Category Archives: Breakfast

Raw Food Weekend

April 25, 2017

I recently hosted a raw food and meditation retreat for a couple of friends. What a great experience. I have eaten raw for short periods of time before, but it has been a while. It was amazing how little we ate and yet always seemed to be content and full.

 

We did 3 full days raw. It was so much fun to try new recipes.  We experimented with a spiralizer making both zucchini and sweet potato noodles.

 

 

 

We started our mornings with a wheat grass shot after meditation and before the morning dog walk. A great way to get you energized for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our morning walk with the dog, breakfasts were Overnight Oats, Raw Granola and Fresh Cashew Milk, and Green Smoothies. Lunches were a Kale and Apple Salad with Pecans, a Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup and a Cauliflower Salad, and a Gazpacho with raw crudities. Suppers included Spiralized Zucchini Noodles with Raw Tomato Marinera, Spiralized Sweet Potatoes with a couple of different sauces (Cashew Curry, Wasabi Aoili, Herbed Ranch Style Dressing) and Cauliflower Rice. For snacks we had soaked raw almonds, fruit salad, figs, dates and dried apricots, and fresh fruit. So much good food.

The recipes from the weekend are below. I hope you will try some of them, even if you don’t do an entire day raw. They would be great alongside a cooked dish and are all super delicious.

Since my raw weekend, I have been continuing to eat raw for breakfast and raw or mostly raw for dinner. Lunches I have been eating cooked food. I find the raw suppers to be lighter and easier to digest and I sleep better.

Overnight Oats

Note: for this dish to be fully raw, you will need to make our own fresh plant milk. We made a cashew milk as cashew milk is rich and creamy and does not require straining out the pulp as almond milk does. To make your own cashew milk, blend 1/2 cup soaked raw cashews and 2 cups water until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate and use within 3 days. If you want a sweeter milk, add a couple of pitted dates to the mixture before blending.

  • 1 cup rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
  • 2 ½ cups plant based milk (almond, coconut, rice, cashew or soy)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
  • maple syrup (or other sweetener), to taste

In a small bowl, mash the banana and add oats, milk, chia seeds, cinnamon and dried fruit. Whisk together well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir the mixture and add a bit of maple syrup if desired.  Serve with a topping of fresh fruit, granola or hemp seed.

Adapted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

Raw Granola

This raw granola is similar to overnight oats in that is also soaked before eating. However, it doesn’t contain chia seeds and so has a different texture. The recipe says to soak for 2 to 3 hours, but it can be soaked overnight as well, which is easier if you want to eat it when you get up. We found the original recipe way too heavy on the nuts, and adding lots more oats and quinoa flakes to be a delicious and much lighter breakfast. Feel free to use your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruit. I like this for breakfast with the addition of a chopped fresh apple. For a fully raw version, make your own fresh nut milk.

  • 1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sunflower seed
  • 1 cup pecan, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups raw oat flakes or quinoa flakes, or a mixture of the two
  • ½ cup goji berry
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • ½ cup hemp seed
  • 6-8 dates, chopped
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • big handful JOY ♥

Place everything in a jar. Each time you are hungry you take about ½  c of Granola, soak in just enough water to cover for 2-3 hrs and enjoy with cashew or almond milk.

Modified from Raw Solla’s recipe ebook.

Citrus Green Smoothie

We enjoyed quite a few smoothies over the weekend. My basic recipe is equal parts water, greens and fruit; however, we opted for an extra handful of greens in every smoothie, making them less sweet and more green.

  • two oranges, peeled
  • 2 bananas, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups water

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Kale and Apple Salad

This kale and apple salad is one of my favorites and I have made it many times, either as a meal on its own, or as a side. The recipe makes a lot of Oil Free Maple Mustard dressing, enough for several salads, but it is delicious an many other salads and even on a baked potato instead of the traditional butter and sour cream. It will keep well in the fridge for at least one week.

The original recipe called for roasting the pecans in maple syrup but in the interest of remaining raw, we used raw pecans.

Dressing

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked until soft, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice from
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Salad

  • 3 medium bunches of kale, de-stemmed and shredded fine
  • 1 lemon, juice from
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 4 apples, cored and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Julienned carrots
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Diced red pepper
  • pecans
  1. Place kale in large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Massage the lemon juice and salt into the kale for about 4 minutes.
  2. Add chopped apples, dried cranberries, carrots, onion, and red pepper. Toss.
  3. Add dressing (start with half and then add to your taste) and toss well.
  4. Top with pecans and serve.

Adapted from Raw Amazing.

Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup

This is a fast and easy raw soup that is very satisfying. If you have a good high performance blender, like a Vitamix, you don’t need to grate the carrots or ginger just throw in the blender in chunks.

After blending the soup it is warm, from the blending action, and it is delicious this way. If you have to store it in the fridge, you may want to warm it up carefully on the stove before eating.

 

  • 3 large carrots, grated
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
  • Sea salt
  • Cilantro, to garnish

Place all ingredients except cilantro and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.  Taste and add salt as needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

From The Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier

Cauliflower Salad with Herb Cashew Dressing

This is another favorite salad of mine. Adding fresh parsley to the dressing makes a lovely green sauce. However, if you prefer your dressing to be whiter, use dried parsley (1 or 2 tbsp) and stir it into the finished dressing instead.

My original recipe used thawed frozen peas, but to keep it raw, we used chopped broccoli instead.  Try the pea version by adding 2 cups of green peas, thawed under hot water.

Herb Cashew Dressing

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 2 – 3 hours
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp whte miso
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 – 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to your taste

Adapted from The  PlantPure Nation Cookbook by Kim Campbell

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli or asparagus
  • ½ cup green onions, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced fine
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds, soaked for ½ hour

Chop cauliflower and broccoli into small florets. Place chopped veggies in a large bowl. Add dressing and mix well. Add sunflower seeds.

Gazpacho

Finding a good gazpacho recipe can be tough, but we struck it lucky with this one from the Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook.  We made a few changes to the original recipe. We eliminated the oil. We didn’t have a cucumber, so we used a zucchini in its place. To keep it raw we substituted sun dried tomatoes for the tomato juice. The recipe calls for chopped avocado as a topping but we found adding an avocado to the soup adding a creaminess without refined oil. And the avocado did not change the color of the soup substantially, it stayed a beautiful red. For a vibrant colored soup, be sure to use bright red tomatoes and red pepper and peel your cucumber (or zucchini in our case).

  • 675 g ripe tomatoes (1 ½ pounds)
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled (or zucchini)
  • ¼ cup sweet onion
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 cups tomato juice or cocktail (or ½ cup sun dried tomatoes and 2 cups water)
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tsp to 3 tbsp red wine vinegar (or balsamic)
  • Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
  • Topping:
  • Diced avocado, cucumber, red pepper
  • Chopped fresh basil, parsley, cilantro

Roughly chop the veggies for the soup and add all ingredients to the blender. Blend until smooth, adjust seasonings to your taste.

For a chunkier soup texture, add only half the tomatoes and pepper to the blender. Blend until smooth, then add the remaining tomatoes and pepper and pulse until desired texture is reached.

Top with toppings of your choice.

Adapted from Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon

 

Spiralized Zucchini and Marinara Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiralized zucchini is now a favorite of mine. It is delicious cold and I don’t find any need to heat up the dish at all if you keep your marinara sauce at room temperature. What a quick and easy way to make a spaghetti dinner!

The original marinara recipe called for 3/4 cup olive oil – holy cow, that’s a lot of oil. We eliminated the oil totally, using my homemade vegetable broth instead. It tasted great. When I made this the next time, I added an avocado, which gave it a smoother richer taste.

Finely shred or spiralize 2 zucchini so that it is angel-hair in appearance.

Marinara Sauce

  • 2 cups tomatoes
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp dried basil (or sub fresh)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano (or sub fresh)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 5 pitted olives (we used green)
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 avocado, pitted (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste. Serve over the zucchini pasta.

Adapted from Rawganique

 

Sweet Potato Noodles

The sweet potato noodles were a surprise for me. I didn’t even know you could eat sweet potatoes raw. I expected them to be starchy but they are crunchy and delicious. I have made this recipe a couple of times now and my favorite sauces are the curry and the wasabi. We also used the same Herbed Cashew Dressing as we used for the cauliflower salad. It is also great with the raw marinara sauce we used on the zucchini noodles.

Clockwise from 9 oclock – Curried Almond, Wasabi Aioli, Herbed Cashew

Spiralize your noodles and top with sauce of your choice. We tried a Curry Cashew Sauce, Wasabi  and Herb Cashew Dressing.

Curry Almond Sauce

  • ½ cup almond butter or cashew butter (we used cashew butter)
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 4 to 5  tsp curry powder
  • 1 to 2  tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp tamari

Place sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.  Garnish with  currents and walnuts.

Adapted from Jesse Lane Wellness.

Wasabi Aioli

The original recipe calls for less cashews and adds silken tofu. To keep this raw, we eliminated the tofu and added more cashews. (I also like this aioli as a topping on burgers.)

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 2 to 3 hours
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • ½ tsp salt

Drain soaked cashews.  Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Adapted from The  PlantPure Nation Cookbook by Kim Campbell.

Herb Cashew Dressing

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 2 – 3 hours
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp whte miso
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 – 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to your taste

Adapted from The  PlantPure Nation Cookbook by Kim Campbell.

Cauliflower Rice

I have seen recipes for cauliflower rice pop up on Facebook more and more often lately. However, this was my first time trying it. Most of the recipes cook the cauliflower and veggies, but this one is fabulous raw. I love the sauce!

  • 1/2  head of cauliflower
  • 3 green onion tops
  • red bell pepper, chopped
  • diced celery
  • diced carrots
  • 2 tbsp parsley, fresh or dried
  • or substitute your favorite veggies

Sauce

  • 3 Green onion bulbs (the white part, use green tops for rice)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp ginger (or 1 inch piece fresh ginger)
  • 1 tbsp broth (unsalted) or water
  1. Break cauliflower into florets and rinse well.
  2. Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until rice like in consistency.
  3. Place cauliflower rice in a bowl and stir in remaining rice ingredients.
  4. Blend all sauce ingredients, except parsley, pour over rice and mix thoroughly.
  5. Let rice sit for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Adapted from Raw Amanda

Jicima Fries

  • 1 jicima,
  • Lime juice
  • Chilli powder
  • salt

Peel the jicama and cut into French fry shape.  Toss with lime juice and sprinkle with chilli powder and salt. You could also add some garlic and onion powder if you like.

Raw Curly Salad

Since our retreat I have found this recipe which is absolutely delicious and can be modified in many ways. The dressing is orange based and so good on any salad including spring greens. The original recipe from the PlantPure Kitchen by Kim Campbell called for 1/2 cup of orange juice. I used one whole peeled orange instead. Using the whole orange gives you the benefit of the fibre in the orange but I also find it makes the dressing thicker.

This recipe makes a big salad. Feel free to use whatever veggies you have and make it to the size you need.

Orange Dressing

  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Salad

  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 cups, kale thinly sliced
  • 2 cups edamame beans or peas, thawed
  • 2 zucchini, made into noodle using a julienne peeler or spiralizer
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded or cut into thin noodles using a julienne peeler
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (or 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, for garnish

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with dressing and garnish with sesame seeds.

I encourage you to add more raw food to your diet. And if you have the opportunity to go totally raw for a longer period, go for it. It was a wonderful experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 2016 Plant Based Cooking Class

April 10, 2016

 

April mealThe theme for this month’s plant based cooking class was Cooking with Tofu. The 16 participants enjoyed a green smoothie, fried rice with scrambled tofu, stir fried veggies in Chinese Brown Sauce topped with marinated tofu, and a granola bar. All the items were whole, food plant based and no oil was used. The recipes for the class are below.

Digestive Green Smoothie

I believe one of the most important things you can do to improve your diet is to add more dark leafy greens to your diet, and one the best ways to do that is by consuming a green smoothie every day. Challenge yourself to a 30 day trial and see the difference it makes.

This green smoothie uses ingredients that are good for digestion – parsley, pineapple and ginger. It follows the basic green smoothie recipe from the Raw Family (see there website for great information on the importance of greens in your diet) of 2 cups greens, 2 cups fruit and 2 cups water.

SmoothieThe parsley makes this a stronger green tasting smoothie, so if you are new to green smoothies, feel free to substitute half the parlsey with spinach.

  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup banana chunks, fresh or frozen
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (or to taste)
  • 2 cups parsley
  • 2 cups water

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Scrambled Tofu

TofuScrambled tofu can be part of a hearty breakfast or lunch (served with pan fried potatoes and veggies) or can be added to a grain dish like fried rice for an extra protein punch. If using on its own for a meal, a little tofu goes a long way, so be sure to add lots of veggies to tofu.

For the class, we were using the scrambled tofu in the fried rice dish. Since the rice was already chock full of veggies, we didn’t add the kale or mushrooms to the scrambled tofu.

Feel free to use any combination of veggies you like. Asparagus would be great for a spring breakfast meal.

As demonstrated in class, dry frying without oil is not difficult. We used a non-stick electric frying pan and did not need to add any water to prevent sticking.

  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 red pepper, diced fine
  • 1 ½ cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups kale or spinach, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch turmeric
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 (350 gram) package firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the tofu into small cubes and break apart with your hands (or rub on a grater or metal sieve) or a food processor into crumbles (do not puree).

Sauté onion and pepper, and mushrooms until tender in a frying pan on medium heat, without any oil. If mixture begins to stick, add a tablespoon of water at a time to keep it from sticking. Add kale, garlic, smoked paprika, turmeric and chilli flakes (if using) and mix well.  Add crumbled tofu and nutritional yeast and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.

The tofu scramble will keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days, or in the freezer for about a month. If freezing, spread on a baking sheet and freeze then transfer to a air proof bag or container then when you need a scoopful for a stir fry you can just scoop out what you need.

Adapted from Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon, and from her Breakfast Burrito post.

Marinated Tofu

Marinated tofuI have been making this marinated tofu for over 30 years and it has always been a favorite with the kids as well as adults. You might even win over the most ardent tofu hater with these. They are great as toppings for a rice, grain or veggie dish. For the class, we topped the Veggies in Chinese Brown Sauce with it.

Note you can change up the spices in the marinade to your liking – add crushed chilies or cayenne for a spicier tofu.

For a bacon substitute, slice your tofu into 1 inch by 4 inch strips and add 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or 1/4 tsp chipotle chili for a spicier option) to the marinade. These are great in sandwiches.

  • 1 (350 gram) package of extra firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp dry ground ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup water

Drain tofu and slice into ¼ inch sticks. Place tamari, ginger, garlic and water in a non-stick frying pan and mix well. Add tofu and coat thoroughly in marinade. Slowly cook on very low heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid absorbed by the tofu. (this will take about 30 minutes depending on the amount of heat used) Place tofu strips on parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake in a low oven (250F) for about 40 to 60 minutes or until desired firmness. (Give them a stir every 15 minutes. ) Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Also freezes well.

Fried Rice with Scrambled Tofu

Fried RiceThe whole grain, or brown, basmati rice is my favorite. Cooked as directed below, you get a light fluffy rice that kids and white rice lovers will enjoy. Remember, rice also freezes well, so cook up a big batch and freeze the left overs for a quick supper. (Freeze on a baking sheet and then transfer to a air tight bag or container. That way you can easily scoop out whatever you need.)

  • 1 cup whole grain basmati rice, uncooked
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups kale, finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • ½ cup scrambled tofu (optional)

To Cook Rice – Bring approximately 6 cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Add salt, if using. Add rice and boil uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large frying pan, add onion, peppers, celery and carrot and stir fry until almost done. Add garlic, kale and soy sauce and cook a few minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Just before serving,, unthaw green peas by running under hot water. Add to the rice just before serving. If adding scrambled tofu, add just before serving.

Note, fried rice is also good with added marinated tofu pieces instead of the scrambled tofu.

Chinese Brown Sauce

Rather than buying low sodium soy sauce (which is about the same price as regular), I buy the regular and dilute it by about 1/2 for each recipe.

This sauce recipe, from the Forks Over Knives Cookbook, has become a staple in our household and I often use it for company dinners. I generally triple the recipe and keep a jar in the fridge for fast suppers.  For the class, we served this veggie dish topped with marinated tofu and alongside stir fried rice.  However, it is also fabulous as a topping on noodles. Feel free to change up the veggies and even use as a sauce with frozen veggie mixtures.

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup brown rice syrup, honey, agave or sweetener of choice
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder or corn starch

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened. Store in fridge in airtight container for up to 1 week.  Use with vegetable stir fries with grains or noodles.

Five Spice Sauce

 The Five Spice Sauce, from Forks Over Knives, The Cookbook, is our favorite takeoff on the Chinese Brown Sauce. It is especially good over noodles and veggies.

  • ½ cup Chinese Brown Sauce
  • ¾ tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • ¼ tsp crushed red chillies

Combine spices with the brown sauce. Use with stir fried veggies and grains or noodles.

Stir Fry Veggies

VeggiesFor the class, we used a simple combination of onion, red pepper, mushrooms and broccoli but any vegetable combination would do.  For a dish alongside rice, I like to dice the onion and pepper in large 1 inch square pieces and leave the mushrooms large by cutting them into quarters. But if I am serving this over noodles, I like to cut the onion and red peppers into thin strips and slice the mushrooms.

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 6 large mushrooms, cut into quarters (cremini or button mushrooms)
  • 1 head broccoli, stems removed and separated into small florets
  • Chinese brown sauce
  • Toppings – marinated tofu, roasted cashews or toasted sesame seeds

Peel broccoli stems and slice inner core into slices or match stick size pieces. In a large frying pan, non-stick preferred, add onion, peppers, mushrooms and broccoli stem pieces. Over medium heat, stir fry until almost done, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary to prevent sticking.  Add Chinese Brown Sauce and broccoli. Steam until broccoli is just bright green and tender crisp.  Serve topped with marinated tofu pieces, roasted cashews or toasted sesame seeds.

Veggie options – snow peas, cauliflower, carrots, gai lan, etc.

Oil-Free Granola Bars

Granola bar ingredientsThis is a very versatile recipe you make so many different ways. And unlike my previously posted granola bars, this one contains no oil and requires no baking time. Be sure to pack the mixture firmly into your pan to ensure the bars hold together well.

Granola barsThese bars have just the right amount of sweetness. They are perfect for a breakfast on the go (pair up with a green smoothie), a snack, for the lunchbox, or as a dessert.

  • 1 ½ cup rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
  • 1 ¼ cup rice crisp cereal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup add-ins of your choice (see example list below)
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup
  • ¼ cup peanut or almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Add-In Examples:

  • Seeds – Hemp, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Sesame or Flax seeds
  • Shredded coconut
  • Chocolate – Cocoa nibs or small dark chocolate chips
  • Dried Fruit – Cranberries, Raisins, currants or chopped apricots
  • Chopped Nuts – pecans, almonds, peanuts or cashews

For the class I used ½ cup sliced almonds, ¼ cup currants, ¼ cup cocoa nibs.

Line a 9 inch square cake pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine oats, rice crisps, cinnamon and add-ins. (If using chocolate chips, add in later)

In a small saucepan, combine brown rice syrup and nut butter. Cook over medium heat until mixture bubbles, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Pour hot nut butter mixture over oat mixture, using a spatula to remove everything from the saucepan. Mix well until everything is evenly coated. If using chocolate chips, add once mixture has cooled slightly, or they will just melt. (It helps to freeze the chocolate chips) Transfer mixture onto the prepared pan and pack down well using wet hands (careful, it might be very hot). Using a rolling pin, pastry roller or your hands, compact the mixture firmly and evenly. Use your fingers to press the edges well. (This will help the bars stick together).

Place the pan, uncovered, in the freezer for 10 to 20 minutes or until firm enough to cut.  Using the parchment as a handle, lift the mixture out of the pan and cut into bars. Return the bars to the freezer or fridge for storage. If desired, you can individually wrap each bar for on the go snacks.

Double the recipe and pack into a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

From the Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

 

Bonus Recipe – Singapore Noodles

We didn’t make this recipe in the class, but it is one I often serve to company alongside fried rice and stir fried veggies in Chinese Brown Sauce.

  • 1 onion, cut into slices
  • 2 carrots, cut into match sticks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin slices
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 4 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder, or to taste
  • ¼ pound brown rice noodles, cooked
  • Ground black pepper

Stir fry onion, carrots, pepper and mushrooms in large skillet without any oil for 3 to 4 minutes. If necessary, add water 1 tbsp at a time to prevent sticking. Add vegetable broth, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and curry powder and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add cooked noodles and season with black pepper.

Change it up by substituting your favourite veggies.

From Forks Over Knives, The Cookbook

 

Whole Food Plant Based Baked Potato

March 15, 2016

I love potatoes, every way possible, especially baked. My dilemma, how to make a tasty whole food plant based baked potato.

I love baked potato mixed with squash (butternut, buttercup, summer sunshine or any other bright orange fleshed squash). The squash adds nice moisture and color along with lots of phytonutrients, antioxidants and fibre. However, when preparing my baked potato for supper tonight, I hit on a great topping – Oil Free Maple Mustard Salad Dressing. I have been enjoying this dressing on my kale salads for the last few days (recipe with the March 13, 2016 Cooking Class post) and decided to try it on the potato along with some squash and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast. It adds a nice zip to the potato. [update: another great whole food topping I found for a baked potato is mashed avocado]

potato

 

What’s for supper tonight – a partial repeat of the March 13, 2016 cooking class menu. Kale Salad with cranberry, pumpkin seeds, maple mustard dressing and pecan parmesan; a baked potato with squash, maple mustard dressing and nutritional yeast; a spoon full of homemade raw unpasteurized sauerkraut (great probiotics, a healthy gut is a happy gut); and a couple of homemade beet pickles.  You could add a bunch of cooked black beans to the potato for a bigger hit of protein, but this plate was enough for me.

chia

And for dessert, I made another Chia Pudding, this time using a mashed banana for sweetening and substituting 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of rolled oats.  However, I am stuffed after the supper, so I will save the pudding for breakfast and have it topped with frozen blueberries and granola. How sweet is that, dessert for breakfast.

March 2016 Plant Based Cooking Classes

March 14, 2016

A perfect meal - Quinoa Pilaf, Kale and Apple Salad, Chia Pudding and a cup of Lemon Ginger Tea
A perfect meal – Quinoa Pilaf, Kale and Apple Salad, Chia Pudding and a cup of Lemon Ginger Tea

Wow, its been some time since I have had an opportunity to do a post. It was a busy winter season but I am happy to be back to cooking classes for 2016.

We had the first class last night and I was thrilled to see the interest for the class growing. Last night’s class had 22 participants. The class included a educational presentation followed by a cooking demonstration and a tasting of the dishes demonstrated. As in other classes, we started with a green smoothie. The recipes offered this class were a Quinoa Pilaf, a Kale Apple Salad and a Chia Pudding. Hope you will try them and enjoy.

Thanks James for the wonderful pictures.

Green Smoothie

2016_Mar_green smoothie

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Check out the Raw Family Website for great green smoothie recipes and information. You can find more of my favorite green smoothie recipes here.2016_Mar_green smoothie in blender

Orange, Mango, Banana and Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Orange, Mango, Banana and Juice of 1/2 Lemon

 

Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa Pilaf to feed 30 people
Quinoa Pilaf to feed 30 people

 

2016_Mar_quinoa pilaf ingredientsThis recipe is great as a stuffing in a baked squash, peppers (try it for Easter in a mixture of red, yellow and orange peppers) or eggplant. If you are not a fan of the sage/rosemary spice mix typical of stuffings, try the recipe with an oregano/basil spice mix.

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 6 large cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 1 large carrot, grated or diced small
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp sage
  • ¾ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp ground rosemary
  • Salt and pepper

Rinse quinoa well and drain. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Add the quinoa and simmer 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and let sit covered for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, fluff with a fork, leave uncovered to cool.

In a large non-stick frying pan, sauté onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots and red pepper adding a tablespoon of water at a time, if necessary, to prevent from sticking.(or a small amount of vegetable oil) After a couple minutes, add the garlic and seasonings and fry a minute longer, until fragrant. Remove from heat. Stir in quinoa and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Kale and Apple Salad

Kale and Apple Salad for 30 people
Kale and Apple Salad for 30 people

This recipe is an adaptation from a salad I love from Raw Amazing. Check out the original version and give it a try as well. Feel free to create your own version.

Maple Mustard Salad Dressing ingredients
Maple Mustard Salad Dressing ingredients

Dressing:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked until soft, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice from
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Blend Dressing in a Blender until smooth
Blend Dressing in a Blender until smooth

Place all ingredients in high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A small chopper is perfect for making Pecan Parmesan
A small chopper is perfect for making Pecan Parmesan

Pecan Parmesan

  •  ½ cup pecans, toasted
  • 1 ½ tsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Toast pecans in 300F oven for 7 to 9 minutes, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cool. In mini food processor, combine pecans, nutritional yeast and salt. Process until crumbly. (or chop by hand). Pecan parmesan is also great on any salad or on spaghetti.

Ingredients for Kale and Apple Salad
Ingredients for Kale and Apple Salad

Salad:

  • 1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and shredded fine
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup red onion, sliced thinly and separated into rings
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 bunch romaine lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

 

Chop kale finely
Chop kale finely

Shred the kale finely, like you would a cole slaw. Place kale in large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Massage the lemon juice and salt into the kale for a few minutes.

Add chopped apples, dried cranberries, sliced red onion, julienned carrots. Toss. Add a small amount of dressing and toss well.  Just before serving, add the romaine and toss with pumpkin seeds. Serve with a sprinkling of pecan parmesan.

 

Chia Pudding

Ingredients for Chia Pudding
Ingredients for Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is a great dessert that is just sweet enough to top off a meal but also great as a breakfast or snack.

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed; 1 tbsp maple syrup; or sweetener of choice
  • Optional add-ins – ¼ tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp cocoa, ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • Optional toppings – coconut, fresh or frozen fruit or berries, granola, nuts, hemp seeds
Making Chia Pudding in a jar
Making Chia Pudding in a jar

In a 2 cup jar, place milk, chia seeds and mashed banana or sweetener. (Optional, add vanilla, cocoa or pumpkin puree for a different flavour) Cover and shake well until combined. Let sit about 5 minutes and shake well again. Let sit another 5 minutes and shake well again. Let sit in the fridge for at least one hour before eating.  (For an instant pudding, blend pudding in a blender or use ground chia seeds.) Top the jar with fruit, nuts or seeds of your choice, or create a parfait by layering pudding with fruit and top with granola or nuts.

You can also replace 1 tbsp of chia seeds with 3 tbsp of rolled oats, and let sit overnight before eating. Or try it as Overnight Oats.


 

Vegan French Toast

November 20, 2015

I have not had French Toast since I gave up eggs over five years ago….until this morning. Last night I discovered a recipe on One Ingredient Chef for a Vegan French Toast that promised to look and taste like the real thing. It did not disappoint, they were delicious and cooked up crispy and brown just like the egg kind. If you were a fan of French Toast, you have to try these out. I will definitely be making these over Christmas when the kids are home.

french toast

The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of any kind of flour. I used chickpea flour because it makes such a nice ‘egg’ batter for omelets.  The only thing I will change next time I make them is to add a bit more cinnamon. The batter made 5 slices for me, just enough for breakfast for the two of us.

  • 6+ slices whole wheat bread (I made 5 slices)
  • 1 cup light coconut milk (I used Silk Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons flour (whole wheat or GF) – I used chickpea flour
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • A few drops of vegetable oil for cooking (coconut oil works great)
  • Maple syrup and/or fruit for serving

The night before, leave your bread on the counter to dry out, or you can dry it in a 200F oven for 5 to 10 minutes. This is a great use for stale bread. (dry bread absorbs more batter)

In the morning, mix the remaining ingredients (coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, flour, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, and ground flaxseed) until combined well.

Pour this batter out into a large, flat container (such as a baking pan) and drop in 2-3 slices of the dry bread. Depending on thickness, give them about 1 minute on each side to absorb as much batter as possible without becoming too soggy.

Start heating your large non-stick skillet. With the skillet nice and hot, transfer the slices of bread into the pan and cook for at least 3 minutes on each side. Once the batter transforms into a golden coating on both sides of the bread, remove from the heat and serve as quickly as possible, preferably with maple syrup and/or sliced fruit.

Check out Andrew’s website One Ingredient Chef for more great recipes. It is one of my favorite recipe blogs. He also has a dynamite pancake recipe.

Pumpkin Muffins

October 10, 2015

pumpkin muffins

I am on baby watch in BC, waiting for the arrival of our first grandchild. I found this recipe for pumpkin muffins when my daughter had a craving for pumpkin muffins. It is an Isa Chandra recipe so I was pretty confident it would work as I’ve used many of her recipes before. My daughter is not vegetarian but declared this recipe better than Starbucks. I followed the original recipe to a tee, except for adding some pumpkin pie spice mixture, an addition I would highly recommend. And the original recipe called for soy milk and I used an almond coconut mix (Well maybe I didn’t follow the recipe to a tee. LOL)

As the recipe dictated, I used all unbleached white flour, an action that pained me more than you can imagine. But the muffins turned out great. I will definitely make again and again, adding a bit of whole wheat. [note, I have made again and you can use 3/4 cup whole wheat and 1 cup unbleached and no one will ever know, Kelsey didn’t]

The original recipe can be found at this link on the Post Punk Kitchen blog.

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (or a mix of whole wheat and unbleached)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (from a can; do not use pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup plant based milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin or use paper liners. (note, not sure if these will stick to regular liners as I used parchment paper liners and they worked excellent. The liners peeled off easily.)

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until combined.

Divide batter evenly into the 12 muffins. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

The perfect muffin for a Thanksgiving weekend brunch. Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving.

Hearty Vegan Breakfast IV – Granola

October 1, 2015

In keeping with this week’s theme, Hearty Breakfasts, I would be amiss if I did not include our usual go to breakfast – Granola and almond milk. My recipe below is my spin off on a very good granola recipe from Oh She Glows Cookbook – Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters. The recipe is also found on line here. Angela makes a great granola, the kind that forms nice clusters that are great as snacks and look great on yogurt or chia pudding; a company granola. My adaptation is more everyday granola. Nothing fancy. Lots of old fashioned oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit and cinnamon. Mine doesn’t form nice clusters but it does taste great.

I make my granola is a large roaster, the kind most people would use for roasting a large turkey. Happily, there are lots of uses for large roasters and mine gets lots of use for making large batches of granola, among other things. I double the recipe below to give us enough granola to last 2 weeks.

Unlike store bought granola, this recipe does not have a lot of fat or sugar and has loads of nuts and seeds so it will give a nice protein boost to your morning. We generally have it with almond milk but it is also great with coconut milk yogurt.

 

granolaGranola

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (gluten free is required)
  • 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup dried fruit (I usually use a mix of cranberry and raisons)
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped or whole
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Place almonds and walnuts in a food processor and blend until they are mostly small pieces.

Combine all ingredients except cinnamon, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla in a large pan (I use a turkey roaster). In a blender, add cinnamon, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla and blend until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.

Bake at 275F for 20 minutes then stir ingredients. Bake for another 20 minutes and stir again. Bake for another 20 minutes then remove from oven. Let cool completely then store in sealed glass jars.

Feel free to mix up the fruit and nut combinations to suit your liking.