Monday, 28 October 2013

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream


Well it seems like fall has officially come to Toronto. We woke up this morning huddling for body heat, since we usually sleep with the window open because this condo has this weird tendency to be warm. Not so great of an idea last night!

It's also our last few days here. Prepping for a move back to Ottawa for a few months, I haven't had plenty of time to cook meals more complex than potatoes and hummus. Or even think much about new ideas. So it's been back to comfort staples, which I really don't mind, since eating simply is what I love best!

It's pretty obvious how much produce we eat around here, when all the boxes that we've used to pack have been from the fruit that we've eaten over the last while. Banana boxes are my favorite to pack with since they seem to be the perfect size for basically anything, are super strong and have handles. Not to mention they stack perfectly. Just another benefit of eating tons of fruit.



Now to the ice cream.

Even though I am not so happy about the cold, it definitely did not stop me from indulging in this treat. After having made pumpkin puree from the awesome local sugar pumpkins my partner got me, I didn't really want to just make the usual pumpkin pie and soup. Also, I'm not quite sure how I'm going to make the pie yet, since I don't use flours of any kind, it's going to be a bit of a challenge unless I make a raw crust.

So this lovely dish came to life. A fat-free, whole food, no-processed-sugar delicacy that everyone can enjoy! It's loaded with sticky good for you ingredients that make this not only a decadent treat, but a healthy one too.






 Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Ingredients:

- 6 large bananas, peeled, cut and frozen.
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 10-14 dates, soaked,
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I made my own, below)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. 

You can serve immediately which will be more of a soft serve, or you can put into a freezer safe glass container and freeze it for a few hours to scoop it like I did. 

Pumpkin Pie Spice:

- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger (I actually used fresh)
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Enjoy!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Three Ingredient Chocolatey Milkshake

My dog ate my brownie.

Now other than the first reaction, of being concerned for her having eaten chocolate once again (I swear she's developed an immunity), I was sad. Mostly because baked treats are a rarity in my foodie life, by choice of course. I have them occasionally, but in reality I prefer the vibrance of a low fat, no oil lifestyle that enables me to feel my best.

So maybe she was doing me a favor more than anything.

After that incident, I figured why not make something that will satisfy that sweet tooth while being healthy in every way?

And so the Chocolatey raw vegan mylkshake was made, and it doesn't even involve any mylk!

I love simplicity, even more so when it's made of ingredients everyone has easy access to.




Raw Vegan Chocolatey Mylkshake

Ingredients:

- Bananas, both frozen and fresh.
- Coconut sugar
- Carob or cacao powder (I prefer carob here)
- Water

The amount of each ingredient used is up to you, if you want a thicker shake, use more frozen than fresh bananas and less water. 

You can also control the sweetness and chocolate factor, I used 1/3 cup coconut sugar and 1.5 tbsp carob powder for 10 bananas (6 fresh, 4 frozen).

Enjoy!

ALSO! Check out my Facebook page, where you get to see even more recipes and some awesome food porn.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Cheap Eats: Chickpea Curry

We all have those recipes that we can make blindfolded with one arm tied behind our backs. That used to be boxed mac and cheese in my world, it's an understatement to say that things have changed.

Before going veg, I was basically hopeless in the kitchen, I could do the basics and thats about it. Which meant that I relied far too much on pre-made or packaged meals. I thought that real cooking was either difficult or too time consuming. How wrong was I?

When I went veg, I had to rely on myself a bit more and became much more adventurous in the kitchen. I also watched a ton of food shows to gather inspiration skills and knowledge about flavors, spices and food combinations. This was the beginning of a much healthier and happier relationship with food.

Now the kitchen in my sanctuary, my therapeutic space where anything is possible and failure just another adventure. Plus, I get to eat it. Win-win.

This recipe is warm, comfort in a plate. It's easy and cheap to make, which makes it a staple and a go-to for me for all occasions, from a mid-week dinner to feeding a group of 12 people. I'm pretty sure the price on this one comes out to less than 10$ for a family portion, or two hearty appetites such as ours.



Chickpea Curry

Note: I made the tomato sauce from scratch here, but for an even quicker meal you can use store bought tomato sauce or thicken the sauce with sun-dried tomatoes in the blender to reduce cooking time.

Ingredients:

- 3 large tomatoes, chopped.
- 2 tbsp ginger, chopped.

Blend the tomatoes and ginger until smooth.

- 1 large onion, chopped.
- 2 large red peppers, chopped.
- 1 lb mushrooms sliced
- 1 large can chickpeas.
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- Cayenne pepper, to taste.
- S/P, to taste. 

In a large sauce pan, cook onions with a bit of water for 2-3 minutes, then add all other veggies and spices. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add tomato sauce and cook until sauce has thickened to desired consistency. Add chickpeas and warm throughout.

Serve over rice or quinoa.

Enjoy!!



Thursday, 3 October 2013

Comfort Food: Very Veggie Shepherds Pie

I've recently discovered the amazing world of reddit. There is such a massive array of topics on there, but as can be expected I went straight for the food. I found a great subreddit called veganrecipes where I occasionally share recipes and find amazing ones as well. I definitely recommend checking it out!

Through that group I found out about a subreddit called 52 weeks of vegan food. Of course I was curious and just had to check it out. Basically there will be a theme for every week for the next 52 weeks and people post recipes. Simple, awesome. Bonus is that I can post about my recipe adventures here and then it gives me less brain work for at least a post a week. Which means more posts! But unlike Vegan MoFo, which is intense, the demand isn't everyday and much much more manageable.

So this week's theme is comfort foods. When I think of comfort foods, two things come to mind: my favorite foods now and my favorite childhood foods. They are quite different from one another.

If this question were asked specifically for now, I would say sushi and a creamy dressing salad, well really mostly any ethnic rice dish tickles my comfort food fancy.

As for childhood foods, shepherd's pie is at the top of the list. Not the prettiest dish, it has many good memories attached of both my mom and grand-mother making them for me and my brothers.

Fortunately veganizing this dish is a cup of tea, although I do love a challenge. Simply replace the bottom layer with lentils and other veggies, a few spices and such. The rest stays the same. I also made this low fat by not using margarine or mylk in the potatoes. Just a little cooking water and god quality potatoes and they are just as creamy.






Very Veggie Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients:

- 5-6 large potatoes, boiled and mashed with 1/2-1 cup cooking water.

- 2-3 cups corn kernels (I used organic frozen corn)

- 1 medium sweet potato, diced.
- 2-3 medium carrots, diced. 
- 1 medium onion, diced.
- 1 bell pepper, diced.
- 2 can brown lentils, or equivalent cooked.
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Cook all veggies in this order: onions (2-3 mins) add carrots and sweet potato (4-5 mins), add pepper and lentils along with all the spices. Add water as needed to keep the veggies from sticking. 

When all the veggies are done, put them into a large oven safe glass deep dish. Add the corn on top followed by smoothing out the potatoes. Place into the oven on broil just to heat throughout and brown the top slightly.

Serve as is or with organic ketchup! 

Enjoy!