Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Vegan Miso Meatballs at Olivia's House!

This is the first time we've ever done a guest post on the blog and it was a blast! It's such a different experience cooking with someone else as opposed to when you're alone. When there's a problem to be solved you have an extra brain with extra ideas and the whole operation just goes so smoothly!

Olivia brought homemade cabbage rolls into work for lunch. She asked if I wanted to try some, to which I immediately said "Bleck, I don't like cabbage rolls". My mom used to make them all the time and I just can't get past the taste of cooked cabbage. It tastes like feet ok! I also think cooked beets taste like dirt. What kind of Ukrainian am I! So anyway, I decided to try a TINY bite. It can't hurt, right? The cooked cabbage obviously made me gag, but the filling was ridiculous! It tasted exactly like ground beef, but it wasn't ground beef, it was a mix of nuts, cauliflower and beans! I was so floored. I immediately set up a cooking session at Olivia's house so we can make this for our blog. We turned the filling into Ikea-inspired meatballs and gravy.

Here is Olivia's vegan meatball recipe!

1/4 head of cauliflower, raw
1/2 cup lentils, canned
1 1/2 cup walnuts, raw or toasted
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp oil (we used coconut)
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
fresh thyme and oregano (one stem of each)
3/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (you could easily substitute spelt flour or ground oats)

Buzz it all up in a food processor. Form into balls. Bake for 40 minutes on 350F flipping halfway through.

Balls of wisdom

Now for the gravy!

2 tbsp white miso paste
1/2 cup each of mushrooms and onions
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup boiling water
Starch/thickening agent (Tapioca starch, arrowroot powder, potato starch)

Heat up a saucepan and add some coconut oil. Add in mushrooms and onions and saute until tender. Add in miso and garlic. Stir up for another minute. Add in boiling water (it will essentially look like miso soup). Bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce to a medium low heat and simmer uncovered for about 20-30 minutes or until the gravy has reduced by 25%. At this point, you could blend it up to make it smooth or leave the mushrooms and onions whole. Up to you! Gradually add in thickening agent by mixing about a tablespoon of the agent with a bit of the gravy, then add it in to the pot. Keep gradually adding it until you've reached a gravy consistency you are happy with.

Arrange meatballs in a dish with any other roasted veg you desire. We roasted up some cauliflower with crushed chipotle peppers. Yum! Pour on the gravy and garnish with green onions.


Dish happy

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Peanut Butter, Banana, Choco Chip Pancakes! (3 ingredient batter!)

I'm sure most health foodies are now aware of the incredibly simple pancake recipe consisting only of banana and eggs. This is a major break through considering pancakes are usually loaded with flour, oil and sugar. These are so accessible (who doesn't have a banana and egg hanging around) and actually taste pretty darn good!

I've experimented with a few different recipes, one was 2 eggs to 1 banana, another 3 eggs to 1 banana and the last one was 1 egg to 1 banana. After making all three, I prefer the 1 egg to 1 banana, although it tasted the most strongly like banana it was the most moist, I found the more eggs I put in the drier the pancakes were.

I decided to add some peanut butter to add a peanut-ty twist and to create a thicker batter.

2 eggs
2 bananas
2 tbsp peanut butter
Vanilla extract (or cinnamon!)
Chocolate chips

Combine the eggs, bananas, and peanut butter (salt and vanilla extract) in a food processor, or just mash it up with a fork! Spoon batter onto frying pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips and cook on LOW for 3 minutes, flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

PB-Honey Spread

1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp peanut butter

Combine both ingredients together and spread onto pancakes. So good! I've enjoyed these for breakfast, dinner and after workouts. Adding in a scoop of protein would make these super charged!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pineapple-Coconut Upside Down Cake w/ Whipped Coconut Cream

It never occurs to me to put pineapple in things. If I do it's often for a pina colada spin on a smoothie or I suppose on pizza. But baking it into a cake resulted in one of the best cakes I've ever made! Pineapple upside down cake is a retro classic, and is made by layering pineapple rings, brown sugar and butter, baked underneath a basic cake batter. Then you simply flip it over to reveal the pine-appley goodness on the other side.

This cake is more along the lines of a coffee cake, made only with honey and coconut oil it is denser more like a doughnut texture. But honestly it goes so well with the pineapple, this cake is amazing! Can't wait to make it again!

1 1/2 cups spelt flour (or regular flour)
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp honey
6 tbsp coconut oil (melted and cooled slightly )
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut, shredded
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of stevia (to taste)
Pinch of salt

Combine flour, salt, stevia, coconut, and baking powder, stir to combine. In separate bowl combine honey, vanilla and eggs. Pour dry ingredients into egg mixture, stir until combined, then slowly mix in coconut oil. Slice pineapple thinly and layer onto a parchment lined 9X9 inch pan. Pour batter over top and bake for 30 minutes on 350F. Allow to cool (very important or else it'll break). Flip pan onto a plate or board to reveal pineapple side and voila!

Makes enough for 9 pieces.

Top with coconut whipped cream and toasted coconut!

(To make coconut whipped cream, use cream on the top layer of a can of coconut milk and whip it with electric beaters or food processor and voila!)

What are some of your favourite pineapple recipes?