Monthly Archives: November 2013

Super Healthy Pomegranate, Banana and Blueberry Frozen Snack

pomegranate frozen snack with textYesterday, we had the first real snowfall of the season, here in Montreal. It felt kind of bitter. I’m not a winter lover at all and this snow came right at the moment when I was sneezing and coughing, battling against a cold. It’s been such a while since the last time I got sick that I was complaining and whining like a man (hihi!) When I had to step outside yesterday, I wasn’t happy, to say the least. Coming back home, I felt like I was gonna pass out from the hot/cold/hot/cold situation of walking, getting in the subway, walking, dropping papers at University, walking, getting back in the subway, climbing stairs (damn you, broken subway escalator!), walking, climbing more stairs, getting back in apartment. When I opened the door of my apartment, I simply fell over my bed, with all my winter clothes on, groaning while waiting for the pressure drop to come. Oh yeah, I can be a real drama queen!

Serioulsly, it wasn’t even a pretty snowfall! What a deception! The first snow should always be pretty! But yesterday, everything was soaking wet and it was yellow (meaning : disgusting and dirty) allover the sidewalks. Pfft! (Complaining again! Yay!)

Well, I guess I was in denial or something because yesterday evening, I came up with this delicious frozen dessert! Yep, a frozen dessert to battle agains the cold and the first snow! In fact, I just felt I needed a boost of vitamins and something to make my sore throat grow numb. And this frozen snack was so good I did it again today to share it with you!

Here are the 3 simple ingredients you’ll need :

1 serving

  • 1/2 pomegranate, seeded
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries

Directions :

Put all the ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth. You may have to scrape around the blender container a few times to get everything to me blended.

I personally like some chunks so I stopped the blender before it was completely smooth. When the texture looks fine to you, put your frozen snack in a bowl and eat it!

fruits in vitamix for pomegranate dessertpomegranate frozen snack with pomegranatepomegranate snack verticalI Hope you enjoy this wonderful anti-oxydizing snack!

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Eat your Greens! Kale Veggie Pâté

kale veggie pâté with writingI knew this was going to be an hectic week. I knew it so much that I decided to write this post some days in advance so Veggie Pawa wouldn’t be left alone for too long.

Given the circumstances, I figured it was the right moment to share with you one of the recipes that I do when I know I’m going to be really busy for the next few days : my delicious Kale Veggie Pâté! It’s cheaper than store bought Veggie Pâté and it’s so much better! So much, in fact, that I never manage to take good pictures of it, cause each time a batch is getting out of the oven, I literally binge into it and cannot wait to take pictures! Bad, bad food blogger!

I took this recipe on a Quebec smallholder french website called Kale et cie some months ago and it’s been my go to recipe ever since! I simply love it! It’s really easy to make and provide you with lunches for (almost) all the week… Don’t fool yourself! It may seems like a lot of Veggie Pâté, but we are two at home and we pass through it soooo fast! It’s so good and healthy it’s almost impossible to stop eating it!

The writer of the recipe told me it was possible to freeze this Veggie Pâté! Isn’t that cool and totally time saving? I’ll have to give this a try!

Ingredients :

  • 1 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 leek
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 cup kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup kamut or spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp apple cider
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • salt and pepper

Directions :

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Crush the sunflower seeds with a blender or a food processor. Put them in a big bowl.

One after the other, put the leek, carrot, celery, sweet potato and kale into the food processor (or high-powered blender) until they are all grated. Put them all together with the sunflower seeds.

Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and toss them well.

Put the mixture in a pyrex plate. If you want to make the Veggie Pâté really even, cover it with a parchment paper and press it with the palm of your hands like I demonstrated in my Honey and Seeds Healthy Squares recipe.

Cook the Veggie Pâté for about an hour or until the top gets coloured to your liking. After an hour, the pâté is still really spreadable. If you prefer it thicker, leave it in the oven a little bit longer.

mixture for kale veggie pâté kale veggie pâté uncooked  Above, you can see the uncooked Veggie Pâté. Below, it’s the cooked version.
kale veggie paté cooked

Hope you’ll give this recipe a try, even though I don’t have wonderful pictures to show you!

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Vegan Poutine : a (Slightly) Healthier Version of The French Canadian Fast Food Classic

poutine with writing

Tomorrow is the American Thanksgiving and I feel like all the Food Blogosphere is about indulgence food. The Canadian Thanksgiving is already behind us (and we don’t really celebrate it here, it’s mostly considered as a simple statutory holiday) but hey, I feel like it’s the opportunity for “usually healthy” Veggie Pawa to get a little bit crazy and talk about POUTINE (not the dictatorial russian kind, but the savoury, really indulgent Quebec kind).

Poutine is the real deal here in Quebec. I don’t even know what’s the reputation of poutine abroad. Do people even know it exists? I’ve heard it’s possible to find some late night in England, in some kind of food trucks… but I’m not even sure. What I can tell is that I once went in a French Canadian Restaurant in Toulouse, France (yeah, I was just kinda curious) and what they called poutine was a mixture of breakfast cubed potatoes, shredded cheese and maple syrup! WHAT!?! Can you believe it!? Well, maybe you can if you’re not from the Belle Province but, for us, it’s a real abomination! Fo real!

If you’re not familiar with what poutine is, well, it’s a meal made of french fries, cheese curds (commonly referred to as “squish-squish cheese”) and gravy. Not so healthy, nope. And, well, everything is kinda sacred about the poutine. Serving it with shredded cheese instead of the traditional squish-squish cheese is risky — to say the least —, using breakfast cubed potatoes instead of the french fries is a sacrilege, while using maple syrup instead of gravy is simply unbelievable, it’s even worth a major laugh.

Well, all this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to play with poutine! While some people really like poutine the traditional way, some others will replace the gravy by spaghetti sauce (it’s called “italian poutine”… kinda funny) and many are open to the idea of adding things on top of the poutine (meat, most of the time, but also vegetables). A classic addition is to add chicken and green peas : it’s called a “galvaude” poutine (no f*cking idea what “galvaude” means). As you can see, I kept the green pea addition in my version of poutine, but I obviously dropped the chicken.

In Montreal, one of the most popular places to eat poutine is a restaurant called “La Banquise”. It’s a 24h place that is packed almost all the time (mostly between 3 and 4 in the morning… did I mention that poutine is a huge hit among drunk people?). I was really happy to see that La Banquise would have a vegan poutine as their November poutine of the month! I guess that many vegans had their first poutine in years at this occasion! I, myself, didn’t have a restaurant poutine in a long time… such a long time that I didn’t even know that La Banquise has a vegetarian gravy on their regular menu! This is cool!veganomane banquise poutineI’m really happy that La Banquise made this vegan poutine — even though they commit the unthinkable by putting shredded faux-cheese on top of it (yep, shredded cheese is a real poutine faux-pas). But, hey, I have a secret for you : my version of the Vegan Poutine is even better! Now, I don’t deserve all the props cause I took this recipe on the web and simply veganized it all-over (cheese was already replaced by tofu*, but I put vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth). Being called the “Lefebvre family’s healthy poutine“, this recipe had a great success among francophone bloggers some years ago. I thought it was about time to translate it in english for the world to taste!

*You, Quebec readers, I can hear you scream behind your computer screens : “but will the tofu really taste like cheese curds???” and my answer is going to be “f*ck yeah!”… and no. The taste will really resemble the “cheese curds” taste… like, REALLY. It’s mesmerizing. But, of course, texture won’t be the same, and it won’t melt either. But hey, it’s vegan, it’s less fat but still protein packed, and it’s really delicious. So, I think it’s worth a try!

Ingredients :

Serves 3 to 4

For the french fries :

  • 14 potatoes or so, washed (about 4 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

For the “cheese curd” tofu :

  • 1 bloc organic tofu (about 454 g)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp salt (don’t panic, most of it will be washed off later)

For the fat free vegan gravy :

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp organic corn starch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or any other sweetener)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vegan worcestershire
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/8 tsp paprika

Optional :

  • Green peas (or any topping of your choice)

Directions :

Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes — you can cut them in slices and then break them in cubes with your hands to give them irregular edges that resemble more the cheese curds. Put them in a plastic container with the lemon juice and salt. Toss them well and put them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut the potatoes into french fries (keep the skin). I used a julienne slicer and it really was easier this way! All my fries were regular and cooked evenly. (I even thought I would not cut myself this time! It took my until the LAST potato stick to slice one of my fingers… arghh!!)

Put the potatoes on a baking sheet with the oil. Toss them well so there is oil everywhere on the plate and potatoes. Place the potatoes in a single layer. Use two baking sheets if necessary.

Cook about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are golden crisp.

Place all the gravy ingredients in a small cauldron. Bring to a boil and mix consistently with a whisk for 1 or 2 minutes, until the sauce really got thicker. Set aside.

If you want to use frozen peas, heat the amount you want in the microwave. I used 1/3 cup for two servings.

Rince and drain the tofu.

When the french fries are ready, prepare your plates (or bowls). For each serving, place 1/2 of the tofu you want in the bottom of the bowl, then, add the fries, then, the other 1/2 portion of tofu, and finally, gravy and other optional toppings!

You are ready to enjoy your lighter version of the poutine!

poutine sauceThe fat-free sauce doesn’t taste 100% like the “real thing” but it’s so good!fries for poutineBeing less fat than deep fried french fries, those oven baked goodies are just yummy!all ingredients for poutineThe ingredients, ready to be put together! I only made half a tofu block and half the fries cause we were only two, but I did all the gravy recipe… See at the end of the post what I did with the leftovers!poutine1poutine close uptheo poutineTheo is fairly intrigued by the poutine. He even tried to put his nose on it! Bad boy!

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Look at the easy lunch I did the next day with my gravy leftovers!  Again with the traditional Quebec food : “Hot chicken” Vegan Sandwiches with Grilled tofu!

hot chicken vegan

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Yay! Veggie Pawa is finally on Facebook!

Hopefully, Veggie Pawa is going to be the most popular blog on the World Wide Web within a few days! Mouahahahaha!

And, guess what… The Facebook page is going to be bilingual! My fellow French Canadian friends are going to be happy! Maybe someday all the blog is going to be bilingual too… but for the moment, it’s sadly just too much of a time investment to me… Anyway, for the time being, you’ll be able to ask me questions both in French and English on the Facebook page!

Come and join me!

https://www.facebook.com/veggiepawa

veggie pawa title for facebook

The Veggie Pawa Facebook page is finally there!

Eat your Greens! Basil and Gnocchi Soup

basil and gnocchi soup with writingMany may agree when I say that Post Punk Kitchen is definitely one of the best Vegan website on the world wide web; all the recipes I took from there simply turned out great! Anyway, I can still say that I have one favourite PPK recipe, one that melts my heart every time I do it, and it is this yummy, savoury, texture wise genius gnocchi and greens soup! I simply love everything about it. The original use of fresh basil, the contrast between the “creamy” cauliflower base and the “chunks” of gnocchi, greens and beans, the fact that it is a really filling, nutritive soup and so on! Love, love, love!

Ingredients :

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florettes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, divided (preferably home made)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Big pinch dried thyme
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, plus a little extra for garnish
  • 8 oz gnocchi**
  • 1 15 oz can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small bunch swiss chard, stems discarded, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces

**8 oz gnocchi represent half the regular gnocchi pack I find at the grocery store. When I do this recipe, I put the gnocchi I don’t need to use in the freezer so I’ll have the perfect quantity to do another batch of this soup later.

Directions :

Heat a big pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and cook garlic for about a minute (watch closely so it doesn’t burn). Add 3 cups of broth (only 3 cups, not 4!), cauliflower, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a broil. Bring the heat down to medium and let it cook until cauliflowers are soft (about 10 minutes).

In a small bowl, mix together the arrowroot (or cornstarch) with the other 1 cup of broth. Add this thickening mix to the cauliflower cauldron and stir until the broth gets a little bit thicker (about 5 minutes).

Remove the cauldron from heat and add the Basil. Use a blender (immersion one or regular… I always use my Vitamix) to smooth all of this preparation. Taste it and add some salt if necessary.

But this soup base back on the stove and bring the heath to medium. Add the gnocchi and cook for 3 minutes. Then, add the beans and the swiss chard and cook it until the greens look soft, stirring gently (about 5 minutes).

It’s ready to serve! Enjoy!

basil for soupHmmmm! Fresh Basil! ❤vitamix basil soupThis is the “creamy base” made from cauliflower, broth and basil (holy miam!). This one was thicker than usual cause I let the cauliflower cook longer, so some of the broth evaporated… The thickness is really up to you. I could have add some broth but I like it thick so I didn’t

Hope you give a try to this wonderful recipe! What is your favourite soup recipe?

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Oat Pancakes

pumpkin pancake with writing

Hi! Hope you’re planning to eat that pumpkin you sculpted for halloween! Here’s a perfect recipe to use it for a sunday brunch with your loved one (this recipe makes enough pancakes for two).

This recipe isn’t vegan but I guess it could be adapted… Maybe by replacing the eggs with some applesauce? Or with ground flax seed and hot water? Or baking soda, water and oil? Do you have any suggestion? I only tried the recipe once but I’ll certainly try to “veganize” it next time. For the moment, I simply took the recipe from Cookie + cake and practically didn’t change anything.

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • A hint of vanilla
  • 2 eggs (or 4 tsp baking powder, 4 tsp water and 2 tsp oil, for a vegan version)
  • 1 cup oat flour (You can put a cup of oat flakes in a blender to grind your own flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (depending on how “sweet and salty” you want your pancakes to be)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • More maple syrup, for serving!!!

Directions :

In a bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, almond milk, melted coconut oil, lemon juice and maple syrup. Add the eggs (or any vegan egg substitute like the one I proposed). If the coconut oil tend to get solid, put the mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds and beat again. Repeat if necessary. I didn’t have to do this as the mixture turned out just fine.

In a bigger bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (oat flour, baking soda, salt and spices). When dry ingredient are mixed, form a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in it. With a big spoon, mix just enough so everything is homogenized. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes

Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. You can add some oil before cooking the pancakes, but it may not be necessary. Put about 1/4 cup of batter at the time and let it heat through slowly, about 3 minutes. Flip it. The bottom should be golden. Let it about 90 second on the second side and when it look golden enough, put aside. Repeat again and again.

You can serve the pancakes immediately or keep them hot in the oven at about 200 degrees Farenheit until you are ready.

Serve the pancakes with maple syrup. You can also add an apple arrow, like I did myself.

cooking pumpkin pancakepumpkin pancakes 1Doesn’t that drop of maple syrup look completely exquisite?! Hummmm!!

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