Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ezekiel's Wheel Salad- from Aarti Paarti (Vegan, GF)

You may have already noticed, but we are huge fans of Aarti from The Next Food Network Star and she won! So now she has her own show on the Food Network called Aarti Party. Unfortunately it is not being aired in Canada as of yet but when it does you can bet we will be following her wonderful Indian food adventures religiously! We've been watching her video blog (before she was famous) for some time now, and her videos are just so silly! But also informative; AND a lot of the recipes she makes are vegan, like this salad! You can watch Aarti make it here, and I bet you will be tempted to watch more you'll see! Aarti also explains in the video why she called it Ezekiel's Wheel Salad if you are curious :)

So onto the salad, it features so many yummy components it's hard to believe that it would taste anything but delicious! It's also very filling which is important for vegans, and it has pomegranate seeds in it! which are in season right now and apparently they go really well with tahini. Also, a side note about the spices: I was unable to find Zaatar, the middle-eastern spice blend, so I looked it up and all it is, is ground sumac, oregano, marjoram, thyme and toasted sesame seeds, I couldn't find sumac so I substituted lemon zest and put in a little extra salt. Enjoy!

1 shallot, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup or so of hot water
1 clove of garlic
Splash of extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 cans chick peas, drained and rinsed (2 small or 1 and 1/2 large cans)
3 roasted red peppers
Handful of pomegranate seeds or 3-4 pickled beets
Handful chopped parsley
Zaatar (3/4 tsp oregano, 3/4 tsp marjoram, 3/4 tsp thyme, 1 tbsp lemon zest, salt)
Ground black pepper

Combine shallot, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl, let sit while you toast your pine nuts. Add tahini and water until you have a dressing that is not sticky but the consistency of a cream-based salad dressing or yogurt. Combine everything else in! Mix until combined. It gets even better if you leave it overnight.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Butternut Squash Bruschetta with Sage Pesto (Vegan, GF)

Sage is one of those herbs that grows so easily and abundantly, but, what do you do with it besides put it in your vegan stuffing...Jenn and I were looking for a recipe to use our many bunches of sage leaves and came across this recipe from Dishin' and Dishes. It looked so unique! We made it sketch-free by replacing the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast, and using brown rice bread instead of white baguette. The bread does have xantham gum, because we have yet to find a store-bought gluten-free bread without it, if any one knows of any please let us know! The bruschetta was very aromatic and sagey, so if you are not a sage fan, don't make this because it thrives on a love of sage. :)

True Sage love
1 small butternut squash, diced
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
Red pepper flakes
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Brown Rice or other Gluten-free Bread

Combine above ingredients in a bowl, toss to coat with olive oil.
Preheat oven to 400F, spread squash mixture evenly on a baking sheet, bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through and roasty :).

1 cup fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup walnuts
Olive oil

Combine above ingredients into food processor, drizzle olive oil until mixture forms into a spreadable pesto consistency.

Cut bread into manageable pieces, drizzle with olive oil and bake in oven until toasted (about 10 minutes on 400F). Once toasted, spread pesto onto each piece and top with squash mixture. Put back in oven for 3-4 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 12 pieces. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cocoa-Coco-Nut-Nut Cookies (Vegan, GF)

I know this may sound silly but Jenn and I solely made these cookies for the name! We remember making some kind of coconut-chocolate concoction back in our raw food days, and Jenn said let's add nuts, then it can be coco-coco-nut-nut! Nonetheless, the cookies turned out amazing and you can taste each individual coco and nut component to a tee. Since these cookies have cocoa in them it's hard to see if they are golden brown, so you're just going to have to take our word about the cooking time. Our oven is a fairly modern make so if you have an older one, I don't know if those bake differently...Warning! These cookies are extremely chocolatey and chewtastic!

Cookies one by one...

2 cups Gluten-Free flour blend (see substitutions tab)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sucunat (ground to the consistency of granulated sugar in a food processor)
1/2 cup safflower oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup water
Handful of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Handful vegan chocolate chips

Toppling cookies!
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another. Gradually add dry mixture into the wet. Stir in nuts, chips and coconut. Scoop heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Flatten cookies about 1/4 inch thickness (they don't spread or change shape that much so make them into the shape you want after they're baked). Bake for 10 minutes (rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time). They may not look ready, but trust me they are, let them sit and they will firm up. Cool on cooling rack, Eat! Makes 24 cookies.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sweet Potato Salad with Blueberry Dressing (Vegan, GF)

Nothing like a good, hearty salad! Jac and I were feeling salad-ish (?) today, so we scavenged the kitchen in search of inspirational food items. We found a sweet potato, an apple, arugula and frozen blueberries. We thought these ingredients would make a perfect fall salad...

1 sweet potato, cubed, tossed in olive oil and roasted at 400 F until tender (20 mins)
1 red apple (we used organic royal gala), cubed
1 handful of arugula
Toasted sunflower seeds and almonds to sprinkle on top

Blueberry Dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp maple syrup
1/4 cup frozen blueberries, defrosted and pureed.
Pinch of salt

Blend together in a food processor. Drizzle on salad. Makes one big salad.

I put the sweet potatoes in right away, so it was a warm salad. I would highly suggest doing this because it makes the blueberry dressing more pungent. Nobody likes an ice cold salad any way! The blueberry dressing tastes so smooth and is lightly sweet, it goes great with the peppery arugula greens.

Blueberry Fields Forever

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vegan Muffins Monthly: Chocolate-Banana (Vegan, GF)

Jenn and I have decided to exploit Happy Herbivore's awesome vegan muffin recipe as much as we can. So we are presenting Vegan Muffins Monthly which will be: Completely Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Xanthan Gum-Free and Oil-Free. Not possible you say? Well you are going to have to get used to this crazy concept...monthly... ENJOY! :)

Muffins in the sun :)
1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free flour blend (see substitutes)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup mashed bananas
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sucanat
1 tsp vanilla extract
Vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa in a medium bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl. Combine wet into dry, mix until just combine, then mix in chocolate if desired. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins. Bake for 26 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 10 muffins.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Apple-Sage Stuffing Mushroom Stacks (Vegan)

We found a brilliant stuffing from Healthy Happy Life, there are lots of great vegan thanksgiving recipes there by the way so check it out! This particular stuffing recipe caught our attention, Apple Sage "Sausage" Chestnut Stuffing. We substituted the chestnuts for walnuts because I haven't the slightest clue where to buy chestnuts and walnuts go with apple anyway. We omitted the vegan sausage for sketch-free purposes, but you can by all means add it for a heartier stuffing. We also replaced the vegan butter with olive oil. This is a great turkey-stuffing vegan option, the mushroom provides the meat and the stuffing is quite filling...hence stuffing :P

6-7 cups diced bread cubes (I used a sprouted grain)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped (I used red onion, for colour)
1 1/2 cups celery, sliced thin
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp poultry seasoning (see below)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup roasted walnuts
1/4 cup roasted walnuts, whole
1 medium apple, chopped (I used granny smith)
5 leaves fresh sage, chopped
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
8 portobello mushroom caps

Cut bread into cubes (I left mine out for about 6-7 hours so it dried out a bit). In a medium pot saute onion, celery, parsley, and poultry seasoning in olive oil until tender. Add pepper, apple, walnuts, and sage and saute until apple is tender. Add vegetable broth and simmer for a minute or so. Fold in bread. Add more vegetable broth if too dry, or more bread if too soggy. Arrange 8 portobello mushroom caps on an oil baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stack stuffing onto caps, be generous there's lots of stuffing to go around! :) Bake in a 350 oven for 12 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked through and bread is toasted but not burned. Makes 8-10 mushroom stacks.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Smoky Squash and Red Pepper Soup (Vegan, GF)

I miss old smoky! I have loved smoked salmon on bagels for as long as I can remember. Now I'm always striving for that ever sweet smoky flavour in my vegan cooking. This soup is delicieux! Cumin lends to squash very well and it is what gives this soup the "smokiness" factor. I wonder if putting a dash of mesquite (liquid smoke) would make it even smokier, I put it on the ingredient list as an option, I haven't tried it, but you are welcome to give it a try. My favourite part of this soup is that it's the best orange colour ever! The pictures don't do it justice seriously!

4 acorn squash, roasted OR 1 butternut squash, roasted
2 red peppers, roasted
1 can light coconut milk
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cooking onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
1/4 tsp coriander
Salt and pepper, to taste
Squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
dash of mesquite (optional)

Start by cooking the onions in olive oil until translucent in a large soup pot. Add garlic, saute for a minute. Add red pepper flakes, coriander, and cumin. Saute for another minute. Add squash, red pepper, and vegetable stock, simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add coconut milk, tarragon, salt and pepper. Keep simmering for 10 more minutes. Squeeze in lemon juice. Add mesquite if desired. Blend in blender or with a hand blender (way easier!). Makes one large pot of soup.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Raw Raspberry-Lime Jam (Vegan, GF)

Presenting...raw living jam! This tart, berry-licious jam was the end product of a huge measuring cup of chia seed gel. Why did I make so much chia gel? I don't exactly know but the fact is, is that there's a mass amount of chia gel in my house, so I was googling what I could do with it and raw jam came up.
The chia seeds are what make this jam not only jelly like, but greatly beneficial as well. Chia has a higher antioxidant content than blueberries, they have more iron than spinach and twice the calcium than cow's milk. As well, all of the essential amino acids are included, except for taurine. Consuming it in gel form is in a sense pre digesting the seeds because your body would jellify them anyway once they entered your tract. Thus, more energy for your body to spend doing other, more important things other than digesting seeds!

Raspberry used to be my favourite jam back in the days of sketch, so I decided on raspberry with lime, an unexpected, but supremely delicious combination!'ll see ;)

Jam on sprouted grain bread

1/3 cup chia seed gel
3/4 cup raspberries roughly mashed
4 tbsp raw honey OR agave syrup
2-3 tbsp lime juice (depending on taste)
2 tsp lime zest

Chia Gel: Combine 1/3 cup chia seeds with 2 cups water, let sit for 10 minutes until very thick.

Combine chia gel, raspberries, sweetener, lime juice and lime zest. Spread on bread, crackers, or raw desserts! Makes just over a cup of jam.

A perfect raw food offering for a friend :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rustic Lemonhead Oat Bars (Vegan, GF)

I don't know about you guys, but I can only handle so much pumpkin and apple at once! I thought I'd have a little Summer Flashback and bring back lemons! There was a big bag of organic lemons on sale at the supermarket so I thought what the hey and bought them, I hope the Autumn police weren't watching ;). Anyway, Jenn and I are huge fans of the vegan food blog Veggie Wedgie, we love the recipes and the photography is drop dead gorgeous! Please check her out! I've had my eye on these lemon bars for a while, I was a little hesitant to make them because it looks like you make the filling the way you'd make lemon meringue pie filling, which is scary, but it's so much easier than you think! I used full fat coconut milk for this, and probably should have used light, like Veggie said, I would prefer a lighter bar. You may think that the filling isn't thick enough, but it sets up really nicely I promise! :)  And they're Gluten-Free by using pure oat flour and our Gluten-Free flour blend (found in substitute tabs). 

Is this a Vegan GF lemon bar? Or some kind of crazy dream...

1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup Gluten-free flour blend (see substitutions tab)
5 tbsp coconut butter (solid coconut oil)
1/4 cup sucunat
2 tbsp water
pinch of salt

1 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup arrowroot flour
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup maple)
1 400ml can light coconut milk or full fat for a richer bar

First make the oat flour and mix with GF flour, salt and sugar. Add coconut butter in chunks and mix with your hands. Add water and keep mixing until everything is well combined. In a greased baking dish add the oat mix and press with your hands to form the crust. Using a fork pierce the surface of the crust and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes at 350F. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Meanwhile make the lemon filling. In a pot combine syrup, coconut milk and arrowroot. Whisk until the arrowroot is completely dissolved. Add lemon zest. Bring to boil whisking continuously and once it starts to thicken removed from heat. Add lemon juice  and continue stirring for 3 minutes. Let the mixture cool completely and pour over the crust. Chill until set.

Makes 16 bars

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Carob-Blueberry Energy Bars (Vegan, GF)

I've been meaning to make these bars ever since I bought Brendan Brazier's Thrive Diet. I love this book! I recommend it for vegans who are interested in fitness and any type of physical training. All of the recipes in his book are so wholesome and fit the "sketch-free" ideal perfectly.

The dates in these bars provide glucose which is easily expendable energy, meaning it will be available for use almost immediately. There is also protein, essential fats 3 and 6 (from flaxseed), I also added coconut oil to this recipe because I like my bars really firm and I always feel I need more fats in my diet.  I also added Goji Berries instead of the extra blueberries for iron and other essential nutrients. The sesame seeds provide more protein as well as copper (supports blood vessels and bone structure) and zinc, sesame seeds are also the most alkalizing seed you can eat. And did I mention that these are deliciously chocolatey? :)

Beautiful Goji Bars

1 cup soaked dates (medjool)
1/4 cup almonds (soaked and dehydrated)
1/4 cup sesame seeds (soaked and dehydrated)
1/4 cup hemp flour/hemp protein powder
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds (sprouted)
2 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
1/2 cup sprouted or cooked buckwheat (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup carob powder
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup goji berries (or more blueberries)

Process the almonds and sesame seeds in food processor until crumbly. Put dry ingredients in, process. Put dates, lemon juice, zest, coconut oil (optional), buckwheat (optional) and blueberries. Process until combined. Put onto a cutting board or flat surface. Add extra blueberries or goji berries and knead together to combine. Form dough into a flat rectangular shape. Freeze for at least 6 hours. Cut into bars. Makes 10-11 bars.

You can watch video of Brendan making these bars here.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Green Juice (Without the Juicer!)

Lately my body has been telling me to detox, I've done it all before, green smoothies, teas, raw food. I've never tried juicing, but darn my luck, I don't have a juicer :( I was looking online and apparently you can make juice by blending up your veggies with a little water and straining it through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth! Well that will do nicely! Here is how it's done:

1 apple
Juice of half a lemon
1 inch of ginger
1/4 of a bunch of celery
1/4 bunch of dandelion greens (fave!)
2 cups of a spinach salad blend (spinach, raddichio, and arugula)
1 bunch of parsley
1/2 cup water

Start by blending the apple, celery, lemon juice and water. Leave the leafy stuff until you have a good liquidy base. Put in green stuff. Blend on highest setting for a good minute or so. I don't even have a Vitamix, I used a regular blender. If you have a Vitamix type blender you don't have to blend it for that long.

Then, make a contraption that looks like this. I used cheesecloth to strain because I don't have a nut-milk bag. Straining with a nut milk bag would probably do a more thorough job.

Pour blended mixture in cheesecloth/strainer.

Gather sides of cheesecloth together and SQUEEZE!

Look at all the pulp! Raw veggie crackers?....hmmm

Aaaand.....Green juice!! This recipe makes about one half litre of juice or 2 1/2 cups.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Almost-Raw Pumpkin Butter Tarts (Vegan, GF)

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw almonds
2 tbsp arrowroot flour
Pinch of Salt
4 medjool dates
2 tsp coconut oil (optional)

1 cup pumpkin butter (see recipe below)
8-10 medjool dates (un-soaked)
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 cup whole pecans

Combine ingredients for the crust, process in a food processor, press into muffin tins. Combine ingredients for filling and process. Put dates in first to process. Add other filling ingredients except for pecans. Then fold in pecans. Spread filling into tart shells. Refrigerate at least 6 hours. 

Makes 12 tarts

Pumpkin Butter:
2 cups pureed pumpkin (cooked)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt

Cook ingredients on medium for at least 15 minutes stirring constantly until dramatically thicker.

3 Butters!!

Originally these were suppose to be cooked with a cookie crust. Then they were pumpkin sandwich cookies! Dough didn't work too well in the muffin tins. After the trials and tribulations we decided to go raw, because hey no baking required, less chance of a pumpkin disaster! ;) These turned out seriously good, like seriously good. If you've ever tasted a butter tart you know how heavenly they can be. Picture that, crossed with a pumpkin pie. Can you say Yum? Oh yes.