Golden French Lentil Stew

I cut this recipe in half to make it just for me and my son. I wasn’t sure how it would go over but he loved it. Next time I will make the full batch and maybe more to freeze. The kale in this recipe came from my freezer. We get fresh, organic kale from a local CSA and just never use it all. So, I chopped it up and put it in freezer bags to be used later. I am so happy I did this! I have been pulling it out to add to recipes instead of having to buy a whole kale (they never come in small sizes) at the grocery store. A big hunk of crusty bread is perfect on the side.

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With thanks to Angela Liddon and her cookbook Oh She Glows Every Day

Makes 8 cups (2L)    Serves 4

vegan, gluten-free, nut-free option, soy-free, grain-free, advance prep required, freezer-friendly, kid-friendly option

Soak Time: 1-2 hours or overnight          Prep Time: 20-25 min            Cook Time: 36-43 min

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (125ml) raw cashews, or 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (90ml) raw sunflower seeds
2 cups (500ml) water
2 Tbsp (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow or sweet onion, diced, or 2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced (about 2 cups/500ml)
4 large cloves garlic, minced (2 Tbsp/30ml minced)
1 to 1 1/2 tsp (5 to 7ml) fine sea salt, to taste, plus a couple pinches
2 medium carrots, diced (1 heaping cup/275ml)
2 stalks celery, diced (3/4 cup/175ml)
2 tsp (10ml) ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) dried thyme
1 tsp (5ml) ground turmeric
1 (14oz/398ml) can of diced tomatoes, with juices (you can always use fresh, just mash them up a bit to get the juice out of them)
3/4 cup (175ml) uncooked French green lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups (1L) low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cup (750ml) stemmed and chopped Swiss chard or kale leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10ml) white wine vinegar, to taste
  1. Put the cashews in a bowl and cover with a couple of inches of water. Soak for 1 to 2 hours or overnight. (For a quick-soak method, cover with boiling water and soak for 30-60 minutes.) Drain and rinse. Transfer the cashews to a high-speed blender along with 1/2 cup (125ml) of the water. Blend on high until super smooth and creamy in texture. Set the cashew cream aside.
  2. In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, and a couple pinches of salt, and sauté until the onion is softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Stir in the carrots and celery, and cook for another few minutes or so. Stir in the cumin, thyme, and turmeric until combined.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, lentils, broth, and remaining water. In crease the heat and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
  5. Stir in the cashew cream and chard. Add salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste. (The vinegar’s role is to lend brightness to the soup, add a little bit at a time and keep tasting, as it can quickly overwhelm.) Cook for a couple of minutes over low-medium heat, until the chard is wilted, and then serve. This stew will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or you can freeze it for 1 to 2 months (always let it cool completely before storing). The stew will thicken after sitting in the fridge; you can thin it out with a bit of broth when you reheat it, if desired, or simply serve it thick with some crusty bread.

Angela’s Tips:

When the cashew (or sunflower seed) cream is mixed into the soup, the broth can take on a speckled appearance due to it reacting with the vinegar. This is totally normal and does not effect the delicious flavour of the soup.

Make it nut-free: Use sunflower seed cream rather than cashew cream.

Make it kid-friendly: This soup has a lot of nutrient-packed ingredients,which can mean a lot of chewing for little ones. You can pureé their servings in a blender and serve with Angela’s Easiest Garlic Croutons (p. 257, Oh She Glows Every Day) cut into strips for dipping.

“our favorite veggie burger”

My meatatarians loved this burger. I think it is because it has texture and substance. Put all your favourite fixin’s on it, slap it on a bun and call it a not-hamburger. My husband suggested that a little bit of liquid smoke in the mix would make it even more burger-like. It’s worth a try. I borrowed this recipe from Angela Liddon at Oh She Glows, who in turn was inspired by Shelley Adams, author of the Whitewater Cooks cookbook. Keep sharing and see how far this great recipe goes!

With thanks to Angela Liddon ohsheglows.com

Serves 8     Prep time: 25 minutes     Cook time: 30-35 minutes

nut-free, sugar-free, gluten-free option, soy-free option

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp (45ml) ground flaxseed
1-15oz (425ml) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup (250ml) grated carrots or sweet potato
1/3 cup (75ml) finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup (125ml) finely chopped red or yellow onions
1/2 cup (125ml) sunflower seeds, toasted, if preferred
3/4 cup (175ml) gluten-free oats, processed into a flour
1/2 cup (125ml) spelt bread crumbs or bread crumbs of your choice
1/2 Tbsp (7.5ml) extra-vigin olive oil
1 to 2 Tbsp (15-30ml) tamari or coconut aminos, to taste (aka soy sauce, it just won’t be gluten free)
1 tsp (5ml) chili powder
1 tsp (5ml) dried oregano
1 tsp (5ml) ground cumin
3/4 to 1 tsp (3.5 to 5ml) fine-grain sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flax seed with 1/3 cup (75ml) warm water and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, until thickened.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the black beans into a paste, leaving a few beans intact for texture. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and the flax seed mixture. Adjust the seasoning to taste, if desired. Mix well until combined.
  4. With slightly wet hands, shape the dough into 8 patties. Pack the dough tightly to help it hold together during cooking and place the patties on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake the patties for 15 minutes, gently flip them, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the patties are firm and golden. Alternatively, grill the veggie burgers: preheat a grill over medium heat. Pre-bake the patties in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then place them on the grill. Grill on each side for a few minutes until golden brown.
  6. Serve with toasted buns or lettuce leaf “wraps”.

Angela’s Tips: To make these burgers gluten-free, use certified gluten-free oats, gluten-free tamari, and omit the bread crumbs.

To make these burgers soy-free, use a soy-free tamari (such as a brown rice-based tamari) or coconut aminos.

Vegan Penne Pasta Casserole

Don’t let the word vegan scare you off. This dish is delicious and nutritious and, if you want to add some chicken or sausage to it go right ahead. Make it your own!

 

 

With thanks to veganosity.com

Serves 6     Prep Time: 10 minutes     Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 pound of whole grain penne pasta
1 Tbsp of avocado oil (I used extra-virgin olive oil)
1 red onion – chopped
2 cloves of garlic – minced
1-15oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (I couldn’t find these so instead I used canned crushed tomatoes and added in some chopped up fire roasted peppers)
1/2 cup of water * (put the water in the empty crushed tomato can and swirl to capture the remaining tomato in the can. Pour into the pan with the tomato sauce)
2 tsp of Italian seasoning
1 tsp of ground sea salt
ground black pepper to taste
3 cups of baby spinach leaves (I chopped mine into smaller pieces) – pack the cups
1 cup of basil leaves – pack the cup
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs (this gets used a the end of the recipe)
Cashew Cream
1 cup of cashews ** ( I recommend pre-soaking them to soften them. Pour boiling water on the cashews and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. The longer they soak, the softer they get, the better they will pulverize)
3/4 cups of water
1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp of ground sea salt
ground black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the pasta. Cook for 7 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Drain.
  3. In a large skillet heat the avocado oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to caramelize. Approximately 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and water*, and seasonings. Stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Make the cashew cream. Put the cashews**, water, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a high powered blender and blend until the liquid is smooth and creamy. There shouldn’t be any pieces of nuts in the mix.
  5. In a large bowl add the pasta, spinach, basil, tomato sauce, and cashew cream and stir until completely combined. Spread in a large baking pan, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and evenly spread the breadcrumbs on top. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crumbs begin to turn brown.

Don’t want to go vegan? No problem, sprinkle your pasta with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. I added a kalamata olive and a giant caper to the finished product for fun.

 

 

 

Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Spinach Coconut Curry

Angela Liddon, of Oh She Glows Every Day, wasn’t kidding when she said this curry is just divine. Simple, coco-nutty, sweet and cozy like a warm blanket, this curry is absolutely delicious. I made this for a friend in need who raved about it. She said it was a make again meal for sure. So, here it is for you to enjoy. I do recommend that you do all the prep work before you start the cooking process, including measuring out the spices. I like to use little stainless steel containers to hold my pre-measured spices (don’t mix them). This recipes does move quickly (which is one of the great things about it). I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned as I am trying to avoid prepackaged food. One and a half large tomatoes did the trick. Serve on brown rice, quinoa, basmati rice or another grain of your choice. Enjoy!

With thanks to Angela Liddon, and the Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook

Makes 6 servings

Can be vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, grain free and is freezer friendly

Ingredients:
4 tsp (20ml) virgin coconut oil
1 Tbsp (15ml) cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups/500ml)
3/4 to 1 tsp (4 to 5ml) fine sea salt, to taste, plus a pinch
3 large cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp (20ml) grated fresh ginger
1 tsp (5ml) ground turmeric
1 tsp (5ml) ground coriander
1/4 tsp (1ml) red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 medium/large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-1/2-inch (5mm to 1cm) dice (about 3 cups/750ml)
1 (14oz/398ml) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups (375ml) cooked chickpeas
1 (14oz/398ml) can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 (14oz/400ml) can light coconut milk
1 (5oz/142g) package baby spiniach
Freshly ground black pepper
for serving:
cooked basmati rice, quinoa, millet, or sorghum
chopped fresh cilantro leaves
unsweetened shredded or large flake coconut
lime wedges (optional)
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. The oil is hot enough when a cumin seed sizzles when tossed into the pan. Add the cumin seeds and toast for about a minute, until fragrant and lightly darkened in colour (be careful not to burn them). Immediately stir in the onion, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the garlic softens.
  3. Add the sweet potato, chickpeas, tomatoes with their juices, and coconut milk. stir to combine, cover, and simmer over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. At this point, you can mash one-third of the mixture to thicken the sauce (using a potato masher), but this step is optional.
  4. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Season with the salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Serve on a bed of cooked grains, garnish with cilantro and coconut. If desired, offer lime wedges for squeezing over the curry. Store the cooled curry in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

 

 

Macaroni Squash

Nutritional yeast?! Doesn’t sound very appetizing but trust me it makes the recipe just that much more yummy. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy, nutty flavour. It also has vitamin B12. It is not the kind of yeast you use to make bread so don’t panic. It’s a light flaky product that some people even sprinkle on popcorn. You can find it at a bulk food store or a health food store. A little goes a long way. My family suggests adding more onions for a bit more of a flavour pop. Ketchup or sriracha can be added to finish it off (and maybe make it more appealing to the kids). This is a yummy fall comfort food.

With thanks to The China Study Cookbook, Leanne Campbell

Makes 4 servings     Prep time: 20 minutes     Cooking time: 20 minutes

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ingredients:
1-16oz box cooked whole wheat macaroni
1 medium onion, diced (my family says to use more)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp vegetable broth (this is used as a substitute for oil when sautéing the onion and garlic)
2 cups cooked butternut squash, mashed (I diced and steamed a butternut squash- this will add to your prep time, or you can buy frozen butternut squash)
1/2 cup raw cashews (I recommend soaking them- cover the cashews with boiling water and soak for at least half an hour. Softening them will make the texture much smoother)
1/2 cup soy milk (I used almond, which is a bit sweeter)
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp white miso (you can find this at the grocery store in the health food fridge or an Asian grocery)
Sea salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place cooked macaroni in a large baking dish and set aside.
  3. Sauté onion and garlic with 2Tbsp vegetable broth in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash and cook until just heated through. Add to macaroni and mix well.
  4. Process cashews, milk, water, nutritional yeast, and miso in a food processor (or a blender) until smooth.
  5. Pour over macaroni mixture and mix well. Season with salt. Then cover with foil, and bake for 15 minutes.

 

African Vegetables

This dish is packed with yummy vegetables. The peanut butter gives it a delicious nutty flavour. Using brown rice adds some texture to the dish. I used a wild rice and lentil mix for a bit more flavour. Serve with a green salad.

With thanks to The China Study Cookbook, Leanne Campbell

Makes 6-8 servings     Prep time: 15 minutes     Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp vegetable broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1  tsp cinnamon
1 cup water
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups frozen chopped spinach (you can always use fresh if you prefer)
1/2 cup frozen corn
4 Tbsp tomato paste
1-15oz can diced tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups cooked brown rice, for serving
  1. In large soup pot, add 2 Tbsp of vegetable broth, onion green pepper and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until onion and green pepper are soft.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Cook 1-2 minutes longer.
  3. Add water, sweet potato, spinach, corn, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and zucchini. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until potato is easily pricked with a fork. If necessary, add more water.
  4. Stir in peanut butter, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 more minutes.
  5. Serve over cooked rice.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin spice every thing season is here! Try these out for breakfast. Double the recipe and freeze what you don’t eat for a quick and easy breakfast. Take them out the night before or thaw them in the microwave. Serve with syrup, fruit or whipped cream; whatever strikes your fancy.

With thanks to The China Study Cookbook, Leanne Campbell

Makes 1 dozen pancakes     Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 egg replacers (2 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal with 6 Tbsp water*)
2 cups non-dairy milk
1/2 cup pumpkin (canned or pureed)
5 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, mix egg replacers, non=dairy milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir just enough to remove any lumps. The batter should be pourable; if it seems to thick, add more milk.
  5. Use a 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup measuring cup to measure and pour small amounts of batter onto the heated surface. Cook until the top bubbles, about 2-3 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown. Serve immediately.

 

*ground flaxseed meal can be found at the bulk food store. I like to use flaxseed and water as it is quick and easy.