Quinoa for Breakfast

As I crawl out of bed at almost 1pm today, I think about all the horrible food decisions I made yesterday. It was fun and worth it at the time, but now it’s time to get back on track.

The thing about Sundays is all I wanna do is be lazy and eat and drink. So going out for pub food and beers was fun, sure. And making pierogis and popcorn together in the same pan (ingenious!) at 3 am was also a hoot. But it’s Monday now and it’s time to get off that dirty weekend binge eating boat.

My cupboard and fridge are pretty lacking in anything. I suppose that’s part of the reason I was eating pierogis and popcorn. But I’m hungry and I will find something!

It’s ok no need to panic, I found something! Phew.

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Quiona-Meal

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp dried apricot pieces
2 tbsp raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp hemp hearts

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 15 minutes.

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Transfer to serving bowl and top with hemp hearts. Enjoy the feel goodness of quinoa!

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Fell free to experiment with the dried fruits you put in, these are just some of my favourites. I feel like apple could go really well in it. Let me know what works for you!

Makes 2 servings.

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Spring Primavera With Arugula Pesto Cream Sauce

This is another recipe that is perfect for springtime. It has an abundance of fresh spring produce and it can’t get much better than fresh seasonal produce. If it’s one of those beautiful picnic days, this is equally as good made as a pasta salad. The choice is yours.
Spring Primavera
Sauce:
4 cups arugula, lightly packed
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds, unsalted
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
Large pinch of salt
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon+ salt, to taste
1/4 cup dairy free margarine
1/4 cup flour
Pasta:375 grams short pasta of choice

1 cup asparagus, trimmed, cut into inch long pieces
1 small yellow pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Arugula leaves for garnish
In a food processor combine nutritional yeast and sunflower seeds and pulse until finely chopped. Add everything else except olive oil and pulse until combined. Pour olive oil in a thin drizzle until incorporated, making sure to scrape sides periodically. Set aside. Cook pasta to box directions. When the pasta only needs 1 minute longer, throw in the asparagus and yellow pepper to blanch.Warm the coconut milk and salt in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave. While Pasta is cooking create a roux by melting the margarine over medium heat. Once melted stir in the flour until fully incorporated, cooking for 1 minute. Pour 1/3 of the coconut milk into the pot with the roux, whisking continuously. Once thickened add another 1/3 cup and repeat until all of the milk has been added and thickened by the roux. Add the pesto into the milk and mix well. Toss sauce with the hot pasta, vegetables and cherry tomatoes. Garnish with a few arugula leaves. Enjoy!

Serves 4.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Filling and Lemon Glaze

These little gems just scream spring! A perfect little cupcake, these guys actually got an honorable mention in a recipe contest. Click the link below if you’d like to check them out there. They didn’t get 1st because apparently the filling was finicky to get in. If you have issues let me know please, as I’d like to fix it. Works good for me though and I know you guys are smarties :).
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Cupcake Batter:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dairy free margarine
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seed plus 6 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup each of coconut or soy yogurt and unsweetened coconut milk, combined
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Large pinch of salt
Filling:
2 cups diced strawberries
2 tablespoon sugar
Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons unsweetened coconut milk
Preheat oven to 350°. In a food processor mix ground flax seed and water until the mix becomes viscous and ‘egg-like’ to create flax ‘eggs’. In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add in flax eggs an vanilla and mix well.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture and milk/yogurt mixture in batches, starting and ending with flour. Spoon into mini or regular cupcake tins with liners.
Bake for 12-15 minutes for minis or 18-22 minutes for regular or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
For strawberry filling heat strawberries and sugar over medium heat, whisking while cooking to further break up the strawberries. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Mix all ingredients for the glaze in a bowl and set aside. Once cupcakes and filling have cooled, spoon the filling into a piping bag with a round piping tip. Insert the tip into center of cupcake and squeeze some filling into the middle. Repeat until all cupcakes are filled. Dip the top of cupcakes into the glaze or spoon the glaze over them. Enjoy!Makes 32 mini cupcakes or 12 regular.

Black Bean and Corn Tacos with Avocado Cream

These are perfect as a snack, lunch or dinner. So creamy and tasty, you will fall in love. If you’re a fan of a bit of spice, they go super well with hot sauce. My favourite one to put on is Valentina, but feel free to try out different ones to your liking.
Corn and Black Bean Tacos
Makes 8 tacos
1 can (2 cups) black beans, rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh corn
1/2 large onion, chopped (roughly 1 cup)
1 tbsp cooking oil, I prefer olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Avocado Cream:
1 large avocado, cubed (roughly 1 1/4 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup plain coconut yogurt (soy yogurt is ok)
Large pinch salt
8 flour or corn tortillas
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In a frying pan heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook stirring frequently for approximately 5 minutes. Add corn, beans, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook another 4-5 minutes, stirring. In a food processor puree together all of the ingredients for the avocado cream.
Heat tortillas in microwave or in a pan over the element. Divide corn and bean filling equally over the 8 tortillas. Divide the avocado cream and cilantro on top of the filling the same way. Fold, lift and devour.

Vichyssoise

This was a really fun soup to make because I had never made Vichyssoise before and it is a pretty particular dish. Love learning new things about food. If you are one of those people that don’t dig the cold soups (it’s cool, it happens), it is just as yummy heated up! Enjoy it your way.
Vichyssoise
2 cups chopped potatoes

3 leeks

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

2 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp dairy free margarine, Earth Balance or other
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Chives for garnish
Trim off the green tops of the leeks and slice lengthwise. Wash leeks making sure to clean in between the layers and slice thinly, discarding ends. In a saucepan over medium low heat melt the margarine. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or until leeks have become tender. Add potatoes and stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover pot, simmering for 30 minutes until potatoes are tender.
Allow to cool a bit and puree in a blender. Add salt, pepper and milk and blend to mix. Allow soup to chill before serving. Top with chopped or whole chives and enjoy.

Chocolate Coconut and Pecan Rice Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Sounds like a bit of a tongue twister doesn’t it? Well twist your tongue around this because it is absolutely to die for. Although I call it a rice pudding, it’s not very pudding-like, more just like rice. But still oh so amazing. The caramel sauce is an extra step and optional but it really makes it in the end. Good luck on not becoming too addicted to this stuff!

Chocolate Coconut and Pecan Rice Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

1/3 cup rice

1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/4 cup toasted coconut

1/4 tsp vanilla

Directions: Add all ingredients into a pot, mixing well. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking about 12 minutes or until rice is fully cooked through. Serve warm or cold, garnished with caramel, extra pecans, coconut and shaved chocolate.

Caramel Sauce (Optional)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp dairy free margarine

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup original So Delicious coffee creamer

Directions:

Combine water and sugar in a pot over medium low, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring heat up to medium high and cook for another couple minutes until sugar starts to brown. At this point whisk in coconut milk creamer, vanilla and margarine. Cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Keep refrigerated up to a week.

Mango Coconut and Chickpea Curry

So in the past 2 months or so I’ve been completely and utterly addicted to cooking contests. It gives my cooking a little creative flair and something to work off of. It’s been on the scale of garlic recipes to edible gifts, which is a very big scale indeed. A recent one that I have fallen in love with is put on by So Delicious. First off, they are already an amazing company with a great product so I’m in! I also love love making creamy dairy free recipes and then serving them to friends and family and they are shocked that there’s no dairy in them!

So here I am with my lovely dairy free recipes for you. I hope you love them just as much as I do.

Mango Coconut and Chickpea Curry

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Ingredients:

2 tsp coconut oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch ginger root, minced (roughly 1 tbsp)

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 large russet potato, cut into 3/4″ cubes (roughly 2 cups)

I can chickpeas (540ml)

2 cups So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne, depending on spice preference

1/4 cup chopped cilantro, reserving a few leaves for garnish

1 large mango, peeled and cubed, 3/4″

1/4 c toasted coconut

1 lime

Directions:

In a heavy saucepan heat coconut oil over medium heat. Once hot add in the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in everything except for mango, coconut and lime. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil, using a whisk to properly distribute spices. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 1 hour.

During the cooking hour prepare some white or brown rice to serve the curry on.

Once the hour is up add in the mango and cilantro and cook for 5 minutes. Serve the curry onto a bed of rice, sprinkle the toasted coconut on top and serve with a wedge of lime. The citrus is extra yum with this curry. Enjoy!!