Category Archives: Main course

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

 

Tagged , , , , ,

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!

Tagged ,

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

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!

Tagged , ,

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…

Tagged , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , , , ,

Vegan Malai Kofta made from squash

malai kofta with textDid you enjoy my pun : “Made from squash/made from scratch”? Hihi, I hope I’m not the only one to think it’s kinda funny!

This is a Squash and Squash post cause I wanted to talk about the new sport I’ve been practicing for the autumn : Squash! I’m not good at all for the moment but I’m really enjoying it a lot. It’s the first time since High School that I practice a racket sport. I really feel like a cool kid when I’m in the subway with my racket case… Hihi! And even though I’m new to squash as a sport, it’s not the first time that squash has helped me in a fitness matter… Guess how! As a medicine ball! Yep, I workout at home kinda often, and I don’t have a medicine ball so I’ve already use whole squashes to do some of my moves (like the russian twist). Beware, if you do the same, you don’t want the squash to fall over you! This could hurt!

squash gear

Now, let’s get back to the Squash Malai Kofta Recipe. Do you remember that I was going to my first cooking class last wednesday? Well, I totally loved it! I learned so many things and the atmosphere was just great! For all of you Montrealers, I strongly recommend you to try a class at L’Armoire du haut! I’ll be attending many more. Dominique Dupuis, the instructor, is really friendly and makes you feel like home. Plus, everything that we cooked turned out to be amazing. Wednesday’s class was about Indian Food, and Dominique knew a whole lot about it because of the trip she made to India and the cooking classes she took there ; it was so interesting to hear all of her stories about India! Plus, by the end of the class, I realized something totally weird : this recipe of Malaï Kofta I have planned to put on Veggie Pawa for a few weeks (I even had the pictures and everything), was in fact created by Dominique Dupuis! What a strange coincidence! I took the French Version of this recipe on the Association manger santé bio website, and didn’t change a think, as it already sounded good and healthy!

I warn you : if you are looking for a meatball replacement that tastes like meat, I can tell you right off the hook this isn’t your recipe. Those squash balls taste like squash balls, and I personally think they’re perfect that way! So if you feel like eating a lot of veggies in a really original and flavourful way, this is for you!

Ingredients :

For the Balls (Koftas) :

  • 3 cups Butternt Squash, shredded
  • 2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 2 tsp Cilantro Seeds
  • 1 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1/4 cup Ground Flax Seeds
  • ¼ cup Chopped Nuts
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Raisins
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Coconut Oil, for cooking

For the Sauce (Malai) :

  • 1/4 cup Cashew Nuts soaked in 3/4 cup non-dairy Milk for an hour
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 small Onions
  • 3 Garlic Gloves
  • 1 inch fresh Ginger
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1½ tsp powdered Cilantro
  • 1 cup pureed Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions :

For the Balls (Koftas) :

Put the squash in a bowl. Grind together the fennel seeds, and the cilantro seeds, then add them to the squash. Also add the chill flakes and the ground flax seed. Let this mixture sit for a couple of minutes so it really holds together. Add the nuts and raisins to the mix.

Form the balls in your hands (the size of a squash ball or a golf ball, or any size you like, really). Press the mixture together to form the balls and do not try to roll it between your hands; it would fall apart.

Heat some oil in a pan and heat the balls until they are golden on every side. Once they are cooked, put them aside on a paper towel to absorb the excess of oil.

uncooked kofta

For the Sauce (Malai) :

In your food processor, mix the onion, garlic in ginger so they turn into a puree.

Heat a pan to low/medium temperature (it could be the same you used for the koftas, or you can do both recipe at the same time in different pans). Heat the oil and put the onion/garlic/ginger mixture into it. Let it there — stirring once in a while — for about 10 minutes or until the puree starts changing color.

Add salt, turmeric, powdered cilantro and pureed tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes of until most of the tomatoes water is evaporated.

Reduce the cashews and milk into a puree in a food processor with the maple syrup. Once the tomato mix is ready, put this cashew mixture in the pan with the other ingredients. Stir well and add the Garam Masala.

Add about 1 cup of water and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes. Then, add the balls (koftas) and wait until they are heated through.

It’s ready! No you can eat this with brown rice and/or chapati bread!

squash for kofta in vitamixI shredded my squash directly in my food processor (Vitamix). Made the process a lot quicker!pumpkin smoothie while cooking koftaI had to much Squash shredded, so I used my food processor to mix a squash smoothie I would sip while I was preparing the food!kofta while cookingvegan malai kofta 2

Tagged , ,

Eat your Greens! Palak Tofu

palak tofu with text

Next Wednesday, I’m going to attend my first cooking class EVER! I’m really excited about that! I’ve been considering trying cooking classes for a while but I didn’t know where to go, as a Vegetarian (mostly Vegan) Health Nut Amateur Cook. Well, I’ve stumble across L’Armoire du Haut and I think it’s going to be perfect for me! I’ve subscribed for a course about Indian Food (miam miam!) where we’ll be making Chapati and Aloo Gobi, among other things. Yay!

This class gave me the idea of sharing with you one of my boyfriends favourite dish : Palak Tofu. When I tried this recipe for the first time, he was so thrilled he told me I should do it again and again and again! I’ve made it a couple of time since, and it keeps getting better each time! I’ve never been to India myself, and I wouldn’t say I know a lot about Indian Food (even though I totally fancy it), so I couldn’t say how authentic this recipe is. But it’s good, and I would say — at the risk of shocking some of you — that it’s all that matters to me…. As “cheesy” as it may seem, I could even say that nothing feels better than eating something good with the one(s) you love, and that’s all that matters. Don’t be fooled by my “authenticity insecurity”, this plate is good! Oh, yes it is! I took the recipe on Olives for Dinner and didn’t change it a lot (I tried to make it a little more simple by changing or combining some steps of the recipe). I love Olives for Dinner! Their recipes are totally my style, and the pictures are GREAT. Sometimes I wish my boyfriend could take my pictures and do all the editing (wink, wink, honey! Are you reading?!) He taught me everything I know about photography, but he really is a better photographer than I am! Ah, maybe someday I’ll be surpassing the master! 😉

Hum, seems like I have a lot to tell right now… Can you imagine I’ve been introducing my mother to vegetarian food today? Wow, this could be a long story! How can I put this? I’ve been raised by my mother as an omnivore, and she was quite a good cook! I’d say she was really into traditional cooking : we used to eat Lasagna, Beef Stew, Sheppard’s Pie, Chicken Breast and Pork Loins. Most of what we were eating was accompanied by a Salad or Steamed Vegetables. Even if my mother wasn’t at all into Nutrition, I guess she did a good job by instinct, balancing proteins with vegetables and grains without thinking about it. When I got my first apartment, a few years ago, my mother completely stopped cooking, cause she wasn’t enthusiast to do it just for herself. My mother was a good cook, but she didn’t like to cook. She did it all for me, and I can only be grateful.

Being on my own, I got more and more interested by food. It’s only recently that I went Vegetarian and really started eating clean (meaning non processed) organic food. I feel good about the fact that I’m a newbie to this lifestyle and that I still have so much to learn! So many years in front of me to grow better at cooking!

One of the thing that made me feel sad about all this habit change is that my mother knew I was a “good cook”, but I felt like she was afraid to eat at my place! Indeed, she was really doubtful about Vegetarian food. Well, not just doubtful, scared. Tofu and chickpeas sounded to her like weird things that could certainly not taste good. I had her eating a bit of tofu last summer, and she liked it. But today, I had her over for lunch and we ate delicious sweet potato and black beans tortilla with pesto (I’ll be posting the recipe soon) and she was so enthusiast over it! I even put sprouted lentils on top of the salad and she loved it all! Wow, I didn’t even think she would accept to try legumes someday! I was really pleased! One step at the time, I think I could get her to really enjoy healthy eating. I love my mummy. I want her healthy.

This wasn’t even the only culinary experience of the day for my mummy. We went shopping all afternoon and it was so late when we got at my place I offered to bring her to a restaurant. “Which one?” she inquired. “Lola Rosa“, I said. “Lola what?”, she responded. “Lola Rosa, a Vegetarian restaurant”. I must say I saw fear in her eyes. “Vegetarian? Is there going to be something I like? Something I can eat?” She even tried telling me she wasn’t hungry. Well, let me tell you we went to Lola Rosa and she love it so much she even looked sad when her plate was finished. She was joking about the fact she could lick her plate! She even took a bite in my boyfriend’s plate and loved it as well. She told me we would come back, with all my Aunts and Family. Gosh, this felt great. I made my mummy eating Vegetarian all day and she completely loved it! It’s kinda weird to say, but I feel really proud. And happy.

palak paneer closeNow, let’s get to that Tofu Palak recipe! Here’s what you’ll need :

Ingredients :

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coconut vinegar (optional)
  • 1 block of extra-firm tofu, well pressed and cut into dice-sized cubes
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 7 oz (1 cup) canned diced tomatoes
  • 16 oz (500g) bag of chopped frozen spinach
  • 1 cup of water
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
  • Brown rice and vegan naan, for serving (optional)

Directions :

Marinade the tofu cubes with coconut milk, coconut vinegar and a pinch of salt in the fridge for a few hours (optional but highly recommended).

Heath a non-adhesive pan to medium. Take the tofu out of the coconut milk and put it in the pan (you’ll use the leftover coconut milk later). Cook the tofu until it gets a little bit golden on every side. **I completely ruined this part by not using a non-stick pan this time ; all the golden crisp of the tofu stayed in the bottom of the pan… Oups!

Put the onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor and mix them until the mix is kinda homogenous. Transfer to a medium or big size pot with the coconut oil. Let this mixture caramelize to low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Lower the heat a bit and add the spices (curry powder, garam masala, ground cloves and fennel seeds) to the onion mixture, then let it simmer for a minute or two. Add the diced tomatoes, the spinach and the cup of water. mix well and wait until the spinach are completely heated through. Add the tofu and the leftover coconut milk marinade to the pan. Mix it all together until everything is hot.

Serve the Palak tofu and garnish with coriander leaves. You can also add some Fleur de sel, to taste.

Time to eat! You can serve this Palak with naan bread and/or brown rice.

** In case you’re wondering how I put my rice in cute little spheres, I must say it’s incredibly easy. I simply take my 1/3 cup or 1/2 cup measuring cup (that is roundly shaped) and use it as a spoon to take the rice in my rice cooking pan. I tap it a little to make sure the rice in compacted well, then add a little bit if needed until the measuring cup is full. Then, I turn the cup upside down over my serving plate and leave the rice fall of the cup gently. As simple as this!

palak tofu in the cauldron

palak tofu 2 bowls

Tagged , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: