Tag Archives: Vegan

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…

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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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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

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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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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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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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Raw Chai Spiced Tartlets

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

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

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

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

Ingredients :

For the cashew cream :

1/2 cashew nuts

1/4 cup canned coconut milk

2 tsp maple syrup

For the chai spices mix :

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

For the crust : 

1 cup raw walnuts

1 cup raw pecans

4 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or to taste)

3 teaspoons chai spices — see the recipe above

2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil (optional)

Topings :

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

Instructions :

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

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

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

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

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

tartelettes

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

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Asian Inspired Peanut Butter Tofu Sandwiches

asian inspired peanut butter tofu sandwichesAs you may remember, I’m a real peanut butter lover! So, I was quite please when my friend Vanessa chose, among some other choices, that I would make some Peanut Butter Tofu Sandwiches for our little get together. Miam! Those are so simple yet so good!

We had the perfect day, my friend Vanessa and I. We went apple picking at Hemmingford in the lovely Philion Ecological Orchards. The apples were delicious, the weather was perfect and the orchard’s employee were so sweet and helpful. They even thought us how to pick apples “the right way” and how to keep them longer by putting them in a plastic bag in the fridge. Cool!

Philion orchardsPhilion Orchards. Isn’t it beautiful!?

So, now that I have a ton of apples and pears, I hope I’m gonna be able to come up with some interesting recipes… I always do apple sauce, but I don’t have a lot of imagination to do other things and I’m not quite fond of regular apple pies. Of course, I’m also making some apple arrows, as I’ve show in a previous post, but I’d really like to come up with a vegetarian main course including apples. I hope I’ll be able to, cause I’m not a real prolific recipe developer…

So, lets get back to this meal I had with Vanessa and our boyfriends. I started it with a Beet Carpacio that was way beyond my expectations! It was so full of flavours!

I’ll post the recipe later this week, but just take a look at how beautiful it is.

beet carpacio

We continued the meal with an unpretentious asian inspired sandwich. I took the recipe on Oh my veggies and really didn’t change it at lot.

Vanessa brought some wonderful pastries for dessert! Miam! It’s so rare that I eat such rich dessert, it was just the perfect treat! My boyfriend, who is really picky when it comes to dessert (he doesn’t have such a sweet tooth) exclaimed himself with so much emotion when he tasted the praline rectangle : “oh my god! this is it! this is what I’ve been trying to explain! The perfect texture!”. Hihi, this was quite nice to hear!

desserts avec nessa

Well, let’s get back to the main course! Here is what you need to make 3 to 4 of those yummy sandwiches :

Ingredients :

For the tofu :

  • 1-14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut or peanut oil

For the peanut sauce :

  • 6 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 2-3 tsp brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • cayenne to taste (optional)
  • 1 to 4 tbsp coconut milk or water

For the sandwiches :

  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 sandwich wraps, pitas, tortillas, or vegan naan

Directions :

Cut the tofu block in 8 equal “steaks”. If you want to, you can cut them again on diagonal to have triangles instead of rectangles (I didn’t do it this time, cause my tofu block had an unusual shape).

Heat some oil to medium in a pan and put tofu there for about 5 minutes on each side or until crunchy. Put the tofu steaks on a plate and remove oil excess with some paper towels.

While the tofu is cooking, mix together all the dressing ingredients except the water (or coconut milk). When everything is mixed together, add the water (or coconut milk) one tablespoon at the time until you reached the desired consistency. You can do it with a whisk or a fork but I use my Vitamix to mix the dressing so I don’t even have to mince the ginger before I put it there…

Heat the bread your using (I had thick pita bread and heat it directly in a pan) and then put the tofu, the vegetables the dressing and the cilantro on one half of it, so you can flip the other one over and have a nice sandwich.

horace à notre souper d'amisHere is a curious cat who wanted to have a closer look at our sandwiches.

sandwich asiatique 1Marc et VanessaHere are my friends Marc and Vanessa! I’ve known Vanessa like… forever! She’s such a joyful girl! It’s quite funny how those two are our “Medical field friends” while we — Mathieu and I — really are the Literature couple. We are passionate about different things but we get along so well ❤

 

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