vegetable broth 1/2 cup at the time, adding some more each time it gets almost all absorbed by the rice. It should take about 18 to 20 minutes until your rice is fully cooked.

If the recommended 2 cups of vegetable broth isn’t enough for your rice, add some more broth (or water) until the rice is cooked.

Serve this risotto with some pepper and sea salt. You can also add grilled cashews or extra nutritional yeast. I would personally heat the cashews in a pan with some coconut oil (why didn’t I think of that before I took my pictures! hihi!)

risotto in the cauldron risotto with forkI had the idea of adding cashew in this meal cause the oyster mushrooms really looks like cashews on this picture! Ah, Veggie Pawa gives my good ideas!

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Fast Food Made Healthier : Tempeh Helper!

tempeh helper1My dear Veggie Pawa readers, as you may have guessed, I’m super-dooper busy these days, so I cannot write as often as I would like on the blog. In fact, it even became super hard to find any time to cook! What a shame for a Food Blogger! Well, if this winter is completely hectic working-wise, I hope it’s going to get calmer this summer, when school is going to be over — and when I say over, I mean really OVER, like, I’ll need to find a real adult job in a hurry… Omg! School, my ultimate security blanket, over!

Let’s not get anxious right now. I won’t be able to publish as much for the months to come, but I’ll keep thinking about you all and share some great recipes from time to time ; like this “Tempeh helper” that makes me feel like I’m a child again! To be honest, even though I was an omnivorous child, I may only have had Hamburger Helper two or three times in my life (at friend’s house, if I remember correctly), so I obviously cannot recall the exact taste of the original thing. But when I stumbled across this recipe on Exploits of a Wannabe Vegan, I instantly though of this amazing — yet so simple — beef macaroni my mother used to make. Oh, God! This macaroni was a real hit in our house! My father and I never got tired of it, and even some of my friends were jealous when I had it for a lunch! Good old tasty memories :) Well, this recipe doesn’t only look like my mother’s macaroni, but it also has the same delicious taste and texture… without the cruelty! How amazing!

So, here is the recipe for a hearth and stomach filling pasta dish :

Ingredients :

  • 1 package Tempeh (8 oz)
  • 2 1/4 of your favourite short Whole Grain Pasta (uncooked — I used kamut maraconi)
  • 1 1/4 cup Water, divided
  • 3 tbsp Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3 tbsp Tamari Sauce (or Liquid Aminos), divided
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 3 to 4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • Fresh Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup sliced Mushroom
  • 1 cup diced Bell Peppers
  • 1 to 2 cups Fresh Parsley
  • Chili powder, to taste (optional)

Directions :

Steam cook the tempeh for about then minutes, then drain it in cold water so you are able to handle it and crumble it into small pieces.

Heat a large pan  and add a drizzle of cooking oil. Put in the tempeh with 1 tbsp of the Tamari sauce. Cook for about five minutes at medium heath, stirring from time to time, until the tempeh is getting a darker brown.

In a cup, mix together the flour with 1/4 cup water until well blended and add this in the pan with the tempeh.

Add another 3/4 cup water, the other 2 tbsp of Tamari sauce, Nutritional Yeast, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Ground Pepper, Mushrooms and Bell Pepper. Let simmer for 15 minutes. During simmer, you may need to add a little bit more water if the mixture is getting too dry.

While this is cooking, boil the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the cooked pasta and add them to the tempeh mixture. Remove the pan from heat. Finally, add the parsley and mix everything together.

Serve with A LOT of chili powder, if you want it to taste like my mother’s macaroni ;)

parsley for tempeh helpertempeh helper while cooking Tempeh mixture while cookingchili powder for tempeh helperChili powder, mon amour.tempeh helper with writinghorace instead of tempeh helperHorace really enjoyed the set up I made to take my pictures and didn’t wait a second to steal the spot once I removed the food…

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Sweet Potato and and Black Bean “Burrito”

sweet potato and black bean burritoI simply couldn’t find the word! It’s folded in a tortilla, it doesn’t have any sauce or cheese on top — in fact, it’s vegan —, it doesn’t look to me like a fajita nor a quesadilla. Maybe an enchilada? On Closet Cooking, where I took the recipe, they call it a “taco”, but in my head, tacos must have hard shells… Well, I didn’t know what to do so I went for burrito (even though it’s not rolled), but if anybody has a better idea, I’m up for a change!

I don’t have any claim to be a Mexican food specialist, even though I really really enjoy it! As avocado is my favourite ingredient of all, I often find myself to be very satisfied by Mexican dishes. I love chili, I love beans, and I love Aux Vivres Mexican inspired vegan breakfasts!

With it’s Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato, this recipe I present you today isn’t exactly what one would expect of a Mexican lunch, but gosh, it’s good! This is really one of those case where even thought I’ve made the recipe a few times, I didn’t change a thing to the original recipe (except I made it vegan by removing cheese)… Yep, that’s how good it is!

Plus, I must say that this autumn, I successfully made my mother eat a vegan meal with this recipe! That is huge! It was the first time she enjoyed something vegan, as she is almost scared by tofu, tempeh, legumes and other vegetal proteins. She thought those burrito were finger licking, and she even say she could be vegetarian if I was always cooking for her… That made me kinda proud. According to my experience, Mexican inspired food is a really good way to introduce omnivores to vegetarianism or veganism! Not that I’m always preaching veganism to my relatives, but it’s good to know

Ingredients :

For the burritos :

  • 2 large sweet potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 (19 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 batch swiss chard pesto (see recipe below)
  • warmed whole cereal (wheat, kamut) tortilla
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • cilantro, to taste (optional)
  • lime wedges, for serving (optional)

For the swiss chard pesto :

  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pepitas, (preferably toasted)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions :

Preheat oven to 400F.

Toss the sweet potato in the oil, chili powder and cumin, and place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast them until tender (about 30 to 40 minutes)

Meanwhile, prepare your pesto. Put all the pesto ingredients together in a food processor or high-speed blender and mix until you reach the desired texture.

Once you’re done with the pesto, heat the oil in a big pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then, add the garlic, chili powder and cumin and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Finally, add the beans and cook until warm, a few minutes.

Once the sweet potatoes are ready, add them to the pan, along with the pesto. Mix them all together. Assemble your burritos with all the remaining ingredients.

** On the picture, you can see I tried putting the avocados on top of my burritos. It was cute, but I prefer the texture when I put avocados inside the burritos…

swiss chard pestoMagnificent and delicious swiss chard pesto
sweet potatoes for tacosburrito with writing

The pesto used in the burrito is good in numerous different ways! On below picture, I used it to make a simple pizza on a pita bread with zucchini strips and some hot sauce!pizza with swiss chard pesto

Green onion and fennel “creamy” vegan dressing

close up fennel dressingHi Veggie Pawa readers! I’m so sorry it’s been almost two weeks since I posted something on the blog. I feel like I won’t be able to keep the same publishing rhythm I had during the autumn. Between looking for an apartment, looking for a job, studying, having a teaching training course and following a class at the YMCA to become a fitness teacher, I feel like I barely have any time (and/or energy) left to cook and workout!

I must admit, yep, I must admit that I underestimated the time it would take to publish a food blog! It’s a whole lot of work to cook, take notes of what I’m doing, take pictures, trying to arrange lighting, upload pictures, edit pictures, write some text (in english!) and finally publicize the post. But, hey, I have so much fun doing it, I won’t stop even thought I cannot publish as often as I would like!

So, here it is, finally, the dressing recipe I told you about almost two weeks ago. My friend Vanessa brought this dressing to our Twelft Night dinner and I simply loved it! I’m planning on doing it again tomorrow and serve it on a kale salad. Vanessa used Joel Legendre’s 4 saisons dans mes chaudrons tofu dressing recipe as a base and jazzed it with green onion and fennel. The result was divine!

Ingredients :

  • 1/4 cup silken tofu (or more, if you want it creamier)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or nut oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh or dried fennel leaves (to taste)

Directions :

Mix all the ingredients together until the dressing is homogeneous and creamy. That’s it!

On Twelft Night, this dressing was serve over a salad made of different kind of shoots, dried cranberries and endives. The flavour mix was really really good!

vanessa's saladThis is Twelft Night salad before we put the dressing on.

The day after Twelfth Night, I had some leftover dressing and, late at night, I really felt like having a veggie snack (yep, I get weird kind of cravings). I filled the mason jar that held what was left of the dressing with cauliflower, close the jar to give it a good shake, and then simply ate the raw cauliflowers with a fork! Hummm, it was yummy!

cauliflower in dill dressing

me eating cauliflowerMy boyfriend witnessed my strange behaviour and took a picture of me, over-appreciating my cauliflower snack. Hehe!

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Lentils, Nuts and Apple No-Meat Loaf

non-meat loafHi Veggie Pawa readers! It’s been a while since I posted something, I know! So I wish you a late happy New Year! I wish you Health, Strenght and Happiness for 2014! Everything I was so happy to have in 2013 and still wanna keep for all my life (saying the girl which currently has a big flu…)

Monday, I had my friend Vanessa over for Twelfth Night — Omg, I just learned that “fête des rois” was Twelfth Night in English! This explains a lot! I’ve heard about Twelfth Night in Christmas Carols since I was a Child but never knew it was the same thing as “fête des rois”. Hummm… the endless things we can learn while writing a Food Blog!

Well, I had a Twelfth Night tradition — without knowing it — with my friend Vanessa since we were kids ; which is strange, I know, cause almost nobody celebrates Twelfth Night here in Quebec (well, I think)! The reason is simple : Vanessa and I always were close, but we spend most of the Holidays with our families… Which only left Twelfth Night to celebrate together! By the 6 of January, the sh*tload of family parties is over, and we can have our little time together!

This year, we got a little wild and didn’t have the traditional frangipane pastry. Instead, Vanessa’s made the best (non-vegan) log I’ve eaten in all my life! Maybe someday I’ll have the recipe… (Hein, Nessa??)

(To know what’s going on in my head anytime I hear the word “log” click here. I know, I’m kinda geek.)

Here’s a picture of that incredible Chestnut log :vanessa chesnut log

Vanessa also brought a delicious (and beautiful!) salad. The dressing was fabulous. I’ll give you the recipe quite soon!

vanessa's saladHere is the salad before we put the dressing and the cubed fresh apples on it.
dill dressingAnd here’s the yummy Tofu, Dill and Green Onions Dressing! (recipe soon)

I, for my part, made a Vegan Loaf, to stay in the “wintery” “comfort-foodie” mood of the Holidays. I’ve tried another loaf during Christmas time, but this “Oh she glows” recipe (inspired by a Terry Walters‘ recipe) is definitely my favorite one so far! I’ve used the same ingredients, but changed the process a bit to my convenience.

Our dinner was first supposed to be at Vanessa’s place, so my loaf was previously baked and I baked it again to make it warm, so the sauce really dried out! (because of that, I made more sauce to eat with the loaf, but you don’t see it on the pictures) This is a good news! It means your loaf is going to look even better than mine! ;)

Ingredients :

For the loaf :

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
  • 3 tbsp ground flax seeds + 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion (one big onion)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup peeled and grated apple
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (you can do it by putting 1/2 cup oat flakes in your Vitamix)
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste

For the sauce :

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions :

Start by cooking your lentils. Put them in a medium sized cauldron with 3 cups of water. Cover and bring them to a boil, then lower the heat to medium, keeping them covered. Cook the lentils until they are well cooked (and even getting a little mushy). It took me 25 minutes. If all the water dries out before your lentils are cooked, add a little bit of water. Once the lentils are done cooking, mash them a little with a fork or potato masher, so the loaf will hold properly.

While the lentils are cooking, toast the walnuts in a pan until they are getting a little roasted, but not burned. Watch them carefully. Should take a few minutes.

Once this is done, whisk ground flax seeds and boiling water together, and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Heat a pan to medium (could be the same you used for your nuts) and put the olive oil. Sautee garlic and onion for 5 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, apple and raisins and sautee for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the vegetable from heat.

In a large bowl, mix all the loaf ingredients together. Adjust seasoning.

Put the mixture in a oiled (or coated with parchment paper) loaf pan and press it firmly. Instead, you can do some mini loaves or muffin size pâtés. I went for a bread loaf and 4 muffin sized ones.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and put the sauce on top of your loaf.

Put the loaf in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. If your doing muffin size, you can put them for only 25 minutes so they won’t dry out. Slice carefully and serve.

*** I made a mistake this time and put way too much breadcrumb in my loaf (I don’t know where my head was at!) I added a little water to make it moist again and it was all okay.

green lentilsingredients for no-meat loafcooking vegetables for no-meat loafno-meat loaf before cookingapple no-meat loaf sauceno-meat loaf with textBon appétit!

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Chickpeas and Cranberries Sandwiches

sandwich with christmas gearSo this is Christmas! Maybe you have some friends or family staying over for the night… Well, this isn’t my case this year, cause I live in a really tiny apartment. Instead, I’ll be at my in-laws place, but maybe I’ll be doing those sandwiches anyway! They are so good and easy! Perfect for a simple Christmas time lunch (the cranberries really add a Christmas feel).

The first time I tried those sandwiches, I could not believe how tasty they were! This recipe, that I took on The simple Veganista, really became one of our go-to recipe, cause most of the ingredients are always in our cupboard. Yep, this recipe isn’t only for Christmas!

Here is what you’ll need :

Ingredients :

Makes 6 servings (you can easily divide the ingredients by two, as I did for the pictures, or keep what’s left in the refrigerator for a few days)

For the sandwiches :

  • 3 cups cooked or 2 cans (15oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or chopped fresh cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallions (green onions), thinly sliced, white & green parts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Any kind of bread
  • Lettuce or sprouts (optional)

For the dressing :

  • 6 tbsp (1/3 cup) tahini
  • 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) white wine OR cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup

Directions :

Start by mixing all the dressing ingredients together, until it is homogeneous.

In a medium bowl, roughly mash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher. Add the celery, cranberries, nuts, scallions, salt and pepper. Also add the dressing, and mix well.

Assemble your sandwiches on any bread you like.

tahini sauce for sandwichesingredients for sandwichesmix for sandwichessandwiches with text on left

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