Cashew Couscous

Recently I’ve been craving food with strong flavours, something to mix up my regular routine. The sundried tomatoes in this recipe definitely give it some zing! You can have this as a meal, but it works well as a side dish as well.

Ingredients

1 cup couscous

1 cup raw cashews (for at least 8 hours)

¾ cup almond milk

1 clove garlic

8-10 sundried tomatoes diced

3 cremini mushrooms

¾ cup black olives

¼ cup green onions chopped

 

Directions

  1. Cook couscous according to instructions – set aside
  2. In a blender combine cashews, almond milk, and garlic. Blend until smooth
  3. In a frying pan saute mushrooms (approx. 2-3 mins). Add tomatoes and olives to heat them.
  4. In a large bowl combine couscous and cashew sauce and mix the sauce through thoroughly.
  5. Add mushroom mixture and green onions. Mix it up and enjoy!

Winter Fresh Couscous Salad

My own personal take on the traditional pasta salad; this dish has flavors and tones perfect for both the winter and summer months!

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Ingredients

1 ¼ cup whole wheat couscous (dry)

1 16oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup chopped walnuts

¼ cup diced green onion

1 tbsp orange zest

 

For the dressing:

4 tbsp fresh orange juice

1 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp sea salt

 

Directions

  1. Cook couscous according to instructions.
  2. Combine couscous, chickpeas, dried cranberries, walnuts, green onion, and orange zest in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, olive oil, and sea salt.

Keep dressing separate and add to couscous only when you’re going to be eating it, because the couscous will get soggy! I usually keep it in a separate air tight container and use as needed.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

These are something that I always wanted to make, but never got around to it. Why? I have no idea! I love the fact that stuffed peppers are versatile – change the filling and you change the whole dish!

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Ingredients

4 bell peppers (any colour)

1.5 to 2 cups cooked quinoa

1 egg

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp sea salt

2 tbsp nutritional yeast*

½ cup black beans

½ cup corn

Directions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Once cooked, set aside and let cool. This is an important step as we don’t want to add the egg to hot quinoa – it will cook the egg!
  2. Cut the tops off the peppers and take out the seeds. Place peppers in a 9 x 9 baking dish with a thin layer of water at the bottom
  3. Preheat oven to 375°
  4. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and egg. Mix until the egg is thoroughly combined with the quinoa
  5. Add the onion, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, and nutritional yeast. Mix well.
  6. Fold in the black beans and corn
  7. Divide mixture between the peppers
  8. Bake covered for 20 mins. Remove cover after 20 mins and bake uncovered for an additional 10 mins.

*You can use cheese instead of nutritional yeast if you prefer and use the amount to your preference. Id suggest using a Parmigiano Reggiano for this recipe.

Lentil Veggie Bake

These damp spring days still have me searching for comfort food! Where are you summeeeeer???? While I wait, I’ll be here chopping veggies and baking stuff. The base of this recipe are the red lentils which are a great source of vegetarian/vegan protein and fiber.

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Ingredients

1 cup of red lentils

¼ cup chopped green onion

½ cup chopped cremini mushrooms

1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes

3 cups baby spinach

Bread crumbs

For the Sauce

1 cup soaked cashews

¼ cup nutritional yeast

½ cup + 2 tbsp of unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp garlic powder

Pinch of sea salt

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Cook lentils according to directions. Typically 3 cups of water for 1 cup of lentils, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for approx. 15 mins, but you’ll know by looking at them where they’re done.
  3. In a blender, combine the cashews, yeast, almond milk, garlic powder, and salt. Process until smooth.
  4. Combine veggies in a 9 x 9 casserole dish.
  5. Drain the lentils and add to veggies
  6. Pour sauce over top and combine until all the veggies and lentils are coated with the sauce.
  7. Smooth out the top and cover with a light layer of bread crumbs.
  8. Bake covered at 375° for 20 mins.
  9. Remove cover and bake for an additional 10 mins.
  10. Let stand for 5 mins after removing from the oven.

Quinoa Burrito Bowl

The burrito bowl…all the comfort and deliciousness of a burrito without the extra carbs. This meal is pretty versatile, so you can add any other veggies that you want and make it your own!

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Ingredients

1 cup quinoa (uncooked)

½ cup black beans

1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)

Cherry tomatoes

Green onions

For the sauce

½ cup cashews (soaked)

½ cup almond milk

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp garlic powder

Sea salt

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions (typically 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of quinoa).
  2. If not using canned black beans, make sure boil them for about 20 mins.
  3. In a blender, combine cashews, almond milk, yeast, garlic powder, and a pinch of sea salt. Process until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa and “cheese” sauce. Stir until combined.
  5. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, and onions to the quinoa mixture and stir enough to mix up all the ingredients.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

*Recipe makes 2-3 servings.

“Cheesy” Dijon Pasta

Who doesn’t love pasta? Lately I can’t just get enough of it and since it’s still cold outside I’m loving this comfort food.

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Ingredients

Penne pasta

Peas (fresh or frozen)

Cherry tomatoes

1 cup cashews (soaked)

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 cup almond milk

2 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard

 

Directions

  1. In a large blender combine cashews, yeast, almond milk, and Dijon. Process until smooth and set aside.
  2. Cook penne according to directions.
  3. Heat up peas either by steaming or in microwave.
  4. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until everything is covered in the sauce!

 

*Note: the sauce recipe makes enough for 2 – 3 servings. So if you’re making a single serving of pasta potion out the sauce accordingly and save the rest in an air tight container in the fridge.

“Cheesy” Broccoli Casserole

Oh comfort food…how I love you. There’s just something about a “cheesy” casserole that can just make bad days seem good. 

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Ingredients

Approximately 3.5 cups (dry) penne

1 ½ cup diced cremini mushrooms

3 cups broccoli florets

1 2/3 cups cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours

1 ½ cups almond milk

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard

Bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a high speed blender, combine cashews, milk, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder. Process until smooth.
  3. Steam broccoli until slightly tender
  4. In a medium frying pan, sauté mushrooms for 4-5 mins
  5. Cook pasta according to directions
  6. In a large casserole dish, add the pasta, mushrooms, and sauce. Stir until the pasta is coated with the sauce.
  7. Mix in Dijon mustard.
  8. Add the broccoli florets and mix until the broccoli is coated with the sauce.
  9. Sprinkle a layer of bread crumbs on top of the pasta dish.
  10. Bake covered at 375° for 20 mins.
  11. Remove the cover and bake uncovered for an additional 10mins

Spicy Peanut Stir-fry

What I love about stir-frys is that they are SO versatile…change the sauce and you essentially change the entire dish. This recipe can be made with mild spice or you can really turn up the heat; whatever you prefer.

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Ingredients

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

Purple cabbage

Snap peas

Brown rice vermicelli

For the sauce:

2 cups soaked peanuts

1 tbsp smooth peanut butter

3/4 to 1 cup water

Juice of one lemon

3 tbsp low sodium soya sauce

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp ginger, minced

1 tsp chili pepper flakes (or more if you want extra heat!)

Directions

  1. In a high speed blender, combine peanuts, peanut butter, water, lemon juice, soya sauce, olive oil, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper flakes. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  2. In a medium frying pan, cook pepper, cabbage, and snow peas. You can add any other vegetables that you have on hand!
  3. Cook vermicelli according to directions.
  4. Add desired amount of sauce to the vegetables in the frying pan and heat for approximately 2 mins. (I usually go a bit lighter on the sauce in case I want left overs).
  5. Plate the vermicelli and top with the vegetable/sauce combo.
  6. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

Butternut Squash Obsession Pasta

You can never go wrong with butternut squash! Spiralized veggies is a great alternative to your regular grain based pastas and there’s a lot more nutrients in them too!

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Ingredients

1 butternut squash, spiralized

4 vine tomatoes

3 cloves garlic

¾ cup red onion

½ tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp rosemary

½ tsp sea salt

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulse tomatoes until finely chopped
  2. In a medium sized pan, sauté garlic and onion over medium heat until onions are translucent
  3. Add tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, and sea salt to the pan and simmer until most of the tomato juice is evaporated.
  4. In a separate pan, sauté the squash noodles until soft
  5. Plate the noodles, pour sauce over top, and enjoy!

*Tip: If you find the squash noodles taking a long time to cook, add about 1 tbsp of water to the pan and cover with a tight fitting lid for 2-3 mins.

Retro Mac ‘N Cheese

My Nanie (that’s grandmother for anyone who doesn’t know) made the BEST macaroni and cheese you’ve ever tasted and my favourite dish of all time. It was your classic “this and that” recipe that was so typical of the Depression Era. When I started eating a vegan diet, this was something that I had to give up….until today. Somehow, someway, I’ve been able to mimic her recipe vegan style and the taste is pretty spot on! Very excited to share this recipe with all of you!

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Ingredients

Approximately 4 cups (dry) brown rice macaroni noodles

1 cup soaked cashews (soak in water for a few hours)

1 cup non-dairy milk

1 can tomato soup

¼ cup nutritional yeast

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Cook macaroni noodles according to package instructions
  3. In a blender, combine the cashews, non-dairy milk, tomato soup, and nutritional yeast
  4. Once strained, put macaroni noodles in a 9 x 9 casserole dish
  5. Pour sauce over top of noodles and stir carefully until sauce is all through the dish
  6. Bake covered for 20 minutes
  7. Remove cover and bake for an additional 10 mins