Oil Free Salad Dressings

January 16, 2018

The vast array of pre-packaged salad dressings in the grocery store is amazing. There are so many different kinds. However, the vast majority are full of oil and sugar. Although we often think of bought salad dressing as a huge convenience, it is remarkably simple to make your own dressings. My favorites are Mayo, Caesar, Italian, Maple Mustard, Tahini and Cole Slaw Dressing and I like to have at least a couple on hand in the fridge at all times. Homemade salad dressings, full of vinegars, will keep in the fridge for a week or two at least. In fact, I have never had one go bad on me.

Many of my oil free dressings are cashew or tahini based, so rather than just providing a whack of empty calories, they pack a nutritional punch.  Salads make great quick but hearty last minute meals. Mix your choice of greens with additional veggies, grains and/or beans and top with chopped nuts. A slice of whole grain bread and you are set.

Mayo

Oil free, vegan mayo is actually easier to make than the original version containing raw egg. Before giving up oil and eggs, I used to make my own mayo. It was finicky and many, many times it failed to thicken up. However, with this vegan mayo, you just throw all the ingredients in a blender and in a few seconds you have a thick and creamy mayo, every time. And no danger of salmonella poisoning from raw egg.

The version below is a variation of Kim Campbell’s PlantPure Recipes. However, she uses a mix of cashews and tofu to make hers. I prefer to just use cashews. If you would like a lower fat version, try the original recipe with tofu, in the link above, or use 1/4 cup cashews and 1/4 cup cooked small white beans (navy beans).

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey, agave or sweetener of your choice
  • 2 tbsp water

Soak cashews for at least 2 hours. Drain and place in a blender along with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you like your mayo with a nice tang, like I do, add a touch more white vinegar.  This mayo is great used as a base for other salad dressings like the creamy Cole Slaw dressing below. Or add some diced dill pickle, onion and ketchup for a quick and easy Thousand Island Dressing.

Caesar Dressing

Caesar salads are our absolute favorite. Lots of bright green romaine lettuce, a handful of fresh kale, thinly sliced onion, cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of toasted sunflower seeds. It makes a great meal or side dish. My go to recipe is a modification of Angela Liddon’s recipe in her Oh She Glows Cookbook.

• ½ cup unsalted cashews (or ¼ cup cashews and ¼ cup cooked white beans)
• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (vegan)
• 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Soak cashews for 2 to 8 hours, drain. Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Italian Dressing

This dressing is also based on one of Kim Campbell’s recipes in The PlantPure Nation Cookbook. I use chia seeds to thicken the dressing instead of xanthum gum.

• 1 cup vegetable broth
• ¼ cup red wine vinegar, or to taste (or substitute your vinegar of choice)
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 ½ tsp agave, honey, brown rice syrup or raw sugar
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1 tsp Italian seasonings (or to taste)
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
• ¼ tsp paprika
• 2 tsp chia seeds

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste. The dressing will thicken as the chia seeds absorb liquid.

Spinach Salad Dressing

My dressing of choice for a spinach salad is a thick creamy tomato based one. By adding 1/4 cup ketchup to the above Italian Dressing, you get the perfect dressing for a spinach, mushroom and red onion salad.

Maple Mustard Dressing  

This dressing is my all time favorite for kale salads. It has a bold taste and works best with robust greens like kale, chard and even spinach.

o 1 cup cashews, soaked until soft, drained and rinsed
o 3/4 cup water
o 1/3 cup maple syrup
o 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
o 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
o 1/2 lemon, juice from
o 2 cloves garlic, minced
Soak cashews for 2 to 12 hours. Drain cashews and place all ingredients in high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

Sweet Tahini  Dressing

This dressing is great on any green, but also works well as a dip for falafels.  It is also from Kim Campbell’s PlantPure Nation Cookbook.

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp white miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients in a blender, or whisk until smooth.

Cole Slaw Dressing

This is a smooth creamy cole slaw dressing with plenty of flavor from Kim Campbell’s PlantPure Nation Cookbook. Top shredded cabbage, carrots, onion and apples with it.

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (see recipe above)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp agave, honey or sugar

Combine all ingredients well.

 

Convert your favorite recipe to oil free

Many of my favorite oil free dressings are from the PlantPure cookbooks. And the intranet is also a great place to find oil free versions of your favorite dressings. However, you can also convert old family favorites by substituting for the oil in your recipes. I find replacing the oil with half as much tahini (and a bit of water to thin it out) works in most recipes. If the recipe is dairy based, substitute with a cashew cream (blend cashews and water). Or substitute water for the oil and add chia seeds (as in the Italian recipe above) to thicken.

Once you get used to oil free dressings, the regular oil ones will begin to taste heavy and oily to you.

 

 

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Mexican Quinoa

January 15, 2018

One Pan Mexican Quinoa

I stumbled across this recipe on Facebook a while back and modified it to be whole food plant based. Its fast and easy to make and a hit with vegans and meat eaters alike. I like to make it using salsa for the sauce, but it can also be made with canned tomatoes or tomato sauce for a milder version. When cooking for kids or those not fond of spice, omit the jalapeño and use mild chilli powder.  Serve it with additional hot sauce or salsa at the table for those who love the heat.

Quinoa seeds have a natural coating of saponins on them which gives them a bitter taste. This is the plant’s natural defence mechanism to discourage birds from eating the seeds. The quinoa you purchase is often pre rinsed to remove the saponins, but I like to rinse mine before using just in case. You can rinse in a strainer under running water, but to conserve water I like to put the quinoa in a quart jar and cover with water. Let it sit for a few minutes. When you are ready to use, give the jar a good shake and drain the quinoa into a strainer.

One Pot Mexican Quinoa
• 1 onion, diced
• ½ jalapeño, chopped fine
• 1 pepper, diced (your choice, red, yellow orange or green)
• 1 carrot, diced fine
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
• 1 can beans, drained and rinsed (your choice black, pinto, kidney or mixed beans)
• 1 cup tomatoes, tomato sauce or salsa
• ¾ cup quinoa, rinsed
• 1 tsp chilli powder (mild or hot)
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 cup vegetable broth

Rinse quinoa well and set aside. In a large saucepan, sauté onion, jalapeño, pepper, carrot and garlic with a small amount of water or broth until onion is softened. Add corn, beans, tomato and spices. Add quinoa and broth and simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked. Serve with diced avocado and tomatoes.

Chilli

January 15, 2018

Chilli is your classic comfort meal. Although it generally is meat based, it is also easy to make meatless. If you have a favorite recipe, omit the meat and add more beans and veggies. To add a bit more ‘meaty’ texture, try adding lentils, mashed tofu, or finely chopped carrots or mushrooms.

I don’t have one favorite chilli recipe, and like trying new ones. The latest one I made is great and definitely one I will make again. It is a modification of one from Bosh. I love their recipes; however, they tend to use a lot of oil. Luckily the oil is easy to cut and still have a great flavorful dish.

This chilli has a lot of ingredients but comes together quickly and does not require a long cooking time. It also freezes well, so is perfect for make ahead meals. The recipe has a nice kick to it, but it can be toned up or down by varying the amount of red chillies and chilli powder you use. I love the addition of the chocolate and cinnamon. The flavor is very subtle.

The recipe calls for mashed tofu, but you can eliminate if you are soy free. Sorry, no pictures as I forgot to take one when I made it.

Chili

  • 1 and a half Red Onions (Minced)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
  • 1 Red Chilli (Finely Chopped) (omit for less spicy version)
  • 1 Red Pepper (Finely Chopped)
  • 2 Celery Stalks (Finely Chopped)
  • 3 Cups Kale (Shredded)
  • 2 Cups Firm Tofu (Well Pressed)
  • 1 Tsp Salt (More to Taste)
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper (More to Taste)
  • 2 Tsp Paprika
  • 2 Tsp Chilli Powder (More to Taste, choose hot or mild chilli)
  • 1.5 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1.5 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 Cups Tomato Sauce
  • 1.5 Cups Black Beans
  • 1.5 Cups Kidney Beans or red chilli beans
  • 2 Squares Dark Chocolate
  • 2 Cups Tomato Sauce
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice

In a large pan sauté the onions, garlic, Cilantro stalks, chilli, red pepper and the celery stalks until onion is translucent. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water or veggie broth to prevent sticking.
Pour the Kale into the pan and stir it round until it’s well wilted.
Break the tofu into the pan, add the spices and seasoning and fold everything together so it’s well mixed.
Pour 2 cups of tomato sauce into the pan and fold it in so everything is well covered
Add the black beans, kidney beans and dark chocolate to the pan and fold everything together.
Add the rest of the tomato sauce and mix everything together.
Put a lid on the pan, reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer and let it bubble for 12 – 15 minutes to let the flavours blend together (only do this if you have a good non stick pan – if you don’t have a pan, gently stir the chilli for around 10 minutes)
Serve with brown rice or a baked potato and garnish with cilantro leaves and lime juice.

Check out the original recipe and video here    https://www.bosh.tv/recipes/total-chilli

Soup

January 8, 2018

During the winter months, there is nothing more comforting than a hearty bowl of soup.  Plant based soups filled with pulses are hearty and nutritious and easy of the budget too. There are so many interesting soups our there and there are so easy to make, why settle for canned tomato and cream of mushroom.

We eat a lot of soup over the winter months. Most soup recipes make enough for 6 to 8 people, so for most families that means a pot of soup will do for 2 or 3 meals. Soup makes a great lunchbox meal too, packed hot in a thermos.  And most soups freeze well, so if you can’t eat the whole pot within the week, freeze some for a quick easy meal when your time is limited.

Below are four of my favorite soups.

Red Lentil Carrot and Coconut Soup

Red Lentil Carrot and Coconut Soup
This is our favorite go to soup. It is easy to prepare and can be done on the stove top or in a slow cooker. The red lentils dissolve into the broth so its perfect for those who don’t particularly love lentils. And for those who love heat, it can be spiced up with chillies to your taste. The recipe was featured at our Cooking with Lentils class August 2016 and can be found here.

South America Black Bean Soup
This is another long time favorite of ours. If you don’t like it spicy, omit the jalapeño pepper


• 2 onions, diced
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 2 carrots, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 jalapeño, diced fine
• 1 tsp thyme
• 2 tbsp cumin seeds
• 1 tbsp oregano
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp ground black pepper
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 6 cups vegetable stock
• 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or 3 cups cooked)
• 1/3 cup lime juice
• Cilantro, finely chopped or dried

In a large pot, sauté onions celery carrots garlic and jalapeño in about ¼ cup broth until onions are translucent. Add thyme, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Sauté a few minutes longer. Add remaining ingredients except lime juice and cilantro. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 1 hour. Or place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 10. Add lime juice and cilantro and serve.

Adapted from 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson

 

Carribean Pepper Pot Soup

Caribbean Pepper Pot Soup
This is another great recipe from the cookbook 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson. The original is made with hot peppers and packs quite a punch, but it is easily toned down to your spice level.

• 1 onion, finely diced
• 3 stalks celery, finely diced
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 tbsp ginger root, minced
• 1 tbsp mild chilli powder
• ½ tsp ground coriander seeds
• ½ tsp crushed chillis (Omit for a mild version)
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• 3 cups butternut squash, peeled cut into ½ inch cubes (or substitute carrots)
• 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked)
• 1 ½ cup diced tomatoes, including the juice
• 6 cups vegetable stock
• 1 pepper (red, green, yellow or orange), diced small
• ½ can of coconut milk
• Fresh or dried cilantro or parsley

In a large pot, place onion, celery, garlic and ginger along with about ¼ cup broth. Cook until onion is translucent. Add remaining ingredients except coconut milk and cilantro or parsley. Bring to a boil and simmer 1 to 2 hours. Or place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 10 hours. Add coconut milk and cilantro or parsley. Serve.

13 Bean Soup

13 Bean Soup

I make this with a 13 Bean mixture by Bob’s Red Mill, which has a variety of beans as well as split peas and lentils. The quicker cooking pulses like the peas dissolve nicely into the broth producing a thick flavorful soup. You can find my recipe here.

 

 

 

Convert your old family favorites to whole food plant based.

Most soups can easily be converted to plant based as meat, or meat broth is only a part of the soup, not the whole entrée. Eliminate the meat and add lentils or beans. Many recipes ask you to sauté the veggies in oil before making the soup, but you can easily sauté in broth, eliminating the oil. And in most cases, you can skip this step all together, and just toss the veggies into a pot with the broth to cook without any loss in flavor.  Consider adding a handful or two of finely chopped greens (kale or spinach are good ones) to your soup at the end of cooking. You will hardly notice they are even there.

Some more links to favorites for you to try:

Creamy White Bean Soup

Corn Chowder

Cream of Zucchini Soup without the Cream

A delicious plant based version of Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli

Red Lentil and Kale

 

Kelsey’s Fluffy Pancakes – Three Ways – and Pumpkin Gingerbread Latte

December 7, 2017


We awoke this morning to a Winter Wonderland. We received a dusting of fresh snow overnight. That, combined with a coating of hoarfrost on the trees, made everything seemed magically white. Even the sky was filled with white fluffy clouds.

Banana Pancakes with Blueberry Cherry Sauce

After a brisk morning walk in this wonderland, we were ready for a heapen helpen of pancakes. I call this recipe Kelsey’s Fluffy Pancakes, because she made them for us last time we visited. It is my current favourite pancake recipe, and it’s easy to jazz it up a bit, too. This morning’s pancakes were Pumpkin with Apple Sauce Topping. Last week’s were Banana with Blueberry Cherry Sauce. I have provided the recipe for the Basic Pancake, the Pumpkin and the Banana versions. As well, I added a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Gingerbread Latte which goes great with pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Sauce and Maple Syrup

Pancakes can be tricky to make, especially without using any oil in the batter or on the pan. The secret is a hot pan, and also a good pan. If your pancakes are sticking, it may be your pan is not hot enough – drops of water should dance across the surface when dropped on the pan. For this reason, a good cast iron pan works wonderfully as it can be heated hot without compromising the coating on the pan. However, I have also had good luck with a good quality non-stick pan.

Kelsey’s Fluffy Pancakes
• 1 cup flour (I use whole wheat)
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 1 tbsp sugar (I use cane sugar)
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp vanilla
• 1 cup milk
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Mix dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, sugar and salt – in a large bowl. In a blender, combine, vanilla, milk, water and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to dry and mix just until blended. Let sit while you heat up your pan. Add batter ¼ cup at a time to a hot non-stick pan. Once bubbles form, flip and cook the other side. Serve hot.

Fluffy Banana Pancakes
• Substitute the 1 tbsp sugar in the basic recipe above with one banana (fresh or frozen). Add the banana to the wet mixture in the blender and blend until smooth. Add 1 tsp ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients. Great served with a fruit topping (recipe below)

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes
• Add ½ cup pumpkin puree to the wet ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth. Add 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves) to the dry ingredients. Great served with unsweetened applesauce and a touch of maple syrup.

Fruit topping for Pancakes
• 2 cups frozen blueberries, mixed berries, cherries or peaches
• 1 tbsp honey, cane sugar or maple syrup (or to taste)
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
Put frozen fruit is a small saucepan. Add sweetener and heat slowly over medium heat. As the mixture thaws it will provide its own liquid. Heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat. Mix arrowroot or cornstarch with water until a smooth paste. Add this mixture to the hot fruit and stir to combine well. Return to the heat and heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Serve over pancakes hot, warm or cold. Optional – add cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom with an extra boost of flavour.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Latte
This is an adaptation from a recipe from Grow Forage Cook Ferment. I added water to the mix and reduced the sweetener. It makes a thick rich beverage that is so great on a chilly day.
• 2 cups plant based milk (I like almond or an almond-coconut blend)
• 1 cup water (or substitute coffee)
• 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
• 1 tbsp maple syrup
• ½ tsp molasses
• ½ tsp vanilla
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ¼ tsp nutmeg
• ½ tsp cinnamon (or a large cinnamon stick)
• Pinch cloves
Mix together and heat. Adjust sweetness (maple syrup) and spices to taste. Serve hot.

Eat More Greens

October 14, 2017

I firmly believe that one of the most important things you should do to improve your diet is to eat more greens. All kinds of greens, especially leafy greens. Kale, spinach, Swiss Chard, collards, beet greens, bok choy, gai lan, parsley, cilantro as well as broccoli, peas, snap peas, and green beans. In fact, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, recommends his patients eat greens at every meal. Recently I have been trying to implement this recommendation – trying to find ways to incorporate greens into every meal.

Breakfast My favorite way to consume a serving or two of greens every morning is a green smoothie or a wheat grass shot.  This fall, I planted several rows of wheat grass in my garden. A couple ounces of wheat grass juice is an amazing way to start the day.

Green smoothies are a terrific way to get leafy greens into the little guys

My go to recipe for a green smoothie is simple – 2 cups water, 2 cups greens and 2 cups fruit. This combination produces a flavorful smoothie with a significant amount of greens in every glass. My favorite combination is kale, banana and mango, but the combinations are endless. As you learn to love your green smoothie, start increasing the amount of greens (eg 2 cups water 3 cups greens and 2 cups fruit.

 

 

Cooked Greens

Steaming or boiling greens quickly reduces a big pile of raw greens into a small bowl of green goodness. As a kid, I remember hating cooked greens, but now have learned to like them. The trick is not to over cook them and to season them well. One of my favorite ways to eat cooked greens is a simple side dish of steamed greens (kale, Swiss Chard or beet greens) seasoned with salt and a dash of lemon or balsamic vinegar.

Greens are also great added to casseroles, burgers, stir fries, soups and stews. Chop them up fine and you can sneak them into most dishes. And don’t forget lots of bright greens in your salad. Try to have several servings (1 cup of chopped raw greens is one serving) of raw and cooked greens every day. They are loaded with protein, calcium and a whole host of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

A few of my favorite recipes are below.

Penne with Swiss Chard, Olives and Currants

serves 4

  • 4 large shallots, peeled and diced small (or substitute onion)
  • 2 bunches Swiss Chard
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced (or 1/2 tsp dry)
  • 1 pound whole grain penne, cooked
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup currants
Penne with Swiss Chard, Olives and Currants

Remove stems from Swiss Chard and chop the stems into small pieces. Slice the leaves into thin strips. Cook penne until just tender. Drain and keep warm. While pasta is cooking, sauté shallots and chopped stems for a few minutes. Add garlic and thyme and sauté a few minutes longer. Add a tbsp of water if needed to prevent sticking to the pan. Add sliced Swiss Chard leaves and a couple tablespoons of water. Cover and let steam until chard is cooked and tender. Add olives and currants. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. Toss with penne and serve immediately.

From The Forks Over Knives Cookbook by Dell Sroufe

Mushrooms Kale and Potatoes

Serves 2 to 3

  • 3 cups chopped potatoes (Yukon Gold or Red)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 6 cups Kale, chopped and stems removed
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili paste (like Sambol Olek or substitute crushed chili peppers)
  • black pepper
Kale, Potatoes and Mushrooms

In a saucepan, sauté onion, garlic and mushrooms until onion is translucent. Add a tablespoon or two of water if necessary to keep from sticking to the pan. Add potatoes and a small amount of water. Cover and let cook until potatoes are tender. Add more water as necessary to keep from sticking and form a gravy. When potatoes are tender, add kale, cover and steam until kale is bright green and tender.  Add soy sauce and chili paste and stir until combined. Season with black pepper and serve immediately.

from Forks Over Knives, The How To Companion to the Feature Documentary Forks Over Knives 

Greens with Maple Mustard

  • Greens, chopped and stems removed (Beet greens, kale or Swiss Chard)
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt

Mix mustard, maple syrup and lemon juice together. Boil or steam greens just until bright green and tender. Drain and drizzle with a bit of maple mustard sauce. Season with salt and serve.

Kale and Miraculous Walnut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • kale, chopped and stems removed

In a blender, combine walnuts, garlic, soy sauce and water. Blend until smooth. In a large pot, bring a quart of water to boil. Add kale and cook covered for 3 to 5 minutes, until kale is bright green and tender. Drain and serve with walnut sauce. This is great on  baked or mashed potatoes instead of the usual butter and sour cream.

Salad Greens

In salads, try to choose salad greens that are bright green over pale ones –  like romaine over iceberg lettuce. Don’t limit your salad greens to lettuce only. Kale, beet greens and spinach are great in salads.  When introducing more robust greens, add them in small amounts along with your regular lettuce. A Caesar salad made with romaine and kale is a great way to get your family to eat kale.

When using kale in salads, chop it fine and sprinkle a bit of lemon juice on it. Massage it with your hands for a minute or so to tenderize it.  Some people find kale bitter and tough and I find this helps counteract this.

You can find my favorite kale salads at the following links:

Kale and Apple Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

Caesar Salad with Romaine and Kale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Pie – 2 Ways

August 28, 2017

We have been having fun in the kitchen this month with our visitors from Italy and New Zealand. It has been awesome having others who share my love of good wholesome food and love cooking.

Cristiana’s No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Cristiana made this awesome No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie while she was here. However, on returning to Italy she found she could not find pumpkin. Today, Stevie and I worked on a substitute with carrots. We roasted the carrots until soft then pureed them. The result was amazing. You would never know this is not made with pumpkin. I definitely will use carrot instead of pumpkin again. I image sweet potato or a squash like butternut would also work.

 

 

Stevie’s No Bake Chocolate Carrot Pie

 

While making the No Bake Chocolate Carrot Pie, we thought we might as well continue the pie theme and tried another no bake pie, this one with chocolate and peanut butter. Delicious. Another that Cristiana will really enjoy as she loves both chocolate and peanut butter.

Both pies can be made in about 10 minutes, although both need several hours to chill in the fridge before serving.

Oat Crust

This oat crust is easy to through together with a food processor and makes enough for 2 pies. If you are only making one pie, either half the recipe or refrigerate the leftover mixture for later use.

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (or other soft dates)
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Place 1 cups oats, walnuts and dates in food processor and process until grainy texture. Add remaining oats, coconut (if using) and cinnamon and process until finely ground. Add applesauce and a sticky texture is reached. (you can also remove the mixture from the food processor and mix the applesauce in by hand)  If still too dry, add a tablespoon or two more of applesauce. Press into bottom of baking pan and fill with filling of your choice. Can be used with a baked or non-bake pie filling.

No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin (or Carrot) Pie

This is an adaptation of a recipe from The PlantPure Nation Cookbook by Kim Campbell

  • 1 cup non-dairy semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 – 15 oz can of pumpkin puree (1 ¾ cups)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger or 1 ½ tsp fresh grated
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Oat Pie Crust

Press pie crust mixture into a 9 inch pie pan. Melt chocolate chips in a small pan over low heat. In a blender or food processor, place all ingredients (except for pie crust) including melted chocolate chips. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared pie shell and top with fruit, nuts, and coconut or chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
If you can’t find pumpkin puree (do not use pumpkin pie filling) in a can, you can bake a whole pumpkin, then scoop out the flesh and puree until smooth. Then place the pumpkin puree in a strainer and let it sit overnight. Home baked pumpkin is often more watery than canned. You can also substitute sweet potato or baked butternut squash or carrots. Puree the carrots, sweet potato or squash before using in the recipe.

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

This pie is rich and filling delicious. The recipe is an adaptation from Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon.

  • 1 Oat pie crust
  • 1 – 14 oz can (400 ml) full fat coconut milk, chilled for 24 hours
  • 1 1/4 cup non dairy chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Prepare oat crust and press into 9 inch pie plate. Open can of chilled coconut milk and scoop out coconut cream and place into a saucepan. Save 1/3 cup of the remaining coconut water and place into the saucepan with the coconut cream. Use the remaining coconut water for another purpose (smoothie or soup). Add chocolate chips to the saucepan with the coconut and heat over low heat until the chips melt. Stir in the maple syrup, peanut butter and a pinch of salt. Mix in about 1/4 cup of the roasted peanuts. Pour into the prepared crust and top with remaining chopped peanuts. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 to 6 hours.

You can substitute the peanut butter with any other nut butter, such as almond butter.