Lentil Vegetable Curry

Dinner, Lunch, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

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This comforting dish is inspired from a French blog, Betty Bossi. My friend made it this week and it has instantly became one of my favourite. So rich, so tasty and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 onion, sliced or chopped
  • 2 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of curry powder
  • 1 tbsp of curcuma
  • 400g of sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped in chuncks
  • 1 cup of green beans, chopped
  • 200ml of coconut milk
  • 200ml of vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 200g puy lentils
  • Boiling water
  • 1 handful of coriander

 

Directions:

  1. Melt the coconut oil, and add the onion and garlic. Add the curry and curcuma, then simmer. Add sweet potatoes, peppers and beans. Simmer 2 more minutes.
  2. Pour coconut milk, vegetable stock and soy sauce, bring to a boil and reduce to low. Cover and simmer for 40 min and stir occasionally.
  3. Cook lentils in water for 20 minutes, uncovered. Rince and drain the water. Add to the vegetable curry and top with coriander.

 

Enjoy!

XO

Alex

 

Best Guacamole

Appetizer, Healthy snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

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I have been making this Guac recipe for years but I wouldn’t be able to tell you where I got the recipe from but I can tell you that this guac has always been a hit and still is, every time I make it. I always use the same first six ingredients but depending of when it is being served and what it’s being served with, I love using chopped tomatoes to add taste and colour or in the summer, I love using my favourite mango, the Ataulfo mango. So sweet, so bright, so delicious.

  •  2 avocados
  • 1/4 of red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Juice or 1 lime
  • 1 chili pepper (or more)
  • Salt
  • Lots of coriander

Chop everything, mix and enjoy! Adjust the seasoning and feel free to add more of any of these ingredients. Serve with your favourite tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

XO

Alex

Puy Lentil Tabbouleh

Dinner, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

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I love Middle Eastern cuisine and this salad is one of my favourite, to serve with just about anything.

This is a recipe from Maria Elia, from her book The modern vegetarian. When I return to being a vegetarian, two years ago, my husband offered me this amazing book. Many beautiful recipes to find inspiration.

I have slightly modified the recipe to make it a vegan version but if you are not vegan and love feta cheese, simply add 50g of feta to it.

Ingredients:

  • 120g flat-leaf parsley, with stalks
  • 50g mint leaves, picked
  • 2 tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 150g puy lentils, cooked
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 60 ml olive oil

Directions:

  1. Using a very sharp knife, slice the parsley as thinly as possible, starting at the leafy top and going ask the way down to the stalks; repeat with the mint leaves.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, onion, lentils, herbs and spices and season with salt. Dress with lemon juice and olive oil.

Note:

If you are not vegan and love feta cheese, simply stir 50g of it just before serving.

Enjoy!

XO

Alex

 

Grilled cauliflower and broccoli steaks with smoky eggplant

Dinner, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Vegan, Vegetarian

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This is a side dish that we have made many times and it is one of our favourites! If you love your meat, this makes a great side dish, otherwise as a vegan, I like to serve it with a tabbouleh salad.

Ingredients:

Steaks:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves (or dry)
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 x1cm-thick slices broccoli
  • 4 x1cm-thick slices cauliflower
  • 4 small eggplants
  • ground sumac, to serve- optional

 

Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 cup plain dairy free yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

 

Instructions:

  1. To make the dressing, place the tahini, yoghurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix to combine and set aside.
  2. Place the oil, garlic, oregano, fennel seeds, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine. Place the broccoli and cauliflower on a large tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Brush both sides of the steaks with the oil mixture and set aside.
  3. Preheat a char-grill pan or barbecue over medium heat. Cook the eggplants, turning every 5-10 minutes, for 35-40 minutes or until the skins are charred and blackened. Set aside to cool slightly. Add the broccoli and cauliflower to the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until just tender.
  4. Remove and discard the skins from the eggplants and spoon the flesh onto serving plates. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the broccoli and cauliflowers. Sprinkle with sumac to serve. I also like to grill other vegetables when making the steaks like cherry tomatoes and portobello mushrooms.

 

Enjoy!

XO

Alex

Black-eyed beans with chard and green herb smash.

Dinner, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

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This is a super-quick stew by Anna Jones. Feel free to substitute for any other beans like black beans, cannellini, or lima beans. I love the black-eyed beans. They are full of potassium, being a nutrient that helps keep your blood pressure levels at healthy numbers, which lowers your risk of heart disease. They are low in fat and calories. Half a cup of cooked black-eyed beans contained 7 grams of protein and 1.2mg of iron.

Ingredients:

For the Beans:

  • 1 leek
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • A good pinch of chile powder or chopped dried chile
  • 1 (14-ounce/400-g) can black-eyed peas
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder or 1/2 stock cube
  • A good grating of nutmeg
  • 1/2 unwaxed lemon
  • 7 ounces/200 g Kale or Swiss Chard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For the herb smash:

  • A large bunch of cilantro
  • 2 green chiles
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 30 g shelled walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

  1. Fill and boil a kettle of water and get all your ingredients together. Put a large saucepan over heat.
  2. Wash and finely slice the leek. Add to the saucepan with the coconut or olive oil and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, until soft and sweet.
  3. Finely slice the garlic and add to the pan with the chile powder and cook for a couple of minutes, until the garlic is beginning to brown.
  4. Add the black-eyed peas with their liquid, the stock powder, and 2/3 cup of hot water from the kettle and bring to a simmer.
  5. Grate in the nutmeg, squeeze in the juice of the half lemon, add the squeezed lemon half to the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes or so.
  6. Meanwhile, strip the leaves from the kale or chard stalks. Finely shred the leaves and put to one side.
  7. Put all the ingredients for the herb smash into a food processor and purée until you have a smooth, grassy paste. Season well with salt and pepper.
  8. Once the peas are soft and flavorful and the liquid has reduced to a thick,soup-like consistency, stir in the kale or swiss chard leaves, season well with salt and pepper, and leave to cook for a couple of minutes. Scoop into deep bowls and spoon over the herb smash. I like to serve this dish with Cauliflower and broccoli steaks.

Enjoy!

XO

Alex

QUINOA & VEGETABLE STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS

Dinner, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Vegan, Vegetarian
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Minimalist baker is one of my top inspiration when it comes to vegan and gluten free meals. Everything she make is delicious and beautiful and will please most non-vegetarian eaters.
On weekdays I am always trying to find quick easy and most importantly healthy and delicious meals that will please every member of the family. Try this dish, you will love it!
Ingredients
Fillings
  • 1 tsp avocado or coconut oil (or water)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 cups organic diced sweet potatoes (or butternut squash)
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, divided
  • 1 tsp chili powder (or smoked paprika), divided
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans, liquid drained
Mushrooms
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms*, stems removed, wiped clean
  • 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) avocado or melted coconut oil (or sub water or vegetable broth)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin, divided
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder or smoked paprika, divided
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lime juice
For Serving- optional
  • Limes
  • Cilantro
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and set out a rimmed baking sheet or a large baking dish. (Or, if grilling, heat grill.)
  2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tsp of oil or water and 1/2 cup (rinsed and drained) quinoa. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to toast. Then add 1 cup water and a pinch of salt.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to simmer and cook until liquid has mostly absorbed and the quinoa is tender (~15-18 minutes).
  4. In the meantime, add mushrooms to a shallow baking or serving dish and season both sides with oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and sea salt. Set aside to let marinate.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) oil or water, sweet potatoes, and bell pepper. Sauté for 3-5 minutes (covered) or until slightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add cabbage, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, and 1/4 tsp sea salt and sauté for another 3-5 minutes or until all vegetables are tender and slightly golden brown. Set aside.
  7. Transfer vegetables from skillet to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Then, to the same skillet over medium heat, add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes on both sides to brown and soften. Cover to lightly steam for the final minute. You may have to add some water. Then transfer to a baking sheet face up and set aside.
  8. To the mixing bowl with the vegetables, add cooked quinoa, drained black beans, remaining 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and lime juice and toss to combine.
  9. Divide the filling between the mushrooms (some may overflow – that’s fine). Bake at 400 degrees for about 5-10 minutes or until mushrooms and toppings are hot and slightly browned.
  10. Enjoy immediately as is or with a sauce of choice. I like the Herb smash from Anna Jones that I served with my Black-eyed beans with kale.
Notes
*If you aren’t into mushrooms, you could sub eggplant or halved bell peppers. You could also use this as a taco salad topper, or enchilada stuffer (just double the amount of beans).
*Cook time reflects prepping vegetables and mushrooms while quinoa is cooking.
Enjoy!
XO

Alex

Spiced Cauliflower

Dinner, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Vegan, Vegetarian

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Ingredients:

Cauliflower Couscous:

  • 3 cups of cauliflower florets, dried completely
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • 1/2 tsp dried cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp of currants
  • 1 cup of roasted chickpeas
  • Fresh cilantro
Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • pinch of cinnamon
    salt
Directions:
  1. Ahead of time: toast your hazelnuts and pine nuts and roast your chickpeas.
  2. Make your sauce by stirring together the coconut milk, turmeric, curry powder, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
  3. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor until it’s ‘riced’, i.e. the size of couscous. Careful not to overmix, you don’t want to puree the cauliflower at all.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower ‘couscous’ and a few good pinches of salt. Let it gently toast for a minute or so and stir. You should see a few of the bits turning golden brown. (Careful not to overcook you want the pieces tender and not mushy).
  5. Toss again and add the nuts and spices and chickpeas. Cook until the spices become fragrant (about 30 seconds more) and remove from the heat.
  6. Toss cauliflower mix with half the sauce, (not too much so it stays fluffy), and top with fresh cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve it with the rest of the sauce on the side.
Enjoy!
XO
Alex

One pot vegan pasta

Dinner, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Vegan, Vegetarian

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Healthy and super easy, quick and delicious vegan pasta with sauteed mushrooms and eggplant. This is my favourite vegan one pot pasta from Minimalist Baker. This dish has been a hit in my house for quite a while. Enjoy!

Ingredients

12 ounces dry pasta

  • 1/2 small eggplant, cubed
  • 2 cups cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan marinara sauce
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tsp sea salt + more for eggplant
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Basil for finishing
Instructions:
  1. Rinse and dice eggplant into small, bite-sized cubes. Place in a colander in the sink and sprinkle generously with salt to draw out some of the moisture. Wait 20-30 minutes. Then rinse and pat thoroughly dry with a towel. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 3 Tbsp olive oil, the eggplant and 1 clove of minced garlic. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp sea salt and stir. Sautee for 3-5 minutes or until a golden brown color is achieved, then add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more or until all of the veggies have color. Set aside and cover – you will top the pasta with it.
  3. To the same saucepan, add the pasta, water, marinara sauce, the remaining cloves of garlic. Start with 1.5 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp black pepper (you will likely add more later depending on the saltiness of your marinara/your personal taste).
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer until the pasta is cooked to al dente – will vary depending on kind of pasta – but typically an average of 10 minutes, stirring once or twice so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  5. Once cooked, stir and taste to adjust seasonings. I added more salt and lots of fresh basil.
  6. Remove from heat and top with eggplant-mushroom mixture and more fresh basil.

Serve immediately. Serves 3-4.

Enjoy!

 

XO

Alex

Chocolat Quinoa breakfast bowl

Breakfast, Gluten-Free, Healthy snacks, Post Workout, Vegan, Vegetarian

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Here is a delicious and simple chocolate quinoa breakfast bowl that I love making lately. It’s my new favourite breakfast. Sweetened naturally with maple syrup and made with a rich coconut milk and organic cocoa powder! Not only healthy, tasty but also high in protein.

Quinoa also contains 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles. It also contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 2.8mg of iron, which is 15% of your daily value. Here is another great benefit about quinoa. It is high in Manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can coconut milk (2 cups)
  • pinch himalayan salt
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Toppings (Optional)
  • Mixed berries
  • Sliced banana
  • Hemp seeds
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Cacao nibs
  • Pieces of vegan chocolate
Directions:
  1. Rinse quinoa in a strainer.
  2. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add rinsed, drained quinoa and toast for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, to dry up water and slightly toast.
  3. Add the coconut milk, and a pinch of salt, and stir. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once the milk is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, remove from heat and add the cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir to combine.

Enjoy!

XO

Alex

 

Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes

Breakfast, Gluten-Free, Vegan

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Serves 3-4 for breakfast

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. each raw sugar and baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tbsp egg replacer
  • 4 tbsp of warm water
  • 1/4 cup applesauce

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, blend together oats and milk and let stand 5 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together white flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

3. Mix the egg replacer to warm water

3. To the oat mixture, add the egg replacer mixture, applesauce, and the large bowl of dry ingredients.

4. To make pancakes, use approximately . cup batter per pancake. Cook over medium-high heat on a grill or lightly oiled frying pan.

5. Serve with applesauce or maple syrup.

 

Fun variations:

  • Drizzle warmed up blueberries and raspberries. It’s so pretty and delicious.
  • Sprinkle shaved coconut on top.
  • Fold in 1 cup frozen blueberries at step three. Fresh berries are extremely fragile and usually break when being mixed into a batter.
  • Add 1 cup chocolate chips at step 3.
  • Serve with a mound of fresh fruit.
  • While it’s still hot, spread each pancake with natural peanut butter and let it melt and get oozy. Top with sliced bananas and a drizzle of real maple syrup.
  • Make a sandwich using pancakes. Try almond butter and jam, kids will love it.

 

Notes:

  • There are many ways you can substitute eggs if you do not wish to use egg replacer. You can also replace with applesauce or replace it with flax egg. To replace 2 eggs, you would need to  by mix 1 tbsp flaxseed meal with 2.5 tbsp water.
  • To make a gluten-free version, simply substitute the whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour by a gluten-free flour.
  • Also for gluten-free version, simply use gluten-free oats.
  • You can replace the raw sugar with coconut sugar or xylitol. Or you don’t have to add sugar at all.

 

Enjoy!

XO

Alex