Saturday, December 29, 2012

I am giving up dairy in 2013 and in preparation for that, I have been trying to come up with substitutes for many of my favourite dishes. This one blew my socks off (not to toot my own horn or anything)! I actually like it better than most dairy based cream sauces I've tried! 
Giving up dairy is going to be quite a challenge for me, as I've been addicted to cheese for as long as I can remember, but I know that dairy is negatively effecting my health and it's time I let go of my cheese addiction! If you'd like some more information on some of the negative effects dairy can have, check out some of these links.

Sautéed Kale & Fusilli in a Tahini Garlic Cream Sauce
serves 2

➽ Finely dice shallots and garlic.
➽ Chop kale into 2-3 inch pieces. I removed the stalks from the bottom portion of the kale as they were pretty thick.
➽ In a large pan, melt coconut oil under medium heat. Add shallots and cook until they are translucent. 
➽ Add kale to pan and wilt.
➽ Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds (do not let garlic brown).
➽ Add tahini, coconut cream, red chili flakes (if you like it hot), salt & pepper. Stir until the tahini is melted (about 20 seconds).
➽ Add cooked pasta and some of the cooking water to achieve your desired consistency of cream sauce.
➽ Divide into two bowls and enjoy :)

Often when I make my Raw Lasagna I have a bunch of leftover filling. So I thought I'd share some of the ways in which I use it up. 

Lasagna Bites
These are great for parties.
I used a mandoline slicer to cut the zucchini into strips that are about 3-4mm thick.
Then I cut them into bite sized pieces - about 4cm wide.
Now assemble them on a platter:
⇰ Zucchini on bottom
⇰ Layer of Lemon Pepper Vegan Ricotta
⇰ Zucchini
⇰ Layer of Tomato Ragu
⇰ Zucchini
⇰ Pesto on Top
One thing to note: zucchini likes to let go of it's water content once it's cut so your platter may become watery if these are not served and consumed right away. But no worries if this happens... just use a paper towel to soak up the excess water and clean up the plate :)

Half & Half Raw Spaghetti

This is one of my favourite things to bring for lunch. It takes about 5 minutes to prepare and is SO delicious. You'll need a Spiralizer or a Julienne Peeler to make the noodles out of zucchini or yellow zucchini. Depending on the size, I use one or two zucchinis for my lunch.
⇰ Toss half the noodles in the tomato ragu and the other half in the pesto.

Stuffed Peppers

This is another favourite lunch of mine. And again, it's SO fast and easy to make.
⇰ Just cut a pepper in half and remove the pulpy white inner cavity.
⇰ Now fill with Lemon Pepper Vegan Ricotta, Tomato Ragu and Pesto. 
These can be prepared the night before and hold up well in the refrigerator too. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

raw vegan lasagna
This one is a bit of a labour of love, but it's totally worth the effort... IT'S SO DELICIOUS!
Also, there are a lot of variations for how to use these ingredients in different ways. I'll post these variations in another blog post.
 All three sauces can be made a day in advanced and kept in the fridge.

Lemon Pepper Vegan Ricotta
  • 2 C Pine Nuts or Cashews (soaked for at least 8 hours and rinsed)
  • 2 Tbls Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 1 Organic Lemon
  • 1 Tbls Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste)
☞ Mix all ingredients in a food processor until well combined and the approximate consistency of ricotta cheese. If the mixture is too think, add a few tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time until you get the right consistency.  

Pistachio Pesto
  • 2 C packed Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 Pistachios (could use Pine Nuts or Cashews too)
  • 6 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
☞ Pulse the nuts in a food processor until they are the size of rice. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well combined and slightly chunky.

Tomato Ragu
  • 2 C Sundried Tomatoes, soaked until soft
  • 1/2 C Roma Tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbls Red Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbls Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbls Agave Nectar
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder 
  • 1/4 tsp to 2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
  • Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste)
☞ Process everything in a food processor until well combined but chunky.

Zucchini Noodles
  • 4 Large Zucchini,
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbls Fresh Oregano Leaves
  • 2 Tbls Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1/4 C Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
  • Himalayan Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
☞ Use a vegetable peeler to create flat 'noodles' out of the zucchini, stopping at the seedy part. Cut noodles into 2 - 3 inch pieces and toss in bowl with herbs, oil, salt and pepper.

To Assemble 
☞ Place 2 or 3 noodles on a plate. Top with tomato ragu, lemon ricotta, and pesto. Repeat twice more for a single serving of raw lasagna.


Recipe from The Raw Foundation

This one was inspired by an amazing salad I had at The Drake the other night. Before this I wasn't the biggest fan of raw kale...But after trying this delicious, tart & mustardy salad I am a full convert. I let mine marinate for at least an hour and up to overnight. It wilts the kale enough to make it more palatable. 

  • 1 Bunch Organic Curly Leaf Kale
  • Juice from 1/4 to 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1 Tbls White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbls (heaping) Grainy Mustard
  • 2 Tbls of Your Best EVOO (more if you like it a little less tart)
  • 1 pinch Himalayan Sea Salt

☞ Whisk the lemon, vinegar, mustard and salt together in a large bowl.
☞ Slowly add the oil while whisking to emulsify a bit.
☞ Wash kale and tear leaves into edible pieces, discarding the stems.
☞ Toss kale in dressing and set aside in the fridge for an hour and up to overnight.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

This one starts with my Easy Vegan Pesto!

  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves (basically 2 packs of those bunches you get at the supermarket)
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
  • 1 or 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
▶ In a dry frying pan, gently toast pine nuts until they start to brown. Stir them fairly often so they don't burn.
▶Add all the ingredients to a high powered blender or Magic Bullet. I press my garlic through a garlic press first, to ensure I don't get any chunks of raw garlic in my finished sauce.
▶ Pulse and blend until you have a smooth sauce. You may need to add a bit more oil to get the right consistency.
❉ ✼ ❉ Easy Vegan Pesto is also amazing on a very non-vegan steak! 
Or on pasta, chicken and asparagus too! ❉ ✼ ❉
To make this delicious and nutritious salad, you will first need to get yourself this nifty tool! It's a julienne peeler or if you want to be really fancy, get yourself a spiral slicer or julienne slicer. Any of these will work!
Then you'll need:

  • 5 Medium Zucchinis
  • 1 Pint Organic Cheery Tomatoes
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Handfull Sunflower Sprouts
  • 2 Tbls Easy Vegan Pesto
  • Salt & Pepper
▷ Use your julienne peeler, spiral slicer or mandoline to cut all your zucchinis into noodle like strips.
▷Slice tomatoes in half, length wise.
▷ Cut avocado into cubes.
▷Season with little bit of sea salt and as much pepper as you like.
▷Toss well with 2 tablespoons of my Easy Vegan Pesto
▷Add individual servings to bowls and top with a few sunflower sprouts.

This keeps in the fridge for a day or two. 
✻ ❉ ✼  I used my leftovers in an omelet and it made for a delicious breakfast! ✻ ❉ ✼

Saturday, May 5, 2012

These are a fast and delicious lunch option

  • 1 Can Crab Meat
  • 1/2 an Avocado
  • 1 Small Yellow Mango
  • Sunflower Sprouts
  • Boston Lettuce (also called Butterhead or Bibb Lettuce)
  • 1/2 a Lime
  • Chipotle Mayo (recipe below
It all starts with delicious Chipotle Mayo! There are two ways to make it:
The Easy Way:
Add 1 to 4 chipotle peppers and a little bit of the adobo sauce (it's what the peppers are in) to approximately 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of your favourite mayo, and blend well in a blender. I used 4 peppers because I like it very spicy, but use less if you're not a spice freak like me!
The Healthy Way:
Follow THIS recipe for delicious home made mayo and then add 1-4 chipotle peppers, and a little bit of the adobo sauce to it and blend.

- Now add about 1 teaspoon of your spicy mayo to 1 can of drained crab meat and mix well. Use more if you find the mixture too dry.
- Cut your avocado and mango into cubes.
- Squeeze some lime all over your avocados and squeeze any remaining lime into the crab mixture.
- Place 2 pieces of lettuce down, back to front to form a 'cup'.
- Add a heaping spoonful of your crab mixture to the cups.
- Top each cup with diced mango and avocado and a few sunflower sprouts.

Et Voila! You've got yourself a healthy and tasty lunch!!
Hope you like :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Steamed Mussels in a Goat Cheese, Jalapeño, Tomato Sauce
  • 2 to 3lbs of Mussels
  • 2 Large Shallots (or 3 small ones)
  • 1 to 3 Fresh Jalapeños (depending on your heat preference)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine
  • 1/4 Cup Stock (fish would be best, but you could use vegetable or chicken too)
  • 1/4 Cup Tomato Sauce (use a high quality jarred sauce or your own recipe if you're up for it!)
  • 3 oz Goat Cheese or 3 tbls Heavy Cream (35% or Whipping Cream)
  • 1 tbls Olive Oil
 ➾ Start by cleaning the mussels and removing their beards. Discard any that have broken shells, and they are most likely dead and un-eatable.

➾ Next, finely chop the shallots and garlic.
Remove the seeds from the jalapeños if you want it a little less spicy, and dice the peppers.

➾ Add the olive oil to a large stock pot and turn stove to medium heat.
➾ Add Shallots and cook for about 5 minutes.
➾ Now add the jalapeño peppers into the pot and cook for another 5 minutes.
➾ Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, but do not let the garlic get brown (stir often).
➾ Now add the wine and cook for another 2 minutes, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
➾ Add the stock, tomato sauce and goat cheese and stir until the goat cheese has melted and the sauce starts to bubble.

➾ Next, add the cleaned mussels to the pot. Give them a good stir to coat them in the sauce and then cover with a lid. Keep covered for about 4 minutes. Remove cover and give them another good stir and cook for another minute or so.

➾ Serve & Eat!
Make sure not to eat any mussels whose shells are not open.
If They Don't Open, Don't Eat'm!
It means they were dead when you bought them and therefore, bad.

**3 lbs is enough for 2 large, entrée servings.** We ate ours with garlic bread for sopping up this delish sauce.

The finished product 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Grilled Shrimp & Quinoa Salad, Mango Cashew Salad, Cilantro Lime Dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing:

  • 3 Limes
  • 1/2 Bunch of Cilantro Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Tarragon Dijon Mustard (or regular Dijon)
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (good quality)
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Pepper
Chop the cilantro, removing as much of the stems as possible. Add the juice from the lime and all the ingredients into a Magic Bullet or blender. Blend until all ingredients are combined and the dressing is slightly emulsified.
If you don't have a Magic Bullet or Blender to use, then combined all ingredients in a bowl except the oil. Using a metal whisk, whisk vigorously. Keep whisking while you slowly add the oil, a little bit at a time, until all the oil has been combined. This should create the same results....only with a lot more muscle work!

Grilled Shrimp & Quinoa Salad

Grilled Shrimp & Quinoa Salad:

  • 2 Cups Quinoa (could use 1 cup regular and 1 cup red quinoa)
  • 1 Bag Frozen Shrimp (fresh would be even better!)
  • 2 Cans of Corn (if it's corn season, use fresh corn)
  • 1 Pint Organic Cherry Tomatoes
  • 3 Avocados (firm but ripe)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Jalapeños (seeded and finely chopped) 
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro (use flat leaf parsley & my citrus dressing  if you hate cilantro)
  • Dash of Sea Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Cook the quinoa as per package directions. I use a rice cooker for mine and it always comes out perfectly. Let quinoa cool before mixing with the rest of the ingredients.

Defrost and rinse shrimp under cold water. Drain, pat dry & skewer. Grill Shrimp on BBQ for about 3 minutes on each side - Do NOT over cook them!

Now here's the annoying part...once shrimp is cool enough to touch, peel off all the shells. This takes a while but it really makes a difference to your guests - No one likes taking shells off their shrimps once they are in a meal!

Next, slice the tomatoes in halves, lengthwise and add to bowl of cooled quinoa and peeled shrimp.

Add drained or fresh corn kernels.

Cube avocados and soak them in the lime juice for 1 minute. This will prevent them from browning. Add to bowl, discarding leftover lime juice.

Roughly chop the cilantro, using just the leaves (it's ok if there are a few stems in there too :)

Now add approximately 1/4 cup of the Cilantro Lime Dressing, a little dash of sea salt and as much cracked black pepper as you like. Give it a really good toss and voila! You've got yourself a delicious, nutritious salad that will keep for about 4 days in the fridge.
Serves about 12+ side dish sized portions.

Mango Cashew Salad with Spinach & Sunflower Sprouts:

Cube Mangoes.
Roughly chop the cashews. 
Add all ingredients together in a bowl (use as many or as little sprouts as you like). 
Add approximately 2 tablespoons of the Cilantro Lime Dressing and toss well.

Serves about 4-6 side dishes or 2-3 main dishes. You could add chicken or shrimp to this to make a yummy dinner too.
This little jar may not look like much, but it's full of my super spicy, delcios dip!
  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 to 4 Chipotle Peppers (depending on how HOT you like it?!)
  • Lime Juice (from 1 medium lime)
  • 1/8 Cup Olive Oil (use the extra virgin, good stuff!)
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Pepper to Taste
Blend all ingredients in a blender until combined. I used 4 chipotle peppers in mine because I love things really spicy, but I suggest starting with one and working your way up from there!

Enjoy on salads or as a dip.
Lately I've been using this as a dip for Live's Raw Crackers for a fully vegan, healthy midday snack!


Monday, March 26, 2012

A Super-Easy and Fast Salad

⬅ For the Citrus dressing you will need these ingredients:

✔ 1/2 a Lemon
✔ Dijon Mustard
✔ White Wine Vinegar
✔ Extra Virgin Olive Oil
✔ Sea Salt
✔ Pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together approximately:
➤ 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
➤ Juice of half a lemon
➤ 2 tablespoons of vinegar
➤ 1/8 cup of EVOO
➤ a pinch of salt
➤ as much pepper as you like

For the Salad:
➤ Cut 2 large heads of broccoli into bite size pieces, discarding the stems.
Blanche the broccoli for 1 minute and quickly rinse in cold water or add to ice bath. You DO NOT want to over cook them as it will lead to a soggy salad :(
➤ Drain and dry broccoli and add to bowl with dressing
➤Add sliced olives and sliced roasted red pepers. I used canned olives and a jar of red peppers, but you could use fresh stuff if you have more time on your hands.
➤ Lastly, crumble about 150g of semi-soft cheese into bowl and toss in the dressing. I used Brebis cheese, but you could also use goat cheese or feta.
This lasts for a good day or 2 in the fridge and serves about 4 portions. The key is to not over-cook the broccoli or to over-dress the salad. Leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day!