Heavenly Sweet Potato Soup

sweetpotatosoup

Fall is here! This is my favourite time of year. It is when I bring out all my comfy sweaters, scarves, and pull out the outrageously long socks have lived in the back of my sock drawer all summer. There is no need for socks that reach your belly button… BUT THAT IS WHAT MAKES THEM SO AWESOME!!

My non-clothing obsession in fall is soup! Loads and loads of soup! Its warm and comforting. You can drink it in a cup, have it in a bowl or in a boat on a moat! With a fox or in a box! So yes, soup is good.
Sorry for the unoriginal rhymes… Dr. Suess is a better writer than me, I know. I just read that last book that was published, “What Pet Should I Get.” Pure gold. What a wonderful man.sweetpotatosoup
Back to soup. I am eating my Heavenly Sweet Potato Soup (which is also pure gold) for lunch at school whilst I write. I created this recipe two years ago and have been obsessed with it ever since. I dream about fall just so I have an excuse to start making this soup. When I first made it I told my friends that I should mail the recipe to a blogger and share this recipe with the world because it is too good not to share! Well, two years later I have ended up being the blogger to publish it. Go figure! ;)
Soup2
Be sure when you make this soup to not miss a step.. if you do not roast the sweet potato and onion before hand it will not taste as good I guarantee. Also, the brown sugar is a nice touch. I am not a huge fan of refined sugar, I usually replace it with sucanat. However, if you don’t mind a tablespoon or so in a serving for 8 it is worth the splurge.
So my friends, eat, be merry and try to share!
Heavenly Sweet Potato Soup
Heavenly Sweet Potato Soup
Ingredients
3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
1 carton of vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 zucchini, chopped
1 very large golden onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp brown sugar, sub for sucanat
1 heaping tsp curry powder
1 tbsp garham masala
1/2 tsp all spice
2/3 cup coconut milk, full fat
1/2 cup water
salt as needed
My Favourite Toppings:
sliced green apple, spaghetti squash, hot pepper, coconut milk
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400ºC. Line a pan with parchment paper. Evenly spread the sweet potatoes, onion and brown sugar (or sucanat) onto the pan. Bake until sweet potato is tender; about 25 minutes.
2. In a large on medium heat sauté minced garlic with olive oil until fragrant. Add in the zucchini and spices. Mix until zucchini is evenly coated with spices and allow to brown slightly.
3. Add vegetable stock, sweet potatoes and onions. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes. With an emulsion blender, blend soup into a smooth and silky consistency.
4. Add coconut milk. I add a 1/2 cup of water as well to cut the richness of the soup. Feel free to not add water if you prefer. Taste before adding salt. The vegetable stock might have already been salty enough.
5. Allow to simmer for 8 minutes more and then remove from heat. Eat immediately or allow to cool before putting in the fridge. Will keep for a week or longer if put in the freezer.

Summer Rice Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Summer Rice Salad

Summer Rice Salad

One final summer recipe. Summer is almost behind us now. I have been making this fabulous rice salad all summer. It is so tasty and sweet. Of course you can make this recipe with whatever vegetables are in season, however, this is by far my favourite combo.
Summer Rice Salad

This, in many regards, has been a long summer for me. I learned about about myself and the person that I want to become. There are so many things I thought I wanted to change about myself. I thought I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough or capable enough. It took me this entire summer to realize the people who love and appreciate the most where right in front of me all along!
We all have days or doubt and disappear, that is an inevitable fact of life. But, it is so comforting to know that I have wonderful friends and family that support me and help me rise to every challenge I may face in my life. And you know what the best way to face every challenge? With a belly full of nourishing, plant-based, wholesome food! So, enjoy this recipe and share it with family and friends. Food is love so share a little with the special people in your life!

Summer Rice Salad

Summer Rice Salad w/ Honey Mustard Dressing

Serves: 2 as a main or 4 as a side

Ingredients:

Salad:
1 cup of brown rice, uncooked
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup kale, chopped
Dressing:
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt and papper
2 tbsp rice vinegar
5 tbsp olive oil
Instructions:
  1. Cook brown rice as instructed on the package.
  2. To make dressing: whisk honey, mustard and vinegar together until smooth. Then add oil. If you add it sooner it will separate. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Once rice has cooled, add the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle the salad dressing on top and toss until well combined.
  4. Serve immediately. It will keep for up to two days in the fridge.

Gluten-free Quinoa Thin-Crust Pizza

Gluten-free pizza

I haven’t posted for awhile. That is due to many reasons, but the main one being the lack of inspiration and motivation. My brain was in such a fog the entire month of July. To be honest with you, I hardly remember it and yet it feels like it was the longest month of my life. It’s funny how our brain works sometimes. But that is over. I am once again motivated to cook, write and take tasty-looking pictures.

Quinoa Flour Pizza

The reason I started this blog in the first place was so that, for the first time in my life, I would have a hobby. Part of my anti-anxiety therapy was to find something that brought me pleasure, but did not stress me out: an activity I have complete control over. If I am having a “down day” (or month) I don’t feel I have disappointed anyone.

This all being said, I am thrilled a few people are visiting my blog! Although this is more of a therapeutic experiment than anything else, it is nice that people are visiting. So, a big thanks to the people who have tried my recipes and have revisited my site!

Thin Crust Quinoa Pizza

Now, on to the recipe of the day! This is pizza at its best, my friends. I have been obsessing over gluten-free pizza recipes for a couple months trying to find one that I like. I found a few, but they lacked the flavor I was looking for. I wanted a dense crust packed with flavor! I have a thick crust recipe I enjoy (another recipe for another time), however, I was looking for a thin crust when creating this recipe.

Gluten-free pizza

So, I thought to myself, what are my favorite flours? Personally, I love the taste of millet and quinoa. They are earthy and very filling. I decided, “What the heck! Let’s try it out!” I really enjoyed the result… and so did my little sister!

Gluten-free Quinoa Thin-Crust Pizza

Makes 2 personal crusts 

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups quinoa flour

1 cup millet flour

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup of warm water

1 1/2 tbsp dry yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

4 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup brown rice flour, for dusting

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, put yeast, warm water and sugar together. Let sit until yeast expands and creates foam. Approximately 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix quinoa flour, xanthan gum, millet flour and salt. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Add olive oil and yeast mixture in with dry ingredients. Begin to mix ingredients together with hands until it forms dough. I put a bit of olive oil or water on my hands to prevent sticking. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water.
  4. Dust a clean countertop with rice flour and begin to knead the dough. Knead for about 5 minutes.
  5. Turn on the oven to 350°F. Let dough stand for about 20 minutes.
  6. Once the oven is preheated, roll the dough into a thin crust. I made two 9-inch pizzas. Allow to bake for about 7 minutes and then add toppings and bake for another 10-12 minutes longer.

Easy Brussels Sprouts & Hummus Pasta

Brussels Sprout & Hummus Pasta

I have been so busy this month that lately my nights have been filled with quick and easy, 15 minute dinners like this. Just because food needs to be fast sometimes, does not mean it needs to be fast food! I can guarantee this recipe will not make you sluggish or sleepy after eating. You will feel satisfied and contented.

Brussels sprouts are so tasty and full of vitamins such as B1, B6, C an K, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and so much more! It’s a veggie I didn’t eat much of as a kid. Even the name turned me off. Now I buy them frozen all the time and use them whenever I need to make a meal in a pinch!

So, next time you’re in the grocery store, pick up some and try out this recipe or just boil them and top with honey and cranberries (also amazing). Try experimenting with fun new plants in your diet and your tummy will smile!

Brusslessprouts

 

Ingredients

serves 2

  • 150g rice pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup brussel sprouts, cut in halves
  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 small zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 1 handful of walnuts (optional)

Directions

  1. In boiling water, cook pasta until al dente.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic. Sauté until fragrant, but not brown.
  3. Add zucchini and Brussels sprouts. Cook evenly for about 5 minutes.
  4. Adjust heat to low and add hummus, salt, pepper, oregano and spinach, and cook until all combined. You want the spinach to wither. Then mix in pasta.
  5. Once everything is well combined, plate the pasta and sprinkle with walnuts and tomatoes.

Brussels Sprouts & Hummus

15 Minute Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese Sauce

Yummy 15 Minute Vegan Mac n' Cheese

Who doesn’t have a comfort food? Like so many other kids around the world, I liked Kraft Dinner. Unfortunately, it did not like me. It made me so sick I couldn’t eat it. Luckily, I have an amazing, Italian mother who makes the best pasta dishes, so I didn’t miss it very much. However, there was always something intriguing about creamy, cheese-covered pasta.

I am dedicating this post to my little sis. She was the queen of microwaveable KD as a kid. She always had to make it in the same bowl and eat it with a wooden spoon because it supposedly “tasted better that way”. So when I was photographing, I made sure to have a wooden spoon in the picture just for her! I love you, my quirky, little sista!

Delicious Vegan Mac n' Cheese! Nut-free and yeast free option.

This dish is just so good! It doesn’t matter if you’re vegan or not. I put “optional” in brackets for certain ingredients because this recipe is so versatile. Try your favourite spices and see how it turns out. I love rosemary, but it can be overpowering if you don’t like the taste. Try sage or basil instead! Don’t have honey mustard? Try using dijon mustard. I am constantly trying new things with this recipe. So, get your creative hat on and get cookin’!

Vegan Mac and Cheese! SO easy and so satisfying :)

15 minute Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese Sauce

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance or olive oil
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1.5 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 5 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional but recommended)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 pinch saffron (optional)
  • 1 heaping cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 tbsp red peper flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Melt Earth Balance (butter) or heat oil over medium heat. Once heated, add almond milk.
  2. Sift in arrowroot starch and whisk. Try to avoid clumps. Whisk in nutritional yeast, mustard, turmeric, onion powder, garlic salt and saffron.
  3. Stir and allow to thicken. Once sauce has developed a thick consistency, add pumpkin purée. Stir until heated through. Add salt, pepper and chilli flakes according to taste.
  4. Serve immediately with brown rice pasta or store in the fridge for a busy day when you don’t have time to cook. Will keep for 5 days.

Note:

  • For a nut-free option, try soy or rice milk!
  • If you are allergic to yeast, add a bit more salt and pepper and have a lovely pumpkin alfredo.
  • I love adding spinach and peas to this as well!

15 Minute Mac n' Cheese. Vegan and gluten free!

Scrumptious Stuffed Squash with Lemon Risotto

Stuffed Squash w/ Lemon Risotto

In the great words of one of my favourite authors, this was “scrumdiddilyumtious”! Roald Dahl is one of my heroes. I thought one day I would grow out of loving his writing, but I never did. He has taught me such amazing lessons with his lovely, made-up words and his preposterous ideas that might only make sense to a child.

Why am I talking about a book instead of a recipe? Well, I was packing my apartment today and donating things I have no use for, when I stumbled on my beloved collection of Roald Dahl books. I sat there reading and laughing (instead of packing) for hours until I realized how unproductive I was being! My favourite novels of his are: Matilda, The Twits and The BFG. So, I decide to keep those three and part with the rest. I like to think that some other child (or wonderful adult) will find the joy I did while reading these books.

Packing is dreadful, though. It has to be one of my least favourite things and I have done it at least once a year for the past four years. I keep telling myself, “Okay, this will be where I will stay for a while”. However, I inevitably find somewhere else and the journey continues.

Anywhoozels, enough rambling and on to the recipe!

Scrumptious Stuffed Butternut Squash

This recipe was a brain child of mine. I thought about what to make for Easter dinner for days. I wanted to make something that would satisfy everyone’s pallet. I woke up Easter morning and this idea was born. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

For people who eat cheese, try adding parmesan or mozzarella. For people with nut allergies, don’t add the crushed walnuts. I promise it won’t ruin the dish.

Stuffed Squash with Lemon and Asparagus Risotto

Scrumptious Stuffed Squash with Lemon Risotto

Serves 4-6
Ingredients
2 butternut squash
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups arborio rice
5 cups vegetable broth, boiled
1 1/2 cup asparagus, chopped
1 tbsp of lemon zest
1 small yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
1 cup mushrooms, diced
2 tbsp of olive oil or earth balance butter (I used olive oil)
Salt to taste
“Daiya” shredded cheese (optional)
1/4 cup ground walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Once the oven has preheated, put squash on the bottom rack face down for about 25 minutes or until squash is tender.
  2. While squash is cooking, put broth in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  3. In a large sauce pan heat oil or butter on medium high heat. Add garlic, onions, and mushrooms and sauté until onions are translucent.
  4. Add rice and mix. The rice will become translucent as well. This should only take a couple of minutes.
  5. Begin to add broth with a ladle, but only add one scoop at a time. Wait until broth has evaporated before adding more liquid. This will take about 20 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Add in asparagus and lemon zest while rice is still al dente and allow to cook for another few minutes longer. If you don’t need all the broth, that is okay. You don’t want your rice to get mushy. It will throw off the consistency of the dish.
  7. Take squash out of the oven and scoop out the centre leaving about an inch and a half around the edges. Don’t throw out the centre because you can use it in another recipe! Pour risotto into the squash, topping with cheese and/or ground walnuts. Turn on broiler on low and place stuffed squash on the middle rack. Keep a close eye on it and remove when cheese has melted and walnuts have toasted.
  8. You have created a masterpiece! Dig in!