Mint And Chocolate Macaroons

DSC_1294Holidays are coming! There’s going to be about ten Christmas dinners and New Year’s partys for which you’ll have to cook at least one dish! Well, my Mint and Chocolate Macaroons are here to help! They are really easy to do and completely yummy! Plus, as you can notice by the ingredients list, they are kinda healthy! Isn’t that great!?

Speaking of healthy dessert balls, I’ve been to Le Salon des Métiers d’Art yesterday and one of my friends (Hi, Isabelle!)  just happened to work for Tessier dit Lavigne stand. I didn’t know this company and I simply fell in looooove after just one bite of their delicious nut paste truffles! Yeah, nut paste truffles, no chocolate implied! With simple or funky flavours! Well, I don’t know if they ship their products all around the world but you should ask! Those truffles contains milk, so they aren’t vegan, but I bet we could do a special order with non-dairy milk… 😉

So, about my macaroons : I took the recipe on Simple Medicine and simply added mint, cause I looove the coco/chocolate/mint combinaison! What’s funny is that the author of the original recipe published it during a snow storm and wrote that those macaroons were “snopocalypse-esque dirty snowballs”… Well, I feel like this is completely accurate right now, cause snow keeps falling and falling and falling over Montreal! And my boyfriend keeps moaning about the fact that it is a “snowapocalyspe”! It’s still going to snow for the next few days and the roads are gonna be kinda dangerous for Christmas time. So, everyone out there, drive carefully!

For the moment, let’s get back to happy tasty snowballs, the ones I love the most!

Ingredients :

  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (if it’s hard like rock, you can put it a few seconds in the microwave)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground salt
  • 1 tsp pure Mint extract
  • A hint of Vanilla
  • 2 tsp cool water
  • 2 ounces of dark unsweetened chocolate (choose vegan if you want to)

Directions :

Mix all the ingredients except the last two (water and chocolate) in a bowl. Toss until everything is combined well  (I personally put some water on my hands and simply toss the mix with them).

If you feel like the mix doesn’t stick enough, add water, one teaspoon at the time.

Form some balls (a little smaller than a golf ball).

Put the chocolate in a bain marie and let it melt slowly, while whisking.

Once the chocolate has melted, carefully dip the macaroons, and then put them on a parchment paper so the chocolate will harden. If you have some talent with melted chocolate, you can also add some of it on the top of your macaroons. I seriously have no experience with chocolate, so my macaroons turns out looking a little bit like boobs (hihi!)

Now, put your macaroons in the refrigerator and let them harden for at least 10 minutes before you eat them. Yep, no cooking needed! Keep the macaroons in the fridge until you are ready to serve them, so they won’t get too soft.

mix for snowballssnowball mix2The two pictures above are before and after mixing the Macaroons ingredientssnowballs on baking sheetsnowballs on a plateHappy Hollidays, Veggie Pawa Followers!

Much love,

Marilyn

xox

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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

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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

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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!

***

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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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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