roasted cabbage and apples with tamari almonds

roasted cabbage and apple with tamari almonds #vegan #glutenfree #paleo

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. 

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mango pudding cups

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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.

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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?

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Mango Pudding Cups (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Paleo, Raw, SCD option)

Ingredients (4-6 snack cups)

Fruit Bottom:

  • 2 large strawberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped mango

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 3/4 cup chopped mango
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/16 tsp nutmeg

Crumble Topping:

  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp liquid sweetener

Instructions

Muddle with a mortar and pestle or roughly puree in a mini food processor.

Grind cashews until a fine powder in a mini food processor , then add in the rest of the ingredients except coconut oil and process until smooth. Then add in the melted coconut oil and process until incorporated.

Process almond and coconut flakes until finely ground then add in the sweetener and pulse until you get a crumble that sticks together.

Layer it up! Start with putting a couple spoonfuls of the fruit in the bottom of each of your jars. Then layer on the filling and finally top with the crumble topping. You will probably have more crumble topping than you need so save the extra to top a smoothie with!

grain-free, paleo and vegan carrot zucchini muffins!

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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?

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Grain-Free Carrot and Zucchini Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-Free, Paleo, SCD)

Adapted from these at Amazing Paleo.

Ingredients (12 muffins)

Dry

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt

Wet

  • 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

Add-ins

  • ½ cup of grated carrots
  • ¾ cup of grated zucchini (unpeeled)
  • 1/8 cup of raisins (optional)

Instructions

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.

paleo apple & nut porridge

Good morning friends!

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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.

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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 ;)

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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

Instructions

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.

wiaw on christmas!

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.

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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!

What I Ate Wednesday Healthy Holiday Recipes

christmas breakfast

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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!

snacks

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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? ;)

christmas dinner

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:

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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!

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chickpea gravy from vanilla & spice- the hint of ginger in this gravy was lovely and went so well with the loaf. 

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black quinoa and kale salad from green kitchen stories- i made mine with red and white quinoa (festive) and avocado instead of feta- delicious!

dessert

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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!

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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

instructions

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!

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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!