Monthly Archives: January 2014

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

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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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