as i told you guys, i’ve been having a love affair with apples for the last few months. in the spirit of making way for some spring produce on the blog (because i really really hope it’s coming soon…) i’m sharing another delicious apple recipe with you all, but this one is for dinner! this is also a recipe within a recipe, because tamari almonds, while taking this dish to the next level, are a wonderful snack on their own.
The weather in Toronto the past couple days (and for the next couple) freaks me out. And not in a good way.
Sure, the heat has been turned up and we’ve been granted another week of hot weather, summer clothing and cool drinks. We can push the thoughts of winter a little further into our minds and soak up the warmth of the sun as we lounge in the parks and linger on patios. The part of me that’s always cold LOVED this!
But guys, it’s just not meant to be this way. I don’t know about you, but thoughts of climate change, global warming and environmental destruction keep me up at night. I remember taking courses in school discussing the social evolution of humans and how we are programmed to consume. That coupled with a class on the science of climate change was enough to buy me 4 months of sleepless nights. The weather this week has been a reminder of how scary what we are doing to this world is. Were the temperatures Toronto experienced 100% due to our changing climate? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s these little blips, little nudges to the gut that really remind why I went vegan in the first place.
I don’t like being reminded of these global crises but I do welcome the renewed passion and inspiration it brings. I went vegan because I believe in compassion. Compassion is a big word that I believe encompasses many things:
Compassion for animals
Compassion for my body and my health
Compassion for the environment
and Compassion for all others (think food politics and the benefits of living in a cleaner, greener world!)
Eating a vegan, plant-based diet isn’t the absolute solution and goodness knows it has it’s own problems. I love knowing though that my food choices at each meal promote compassion and reduce suffering. Each choice we make has the potential to do good or cause harm. Let’s try and remember this as we bask in the final rays of the summer.
And with that, here is a bright and sunny recipe to celebrate the last (well hopefully) of the summer sun. I was inspired by these Snack Pack Vegan Cheesecakes by Lisa at Vegan Culinary Crusade. I loved the layers, the portability, the adorable presentation and just had to make a version of my own! I opted to use mango and strawberries to match the sunny weather, but any fruit could be used!
These cups are loaded with healthy fats and fresh fruit and would make a wonderful snack or dessert any time of day.
So let’s remember our responsibilities to each other and this wonderful planet we live on and celebrate compassion while we eat delicious mango pudding cups shall we?
Hello my lovely veggies! Thank you all so much for all your votes in the Vegan Recipe Challenge! I came in 3rd and that was way more than I was hoping for!
It’s been a busy week around here- I'm so sorry to my fellow bloggers whose blogs I've been neglecting. I am trying the best I can to catch up and will read every one of your wonderful words. But I’m back and eager to share a ton of stuff with you! You can expect some delicious food coming up on the blog!
I'm constantly playing around with my diet, trying to come up with a combination that helps my tummy feel it’s best. For those of you who are new readers, I’ve suffered from very uncomfortable digestion for years and I’m on a quest to correct it! Read this post for a few things that I’ve found helpful recently.
So in playing around with my diet, one thing I’ve tried is cuting out grains. I know, crazy right? It’s something I never thought I would do and I always thought that “paleo inclined” eaters were insane! What do they do without quinoa? Fresh baked goods? No sushi? No BREAD?
turns out you just need to find the right kind of baked goods!
Just goes to show you the lengths I’m willing to go to fix this problem. And it actually isn't too bad! .
You see, due to the make-up of grains, people with delicate digestive systems often find them aggravating. The carbohydrate content of the grain is primarily made up of starches as well as some sugars that require extra steps to digest. If you are unable to digest them properly due to a weak system, we are left with undigested fragments that are then used to feed the no-so-good bacteria in our system. This can lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a crowding out of the good guys. The bad guys can also begin to produce toxic substances that can damage our intestinal lining, leading to something called leaky gut. And what leaky gut basically means is that the tight junctions between your intestinal cells become “loose” due to damage and now undigested proteins and particles can make their way into your bloodstream and cause inflammation, allergic responses and general havoc! All in all, not a pretty picture for proper digestion.
So through cutting them out, healing can be brought to the digestive system. I by no means think this should be a permanent move, but can be extremely therapeutic for a time!
Now for the fun part- grain-free kitchen experiments! Grain-free baking was really daunting to me, but my recent success with my berry crisp and now these muffins is making me feel like all that fear was unwarranted. Now I can say I LOVE grain-free baking!
I love that when you bake with nut meals and coconut flour, there is a ton of natural sweetness and healthy fats in there- meaning you can use less added oil and sweetener! Not only that, nut meals and coconut flour are so healthy! Lots of healthy fats and fibre! While they are not exactly low in calories, you’ll find that you are wonderfully satisfied after a small portion.
Like take these muffins. They certainly are not light bites. BUT they are filling, nutritious and delicious. And they surprisingly don’t feel heavy- they have a wonderful crumb that would satisfy the most traditional baker. I hope you all try them- I’m certain you’ll love them!
Grain-Free Carrot and Zucchini Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-Free, Paleo, SCD)
Adapted from these at Amazing Paleo.
Ingredients (12 muffins)
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- ¼ cup melted raw honey
- ¼ cup melted organic coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup of grated carrots
- ¾ cup of grated zucchini (unpeeled)
- 1/8 cup of raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease with coconut oil or line a 12 muffin pan.
Mix all your dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix your applesauce, honey, coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon. In a final small bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, water, baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Now add the applesauce mixture to your dry ingredients and combine well. Now add in the coconut oil and baking soda mixture. Finally, mix in the carrot, zucchini and raisins.
Spoon the batter evenly into your muffin pan. You want to do this fast since you want to make sure the baking soda and vinegar will still be reacting to give some lift in the oven. Bake for 35min, or until tops are browned and a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Good morning friends!
Going to school for nutrition means I am exposed to many different people of many different philosophies and many different diets. I am learning to be objective when it comes to evaluating the merits of certain foods and ideologies even if they are not quite those that I adhere to.
I go to school with quite a few people who follow the Paleo Diet and I’ve been watching quite a few documentaries on the subject recently. While it’s not something I see as the ideal diet, I do recognize it has many merits, especially when it comes to healing the digestive system and hence healing a multitude of other problems.
So while I don’t plan on following a paleo diet, I am making a conscious effort to branch out, toy around with some of the ideas and create recipes that adhere to the paleo principles while still holding to my own ideals. This is what has lead me to create a nut porridge.
And oh did I love this porridge.
The nuts gave this such a rich texture and a lovely sweetness. I added in some apple for sweetness as well and some mesquite and lucuma to up the nutrient value. This is super filling, loaded with healthy fats and extremely satisfying. If you’ve never tried nut porridge, I highly recommend you add it to your rotation! I know I will be ;)
Paleo Nut Porridge (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw, Paleo)
Ingredients (4, 1/2 cup servings)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 apple
- 1 tsp mesquite
- 1 tsp lucuma
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar
Process all together. Reserve a few nuts to add in at the end- pulse a few times. This gives it texture!
Serve with almond milk and fruit!
Store extra servings in the fridge for a quick breakfast or snack.
I'm sharing this recipe on Raw Foods Thursday.
merry (belated) christmas to my readers who celebrate! my day yesterday was very relaxing, filled with good food, pyjamas and watching movies. today, much of the same continues. a brief outing to visit my old boss and it was right back into the comfies. there is no way i am braving the hoards of shoppers today, so stressful! and i’ve always been an online shopping kind of person anyway.
we got a fresh sprinkling of snow on christmas eve so it was perfectly white christmas morning- that’s the dream!
i’ve been a bad bad blogger lately…sporadic posts with no explanation, and my blog reading and commenting has taken a nose dive. for that i apologize! so today i thought i’d pop in with a what i ate wednesday post, showing what i ate yesterday! this is no means everything i ate, rather a couple highlights. scroll to the bottom of the post for lovely breakfast recipe!
i made personal apple crisps for a late breakfast and they turned out delicious! spiced with cinnamon and not too sweet, these would make a perfect breakfast anytime. buuut since it was christmas we served them with drizzles of almond milk and maple syrup!
i brought the leftovers home with me so a few of these nutmeg logs were had throughout the day
my mom picked up some of this almond-based “egg nog” so i’ve been sipping on that sprinkled with nutmeg. any guesses on my favourite spice? ;)
my christmas dinner! none of these were my own recipes, but they were all delicious so i have to give shout outs to the blog’s who brought me this wonderful meal:
wild rice no-meat loaf from lifeologia- oh man this was amazing! the savoury flavours of wild rice and beans were complimented by the sweetness of the raisins and cranberries and the walnuts added crunch. i can’t wait for leftovers!
chickpea gravy from vanilla & spice- the hint of ginger in this gravy was lovely and went so well with the loaf.
black quinoa and kale salad from green kitchen stories- i made mine with red and white quinoa (festive) and avocado instead of feta- delicious!
a delicious carrot pineapple cake with cashew “cream cheese” frosting- recipe was not my own or online so can’t post it, but the frosting i used was a variation on this one! also, aren’t these plates the cutest?
and now the recipe for the personal apple crisps!
this recipe isn’t super sweet, so feel free to up the sweetener in the recipe or drizzle more on top as we did. it uses almond butter instead of oil to add richness, upping the nutrition and there’s lots of cinnamon in there to help balance out your blood sugar from the sweetener. and let’s face it- we could all use a little help balancing blood sugar in the holiday season right?
this is easily doubled, tripled, etc. depending on how many you want to make!
personal apple crisp (vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free)
ingredients (1 serving)
- 1/2 c apple, chopped small
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/8 + 1/8 tsp cinnamon, divided
- 1 + 1/2 tsp flour of choice, divided (i used brown rice)
- 3 tbsp gluten-free oats
- 1 tbsp chopped almonds
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- pinch sea salt
preheat oven to 350. in a small bowl toss the apple, lemon juice, sugar, 1/8 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp flour together and put in a ramekin.
mix together oats, almonds, 1 tsp flour, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, salt, almond butter and mix till it becomes crumbly. spoon over apple mixture.
bake for 10-13 min, until the top is crispy and golden brown and enjoy!
i will be back here for healthy vegan friday, but will probably not be around much other than that till the end of holidays. so i hope you all enjoy and i’ll see you in the new year!
i’m a stubborn person.
it’s just who I am.
once something is started, I just have to finish it
no matter what.
no obstacle will deter me.
even when the task has become a unenjoyable, i’ll truck on through.
because the satisfaction of something finished is better than the disappointment of failure.
and that is how I have come to spending more than 6 months reading anna karenina.
whoa, you thought i was being really profound and serious for a minute there didn’t you? ;)
despite the fact that it’s been called a “flawless work of art”, i’m struggling. has anyone else experienced this with a book? a much beloved classic that you so want to like, but don’t?
anyway, while I love a challenge, sometimes it’s refreshing to have something presented to you that is just easy.
easy to do.
easy to finish.
easy to eat.
deliciously warm, satisfying, earthy and sweet, these kabocha almond patties are so easy to make (all you need is an oven and a little blender) and then consume the entire batch (they’re darn tasty), that you’ll be left ample time to tackle other, more difficult tasks.
anna, kitty, levin and vronsky, and of course, tolstoy these patties are for you.
may they give me the strength to plow on through.
kabocha almond patties (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)
these patties use squash for an amazing dose of beta-carotene, iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin c, and almonds to really amp up the calcium even further. they are rich and creamy on the inside and crisp on the outside and a perfect addition to salads, on top of pasta, or with some sautéed greens and a grain. hearty autumn fair to nourish you :)
and bonus, completely free of sugar, these are perfect for getting a little sweet fix without indulging!
inspired by a lovely marni wasserman recipe!
ingredients (15 patties)
- 1 1/2 cups kabocha puree (this is one half of a small squash, baked at 400f for 40 min)
- 2 slices gluten-free bread
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp bragg's liquid aminos or tamari
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 3/4 cup + 1/2 cup almond meal, divided
- optional: 1 cup or so of your favourite green, chopped fine
first, roast your squash if you haven't done so. i just cut it in half and placed the 2 halves face down on a greased baking sheet and baked at 400f for 40 min. let them cool when done then scoop out the flesh. if you do this ahead of time, these patties come together super quick!
preheat oven to 350f.
put the onion and slices of bread in a small blender or food processor and blend until the bread is in crumbs and the onion is almost pureed.
add this to a large bowl along with the kabocha puree, spices, olive oil, bragg's, greens if using and 3/4 cup of the almond meal. mix well until well combined.
form into patties.
put some of the remaining 1/2 cup almond meal on a plate and roll the patties in it to coat them. you'll probably want to wet your fingers every second or third patty or else everything gets really sticky. continue adding more almond flour to the plate until all the patties are coated.
bake for 30 min!
i served mine with a simple tahini sauce, but any sauce would be delicious- pesto, tomato, even just a drizzle of olive oil.
Guess what today is everyone? It’s finally here: the Virtual Vegan Potluck! A day where 66 bloggers (I think I counted right?) are coming together to link up recipes for 8 different courses for a virtual vegan feast! Here is the lovely organizer’s, Ann, little blurb on it:
Bringing vegan food bloggers together to share a virtual potluck, linked by a blog circle – and our love of cooking, eating and sharing. Participating bloggers will post recipes – from appetizers to desserts – and photos on the day of the event. Non-vegans welcome as long as they prepare a cruelty- and animal-free dish.
A big shout out to Ann at An Unrefined Vegan for organizing this event. She has put so much time into it and it is such a fantastic way to connect bloggers and readers from all over the world to share food when otherwise we would not be able too. You rock Ann!
This potluck acts as a sort of chain where there is a beginning and an end, starting with appetizers and finishing with desserts. If this is your first stop make sure to scroll to the end of the post to find links to the beginning of the potluck, the post before mine and the one that follows!
Now for my contribution, those of you who know me well, could probably predict what I was contributing. Dessert of course. What else? I think though next time I will challenge myself to contribute something savoury. I mean there is obviously going to be a next time and I’m sure it will be even bigger and better!
This was a long awaited recipe, I got so many requests for it following this teaser post, that I almost felt bad for not immediately sharing it with you. But I knew I wanted to save it for this blog event because it deserves a special recipe. And this, my friends, is a very special recipe.
I made this cake for my mom’s birthday at the end of April, when I was still knee deep in the first week of my cleanse. This meant no added sweeteners except stevia and dates, no soy, no grains, no chocolate. Bonus points if I made the cake raw as well, since high raw was/is the name of the game! This meant most traditional cakes were simply not an option. Even most raw cakes posed a bit of a problem, requiring agave as a sweetener. Sure I could have made my mom something more traditional, but then I wouldn’t get to enjoy it and where’s the fun in that?? I was determined to make my mom a cake she would love and that I could eat, and all my hard work and planning paid off.
This cake was inspired by the Raw Cashew Dreamcake from Sarah at My New Roots. I had to play around with proportions since I was making a larger cake as well as substitute for the raw honey she used as the sweetener. I also wanted to challenge myself to lighten up this cake a bit. Yes a complete cake made with cashews and coconut oil would be absolutely fantastic, but was there a way to lighten it up just a bit, maybe even sneak in some extra fruits and veggies? Wait a second who am I asking here, of course there was! And the results are amazing :)
Raw Strawberry Cream Cake (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw)
This cake DOES NOT taste like it fits within my cleanse principles. It is rich, creamy, sweet, decadent and so special tasting. The crust adds an earthy sweetness and crunch to the cake which has 2 layers: one akin to a cheesecake, the next a strawberry cheesecake. Topped with strawberry coulis it is the perfect cake for a celebration, be it a birthday or potluck!
This can be enjoyed completely frozen for an more ice cream cake type dessert, or my preferred method, thawed from frozen, but still chilled, as a “cheesecake”. It’s all up to you!
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 3/4 cup medjool dates
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1 frozen banana, sliced before freezing
- 1 peeled, roughly chopped zucchini
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 10 drops vanilla stevia
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen (thawed if using frozen)
- 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen (thawed if using frozen)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 medjool date, soaked and pitted
For the crust, pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely ground then add the dates and sea salt and process until the mixture will stick together when you press it. Press the mixture into an 8-inch spring-form pan and place in the refrigerator while you make the filling
First, pulse the chopped zucchini in the food processor until finely shredded. Next add the rest of the crust ingredients except the coconut oil and the strawberries. Start running the food processor and while it’s going slowly poor the coconut oil in and process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Take the spring-form pan out of the fridge and pour about 1/2 – 2/3 of the mixture into the pan. Just eye-ball it, it doesn’t matter too much! Smooth it out and put it back in the fridge. Take the remaining cashew mixture and process it with the 1 cup of strawberries until smooth. Carefully pour this mixture into the pan and spread until even, being careful not to let the layers mix as you do this. Put in the cake in the freezer for45min-1hr to firm up or for longer for an “ice cream” cake.
To make the coulis, just blend up the 3 ingredients until smooth.
Take the cake out of the freezer a few minutes before serving so it thaws a bit. If it’s been in the freezer for longer and is completely frozen, make sure you give it a good amount of time to thaw if you want a cheesecake-like cake. Remove the side from the spring-form pan, slice and serve with a spoonful of strawberry coulis on top!
Store in the fridge or freezer for up to a week, if it lasts that long!
I hope you all enjoyed feasting your eyes on my potluck contribution. Now, do yourself a favour and go and check out all the other recipes that are contributed! For your convenience, we have some handy buttons you can click:
to the recipe before mine at The Veg Bar
to the next lovely dessert recipe at Veggie 4 a Year
Or go to the beginning at Vegan Bloggers Unite and enjoy the entire feast! (Make sure you see all of them no matter what order you follow)
Enjoy the rest of the festivities and have a lovely weekend!