Hirra Bisba’o

IMG_0649This wonderfully flavourful dish is native to Syria. Traditionally, small pieces of dough are cut up and used instead of the pasta; but I grew up eating it this way. It’s therefore simpler to make but the taste isn’t compromised. The pasta I use tends to be either quinoa or corn, which are healthier alternatives to wheat pasta.

Whatever you decide to use, the taste will be the same: delicious and nutritious. It’s chock-full of amazing goodness including, iron, protein, good carbs, and good fats. It’s also allergen-free and vegan! Can’t go wrong with this meal. It’s light yet hearty, and full of flavour and punch. Every time I make Hirra Bisba’o, I literally double the amount, which easily feeds 8 people! But that’s how much I love it; so next day (or two) leftovers are fine with me :)

Although it may look complicated, it really is quite the opposite! So the next time you’re stuck on what to make for dinner, give Hirra Bisba’o a try. Your family will love it!

 

Hirra Bisba'o
Serves 4
A delicious Syrian dish full of healthy benefits and great taste. It will have you wanting more every time!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1C green lentils, rinsed and drained
  2. 1 onion, finely chopped
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 3/4C pasta of choice
  5. Salt and pepper, to taste
  6. 2Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  7. 3 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (available at your local middle eastern store)
  8. Small handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  9. 1 onion, winged
  10. 2 fried pita loaves (optional but recommended)
Notes
  1. This recipe should serve 4-6 people comfortably.
NO DAIRY NO CRY http://nodairynocry.com/
 

Instructions

1. Rinse lentils well, then place In a dutch or french oven. Cover with water so that it’s about 1-2 inches above the lentils. (As shown)

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2. Bring to a boil. Skim off any foamy residue that may appear from the lentils and discard. 

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3. Add chopped onion and minced garlic to pot and stir occasionally on medium high heat for approximately 10 minutes, until lentils begin to slightly soften. Season with some salt and pepper to taste.

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4. Next, add pasta to pot and stir. Let cook for another 10 minutes or so, until pasta is nicely cooked through and soft. 

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Note: You may have noticed that the water levels have decreased, so add more water until you have an inch or so above the lentils to allow for the pasta to cook properly.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the winged onions.

5. Cut the onion as shown below, and place in a skillet with about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook on medium high heat until the onions are nicely caramelized..yum! 

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Caramelized onions have to be one of my favourite things to eat! Once done, set aside.

5. Add lemon juice and pomegranate molasses, stir to incorporate into the meal.

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Tip: Check if more salt is needed at this point – chances are you will need to add more as more ingredients are added to the meal; so adjust accordingly.

6. Finally, add the prepared caramelized onions and chopped cilantro into the Hirra Bisba’o and stir until fully incorporated. The smell is so fragrant!

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Your Hirra Bisba’o is ready to eat!

To make the fried bread pieces is quite simple:

7. Place 3 tablespoons or so of veggie or grape seed oil into a skillet and get it really hot.

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8. Cut the pita bread loaves into small squares. Then, add to hot skillet and stir continuously until bread crumbs have absorbed some of the oil and are a nice golden-brown in colour. It takes less than a minute so be sure not to leave the area! 

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Garnish your Hirra Bisba’o with some fried pita bread. I know many of us (including myself) tend to stay away from fried foods, but once in a while is ok I think :) And you’re only putting a little amount into your dish so really, no harm done! It really finishes the meal off perfectly and  the taste of the bread compliments the rest of the ingredients in the dish. 

That’s it. You have a new meal to add to your repertoire. Hope it becomes a staple in your home and you enjoy eating it for many years to come.

 

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Bon appétit! xo

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Perfectly Roasted Potatoes

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My kids love french fries. But they’re laden with unhealthy oils, and I find them to be quite salty (is it just me?) And I’m convinced restaurants put something in their fries to make them taste so pleasing to kids, and I don’t like the thought of that even being a probability. So instead, I make them these delicious alternatives, and I’m happy to say that my kids are left satisfied and satiated every time; and I’m left feeling happy knowing they’re consuming something healthy.

Before you start thinking that I’m an uptight mom who doesn’t let her kids ‘live a little’ and enjoy fries on occasion, we usually will get a small fry for my kids to share on special occasions….. hmm, now that I’m re-reading this… . :|

Back to these potatoes. They are amazing! They taste so good and making them is a breeze.  Next time your kids ask for fries, make them these healthier alternatives instead!

Perfectly Roasted Potatoes
Serves 6
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 yellow potatoes, washed and cubed
  2. 2Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1Tbsp dried oregano
  4. Salt and pepper (optional) to taste
NO DAIRY NO CRY http://nodairynocry.com/

 ___________

Instructions

 

1. Preheat oven to 420F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Wash and cut potatoes in cubes. 

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3. Add oil and toss until fully coated.

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4. Sprinkle oregano all over potatoes.

 

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5. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and a beautiful golden colour.

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Remove from the oven and enjoy.

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These yummy things taste amazing with my Avocado Aioli! Oh my God – killer combo you guys!! I’m going to make these right now…Happy cooking!

Bon appétit! xo

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Vegan Chocolate Coconut Bites

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I helped my mom this past week prepare for my sister’s baby shower. It went really well! So much good food (of course!) and great company. I had decided to make these delectable Vegan Chocolate Coconut Bites for Friday’s guests. 

My sister received beautiful gifts and her little peanut is going to be one handsomely dressed little guy! 

These bites are easy to make and take minutes to prepare! I used a few moulds and made several free-handed ones to show you both ways to make them. But I love the way chocolate looks when it’s been moulded…so polished and clean looking. I buy my moulds at Homesense (HomeGoods for my American followers). They’re quite inexpensive too, and the finished product is a spectacular one!

 

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Vegan Chocolate Coconut Bites
Yields 60
A delightful combination of dark chocolate and coconut to excite your senses!
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
For the Chocolate Layer
  1. 2C Enjoy Life dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips, or vegan chocolate of choice
  2. 2Tbsp coconut oil
For the Coconut Filling
  1. 1C unsweetened shredded coconut
  2. 1/2C clover honey (recommended) or agave syrup
  3. 2Tbsp coconut oil
Notes
  1. Depending on the size of the mould you choose to use or if doing free hand round bites, this recipe will yield up to 60 bites.
NO DAIRY NO CRY http://nodairynocry.com/
 

Instructions

 

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1. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Once water starts to boil, reduce heat to simmer and stir chocolate until melted and smooth.

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2. Then, add coconut oil and continue to stir until oil is emulsified with the chocolate. Set aside.

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3. To make the filling, add coconut shreds with honey/agave syrup in a bowl and mix until well combined. 

 

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4. Add coconut oil and mix well, ensuring it’s one with the coconut mixture. Your filling is ready.

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5. If using a mould, add a teaspoon into each cavity. Then place a small amount of the coconut filling on top of the chocolate, as shown. Finally, finish off with another teaspoon per cavity to seal off the coconut. 

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6. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes, until chocolate is hardened and set. Alternatively, you may place the moulds in the fridge for approximately 40 minutes until chocolate sets.

7. If doing free hand bites, shape the coconut mixture into small balls and set on wax paper.

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Tip: if you don’t have wax paper, use parchment paper. Wax paper is a better option for this recipe however because it allows for easy handling of the coconut as well as the chocolate.

8. Once all of the coconut mixture is used up, cover with about a teaspoon of chocolate per coconut ball. 

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9. Using two forks, begin to roll each bite in the chocolate that has slid off the coconut, as shown. Place covered bites on a clean sheet of wax paper. Continue this step until all coconut balls are fully covered in chocolate.  

 

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Place in the freezer for 15 minutes, or in the fridge for approximately 35-40 minutes, until chocolate is firm and set.

10. Remove from freezer/fridge and gently pop chocolate coconut bites out of moulds (if using).

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Keep refrigerated to keep the integrity of the chocolate intact. 

These were a hit at my sister’s shower! And how easy are they to make?! Forget about the conventional Bounty bar and make these deliciously simple yet mouth-watering bites instead! ;)

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Bon appétit! xo

 

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Fresh Vegan Rolls with Soy Free Peanut Thai Sauce

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Oh. My. God. I’m telling you this is the best thing. I love all sorts of different cuisines, but I have to say that eating out for me and my family is an option we seldom take part in. It’s quite uncomfortable when you’re never guaranteed that the food you’re about to enjoy is allergy-specific free. It’s always the same “we’ll do our best but just so you’re aware, there may be some cross contamination.” Right.  If I’m going to eat at your restaurant and you’re willing to accommodate me, then I expect you to accommodate me fully and allow me, your guest, to enjoy my meal without any fear or doubt of a possible anaphylactic shock because of “potential cross contamination”.

I digress, but this is my reality. And I’ve come to accept it. That’s why I love cooking and baking at home. I know what’s in the food I make. I choose the best, healthiest, organic, and locally produced (as much as possible) ingredients for my family to enjoy – worry free, and with all the love you can possibly pour into a meal.

Speaking of which, this gourmet looking yet super simple dish is fresh, quick and easy to make, and the colours are absolutely breathtaking. It’s almost too pretty to eat…almost ;)

Another easy meal to make and enjoy with your family or at your next gathering. Impress your loved ones tonight and enjoy a healthy, hearty, and fresh dish, that takes mere minutes to make. 

 

Fresh Rolls with Soy Free Peanut Thai Sauce
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
For the Fresh Rolls
  1. 12 rice papers
  2. 1/2C sushi or short grain rice
  3. 1C water
  4. 1Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1Tbsp beet, finely grated
  6. Salt to taste
  7. 1/4 papaya, julienned
  8. 1/2 english cucumber, julienned
  9. 1 avocado, julienned
  10. Pink or sea salt to sprinkle
For the Peanut Thai Sauce
  1. Scant 1/2C smooth peanut butter
  2. 1/2C plus 1Tbsp water
  3. 1 1/2Tbsp good quality barbecue sauce
  4. 1Tsp pomegranate molasses
  5. Juice of 1 lemon - about 2 1/2Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  6. Salt to taste
Notes
  1. This recipe serves 4 to 6 people..not sure why my recipe card doesn't allow me to include this information at the top.
NO DAIRY NO CRY http://nodairynocry.com/
 

Instructions

 

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Start by making the rice.

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1. In a small or medium pot, add rice, olive oil, and water and bring to a boil. When water is vigorously boiling, add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to start, stir, and lower heat to simmer and cover pot with lid and time the rice to cook for 10 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is soft.

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While the rice is cooking, prepare the ingredients.

2. Cut the papaya, cucumber, and avocado as shown. I squeezed a bit of lemon juice to help preserve their colour longer but it’s optional. Set aside. 

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3. Now that the rice has finished cooking, remove lid and stir with a wooden spoon. Then using a microplane or the finest grate/blades on your grater, grate the beet over the rice and stir to combine and turn your rice into that beautiful bright pink. Adjust the salt if necessary.

 

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Now comes the fun part!

4. Grab a somewhat large shallow bowl or pan, fill it with semi-hot water (whatever your hands can handle) and starting with one rice paper at a time, insert the paper into the hot water and remove once it has softened, about 10 or so seconds. 

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5. Being gentle, lift the paper and place on a clean surface. Working swiftly, add about 1 tablespoon of rice, and top off with 3 to 4 slices of each fruit, as shown.

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Sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt, if desired.

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6. Wrap your roll like you would a burrito, starting with the ends, as shown.

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Then, taking one side, fold paper over fruits and tuck snugly, being careful not to tear the paper. Continue rolling the paper until nicely rolled up.

Note: To make life simple, you would obviously use both hands to do this..it’s just that my right hand is always assigned camera duty!

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Turn fresh roll over and admire your work! 

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7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 until all ingredients have been used.

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Done! Slice each roll diagonally in half to reveal the beautiful colours and the detail inside the rolls.

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May keep in the fridge for a day or so but I honestly couldn’t tell you because they were gone before I could even entertain the thought. :D

Enjoy alone or with my Peanut Thai Sauce, below.

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To make the sauce.

1. In a bowl, combine peanut butter with water and whisk until incorporated. It will thicken but don’t worry, the lemon juice will take care of that.

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2. Add barbecue sauce and pomegranate molasses and whisk until combined.

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3. Finally add lemon juice, whisk well until creamy and smooth. Adjust salt content if desired.

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Serve with Fresh Rolls, even chicken or other dishes that would taste great with it.

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Simple, healthy, quick, and delicious! Need I say any more? :)

 

Bon appétit! xo 

 

 

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Vegan Nut Free Pesto

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This pesto is absolutely delicious. And the wonderful thing about it is that it not only is vegan, but it’s also nut free and completely allergen free and friendly. 

I promise you won’t be able to tell the difference and in fact, will prefer my version over the traditional taste due to its simplicity in making it, its wholesome ingredients, and fabulous flavour. :)

In just 3 easy steps you’ll have the freshest, healthiest, allergy-friendly, and tastiest pesto you’ve ever had. So don’t blink..or you might miss it! ;)

 

Vegan Nut Free Pesto
A deliciously simple sauce that will have you wanting to eat it with everything!
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 ripe avocado
  2. 1Tbsp Veganaise, or vegan mayo of choice
  3. 1Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  4. A small handful fresh basil leaves (about 2Tbsp)
  5. 1/2Tsp fresh lemon juice
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
Notes
  1. Yields approximately 1 cup of pesto
NO DAIRY NO CRY http://nodairynocry.com/
 

Instructions

1. Peel and half the avocado and place in a blender or in a blending cup to use with your hand blender. Blend on high speed until avocado is creamed.

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2. Add the remainder of the ingredients except for the basil, and blend until fully combined and silky smooth.

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3. Finally add basil leaves and blend away for a few seconds more.

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Serve immediately. 

There you have it! Told you it’s super easy to make. Use on absolutely anything that your heart desires….food related items obviously :D

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I used this sauce on my Kale Pizza (recipe to come)..delicious!

Bon appétit! xo

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Vegan Easter Eggs

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Easter’s just around the corner. And whether you celebrate it as a religious holiday or just enjoy eating a chocolate egg or two – it’s a fun day to have a great time with family and loved ones. And it always reminds me that spring is finally here!

This year, make your children’s day extra special by making your own chocolate covered eggs! I was inspired by the infamous Cadbury eggs that tend to pop up everywhere around this time of year.

This recipe is so simple, and your kids can partake in the fun!

 

Vegan Easter Eggs
Yields 12
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Total Time
40 min
Total Time
40 min
For the chocolate layer
  1. 2C Enjoy Life Mini or Dark Chocolate Chips
  2. 1Tbsp coconut oil
For the filling
  1. 1C Icing sugar
  2. 1/4C Earth Balance Vegan Coconut Spread, or vegan spread of choice, softened
  3. 3Tbsp coconut milk, at room temperature
  4. 1/4Tsp turmeric powder
NO DAIRY NO CRY http://nodairynocry.com/
  

Instructions

 

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1. Have desired mold(s) ready. Set aside.

Tip: feel free to choose whichever mold you’d like to use to make these eggs. I bought mine at Michaels craft store and at Homesense (HomeGoods for my friends in the States). For this recipe, I used medium-sized easter egg molds, which make 12 eggs.

2. Melt chocolate chips in a double-boiler over medium heat. Once chocolate has melted, add coconut oil. Mix until oil is one with the chocolate and is silky smooth in texture.

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3. Next, add a scant tablespoon into each cavity, ensuring you get the corners and edges of each egg, as shown.

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4. Place in the freezer (if you have the space) for 7 minutes, until chocolate sets, or in the fridge for approximately 15 minutes.

While the chocolate is hardening, prepare the filling.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together icing sugar, softened coconut spread, and room temperature milk.

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Beautiful consistency!

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6. Next, remove mold from freezer/fridge and add about a tablespoon of filling per egg cavity. Make sure to reserve 2 teaspoons of the filling to make the yolk!

Tip: keep in mind that if you’re using a larger mold, then you may need more or less, depending on preference.

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7. Next, in a small bowl, add turmeric and reserved filling, and mix until well combined.

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8. Add a little amount – about 1/4 teaspoon – to each egg, as shown.

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How cute do they look! Just like the real stuff, only fattier and yummier ;)

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9. Finally, cover eggs with remaining chocolate, about 1 tablespoon per egg, and place back in the freezer to completely harden, about 20 minutes, or the fridge for approximately 40 minutes.

 

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10. Remove from freezer/fridge and gently pop each egg out as shown.

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Super cute! My kids were thrilled when they saw the finished product!

 

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11. If you want, you may wrap each egg with foil wraps which can be purchased at your local bulk or craft store (I bought mine from Bulk Barn). If you choose not to wrap the eggs, then you’re all done! I think they look much prettier wrapped though :)

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11.a) Place an egg face down onto the back of the foil, making sure it’s centered, and carefully wrap the egg just like you would wrap a gift…to that special someone…i.e. do it nicely!!

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11.b) Then, Turn egg over and smooth out foil using your fingers to get the nice detail of the egg.

 

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You are ready to hide them, put them in goody bags, or peel and devour! Hey, I never said these were the healthiest but you have to think, at least you know what’s in them, and they’re not as bad as anything you would buy from a store. Besides, having a nice treat once in a while is ok with me!

Bon appétit! xo

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No Mess Spaghetti Squash Lasagne Bowls

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This was an experiment that turned out amazing! The kids loved the concept of tonight’s meal and the flavours were enjoyed by all! The best part about this dish is how simple it is to make, and even more so, that there’s virtually nothing to clean up! The family can eat right out of the squash bowls – a definite hit in my family!

As if that wasn’t enough, this dish is practically fat free! Think about it, no dairy, no eggs, no wheat, healthy fats, vegetables, and protein. You’re welcome!

So go out and buy this fun vegetable today and make this super easy, super fun, super healthy, and super tasty meal tonight!

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Spaghetti Squash Lasagne Bowls     Yields: 4 servings

1 Spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

1lb cooked ground lamb (for my Vegans and Vegetarians, you may substitute meat for chopped portabello mushrooms because they provide that meaty texture we’re after)

1/2C tomato sauce (pizza sauce recipe, or you may use a good quality store-bought spaghetti sauce)

1/2C water

1Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2C Daiya cheese Mozzarella shreds

1/2C Daiya cheese Cheddar shreds

2Tbsp Nutritional yeast

Handful pumpkin seeds to garnish

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1. Preheat oven to 400°F and have a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

2. Wash and dry the squash, then using a sharp knife (and a bit of muscle), cut the squash lengthwise in half. Remove seeds using a fork, as shown.

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3. Place face down onto the parchment paper and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until squash is nice and tender.

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While the squash is baking, prepare sauce.

4. After ground lamb is nicely browned, add tomato sauce and water, and stir to combine with the meat. Cook meat mixture down until sauce has slightly thickened. Add olive oil and stir to combine.

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Tip: If you’re opting not to use meat, then replace with suggested/outlined options above and follow the same steps.

5. Turn heat off, and add minced garlic. Stir to incorporate into sauce. Set aside until squash is ready.

7. Remove squash from oven, and being careful, flip each half as shown. Then, using a fork, pick at the squash so that the strings come out.

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8. Add 1/4 cup from each of the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses to each of the squash bowls, as shown. Then, turn the squash a few times to help melt the cheeses.

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9. Finally, divide the sauce evenly amongst both squash bowls and place on top, as shown. Top off with remainder cheese shreds, about 2 tablespoons per squash bowl. Sprinkle nutritional yeast.

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I topped my bowls with pumpkin seeds as well for that extra crunch and flavour :)

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Dinner is served!

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I’m drooling just thinking about this..

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Hope you enjoy making and eating this deliciously effortless meal.

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Bon appétit! xo

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Vegan Apple Galette

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This Apple Galette offers a sweet taste that’s balanced by the saltiness of the crust. Absolutely a must try! There is a ton of apples in this recipe and let me tell you how amazing this thing turned out! The Pink Lady apples are my favourite apples by far – crispy yet sweet and slightly tart! So if you can get your hands on those, you won’t regret it.

And the combination of the apples paired with the lemon is a match made in fruit heaven! I’ve made it easy for you to make so give it a go and let me know how it turns out for you!

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Vegan Apple Galette    Yields: 1 large pie, or 2 small pies

Crust:

1C flour

1/4C plus 2Tbsp almond meal/flour

1/2Tsp sea salt

2Tsp sugar

1/2C Earth Balance/Vegan spread, cut into small pieces

1/4C iced water

Filling:

4 apples (I used 2 Pink Lady and 2 Golden Delicious), washed, peeled, and sliced.

Zest of 1 lemon and

Juice of 1/2 lemon, about 2Tsp

2Tbsp almond meal

1/4C plus 1Tbsp packed brown sugar

1Tsp cinnamon

1Tbsp cornstarch

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1. Preheat oven to 380°F and have a baking sheet with parchment paper ready. Set aside.

2. To make the crust, and using either your hands or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine flour, almond meal, sugar, and salt.

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3. Add cut vegan spread to flour mix and combine on medium speed until dough becomes crumbly in texture.

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4. Then, discard ice cubes and slowly drizzle iced water into dough, and beat on medium speed for approximately 45 seconds. Make sure you don’t over beat the dough; you want the vegan spread to not be completely mixed in – that’s what gives the pie crust its crispy airy-ness quality!

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5. place dough onto clean work surface, shape it into a circle, and wrap with Saran wrap.  Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

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6. To make the filling, wash, peel, and cut the apples in thin slices, about 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick. Place in a bowl and add lemon juice over them to prevent apples from browning.

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7. Next, add lemon zest, almond meal, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch to the apples and mix very well until apples are fully coated in the mix. Resist the urge to eat the apples as I’ve shamelessly done while making this galette.. :)

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8. Once your filling is prepared, remove dough from fridge and place on a clean working surface. Try to work with the dough as swiftly as you can because the dough is at the right temperature at this point which will result in a light and crispy crust. Roll dough using a rolling pin (recommended) into a slightly thin circle – about 1/8″ thick.

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Tip: the beauty of this recipe and crust, is you don’t need to get it shaped perfectly circular. You want that rustic, homemade look to shine through..because after all it is homemade :) Have fun when you’re baking and enjoy the process!

9. Pile the filling in the centre of the dough and spread it out, leaving about an inch or so free, as shown.

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10. Gently fold dough over and tuck some of the apples inside crust. Continue doing so until entire dough is folded, as shown.

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11. Place on the prepared baking sheet and into the oven for 40 minutes, until crust is perfectly baked through and the filling is bubbling and oozing yumminess!

12. Remove galette, and using a pastry brush or a small spoon, brush or drizzle some softened coconut oil or vegan spread on the crust to give it a nice glisten and also allow the crust to become flakier as it cools down.

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Let it rest for about 5 or so minutes before diving in!

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Bon appétit! xo

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Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

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Comfort foods are amongst our feel good repertoires. When you’re enjoying them, it’s as if you’re getting a hug with every bite. It makes us feel nice and warm on the inside – all the more reason to crave them! This dish is going to blow your socks off! You will eat it knowing you’re doing your mind, soul, and most importantly your stomach and health a huge favour.

This version will have you fall in love with comfort foods all over again, because this is by far the best Mac and Cheese you will ever experience! Period. Not only is it amazing, but it’s a much healthier and a more nutritional option than traditionally consumed because of the ingredients used. And although it’s vegan, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Give this recipe a go tonight – you’ll be glad you did!

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Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese     Yields: 1 large dish – serves 6-8 comfortably

2C quinoa pasta (or pasta of choice)

2C reserved pasta water

1C Silk brand Original Almond milk or coconut milk

2 1/2C Daiya cheddar shreds

1 1/2C Daiya mozzarella shreds

1/4C nutritional yeast

1Tsp paprika

1/8Tsp cayenne pepper

1/2Tsp nutmeg

1 1/2Tsp sea salt

Topping:

1C panko bread crumbs

1/4C olive oil

1tsp sea salt

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1. Preheat oven to 375°F and have desired baking dish handy and set aside.

2. Fill a large pot with water and set on stove on high heat and bring to a boil.

3. Once boiling, add about 2 teaspoon salt and then add quinoa pasta, stirring occasionally. Cook for 8 minutes, until almost ‘al dente’ but not quite yet.

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4. Pour water out but be sure to reserve the 2 cups of pasta water to make the sauce.

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5. In a large pan, combine pasta water with 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on high heat, and whisk briskly until cheeses melt, about 3-4 minutes.

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6. Slowly add almond/coconut milk and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and add nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and salt. Stir often until concoction slightly thickens and becomes a nice creamy sauce.

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7. Add pasta to creamy sauce and stir to fully combine and allow pasta to soak up the goodness in that sauce!

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8. Pour macaroni into baking dish. Top with remaining cheeses.

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9. Place panko in a bowl. Then, in a small pan, heat olive oil on high for a few minutes. Add to panko crumbs and stir with a spoon to ensure all of the bread crumbs have soaked up the oil. Add salt and stir to combine.

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10. Layer panko crumbs on top of cheeses and place baking dish in the oven for 15 minutes, until cheeses have melted and the bread crumbs are a beautiful golden colour.

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Tip: If after said time the bread crumbs haven’t browned, change to broil setting but watch your dish like a hawk! Do not leave the oven! All you’ll need is about 30 seconds if set on Hi and you should be able to achieve that gorgeous colour.

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11. Remove from oven and enjoy!

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This will change the way you’ve always known ‘mac and cheese’ to be! You will never look at it the same way again ;)

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And feel free to indulge in this scrumptious dish because the ingredients are healthy, wholesome, and nutritious!

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Bon appétit! xo

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Crispy Cauliflower Florets

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These yummy cauliflower florets are just pure amazing! If you aren’t normally a fan of this white vegetable, you will be after making this recipe! And a forewarning, make a couple of batches because they will not last! Takes mere minutes to prepare and not too long in the oven. Before you know it, you have a healthy serving of vegetables that your whole family will enjoy.

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Crispy Cauliflower Florets

1 cauliflower head

3Tbsp Veganaise, or vegan mayo of choice

1C panko bread crumbs

1Tsp smoked paprika

1Tsp sea salt

Pinch black pepper, to taste

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1. Preheat oven to 420°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Wash, pat dry, and cut up cauliflower as shown. Turn florets into bite sized pieces.

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This piece came out in the shape of a heart!

3. In a large bowl, combine Veganaise and cauliflower. Mix until florets are all coated.

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4. In a shallow dish, combine panko, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add to cauliflower and toss to coat.

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5. Spread onto baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes, until crispy and light golden brown in colour.

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Remove and enjoy!

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Delicious and so simple to make. Enjoy alone, with my Avocado Aioli, or as a side to your main dish. I love that you feel like you’re almost cheating on your diet but you’re eating a deliciously baked vegetable! Can’t go wrong with that.

Bon appétit! xo

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