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

Easy Vegan Apple & Pear Crumble (Grain-free Option)

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Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful mothers out there! Hopefully you got to spend some of the day with your family. It can be so hard when the people you love are spread across a country, or even different countries.

I really felt that way this year. My sister just had beautiful baby and I wished I could have celebrated today with her. Unfortunately, Canada is a very big country and it was impossible to see her. All the same, I am so happy for her and her husband’s new family addition. I know he is loved greatly.

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This Mothers Day I went to brunch with my mom, gave her some beautiful tulips and then we took a walk around a very scenic part of Nova Scotia. The look-offs around the water are so incredible, it makes me incredibly thankful to live in a place where I am so close to nature. These beautiful, historic hiking trails are in our backyard and it’s so easy to take them for granted.

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Apple crumble is one of my favourite desserts of all time. I love everything about it! The crunch and the soft, warm apples and (of course!) who doesn’t LOVE pairing any dessert with ice cream! This ice cream is just bananas blended with a bit of almond milk and vanilla powder. So simple and so delicious.

I wanted to give a twist to my normal variation which is why I also added pear, coconut and cardamom. My biggest goal for this dessert was to use as little sugar as possible. How could I make it sweet without going overboard on the sugar? Medjool dates were the answer! (Aren’t Medjool dates always the answer though?)

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Try this recipe out and don’t be scared to experiment! Apple crumble is so versatile. The possiblities are endless. Let me know what you think by commenting below and thank you for visiting my site!

Ingredients

serves 8-10

Filling:

  • 2 Bartlet pears, 2 jazz apples (about 2 pounds)
  • 34 large Medjool dates or 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sucanat
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maca powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Crumble:

  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 3 tbsp of coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the filling. Mix well until apples and pears are evenly coated.
  3. Pour mixture into casserole dish and set aside.
  4. In the same bowl used for the filling, put in all of the ingredients to make the crumble topping. Mix well until evenly coated.
  5. Pour mixture on top of the filling. Take a piece of aluminum foil and cover the casserole dish. Poke a few air holes and place on the middle rack of your oven.
  6. Allow to cook for about 30 minutes covered and then cook uncovered for 15 minutes more until crisp on the top.
  7. Enjoy hot or leave to cool and put in the fridge. Will keep up to 5 days in the fridge.

Note: For a paleo or grain free option, omit the oats and add an extra 1/2 cup of chopped almonds and 1/2 cup of almond meal. It’s still equally as satisfying!

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!

 

Perfect Winter Curry

CurryBowl1

 

This has been an absolutely dreadful winter in Nova Scotia. The snow just keeps on coming. It started late mind you, but it has felt like a constant snowstorm for three months straight now. So, I decided to post a winter curry. I am sure someone out there is still trying to stay warm, so this one is for you!

The moment I took a bite of this curry, I knew I had to share it with you. It. Is. Awesome. I almost ate the entire pot myself.. Why I am I lying to you? I did eat the entire pot by myself. Well, not in one sitting. This is enough curry for a family of four at least! I had to pace myself. I had it for dinner and then breakfast the next day… and then dinner again. It kept my tummy warm and happy.

I love hearty, cooked meals in the cold months. Once the summer rolls around, I eat mostly raw just because I like the way it makes me feel. I try and stay really in tune with what my body needs.  Right now it’s saying that I should make this curry again tonight!

Enjoy! And please comment to tell me what you think!

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Ingredients

Serves 4-5 ~ Prep time: 15 mins ~ Cook time: 30 mins

  • 1 medium golden onion
  • 3-5 cloves garlic (I used 5)
  • 300g (about 3-4 handfuls) field greens, or any greens you have on hand
  • 1 Chinese eggplant
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup red lentils
  • 1 large sweet pepper
  • 1 cup frozen/fresh peas
  • 3 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 heaping tbsp good quality curry powder
  • 1/2 cup cashews with 3/4 cup water (soaked for at least 1 hour)
  • 400ml can of coconut milk
  • 2 heaping tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. Put oil and seeds into a large saucepan on medium heat.
  2. When seeds start popping, add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. This takes about 5 minutes.
  3. Add curry powder and stir until onions and garlic are fully coated.
  4. Add greens and cook down until soft.
  5. Add the coconut milk, cashew cream, as well as all remaining ingredients except garam masala.
  6. Use your immersion blender to pulse mixture to desired consistency.
  7. Stir in garam masala and simmer. Let sit for about 15 minutes.
  8. Serve with brown rice and enjoy!