Monthly Archives: October 2013

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato “Creamy” Cannelloni

cannelloni with titleHalloween already! Am I too late to post a pumpkin recipe? In fact, I think it may be the perfect day to post that Pumpkin and Sweet Potato “Creamy” Vegan Cannelloni recipe cause the appearance of it must be the ugliest one of all the recipes I’ve done so far(!) Trust me, I did my best to make it look good on the picture and it wasn’t easy… But then, you must be like “why is she posting it if it’s so damn ugly?!” I have one thing to answer to you : “don’t judge by the appearance, this recipe is f*cking tasty awesome deliciously amazing” (yeah, this is what I sound like when I try to put together some english adjectives). Anyway, I think I have some tips that may help you get a more beautiful result that I did while keeping all the tasty yumminess!

Ah, speaking of my weak english, I’ve been to Boston with some of my friends… (like almost two weeks ago, already!) It was so much fun! We went there to assist the Blogilates Boston Meet Up and I got to meet Cassey Ho, my social media fitness idol! It was really exciting. If you click on that link I just put, you can even hear me, the poor French Canadian, trying to talk in english while petrified by the glance of the camera over my face! Omg, I literally freeze when I’m in front of a camera! I’m usually so energetic, but as you may have seen in my one and only Veggie Pawa video, I look like I’m on valium every time I talk in front of an electronic device…

Let’s get back to pumpkins! For this recipe, I reused the sauce from Vanilla&Spice I used in a previous post (Healthy Vegan Fettucine Alfredo with Rapini), except I omit the parsley. This really is one of the best sauce EVER, and it fits perfectly with all the pumpkin and sweet potato creaminess.

Ingedients for the sauce :

  • 2 small yellow onions, peeled and pureed in a food processor
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1,5 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Ingredients for the cannelloni :

  • Ready to put in the oven express cannelloni (or regular ones)
  • 1 cup crumbled firm tofu (about half a package)
  • 1 tbsp chia or hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamome
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a hint of clove
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (fresh or store bought)
  • 1 small-medium sweet potato, cooked and cube  (about 1 cup)

Directions :

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

When you have all the ingredients nearby, chopped and ready to use, make the sauce. Heat some oil in a skillet to medium-high. Cook pureed onions and garlic until brown (but not burn), between 5 to 8 minutes.

In another bowl, stir together almond milk, tahini, salt, nutmeg and pepper until they are well mixed. Once the onions are ready, pour this “milky mix” in the skillet with the onion mixture and reduce heat to medium. Cook it for five minutes, stirring often. Add the lemon juice and let it sit for another minute. Close the heat.

 

While this is cooking, mix all the cannelloni spices and the seeds with the crumbled tofu in a bowl.

Use another pan to cook tofu in a little drizzle of oil. Once some of the tofu gets coloured, add the pumpkin puree and sweet potato to heat them all together. The sweet potato cubes should get crushed a little with everything else. This is your filling. Taste it to make sure the seasoning looks fine to you. You can adjust.

Pour some of the sauce in the bottom of a pyrex. Fill the cannelloni one by one with the pumpkin filling, using a spoon (and ultimately, your fingers).  Place them all in the pyrex (I had some filling left with the quantity of cannelloni you can see on the picture, but I didn’t have any cannelloni left!) Add some sauce on top of the cannelloni so they cook well (but keep some sauce for garnishing after the cooking) and put them in the oven, cooking them according to the cannelloni package instructions (mine were there for about 45 minutes).

Once the cannelloni are served in plates, add the remaining white sauce (that you kept hot, or reheated a bit), to make it look and taste better. This is the step I didn’t figure out at first!

Of course, you can use regular cannelloni that you would boil in water before you fill them. I’ve always been scared of those. I feel like I would break them all! But next time, this is what I’ll try. With the pastas and filling already cooked, I would just have to put them for a little bit in the oven and it would certainly look better! The awkward-looking factor in my actual recipe is definitely due to the sauce adhering to much and getting drier while those “express pastas” are cooking.

If you experiment with this recipe as well, let me know how it turned out! This was such one of the yummiest thing ever, but the look wasn’t there at all… maybe you have a tip for me!

Hope you enjoy this Halloween dish! See more (or less appetizing) pictures below!

filling for cannellonisCannelloni fillinguncooked cannelloniCannelloni before I add some more sauce and put them in the ovencannellonis 1The final, weird looking result (remind me a bit of imperial rolls or egg rolls…)

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DIY : How to make a “Magic Bag” from an Old Sack of Rice

pain killer magic bag

I’m writing this post with my new magic bag on my lower back and I’m beyond happy! It’s good to know that I’m able to compensate my stupidity (I experience back pain right now because yesterday I was too proud to stop a workout that was obviously too hard so I could keep a good form) by a flash of genius!

I was complaining to my boyfriend about the fact that I was in pain, telling him I could not understand why we didn’t own a magic bag, when he suggested to me I should do my own. I have no sewing skills and no fabric (which is a shame because my mommy is the best seamstress IN THE ENTIRE WORLD), but I had the sudden idea of reusing a old sack of rice! Isn’t it cool?! I’ve always kept some of those to put my lunches or other things in them, but now I feel those bags have found their vocation (from rice to rice!)

So, I took the cute sewing kit my mom just gave me and went on the internet to make sure I wasn’t going to blow the house down with my experiment (THIS site confirmed me that I was on right direction). Obviously, I didn’t want the metal zipper to stay on the bag cause it wouldn’t have been fun in the microwave (well, depending of your definition of what is fun). Anyway, the magic bag would have been too big for what I needed.

So, here is what you’ll need :

  • An old sack of rice
  • Some uncooked rice (or other fillings you can find on that previously mentioned website)
  • One needle
  • Some thread
  • Scissors
  • A microwave

I simply put in the bag the amount of rice I felt was optimal and folded the sack in two so I could sew it in the middle. This size felt like the best to me but I could have gone bigger or smaller. Here is how I folded the bag to sew it :

IMG_0978 IMG_0980 IMG_0977Once your bag is folded in two, just sew the thread all along the fold so the sack is close. Of course, this will look handmade and not perfect at all, but it matches with the style of the bag, and I’m obviously giving tips to no experts here! I don’t even know if what I write is understandable, as my english “sewing vocabulary” is all coming from Google Translate… ouch! Anyway, I guess you can all figure it out from the pictures…

When your bag is closed with the thread, cut the excess of fabric, like you can see on the first picture of the post. You now have a heating bag! Put it in the microwave and test it! I went for a minute first, but finally put it in for two minutes and it was perfect for me.

On the next picture, you can see that I filled about half of the bag with rice. You can go from 1/2 to 3/4, depending of how firm you want it to be.

IMG_0982Please stay aware, the first time you heat your bag, so that it does not catch on fire or anything. Just saying. Please do not use a bag made from a weird plastic fabric or anything funky. It’ll be safer if you just stick with cotton bags.

Hope you enjoy the idea!

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Vegan Broccoli “Cheesy” Soup

cheesy broccoli soup1Some weeks ago, I said I was going to put my favourite soup recipe on the blog. This was before I tried this vegan “cheesy” broccoli soup. I got so enthusiast by this one I didn’t want to wait till I share it with you!

I took the recipe on Oh she glows and slightly adapted it. I cannot stress enough how much I like Oh she glows website! Angela posts the most amazing recipes! Just like she said on her post, I’ve always felt that “cheesy broccoli soup” was something strange that came up directly from a can. So I was never really interested by it. In fact, I think I may never have eaten it before I tried Angela’s version! And this was definitely a wow! I fell in love the second I had the first sip of this soup, directly from the cauldron! This explains why I don’t have any “preparation” pictures today. I didn’t plan on putting this recipe on the blog, but after I finished cooking, the soup tasted so good, and the light was so beautiful that I thought I had to put the recipe on Veggie Pawa!

Strange thing is I tried this soup cause I only had a broccoli left in the fridge and really needed to go to the grocery store. I certainly didn’t expect it to turn that well! Ah, sometimes, kitchen success is not where we expect it!

cheesy broccoli soup2

I also feel like I have to say a word about my last weekend. I was really stressed out because I had to prepare my first job interview to become a French Literature College Teacher. I can tell you now that I didn’t book the job (and really, it’s ok, I got really good feedback and I’ll get better for next time; but I must admit my pride currently feels like THOSE POOR THINGS ). So, during this really stressful weekend, I had the opportunity to have some quality time at my aunt’s place. I harvested grapes in her vine yard for the first time of my life! It was really relaxing — ok, relaxing wouldn’t be the word I’d use if I had to do this many days in a row, but for one day, it was quite relaxing. Plus, my aunt gave me a huge quantity of frozen organic blueberries coming from her garden… they are the best I ever had! I just can’t stop eating them (seriously!) I’m so happy now that I have plenty!

going to hemmingford

But now, let’s get back to this soup that made me so enthusiast. Here is what you’ll need to do it :

Ingredients for the soup :

Recipe adapted from Oh she glows.

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped greens (I used swiss chard)
  • 4-4.5 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 2 heads)
  • 1.5 cups peeled & chopped potatoes (about 3)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (preferably home made)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)
  • Low-fat vegan cheesy sauce, divided (**see below for recipe)
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Onion powder, to taste
  • Salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
  • Shredded vegan cheese, to garnish (optional)
  • Smoked Paprika, to garnish
  • Croutons, to garnish (preferably home made)

Ingredients for the vegan cheesy sauce :

  • 1.5 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance or other non-dairy buttery spread
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions for the soup:

Heat oil in a large skillet to low-medium heat. Add garlic and onions. Stir frequently until onions get translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add the broccoli and potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Then, add the broth, nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper. Let’s simmer for 15 minutes (or until the potatoes are tender). Add your greens for the few last minutes, just so they’ll get a little tender.

While the veggies are cooking, prepare your cheesy sauce in a small cauldron (**see the directions below).

Put your broccoli soup in a blender or use a submersion blender to mix it. You can leave a bit of chunk (“mottons”, as we would say in Quebec French).

Mix the cheesy sauce into the soup but hold 1/3 cup for later (we will use it as a topping).

Add the onion powder, lemon juice and parsley to your soup and stir them together.

Put the soup into bowls and add the extra cheesy sauce. Garnish with smoked paprika, optional shredded vegan cheese, and croutons.

Directions for the cheesy sauce :

In a bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/4 cup of the almond milk until smooth.

In a small pot, melt Hearth balance (or whatever substitute you’re using).

Add the remaining milk, as well as the milk and flour mix, to the pot.  Add the nutritional yeast. Put the temperature to low-medium.

Add Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and whisk consistently for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture has thicken. Remove from the heat once its ready so it won’t burn.

vegan broccoli cheesy soup with writing

Raw Chai Spiced Tartlets

raw chai spiced tartlets with writingFor as long as I can remember, I’ve always been the girl who doesn’t want to bring dessert in potluck dinners. I’ve never really been found of dessert, and always considered myself as a very ordinary pastry cook. Anyway, for the last few weeks, I’ve found myself salivating in front of many different raw dessert recipes and thought I should give some of them a try.

To be honest, the “raw” part of it mostly appealed to me because I’ve always found that dessert mix were SO MUCH better before they were cooked… Hummmm, uncooked desserts!

So, my boyfriend was going shopping yesterday and I asked him on a whim to buy me a silicone muffin pan. I was so excited to try it I couldn’t wait! And among all those yummy recipes out there, here was my first pick : a Chai Spiced Pear Tart that I took on Spicy RD Nutrition and adapted into tartlets! To give you an idea of how deeply not into dessert making I am, I do not even own a tart pan! But I think tartlets are so much cuter anyway…

Well, this first attempt at raw desserts was a real success! I’m absolutely charmed and it makes me wanna try many more dessert recipes! Yé!

Ingredients :

For the cashew cream :

1/2 cashew nuts

1/4 cup canned coconut milk

2 tsp maple syrup

For the chai spices mix :

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

For the crust : 

1 cup raw walnuts

1 cup raw pecans

4 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or to taste)

3 teaspoons chai spices — see the recipe above

2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil (optional)

Topings :

As you like, one pear, one banana or some other nuts.

Instructions :

Start by putting the cashew cream ingredients and put them in a high-powered blender. Mix until it’s all creamy. This can take a while (I personally left some chunk to my cashew cream and it was perfect).

Combine the chai spices together and put them with the crust ingredients in a high-powered blender. Mix until the nuts chunks are quite small and all sticky. If you feel like it isn’t sticky enough to hold together, you can add some coconut oil, but I didn’t.

Take the crust mix one spoon at the time and press it in the bottom of a silicone muffin pan. Make sure that the center is deeper than the outline so it can hold the cashew cream and toppings properly. I had seven tartlets with this mix.

Spread a little bit of cashew cream on every tartlet till you don’t have any left (lick the bowl! omg, it’s so good!!!). Add the toppings of your choice. You can add some chai spices on the top of it, to decorate.

You are ready to take the tartlets out of the pan. You can serve them right away or put them in the fridge.

tartelettes

spices and cream for raw dessertCashew cream and spice mix
raw crust in vitamixNut crust mixtartelettes moules

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Vegan Beet Carpacio

beet carpacio with almonds 1I first tried this “salad” on last saturday, when I had some friends for dinner. While I was slicing beets, I had some kind of doubts, and was like “Oh my god, this recipe certainly LOOKS awesome, but is it going to taste good!? Why didn’t I wonder before? Why didn’t I try it before I had some friends over?”

I worried a lot, yeah, but the second I had the first bite of this beet carpacio, I knew it was going to be a hit! This meal is so simple yet so good! The mix between the beet, avocado and mustard vinaigrette is simply amazing! Totally made me feel like THIS.

I took this recipe on May I have that recipe website. I don’t know how I managed to do this, but on saturday, I simply didn’t see the part where it’s written to cook the beets! Maybe my subconscious played some kind of trick on me and I just didn’t want to see it, as I was going for a quick, fresh recipe. The fact is that this recipe was amazing in it’s raw form! So when I did the recipe again two days later — for the sake of the blog and the joy of our tastebuds — I decided to keep it raw. It’s so much simple!

So, here is my version on the recipe :

Ingredients (for two plates) :

  • 1 large beet (or two small ones)
  • 1 green onion
  • 3 tbsp chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 1 avocado

For the dressing :

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp grain mustard
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp agave nectar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp chia seeds

Directions :

Mix all the dressing ingredients and let it sit, so the chia seeds will get it thicker.

Slice the beet really thin with a mandoline slicer (you can go even thinner than what you see on the pictures).

Place the sliced beets on two serving plates. Dice the avocado and add it in the center of the plates. Drizzle some dressing on the beets, add green onions and nuts. Serve immediately so the avocado won’t turn brown.

ingredients for beet carpaciobeet carpacio 2You can also do the recipe nut free and it is still going to be really good! I know it for sure, cause I forgot them on saturday! (Where my head was at, I wonder for sure…) Here the beets are cut thinner and the dressing sat longer, so I had a better result :

beet carpacio

 

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