Friday, July 13, 2012

Zucchini Pasta w/ Spinach Cheese Sauce (Vegan)

As you may have read in our last post, Jenn and I have totally revamped our diet. After figuring out we don't do so well on sugar, we've been making a conscious effort to cut way back on it as well as reintroducing some animal products. So far so good! And we just wanted to honestly thank all of our readers, um you guys are seriously awesome and so supportive. We so appreciated all of your warm and fuzzy comments on our last post, gee whiz...thanks. ;)

Even though we're including animal products now in our diet. We still love our vegan meals and enjoy them on a frequent basis.

Amongst my favourite vegan meals are vegetable pastas. Pasta is the one thing that I am always in the mood for. It's always the perfect blank canvas for whatever creative, crazy concoctive sauce thing you can think up. And it's just so darn fun to eat.

This pasta dish I made is literally all vegetables, using thin spaghetti type noodles made with a julienne peeler out of zucchini. The peeler was only 7$ at a kitchenware store by the way, compared to 30$ for a spiralizer, ka-ching! And it's super quick to use and clean up too.

I was being a perfectionist like I tend to be and and peeled the zucchini first with a regular vegetable peeler before julienning so the noodles would be like white pasta noodles. Feel free to leave the skin on though because it's super healthy and stuff. :)

Noodles made from yellow and green zucchini
Why hello julienno

Save the middle parts to dip in hummus!

I've made this spinach cheese sauce numerous times in the past, it came from trying to make pesto in a magic bullet while accidentally using the cross blade; so it pureed it into a creamy sauce instead of a pesto. Don't let the green deceive you, it's all cheese. ;)

creepin' out in the sun

Spinach "Cheese" Pasta Sauce:

3 tbsp olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
1/2 cup spinach leaves, packed
3 tbsp chopped almonds
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 clove garlic
2 tsp italian herb blend
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in magic bullet, using a cross blade, or food processor (you may get a regular pesto consistency if you use a food processor). Blend until smooth and creamy.

"the rest" of the Pasta dish:

3 zucchinis peeled and "julienned"
Broccoli florets, handful
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
Coconut oil, to cook with

Sautee the onions, red peppers and broccoli until tender. Add zucchini noodles. Cook until noodles have shrunken down in size slightly (make sure pan isn't too wet form cooking vegetables, wait until all water has evaporated, and add more oil if necessary). Add in sauce and cook for 1 minute or until cooked through. Top with nutritional yeast flakes and sesame seeds.

Makes 2 servings

A sprinkling of sesames and nutritionals for good measure ;)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

We're changing our blog! + New Sweetener on the Block + Chocolate Cake Muffins

Hi everyone! You may have noticed that we haven't been posting as often, part of that is because our camera literally broke (but we have a back up cammy! Not as good quality, but good for now.)

So we have been putting this off for a while, but thought we just need to come out and say it.

We are no longer vegan. This is a choice we have made for ourselves. We find that we feel the best on a high(er) protein, low sugar/carb diet and even though it IS possible to get enough protein on a vegan diet. Most of that protein is also coming from high carb sources such as beans and legumes.

Too much carbs!

But this doesn't mean that all of our recipes are going to have animal products in them. We will still be posting vegan recipes because we love creating with boundaries...weird I know. But you can expect to see some eggs, yogurt, and other animal products in our recipes too. We also plan on labelling all of the vegan recipes so that it makes it easier to navigate.

We aren't saying this is the "right" diet. It's just the one that works for us. It's totally possible to thrive on a vegan diet, it depends on many factors such as your cultural background, activity level and the quality of food you are consuming.


So now that that's out of the way. Phew! We made the most AMAZING chocolate cake muffins. You will seriously die. They are so good.

There's a new sweetener on the block, you may have heard of xylitol, a 0 glycemic sugar alcohol that causes absolutely no sugar highs, and you may have also heard of erythritol, another sugar alcohol found naturally in certain fruits and vegetables. But have you heard of Lakanto? It's erythritol combined with Lo Han Guo extract that can be used to make amazingly golden brown and delicious bakes! Saraya sent us some of their product to experiment with, Saraya is the only distributor so far in Canada that sells Lakanto online. Check out their website here.

Saraya Lakanto

I googled "baking with erythritol" and found that most people ended up with grittiness in their baked goods. So, we decided to grind it up in a spice grinder to make a fine powder and use it that way.

Lakanto on top of being zero glycemic is supposed to digest easier than xylitol, and it tastes so good, like a golden brown sugar caramel taste. Although there IS a cooling after taste that is trademark with all sugar alcohols, although you don't notice it as much in this recipe.

These muffins are super high in protein, low fat and taste like chocolate cake, I mean really, I'll take chocolate cake for breakfast any day.

cakey cross section

2 small bananas, mashed
1/2 cup applesauce
4 small scoops protein powder
4 tbsp coconut flour
4 eggs
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup lakanto, ground into a fine powder
4 tbsp carob powder
4 tbsp cocoa
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp coconut oil

Combine mashed bananas, applesauce, and eggs together. In a separate bowl combine lakanto, carob, cocoa, coconut flour, protein powder and salt. Mix dry into wet and stir until well combined. Then add in coconut oil and last but not least the baking soda and baking powder (we find by adding these two last it gives the muffins less time to deflate while mixing, you wanna keep em fluffy!)  Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Makes 12 muffins.

Enjoy for breakfast, dessert or snack.