Thursday, July 31, 2014

Zucchini Banana Muffins

When a friends Mom handed us a bag full of fresh zucchinis from her garden, my first thought was zucchini bread, however since our 3 year old son is in favor of muffins, I went with this recipe instead. They turned out moist, delicious with just the perfect amount of sweet.
Note: the best bananas for baking are the really ripe, mushy ones. Once you see them starting to turn brown, throw them in your freezer (they'll probably turn black), and defrost them when you're ready to start baking
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups shredded zucchini
  2. 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  3. 1/2 cup applesauce
  4. 2 tsp vanilla
  5. 3/4 cup sugar
  6. 1 1/2 cup flour (I suggest Kamut)
  7. 1 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1 pinch nutmeg
  9. 3/4 tsp baking soda
  10. 1/2 tsp salt
  11. 1 cup raisins (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; grease a 12 cup muffin tin
  2. Mix the mashed banana, applesauce, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl.
  3. Stir in shredded zucchini.
  4. Add 1 cup flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt to zucchini mixture and combine.
  5. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup of flour and raisins.
  6. Scoop into muffin tins at 3/4 full
  7. Bake in oven for approximately 20-22 min, or until toothpick inserted comes clean.
  8. Cool and enjoy!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Fresh, green salad

I put this tasty salad together with fresh ingredients from our first Lufa Farms Basket. Then I sprinkled it with Hemp Seeds (Hemp is a high protein seed containing all nine of the essential amino acids) and Nutritional Yeast (It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein). It tastes especially good when you have fresh organic produce!
fresh, green salad
boston lettuce
cucumber
endives
green onions
hemp seeds
nutritional yeast

Chop veggies & sprinkle with hemp seeds and nutritional yeast. Serve with your favorite dressing.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lufa Farm Basket

our first basket contents
I have been hesitant to sign up for an organic produce basket, but when I heard about Lufa Farms I was intrigued. It is the world's first commercial rooftop greenhouse, and it's in Montreal! They deliver fresh, organic and local produce. The best part is you get to build your own basket, meaning you can pick and choose what you want and don't want, as long as it is a $30 minimum. Plus they have more than just fruits and veggies, they also have baked goods, pasta, grains, soaps, juices and more. The baskets are dropped off once a week at conveniently located pick up points (we found one just 3 blocks from our house). 
1st basket pick up

We just picked up our first basket, so we're brand new to the whole organic basket experience, but so far it's been great and we are enjoying fresh tasty salads!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Vegan Staples

This year I will be giving two vegan workshops, one at Luna Yoga and the other at Wanderlust. I am just starting to work on my notes and decided it would be a good idea to create a Vegan Staples handout. Below is a list of items I like to have stocked in my kitchen. Please feel free to add your favorites in the comments box.

vegenaise
non-dairy milk: my favorite is almond milk, other options include; soy (a bit creamier), rice (closest consistency to dairy milk, but least nutrients), hemp (often difficult to find and more expensive, but lots of nutrients)

tofu: I usually use the firm blocks for cooking and occasionally the silken (soft) for lasagna or baking

tempeh: a nice alternative to tofu, a bit hardier and can be kept in the freezer

nutritional yeast: we use it mostly for dragon bowl sauce & tofu scram, it is a great source of B12
earth balance

miso: great for sauces/dressings (so many different kinds!)

veggies: onions, carrots, peppers, zucchinis, sweet potato, broccoli, spinach, kale, mushrooms, etc...

fruit: apples, bananas, tangerines, in-season fruit, etc...

veganaise: for sandwiches and dressings

chia seeds: rich in omega-3 fatty acids, I sprinkle it over salads, can be mixed with water as an egg replacement in baked goods

chia seeds
flax seeds: contain high levels of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, sprinkle over salads, cereal, and use in baked goods

vegan chocolate chips: keep these on hand for baking

kamut flour: spelt flour is another good option, but a bit heavier (both have much more nutritional value than white flour) we use kamut in our pizza dough

tofu or veggie dogs: great for a quick dinner

field roast sausages: lots of tasty flavours, including soy-free

soba noodles: my favorite is kamut

brown rice noodles: great alternative to white pasta
nutritional yeast

whole grain bread: bread and hummus is definitely a staple in our house

hummus: our staple sandwich spread

ginger fake chicken: my husband likes to fry some up as a side dish, it always tastes to 'real' for me

maple syrup: sweetener for baking

mesa sunrise cereal: my 2 year old and I eat this almost every morning with almond milk

earth balance: butter alternative
quinoa: good source of amino acids, calcium and iron
nuts: great snack and/or salad topping, plus a good source of protein
chick peas: for salads, chanas & making hummus
lentils: high in protein, good for dhals, etc.
brown rice: much healthier than white rice









Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cold fighting ginger tea

When you're feeling a little under the weather or just a bit chilly, this is the perfect cup of tea to warm you up. Tea brewed from ginger is a common folk remedy for colds, headaches and nausea. Lemon water can fight throat infections thanks to its antibacterial property, and turmeric is often used for treatment of various infections and as an antiseptic.
cold fighting ginger tea
1 cup boiling water
sliced fresh ginger
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp turmeric
agave to sweeten

Mix ingredients together, let steep, enjoy!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

chocolate p-nut butter squares

I made these bad boys during a sweet-tooth craving and they certainly did the trick. They are a delicious snack with a base of oats, a layer of peanut butter, topped with chocolate. They give the feeling of a healthy/vegan Reece's Pieces...
Chocolate P-Nut Butter Squares

Oat Base:
1 cup oats
1/2 cup flour (kamut works well)
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp sunflower oil

Peanut Butter Center:
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I prefer almond milk)

Chocolate Topping:
3/4 cup non dairy chocolate chips
1/3 cup non-dairy milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare the oat base: combine dry ingredients, stir in maple syrup and oil, until well combined (consistency should be crumbly yet hold together when pressed). Transfer to a lightly oiled (or parchment paper) 8x8 inch pan and press evenly. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove and let cool.

While cooling, prepare the peanut butter center: in a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients together. Stir occasionally until it becomes smooth and uniform, and thickens (do not boil). Pour mixture evenly over the oat base and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the chocolate topping; in a small saucepan over low-medium heat, combine the chocolate chips and milk. Stir occasionally, until the chocolate and milk melt together and are smooth with no separation of the mixture. Remove from heat. Once the oat base has chilled, pour the chocolate topping evenly over top. Refrigerate again until completely cool and cut into squares.

Recipe by Dreena Burton from her awesome, family oriented cookbook Vive le Vegan. Check out her blog at http://vivelevegan.blogspot.ca/

Friday, February 7, 2014

Frito Misto by Sublime

Our favorite dish at Sublime Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale was the Frito Misto appetizer the waiter brought over as a complimentary taster to wet our palates. I think he felt bad since our 2 year old fell off his chair and hit his head, which then led to a lot of crying, Levi passing out in my arms, and then lots of free tasters. Unfortunate how it happened, but this is how we came across an amazing way to serve cauliflower. We ended up buying the restaurants cookbook, so naturally the first recipe I tried out was the Frito Misto. I can't say it turned out exactly the same as the original, but it was only my first try...